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Help On First Audio Setup - Gaming

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 

New to the whole audio enthusiast world and would like to dive in with a nice computer setup.

 

A few buddies of mine have decent phones. Sennheiser 555 and Astro a40s to name a few and this has opened my eyes that Ive been missing out on the audio portion of my gaming.

 

I have been looking at a few different setups online but would rather get opinions from others before I say what my conclusions came to be.

 

Price:

really not an issue but I am a value shopper, aka I will be willing to pay more if the difference in performance is quantifiable for the money. Would really like to keep the price under $500 for everything. I want to get the most for my money without tipping the scale into the top tier equipment that will cost me a fortune.

 

Need setup for:

I need help with a setup for my gaming PC that will give me a competitive edge in FPS and also allow me to enjoy mainstream music on the PC. Even though its not a main concern, I would like some bass to my sound also, dont want a flat pair of phones.

 

Thank you in advance and can not wait to join the audio community!


Dustin
 

post #2 of 63
Well senn. Just came out with the new version of the HD 360
post #3 of 63

What sound card are you currently running?  Depending on your sound card would depend on whether or not you would go with USB or Direct sound headphones.  Personally I have always liked Sennheiser when it comes to gaming headphones.
 

You could also look at this comprehensive thread to get some more ideas.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-updated-1-28-13-k702-65th-anni-ed-added


Edited by velvetx - 2/4/13 at 2:32pm
post #4 of 63
Pro-tip: Skip the gaming-specific headphones and start looking for a solid set of stereo headphones with a wide sound-stage. It’s beyond your budget (unless you can find them on sale) but my current setup is a pair of HE-500’s with a Schiit Lyr and Bifrost. It is exceptional for gaming. Why? It has outstanding imaging and, as a result, I can pick out sounds and their direct quickly and very accurately. It’s gotten me accused of hacking on more than one occasion.

If you do something similar you’ll not only end up with a solid gaming rig but a great audio setup, too.

By the way, one of the reasons this works is that humans don’t have surround-sound inputs. Not really. We have a stereo interface and our brain does a lot of magic on the fly to give us that sense of directionality. Now, most good games where imaging matters will do a good job of processing that by default. Left 4 Dead 2, oddly enough, is really good at this. That’s why you can be competitive with a good set of stereo headphones.

On a related note, most “surround sound” headphones (like the A40) simply take a surround-sound signal from your computer and mix it down to stereo in a way that mimics what you’d hear were it actually in the space around you. Most games have similar functionality built-in.
post #5 of 63
Thread Starter 
Tbh, from what I've gathered I really don't think gaming specific headphones are want I want. A good audio setup in general should help me in games. I currently do not have any sound card or phones, running cheap Logitech hp and on board sound. Doing research so I can buy a correct setup the first time.
post #6 of 63
I'm doing a rode Podcaster mic plus LCD 3, and a Burson conductor, but I'm nuts. Perhaps a Centrance DAC port and a pair of sub $500 cans like the Vmodas. I dunno.
post #7 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougofTheAbaci View Post

Pro-tip: Skip the gaming-specific headphones and start looking for a solid set of stereo headphones with a wide sound-stage. It’s beyond your budget (unless you can find them on sale) but my current setup is a pair of HE-500’s with a Schiit Lyr and Bifrost. It is exceptional for gaming. Why? It has outstanding imaging and, as a result, I can pick out sounds and their direct quickly and very accurately. It’s gotten me accused of hacking on more than one occasion.

I've always wondered about the recommendation to get Dolby Headphone or some kind of multi channel processing. Seems the sound engineers who design audio for games (and movies) would do a better job of creating the 2 channel audio for using headphones than what some software algorithm can do out of combining multiple channels. I've tried the sound processing on my Asus Xonar STX, and it seems to muddle in it's attempt to surround more, rather than create more clarity and better imaging.

Of course, I also am not wild about Dolby Pro Logic or Neo processing for taking 2 channel audio recordings into 5 channel output for home audio either. Maybe I'm just weird smily_headphones1.gif
post #8 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlauth View Post

Tbh, from what I've gathered I really don't think gaming specific headphones are want I want. A good audio setup in general should help me in games. I currently do not have any sound card or phones, running cheap Logitech hp and on board sound. Doing research so I can buy a correct setup the first time.

Then a good external DAC/amp combination will be a dramatic improvement.

If you got the Schiit Audio Modi/Magni DAC/amp stack and then bought a very good set of phones, I bet you'd enjoy it. Take a look at this thread as place to start to learn about them: http://www.head-fi.org/t/640774/this-schiit-is-bananas-99-schiit-magni-amp-and-99-modi-dac
post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlauth View Post

Tbh, from what I've gathered I really don't think gaming specific headphones are want I want. A good audio setup in general should help me in games. I currently do not have any sound card or phones, running cheap Logitech hp and on board sound. Doing research so I can buy a correct setup the first time.

Creative Labs Titanium HD sound card, $109.

Schiit Magni external headphone amplifier, $99.

Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro 250-Ohm headphones, $190-$210.

post #10 of 63
Thread Starter 

$117 shipped for a new Titanium HD a good price?

post #11 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlauth View Post

$117 shipped for a new Titanium HD a good price?

Yes. Around $110 is about as low as it seems to get (PurpleAngel might know where to buy it at that right now), but generally most retail prices are up closer to $175.
post #12 of 63
Thread Starter 

Here are the headphones I have been looking at in no order:

 

AKG Q701

Beyerdynamic DT880 and DT990

Sennheiser HD558 and HD598

 

Sound card the best setup for gaming compaired to external? If so, im thinking Titanium HD over STX

post #13 of 63
At the difference in price between the STX and the Titanium, there's no reason to consider the STX. The Titanium has the edge for gaming anyway. Use the money to get the Magni headphone amp.

If you research, you'll find there is a very simple mod that involves removing a piece of tape from the Senn 558, and then it will sound very similar to the 598.
post #14 of 63

The STX may be worth considering if you do not want to buy an external amplifier, and plan to use high impedance (250 to 600 Ω) headphones, with which it works well enough.

post #15 of 63
Thread Starter 

Please clarify about the sound cards. Ive heard that one of the STX or HD do not work to their fullest potential when putting sound out to an amp. They dont convert the audio or something when going to an amp based on the outputs of the cards.

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