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Headset for modern gaming with excellent directional accuracy

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for a good headset/headphone solution for directional accuracy in MODERN gaming. I read the posts in both Mad Lust Envy's and Nameless' thread and yet I have questions.

 

here is the deal: currently I have an Asus Xonar DX soundcard, I'm using a modded Sennheiser HD555 (stereo headphone) and a separate cheap mic for my FPS tournament gaming sessions - we play BF3. I have no issues with my setup in quality regards, but I do want improvements in directional accuracy.

 

my settings are:

  1. in-game: home cinema, enhanced stereo off
  2. in the Xonar control panel
  • audio channels: 8 channels
  • sample rate: 48 KHz
  • analog out: headphone
  • SPDIF: off
  • dolby headphone: off
  • 7.1 virtual speaker shifter: off
  • DSP: off

 

if I switch on the dolby headphone option the sound becomes tincan-like, very metaly and I don't like it. with this setup I do hear the footsteps, incoming tanks etc, but I have issues to locate enemies nearby, pinpoint them only by hearing. we had several practices on locating hiding enemies and I had problems, while my teammates could find me. they are using Logitech G35s, G930, Tritton 720+ and like. so I thought if I buy a 720+ I will be more aware of my surroundings.

 

I also know, Levelcap is running a similar soundcard with a pair of plain stereo Audio Technica AD700 headphones. so maybe I don't have to rely on fancy and well marketed gaming gear. just buy the AD700s. or stick to my old 555s, I have no idea.

 

since I have zero experience with surround, virtual surround and dolby headphones and I can't afford to buy several different headsets/headphones to experiment with I'm asking you guys for some suggestions. will I hear any difference if I have the 720+s or the AD700? do you have any better ideas for me? my budget is 100-150 bucks and I live in eastern europe.

 

thank you in advance,

Zeke

post #2 of 6

Hi,

 

I´d say.. if you "need" to spend money then go on with your search.. but from my experience, there is little to no need to upgrade from a HD555 regarding 3D positioning. 

 

I was looking at reviews for the very same reason about a year ago and ended with the Sennheiser PC360 Headset. In my opionion, it has everyting a gaming-headset needs ... super-comfty even after hours of gaming (that´s very important for me) ... i sounds great and has a good, pratical mic for headsets in that pricerange.

 

what´s my point..

I also own the AKG K701, which is well known for it´s stellar soundstage and there is little to no difference, regarding succesfully pinpointing footsteps, to the PC360.

 

so that hasn´t changed alot... but...

 

My Soundblaster Recon 3D USB broke a few weeks ago and i returned to my Musiland Monitor 02 for my game rig.. though it has no thx 3D stuff or dolby headphone implemented, i don´t feel like that 3D positioning is any worse than before, quite the contrary is the case, it feels easier to spot people.. the amps capability to deliver a decent soundstage - speaking about crosstalk/channel seperation etc.- is key. Sure the musilands is just a decent "good for it´s price" device, but it´s amp is undeniable better than the Recon3Ds.

 

my conlusion..

i´d keep the Headphone (because it´s already a very good one) and look for a better source to feed them.

 

neopac

post #3 of 6

only way up is the HD598, but i have no idea how big the improvement could be, it could be significant, or by just a hair or even worse no improvement,
my advice is to go and buy a proper amp, cause with amping and a proper dac with source the main thing that will improve is the soundstage in this pair, and the texture of the sound too comes next.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

thank you guys for the help so far, you are very kind! I read a lot in this topic and I realized, that I might need a low impedance headphone amp, since the HD555s are 50 ohm headsets and my Xonar has a output impedance of 100 ohms. or I might go down the easy way and grab and test a Logitech G35, the most common and available gaming headset in Hungary...

 

I'm kind sick of not knowing what the solution can be for better directional accuracy. confused.gif

 

@neopac: by better source did you mean to change my soundcard to a better one? or you meant a headphone amp, like the fiio E10?

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by the bald Zeke View Post

thank you guys for the help so far, you are very kind! I read a lot in this topic and I realized, that I might need a low impedance headphone amp, since the HD555s are 50 ohm headsets and my Xonar has a output impedance of 100 ohms. or I might go down the easy way and grab and test a Logitech G35, the most common and available gaming headset in Hungary...

I'm kind sick of not knowing what the solution can be for better directional accuracy. confused.gif

@neopac: by better source did you mean to change my sound card to a better one? or you meant a headphone amp, like the fiio E10?

The Xonar DX in general is a good sound card, but it's lack of a true headphone amplifier and high headphone output impedance is it's drawback.

The cheapest AC powered headphone amplifier I know of is the PAV2V ($70).

One option is to sell off the Xonar DX and get a Sound Blaster Z sound card, comes with a headphone amplifier (and lower impedance), and has the same DAC chip (CS4398) as the Xonar DX.

post #6 of 6

Hi,

Quote:
go down the easy way and grab and test a Logitech G35

test it... but it will be a step back regarding "good/directional sound" is the G35 the one, you can´t use while charging ? ( would be a noGo for me).. heard the G930 and it was just ok. 

 

 

Quote:
@neopac: by better source did you mean to change my soundcard to a better one? or you meant a headphone amp, like the fiio E10?

i can´t answer this question to be honest (i meant to whole package), cause that would end up in pure speculation from my side.. 100Ohm impedance is a bugger... if you could bypass the internals and amp the line-out signal, it would be worth a try ( if you don´t need to buy an amp )... my point was, that if you already got a good headphone (and my PC360 and your HD555 are sure similar) you will see little(placebo) to no improvement when upgrading it.

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