I'm looking for some guidance on a new PC gaming headset. In the past I've been satisfied with low end headsets, but decided I'd like to step up a bit. I previous owned a G35 until one earpiece broke due to what seemed like poor build quality (I'm very gentle on my equipment). When looking for better build quality I stumbled upon the 2013 Astro A40s. They seemed to get decent reviews from gamers until I dug deeper and found that most audiophiles seem to scoff at them.
I don't presently own a sound card. My onboard is Realtek which does include an optical out, but lacks DDL (EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR). I would really like to be able to enjoy games like Battlefield 4 with positional audio on a fairly tight budget and I absolutely must have a mic.
I am also a drummer and would like to have a headphone/headset that could also perform decent for play-alongs. Doesn't have to be anything over the top amazing, but just better than the dollar bin ear-buds I'm currently using. Still prefer gaming performance above music. I would prefer to have something that can be driven by my phone (Galaxy S3) with decent results. I'm also unsure about the open/closed side of things. I've never used an open headphone before so I'm not sure if would allow too much outside noise bleed from cymbals and such that I couldn't hear my music. I also own a PreSonus 44VSL for recording that I could also configure to drive my headphones if needed for my play-alongs.
Here are the two avenues that I've considered so far:
- Buy the 2013 Astro A40 with mixamp for $179 and use onboard until I can afford a sound card
- Buy a Sound Blaster Z and pair with a better quality headphone??? using the included Creative mic
Anyone have suggestions on a good headphone for my situation or an entirely better setup that I could use? I'm probably going to have to keep it to not much more than $200 if I'm going to also be purchasing a $100 sound card. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!