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What surround headset should I get? Astro A40 2013 or PC 360 - Get the MixAmp, a Sound Card, or...

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

I read up a lot on this stuff, but it's all very confusing to me still.

 

I'm looking to get a headset that does 7.1 for games and movies, and I also like to listen to music often. I've been reading around and the A40 seems to be a really nice 7.1 surround headset for the money.
I currently have the Plantronics GameCom 780 and an ASUS P8P67 EVO motherboard with no sound card. Audio chipset is Realtek ALC892 with 8 channels and has an Optical out.
 
Will I get 7.1 surround with the MixAmp and my current motherboard with no sound card?
Would a sound card with a headphone AMP, such as the ASUS Xonar Essence STX, be able to do 7.1 surround on the Astro without the MixAmp?

Or would I have to get the MixAmp and a 7.1 sound card?

 

 

My friend is saying that the Sennheiser PC 360/350 is a very good gaming headset and I should get that instead of the Astro A40. If I got the Xonar sound card, as mentioned above, would those headsets run virtual 7.1 surround? If so, would it sound as good as the A40?

post #2 of 41

For a Win PC, better just to get an internal sound card, Astro Mix-amp would be better for a gaming console.

Besides, It appears you current motherboard does not come with DDL (Dolby Digital live), which is need for the Astro Mix-amp to provide Headphone surround sound.

 

Sound cards.

Asus Xonar DG (PCI) sound card, $26 and there is a $10 mail in rebate this month (Amazon).

Creative Sound Blaster Z (SB1500), $100, better DAC chip and more powerful headphone amplifier, then the DG.

Essence STX, $175, better DAC chip and head amp, then the Z card.

 

Sennheiser HD558 headphones, $131.26 (Amazon), you have the option of adding any add-on mic you like.

 

Senn PC360, HD518, HD558, HD598 all use the same driver, just cup designs are different.

and the PC360 has an integrated mic.

post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

For a Win PC, better just to get an internal sound card, Astro Mix-amp would be better for a gaming console.

Besides, It appears you current motherboard does not come with DDL (Dolby Digital live), which is need for the Astro Mix-amp to provide Headphone surround sound.

 

Sound cards.

Asus Xonar DG (PCI) sound card, $26 and there is a $10 mail in rebate this month (Amazon).

Creative Sound Blaster Z (SB1500), $100, better DAC chip and more powerful headphone amplifier, then the DG.

Essence STX, $175, better DAC chip and head amp, then the Z card.

 

Sennheiser HD558 headphones, $131.26 (Amazon), you have the option of adding any add-on mic you like.

 

Senn PC360, HD518, HD558, HD598 all use the same driver, just cup designs are different.

and the PC360 has an integrated mic.


Thanks for the info.

But, would the Essence STX provide Headphone 7.1 surround for the Sennheisers you listed? Would that surround be better than the A40 or my GameCom 780?

post #4 of 41

The surround itself will not sound better than the A40; the sound, however, ought to sound noticeably better, as the STX uses components of a much higher caliber. With an internal soundcard, like the STX, you can use any headphone you like in proper 7.1 simulation. Now, you will not be able to tell the difference between, say, the STX and A40 if you choose a subpar set of headphones. For movie/gaming use, I recommend either the Fidelio X1 or the HD598. The 598 is a marked improvement over the 518, and is definitely worth the extra money.

post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hutt132 View Post
 


Thanks for the info.

But, would the Essence STX provide Headphone 7.1 surround for the Sennheisers you listed? Would that surround be better than the A40 or my GameCom 780?


The Essence STX would provide Dolby Headphone 7.1 Surround Sound for just about any headphone plugged into it

(like the Sennheisers I've listed).

 

I would assume the Essence STX's C-Media CMI8788 audio processor is more powerful then the A40s audio processor.

The Gamcon 780 uses Dolby Pro Logic IIx, which first came out in 2002 (11 years ago).

post #6 of 41

Don't most consumer surround processors still utilize Dolby Pro Logic IIx?

post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatmanSize48 View Post
 

The surround itself will not sound better than the A40; the sound, however, ought to sound noticeably better, as the STX uses components of a much higher caliber. With an internal soundcard, like the STX, you can use any headphone you like in proper 7.1 simulation. Now, you will not be able to tell the difference between, say, the STX and A40 if you choose a subpar set of headphones. For movie/gaming use, I recommend either the Fidelio X1 or the HD598. The 598 is a marked improvement over the 518, and is definitely worth the extra money.

So if I got the Essence STX and the HD598, would it be worth it to use the virtual 7.1 surround on them in games and movies and would it sound good? I like to have surround for my games and movies since I do a lot of those.

post #8 of 41

I would definitely use the STX's surround processor for FPS gaming. I never watch movies on my computer, as my monitor (2560x1440) is unfit for Blu-Ray playback, but that's just me.

post #9 of 41

Oh, and what is your budget? I should have asked this earlier.

post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatmanSize48 View Post
 

Don't most consumer surround processors still utilize Dolby Pro Logic IIx?


I think I've seen a few with the newer Dolby Pro logic IIz.

I would assume Dolby Pro Logic IIx is the cheapest Dolby that still does the job.

But I'm just making guesses.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 10/10/13 at 7:57pm
post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 

The STX is $180 and I see the HD598 for $200 on Amazon, totals to $380. That's kind of pushing my budget, but I could raise it to that. Is the HD598 really much better than the HD558?

post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hutt132 View Post
 

The STX is $180 and I see the HD598 for $200 on Amazon, totals to $380. That's kind of pushing my budget, but I could raise it to that. Is the HD598 really much better than the HD558?


Just get the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z (SB1500), $98.

With the HD558, $131.26.

So $230, plus any sales tax (free shipping at Amazon).

post #13 of 41

If you ever upgrade headphones, the STX will prove to be the better option--you would be able to run even the HD650 fairly well with it. In that case, the 558 would be the better buy, as you would have more room to "grow." CedarPC (not a sham dealer) has the STX for $110, while, as PurpleAngel stated above, Amazon has the 558 posted at $131. 

post #14 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatmanSize48 View Post
 

If you ever upgrade headphones, the STX will prove to be the better option--you would be able to run even the HD650 fairly well with it. In that case, the 558 would be the better buy, as you would have more room to "grow." CedarPC (not a sham dealer) has the STX for $110, while, as PurpleAngel stated above, Amazon has the 558 posted at $131. 

I don't mind too much spending the extra for the STX and HD598 if there is a good difference. Would you say that the HD598 is noticeably better than the HD558 for music and surround?

 

Could you link me to where CedarPC is selling the STX?


Edited by hutt132 - 10/10/13 at 8:38pm
post #15 of 41
http://www.cedarpc.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=44062

I would go for a used HD600 at your price range, funds permitting. If not, the HD598 will do just grand.
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