I'm a long-time gamer with a fairly high-end gaming PC. I listen to a lot of music as well, and I'm interested in looking at sound equipment to bring out another dimension in my games and better appreciate my music.
Currently, I'm running:
EVGA GTX 670 FTW 4gb
8gb corsair RAM
2x120gb Samsung Pro SSDs
1tb WD Cav Black HDD
650w Corsair PSU
Corsair Vengeance 2000
I really appreciate the graphical power that my setup brings to the games that I play, but I've lately been thinking about the potential for a good audio system. I'm hoping to be able to better appreciate an additional dimension/element in the games that I play and enhancing immersion.
When I do tests like this: http://www.noiseaddicts.com/2009/03/mp3-sound-quality-test-128-320/ I can't tell the difference no matter how I mess with my EQ to compensate for my bassy headphones or change the volume. They sound the exact same to me. My concern is that if unable to tell the difference now, I may just be wasting money by buying entry level sound equipment. What's more, apparently many people think they can tell the difference but can't - heck, MORE people chose the wrong clip than the right one in that example. Does that mean that sound hardware beyond a basic point doesn't make a difference?
I'd like to know that whatever I buy will actually bring a new layer to the games I play and music that I listen to. I can probably afford to spend about $400 and believe that I want a sound card/headset combo. I would like virtual surround support for immersion while gaming, and I hear that DACs don't offer that.
I play many genres of games - racing, FPS, MMO, you name it. As far as music, I listen to a lot of industrial/neue deutsche härte.
Basically, I'm wondering:
1. If I'm having trouble picking out differences in music quality now, should I even bother with sound hardware? Is there anything that I can do to refine and better appreciate these elements?
2. What would be a good-for-the-money entry level set of equipment on a $300-400 budget?
Thanks so much for the help - I'm really hoping to take my gaming to another level through audio :)
Edited by Jtsessions - 11/5/13 at 4:01pm