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Need help ASAP don't know what gaming headset to get!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Helloo everyone:), I was recommended to join here because apparently this community is helpful and specializes in audio products. So hopefully I will get the help I need, and FAST because black friday sales are almost over and I'd like to get a deal on a headset before then.

 

Ok, be patient with me because I honestly don't know much about audio. I love music and gaming so this is an area I'd like to be knowledgeable in. Here are some questions I have/ clarifications;

 

1. What is the difference between 2.0 and 2.1, apparently 2.1 has a subwoofer, and from what I know a subwoofer is basically bass? Correct me if I'm wrong.

2. Is there a significant difference between 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound? I know most games don't support 7.1 anyway, so is it even worth it? Also, hypothetically if you have a 7.1 headset and the game doesn't support 7.1, does it automatically just use 5.1 or whatever it can or would you have to manually set it to 5.1, and how would you know if it's using 7.1 or not?

3. I remember seeing someone mention 5.0 on a thread, I don't know if that was a typo but is there 5.0 and what's the difference between that and 5.1?

4. Can stereo (2.1 or whatever it is) emulate surround sound?

5. Can you damage a high quality headset by limiting it with onboard audio? I was thinking about getting a good headset and just using onboard until I can afford a sound card.

 

Ultimately I just want a solid gaming experience. I do listen to music but gaming is more important to me, so I don't know if I should get stereo or surround sound because I haven't had the opportunity to test the difference. Though common sense says surround sound would give me the competitive edge.

 

Edit, TL:DR;

The reason why I want help ASAP is because there currently is the Sennheiser PC350 Special Edition $100 off on sale (along with Sennheiser PC360 G4ME) which I could use towards an amp or sound card. But from what I can tell this is a stereo headset, so I'm not sure that is an optimal choice for me. I'm really conflicted between this and the Astro a40s, which are 5.1 surround sound. On the other hand, I also would really like to get a pair of wireless gaming headphones, since I love the freedom of not being tied down by a cord (then again, the PC350's cord is braided, major plus). The problem being virtual 7.1 apparently isn't as good as wired (is it called analog?) 7.1(On that note, another question is all virtual 7.1 the same? So there would be no difference between Astro a50s or Corsair Vengeance 2000?)

 

Thanks and looking forward to reading your replies. Sorry for the mountain of questions.


Edited by thetechnoobguy - 12/2/13 at 5:39pm
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetechnoobguy View Post

1. What is the difference between 2.0 and 2.1, apparently 2.1 has a subwoofer, and from what I know a subwoofer is basically bass? Correct me if I'm wrong.

2. Is there a significant difference between 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound? I know most games don't support 7.1 anyway, so is it even worth it? Also, hypothetically if you have a 7.1 headset and the game doesn't support 7.1, does it automatically just use 5.1 or whatever it can or would you have to manually set it to 5.1, and how would you know if it's using 7.1 or not?

3. I remember seeing someone mention 5.0 on a thread, I don't know if that was a typo but is there 5.0 and what's the difference between that and 5.1?

4. Can stereo (2.1 or whatever it is) emulate surround sound?

5. Can you damage a high quality headset by limiting it with on-board audio? I was thinking about getting a good headset and just using on-board until I can afford a sound card.

 

Ultimately I just want a solid gaming experience. I do listen to music but gaming is more important to me, so I don't know if I should get stereo or surround sound because I haven't had the opportunity to test the difference. Though common sense says surround sound would give me the competitive edge.

 

Edit, TL:DR;

The reason why I want help ASAP is because there currently is the Sennheiser PC350 Special Edition $100 off on sale (along with Sennheiser PC360 G4ME) which I could use towards an amp or sound card. But from what I can tell this is a stereo headset, so I'm not sure that is an optimal choice for me. I'm really conflicted between this and the Astro a40s, which are 5.1 surround sound. On the other hand, I also would really like to get a pair of wireless gaming headphones, since I love the freedom of not being tied down by a cord (then again, the PC350's cord is braided, major plus). The problem being virtual 7.1 apparently isn't as good as wired (is it called analog?) 7.1(On that note, another question is all virtual 7.1 the same? So there would be no difference between Astro a50s or Corsair Vengeance 2000?)

2.1 is a 2.0 with a sub-woofer added.

Best to use a stereo headphone and let a separate device process the headphone (5.1 or 7.1) surround sound, the processed headphone surround sound is sent the the stereo headphones which trick your ears into hearing the surround sound.

You can use a Asus Xonar DG or DGX sound card, $27, it comes with a basic headphone amplifier to drive the PC350 or PC360.

The DG & DGX can process Dolby Headphone surround sound.

2.0 speakers can do a very fake surround sound, but it's really not something you would use, as a headphone would be better for surround sound.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response. So headphones like the Astro a40s process the surround sound within the headset itself instead of letting a separate device do it?

 

I guess I'll go for the PC350 SE, however I was looking at the PC363D, would that be a better choice overall?

 

2.0 refers to speakers only?

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetechnoobguy View Post
 

Thanks for the response. So headphones like the Astro a40s process the surround sound within the headset itself instead of letting a separate device do it?

 

I guess I'll go for the PC350 SE, however I was looking at the PC363D, would that be a better choice overall?

 

2.0 refers to speakers only?


It appears the Astro A40s are just stereo headphones with a built in mic, it's that separate black box that you can get that does the processing.

 

I believe there are gaming headphones with 4 separate connectors, but I'm assuming they use lots really cheap diaphragms in the headphone cups.

 

For headphones for PC  gaming (and music), I usually say to get the Senn HD558s and buy the Creative Sound Blaster Z (SB1500), which comes with a microphone.

 

2.0 is a pair of speakers only,

if there is a sub-woofer, then they replace the 0 with a 1, to the right of the period.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

You mean the mixamp? I've heard the Astro mixamp is great to have, and apparently it's best to get a mixamp before you get a sound card, although the Asus Xonar DG uses a basic amp could I still later add a proper mixamp to it?

 

I don't see any HD 558's on sale, so I guess it would be best to get the PC350 SE. I can get the Xonar DG for now since my budget is a bit tight, but later when I have $100-200 saved up what would you recommend to upgrade to? I've heard this works wonder with this headset: http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-ZxR-PCIe-Sound/M/B00AQ5PK6I.htm

 

Also, an important question, is it smarter to invest in an expensive headset that will last or an expensive sound card / mixamp that will last? What typically becomes irrelevant first?

 

When advertisements say something like: "

Supports 2.0, 2.1 and 5.1 speaker systems

To provide full audio that draws you in."

 

Does this mean it also supports 2.1 / 5.1 for headsets?

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetechnoobguy View Post
 

You mean the mixamp? I've heard the Astro mixamp is great to have, and apparently it's best to get a mixamp before you get a sound card, although the Asus Xonar DG uses a basic amp could I still later add a proper mixamp to it?

 

I don't see any HD 558's on sale, so I guess it would be best to get the PC350 SE. I can get the Xonar DG for now since my budget is a bit tight, but later when I have $100-200 saved up what would you recommend to upgrade to? I've heard this works wonder with this headset: http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-ZxR-PCIe-Sound/M/B00AQ5PK6I.htm

 

Also, an important question, is it smarter to invest in an expensive headset that will last or an expensive sound card / mixamp that will last? What typically becomes irrelevant first?

 

When advertisements say something like: "

Supports 2.0, 2.1 and 5.1 speaker systems

To provide full audio that draws you in."

 

Does this mean it also supports 2.1 / 5.1 for headsets?


Once you have a sound card, you have no need for getting the mix-amp. Mix-amps are better for game consoles and sound cards better for computers.

Amazon has the HD558s for $128.50.

The Creative labs Sound Blaster Z (SB1500) is selling for $69.99 at Amazon.

 

Usually it's better to spend more for headphones then the sound card (or DAC/amp or mix-amp)

 

2.0, 2.1 ,5.1 is about speaker support.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Can't you have best of both worlds? I thought mix-amps allowed you to modify the bass etc which you normally can't do without drivers? Unless the PC350 SE come with drivers?

 

That Creative labs Sound Blaster Z is actually on sale here, cool. Is that the best sound card I can get with this headset? I don't mind saving up for one if it's worth it, my budget is around $200 unless it's really worth it to go higher.

 

For me the 558 is CDN$ 181.43 on amazon where as the PC350 SE is $160, plus I don't have to wait 2-3 weeks to get it I can pick it up at the store. Unless the 558 sound quality is better?

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ok so finally I just want to know how surround sound works, so when I get the Xonar DG it automatically processes it to 5.1? I don't have to play around in settings or something?

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetechnoobguy View Post
 

Ok so finally I just want to know how surround sound works, so when I get the Xonar DG it automatically processes it to 5.1? I don't have to play around in settings or something?


With the Xonar DG to get Dolby Headphone surround sound, set the Audio Channel to 6-Channel, set Audio Output to Headphone, check the box next to Dolby Headphone.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Is this in the drivers? Can I get the drivers online if it doesn't come with the disc? Thanks by the way for all your help.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetechnoobguy View Post
 

Is this in the drivers? Can I get the drivers online if it doesn't come with the disc? Thanks by the way for all your help.


I prefer to use the third party "Unified Xonar Drivers".

Or get the drivers from the Asus website.

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