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Advice and Understanding Sennheiser's latest gaming headset and Dolby 7.1 Before buying

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hello World need a hand on my thoughts and decisions

 

It's been 3 weeks reading and reading, watching reviews my god im so desperate! i got a 350$ budget.. i didnt planned on spend all in headset.. but apparently ill have to, why? because i like investing in tech that will last years! I dont know much about audio.. 


So i was about to buy the Sennheiser G4ME ZERO(280$) because they are white/black color (match with my whole pc), they have sennheiser sound quality and they are apparently "the best" and doesnt have cons! other the personal cons for example
They are STEREO Headphones! and has a HUGE MIC (WHICH i dont mind while playing) that cant be detachable! So am i spending so much money for a headset that i wont be able to use outside? even at the living room ill look so weird.. moving on..

ASTRO A40 +MIX AMP (250$) good and bad reviews! apparently, but the 7.1 surround sound is apparently AMAZING FOR FPS GAMES, i will be able to use on console (which i dont play much with but is a +) They look good, they are white/black, the MIC is detachable and has many features. 

Sennheiser 363D 7.1 (250$) They are apparently SUPER GOOD but they use a USB Dolby thing to produce 7.1.. But they are black, the mic is not detachable, and i got the feeling the 7.1 sucks.. WHY? Because right now i got a Sennheiser PC333D Headset with that same USB 7.1 Dolby thing and IT SUCKS but it could be that the headphones are bad.. they are cheap also..

Now try to understand how i look this the G4ME ZERO are just STEREO for PC, i wont get 7.1 out of them (APPARENTLY) they HAVE AN AMAZING SOUND QUALITY (by the reviews) but STILL they are STEREO, if im going to buy them only for that, i prefer to buy SEnnheiser or BOSE headphones without the MIC and ill be able to use them outside, travelling etc etc..

Now the Astros; My onboard sound card (P8Z77 V-PRO) do not support DDL.. meaning in order to get 7.1 out of that mix amp ill have to buy a sound card lol.. so that'll be like 350-400$ 

Others 7.1 Headsets are using USB thing.. does the usb sound card need DDL? or DTS? why they are different from the mixamp tech.. 
Right now i think ill go for the Astros (UNLESS  any of you tell me not to, and advise me to buy others..) Meaning i have to buy a Sound card.. there are only a few soundcards that support the mix amp, the requirements are to support ( Dolby Digital Live & Dolby Headphones)
ASUS Xonar DX 
ASUS Xonar Essence STX
Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe
Omega Striker 7.1 (discontinued in most stores now)
Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD
Apparently it is a stupid thing to buy an expensive but awesome sound card like this one (ASUS Xonar Essence STX) because from it we will only use the Optical out to the MIXAMP PRO and wont enjoy the sound card is that true? IF SO then ill buy the ASUS Xonar DX or D1 
Another choice would be to buy the expensive but amazing soundcard ASUS Xonar Essence STX and only the headset BUT will i enjoy 7.1 surround sound as the people describe enjouing the a40 with the mix amp? IF SO then ill buy that soundcard with a headset of ASTRO without the mix amp.. 
Also if that's true then i end up with the conclusion that the ASTRO A40 are just a normal HEADSET and STEREO as the g4me zero, or no? i think they are not! i think they have some sort of drivers that allow the headset to produce the 7.1.. IF IM WRONG then its better to buy the Sennheiser G4ME ZERO which has a lot of fame in Sound quality and ill get 7.1 out of the Sound card and APPARENTLY even better because we are comparing a 150$ headset (A40) with a 300$ headset (G4ME ZERO) unless its pure crap and they are both the same.. the Impedance of the G4ME ONE foe example is the same and im pretty sure the frequencies too.. Why are the G4ME ZERO/ONE so expensive and are the BEST HEADSET?? 
Jesus.. my head will explode and i have to make a decision before Jan 10.. 
So many questions and doubts please any help given will be very much appreciated.. 
Thanks in advance.

 
 
post #2 of 20

Sennheiser HD558 headphones, new $130, used $100

Asus Xonar DG sound card, $27 and there is a $10 mail in rebate this month.

Get any add-on mic you like($10-$20)

 

So total would be from around $127 to $177

 

Leaves you a lot leftover from you $350 budget

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Sennheiser HD558 headphones, new $130, used $100

Asus Xonar DG sound card, $27 and there is a $10 mail in rebate this month.

Get any add-on mic you like($10-$20)

 

So total would be from around $127 to $177

 

Leaves you a lot leftover from you $350 budget

 

But what can you tell about the Surround sound? why 558 and not a higher version? is like HD598 if Sennheiser is so good, why those 200$+ worth so much without any changes from those HD558 that you advise on. Like i said, i want to buy the best in game sound, so are the G4ME ZERO pure crap?? do they have the same quality as those HD558?

 

How would you compare the MIXAMP and HD558 with a STX Soundcard and HD558? I LOVE MUSIC and even more Instrumental/Classical music, but i find myself buying a headphone/set for GAMING which means improved sound in games, and then buy later on a very good headphone for music/travel etc etc. 

 

Just please convince me.. instead of what you recommend in that case i would just buy a Sennheiser 350se (150$) and a Bose IE2 which are super comfortable i could get them to anywhere.. with great sound quality. I hope you understand my desire.. im not rich, actually i got 400$ as present for my Bsc Degree in Science hehe! and like i said, when i buy tech i want the best that's why im reading so much.. i also found ATH M50 great headphones apparently..  but i want something BEAST for my PC Gaming. 


Edited by Railius - 12/22/13 at 11:17am
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Railius View Post
 

But what can you tell about the Surround sound? why 558 and not a higher version? is like HD598 if Sennheiser is so good, why those 200$+ worth so much without any changes from those HD558 that you advise on. Like i said, i want to buy the best in game sound, so are the G4ME ZERO pure crap?? do they have the same quality as those HD558?

The HD558 and HD598 use the same driver

Open headphones are "usually" considered better for surround sound, compared to closed.

The G4ME Zeros are closed headphones (or mostly closed headphones?)

 

I think with some of your options you listed, you not really getting anything that would be noticeably better for that extra cash.

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

The HD558 and HD598 use the same driver

Open headphones are "usually" considered better for surround sound, compared to closed.

The G4ME Zeros are closed headphones (or mostly closed headphones?)

 

I think with some of your options you listed, you not really getting anything that would be noticeably better for that extra cash.

Ok so the G4ME ONE are open headphones, how do i know if the driver is better in terms of sound quality with a HD558?  one question

 

There are no such things as Headphones able to produce surround sound or there are? to be more direct the A40 without mixamp just the head set has the same thing as the HD558 and the G4ME ZERO/ONE? if yes then all of the headphones are STEREO, so Buying a very good headphone with a very good sound card would be much better than those headsets i think.. But now you touched DRIVERS, that's another thing.. if i shouldnt care about the surround coming from the MIXAMP BECAUSE i could get that from a sound card then ILL GO for the BEST STEREO headphone/set which leaves me judging the ZERO/ONE in this case the ONE because they are open and other stereo headphones like HD558, BOSE headphones, ATH M50? so comparing a G4ME ONE with a HD558 there must be a difference in terms of sound quality.. welll should be.. because of the price.. 

 

Thanks for responding btw.. I know im not easy and i might be dumb for you, but ive never ever read about audio and i've never had a "good" headphone or headset other than crappy normal ones.. 

post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Railius View Post
 

Ok so the G4ME ONE are open headphones, how do i know if the driver is better in terms of sound quality with a HD558?  one question

 

There are no such things as Headphones able to produce surround sound or there are? to be more direct the A40 without mixamp just the head set has the same thing as the HD558 and the G4ME ZERO/ONE? if yes then all of the headphones are STEREO, so Buying a very good headphone with a very good sound card would be much better than those headsets i think.. But now you touched DRIVERS, that's another thing.. if i shouldnt care about the surround coming from the MIXAMP BECAUSE i could get that from a sound card then ILL GO for the BEST STEREO headphone/set which leaves me judging the ZERO/ONE in this case the ONE because they are open and other stereo headphones like HD558, BOSE headphones, ATH M50? so comparing a G4ME ONE with a HD558 there must be a difference in terms of sound quality.. welll should be.. because of the price.. 

 

Thanks for responding btw.. I know im not easy and i might be dumb for you, but ive never ever read about audio and i've never had a "good" headphone or headset other than crappy normal ones.. 

I'm far from an expert on computer gaming, so please feel free to check with other sources for their opinions.

A lot of PC Gaming headsets are stereo headphones that come with an external USB sound card

 

The Astro mix-amp is an external sound card that uses an S/PDIF optical input

which can work for gaming consoles and some PCs (that come with DDL).

 

Chances are the G4ME ONE uses the same 50-Ohm driver as the HD558/HD598 and on the outside they share the same cup design.

The G4ME ZERO appears to be a rehashed PC350 (they are both 150-Ohm).

I would guess adding an integrated mic and a cool paint job is one way to get more cash from a customer

 

A good PC gaming setup, would be an Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used ,$60) and a Schiit Magni headphone amplifier ($99)

A well rounded setup for

Audio Quality

Headphone 7.1 Surround Sound

Volume knob at your finger tips

post #7 of 20

i would got for an open headphone (if you do NOT need any isolation) with a good soundstage and resolution.

For example, the dt 990 pros are pretty nice for gaming, and dont sound too boring. Plus the beyerdynamic quality ;)

 

i'm pretty sure, they will destroy any "gaming Headphone" on the market, since thats just marketing.

An 280$ Gaming Headset should maybe sound just as good as an 100$ headphone. Theres alot which is just pushing the Price. A cheap microphone, another 20-40 bucks, getting the microphone attacked to the headphone, maybe another 20-40. "Gaming" on the packaging, so people think its good for gaming, another 50-80 bucks. Things like that add up very quickly.

 

Plus, a big con on the gaming headphone side. Their Build quality is mostly very Poor. They shall survive the warranty, and then break, so you have to buy another.

i mean, you buy an 280$ gaming headset. In 2-3 years anything breaks. Even if just the Earpads are just too used. What are you gonna do? in most cases you dont get anything, not even new pads. In most cases, only "used Earpads" is a reason to throw it away and buy another. For the DT 990 pro, even in 20 years you will be able to buy new pads.. and a new cable, and a new.....

 

All i can say is.. Please forget any "gaming-trash" products. Stick with good Stereo Headphones, a seperate Microphone, you end up cheaper and still WAY better. You buy this once, and be happy for alot longer time.


Edited by Darkseth - 12/22/13 at 2:17pm
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

I'm far from an expert on computer gaming, so please feel free to check with other sources for their opinions.

A lot of PC Gaming headsets are stereo headphones that come with an external USB sound card

 

The Astro mix-amp is an external sound card that uses an S/PDIF optical input

which can work for gaming consoles and some PCs (that come with DDL).

 

Chances are the G4ME ONE uses the same 50-Ohm driver as the HD558/HD598 and on the outside they share the same cup design.

The G4ME ZERO appears to be a rehashed PC350 (they are both 150-Ohm).

I would guess adding an integrated mic and a cool paint job is one way to get more cash from a customer

 

A good PC gaming setup, would be an Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used ,$60) and a Schiit Magni headphone amplifier ($99)

A well rounded setup for

Audio Quality

Headphone 7.1 Surround Sound

Volume knob at your finger tips

Thanks for your patience and trying to help me out, Now  i was planning to buy a soundcard only because of the DLL, but if im not going to buy the Astro then do i need a dedicated sound card having the on onboard of the P8Z77 V-PRO? can i judge the quality of a headphone by the impedance? 

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Railius View Post
 

Thanks for your patience and trying to help me out, Now  i was planning to buy a soundcard only because of the DLL, but if im not going to buy the Astro then do i need a dedicated sound card having the on onboard of the P8Z77 V-PRO? can i judge the quality of a headphone by the impedance? 

Yes, good Headphones in that Pricerange 150$+ would profite alot from a dedicated soundcard. Most Onboard soundchips are very Weak when it comes to output power and max volume. Plus, it wont be very dynamic and clear.

 

You can not judge the soundquality by the impendance. In fact, you could mostly ignore that.

Only on Beyerdynamics at the same model. Like dt 770 Pro 80 Ohm and 250 Ohm. There, the higher one sounds better / more precise mostly.

 

But for example, dt 990 Pro 250 Ohm vs. AKG K701 62 Ohm, thats cmopletely different. From what i know, the AKG K701 needs a stronger Amp to shine than the dt 990, despite having a lower impendance

 

You will need to compare 2 heaphones at its whole, instead just looking at impendance ^^

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Railius View Post
 

Thanks for your patience and trying to help me out, Now I was planning to buy a sound card only because of the DLL, but if I'm not going to buy the Astro then do i need a dedicated sound card having the on on-board of the P8Z77 V-PRO? can I judge the quality of a headphone by the impedance? 

The Xonar DX/D1 & Magni are better then what is built into the P877 motherboard, Realtek ALC898.

For on-board audio, I believe the Realtek ALC898 is about the second best, ALC1150 appears to be the best on-board motherboard audio.

I would say today impedance is not the major factor for audio quality, maybe it was 30 years ago.

Impedance would be a factor depending on what sources it's plugged into.

High impedance headphones for A/V receivers, low impedance headphones for portable stuff.

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

The Xonar DX/D1 & Magni are better then what is built into the P877 motherboard, Realtek ALC898.

For on-board audio, I believe the Realtek ALC898 is about the second best, ALC1150 appears to be the best on-board motherboard audio.

I would say today impedance is not the major factor for audio quality, maybe it was 30 years ago.

Impedance would be a factor depending on what sources it's plugged into.

High impedance headphones for A/V receivers, low impedance headphones for portable stuff.

Ok so this set up will blow my mind

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004FEEY9A/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER      HD558

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CICPMA6/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2MQBWZ25GS6JU  MAGNI by Schiit?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EZQ8YC/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER      ASUS XONAR D1

 

do you recommend a better headphone amp? i could upgrade any of those because i got 60$ extra.. only to something worth it 

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

The Xonar DX/D1 & Magni are better then what is built into the P877 motherboard, Realtek ALC898.

For on-board audio, I believe the Realtek ALC898 is about the second best, ALC1150 appears to be the best on-board motherboard audio.

I would say today impedance is not the major factor for audio quality, maybe it was 30 years ago.

Impedance would be a factor depending on what sources it's plugged into.

High impedance headphones for A/V receivers, low impedance headphones for portable stuff.

Ok my friend sooo

 

I look for great sound quality specifically in fps games, and instrumental,rap, rock-rap music hehe!

So will this set up blow my mind sound wise?

 

HD558

MAGNI Headphone Amp by Schiit 

Xonar D1 7.1

 

Purple with that set up i got 50$ left to spend on, which of those one can i improve and only if its worth it? sound card, better headphone? or another amp? I've seen Portable amps such as the Fiio E6-11, Soundblaster Z soundcard, HD598 some ppl say that they are better, but remember that im heading to the best fps sound posible.. or should i just save the money, just be honest! i want the best of it.

post #13 of 20

Tbh, i dont think, Phones like an HD 558 will profite from an AMP.

i wouldnt be surprised if you won't hear any difference between DX and DX + Magni. For some Headphones an Amp will just raise the max volume.

 

Just getting an Fiio E10 would pretty much do the same for a lower price.

 

But like i said, you really should test headphones by yourself. You will be surprised about the differences.

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Railius View Post
 

I look for great sound quality specifically in fps games, and instrumental,rap, rock-rap music hehe!

So will this set up blow my mind sound wise?

 

HD558

MAGNI Headphone Amp by Schiit 

Xonar D1 7.1

 

Purple with that set up i got 50$ left to spend on, which of those one can i improve and only if its worth it? sound card, better headphone? or another amp? I've seen Portable amps such as the Fiio E6-11, Sound Blaster Z sound card, HD598 some ppl say that they are better, but remember that I'm heading to the best fps sound possible.. or should i just save the money, just be honest! i want the best of it.

The HD558 comes with black rubber tape on the inside of the cups, covers about 40% of the air holes, you will want to remove the tape to make the HD558s more like the HD598, but it will not an exact match.

Removing the tape might void the warranty.

So might as well by used HD558s ($92.87, Amazon).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B004FEEY9A/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used

 

This aftermarket cable ($17.20-$19.60) makes it a little easier to use the HD558 with a 3.5mm jack.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/261255113290?var=560215640800&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

 

Otherwise you should not need to change anything with that combo (HD558/Magni/D1).

 

 

One other possible combo is the AKG K612 Pro (120-Ohm) headphones, (open box, $175)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AKG-K612-PRO-open-back-reference-studio-headphone-AUTHORIZED-AKG-PRO-DEALER-/310822740227?pt=US_Headphones&hash=item485e7aa103

With the Sound Blaster Z (SB1500) sound card, $81

http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Blaster-Beamforming-Microphone-SB1500/dp/B009ISU33E

But I have not seen any feedback on a K612/SB-Z combo, but the combo makes sense.

 

You might also try asking in these two threads about anything gaming, see what they think of the combos.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-updated-9-2-2013-sony-ma900-added/19275#post_10090761

http://www.head-fi.org/t/593050/the-nameless-guide-to-pc-gaming-audio-with-binaural-headphone-surround-sound


Edited by PurpleAngel - 12/22/13 at 4:48pm
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

The HD558 comes with black rubber tape on the inside of the cups, covers about 40% of the air holes, you will want to remove the tape to make the HD558s more like the HD598, but it will not an exact match.

Removing the tape might void the warranty.

So might as well by used HD558s ($92.87, Amazon).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B004FEEY9A/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used

 

This aftermarket cable ($17.20-$19.60) makes it a little easier to use the HD558 with a 3.5mm jack.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/261255113290?var=560215640800&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

 

Otherwise you should not need to change anything with that combo (HD558/Magni/D1).

 

 

One other possible combo is the AKG K612 Pro (120-Ohm) headphones, (open box, $175)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AKG-K612-PRO-open-back-reference-studio-headphone-AUTHORIZED-AKG-PRO-DEALER-/310822740227?pt=US_Headphones&hash=item485e7aa103

With the Sound Blaster Z (SB1500) sound card, $81

http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Blaster-Beamforming-Microphone-SB1500/dp/B009ISU33E

But I have not seen any feedback on a K612/SB-Z combo, but the combo makes sense.

 

You might also try asking in these two threads about anything gaming, see what they think of the combos.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-updated-9-2-2013-sony-ma900-added/19275#post_10090761

http://www.head-fi.org/t/593050/the-nameless-guide-to-pc-gaming-audio-with-binaural-headphone-surround-sound

 

I am looking for a better headphone/set because apparently 598 are btter than the 558, 558 can be like de 598 but i dont want to buy a headphone to mod later on and the 598 are ugly as hell.

 

apparently the Titanium HD is better for gaming than the D1 or STX, how will the 558 perform with the titanium HD, also the only other headphone out there that are "good" for gaming is the ATK Q701, I really want a very good sound experience after buying.. I wanted White headphones to be honest, im actually still researching bout the g4me zero and trying to find out why they are 100$ more expensive than the 360 being apparently almost the same.. but i love how they look, and how they will look with my actual PC, Right now i am between

 

HD558 (the PRO is the fact that i'll be able to use them outside)

Titanium HD or ASUS Xonar D1 ( depends on your answer )

the Magni Amp  

 

Unless someone with experience say something about the G4ME ZERO, Purple i bet you feel like *** this dude.. but i hope you understand having the doubt and have never experienced good sound, i want good looking headphone/set but i put sound quality on top of that, i keep reading and searching on forums you are in love with those 558 with the modding, i've seen posts of yours talking about the matter hehe.. if only i could try the Zero or this set up, i can also invest in a good headset assuming this 280$ is BEAST as it should be, and then later on an amp and sound card if needed.. is just hard to believe that they are the same as the 360 and cost 120$ more.. 

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