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Help me improve my setup!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

THE GOAL: With a touch of one or two buttons, switch a wireless headset (with mic) between my PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

 

CURRENT SETUP:

 - Steelseries H Wireless - Overall, I have found these headphones very comfortable and enjoyable. The sound quality, however, doesn't seem particularly amazing, and I can't seem to figure out how to get the volume up. However, they're pretty excellent, and features like the sleek receiver and swappable batteries are very worth-it to me. (Amazon link for the headset).

 - USB and SPDIF Switches - To be clear, these are two separate pieces of hardware. Both take 4 inputs and let you switch to 1 output. They aren't hubs - they're both purely passthrough. (Amazon link for the TOSLINK cable).

 - Xonar DX Sound Card - This was likely a mistake, but the onboard Realtek I had didn't have the option for output Dolby Digital Surround to work with my headset (only DTS). Additionally, however, I felt like the volume was just extremely low. The DX Sound Card was cheap, so I bought it.

 

Click here to see a diagram of my current setup

 

AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT:

  - PC Sound Quality - For starters, I still feel like I could get my sound higher in volume while steel being more crisp. I've especially felt like even at max everything, I'm just a hair short of good enough. I've tried the Loudness Equation and "Smart Volume" functions, but they've made voices way too hard for me to hear

 - Better Surround Sound - I play a lot of competitive games, and I've started to notice that I'm more reliant on vision than the actual surround sound. While the surround feeling is good enough for immersive single player, it doesn't feel good enough for competitive games. For movies, I sometimes wonder if it's there at all.

 - Headphones themselves - I know that the goal explicitly states "wireless," but I suppose I'm willing to change out my PC headphones if I'm certain it's going to get a substantial difference in quality. Several of my friends have recommended the Sennheiser 363 headset, but without any retailer to really try it out, I'm a bit worried I could get buyers remorse and just end up going back to wireless.

 

I'm not worried about price (though I don't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money). Where do you guys think I can improve the most? How would you improve this setup?

post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattenth View Post

I'm not worried about price (though I don't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money). Where do you guys think I can improve the most? How would you improve this setup?

Ditch the wireless and get you a better wired headphone and expand/improve your setup around it. Use this list:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-update-7-9-2014-ultrasone-hfi-15g-added

You can buy a mic to use with those headphones.

The DX is a good card that can work well with a headphone amp. You wouldn't have gotten better surround processing from the Xonar STX.
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattenth View Post
 

THE GOAL: With a touch of one or two buttons, switch a wireless headset (with mic) between my PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

 

CURRENT SETUP:

 - Steelseries H Wireless - Overall, I have found these headphones very comfortable and enjoyable. The sound quality, however, doesn't seem particularly amazing, and I can't seem to figure out how to get the volume up. However, they're pretty excellent, and features like the sleek receiver and swappable batteries are very worth-it to me. (Amazon link for the headset).

 - USB and SPDIF Switches - To be clear, these are two separate pieces of hardware. Both take 4 inputs and let you switch to 1 output. They aren't hubs - they're both purely passthrough. (Amazon link for the TOSLINK cable).

 - Xonar DX Sound Card - This was likely a mistake, but the onboard Realtek I had didn't have the option for output Dolby Digital Surround to work with my headset (only DTS). Additionally, however, I felt like the volume was just extremely low. The DX Sound Card was cheap, so I bought it.

 

Click here to see a diagram of my current setup

 

AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT:

  - PC Sound Quality - For starters, I still feel like I could get my sound higher in volume while steel being more crisp. I've especially felt like even at max everything, I'm just a hair short of good enough. I've tried the Loudness Equation and "Smart Volume" functions, but they've made voices way too hard for me to hear

 - Better Surround Sound - I play a lot of competitive games, and I've started to notice that I'm more reliant on vision than the actual surround sound. While the surround feeling is good enough for immersive single player, it doesn't feel good enough for competitive games. For movies, I sometimes wonder if it's there at all.

 - Headphones themselves - I know that the goal explicitly states "wireless," but I suppose I'm willing to change out my PC headphones if I'm certain it's going to get a substantial difference in quality. Several of my friends have recommended the Sennheiser 363 headset, but without any retailer to really try it out, I'm a bit worried I could get buyers remorse and just end up going back to wireless.

 

I'm not worried about price (though I don't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money). Where do you guys think I can improve the most? How would you improve this setup?

 

Please try to only post the same question once (but to me personally asking twice is not a big deal).

http://www.head-fi.org/t/729377/help-me-improve-this-setup#post_10771826

post #4 of 5

One possible option.

 

Get the Sennheiser HD558 headphones (used $110) and a Yamaha RX-V377 A/V receiver, refurb $200 (a used and cheaper RX-V375 or RX-V373 would also do).

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

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/yamrxv377bl/yamaha-rx-v377-5.1-channel-a/v-home-theater-receiver/1.html

 

You can run HDMI from the PC, PS4, xBox One to the Yamaha, and HDMI from the Yamaha to your screen.

Guess you could also just use optical from the PC or PS4 to the Yamaha.

 

Yamaha receivers come with Silent Cinema, Yamaha own headphone surround sound technology (which to me is decent).

The Yamaha receiver can easily drive the HD558 and you also can hook up 5.1 speakers to the Yamaha.

 

You might have to invest into more then one microphone for this setup ($?).

 

With the Xonar DX sound (which has a nice CS4398 DAC chip) in your PC, you have three way of connection the PC to the receiver (HDMI, optical, or 3.5mm/RCA cable).

So you would have the option of using the Xonar DX's Dolby Headphone surround sound or the Yamaha's Silent Cinema Headphone surround sound.

post #5 of 5

if you want wireless look to senss top wireless ones.  the RS180 and RS220.  i have the 180 and its audio quality is exceedingly good.  a bit V shaped for me but the quality is undeniable.

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