Gaming: A guy in need!
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Soon to be building a PC for gaming and I need some help in the audio section of the project. I've done quite a considerable amount of research for quality head-phones, for my needs at an affordable price, and I've come up with the Ultrasone HFI-780's.
I pretty much have a mind-set for these, but am still unsure; from what I gather they produce the best sound-stage and are second to only Senn HD-800s in this category; any second recommendations would be great. 
 
The real dilemma I have here is what I should do for a sound-card, do I need a mix amp, do I need high-end cables (or are these over-rated). I'm clueless in this area.
I do not want to spend a fortune, but I want to be able to hear the guy across the way tip-toeing behind me to make a turn-on.
 
Extra: The best audio I've experienced is my own Astro A40s, so I'm really relying on someone to help me here. Plz&Thx
 
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RiceEatin2010GT

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a good place to start would be to read some reviews.  Since your gaming focused i would start with
 
 
Asus xonar DX 7.1/Asus xonar Xense
 
 
Take a look at this site they have some great reviews http://www.guru3d.com/category/sound/
 
 
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Modified Kinyo KY-100 5.1 with Auzentech X-Fi Bravura 7.1 as soundcard..
But if you are not a modder then you should probably get "Creative Labs Sound Blaster Arena" surround USB gaming headset as I have heard it and it sounds.. good enough for gaming :)
 
 
 
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Thanks, the site helped considerably; but I have a question on the cards you recommended;
do I really need a $200 soundcard or would a $100 suit me just fine? and do certain cards work better with certain head-phones, or is the quality of the card universal through-out them and the headphones themselves are relied on for the quality after the fact?
 
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Quote:
Modified Kinyo KY-100 5.1 with Auzentech X-Fi Bravura 7.1 as soundcard..
But if you are not a modder then you should probably get "Creative Labs Sound Blaster Arena" surround USB gaming headset as I have heard it and it sounds.. good enough for gaming :)
 
 
I had not looked at the card, as soon as I saw that the headphones themselves had 6-speakers it became skeptical; In gaming I've heard some pretty bad feed-back from players who've gotten multi-speaker phones, with the same response that cramming isn't good directionally.
 
Thanks for your help, I'll look further into them. 
 
 
 
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Roller

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Quote:
 
I had not looked at the card, as soon as I saw that the headphones themselves had 6-speakers it became skeptical; In gaming I've heard some pretty bad feed-back from players who've gotten multi-speaker phones, with the same response that cramming isn't good directionally.
 
Thanks for your help, I'll look further into them. 
 

 
Steer away from USB headphones/headsets/speakers, they do their own processing, bypassing any audio gear you might have, which defeats the whole purpose of getting higher end hardware.
 
You should take a look on this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/534479/mad-lust-envy-aka-shin-cz-s-guide-to-headphone-gaming-particularly-with-dolby-headphone
 
Also keep in mind that if gaming is your main concern, you should have a X-Fi powered soundcard (from Creative, Auzentech or others), as all other options (read, Asus Xonar cards) will have sub-par performance, since games have more sound channels, better positional cues, environment transitions and full OpenAL hardware acceleration with Creative cards, specially the 1st and 2nd X-Fi generation. I particularly recommend you getting a Creative X-Fi Titanium HD.
 
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Quote:
 
Steer away from USB headphones/headsets/speakers, they do their own processing, bypassing any audio gear you might have, which defeats the whole purpose of getting higher end hardware.
 
You should take a look on this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/534479/mad-lust-envy-aka-shin-cz-s-guide-to-headphone-gaming-particularly-with-dolby-headphone
 
Also keep in mind that if gaming is your main concern, you should have a X-Fi powered soundcard (from Creative, Auzentech or others), as all other options (read, Asus Xonar cards) will have sub-par performance, since games have more sound channels, better positional cues, environment transitions and full OpenAL hardware acceleration with Creative cards, specially the 1st and 2nd X-Fi generation. I particularly recommend you getting a Creative X-Fi Titanium HD.

 
 Thank you, this helped a lot.
Do you think you can help my in terms of cables?
 
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Roller

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Quote:
 Thank you, this helped a lot.
Do you think you can help my in terms of cables?


Well, I would leave aftermarket cables for the last of your purchases, headphones, DACs and amps are certainly more important. I'm still on the fence regarding some of the very expensive cables that are available, but I've got a few cables that were mostly of higher build quality. With dirt cheap cables, you risk having issues due to faulty wiring, isolation, etc, while with properly built cables, that concern goes out of the window. So I say again that it certainly won't hurt getting better cables, I got a few myself, but do put them rather low on your priority list, IMHO.
 
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Quote:
Well, I would leave aftermarket cables for the last of your purchases, headphones, DACs and amps are certainly more important. I'm still on the fence regarding some of the very expensive cables that are available, but I've got a few cables that were mostly of higher build quality. With dirt cheap cables, you risk having issues due to faulty wiring, isolation, etc, while with properly built cables, that concern goes out of the window. So I say again that it certainly won't hurt getting better cables, I got a few myself, but do put them rather low on your priority list, IMHO.


So beyond durability is there any other bonus to these cables; say I got the k702, would a better cable increase quality very much?
 
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Quote:
So beyond durability is there any other bonus to these cables; say I got the k702, would a better cable increase quality very much?

 
That's why I told you to leave cables for last, as in any remaining cash you might have, that you could put to use for cables. It's a very controversial matter, with users claiming huge changes, as well as other stating no change whatsoever. Then there's the whole price tag debate, diminishing returns (assuming there are improvements on the cable at hand), etc.
 
I'm currently pondering getting a Blue Dragon cable upgrade for my Ultrasone Pro 900, but I'm very much in doubt if the money is worth it, specially since its almost half the price of the headphones themselves. So far, my philosophy with cables is to get them robust enough so they don't show any issues from faulty build quality, and high quality components that warrant durability. Other than that, I've yet to dwelve deeper. And another thing, recabling is something that's often considered to yield larger (read, noticeable) improvements on higher end audio.
 
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Quote:
 
That's why I told you to leave cables for last, as in any remaining cash you might have, that you could put to use for cables. It's a very controversial matter, with users claiming huge changes, as well as other stating no change whatsoever. Then there's the whole price tag debate, diminishing returns (assuming there are improvements on the cable at hand), etc.
 
I'm currently pondering getting a Blue Dragon cable upgrade for my Ultrasone Pro 900, but I'm very much in doubt if the money is worth it, specially since its almost half the price of the headphones themselves. So far, my philosophy with cables is to get them robust enough so they don't show any issues from faulty build quality, and high quality components that warrant durability. Other than that, I've yet to dwelve deeper. And another thing, recabling is something that's often considered to yield larger (read, noticeable) improvements on higher end audio.


I've actually considered the K702s over the HFi-780s, and find that it's pretty easy to upgrade the cable; I figure that I can actually get a decent mic mod for it.
Now I have another question; do you need a good sound card and a DAC//mixamp, or would I only need one of the two?
 
 
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