gaming headset...
Oct 11, 2009 at 5:42 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 24

wol-va-rine

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okay, okay, I actually have read this forum a bit and I guess I should say gaming headphones since that's where I'll get the best value is right...?

I had the RAZER Barracuda HP-1s sans mic that I got for $45 from someone online, I am definitely a n00b when it comes to audio, so I thought they were the next coming, I thought the directional positioning and distance of sound (or whatever it's called) was pretty accurate (gunfire, explosions, etc.) and the bass was incredible, so much so that the actual ear cups vibrated during close up explosions and such...

well, they died after about 5 days, it happened when I disconnected my X-Fi Platinum front panel from my sound card, now the LEDs won't come on and the sound is so faint that I actually have to strain to hear the slightest bit of what would've been loud sounds before, I think the adapter cable that connected to my sound card is fubar, but lo and behold RAZER doesn't sell the adapter separately...

I kinda want another set, but bought some Sennheiser HD201s for the meantime while I decide what to do and am expecting them next week in the mail, how big of a difference will there be and what will be different...? I like to listen to music, but I mostly use the headset/headphones for playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R. online, I suspect the the explosions won't be quite as violent (no vibration of the ear cups) but am wondering about the other qualities, sound distance and positioning for FPS reasons, I've had someone tell me that the HD201s will actually be an improvement over the Barracudas which I found hard to believe, but I haven't heard the HD201s yet so we'll see...

the build quality of the Barracudas seemed a bit cheap and that is what is starting to make me rethink my position on this, Dell has the Barracudas on sale right now for $65 shipped, but the more I read message boards, the more problems I read about with regards to them and the more people steer me away from getting another pair of HP-1s and bring up other brands, there are just so many to choose from and so many knowledgeable people (like the ones here) have their own preferences, so who's to say which are the best in my price range (~$50-$80 USD)...?

another option is to ditch the X-Fi Platinum and get the RAZER Barracuda AC-1 so that I don't need the adapter but it's not a guarantee that the adapter is the problem and that the headset would work, I like the X-Fi Platinum card and front panel, though there are probably many better sound cards, but still, I'm reluctant to ditch them...

basically what I'm saying is "this is my situation" and where do I go from here, will the HD201s suffice, IIRC there is another HD201 model that is made for gaming or am I confused and they are one in the same...? any input would be greatly appreciated...
 
Oct 12, 2009 at 6:29 AM Post #2 of 24

TheKisho

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I had the RAZER Barracuda HP-1s sans mic that I got for $45 from someone online, I am definitely a n00b when it comes to audio, so I thought they were the next coming, I thought the directional positioning and distance of sound (or whatever it's called) was pretty accurate (gunfire, explosions, etc.) and the bass was incredible, so much so that the actual ear cups vibrated during close up explosions and such...


I looked at them last year for 5.1 movie viewing, and occasional gaming. The reviews say it lacks bass (must be compared to other 5.1 headphone/headset or gaming headphones/headsets (stereo); if they have as much bass as described I'd find them annoying and over powered). Still after looking around for a little longer I read something that said that the 5.1 on these headphones and all 5.1 headphones in general are just as good as Dolby Headphone technology, and after comparing a 5.1 movie on my 5.1 system and then comparing it with the same content on the laptop (with Dolby Headphone technology enabled) I determined it was about the same, so I stopped caring. That said, I don't use Dolby Headphone technology on my laptop as I rather just listen in stereo, plus I got lazy turning it on and off.


Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
well, they died after about 5 days, it happened when I disconnected my X-Fi Platinum front panel from my sound card, now the LEDs won't come on and the sound is so faint that I actually have to strain to hear the slightest bit of what would've been loud sounds before, I think the adapter cable that connected to my sound card is fubar, but lo and behold RAZER doesn't sell the adapter separately...



Sorry to hear that. Does your sound card still work or did it just kill the HP-1's dongle on the cord.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I kinda want another set, but bought some Sennheiser HD201s for the meantime while I decide what to do and am expecting them next week in the mail, how big of a difference will there be and what will be different...? I like to listen to music, but I mostly use the headset/headphones for playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R. online, I suspect the the explosions won't be quite as violent (no vibration of the ear cups) but am wondering about the other qualities, sound distance and positioning for FPS reasons, I've had someone tell me that the HD201s will actually be an improvement over the Barracudas which I found hard to believe, but I haven't heard the HD201s yet so we'll see...


There will be no violent explosions but that's not a bad thing at all. I do agree that it probably be an improvement. I used to have a 5.1 audio system, and gaming was awesome, but about 4-6 months ago I disassembled it to go purely stereo headphones. I can't say much about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. as I've never played it but Team Fortress 2 has two options in Audio settings, Stereo and Headphones. I've played with both for a while. TF2 does have some visualization to recreate surround sound sort of like Dolby Headphone technology, but I'm not a fan of vitalization at all. Regardless of Stereo or Headphone settings figuring out direction of things wasn't hard. One flax I found with most vitalization environments is if the sound is directly behind you you can't tell if it's behind you or in front of you, but if you can see you can figure that out quickly [A.K.A. not at all a problem].



Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
the build quality of the Barracudas seemed a bit cheap and that is what is starting to make me rethink my position on this, Dell has the Barracudas on sale right now for $65 shipped, but the more I read message boards, the more problems I read about with regards to them and the more people steer me away from getting another pair of HP-1s and bring up other brands, there are just so many to choose from and so many knowledgeable people (like the ones here) have their own preferences, so who's to say which are the best in my price range (~$50-$80 USD)...?


Personally I'd steer you away from all 5.1 headphones. If you can't do a 5.1 speaker setup(?) or just want headphones (portability?), there is nothing better the stereo, IMHO.


Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
another option is to ditch the X-Fi Platinum and get the RAZER Barracuda AC-1 so that I don't need the adapter but it's not a guarantee that the adapter is the problem and that the headset would work, I like the X-Fi Platinum card and front panel, though there are probably many better sound cards, but still, I'm reluctant to ditch them...


As I recall the adapter is for turning the connector that looks like a DVI connector to 5.1 + mic mini-TRS connectors, is this right? If it is, it's a passive adapter (hard to kill = most likely not the problem). If it's anything on the headphone side I'm sure it's the little dongle in the cord. If the dongle is damage a new sound card isn't going to fix it.


Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
basically what I'm saying is "this is my situation" and where do I go from here, will the HD201s suffice, IIRC there is another HD201 model that is made for gaming or am I confused and they are one in the same...? any input would be greatly appreciated...


I'm sure it will be good enough for your needs. Sennheiser itself brands the HD 201 as a gaming headphones in it's game line with G4ME tacked on the end of the name (it's the same as the normal one). I see the HD515 is also in this category (it's also the lowest entry to their audiophile headphones (it's in the audiophile section as well)) so if you where looking for an upgrade with in your price range stated earlier you could always upgrade to the HD515, as you can find it on Amazon and other place below list (right in you price range).

Hope this helps a bit.
 
Oct 12, 2009 at 8:15 AM Post #3 of 24

FrozenGecko

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Many people say to avoid "gaming" headphones/headsets, they are often poorly made as you experienced. I would go with a logitech usb desk mic and ath-ad700 if I were you.
 
Oct 12, 2009 at 8:34 AM Post #4 of 24

D4R

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Have you considered the Logitech G35 instead of another Razer? Built like a tank. It's replaced my X-Fi for gaming and pc movie watching purposes. Doesn't really work for music, for that, you need a proper set of cans.

I've accidentally dropped my G35 from table height countless times already...still works.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/log...3/#post6059324

BTW I have the original Senn 201 release version, it is sorely lacking in bass impact. I wouldn't use it for gaming...especially in FPS games. Music on the other hand--it's a great entry level headphone, but you'll be missing any kind of bass and will be looking to upgrade after a bit.
 
Oct 12, 2009 at 9:16 AM Post #5 of 24

TheKisho

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Quote:

Originally Posted by FrozenGecko /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Many people say to avoid "gaming" headphones/headsets, they are often poorly made as you experienced. I would go with a logitech usb desk mic and ath-ad700 if I were you.


I agree this this post. Another good reason is you can always upgrade you headphones to anything you want and not have to worry about having a pair with a mic attached. And vice versa if you should ever chose to get a better quality mic (it could happen) your choice is not headphone related.

I'm currently using this kind of setup (with a mic on a floor stand, and a separate pair of headphones) it works great for me. I personally like how I can upgrade independently. (And I always have a quality mic; that doesn't annoy others in-game or on Skype ;P).

P.S. I see Amazon is having a sale on Audio Technica ATH-AD700 as well. I think those, at the sale price, also fall with in your price range.
 
Oct 12, 2009 at 10:29 AM Post #6 of 24

Gbjerke

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Clip-on / desktop mic + HD 555/595 / ATH - AD700. + Used sennheiser Lucas
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Oct 12, 2009 at 11:22 AM Post #7 of 24

taiyoyuden

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I'm not sure how good other headphones are for games but I know I feel completely disabled with the k701 compared to 5.1 speakers. How can I see through walls with no center speaker? Or see behind me with no rear speakers? I'm just glad I got these headphones for music. My recommendation, go 5.1 speakers if you can. Oh and my sig. is a joke.
 
Oct 12, 2009 at 1:18 PM Post #10 of 24

wol-va-rine

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheKisho /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I looked at them last year for 5.1 movie viewing, and occasional gaming. The reviews say it lacks bass (must be compared to other 5.1 headphone/headset or gaming headphones/headsets (stereo); if they have as much bass as described I'd find them annoying and over powered).


I actually thought someone might say the bass impact might be annoying, but it is a feature I actually liked, to me it was realism personified with sound during gaming...

smile.gif


Quote:

Originally Posted by TheKisho /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Does your sound card still work or did it just kill the HP-1's dongle on the cord.


yes, the sound card still works, I plugged in my 5.1 Logitech speakers and they worked fine, other headphones also work, the actual RAZER headset "works", but just doesn't seem to be getting any power to the amps because even loud sounds are barely audible...

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheKisho /img/forum/go_quote.gif
There will be no violent explosions but that's not a bad thing at all. I do agree that it probably be an improvement. I used to have a 5.1 audio system, and gaming was awesome, but about 4-6 months ago I disassembled it to go purely stereo headphones. I can't say much about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. as I've never played it but Team Fortress 2 has two options in Audio settings, Stereo and Headphones. I've played with both for a while. TF2 does have some visualization to recreate surround sound sort of like Dolby Headphone technology, but I'm not a fan of vitalization at all. Regardless of Stereo or Headphone settings figuring out direction of things wasn't hard. One flax I found with most vitalization environments is if the sound is directly behind you you can't tell if it's behind you or in front of you, but if you can see you can figure that out quickly [A.K.A. not at all a problem].


I can live without the violent explosions, but I do want accurate positioning of sound sources, like where the footsteps on pavement or grass are coming from, like behind me to the left, in front to the right, etc...

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheKisho /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Personally I'd steer you away from all 5.1 headphones. If you can't do a 5.1 speaker setup(?) or just want headphones (portability?), there is nothing better the stereo, IMHO.


definitely not portability, more isolation, when gaming I want to be fixed on the screen without distractions...

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheKisho /img/forum/go_quote.gif
As I recall the adapter is for turning the connector that looks like a DVI connector to 5.1 + mic mini-TRS connectors, is this right? If it is, it's a passive adapter (hard to kill = most likely not the problem). If it's anything on the headphone side I'm sure it's the little dongle in the cord. If the dongle is damage a new sound card isn't going to fix it.


yes, but it also has a usb adapter attached to provide power, just plugging in the different channels and mic won't let you hear anything until power is supplied by the usb...

hddaiconverterbig.jpg


Quote:

Originally Posted by TheKisho /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'm sure it will be good enough for your needs. Sennheiser itself brands the HD 201 as a gaming headphones in it's game line with G4ME tacked on the end of the name (it's the same as the normal one). I see the HD515 is also in this category (it's also the lowest entry to their audiophile headphones (it's in the audiophile section as well)) so if you where looking for an upgrade with in your price range stated earlier you could always upgrade to the HD515, as you can find it on Amazon and other place below list (right in you price range).

Hope this helps a bit.



from what I've seen the HD515s and ATH - AD700s may be my choices down the line, but I'm gonna try the HD201s out to see how they compare to the RAZERs, I also read about a JVC model on here that was supposed to be good for gaming as well, the RV/RX700 or 900...?

maybe I'll get lucky and find a good pair at a thrift store, that's where I go to get computer parts and electronics sometimes and they have some great stuff really, really cheap...

now the Sennheiser Lucas, that's an amp for headphones...? don't a lot of the better quality headphones already have amps...? or does this add to the power of the existing amps...? they sound kinda pricey and I'm on a budget, so getting good headphones that have built in amps like the RAZERs would be preferred...

I really appreciate all the responses, this is a great site, very helpful and informative, the best thing is that y'all know a lot more than the average consumer and probably most salespersons when it comes to audio, and you also have no problem imparting some of your wisdom unto an audio n00b such as myself, now if only I could only get as many responses to my S.T.A.L.K.E.R. problem that I've asked about on other boards I'd be set...

tongue.gif


I'd especially like to thank TheKisho, that response took some time and was above and beyond, thank you...
 
Oct 12, 2009 at 2:33 PM Post #11 of 24

TheKisho

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
yes, the sound card still works, I plugged in my 5.1 Logitech speakers and they worked fine, other headphones also work, the actual RAZER headset "works", but just doesn't seem to be getting any power to the amps because even loud sounds are barely audible...


Sound like the amp is still working good enough to pass the audio through, or maybe it's found an alternative path though the amplifier, by passing the op-amps, some how.


Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I can live without the violent explosions, but I do want accurate positioning of sound sources, like where the footsteps on pavement or grass are coming from, like behind me to the left, in front to the right, etc...


I find in Team Fortress 2 and pretty much any Source engine game, it is pretty good with audio positioning on stereo. Not sure how well other games handle it, you should try and find out. I find I can reasonable determine where sounds are coming from long as it's not directly on axis either in front or behind me. That said it depends on how good your ears are at interpreting, the headphones, the game, etc.


Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
definitely not portability, more isolation, when gaming I want to be fixed on the screen without distractions...


But how often do you take your PC out? (Can't you also have a 5.1 setup for when you are at home. You did mention you had the Logitech 5.1 speakers, they are pretty good, can't you use that?) I don't find I get distracted with either headphones or speakers, and speakers are fixed with the screen if set up properly.


Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
yes, but it also has a usb adapter attached to provide power, just plugging in the different channels and mic won't let you hear anything until power is supplied by the usb...


I know, and I failed to mention it. I didn't bother adding that in after the fact and thought we'd agree on the fact that the dongle doesn't magically get power from mid air. ;P I'm sure if you rewired it to connect directly (by passing the amp it would work just fine).


Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
now the Sennheiser Lucas, that's an amp for headphones...?


The Sennheiser Lucas seams to be a mid to late 90s DSP adapter that you plug your headphones into to simulate surround sound. [Not an amp]. Personally I'm not a big fan of DSP. And DSP processing using the Pro-logic decoder on a stereo signal in game leads to horrible out comes. Plain stereo is far better.

Sennheiser Lucas


Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
don't a lot of the better quality headphones already have amps...? or does this add to the power of the existing amps...? they sound kinda pricey and I'm on a budget, so getting good headphones that have built in amps like the RAZERs would be preferred...


No, headphones don't come with amps. If you don't get something with a high impedance you should be able to run it off your sound card unamplified but some headphones are demanding and some only shine with proper amplification. You could always do that as a future upgrade, or you could find some good headphones that would serve your purpose that sound good with out amplification or do moderately well unamplified. Your could save some money later on if you're good with a soldering iron. You could always make a starving student amplifier for about $75-$85. It's a cheap, and is an easy DIY project with more then enough power to drive any headphones you might get (it may not be 'portable' but that's not entirely a bad thing).


Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I really appreciate all the responses, this is a great site, very helpful and informative, the best thing is that y'all know a lot more than the average consumer and probably most salespersons when it comes to audio, and you also have no problem imparting some of your wisdom unto an audio n00b such as myself, now if only I could only get as many responses to my S.T.A.L.K.E.R. problem that I've asked about on other boards I'd be set...


I wish I could help you with your S.T.A.L.K.E.R. problem but I haven't got to that game yet, it's pretty cheap on steam though, it's very tempting.


Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'd especially like to thank TheKisho, that response took some time and was above and beyond, thank you...


ha I'm still learning this myself (higher end audio, headphones and headphone amplification.
biggrin.gif
). I've had a bit of a head start on you though. ;D
 
Oct 12, 2009 at 2:46 PM Post #12 of 24

TheKisho

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Did a quick check what engine they used for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and it seams to use a very uncommon engine. It uses the X-ray engine which I'm not familiar with (probably something they made themselves in house). Again tell us your impressions when you get the HD201 on how good the engine handles sounds within stereo (in terms of directional audio information). Do you have any other games you play, with different engines, that you could compare as well. Maybe something more common (as reference).
 
Oct 12, 2009 at 3:01 PM Post #13 of 24

Namusetae

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I hope I can help you out a bit here, but your setups seems to be pretty similar with mine. I have exact same soundcard in my unit, I also tested out those 'surround' headsets, I actually had 3 different ones and I always ended up in this situation:

Sell the Headset away, get Sennheiser HD595 headphones back to use, activate X-Fi's own Surround positioning from setup (Gaming mode), use the proper headphones.

Seems like the virtual positioning of 'surround' (EAX 5.0) sounds seems to be way better than the awful headphones, tho i had some cosonic headset what had the vibrating cups too and it did bring the games more alive, still i dont miss it.

For Movies I use my surround system in entertainment mode and for Music I usually put the audio creation mode so I can swich on ASIO support for Foobar.

just my 5cents.
 
Oct 12, 2009 at 5:08 PM Post #14 of 24

wol-va-rine

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheKisho /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Did a quick check what engine they used for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and it seams to use a very uncommon engine. It uses the X-ray engine which I'm not familiar with (probably something they made themselves in house). Again tell us your impressions when you get the HD201 on how good the engine handles sounds within stereo (in terms of directional audio information). Do you have any other games you play, with different engines, that you could compare as well. Maybe something more common (as reference).


nope, I'm a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl fiend, love the game so much I haven't even played through the second game yet (the prequel Clear Sky) and the third (Call of Pripyat) is about to be released, the online play got me hooked...

the game sounded amazing with the HP-1s, I am definitely gonna try the HD201 though, this Case Logic $10 headset I got from TJ Maxx to hold me over until then just flat out sucks, when I hear someone coming from the right they are just coming from the right, not from behind or in front to the right, ugh, I can't wait to give this headset to my son
tongue.gif
...

sorry Namusetae, but I don't quite get what you're saying, I think it was sell the HD201s (I'll probably end up giving them to my ex-wife, we're still on good terms so this isn't as crazy as it sounds and she listens to music more than I do
tongue.gif
) and get the 595s (I already use gaming mode with the X-Fi Platinum), IDK, the HD595s are about twice what I want to pay and I can get the Barracuda HP-1s for about $100 less ($65 shipped from Dell) right now, I know the build quality sucks, but the sound positioning and the vibration really had me worshiping the Barracudas and as long as I can return them for a replacement set if anything happens I should be good to go...

I may have to make up my mind soon, the Dell deal won't last forever, it would be much easier if I had hit my number Friday night, I played 6618 and the number came out 6619,
mad.gif
I would've had about $5500 to play with (well, actually about $2000 after taxes and bills, but still
beerchug.gif
)...

I won't lie, I'm really wanting the Barracudas even though the build quality is lacking, I just can't imagine anything else being better, maybe the X-Ray engine that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. uses just runs well with the X-Fi Platinum and the Barracudas as a set...? with that said, the HD515s and ATH - AD700 seem to also fit the bill in my price range, though I do really like the vibration of the Barracudas...
 
Oct 12, 2009 at 5:43 PM Post #15 of 24

TheKisho

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You could look at the HD555 as an alternative to the HD595, I hear they are 90-95% of the quality of the HD595, and for the price difference the extra 5-10% isn't worth that much more in my opinion. (As far as I've heard about the differences). It might be a bit more then your price range but not far to much more (and a lot less then the HD595's). You can shop around and find them fairly cheap as well. But I'm sure you'll be happy with the HD515 or the ATH-AD700.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wol-va-rine /img/forum/go_quote.gif
this Case Logic $10 headset I got from TJ Maxx to hold me over until then just flat out sucks, when I hear someone coming from the right they are just coming from the right, not from behind or in front to the right, ugh, I can't wait to give this headset to my son ...


haha I wouldn't expect anything more from a cheap pair of headphones or headsets. I think you need something with a sound stage to even have perspective enough to tell acute directional information. Could be wrong there, anyone feel free to correct me.
 

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