Good headphones for gaming (5.1 or surround sound)?
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ZimbuTheMonkey

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I know how the board feels about "5.1" headphones, so please don't yell at me.


What are the best gaming headphones in your opinion? Anyone here tried the ones that claim to be 5.1 (like the Zalman ones)? How are they?

I have Shure E3s at the moment, no high-end DJ style headphones, will they be good enough for positional audio? I would try 'em out, but right now my PC only plays crap games, getting a new one in a week or two when I can really try 5.1 supported games to see the difference.

I intend to play a lot of FPS games where locating the source of the sound is important and I'd like some 'phones that deliver a good immersive feel and experience.

Thanks guys.
 
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SDA

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I've heard the Zalman ones. They.. well, they're perfectly fine for games, but they suck otherwise. Honestly, anything that can even kind of do positioning properly is perfectly fine for games-- it is impossible to exactly pinpoint any sound in games with current technology, but any half-decent solution will give you direction and depth in games, and your brain takes care of telling itself exactly WHAT it's hearing.

The best solution, I guess, would be a surround sound processor of some sort hooked up to good headphones. In theory, today's expensive gaming sound cards should have no problem acting as the surround sound processor, but in practice they're not very good at it.
 
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SockMan!

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Personally, I think that surround sound speakers are the way to go with regards to directional sound. After all, no matter how much audio processing is done, a stereo headphone will still only be 2 channel and not a substitute for real surround sound. On the other hand, headphones can be a more immersive experience, especially if they block ambient noise so that you can only hear the game.

It's your choice: more immersion or more directional sound. I prefer the latter since I depend heavily on directional sound to help me frag. Headphones just won't do in a FPS game.
 
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Rodent

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I do believe that your Shures will be excellent when it comes to positioning, even more so than equally priced full-sized headphones. My Panasonic HJE50's for example have very good positioning, I don't think it gets much better actually.
 
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SDA

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SockMan!
After all, no matter how much audio processing is done, a stereo headphone will still only be 2 channel and not a substitute for real surround sound.


I do think surround sound speakers do a better job with current hardware, but it's not correct to say that a stereo headphone will not be a substitute for "real surround sound" no matter how much audio processing has been done. A good stereo headphone is very capable of "surround sound".. you do only have two ears, after all, and the two drivers are right on top of them here. If you don't believe me, listen to some binaural recordings. You'll be surprised.
 
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gshan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rodent
I do believe that your Shures will be excellent when it comes to positioning, even more so than equally priced full-sized headphones. My Panasonic HJE50's for example have very good positioning, I don't think it gets much better actually.


People don't really talk about gaming setup synergy. Rodent, do you get very specific positioning (back left, back right, forward left, etc.) with the HJE50+Audigy2?

If yea, then I'll get an audigy2zs and pair it with panasonic for lan parties instead of lugging around some ATs
 
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Rodent

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Quote:

Originally Posted by gshan
People don't really talk about gaming setup synergy. Rodent, do you get very specific positioning (back left, back right, forward left, etc.) with the HJE50+Audigy2?

If yea, then I'll get an audigy2zs and pair it with panasonic for lan parties instead of lugging around some ATs



Yes, it was basically very good(in CS 1.6), from memory I'd say that they were as good as my HFI700s, but I haven't used them for months so I could be off.
I believe my my MD33S are as good as the HJE50s, however similarly priced regular headphones tend to have not as good positioning(ie Philips HP550).
I'm actually quite surprised that they're so good, I've been playing for quite some time now and would like to say I know what I'm talking about, but they(MD33/hje50) is all I need right now. Can't go wrong with these!
 
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Do a search. This has been talked about a gazillion time.

Recoup: multi-driver 5.1 headphones: crap sound quality. Some like them for fps games.

Best cans for gaming and general listening:

- AT ATH-A900 (great unamped, good positioning)
- Beyer DT-770/80 (big bass, dark, prefer an amp)
- Ultrasone HFI 650 (no need for amp, good positiong, least comfortable to wear, a bit too bright for some).

Of course there are tons of other options, I just did a very short summary.

Do a search for : gaming AND headphones
 
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mmmmcheese

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I used to have the Zalman 5.1s. They were absolutly a joke a listen ing to music on but on games they weren't to bad. The have a bass roll-off at 50Hz I believe and that really takes the fun out of the games. Its also a real hassle to always be plugging in all 3 mini jacks to your sound card.
 
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Gluegun

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All you need to do is get the latest "basic" Audigy, (what, are we up to Audigy 3 now?) get some Sennheiser HD201's, set it to headphone mode, and you're good to go....
 
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