Help me pick a gaming headset please (yes headset)
Aug 18, 2015 at 2:04 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10


New Head-Fier
Apr 20, 2015
I would please like some assistance in picking a quality gaming headset that I mainly use for gaming and online chat, but would also like to use occasionally for music (mainly instrumental/soundtrack music).  I tried going to the headphone/mic route with an ATH-M50s and a Zalman ZM-Mic1 clip on mic, but even though it sounded really good, I didn't find this satisfactory for gaming for several reasons (ie. no audio/mic controls, having 2 cables, comfort etc).  In any case, I sold the M50s and ordered some headsets below to test out.
Price is not really an issue if anyone has some other suggestions that are really a lot better.  Ideally, however, I want to keep things under $200 (otherwise I feel like I'm splurging too much).  My audio source is from the Creative Audigy 2 ZS with kX drivers, so there is no headphone amp.
My list and what I learned about the headsets from my research (prices are in CAN):
1. Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro ($210) - I'm assuming this should easily be the best sounding headset listed here.  However, I just got these and realized the mic has to be purchased separately.  The mic is around $60 dollars and seems to have poor reviews and no mute.  I haven't had a chance to test the headphones yet, but because of the expensive and poor mic, I'm thinking of returning it.
2. Steelseries Siberia V3 ($70) - I understand they somewhat ruined the sound signature of these compared to the V2s with an overwhelming base and loss of the midrange.  One the other hand, I heard it has an excellent soundstage and is supposed to be very comfortable (I think the best of this group?).  Has no volume control, but has mic mute.
3. Steelseries 9H ($90) - Comes with an external USB DAC, but I read this wasn't that great and it was better to use the analog connection.  Supposedly better sound quality than the V3s, but not sure how they compare to they HyperX.  Volume control and mic mute.
4. Kingston HyperX Cloud ($80) - Generally overly positive reviews.  Apparently less soundstage and less comfortable than the V3, but the sound quality is better.  I am a little worried that my soundcard might not drive it well due to the higher resistance.  Volume control and mic mute.
5. Kingston HyperX Cloud II ($100) - Same as #4 but comes with an external USB DAC and 7.1 Surround.  Volume control and mic mute.
I did look at the Beyerdynamic MMX300 and the Audio Technica ATHADG1 and ATHAG1, but the latter suffers from comfort issues and short cables and neither have any mic or volume control if I am not mistaken.  They just didn't seem feature rich enough to justify the cost to me.
I am leaning towards the Kingston Hyper X Cloud I.  However, I would appreciate suggestions and corrections to the above information.  Also, any specific recommendations to properly test the headsets for my needs would also be welcome.   Thank you :)
Aug 18, 2015 at 3:25 AM Post #2 of 10
I'm never gonna recommend a headset. Instead I would buy AntLion Modmic paired with a headphone. Both Zalman ZM-Mic1 and M50 isn't that great so I can understand that you didn't feel satisfied. 
Aug 18, 2015 at 8:53 AM Post #4 of 10
The Sennheiser headsets seem good. You might want to give a couple more shots to the separate route though. The modmic could work if you clip properly. Another option is the V-MODA boompro. You could also--if you found a pair of headphones you really liked--see if you can custom build a cable.
Aug 18, 2015 at 11:27 AM Post #5 of 10
The M50s and the Zalman Mic seemed to work well enough for me in terms of sound.  The audio quality seemed pretty good to me and the mic was clear.  But I didn't like the lack of audio controls and I had the coiled cable M50 which felt abnormally weighted on the left side so it didn't feel comfortable.
I looked at the ModMic too.  It seems reasonable, but the mic is $50 which I think is silly for that type of microphone.  Plus, I hate the idea of dealing with 2 cords and, I don't know how permanent the adhesive is, but I would hate to mark up an expensive pair of headphones with it.  However, if that is really the best way to go, what closed headphone would you recommend to go with it?
I looked and the VModa too, but I couldn't find any clear answers to which headphones they would be compatible with.  I was thinking of getting that with the M50x since it had a detachable cable, but I was worried it wouldn't work.
I looked at the G4ME Zero/One, but I read they were not that good for music and that the HyperX was better in most respects.  So for the price it didn't seem to make a lot of sense to me.  If that is not the case, I will definitely consider them.
Aug 19, 2015 at 1:07 PM Post #6 of 10
Just in case anyone was interested, it looks like the HyperX Cloud I is the same as the Takstar PRO80 but with a microphone.  These headphones seem to have overwhelmingly positive reviews on this site and elsewhere.
I tried the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro and the Siberia V3 yesterday.  The Beyerdynamics sure sound good to me.  The sound is very clean and I like the ability to adjust the bass.  The Siberia really can't compete against it.  But man, the Siberias sure are comfortable, probably the most comfortable headset I've ever used.
BTW, other than trying both headsets in Music and Games (where I can clearly hear a difference between the two ), I tried this site and I couldn't appreciate a lot of difference.  I thought I would, particularly in the flatness test.  Is that normal?
Aug 20, 2015 at 1:40 PM Post #7 of 10
I apologize if I'm just talking to myself, but I see there have been 60+ views of this thread, so I am assuming there was some interest on some of these headsets.  As such, I thought I would post my impressions of the Steelseries 9H which I got yesterday.
To be brief, I found the Steelseries 9H to sound better for both music and games than the V3.  It is a comfortable headset, but not as comfortable as the V3s.  The Beyerdynamics again sound much better.  I am a little disappointed in the USB DAC which really makes the sound sound flat.  The bass is almost non existent and the upper mids and highs seem over pronounced.  As such, while gaming, I felt like some voices were loud and amplified and the music dulled in the background.  I don't know if that is by design or not (might be better for games?).  I also didn't use the Steelseries software to tweak things or try the surround sound.
When plugged into my Audigy 2 ZS, the headset definitely sounded better.  Everything was more clear and I did hear more bass.  Makes me wonder what the point of including a USB DAC was.
Also, the 9H uses this micro USB proprietary cable system which plugs into the headset and peripherals.  I personally didn't like this because I felt the potential for problems and the difficulty in finding replacements would be an issue.  Also, the retractable microphone seems to pick up audio from the headset when retracted, which is a bit of a deal breaker for me.
I really wanted one of the Steelseries to perform awesome because their price, comfort and retractable mic feature.  But neither come close to the Beyerdynamics in terms of sound quality.
Still awaiting the Kingston Hyper X which I have high hopes for.
Aug 20, 2015 at 4:14 PM Post #8 of 10
Recently I stumbled upon a pair of Qpad-branded Takstar Hi2050 (Qpad QH-85) at a local flea-market and even tough I haven't tried the microphone on them yet I can positively say that the headphones are delicious.
I'm not really an expert at this but compared musically to some of my favorite pairs (Grados and old AKGs) their a bit dark (well, admittedly I'm comparing them to some warm/high energy phones) albeit neutral and decently detailed. 
Soundstage is nice with good separation although next to my Sennheiser HD555/595 they're more of an intimate pair I suppose.
With the velour pads they are really comfortable, I have put them trough a few 4 hour sessions without any real issues.
Best part of all, I got them for $5 :D
Aug 20, 2015 at 8:45 PM Post #9 of 10
Gemini HSR-1000 ($47 at Amazon), it's the HyperX Cloud with out a mic.
So the Gemini HSR-100 and Takstar Pro 80 headphones really seem to be the same.
Replace the Creative Audigy 2 ZS with a Sound Blaster Z sound card, get the retail version (used on eBay around $70), as it comes with a mic.
The SB-Z has a better DAC chip and headphone amplifier, then the Audigy 2 ZS
Aug 20, 2015 at 10:53 PM Post #10 of 10
Thank you for the advice.
How do you think getting the Cloud II with its USB DAC would compare to buying the Cloud I and Sound Blaster Z, or even keeping the Audigy 2 ZS?  I know the Audigy 2 ZS is outdated, but it did get a quality boost with the kX drivers.

Users who are viewing this thread