I wish I had my own flat, but I don’t. Cue Slayer Reign in Blood thundering from upstairs. Six hours into a raid and my housemate comes home and turns the volume up on their shitty boombox above my head and I have completely lost any sense of immersion. Yes I could get into a ‘speaker-off’ with them but luckily I have some of …
You may have also wanted to consider the Astro A40s (or A30s for the budget concerned) from http://www.astrogaming.co.uk
They are the official headset for all the Major League Gaming events, and are really rather good.
Why yes, they ARE amazing
And so comfortable and reasonably priced too. I also recommend a cool, iced Coca Cola(TM) during your gaming session, best enjoyed with McVities(TM) Hobnobs(TM).
Available from all good retailers now! Terms and conditions may apply.
I'm also a fan of the Astro setup, both the cans and the mix amp.
They are adequate
But bloody expensive for what they offer. You can pick up a Sennheiser PC360 headset for less than an A40, and whilst it doesn't look so shiny its a lot nicer. The PC350 is even cheaper, but I prefer the open-backed earcups of the 360.
If the Astros were about £80 cheaper, they'd be well worth it. But at £160? No thanks.
So both of you joined today and have 1 post
Said in the voice of Zoidberg: "So both the Astro headset peeps joined the Reg forums today and each have one post. Probably the same person and probably PR for Astro."
[No one reacts.] "I don't hear any gasping."
Everyone else: "We all figured that out already."
Are they all supplied with a USB soundcard?
How many of these headsets are hard-wired into the USB bit, use a proprietary connector or use standard 3.5mm jack plugs? I already have a decent soundcard in the shape of the Asus Xonar DG, are any of these headsets available sans USB?
None of these compare (in terms of sound, build, comfort, value, everything really) to a good pair of Audio-Technica or Sennheiser headphones and a cheap desktop mic.
Yes, especially the Sennheiser ones they covered. They don't compare with Sennheiser at all.
Let's Talk Virtual Surround
Ok, so do any of these actually support real surround? That would require having an optical audio input jack or USB that doesn't relegate the sound (as most USB sound cards do) to a 2 channel analog path up to the headphones.
Here's the deal. If the game and the headset (or speaker system) support real surround, then when playing an FPS where someone might be sneaking up behind you on your left you will actually hear the footsteps behind you on your left. If these are all virtual surround, it has to guess where the sound should be. 2 channel stereo simply doesn't have enough spatial resolution to carry that information... yes you can embed Dolby Pro Logic analog surround in 2 channel stereo, however, that doesn't support a separate left and right rear channel, only a single rear channel across both left and right and I couldn't tell if these even decoded Dolby Pro Logic (and do games support Dolby Pro Logic on PCs?) So unless it guesses correctly that the footsteps should be behind you and to your left you could hear them coming from any direction.
Correct me if I'm wrong here but while it may make things sound as if they surround you it doesn't actually have the spatial imaging needed to give you a gaming edge.
Turtle Beach and Roccat
The Turtle Beach Ear Force Z6A and Roccat Kave 5.1 look to have true surround (3-4 directional speakers each ear), the rest appear to be "virtual".
Sherlock for my detective work, not the "no shit" part.
RE: Let's Talk Virtual Surround
The Roccat Kave ones have individual speakers inside each cup for Centre, Front, Rear and Sub and are supplied via seperate jacks.
"however, that doesn't support a separate left and right rear channel, only a single rear channel across both left and right"
Mix the rear channel with the left or right channel ;) Alot of PC audio control panels can give a great demonstration of virtual surround in their setup options - usually by having a virtual helicopter flying round your head.
Regarding all the reviewed headphones - in my experience they all break weather you spend £20 or £120. Wireless tends to suck in many ways, and wired usually ends with the cable getting knackered. The best solution for me has been a cheap logitech set replaced every xmas.
There are several models now which have multiple drivers. No-one seems to feel they are any better than a decent pair of stereo headphones, and some virtual surround wizardry via Dolby Headphone or even Creative's CMSS. These have the advantages of using any old stereo headphones, which will either be better quality for the same price as multidriver ones, or much cheaper.
Oh, and to continue the Astro shilling theme, the mixamp they make supports Dolby Headphone and works quite nicely. Unlike a soundcard-based system you can use it with your console or dvd player or whatever.
G930 for £150 from Logitech website, but from newegg only $100 (~£61). Best headset every imo, no lag on wireless, G buttons for gaming and can be used quite a distance away from desktop/laptop.
Logitech builds crap
When they break, which they do and you google on user's experiences with Logitech, you will find that all the cases center around broken wiring in the headset. So, I got my jeweler's screwdriver set and unscrewed the cup retainer. Sure enough, the wiring inside was smaller than Xmas tree tinsel. I mean, next to nothing for wiring. It was nothing I would take my Weller soldering iron to, for sure. I just don't see WHY they would take an otherwise decent product and make it in such a crap fashion. Well, I didn't learn and recently bought a logitech mouse. Damn thing doesn't always release a click. It's crap too,. So that's it for me with Logitech. You all can take your chances.
Cheap end of the market
I've owned a couple of Medusa 5.1 headsets (good for a while and then broke!)
I'd been using a pair of Creatve Fatal1ty headphones (stereo, jack plugs into a X-Fi soundcard) but the mic failed.
My current pair are the "Plantronics GameCom 367 Closed Ear Gaming Headset" - cheap as chips - I paid £18.16 for them (now £19.07). They are comfortable, have the mic that hides into the frame as per the reviewed Plantronics Gamecom 777 and sound very good for such a cheap headset.
If you don't have £150 to spend on gaming headphones, but have £20, try these.
I was going to chime in with similar advice..
Don't go for these gimmicky USB boxes.
The Plantronics Gamecom 377 is identical to the 777, just without the stupid USB box. For much less money.
I'd highly recommend them, they feel well built, they have a nice hiding microphone as mentioned above.
Honestly, if you need a headset, I'd check out the Gamecom 377 before deciding you need to spend more. I couldn't agree more with the above poster.
Maybe I missed it, but do any of these headsets perform noise cancellation? (or whatever the buzzword is....)
Not the microphone noise cancellation technology, but removing ambient noise from the room, e.g. PC fan noise etc...
(I'm looking for a decent surround sound headset that also has noise cancellation - any suggestions?)
I own a pair of these - got a great deal on an ex demo pair from ebuyer.
It's probably worth mentioning that they don't require any software installation - just plug in and go - the control box does all the work.
The surround sound effect works rather well too.
I would have liked to see the Speedlink Medusa in this line-up for comparison.
I bought a pre-decessor of the current NX5.1 Surround after doing research for a month several years ago - had it shipped from the UK to Australia because all I could get here were the Turtle Beach or non-surround ones. Never regretted it through long nights of gaming (incl. MMO raids and FPS). Extremely comfortable even after hours of wear and the surround sound is amazing seeing as to the small space all those little speakers are crammed in.
It's now showing its age and am looking for a successor. My first impulse would have been to stick with the brand, but now I wonder if they're no longer as good, what with them missing in this review.
What made the Speedlink interesting is that they came with their own little pre-amp unit instead of purely relying on the soundcard output or USB. Can't tell if they still do either...
Anybody familiar with them?
I had one..
I replaced it with a Gamecom 377.
The Speedlink jobbie appeared OK at first, came in a nice box, had a powered in-line amplifier (although it felt very cheap and nasty).. But the downfall came in build quality overall. The thing just cracked apart near the head band.
The sound wasn't all that good either, sadly. Had to toss it in the end because it was broken beyond repair.
Shouldn't need a title in a reply!
I still have a pair of Speedlink Medusa's, now stored somewhere in the attic. Good sound for the price but they picked up too much interference. I would have to go round switching off all the mobiles in the house if I ever wanted to use them!
What about the Tritton AX Pro?
Very surprised not to see that here.
Do I work for Astro : No
Do I like their headsets : Yes
Do I think a review about *gaming* headsets should include them for comparison : yes
Did I only sign up yesterday: Yes, been ages since I read let alone posted on the reg and cant remember my old login. Was interested by the article so thought I would contribute a suggestion.
Many apologies for trying to be helpful and provide another alternative for people to check out, suppose I shouldn't really have expected any better from the reg crowd.
I only mentioned MLG as a qualifier to the fact that its not only me that likes them, they are generally considered to be excellent headsets in the gaming community, especially amongst clans doing lan gaming thanks to the chaining ability on the mixamps.
I have a set and I'd say they are not that great. Wireless works, and unlike the creative ones (HS1200) they don't constantly bleep at you when the battery is low (Creative does this even thou' there might be 1hr+ battery life left).
The surround works, however, the driver software supplied is terrible. When I install that, my MIC goes to pot, where I speak there is an audible buzzing noise others can hear. In Mumble for no apparently reason will only output in either surround or the right ear, not stereo.
The supplied software is the biggest drawback, giving you options to change your voice and looking pretty seems to be more important than any real functionality. Logitech haven't updated the software, their forums are full of people complaining about issues with the headset. Buyers beware, is all I can say.
bit of background: i play nowadays almost exclusively single player games. when I talk on skype i use the integrated mike of my mx. so what do you need a mike for in the headset? I mean what are you using it for - counterstrike was back then the only one game where it made sense?