Name: Razer Barracuda
Time of Ownership: 3 years - currently hoping to replace soon
Replacements: 3, on third pair. One had a speaker that buzzed (swapped at store), second the lighting completely failed (warranty replacement), third has had earpads fall off due to glue failure (current set, out of warranty; repaired by re-gluing foam to mount)
Pros: True 5.1 audio connection (not emulated via USB), 5.1 analog connectors, very good positional audio during gameplay or movies that support 5.1 audio, individual volume control for all speakers, VERY loud volume using either X-Fi or onboard audio, comfortable for up to 2 hours of gameplay
Cons: Very poor build quality, not very durable (earpads came off after about a year), very little bass, start to feel tight across the upper part of the ear after about 2 hours, can be hot during the summer, mic not very responsive and requires mic volume to be adjusted to max on sound card to be heard.
Name: Logitech Premium Notebook Folding Headset
Time of Ownership: 2 1/2 years - use at work when at desk
Replacements: none, still on primary headset
Pros: Folds up for easy packing during trips, mic highly adjustable, can be used with analog connectors or included USB sound card, comfortable during both hot and cold weather, good sound for non-surround gaming, good sound for music and movies
Cons: Not very durable (cover on inside of headset right speaker pops off occasionaly), bass is not very responsive, VERY uncomfortable after about an hour due to tabs that support headset due to behind the ear design
Name: Logitech Digital Precision PC Gaming Headset
Time of Ownership: 1 week - gave away to someone who admired them with threat never to give back
Pros: Inexpensive, behind-the-ear design
Cons: Extremly uncomfortable for more than a 1/2 hour, terrible sound, mic not very responsive
Name: Speed-Link Medusa 5.1 (also sold under the Triton 5.1 and CyberSnipa Sonar 5.1 label)
Time of Ownership: 1 year - sold off to get Razer headset
Pros: True 5.1 audio connection (not emulated via USB), 5.1 analog connectors, very good positional audio during gameplay or movies that support 5.1 audio, comfortable for long hours of gameplay, solid construction, came with carrying case
Cons: VERY heavy and had a tendency to slip off of head frequently, VERY hot during the summer months due to ear padding
Other notes: I've tried several USB-based headsets over the years that emulate 5.1 audio and without fail they have always had problems sooner or later. From games that would crash, overly sensitive mics, poor voice quality, poor build quality dying after a year, poor audio quality, or would cause the system to lockup I have yet to find a USB-based headset that was worth the materials it was made from. Maybe I've just had terrible luck but if I'm going to spend upwards to $150 for a headset it had better be very durable, good mic and audio quality, and comfortable year-round. The fustrating part is that not many 5.1 analog headsets exist which only reinforces the mindset that companies would prefer to cheap out with crappy emulated USB, bypassing those who have better sound cards, instead of putting out a nice analog one.
Current prospects for new headset: Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA2, Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset, Sharkoon X-Tatic Digital 5.1, ROCCAT Kave
"People who object to weapons aren't abolishing violence, they're begging for rule by brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically 'right'. Guns ended that, and social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work."
Clarissa in The Probability Broach by L. Neil Smith.
Last edited by pjladyfox; Jan 31, 2010 at 07:39 AM.
Reason: more info