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Advice needed! Looking into improving audio setup.

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#1
Hey all,

I've been looking into ways to improve my computer audio, but as I'm not too versed in this area, I was wondering if I could get some advice.

Currently I have been looking at:

A GameCon 780. Seems to provide very decent sound and virtual surround effects according to the multiple reviews out there. Main advantages seem the decent build quality, plug-and-play capability, and virtual 7.1 without needing a dedicated sound card. I'm a little unsure about USB connectivity, though; would this lead to possible sound delay/lower quality of audio?

The second idea of pairing a GameCon 380 with a ASUS Xonar DGX. The GameCom 380 seems nearly identical, but with slightly cheaper build and uses 3.5mm jack and from what I have read on TPU, the Xonar DGX seems like a good all-rounder and should provide directional sound, i.e. virtual 5.1?

Both are roughly the same price. What would be the best option mainly for games, music and the occasional movie? Is there better options? Any and all recommendations are welcome.

Cheers.
 
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#2
You will get the most out of your money if you get a pair of good headphones and a microphone. The ASUS card as you mention is more than good enough for most headphones so that will not be bottlenecking your setup. If I were you I would try out some different headphones from Sennheiser, Audio-technica, Superlux (or whatever you can get your hands on) and so on before deciding on what to get. Personal preference plays a big part in this so try out a few and then see what you want.

Cheers,
Fred
 
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#3
Thanks for the reply Frederik. I don't currently have the ASUS sound card; I'm just using the basic on-board audio codec. Are you saying, if I buy a very decent headset, it would be the best way to improve sound quality rather than say, a decent headset and a cheap soundcard?
 
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#4
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#5
OK cool. I think the Corsair Vengeance 1300s may be the way to go and pair them with a Xonar DGX.

Cheers BumbleBee.
 
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#6
I have not heard the Corsair stuff, but the new CM Storm I tested was actually alright. It was the same price as the 1500s. It is called the Sonuz and the review is online here.
 

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#7
OK cool. I think the Corsair Vengeance 1300s may be the way to go and pair them with a Xonar DGX.

Cheers BumbleBee.
You might just want to pick up the 1500's, because newegg has them on sale cheaper then the 1300's and they are 7.1 and you wouldn't need to get the Xonar DGX card and save even more money. What do you think BumbleBee? I'm using the GameCom777 7.1 and they sound great and come with a usb 7.1 sound card. They are not the best, but for under 50 bucks I couldn't beat it. :toast:
 
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#8
The USB versions sound worse than cheap headphones powered by on-board sound cards. Do not get it if it is hardwired to a USB sound card. Virtual 7.1 surround does not mean anything besides the addition of some really tacky DSP effects on the sound.
 
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#9
if you already have a USB headset you might want to look at a sound card with CMSS-3D or Dolby Headphone and a good Headphone (Audio Technica AD700, AD900. Sennheiser HD558, HD598, PC360).
 

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#10
The USB versions sound worse than cheap headphones powered by on-board sound cards. Do not get it if it is hardwired to a USB sound card. Virtual 7.1 surround does not mean anything besides the addition of some really tacky DSP effects on the sound.
Aww.. Yea, I've never used a hardwired usb headset.. My GameCom777 has 2.5mm connectors and came with an actual usb sound card that I can plug into 2.5mm with my GameCom777's. I don't use the usb sound card on my main rig, but I do use it on my laptop and notice a big difference over my laptop on board sound. I use the 777's with my Soundblaster X-Fi gamer card.

if you already have a USB headset you might want to look at a sound card with CMSS-3D or Dolby Headphone and a good Headphone (Audio Technica AD700, AD900. Sennheiser HD558, HD598, PC360).
I'd have to say the 777's is the best GameCom set I've had, but I think my next set will be the 1300's or one of the other ones you listed. The only bad thing I can say about my 777's is that the band will end up braking like the rest of my GameCom's, but I got them for $39.99 on sale at newegg and i've had them over 1 1/2 years. Thanks again for the list of phones!
 
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#11
I got a xonar dg with jvc rx700's. $50 total and I am quite pleased.
 
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#12
Thanks for the info guys! Gives me a lot to think about. If only there was a way I could test some of these headphones before buying them. I was really interested in the GameCon 380s, as I am happy with my current GameCon 367 (the band is breaking, however), but the Vengeance 1300s have a bigger driver, better build quality and sound quality (based on the reviews I have read). Then there is the Sonuz set that Frederik mentioned which seem very decent also. The more options, the better.
 
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#13
I really enojoy the lower end JVC and Phillips headphones these are extremely good value but of course you will have to buy a microphone seperately. Also if you an find some decent Sennheisers maybe used those can be really good value as well.
 
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#14
look in the yellow pages for HiFi stores in your area. phone them and ask if they carry Sennheiser and Audio Technica then ask if you can demo them.

also be on the look out for online stores with good return policies like Amazon.

headphones are really popular and show no signs of slowing down. some countries even have headphone stores.
 
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#15
Most stores only demo headphones rather than headsets, unfortunately. Would be great if Amazon actually shipping more than the odd item to Australia without having to use forwarding services. Thanks for the info
 
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#16
Most stores only demo headphones rather than headsets, unfortunately. Would be great if Amazon actually shipping more than the odd item to Australia without having to use forwarding services. Thanks for the info
I know.

Fred is saying it's better to make your own 5.1 headset because the stereo headsets with emulation or headsets that use multiple drivers don't sound that great.

you choose a stereo headphone, dynamic or condenser microphone and emulation (CMSS-3D or Dolby Headphone) within your budget.

for example

Sennheiser HD558 or Audio Technica AD900, Antlion Modmic and Xonar DG sound card.

the Antlion Modmic is really cool. it's a bendable boom microphone that you can adhere to any headphone. it's a condenser too not a cheap dynamic. cost about $30.



or you could just take the easy way out and buy the Corsair Vengenance.
 
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#17
Interesting combination. Something to think about. The Xonar DGX has Dolby Headphone, AFAIK.
 
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#18
I have an Asus RoG (Vulcan ANC) Headset and it's pretty good. It's around 120USD. I got it free though from the Applebee's Reply Guy. LOL. It's a very nice headset.
 
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#19
Interesting combination. Something to think about. The Xonar DGX has Dolby Headphone, AFAIK.
I should warn you the Audio Technica headphones don't have a lot of bass extension or impact.
 

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#20
I just purchased the Audio Technica ATH-AD900's, I love them. I also have Sennheiser PC360, and the 900's destroy them in FPS games. I can hear people creeping behind me in FPS games, and with the PC360 I can not.
 

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#22
I'd say David Clark would be hard to come by here, but thanks.

Perhaps something like maybe the Sennheiser PC320, Audio-Technica ATH-770COM, or Beyerdynamic MMX2 would be a good option? I can't seem to find any reviews on them however. Each are around $130AU; wouldn't want to spend much more, as I'm considering a Xonar.

Just so you know what is available:

PC Case Gear

Addicted to Audio

Headphonic

Cheers.
 
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#23
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#24
Lol! It may be the cheapest you've seen, but definitely not cheap headphones! 'spose you pay for quality.

Yeah, those Corsairs are looking really good. I will grab a pair after my exams.

Thanks for ya help.
 
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#25
it's probably the sexiest headphone out there



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