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*TPU's Gaming Headphone/Headset Thread*

pjladyfox

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Darn, Razer Barracuda's are that bad eh? I was about to buy them just now (they are on sale in several places) but I decided to do some research first. From what I see on Newegg, many reviewers say the same thing about build quality and how it is indeed very poor. But then again, I never had headphones that I didn't damage/break inside of a year at the most, so I guess that doesn't matter as far as I'm concerned. I do like my bass though. Each of the three sets you owned had bass issues?
The frustrating part is that, for about the first year once I got a pair that worked, they were well worth the money; providing good audio, comfort, and performance. After awhile, and believe me I'm not really that rough, the lights just simply went out. Went and bought another pair since my originals were out of warranty and those had the same problem. Sent those back for warranty repair since the store discontinued carrying them and got the set I have now.

Second year, last year in fact, the padding just simply fell off of the earpiece. Ever since then they've pinched right above the ear and just have not been the same since.

They did not have bass issues exactly more like the hardware just was not capable of providing enough oomph so to speak. They were good for headphones but not a replacement for a good speaker and sub setup. I think that's just really the fault of nothing out there being small enough to fit that would match if that makes sense?

I googled all the 5.1 sets you listed but most of them are nowhere to be found. Even on eBay and Amazon marketplace. Also, the CyberSnipa Sonar 5.1 you said were rebranded Speed-Link Medusa 5.1, I'm not sure about that. The few reviews I found on CyberSnipa set (OCIA.net and TechWareLabs) show them to be USB based and Medusa ones are not.
I really should have been a bit clearer on that. Yes, they are USB based but the actual cans themselves use the exact same design as the original Medusa's. Both the shape and the speaker configuration give that fact away. You can put a new name and face on something but it's still just the same underneath.

As to the ones I was looking at they're not that difficult to find. Here are some places that carry them:

Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA2 - $60 to $80
http://www.turtlebeach.com/HPA2recertified/tabid/625/Default.aspx
http://www.megamacs.com/main/index.php?action=view&pid=4329579
http://www.capitolsupply.com/catalog/turtle-beach-ear-force-hpa2-tbs2114-cs7906275.html?cid=cse_ggl4

Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset -$299.95 (pre-order; 15-day money back guarantee)
http://www.psykoaudio.com/

Sharkoon X-Tatic Digital 5.1 - $150
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00325NOMG/?tag=tec06d-20

ROCCAT Kave - $139.95
http://www.performance-pcs.com/cata...oduct_info&cPath=53_371_369&products_id=26053

I really want to get some decent 5.1/7.1 gaming headphones and Razer Barracuda's seemed really nice, especially since they are not of the cra**y USB based type. I mean, I got a really nice dedicated sound card and I want to use it and it is probably way better than any trash they got handling all those USB cans.
Oh, I totally agree with you I just wished for those who were considering them to know what they are getting into. The Barracuda's are not perfect but, for the price considering you can get them for under $80 compared to the $130 I paid when they first came out, they're not bad.

Otherwise, sadly the choices are rather limited but if you do get one of the sets I listed please share your thoughts with everyone here. I'm sure a lot of folks would appreciate the insight considering not many of these seem to be floating around. ^_^
 

pjladyfox

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One other potential headset...

After looking for places that had the ROCCAT headset I found this one:

Medusa NX 5.1 Gaming Headset - $108.95
http://www.medusa-usa.com/medusa-nx-51-gaming-headset-p-954.html

Looks like they slimmed down the original Medusa's which were pretty decent just VERY heavy and tended to slip off your head alot. Just wished to add one more to the pot so to speak. ^_^
 
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After looking for places that had the ROCCAT headset I found this one:

Medusa NX 5.1 Gaming Headset - $108.95
http://www.medusa-usa.com/medusa-nx-51-gaming-headset-p-954.html

Looks like they slimmed down the original Medusa's which were pretty decent just VERY heavy and tended to slip off your head alot. Just wished to add one more to the pot so to speak. ^_^
I finally got my 5.1 set. After researching thoroughly, I couldn't justify spending close to $200 to make sure I get some decent stuff, stuff I would almost certainly damage/destroy in under a year, so I got a set of these:



Product Link: http://www.gstar.com.tw/pro-02.htm#hp650

The specs are not bad. I got the "Niko" North American branded version (nearly identical to the one in the photo, aside from a logo). It comes with a external amplifier that has a 9V into-the-wall adapter, none of that USB amplifier junk. Also, it supports true 5.1 via separate analog jacks, again none of that USB stuff.

The best of all, I got it brand new and sealed for $22 shipped! (The reason why is below :))The sound is great, bass is awesome, especially if I use FlexBass option on my Xonar D1 card. I mean, just great! I was expecting trash for the money I paid, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Problem is, that G-Star's main North American distributor, Niko Electronics, closed their doors last year, so there is no support and you can forget about RMA. That's why they were cheap I guess, everyone is getting rid of Niko branded stock due to possible legal liabilities.

However, a great time to pick up some great headphones for cheap. Their loss, our gain?
 

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pjladyfox

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The specs are not bad. I got the "Niko" North American branded version (nearly identical to the one in the photo, aside from a logo). It comes with a external amplifier that has a 9V into-the-wall adapter, none of that USB amplifier junk. Also, it supports true 5.1 via separate analog jacks, again none of that USB stuff.

The best of all, I got it brand new and sealed for $22 shipped! (The reason why is below :))The sound is great, bass is awesome, especially if I use FlexBass option on my Xonar D1 card. I mean, just great! I was expecting trash for the money I paid, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Problem is, that G-Star's main North American distributor, Niko Electronics, closed their doors last year, so there is no support and you can forget about RMA. That's why they were cheap I guess, everyone is getting rid of Niko branded stock due to possible legal liabilities.

However, a great time to pick up some great headphones for cheap. Their loss, our gain?
Pretty neat find!

I did some digging and the only place I found that had them for sale was on eBay of all places. I may have to give these a look and see how they work 'tho I am a bit turned off by the lack of warranty for under $30 it's not bad.

Current list of analog 5.1 headphones to look at:

Niko Home Theatre 5.1 Headphones Niko-650HP - $20 to $30
http://desc.shop.ebay.com/A-V-Acces...phones&_catref=1&_fln=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282

Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA2 - $60 to $80
http://www.turtlebeach.com/HPA2recer...5/Default.aspx
http://www.megamacs.com/main/index.p...ew&pid=4329579
http://www.capitolsupply.com/catalog...l?cid=cse_ggl4

ROCCAT Kave - $139.95
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...ducts_id=26053

Sharkoon X-Tatic Digital 5.1 - $150
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...&condition=new&tag=tec06d-20

Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset -$299.95 (pre-order; 15-day money back guarantee)
http://www.psykoaudio.com/
 
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Well, I found out the hard way that you should spend at least $200 for a set of surround sound headphones. My nice Turtle Beach HPA2s blew the front right driver. All other drivers working just fine, but that one is toast. Maybe too much amp? I'll try to amp out the other drivers and see if they blow as easy, surprised the subs didn't go first!
 

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Wow bummer man! My first set that I gave to my buddy finally got destroyed, between the dog and their 1-year old, they're in a pieces but still used as speakers lol. Yeah I'm sure at that price the drivers aren't anything special..you might consider ditching the thought of spending too much on 5.1 gaming headphones and give a cheap set of jvc's a shot and try out cmms3d, at worst you're out $30-ish dollars, and boy do they sound good after some EQ tuning of course. You might also see if you can find the pin-out for the amp for 2ch mode (it has an autodetect and if only the green/front connector was used it'd power the sub/front channels...find the front channel output, use it as a cheapo headphone amp lol).

Keep us posted with what you end up getting. I've personally switched over to my JVC HA-DX3's...while they don't have the punch behind them, the nicer pads and overall well rounded sound sold me, plus they're so damn comfortable I'm glad I got em and kept em. Though my RX700's are still used when I really need some serious punch and volume. :D
 
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Think I'll just go for a $100+ set of stereo headphones. Not sure what I'll do for a mic tho, as I need a mic....
 

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Reuse your HPA2 mic and get some 3.5mm cord, and a couple small zip ties...that's what I did on both my HARX700 and HADX3 headphones. Remember to keep the ohms down to an extent if you want decent volume from a sound card w/o an amp in between.
 

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JVC HA G770

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0006SDBD4/?tag=tec06d-20

PROS:
Build quality has lasted 3+ yrs
very accurate sound even if they are stereo
long cord
cheap ($30 shipped 3 or so yrs ago)

CONS:
no head shaking bass
get uncomfortable on the tops of the ears after about 3hrs
MP3 player can't push them quite right needs a real AMP to sound good
 
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Already have a male to female cable to plug it into, works fine. Wanted surround sound but I'll be happy with good stereo sound, what can I get for $100+ at ncix? Basically nothing, I'll have to special order now from Vancouver for prob $300. No music for me!!!
 

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Well, went back to my harx700's. Johnspack, I highly suggest you at least try em', don't compare headphones to headsets...unless you have an amp, an $100+ headphone won't truly be worth it. These headphones cost me $33 shipped, so I'm sure you can find em similar for you too, and they rock straight off the sound card, well they did on my old x-fi, and more-so on the amplified headphone out on my auzen x-fi forte..but really my old x-fi xtreme music drove em extremely well.

I love the hadx3's, a much more refined sound, but at that point the harx700's have more punch, more power, and are much more in your face and right now that's what I want. When I want more laid back, the dx3's do very well and don't dissapoint...but my modded 700's are amazing still. I wish I could pick a set to sell, because really I don't need 2 pairs of headphones for personal use...but dammit I can't part with either pair!
 
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i been using these for about 3-4 months now. very comfy, great sound for gaming, and crystal clear mic on vent. my mic went on my triton's these are very similiar in feel, quality, and sound.

ben heck 5.1 usb
 
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OMFG! Holy Guacamole Batman!

:respect::respect::respect::respect:to you Kursah for this thread

I just got the JVC HA-RX700 today and they are FRICKEN AWESOME:rockout:

Here is my review, I am in no way an audiophile and am not good at expressing details but these headphones are so superior to anything I have ever used an to think they were $33, its just mindboggeling to me.

They are LARGE! but not heavy(fit my big ass head just fine)

Cord and plug is much higher quality, Gold plated plugs (small and large one)not that it matters just a cool detail. Also plenty long.

Sound great, they make my Steelsound 4H's sound like tin cans connected by string (and I really liked the 4H's)

Am REALLY looking forward to modding these to match my case.

Now to find a mic that is equally excellent for a reasonable price.
Needed this thread to come back up cause I wanted to see what people thought of this headset before I buy them?
all opinions are welcomed I always take it into consideration:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826249034

or should I get

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826249036
What MK mods says about Steel Series seems to resonate from what I've read of their gaming headsets. Seeing as you have a sound card you might opt for headphones + seperate mic. I still love my HARX700's, which would devastate either of those headsets sound-wise for much less money. Then order a Turtle Beach HPA2 boom mic, get some 3.5mm audio extension cord, a couple small zip ties, and bam, a better gaming headset. I know I recommend this a lot, but as much money as I've dumped into different gaming headsets, among others I have had the opportunity to try out or borrow, all of them dissapoint me compared to my HARX700 + HPA2 mic combo. Seeing as you have a sound card, you'll have plenty of umph to push those 700's. But you might consider finding a different headphone depending on what kind of sound you want...the 700's can get loud, push a lot of bass if ya want, and are very good for gaming imo. With CMMS 3D on for gaming, I locate sound cues better than "true" 5.1 headsets thus far.

Just some food for thought, an option C if you will. If I was gonna spend that much and HAD to have a gaming headset again, I'd probably go with some Roccat Kaves or Turtle Beach HPA2's (again). But there's no way I would after having tried some real headphones that sound so good for $33..a zip tied mic rig job is well worth it and the HPA2 mic records loud n' clear.

:toast:
 
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What MK mods says about Steel Series seems to resonate from what I've read of their gaming headsets. Seeing as you have a sound card you might opt for headphones + seperate mic. I still love my HARX700's, which would devastate either of those headsets sound-wise for much less money. Then order a Turtle Beach HPA2 boom mic, get some 3.5mm audio extension cord, a couple small zip ties, and bam, a better gaming headset. I know I recommend this a lot, but as much money as I've dumped into different gaming headsets, among others I have had the opportunity to try out or borrow, all of them dissapoint me compared to my HARX700 + HPA2 mic combo. Seeing as you have a sound card, you'll have plenty of umph to push those 700's. But you might consider finding a different headphone depending on what kind of sound you want...the 700's can get loud, push a lot of bass if ya want, and are very good for gaming imo. With CMMS 3D on for gaming, I locate sound cues better than "true" 5.1 headsets thus far.

Just some food for thought, an option C if you will. If I was gonna spend that much and HAD to have a gaming headset again, I'd probably go with some Roccat Kaves or Turtle Beach HPA2's (again). But there's no way I would after having tried some real headphones that sound so good for $33..a zip tied mic rig job is well worth it and the HPA2 mic records loud n' clear.

:toast:
I dont know I've heard a lot of good things about the two I listed, especially the second link. the 5H v2 are a hell of alot better than 4H's(so I've heard) so thats something to think about
and the siberia v2's are supposedly just incredible, so im in a pretty tough situation
 
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the CyberSnipa Sonar 5.1 and SpeedLink Medusa 5.1 USB use the same OEM. SpeedLink has had many variants of the Medusa over the years and now they have a new Medusa NX series.

this is the SpeedLink Medusa 5.1 USB the CyberSnipa Sonar 5.1 is virtually the same except for the color scheme and headband padding.



 
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Kursah

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I dont know I've heard a lot of good things about the two I listed, especially the second link. the 5H v2 are a hell of alot better than 4H's(so I've heard) so thats something to think about
and the siberia v2's are supposedly just incredible, so im in a pretty tough situation
If I could afford to I'd snag a set of 5H's to see how they compare, but atm I'm too broke to do anything rediculous like that, and it'd be a real challenge for me to convince myself to buy another gaming headset lol. You have a lot of good options out there, and a lot of different things to weigh in on. Bumblebee's suggestions are good also. Take some time to research the ones that truly interest ya, find the worst you can about em' too. I did some searching to see if I could find some comparo's of the 5H's vs 700's, since I can't do it myself...yet when I find someone here that has em', I'll swindle into borrowing them so I can form my own opinion. I found some stuff, where other headphones closer or beyond the price of the v2's are mentioned, but hey it's some food for thought.

accuser_ @ Quake Live Forums

The Steelseries 4H and 5H headsets actually have a tuned dynamic range specifically for the frequency of footsteps, gunfire, watersteps, and reloading action. So there is a difference.By tuned dynamic range, you mean a shrill sound with no bass that makes people want to claw their ears out? You can achieve the exact same effect with an equalizer, done with better results on an actual good headphone.

Secondly, they're a mousepad company. They know nothing about audio. They pay famous players to use their products so the ESEA and gotfrag kiddies will buy them. You also have to remember that many gamers also use their computers to listen to music, in which case Steelseries loses on both fronts. Hell, a 33$ JVC-HARX700 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0013OWPV4/?tag=tec06d-20) beats the crap out of 5H in both music and games.

And Sennheisers are the biggest rip-offs other than bose. They're great headsets, but they're not worth the 3-digit price tags.I'll agree only if you're talking about the PC350. Otherwise, headsets are generally a waste. Always go with good headphone + separate mic.
http://www.overclock.net/sound-card...rcharias-steelseries-5h-v2-2.html#post8535186

http://www.overclock.net/sound-card...rcharias-steelseries-5h-v2-3.html#post8539718

Both from this thread: http://www.overclock.net/sound-cards-computer-audio/671312-razer-carcharias-steelseries-5h-v2.html

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1353088

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1377028

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1234050

http://www.tek-9.org/forum/hardware-23/sennheiser_headset-16803.html

There, I'm done for now! Just browse through some of those. From what I see many love the Siberias, but those that have real headphones along with them prefer the headphones, also seems the siberias are still a little more tinny and not very good for music compared to other options in the same price range. If that isn't a problem for ya then, they should work out quite well. I just wanna make sure you have all we can provide to give you time to make an educated decision...it's your money, spend it how you want, but I'd like to help get you more for the buck if possible. Not trying to dog the Siberia set, but I have no doubts the HA RX700's would run circles around em'.

Here's some links to stuff I suggested in my previous post:

HARX700, $34 shipped - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0013OWPV4/?tag=tec06d-20
HPA2 mic, $8 + $4, (will need twist loc clip removed, quite easy to do) - http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/efhpa2/replacementparts.aspx
10ft 3.5mm extension for mic, $8 shipped: http://www.buy.com/prod/arista-18-3...e/q/listingid/39707211/loc/111/210460155.html

Total: $54

Again, it's some food for thought...and it might not be the right way for you to go, but at that price it's gonna be tough to beat even by gaming headsets that tip the $100 price range. Unless you wanna get into $240 and up Astro A40 territory. But you might be able to find something else in your budget that more suits your needs, definitely take some time on this one...I don't want to see you dump 50,60, or even 100 bucks and then be dissapointed. And this thread's all about headphones and headsets, there have already been some good suggestions and now you have quite a few options to look at, threads to read, etc. I'd rather you have too many options to choose from right now than not enough, and I want to see you get into something that'll be worth your investment and keep you content for a while to come.

:toast:
 

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I use this-
http://www.plantronics.com/north_america/en_US/products/computer/multi-use-computer-headsets/audio-450

■Feather-light earbuds deliver full-range stereo sound
■Flex Grip design provides unshakable fit
■Noise-canceling microphone cuts through background clamor
■QuickAdjust boom assures precise microphone positioning
■In-line volume and mute put you in the driver’s seat
■Compatible with most PC sound cards for plug-and-play ease



I wear glasses so i cant wear full headphones for too long.These are light and comfy with a good mic.
 
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well so far I have decided to either go with:
HD555
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0001FTVDQ/?tag=tec06d-20

or AD700
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CMS0XU/?tag=tec06d-20

I've heard good and bad things about both, and honestly I like the look and feel of the HD555 a lot better the sleek design, and they look very comfortable, from most people they are said to be inferior to the AD700's. The HD555 provides a bit more bass, AD700..not so much, so it has come down to, which one I would honestly be more comfortable with, and since the AD700's look like they WILL break as soon as I get them(they look like the razer barracudas) then I think will have to go for the HD555-sleek, comfort,not as great sound as the AD700's but they are said to be somewhat close.

EDIT: Im still deciding but, Im starting to lean closer and closer to the AD700 wish I could take a vote from everyone
 
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Really either of those would treat you well, people that own both enjoy em' from what I've read. I'd probably lean more towards the AD700's though.
 
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Really either of those would treat you well, people that own both enjoy em' from what I've read. I'd probably lean more towards the AD700's though.
thanks that makes 1 vote for AD700
 

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So I went a head and bought myself the ad700's hopefully I wont regret it but I dont think I will they were a hell of a lot cheaper than the HD555
 

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They'll do quite well i'm sure, and your x-fi won't dissapoint. Don't hesitate to use some serious EQ tuning to make them sound how you want and also realize that they'll break-in a little over time, so they will probably sound better after a few dozen hours of listening. Either way you'll be MUCH happier than going with just another gaming headset man, keep us posted! I hope to see a review of them after you've had some time to use em!

EDIT: I'm thinking of changing the OP in some way, maybe quoting submitted reviews onto it or something...what do you guys think? Fine as is? I don't want to do too much extra but maybe use the OP for reviews so people can continue conversations like the recent one and people looking for user reviews just need to hit page 1. Thoughts?
 
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I'll throw this up:

Razer Barracuda HP-1 - :ohwell:

Pros:

  • Multiple drivers in each ear-piece, making for a "true" 5.1 headphone setup
  • Individual channel volume adjustment via the in-line volume/amp control
  • Blue LED lit Razer logos on each earpiece, and volume/amp control
  • Comfortable earpiece surrounds, and extremelly lightweight design

Cons:

  • Extremelly short microphone, tends to produce muddy or weak recording
  • Lightweight desing is rather flimsy, can be easily damaged if handled roughly
  • Frequency response is rather poor, especially with lower-end tones

Review:

Razer's HP-1 is a brilliant idea, incorporating true multiple channel output into a single headset device for better "surround" in games. Although a brilliant idea, this does not exactly mean it translates well to the real world . . . especially considering the number of games that don't yet support native 5.1 output, which will require that standard 2-channel game output to be upmixed to 5.1 . . .

The individual channels produce clear tones through the mid and high tonal range, but tend to have rather poor reproduction with lower tones and bass . . . although, considering these headsets are aimed at gamers (not the average PC user or audiophile), and game audio tends to be heavier on the mid and upper range sounds as well, this slight issue can be somewhat overlooked. The sub channel, though, can become overpowering if you have the volume set too high - it's not so much that the output is distracting, it has more to do with the output vibrations against one's head. The microphone tends to be more of a gimmick than being really functional - it doesn't extend far from the L earpiece, and will remain far out of the range of the average users mouth. In my testing, I've found the mic's input to be either weak, or sound muddy (I think the muddiness can probably be contributed to interference or vibrations from the sub drivers). The actual driver positioning works out quite well, and with games that support native 5.1, or good speaker virtualization software from your audio drivers, reacting to nearby sounds becomes nearly intuitive. You can easily distinguish sounds that originate from in front of you, from those coming from behind, as well as being either panned L or R. Same goes for positioning of sounds from above and below.

The headset includes connectivity for Razer's HD-DAI - really a DVI-styled D-Sub that only carries audio - and output would probably sound better via this connection . . . but, considering that Razer's AC-1 Barracuda hasn't exactly taken off in terms of sales, I'd fathom the number of users who could make use of this connection is rather small. Instead, you'll be left dealing with a typical 5.1 channel hook-up - 4 individual analogue mini-jacks for each channel, plus a USB connection to power the headsets amplifier. Unless you're running multiple sound cards, or a reciever with digital or RCA connections from your sound card, you can pretty much forget having the headset hooked up alongside a full-blown stereo system . . . and if your audio card doesn't support multiple mini-jack connections for individual channels, you'll need a seperate reciever to plug the headset into. Connectivity can become a major pain, not to mention the aditional cable mess.

The headset is extremelly lightweight, and comfortable - the ear pieces themselves don't start hurting one's ears after extended periods of time, and they breathe well too. But, although lightweight, this has left the headset rather flimsy. If you have a habit of being rough with your equipment, you can expect this unti to break within a short amount of time. The earpieces themselves are attached to the headband via simple pins, allowing the earpiece to swivel independantly 180 degrees. The headband is simply an elastic strap with a padded cover, and two arched rod-like supports that run from the L earpiece to the R.

Overall, it's a decent unit for it's price range - but it has a single audience . . . the gamer. If you're an audiophile, or are heavier into entertainment/media, there's not much here you'd be proud of or thrilled with. If you're a dedicated gamer, and looking for that slight edge over the competition, the positional reproduction will definitely give you that edge you're looking for.