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*TPU's Gaming Headphone/Headset Thread*

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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?
I think I would throw up links to peoples reviews on the thread depending on headset like

Razer Barracudas:-1nf1n1ty-(link here)imperialreign(link here), that way it would make it easy to find reviews
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.
I agree, I think that if it were built differently it would be such a great headset, maybe if it were built maybe to resemble the HD555 or something like that to make them last longer then the barracudas would be a GREAT headset to have
 
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I don't know anything about headphones other then there is digital (usb) or analog audio. My old Logitecs crapped out on me so I bought some plantronics gamecom 367 headphones from AthlonX2. They were lightly used and got them for a good deal. Anyway I didn't do a lot of research on them, so does anyone out there own this headset? Did I make a good chioce for budget headphones/mic?
 
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Kursah

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For a cheap and basic headset it should work quite well. I hear they kinda clamp tight though and sometimes will form cracks. But my old Plantronics treated me very well and have since been lent out and are still going strong. See my OP for my plantronics review, pretty much the same drivers but yours have over the ear instead of on the ear and more cushion. Plantronics hasn't dissapointed me, but then I've never really tried their expensive stuff..I can't see spending more on the 777 which is just about the same as yours + USB sound card w/Dolby Surround, and at least used to run about $100.
 
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I don't know anything about headphones other then there is digital (usb) or analog audio. My old Logitecs crapped out on me so I bought some plantronics gamecom 367 headphones from AthlonX2. They were lightly used and got them for a good deal. Anyway I didn't do a lot of research on them, so does anyone out there own this headset? Did I make a good chioce for budget headphones/mic?
most of the counter strike source, TF2 kids at ESEA.net usually recommend those headsets first before any other headset(along with HD555). SO did you make a good choice? I'd say so my friend has em and I tried them and sound quality is great comfort is great as well, they do clamp but I imagine after a lot of use it will stretch to form the shape of your head, so yeah...hope I helped a bit

the mic however Im not sure of if you dont like the mic you can always get a stand a lone clip on mic from Zalman
 
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I agree, I think that if it were built differently it would be such a great headset, maybe if it were built maybe to resemble the HD555 or something like that to make them last longer then the barracudas would be a GREAT headset to have
True - the HP-1 has the foundation to be a great headset, it just has too many limitations by design. Really, it's time for Razer to re-design the headset, and release a revised model.

I've been using my pair hevaily recently - mostly due to the increased gaming I've been doing the last few months, and I'm too lazy to get behind my rig on a regular basis to swap my setups around. Defi great for gaming, though, the source positioning has saved my ass countless times during online matches.
 

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Added 25 TPU member submitted reviews to to the OP, in the table format. There are more, but I chose those that were more than one sentence long and had some content/layout to them, generally with pros and cons. If you want your review added and think it's not fair I didn't add it, I might have missed it or you may need to add some content to it to make it more of a review. Most submitted reviews ended up on the list and I want to thank everyone for submitting their experiences and opinions! I'm looking forward to reading more of your reviews and linking it in the OP!

:toast:
 
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this isn't a review because I only spent 7-10 minutes on the Plantronics Gamecom 777 with the included usb dolby surround sound card at a local store about 4 weeks ago.

the first thing I said when I picked them up was "I wonder how many Russian MiG's I can shoot down with this!" the headset is big and deceptively light weight. the ear pods (cups) are as big if not bigger than the ones on the Logitech G35 not only would I not wear these to a LAN but I wouldn't wear them in the comfort of my own home.

second problem was they advertise a feature to distribute pressure on the ear pods evenly so that there is no pressure coming down on your head from the headband I don't know what the lead engineer was thinking but it felt like having a hand pressed against each of my ears constantly it was not subjectively uncomfortable it was uncomfortable and definitely not glasses friendly the first time I put them on my lenses were pushed back to my eyeballs I attempted to fix this but because there is so much force from the ear pod I couldn't straighten my frames out without taking the headset off. I grabbed each ear pod and flexed them in and out about 10 times to see if I could loosen them up but no dice there might be a spring involved because the metal frame has no elasticity.

one feature I did like was the military grade cord it was thick and reinforced at all ends.

the mids and highs were decent but not great, I didn't like the bass. didn't test the microphone but the frequency response is 8-100kHz which is great compared to Logitech, Razer and steelseries. I read 10+ comments about a week after I tested them at the store that the included usb dolby surround sound card made no difference and I have a theory rather than answer I think it's because it can only output 16 bit 48kHz samples and if you plug it into a source that can output 24 bit 48-192kHz sample like a on-board Realtek your not going to notice a difference because the Plantronics Gamecom 777 audio reproduction is mediocre and the difference between 16 bit and 24 bit is only night and day depending on what is reproducing it. feel free to correct me if i'm wrong.

I was pretty disappointed to say the least I usually hear nothing but good things about Plantronics they have low microphone frequencies but if this is the trade off for a good microphone I would look elsewhere for a 5.1 headset.
 
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is this just for headphones/headsets or is stereo's listed also?
 
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headphone/headset
 
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Kursah

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Honestly I would start with your X-Fi and see how it does. Be prepared to use the EQ, and possibly bass boost. If you need a decent headphone amp around that price, consider the Creek OBH-11 too, fwir many seemed to like it, though the Astro mixamp seems to be pretty solid too. Sweat that stuff down the road, I'm willing to bet you'll get plenty of sound from your x-fi, though I don't know how loud you like to listen to music and games, how much bass you need, etc. But see what the headphones are capable of with whatcha have first, no sense in adding more equipment unless you really feel it's necessary imo. Part of why I got my Auzen, it's integrated headphone amp is plenty for me, while not as effective as the Astro or Creek, it drives my headphones much louder than I could stand. And my X-Fi Extreme Music also did a decent job output-wise, so give the Elite a try...I think it'll be ok.

:toast:
 

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Kursah

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What does TPU's heatset eletiest group think of this heatset?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826158082

I want to use the 3.5mm jacks and I want to keep it to just one audio jack, because I would be using it with my onboard sound, which only has one.
heatset? You must mean headset! ;)
Eletiest? I'm assuming that's supposed to be elitist. :laugh:
Naa, this thread isn't about that...you want that go to head-fi.org. This place is more about getting better sound for the money and helping people make better decisions for a product that'll treat them better for their money...no different than any other product help thread or build thread on TPU.

That headset should treat you OK, considering you're just using onboard it probably would suffice. I know some guys run the JVC harx700's with onboard, but after trying it myself I was totally unimpressed. Though, I prefer a soundcard more for clarity and output. Personally I think you could do better, but that all depends on budget, source and how picky you wanna be. I'd probably rather go with the Koss SB45's, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826263010. The headphone version is pretty popular for overall good sound, these do fold up, which would make me hesitant to buy them, but fwir about creative it seems hit or miss on the lower-end headset spectrum.

You may spend a little more and get the mkII's, they seem to rate better fwir, which isn't too much, but at the same time a lot of people have used em', and overall people seem to be OK with them...though it depends on what you're after, if you just need some ear-covering noise makers, then go with your original choice. If you want some decent sound, get some headphones and attach a mic to em'.

Though whatever route you decide to take, please post up a review of them if you get a chance (with spell-check that is! :p )! :toast:

Can someone reccomend the absolute best set I could get for around $100?
Is $100 just for the headphones/headset? Does that include mic? What kind of sound do you want? Do you want closed back or open back (closed get hotter, but keep sound in and have harder hitting bass, opens stay cool, but leak sound in and out, have weaker bass, but a better sound stage for gaming.). Figuring out what you wanna go with first helps sort things down, because in reality even in the sub-$100 price-range there are quite a few options you could go with. Though I would really have you consider a JVC HARX700, good for gaming, music, movies, more than enough bass, driven easily from a sound card, and cheap ($34 shipped), also compete with much more expensive headphones, though at the cost of some comfort, being large in size, and getting warm on the ears after a couple hours. You could look at some headphones from Audio Technica, like the a/ad 700, you could look at some Sennheiser stuff, some other JVC's, there are quite a few options out there. And also remember the best set for one person, might not be for someone else, it really depends on what you want to hear and if you can find something that matches that expectations within your budget. You also might find a good and well-cared for pair of cans at head-fi.org that would get you more than new. Again depends, like I said earlier to hat, do you want some noise makers? Do you want bass? Do you want open or closed? Do you want something that sounds like your in a large room, or a tin can?

I prefer closed cans for keeping sound in and out, better bass response, and with a decent headphone you still have a somewhat decent sound stage for gaming, I do gotta say my HADX3's kickass in that respect over the harx700's. So figure out what you want, hell if you gotta go to a local guitar shop and see what they have to offer ya, get a listen and see what sounds best to you, then we can figure out how to best duplicate that on your budget for your rig. Hope that helps!

:toast:
 

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Damn, i never thought there were so many things to think about when choosing headphones.

I will only use them for gaming, I want something that will sound good and give me a sense of direction with the action around me ie. footsteps behind me etc

I just want a set that sound great and do limit the amount of ambient noise around me because in the summer I will probbaly be running a window AC behind me.
 

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That headset should treat you OK, considering you're just using onboard it probably would suffice. I know some guys run the JVC harx700's with onboard, but after trying it myself I was totally unimpressed. Though, I prefer a soundcard more for clarity and output. Personally I think you could do better, but that all depends on budget, source and how picky you wanna be. I'd probably rather go with the Koss SB45's, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826263010. The headphone version is pretty popular for overall good sound, these do fold up, which would make me hesitant to buy them, but fwir about creative it seems hit or miss on the lower-end headset spectrum.

You may spend a little more and get the mkII's, they seem to rate better fwir, which isn't too much, but at the same time a lot of people have used em', and overall people seem to be OK with them...though it depends on what you're after, if you just need some ear-covering noise makers, then go with your original choice. If you want some decent sound, get some headphones and attach a mic to em'.
Odd, I'm usually very good with my speeling and gremmor.

Anyways, I already have an "ear covering noise maker", but it sucks. It's like it can't handle bass at all—it's most noticible in BF2142 when the Titan blows up: the sound gets all crackley. I just wanted something that would properly play sound with bass and not crackle, I'm not looking for a ten grand headset. Also, it would be nice to have a circumaural set, the set I have now is supra-aural.
 

Kursah

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Odd, I'm usually very good with my speeling and gremmor.

Anyways, I already have an "ear covering noise maker", but it sucks. It's like it can't handle bass at all—it's most noticible in BF2142 when the Titan blows up: the sound gets all crackley. I just wanted something that would properly play sound with bass and not crackle, I'm not looking for a ten grand headset. Also, it would be nice to have a circumaural set, the set I have now is supra-aural.
The 2142 bass is serious stuff for sure, I haven't played that in sooo long. I'll tell ya the mortar strikes @ close range in BC2 with War Tapes on is pretty insane too. So far the best bass I've recieved from that is from my HA-DX3's from JVC.

I'm sure those Creative's will do OK, but that's about all I could guarantee. If you could swing it the Turtle Beach HPA2's don't NEED to be 5.1 to work well. If you just use the green (front/main), it'll switch the amp to output to the front/main and sub channels. Those would smoke the Creatives. Granted they're open back so sound leaks and enters, but with the in-line amp, and level controls, you'll have great sound all the way around. Hell you might consider Roccat Kave's or something similar. Though finding an around $50 sound card, and a $30-40 pair of headphones, you would smoke the HPA2's. Though you'd have to figure out a different mic situation if you use voip/ts. I just used an HPA2 mic zip tied to the lh support on my headphones, works amazingly well.

Hope that helps! :toast:
 

hat

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I won't want to spend $100 on a heatset. I'm fine with using onbord sound, I just don't want crackly noise when something blows up.
 

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I won't want to spend $100 on a heatset. I'm fine with using onbord sound, I just don't want crackly noise when something blows up.
look into the cheaper sennheisers then
 

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You might look at some Senn HD280's, JVC HARX700's or AT A700's for a closed sub-$100 headphone your sound card should drive well. All should treat you well, and I'm sure there are more options for ya out there too, but off the top of my head, that's what I got to offer. And frankly I'd choose the AT's if I could afford it, fwir many love em. Definitely do some research before you buy, don't just go off our recommendations here. Be patient, and make the right decision by educating yourself on the product too.

:toast:
 

shevanel

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Okay cool. At least you given me a start.. so many headphones on the market so I'll look into the 3 here and see what happens.

Thanks kur

jvs dont have a mic? and what brand is an a700?
 

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Heh, for the price of those things, I might as well get this and some splitters
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826153043

That's too expensive for me atm, I was really hoping for like a $30 solution, but I'll rather wait and get something good than pay for something only marginally better than what I have now.
 

shevanel

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Heh, for the price of those things, I might as well get this and some splitters
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826153043

That's too expensive for me atm, I was really hoping for like a $30 solution, but I'll rather wait and get something good than pay for something only marginally better than what I have now.
ooh i like those! You think theyre any good?

i was eyeballing these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...cm_re=surround_headset-_-26-235-005-_-Product

is 5.1 in a headset a gimmick? i like the idea of surround sound

looks like i might have to take a little ride to bestbuy tomorrow as they appear to be in stock there for 169
 
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hat

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No idea about the one you linked to, but my uncle has the Razer heatset I linked to, and I tried it out for a bit. It did sound pretty good and it was comfortable.