Eight 5.1- And 7.1-Channel Gaming Headsets, Reviewed

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cleeve

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[citation][nom]okochea[/nom]"Intel Core i7-920 (Sandy Bridge), overclocked to 3.6 GHz, 8 MB shared L3 cache, power-saving settings enabled, Turbo Boost disabled" is not Sandy Bridge, is Nehalem - Bloomfield[/citation]

Doh! Dumb mistake, Fixed!
 

mattmock

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I am not really sure why you need more than two channels for headphones. I would think that since we only have two ears a good stereo headset would provide the maximum amount of positional information. I have the Razer Carcharias and it seems to do a good job with positional audio and sound quality. The thing i love about that headset is the fact that it comfortably fits my big head. Anyone know if upgrading to 5.1-7.1 would really be an improvement over stereo?
 
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I've got Audio-Technica ATH-A700s and a Creative Titanium sound card. It seems to give me pretty excellent positional audio without multiple drivers per can or virtual surround technologies. Is there any advantage to 5.1+ headphones, virtual or otherwise, over my current setup? Or am I misunderstanding the premise of virtual surround, and a sound card obviates it entirely?
 
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I owned Roccat kaves, fell off my desk once and the arm for the one can snapped. they were uncomfortable, but the sound was good. Now the proud owner of the Logitech G35 and I recommend it. Have to agree with the reviewer that the controls on the left can is the best thing since sliced bread.
 

JOSHSKORN

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[citation][nom]Cleeve[/nom]I understand that the Logitech 930's are simply a wireless version of the G35, so no difference there.[/citation]
I've been using the G930 since it was released. I love them. I am also curious as to how they would do against other wireless headsets.
 

namtrooper

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Is there a picture somewhere of Don Woligroski's head? It must be massive because most headset seem to sit too "tight". Even the editor noticed.
 

invlem

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No Tritton? makes me sad.

Out of all the surround headsets I've found the tritton's to be the best from a quality perspective, was hoping to see how they'd fare against the others.

I've had razer's in the past but they gave up after 4 months of light use, the ears gave out, one died completely and the mic was dead 1 month after i bought it... My tritton pro AX5.1's are going strong after 1.5 years and show no signs of quitting on me. Also found them much more comfortable than the razer's.
 

godnodog

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If this is a double post, than I´m sorry!

For the last 5 years I´ve been using an Icemat Siberia headset that came with a usb sound card, although I don´t use the card, I have to say it was one of the best purchases I´ve made so far concerning headsets, the sound is great, it´s extremly confortable and best of all I use it to protect my ears from the cold while taking a walk, lol. I´m not sure if it´s true 5.1 or virtual .1, they sure sound like it, all I know is that they´re awsome.
 

firefyte

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Thanks for the article, I was looking into this.

Is there any chance that you could ID the DACs/chips used in the USB solutions.

Also, for future headphone reference, it would be good to include the measurements of the 'test-head', as I have problems choosing good headphones due to having a large head. I might have also skipped the part where you point out if the headphones are supra-aural or circumaural.
 

icepick314

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Turtle Beach makes great headsets as well...

I have older model Ear Force HPA2 and it's comfortable and sounds great...at least IMO

wish Tom's tested some of their latest model...
 
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Thank you for the review!
I have one question. Doesnt the audio card / onboard audio influence the sound quality of these headsets? I didnt see any info about what audio card was used.
 

Onus

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I'm not surprised you liked the Corsair. The whole multi-channel surround issue is utterly lost on me since I'm deaf in one ear, but I'm tired of cheap chat-headsets. I made myself a simple device (no, it's not just a "Y") to combine the channels, then got these: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/04/14/corsair_gaming_audio_series_hs1a_headset_review/ and they sound great, for both games and music.
 

2shea

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[citation][nom]Cleeve[/nom]I understand that the Logitech 930's are simply a wireless version of the G35, so no difference there.Sennheiser refused our invitation to the roundup.Roccat, well... can't find them for sale in the USA, and this is a US-based publication.[/citation]
Sorry but in these times something like its not available in the us is bullshit as an argument. You can mailorder these in within a few days from europe. From what I have experienced from them is very good sound, although the three pads were quite uncomfortable just like those psyko carbons would be for me. I don't have a lot of hair and not such a big head that almost every single headset would seem 'tight'. Also it's not that bad that a headset doesn't let you play for 10+ hours...
BUT that said, good review nontheless. I actually have the speedlink medusa 5.1 analog and it still is one of the better headsets I have used. probably also not available in the us.
 

firefyte

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Despite non-availability, Roccat is starting to bring its products to the US starting this month (http://icrontic.com/article/roccat-at-ces-2012), so it would have been worthwhile to ask them if they could have provided one and more info on their imminent launch.

But I do agree that they are a bit hard to find, a quick search on froogle suggests one or two vendors, despite being able to get them mail ordered.
 

Badelhas

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Its great to know that my Creative Sigma were a wise choise. I bought it when there were almost no reviews out there but I am pretty satisfied with it. The only thing that sucks is the cable.
 

brenro

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Sorry but in these times something like its not available in the us is bullshit as an argument. You can mailorder these in within a few days from europe.


Ever priced shipping costs on something like this from Europe? Nearly as much as the headset. Not a viable option for most people.
 

firefyte

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If you don't have faith in the Internet, and don't bother to look, you'll never find it, here for only $99, shipping inclusive:
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=63947&vpn=ROC-14-500-AS&manufacture=Roccat&promoid=1363
 

cleeve

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[citation][nom]leo1972[/nom]Thank you for the review!I have one question. Doesnt the audio card / onboard audio influence the sound quality of these headsets? I didnt see any info about what audio card was used.[/citation]

No, as they all have their own built-in chipset via USB (except the Psykos)
 
What no Sound Card?! Onboard sound is no place to test any headsets, and unless you purchase a sound card then don't bother spending >$40 on a headphones/headsets you are wasting your money.

I totally agree with this being 100% Subjective, but on top of that the best here in this Article is Mediocre and typical is Crappy then you try to be subjective on a poor output source?! It's like Scaling 1...10 on a curve; 4 = 10 and scaling from there. On my scale the best here is a 4 or 5 out of 10.

If you want decent sound then you MUST add a 'good' Sound Card or DAC or similar Amplifier with headphones/headsets with much larger drivers.

Bottom line, if you want good sound then start with at least a $50~$100 sound card, and go from there. Sure I like the Sennheiser HD 800 but very very few folks are going to swallow $1500 + $800++ DAC.
 

joaobarb

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It's a shame that you didn't test Sennheiser PC350 and PC360, which in my opinion are by far better than anyone of those tested. Was it because they are from a headphone and microphone specialized brand instead of the generic computer stuff brands that you're used to work with?
 

firefyte

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The two you mentioned are stereo headsets. The review is spesific on 5.1 or 7.1 surround (virtual or not) sets.
 

sardonicjester

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[citation][nom]joaobarb[/nom]It's a shame that you didn't test Sennheiser PC350 and PC360, which in my opinion are by far better than anyone of those tested. Was it because they are from a headphone and microphone specialized brand instead of the generic computer stuff brands that you're used to work with?[/citation]

Exactly. I understand Sennheiser didn't respond to the offer, but the PC360s are the best Price/Performance headset out there. Couple it together with the Astro MixAmp and you have a setup that can't be touched by anything else in the price range.
 
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