Sennheiser PC350 SE + Amp/DAC vs PC363D for Gaming + General Audio Use

Which headset would you recommend?


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andrewgk

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Dec 19, 2011
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Hello, I'm in the market currently for a headset and the Sennheiser PC series has really caught my attention. I'm a newbie in the Audiophile world but have a decent knowledge of what kind of audio equipment is available.

The primary reasons why I am looking at these headsets versus a headphone + mic combo is because I'd like to keep my microphone and headphones together for easy portability (I'm fully aware of the ModMic) since I game both at home on my desktop and on my laptop (on campus or at my friend's place).

The major things I like about the Sennheiser PC series is that they feature awesome noise cancelling mics and have adjustable volume on the headphone itself (I absolutely hate in-line controls). Most other companies offerings seem fairly unimpressive to me (Corsair, Razer, Steelseries, etc.)

The dilemma that I have run into is that I'm stuck inbetween getting the PC350 SE (which is available for about $120 on Amazon!) and the PC363D.

My concerns are: being able to wear the headphones for long periods of time without experiencing discomfort and having to resting my ears (something I experienced with my ATH-M50s), keeping the entire package manageable and pretty (to game on the go and in my bedroom without excessive clutter), and being able to using my headphones for both gaming (TeamSpeak + MMOs + FPs Games) and general audio (listening to music, watching youtube, etc.).

The problem with the PC350 SE ($112) is that my onboard audio of my desktop and laptop will not have enough output impedence to power the high impedance, 150 ohm, cans. Which means I have to get an unwieldy amp (and DAC if I want to match the surround sound provided with the PC363D) to drive the cans to their full potential. Most USB amp + DAC combos, bar the Xonar U3, do not have a microphone in meaning that I must also get an extension cable for the microphone-in. My top choice for my amp + DAC combo is the FiiO E10k ($76) (although I won't be getting virtual surround which is a consideration for FPS games). I also have worries that the PC350 SE will be uncomfortable for long periods of wear as I have a fairly large head and sweat easily (aggravated by the close back design).

On the other hand, the PC363D ($233), which have a low 32 ohm impedence,do not need an amp to drive them and come with a 7.1 Surround Sound solution. I can drive these headphones no problem through a standard laptop soundcard. They are also open back which means better air flow for my ears and have also been anecdotally described as comfortable to wear due to lower clamping force when compared to the PC350.

$122 closed back cans +$76 with FiiO E10K vs $233 open back cans with G4ME1 DAC.

Sorry for the lengthy background, but I wanted to present all the information and thinking I have done over the past few days.
 
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