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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Gaming headset quest continued...

Feb 24, 2014

 

da1writer wrote:

With your headset endeavor, I too would recommend the Skullcandy PLYR1 headset. Here are two reviews to peak your interest.

 

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2421590,00.asp

http://www.psu.com/a020084/Skullcandy-PLYR-1-Wireless-Gaming-Headset-Review


Is this the headset you're talking about?

 

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Splicer
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Re: Gaming headset quest continued...

Feb 24, 2014

I thought about both the PLYR 1 and the Steelseries H Wireless, but neither are available in the stores around here. At this point I've bought and returned 7 headsets. The turnaround time and hassle of doing that over the internet would be a major drag. And I like the idea that what I'm assessing is what's available for most average folks. I live in a mid-size college town in the Midwest. I figure what's available to me at the local best buy is pretty average.

 

And I made the decision to not go with cobbling a setup together from a few different companies for largely the same reason. I want to do these videos and give my honest assessment of what's out there, debunk some myths about this company or that, and maybe teach a few folks what I know abut audio gear. I'm not at all interested in pushing one thing over the other, more just saying this is what my process was, this is what I'm looking for, and this is what I found.

 

And so far what I've found is that Astro, while they may have been a different company at another time in terms of quality, have not impressed me with the three sets I've bought from them. The A50s actually caused me pain in my ears, the 2 sets of A40s were uninspiring and the second set died within a week. When I'm spending $250 bucks, I expect good quality and that includes consistency in functionality. A lot of time when you pay more for a product you're actually paying for up level stuff like quality control. I've bought many, many guitars over the years. The American made guitars are often made with the same materials but a slightly higher grade of wood and a more rigorous quality control monitoring system. I've bought guitars made overseas that were equally as good as their American counterparts in many ways, but I had to really search to find the good ones out of the pile.

 

My experience with Astro and the reviews I've read around the web tell me they are leaving that quality control element to chance and perhaps coasting on their reputation, which is being tarnished by the day. A week or so ago Amazon wouldn't even sell the A50 because they had received so many complaints about it. It's back up for sale now, but that's a very telling piece of news. If the largest online retailer pulls your product because of quality, you have a real problem.

 

I'm by no means a TB fanboy either. I was impressed for the price/sound quality features of my PX22s, but the build wasn't great. I went back to TB for a higher end set because I'd gone through everything else--literally--that I could buy in my area and it was all rubbish, as the Brits say. The XP510s offer a ton more functionality and customization over the Astro options and they sound better to my ears. I'm a 42 year old dude who has been working in audio since I was 15. I've bought more sets of headphones than I care to count. I've used "bad" headphones that sounded great, "great" headphones that sounded like crud, and everything in between. I buy and return lots and lots of stuff. I bought a pair of Beats once. I took them out to the car, plugged in my phone, listened to half a song, they were crap sounding. I packed them back up and took them back inside without ever leaving the parking lot. 

 

The Sony Golds are definitely the new median for gaming headsets. And I'm only gonna talk about gaming headsets. The TB XP510 sound best to my ears over anything else I could buy in my price range in my local shops. And the EQs are highly customizable. Not so for the Astros and I could never tell much difference from one preset to the next on my mixamp. I couldn't even get Best Buy to order in the Steelseries H Wireless, so as much as I wanted to I couldn't get them to test.

 

I would love to see a current manufacturer take the game to the next level. If not a current, then a new player. Sony could lead the way here with their next offering. As I said, the field is wide open. I don't think gamers should have to make compromises on gaming-specific can, and buying audiophile cans and separate mics that weren't built for gaming purposes is a compromise. 

 

But in the end it all comes down to what sounds and works best for each person. Thisis all subjective and I'm just trying to offer my POV.

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MVP Support
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Re: Gaming headset quest continued...

[ Edited ]
Feb 24, 2014

Now I'm no audiophile by any means but I've owned Turtle Beach Headsets and like you found them to be of poor, cheap quality every time. The ones I've bought either broke in some fashion (headband like usual near one cup side) or Mic stopped working. I had the DPX21 and DP11, each including the DSS and DSS2 units, which impressed me as it upmixed stereo headsets to surround sound headsets. Sadly whenever there was no audio (ie load screens, etc), a constant hissing sound was outputted and it annoyed me to no end - Sent those back.

I then got the TB x41 and xp500, but both headband's broke.

 

Was sick of Turtle Beach's QC on their headsets and moved to using Astro A40's 5.8 wireless edition and loved them. The surround sound quality was exceptional and decided to jump to using some SR850's with my 5.8 Mixamp and loved them even more. Then the A50's came out and I sold all my headsets just get them for that convenient full wireless experience. Had them for two years but was curious when I heard of PlayStation's Official headsets.

 

So instead of selling my A50's , I got the Pulse Elites for comparison's sake. Thought the sound quality was much better than my A50's but sadly the surround was very lacking and the bass impacts annoyed the crap out me and more so caused awful headaches. They became pointless to keep as the features they touted at the time didn't interest me anymore. Sent those back and never bothered buying another headset for a while. I borrowed a friends PLYR1 headset and found it comparable to my A50's, so no point in purchasing because of that. Then the PlayStation Gold Headset came out.

 

Decided to give those a try, went through a lot of effort to get them before street date too. Sounds quality was still great but what surprised me was that Sony actually improved their VSS somehow. I can't pinpoint how but it can be heard quite well directionally where sound is coming from now. While the distance or sound stage/space hasn't improved (or there whatsoever), I actually like it after playing with Headset Companion app a bit. The Mic quality isn't the greatest either but it's passable - those are the only things I can knock against the PlayStation Gold headset really. It's why I still have them, they're actually still quite good but I hope Sony continues to work on their VSS or drop their tech for optical Dolby/DTS surround in their more than likely Platinum headset.

 

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Keyblade Wielder
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Re: Gaming headset quest continued...

[ Edited ]
Feb 24, 2014
I'm not really sure how you are not hearing the preset differences on the Astro mixamp, its definately there. Pro boosts details and lessens the bass, Core is Flat/Balanced, Media boosts mids with a subtle bass boost and LAN is a copy of Pro but with a less sensitive mic. Anything Turtle Beach is doing with their many EQ modes on the 510's is just trying to hide the low $10 to $20 quality of the driver itself. Its certainly not natural sounding and is nothing but effects.

Further more, the Dolby Headphone processing in the Mixamp is a huge step up from Sonys generic Virtual Surround Sound as heard in the Golds and the Pulse if I'm not mistaken, its only a two channel source simulating the 7.1 wheres the Mixamp is creating virtual 7.1 from Dolby 5.1.

Dolby Headphone is currently the Surround Sound standard which is used not only in the Mixamp but pretty much every other surround sound headset out there as well as PC sound cards such as the Asus Xonar. The only thing better right now is DTS 11.1 Headphone X which is not yet used in gaming. Its very apparent that Sony was just too cheap to pay for the Dolby Licensing.

I notice you are singling out Astro but are ignoring all the problems with Sonys gaming headsets especially when most of the negative Astro reviews happened before firmware updates or people who are clueless about updating firmware as well as a small issue where the mini to USB cable in the 2013 model wasn't powerful enough to properly run the Mixamp. This problem has since been corrected and anybody who bought old stock gets a free cable replacement.

Look in the support section of this website and you will see far more issues with Sonys gaming headsets. From the infamous crack in the Pulse headphones to their lack of support if anything were to happen to that dongle. If that dongle gets lost or stops working, you now have a pair of earmuffs that Sony will not fix at any price.

And buying audiophile cans seperate is not a compromise for these gaming headsets are nothing more than a marketing scheme. I mean that would be like saying a home theater system or an HDTV would be a compromise if Turtle Beach and Sonys gaming division ever started selling generic gaming home theaters and gamer televisions. There is really no such thing as a can that was built for gaming purposes. That's just a sham. There is nothing in the design of a Sony or Turtle Beach headphone that makes them for gaming aside from the writing on the box. And having the audio knowledge that you say you have, you should know that a true gaming headset shouldn't have a closed design if you visit the gaming section of any audio site, nobody uses these things. No reputable audio site will even touch them for a review because they already know what they sound like.

The biggest bang for your buck is the Samson SR850's or Superlux HD668b's with either a Zalman or a modmic. These are designed like the AKG K240's but have the sound signature of the Beyerdynamic DT990's. Best of all, you can get them for $40. But if a headset that says "Gaming" on it is what you seek, look no further then the Sennheiser PC360. This is basically the Sennheiser HD598's with a different style and a boom attached which is proof that there really isn't such a thing as a gaming designed can anywhere but from a maketing standpoint. If you don't want to run these using the Astro Mixamp or Turtle Beach DSS, run them straight to the controller. The soundstage alone will give you a better sense of surround sound than Sonys knockoff Surround Sound.
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Re: Gaming headset quest continued...

[ Edited ]
Feb 24, 2014

@Murderstyle75  But he isn't looking for a wired solution I believe, he's looking for a wireless solution that still sound good [enough]. While your suggestions are great, they're wired solutions that would have anyone tethered to their console. I believe most gamers prefer a wireless solution in case they have to do something around the house. I do this many times with my A50's and PlayStation Gold's often because of my kids.

 

Should the best solution be to grab the wireless Mixamp 5.8 if this is the predicament to enjoy studio quality headsets? Probably (yet these are only partially wireless).

But with it being discontinued and only possible way of attaining it through Microsoft by buying the A30 bundle, it defeats intentions of the study here. He wants to grab a headset locally and attainable by the average Joe and see how they stack against each other to see which he prefers and sounds good to his ears in order to pass on the knowledge and suggestion to others.

 

I'm not saying your wrong here Murderstyle75 but I'm starting to  agreeing with them to as I feel the sound quality is a bit better on my Gold Headset compared to my Astro's. I'm unable to explain it eloquently enough like yourself but feel the Gold Headset has greater clarity in regards to sound compared to others I've tried. Even when switching to 1 (no bass, louder mids/highs) , 3 (too much bass) - I found Astro A50's to sound a bit muddied/mashed together (too bassy still?) when turned to 2 (flat).

 

I still compare my Astro's with the Gold's even today (last night even) and found me liking them more than my Astro's but at the same time I agree with you that the surround sound could be much better. The Gold's are directional finally due to improvement with their VSS but it has a ways to go to gain the depth and distance provided by Dolby [infused] headsets.

 

My recommendation still stands, before anyone writes the Gold's off like yourself Murderstyle75, why not give them a try instead being your opinion from others. You can always turn them back in and get a refund if you don't like them. You may be enlightened in understanding why we say what we say currently...

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Last Guardian
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Re: Gaming headset quest continued...

Feb 24, 2014
I have yet to use them in that situation... So I am not sure how good the chat is..
>

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Keyblade Wielder
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Re: Gaming headset quest continued...

Feb 24, 2014
@da1writer

But he has included the A40's into his videos. So no. This topis is not about wireless headsets. Its about gaming headsets and wired have been included as well.

And I don't need to listen to the Golds to pass judgement. I already know the tech. Telling me I need to listen to them first would be like somebody boasting about some kind of 480p gaming TV that doesn't need to plug into the wall. Well you already know 1080p, far exceeds 480p. Why would you look at it? The same apples to reference headphones compared to gaming headsets. Your ears really deserve better.
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Treasure Hunter
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Re: Gaming headset quest continued...

Feb 24, 2014

Why does everyone have to spend $300 on a stupid headset? That's dumb i'de rather spend like $60 that's just my opinion

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Keyblade Wielder
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Re: Gaming headset quest continued...

Feb 24, 2014
And $60 is perfectly fine. $40 for headphones and $20 for mic and adapter plugged into your Dual Shock.
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