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Should I pick up a new headset? Or headphones and a mic?

#1DZ0D2Posted 7/27/2014 9:22:12 PM
My X12's just broke after 2 years of work. I honestly hate the thing, but I have no idea what to do. I've seen some people recommend picking up nice headphones and a clip-on mic (as dumb as it may seem) or a stand-up mic. I need some suggestions, friends.
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#2SoulreaperX112Posted 7/27/2014 9:42:58 PM
it all depends on your budget but one of the main reasons why a separate mic and headphone is recommended is because you can get the best of both worlds. The "gaming" headsets are not really worth it and often don't have a high quality mic and if they do it could be because they are super expensive or they cut down on the speaker sound quality a bit. Usually something will be lacking in a pair of headsets(does not necessarily make them bad though) so its better to buy a high quality pair of headphones in your price range along with a nice clip on mic or desk mic.

As for which headphone to get, I don't know your budget and what your specifically looking for(noise cancellation, high bass ect..) and am not a huge audiophile who knows a lot about headphones but you can head over to the head-fi forums to see find what you are looking for.

For the microphone I have heard good things about the zalman clip on mic(I think >$10 but if your budget has no limits you can look into something like a snowball microphone, which is basicly a high quality desk mic. Also the antlion modmic 4.0 is around $50-$60 I think and is adjustable like any other headset. It comes with a magnetic clasps that can be used to attach/detach the modmic from the headphones. There are plenty of other great standalone mics out there though.
#3DZ0D2(Topic Creator)Posted 7/27/2014 10:16:31 PM
SoulreaperX112 posted...
it all depends on your budget but one of the main reasons why a separate mic and headphone is recommended is because you can get the best of both worlds. The "gaming" headsets are not really worth it and often don't have a high quality mic and if they do it could be because they are super expensive or they cut down on the speaker sound quality a bit. Usually something will be lacking in a pair of headsets(does not necessarily make them bad though) so its better to buy a high quality pair of headphones in your price range along with a nice clip on mic or desk mic.

As for which headphone to get, I don't know your budget and what your specifically looking for(noise cancellation, high bass ect..) and am not a huge audiophile who knows a lot about headphones but you can head over to the head-fi forums to see find what you are looking for.

For the microphone I have heard good things about the zalman clip on mic(I think >$10 but if your budget has no limits you can look into something like a snowball microphone, which is basicly a high quality desk mic. Also the antlion modmic 4.0 is around $50-$60 I think and is adjustable like any other headset. It comes with a magnetic clasps that can be used to attach/detach the modmic from the headphones. There are plenty of other great standalone mics out there though.


People have been recommending that zalman clip on mic a lot, but I'm more interested in a stand-up mic like the Snowball.
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i5-3570k, Asus P8Z77-V LE, Corsair Vengeance 8 GB, EVGA 760 FTW 4GB, Cooler Master GX 650w PSU, Cooler Master Storm Scout 2
#4AndronicusZeroPosted 7/27/2014 10:31:57 PM
The Zalman clip on mic does get a fair bit of hate, but for the cost I consider it to be pretty good. It's certainly nothing like a Snowball, which are fantastic.

Personally, I would get a nice set of headphones and a Snowball. But you'll need a little space for the Snowball on your desk and get used to not bumping into it and such. For the kind of sound quality they deliver, gaming headsets are a rip off in my opinion.
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#5Lemur_HPosted 7/27/2014 10:48:22 PM(edited)
Bought a Zalman clip. Even for $10 that thing was garbage.

Using a Blue Yeti USB now. $100. Anything but garbage. Ending up destroying the Zalman clip.
#6PraetorXynPosted 7/27/2014 10:52:26 PM
DZ0D2 posted...
SoulreaperX112 posted...
it all depends on your budget but one of the main reasons why a separate mic and headphone is recommended is because you can get the best of both worlds. The "gaming" headsets are not really worth it and often don't have a high quality mic and if they do it could be because they are super expensive or they cut down on the speaker sound quality a bit. Usually something will be lacking in a pair of headsets(does not necessarily make them bad though) so its better to buy a high quality pair of headphones in your price range along with a nice clip on mic or desk mic.

As for which headphone to get, I don't know your budget and what your specifically looking for(noise cancellation, high bass ect..) and am not a huge audiophile who knows a lot about headphones but you can head over to the head-fi forums to see find what you are looking for.

For the microphone I have heard good things about the zalman clip on mic(I think >$10 but if your budget has no limits you can look into something like a snowball microphone, which is basicly a high quality desk mic. Also the antlion modmic 4.0 is around $50-$60 I think and is adjustable like any other headset. It comes with a magnetic clasps that can be used to attach/detach the modmic from the headphones. There are plenty of other great standalone mics out there though.


People have been recommending that zalman clip on mic a lot, but I'm more interested in a stand-up mic like the Snowball.


You're right in that. The Snowball is a good mic. The Yeti is an even better one. If you want to step up from there, look at Audio Technica's mics.

For headphones, the first decision you need to make is open vs closed. Open cans will have much better soundstage, and that's what counts for positional audio in games (and makes listening to music sound fuller by the same token). The downside is whatever you're listening to will leak out the cans, and people can hear it. So if you're by yourself, there's no problem.

I personally have a pair of open AKG K702 65th Annies that I use at home, and a closed pair of AKG K550's that I use with my phone while walking or flying.

I can't really recommend much in the way of gaming at a low budget, just stay away from Sony M50's because people are bound to recommend them. They have terrible sound stage.

Look at the Beyer Dynamic DT 770 and DT 800 closed phones which are pretty cheap, Sennheiser HD 598, HD 600, HD 650, AKG Q701, K702, K702 Annies (identical to the Q701, except they have a nice leather headband and padded velour earcups for a lot more comfort. You can get those cheaper by getting a pair of Q701's and buying the replacement headband and pads from AKG directly, but it will still run you $330 or so probably).

If you don't have an amp, make sure you get 32 Ohm headphones. They will still sound better with an amp, but both of mine are 32 Ohm and the K550's sound fine directly out of my phone.
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#7_GRIM_FANDANGO_Posted 7/28/2014 3:47:46 PM
It depends. The headsets are nice because it is kind of an all-in-one solution. They often do their own audio processing, and you get a headphone and mic all in one product.

Though if you want to have more flexibility and choice in terms of quality, looks and features, then I find going headphone + mic (soundcard optional) the best option.

Personally I appreciate how you can avoid the whole "gamer look" if you go this route. Another advantage is that there are very good headphones for very fair prices and the overall quality and variety is better than what you can find among headsets.

When it comes to headsets, I will restrict my personal recommendations to three headsets ( keep in mind, I have of course not tried every product out there, but I have used and owned a lot of headsets). For an open headset with a good soundstage Audio Technica ATH-AD700. They give and awesome representation of depth and location of sound and are among the best in that price category when it comes to this. If instead, you are going for a closed headphone, then the AKG k550 are the only affordable headphones that I have found that successfully approach that open sound. In fact, in some respects I straight up prefer them to the AD700's which sounds a little light, lacks a little oomph here and there. This is only an issue in some music genres imo. If you want something that sounds good but you do not have the budget for the previously mentioned headsets, then the Senheiser HD 518 are a great buy in my opinion. It wont be easy finding something that sounds better at that price-point.

When it comes to mics for the average user, it is sometimes a bit of a pain in the ass. It seems that they are either crappy and useless, or a little bit over the top for the average person both in terms of size and cost. There are some products that are kind of in between though. For example, the Samson Go mic was originally intended to have a good compact mic on the go. But it also works perfectly for gamers. The sound is far superior to something crappy like the Zalman mic, and it is not as excessive as something like the Blue Yeti. Which looks like something you would purchase if you were trying to build a homestudio.
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