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Gaming Headset question:

#1masterchief8495Posted 10/1/2013 11:48:19 AM
I'm thinking of getting a pair of gaming headsets and was looking for some input. I've narrowed it down to 2 items. 1: the sharkoon x-tatic pro 5.1 or 2: the astro a40's. The a40's are more expensive and have had some hardware issues, but are considered the best pair of headphones bar none. The sharkoons are less known but cheaper and i've only heard one or two bad written reviews on amazon. So if anyone has experience with either of these headsets or any headsets I'm open to suggestions. I'm mainly looking for a universal headset (for pc, 360, ps3) with surround sound. Thanks ahead of time.


Here are links to the products I'm looking at-
Sharkoon: (http://www.amazon.com/Sharkoon-Xtatic-Headset-Xbox-360-63043006306200/dp/B009YBWXHY/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=2VFOVDPBLAN57&coliid=ILUPTMUV1TP2J)
a40:(http://www.astrogaming.com/a40-audio-system-neon-color-series)
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"Le grill? What the hell can that mean!"-Homer
#2CapwnDPosted 10/1/2013 12:24:46 PM(edited)
I've had much experience with the Astro mixamps and A40 headpohones, and with Turtle Beach equipment.

The Astro A40 with mixamp is a good setup. The new mixamps, the Mixamp 2013 are ok. I don't like how they have a bit of extra noise compared to the older Mixamp, but they have a second amp that is supposed to be doing voice separately, so I guess that's where the extra noise comes from. If it completely solved the "problem" (i put it in quotations because I think it's a problem, but others many not) of voice being a bit hard to hear over game audio, then I would give it a pass. But the extra amp doesn't seem to be much different than the original Astro Mixamp.

If you really want the best of the best, It's going to cost a little more. Up to about $300, and if you want to take it up to the next step it will cost another $70 to $80 for a total of $380.

--Sennheiser PC360 $170
--Mixamp 2013 $130 ( I prefer the old model Mixamp over the 2013 edition, especially for the more elaborate setup that I explain below).

That alone would be enough, but the better setup would also include:

--DSS2 $66
--1 foot patch cable, male to male (recommend a high quality, thick one such as the premium thickness from Monoprice) $ 5 to 10

In the second example, you would use the DSS2 for game audio, and that would run through the mixamp ( into the MP3 jack) and the Mixamp would handle only the chat (disable the surround sound in the mixamp). It's a complicated setup but it works great, and really drives the nice Sennheiser headphones while also giving you chat that's loud enough to be heard over the game audio.
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Death to Videodrome, Long Live the New Flesh
#3masterchief8495(Topic Creator)Posted 10/1/2013 1:22:57 PM
I am currently looking at the Sennheiser PC360 headphones you are recommending, but would I, someone who has never owned a pro pair of headphones notice the difference between the a40's and the Sennheiser PC360?
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"Le grill? What the hell can that mean!"-Homer
#4CapwnDPosted 10/1/2013 1:55:23 PM(edited)
Yes. The PC360 are open air desgin, and the A40 are a closed back design.

It sounds pretty much exactly how you'd think it sounds. The open air design feels like maybe you don't even have headphones on, and the first time I experienced them I had to take my headphones off to make sure my receiver wasn't actually putting the sound through my house speakers.

The closed back design headphones feel (sound) more like you have headhpones on your head, feels like a box on your head. Not as open sounding. Not bad, but I prefer that open air sound.

The PC360 are also physically lighter. My only complaint is that the PC360 with Mixamp doesn't quite give you the punch, doesn't really fill the speaker like it should, not with voice and game audio together. That's why I do the more elaborate setup. So because of this, I'm almost more inclined to recommend the A40 with mixamp instead of the PC360 with mixamp (unless you're doing the ultimate setup with the DSS2 as well).
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Death to Videodrome, Long Live the New Flesh
#5CapwnDPosted 10/1/2013 2:17:27 PM
I would look at youtube and get some more opinions. The thing with all these headphones is that there's always a negative.

With the PC360, it's the fact that it takes more to drive the awesome speakers, and the mixamp alone may not quite do it well enough. Still sounds great, but when you have voice chat also on, it takes away from the game audio. Also, the mic on the PC360 isn't loud, and sometimes I feel like my teammates only hear half of what I say.

The A40 are good all around. But the sound quality isn't quite as brilliant as the PC360, and they're not quite as comfortable (but you get used to them, wear them for hours and hours with no discomfort). The mic is excellent, and works very well with the Mixamp.

Turtle Beach headphones sound pretty good, my issues with them were more of a quality issue with extra noise and stuff. If you want to see the evolution of the things I've tried, and what worked and what didn't work for me, I have a post here:
http://s1.zetaboards.com/FewGoodMen/topic/4003682/1/#new
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Death to Videodrome, Long Live the New Flesh
#6ShuraYukihimePosted 10/1/2013 2:37:00 PM
The a40s are "popular" but they are far from the best. The mix amp is the real gem.

Find a pair of headphones that you like and combine it with the amp. The addition of the DSS box is also good.
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I'm searching the city for sci fi wasabi.
#7masterchief8495(Topic Creator)Posted 10/1/2013 3:28:49 PM
Alright I'll keep all this in the back of my head when deciding what to purchase. As it stands it seems like everything will cost at least $300 for the ultimate setup. Frankly i'm still considering the $160 sharkoons which comes with it's own version of the mixamp, but It is not as versatile as astro's amp, so I'm not sure what i'll do.
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"Le grill? What the hell can that mean!"-Homer
#8CapwnDPosted 10/1/2013 3:43:34 PM
If you do decide to do the double amp thing, I suggest using the DSS2 for the game audio, and run the patch cable from the DSS2 output to the Mixamp MP3 input, and disable the surround sound on the mixamp, and you can turn the audio all the way to "voice" IIRC.

Or alternately you could run the mixamp output into the DSS2 MP3 input. I've done it both ways, I think I do it this second way now, so that I don't have to have the Mixamp on if I'm not playing MP.
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Death to Videodrome, Long Live the New Flesh
#9masterchief8495(Topic Creator)Posted 10/1/2013 5:02:03 PM
All right thanks for explaining that because I'd hate to go all out and screw up the setup
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"Le grill? What the hell can that mean!"-Homer
#10CapwnDPosted 10/1/2013 6:09:24 PM
If you do the double amp thing I'd be happy to help you, make sure you have it set up correctly. PM me here or catch me on XBL or steam. Same name, except Steam is with an X at the end.
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Death to Videodrome, Long Live the New Flesh