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  • nathanddrews - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    I've spent years underpaying for headsets, just "getting by" on whatever $10 special I could get and it was always frustrating. I even got to the point of using my Xbox 360 headset plugged into my controller (plugged in via USB) in order to have a quality mic. I have a massive cranium, so nothing has ever worked that well.

    That is until my wife bought me a Logitech G930. It's the best headset I've ever owned, but I've never owned one over $20 before.
  • KarmaKrissy - Sunday, July 19, 2015 - link

    I used a Logitech G930 myself for years. I then took a step up and went for the SteelSeries H after seeing this guide - definitely more expensive but well worth it IMO if you're a hardcore gamer like me. Don't get me wrong, the Logitech is a steal for when you're on a budget, and is also highly rated in that same list, but it really can't compete with the SteelSeries H (it is wireless, has surround sound, and the mic is retractable unlike many other products) - everything you'd need in a gaming headset. Reply
  • Sandcat - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    Previously I used Roccat Kaves, until I learned that 5.1 headphones are a gimmick, and got a set of Audio Technica 700's, and stuck a Zalman mic on them. Soundstage is brilliant, couldn't be happier. Reply
  • Bull Dog - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    I use Roccat Kave 'true' 5.1 Headphones. They are no gimmick, with them I can discern sounds that are coming from behind, from the ones in front of me. I used a couple of pairs of simulated surround headphones once, and I was not impressed. They just didn't achieve the same effect as real surround headphones do for me. Reply
  • Sandcat - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    I agree that they Kave's have 5.1 sound. The bass on them is far greater than the stuff on my ATH-700's, what with the rumble effect and all. I used the same soundcard with both cans. The Kaves have far smaller drivers, so that might have something to do with it, but the sound stage on the 700's blew them away. The Kave's have nice punch, but I have far greater positional accuracy with the 700's. I still have the Kaves and go back to them every once in a while to make sure I'm using the right ones. Every time I confirm my 700's as superior.

    I wouldn't simulate 5.1 either, to get a pair of stereo speakers to give surround sound. Instead I urge you to beg/borrow/steal a pair and watch the virtual barber: to determine how good they are. With your eyes closed.
  • theNiZer - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    I am shocked that you did not include Sennheiser, see:

    U 320 is great stuff:
  • DanNeely - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    Sennheiser probably declined to send a review sample. Ad banner revenue isn't high enough to go out and buy hardware to test; so review sites are mostly limited to what the vendors are willing to provide. Reply
  • Maltz - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    I have a Sennheiser headset I've used for roughly 5 years. They are amazingly great. Comfortable to wear for hours on end, good sound, good mic placement so that it picks up you and not the whole room, inline volume and mute, small USB dongle or minijacks... the works! It even came with a thing to wind extra cord around to keep it out of the way. Very well thought out headset. Reply
  • HOSH - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    I have owned the Sennheiser HMD 280-13 Pro DJ/Custom 300ohm headset for 6+ years and they still sound great and I can pick up footsteps behind me in game. It was the only closed surround headset with a mic boom from them back then that was reasonable. It will be picking up a PC 350 and PC 360 or similar series in the next year to replace what I have for gaming. Reply
  • Cow86 - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    Interesting that you find the Steelseries Siberia V2 so bad...I own them, but mine have no USB connection, and no inbuilt audio. So apparerently there are different versions of these... Mine plug directly into my ASUS Xonar sound card, and the audio quality is far superior to my logitech headset that I owned prior. Also very comfortable as you say.

    They do have one problem though, that apparently is fairly common with quality isn't so great. In my case the mic has developed a loose connection when extended, so I've had to stop using it as I just don't know if my voice is going through or not otherwise. Good thing I have another mic.
  • Cow86 - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    Sorry, I meant Creative headset as what I owned prior...Fatal1ty gaming headset to be precise. Reply
  • MooseMuffin - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    The mic input on my xonar has some sort of ground loop that transmits an annoying hum to whoever I'm talking to as soon as my graphics card ramps up, and no amount of googling has turned up a solution. I've found a usb mic to be a requirement. Reply
  • Soulwager - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    Have you tried putting the sound card in a different PCIe slot, and maybe rerouting the cables that provide power to the video card? Reply
  • Cow86 - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    Yea, Soulwager has good suggestions here...that's electrical interference, distance can help a lot. Even a few cm's more. I used to get the same with my soundcard being next to my wireless card...except I got hum on the audio output at times. Moving it down a slot fixed it. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    Razer gave away their 7.1 software option for Synapse users. So you don't even need their headphones to get their great 7.1 software.

    Don't know why anyone would buy a "gaming headset" when you don't have to. Put that money toward a real set of cans and, if you really must, use the free Razer software to simulate 7.1.
  • Spoony - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    I hunted a long time to find a single headset that combined high quality headphones, a good mic, comfort, and device portability (Mac, PC, Cell Phone). This ended up being way more challenging than I expected.

    However, victory was mine in the form of the AKG HSC 271.

    These basically combine a good midrange audiophile headset, the AKG K 271 MK II. With a flexible boom electret condenser mic. You then purchase the additional cable (AKG MK HS MiniJack Headset Cable) and end up with the normal 2x 3.5mm 3-pole computer plugs.

    The solution is a bit pricey, a bit more than $300. However, you can listen to music happily, VoIP, play games. Talk on your cell phone even with a 2x 3.5mm 3-pole to 1x 3.5mm 4-pole adapter. The adapter is also required for the headset to work with recent Macs which have decided to lose the dedicated 3.5mm input. Doesn't work with iPhones due to voltage issues, works fine with most Android phones.

    Review of the K 271 MK2:
    Website for HSC 271:

    Unfortunately getting your paws on them generally involves going through a distributor and special ordering from AKG. However, it is uniquely positioned to appeal to a certain requirement.
  • hrrmph - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link


    Thanks for the tip. Some of us do appreciate that type of info.
  • Silma - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    My own experience is that while there are superior keyboards, most gaming headphones are overexpensive pieces of crap.
    - I dealy loved my Sennheiser PC350 but it lasted only 2 years which is unacceptable for the price.
    - I highly recommend against Steelseries Siberia xx if you don't have a small head, because of the way it is build your cranium will make the headset make mechanical noises which are extremely unnerving and as an added bonus are very well transmitted by the mic to all your teamspeak/mumble friends.
    - I have owned many more, including one of the Creative Fatality with detachable mic - guess what I lost it.
    - In the end I went back to basic, used my Audio Technical ATH-M50 monitoring headset, a superb headset for music lovers/producers, plugged into a Roland audio interface, plus a cheap plantronics mic on a plastic stand which is actually very good for voice, it's only default being too near my mechanical keyboard so push to talk is a must.
  • Silma - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    If you like music and never ever tried a monitoring headset, I would urge you to in a good hifi store / professional audio store and give it a try. You may rediscover music.
    As an added bonus they are very good for games too. Sound is sound and games with great music/sound effects are really nice to hear.
  • phillyry - Monday, September 02, 2013 - link

    @Silma with Sennheiser (at least in Canada but I'd think elsewhere too), you can RMA pretty much any set of headphones. If they're in warranty then all you'll pay is the one way shipping. If they're out of warranty then they'll let you pick an equivalent new set [read any new set you want] for 50% off.

    I've checked this over with them and it actually makes for a great upgrade incentive. I don't think they can advertise it because that's basically selling new products straight to the consumer and would probably piss off their distributors if they did but it's a great unofficial loyalty program and has kept me happily coming back for more Sennies.
  • 1Angelreloaded - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    Ironically My favorite pair of headcans for music is the Bower and Wilkins P5s, but they will cost you an arm and a leg, Sennheiser second for music. Now for Chat based gaming My favorite pair was the Creative Labs Fatality MK2 the only failings were in the mic construction that was flimsy, and I have being delivered a G930 headset to try out, I'm hoping they are good for wireless Audio. Reply
  • Craig234 - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    I can just say a couple things.

    One is that year ago - I'm guessing about 10 - I got the Plantronics GamePro 1 headset.

    It's great. I can't compare it technically to others, but it's light to wear - I wear it many hours a day, never discomfort - and sound is 'perfectly fine gaming sound' with good directional sound.

    I hear (no pun intended) nothing but good things about the mic quality.

    They're in the 'I'd be happy to get there again, what else do I want' area, though it's always tempting to look for some amazing sound quality.

    Unfortunately, they're also no longer made - the only ones I found in a quick online search were on Amazon for $140, instead of the 'normal' $50 price. I assume there's a replacement?

    The lesson from them I guess is that the light, more open style seems to be great to use.

    The second thing is that I bought the World of Warcraft headset for $100 or more. Immediately on putting it on, it was sort of heavy and bulky, not that comfortable - naturally things that only get worse, and after wearing them briefly it's a relief to take them off. Unfortunately, the sound quality doesn't do anything to justify the discomfort; and I had nothing but complaints about the mic.

    So, they're a $100 loss, worn an hour or two, lesson being the bigger, bulkier headsets have that discomfort issue, and I should have tried to find a way to test them first.

    I wouldn't underrate comfort in picking a gaming headset - make it a requirement. You don't need to feel annoyed every time you use them.
  • jedolley - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    The Razer Kraken 7.1 does have a mute option... There is a button on the mic itself that toggles the mute feature.

    As for Synapse, once you create an account you can set it for auto login. Also, the software is also usable offline.
  • Craig234 - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    Not sure why my previous comment disappeared.

    About a decade ago I got the Plantronics GamePro 1 - they've been great. Good gaming sounds, I can tell directions. The mic people say sounds great. The biggest positive is comfort.

    Unfortunately they're no longer made - $140 now on Amazon instead of $50.

    Later I spent $100+ on World of Warcraft headphones. They were immediately uncomfortably bulky. The sound wasn't that good; people said the mic didn't sound good.

    Seems to me that the lighter headphones are much better to use - it matters to have the comfort.

    I can't compare the audio quality, but as much as I like good sound, I suspect the comfort outweighs having 'great' instead of 'good' sound.
  • TinCity - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    Picked up a pair of those blue ones on Amazon for a cheaper rate with free 2 day shipping. Here's the deal that I got: - Can't wait for them to arrive. The reviews are also awesome. Reply

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