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-   -   Headphone/Headset advice requested (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/audio/45430-headphone-headset-advice-requested.html)

Atragon August 5, 2011 05:04 PM

Headphone/Headset advice requested
So my old microphone solution (a cheapass logitech behind the head headset) has bit the dust, and I'm looking for a replacement...

But not simply a direct replacement.

I've got a decent? set of 5.1 speakers for my desktop, so I'd be OK with just a microphone to replace, I've seen people mentioning a Zalman clip-on which sounds like it would do the job.

However, I'm going to be going on a fairly long business trip soon, and if I go that route, I'd be stuck with my laptop's crappy speakers, which I'd rather avoid.

For what it's worth, my desktop has ALC899 onboard audio (GA-P67-UD7-B3) and my laptop has ALC262 onboard audio (Fujitsu T4220).

An option that could potentially work would be a USB sound card like a Xonar U3 to use with my laptop and? desktop so I don't need to go to a USB headset/headphones.

I've read a number of threads and seen the HS1, the HS1A, the Carcharias, the G35, the 7H, the HD555, and many more. Sufficing to say, I'm a bit lost.

Usage would be, while home, games and movies, while away, movies and some basic games (gotta love Intel onboard graphics). http://hardforum.com/images/smilies/frown.gif

So, with a preferred budget of less than $100 CAD, but a willingness to go to $150 if the increase is really worth it, what would you guys recommend?

supaflyx3 August 5, 2011 05:34 PM

i have the HS1A and it's comfy as hell, and the sleeved cable is nice. I'd suggest it, on sale for $40 right now as well.

Atragon August 5, 2011 05:40 PM

Head-fi hasn't had great things to say about them, but for $40 it's really tempting, can you point me in the direction of where to find such a price?

supaflyx3 August 5, 2011 05:55 PM

NCIX.com - Buy Corsair Gaming Audio Series CA-HS1A Headset 50MM Drivers Circumaural Earcups - Corsair - CA-HS1ANA - in Canada
They don't sound amazing, but they sure are comfy.

Luay79 August 6, 2011 07:33 AM

for $150 I would get either the Sennheiser PC 333D G4ME, which btw does have its own USB sound card bundled, or the Steelseries 7H USB. Ofcourse the cheaper you go, the lee you get.

Atragon August 6, 2011 10:04 PM

That's a point well taken. And while the HS1As seem like a screaming deal at ~$50+tax shipped, they do have some shortcommings in the sound department from what I've read.

I'm leaning towards one of the following:

Steelseries 7H USB

Shure SRH440 + Zalman Clip-on or Razer Carcharias
Asus Xonar U3

Note that I feel that I need Dolby Headphone or some equivalent as I do a fair amount of gaming, and positional audio is important to me, thus onboard audio won't cut it on those grounds alone.

In terms of pricing that I can find, it looks like the Steelseries would weigh in at $130+tax, the Shure at between $140 and $150 + tax (including ~$35 for xonar and ~$10 for mic), and the Carcharias at between $100 and $115 + tax (including ~$35 for xonar).

JMCD August 6, 2011 11:44 PM

I really like the G35s. They are expensive though, but Canada Computers sells a refurbished pair for $70. It's the way to go if you choose USB imo.

Dmitry August 7, 2011 06:38 AM

i have had the experience with many of the headsets that you mentioned, and have to say that the 7H from SteelSeries has done the job well in terms of all aspects of the headset.

I love that the microphone can be hidden, not the case with all of the other headsets with the huge mic hanging on the side of your head.

The comfort is real good. Two option for ear padding: pleather [noise isolating] and softer material to give an open audio environment. So you can choose w/e you feel you need.

Already comes with the sound card, and i think its just over $100 but im sure a sale will come around.

The only drawback to the 7H would be its built quality. Its not as solid as the H1 for e.g. but with extra care should be fine.

P.S. i had to RMA mine after 3 months of use, as right speaker wouldnt work, RMA took 1 week...yep, i was surprised as well. Have had the replacement for over 5 months, no issues so far.

Atragon August 8, 2011 04:46 AM

So, based on the recommendations I got from Head-Fi, I wound up going for a pair of Shure SRH440 headphones, which are absolutely fantastic. Now I just need to pick up a sound card that can do Dolby Headphone or CMSS 3D for gaming and I'll be set. :biggrin:

In that respect, I'm eyeballing a Xonar U3 for my laptop, and either a Xonar DG or DX for my desktop.

ilya August 8, 2011 04:58 AM

The Xonar U3 is almost internally identical to the Xonar DG in terms of sound quality. In fact I would argue the U3 might be better as it's better shielded against external noise. I would just get that and see if you're satisfied with the sound quality.

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