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Published on May 25th, 2011 | by John

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>Gaming headsets – what am I looking for?

>A quality headset is crucial to any serious gamer. It’s even crucial for a non-serious gamer. It’s the difference between hearing xXnoscopezxX sneaking up on you and knifing you, and you pooping on him for being stupid. In this article I will discuss the different types of headphones and products I find to be worthwhile investments. (There are not many. Headsets are something you shouldn’t skimp out on.)

Type


First, there are 3 types of headphones. I will break these down for you now.

Circumaural (gaming headsets are primarily circumaural)

These are full-sized headphones. These headphones sit around your ear, and do a good job of blocking outside noise, while remaining comfortable for extended use.

Supra-Aural (which are mighty uncomfortable)

These headphones sit over top of your ear, like old school walkman headphones. They suck. Do not want.

In-Ear Headphones (buds)

High-end earbuds can offer some of the best sound quality out there, but are not as comfortable for long gaming sessions. You will never see a set of earbuds with a built in microphone, which is a crucial component to gaming with your bros.

Sound Quality

Pretty much every company that makes audio products uses stupid numbers to explain the sound quality of their product. Truth is – nobody really knows what any of this means. Let me break that down for you in a very easy way:

5.1 surround sound

5.1 is a commonly used term for 6 channel surround sound audio systems. The most common setup for 5.1 in audio setups is 3 in the front, 2 in the side/back. (on the left and right side, but more towards the back.)

In a gaming headset – 5.1 would allow you to hear people coming from behind you in each ear individually. If somebody is sneaking up on you from the right rear – you will only hear them in the right headphone and vice versa. This is almost crucial for any competitive FPS.

7.1 surround sound

7.1 is a commonly used term for 8 channel surround sound audio systems. The most common setup for this is 2 in the front, 1 on each side, 2 in the back.

Honestly, when gaming, I have never been able to notice a difference. This is why this is our blog. Opinions, lol.

Poop sound

This is what I am calling headsets that don’t offer any sort of surround. Poop. Do not want.

Build Quality


Now we are going to start discussing products a bit. One thing that should be taken into consideration over all other factors is build quality. You may not realize it – but your headset takes a beating. Day in and day out wear and tear takes a toll pretty quickly. Make sure your product is built well enough to put up with your abuse every day.

Wires

Thickness. Look for thickness. (That’s what she said.)
Quality products will come with sleeves around the actual wires. You want this.

Material (on the actual earphones)

You don’t want fake leather. You don’t want paper thin cloth. You want something that will take the wear and tear of being put on and taken off 30 times a day.

No shitty thin plastic. You want something sturdy. Something that would take some effort to snap with your hands. (You are going to run it over with your computer chair. It’s inevitable.)

Products recommended by John:

Razer Carcharias

Image courtesy www.razerzone.com

Steelseries Siberia

Image courtesy www.steelseries.com

I currently use both of these products. I swap them out periodically just because I’m weird.The prices may look steep. However, spending 20 bucks on a headset just means it’ll break sooner, and in the long run you will spend more than 80 bucks. I’ve had my Carcharias for 2 years now, and my Siberias for 3. Strong, quality products for a reasonable price.

You can spend less if you want, but I won’t recommend it. You get what you pay for. Don’t sell yourself short.

If you’re feeling like P. Diddy and you want to splurge hardcore, I’d recommend:

Razer Megalodon

Image courtesy www.razerzone.com

This bad boy will run you a hefty 150 big ones, but it’s well worth it. The sound quality is out of this world judging by the consumer reviews. I’m cheap. I don’t have one


12 Responses to >Gaming headsets – what am I looking for?

  1. Welshboy2142 says:

    >Razer Carcharias are a really good set of headphones, i've got one and the sound quality is incredible. The only problem i had was that the wires kept on twisting on their own and their eventually broke. The microphone's broken on it but the speakers still work with great quality.

  2. Safriix says:

    >I have Supra headphones, only the right earpiece works. Due to my PC actually. The headset works on my TV and other PCs.

  3. Vectivus says:

    >I'm surprised you don't mention the Sennheiser PC350 headset at all. It's pretty incredible, IMO.

  4. essinDEES says:

    >@Vectivus – Sennheiser has the best sound quality but also some of the worst durability judging by consumer reviews. 30mm jacks seem to die quickly and you lose sound channels.

  5. Janzzze says:

    >i use the steelseries 5Hv2 and it sucks it has broken on me 6 times and the warranty is over now:(

    the QPAD 1339 is a best of a headset but it cost like almost $250 and is basicly a pair beyerdynamic
    headphones with a studio mic strapped to it

  6. npartain90 says:

    >The razer links to a chinese site.

  7. bpost says:

    >LOL thanks for the heads up npartain90 – fixed to http://www.razerzone.com – not sure what the hell I was thinking.

  8. Citizen says:

    >On a side note, "circumaural" sounds like an amazingly dirty word.

  9. Henrik says:

    >If you really want some good sound you should just look into a Sennheiser and a good sound card IMO. Apparently their PC360 is amazing, but maybe a bit pricey?

    As for the megalodon, don't know much about them but anything that comes with a built in soundboard sounds bad in my ears.

  10. cheddarchezz says:

    >@vectivus I really love my pc350's. Haven't had any issues with them and I have owned them for about a year now, and have dropped them a few times. AND I say "and" more times than you can

  11. Elizabeth says:

    >I have the Mega's and they are AMAZING. I can hear in every direction perfectly. Only problem is you might get kicked for hacking. Like I did…. a few times.

  12. 5be6360e-9057-11e0-8368-000bcdcb5194 says:

    >Supra-aural can actually be better than you'd think – Turtle Beach's HPX headset is a fantastically comfortable supra-aural and will run you under 90 dollars. I guess it sort of depends on ear size, though; for some people they're big enough to nearly be circumaural. That said, I tend to agree about that type of headset – exception that proves the rule, perhaps.

essindees

JohnJohn

Dicks and butts. Title: Internet Famous About: John loves all things FPS games. John hates all things thumbsticks.


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