Published on May 25th, 2011 | by John12
>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.)
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.
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.
This is what I am calling headsets that don’t offer any sort of surround. Poop. Do not want.
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.
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:
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:
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