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Gaming Headset 7.1 or not?


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#1 tbris84

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:50 PM

I'm no audiophile, but I would like to get a nice sounding headset. I've been a huge Sennheiser fan over the past 7 years or so. I'm a bit uneducated when it comes to headset/headphone and sound cards. I really like the idea of 7.1 surround sound in a headset for the positional awareness in FPS games. I would like an attached mic, wireless would be a plus too, but neither are a must have.

My roommate has the wireless Logitech G930s, and they seem pretty nice, but when I think audio I don't think Logitech. I have the MSI P67A-G43 motherboard with onboard 7.1 surround sound. However, the only 7.1 headsets I've seen come with a USB audio card, are these the only way to get 7.1 in a headset? I've read about virtual surround sound from non 7.1 headsets, what does that mean and is there a notable difference?

I just stumbled across the new Razer Tiamat 7.1 headset which has 5 x 3.5mm jacks and you need a compatible sound card to use them. Would they work with my on board? They're a bit pricey, and not actually for sale yet, but if that's my only option so be it.

TL:DR- Budget $<150. Must have: Covers my entire ear, good noise cancellation. Prefer to have: 7.1 surround sound, microphone.
Looking at, Sennheiser HD280PRO($80), RS160($120), PC333D($115), Razer Tiamat 7.1($180)
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#2 bp9801

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:10 PM

I've used simulated 7.1 surround sound with the Sennheiser HD 280 and HD 555 headphones. Both work out really well, plus they are actual headphones so you get better sound out of them period. For a microphone, you can get a clip-on mic to cover that need.

Currently, I'm using the Sennheiser PC 350 headset with simulated 7.1 surround sound. No issues there, again, but the PC 350 headset requires an amp in order to get the best sound due to the relatively high impedance. The pair I'm using are the ones bundled with the ASUS Xonar Xense sound card, so instead of the 3.5mm jacks it has 6.3mm jacks. Plus the sound card has a built-in amp, so that takes care of that issue.

The Razer Tiamat will work just fine on your motherboard, though I am not overly fond of onboard sound. I know other people say they are just fine, but when you get some good quality gear, you need something to deliver a higher quality sound.

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#3 Muchoman1

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:17 PM

All those headphones are simulated except the taimat, it well work with your mobo, and wind need an amp because each driver is quite small and low imp.

The taimat s only purpose is gaming, as each driver is low powered they are made to work in a group, so unless you have 7.1 ch music to listen to, don't expect anything stellar

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#4 4th3truth

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 10:09 PM

I'm no audiophile, but I would like to get a nice sounding headset. I've been a huge Sennheiser fan over the past 7 years or so. I'm a bit uneducated when it comes to headset/headphone and sound cards. I really like the idea of 7.1 surround sound in a headset for the positional awareness in FPS games. I would like an attached mic, wireless would be a plus too, but neither are a must have.

My roommate has the wireless Logitech G930s, and they seem pretty nice, but when I think audio I don't think Logitech. I have the MSI P67A-G43 motherboard with onboard 7.1 surround sound. However, the only 7.1 headsets I've seen come with a USB audio card, are these the only way to get 7.1 in a headset? I've read about virtual surround sound from non 7.1 headsets, what does that mean and is there a notable difference?

I just stumbled across the new Razer Tiamat 7.1 headset which has 5 x 3.5mm jacks and you need a compatible sound card to use them. Would they work with my on board? They're a bit pricey, and not actually for sale yet, but if that's my only option so be it.

TL:DR- Budget $<150. Must have: Covers my entire ear, good noise cancellation. Prefer to have: 7.1 surround sound, microphone.
Looking at, Sennheiser HD280PRO($80), RS160($120), PC333D($115), Razer Tiamat 7.1($180)


I am wondering if the Tiamat's 10 speaker setup will deliver the similar large soundscape found on the HD280s( $80) good stereo speakers or I have heard that the SRH840 ($170 ) has the best mid-range clarity for hearing for example gun fire in the distance through all the foreground noise. I personally want the best quality directional headset for under $200 for competitive FPS play.

#5 d6bmg

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 03:04 AM

Saw & used Razer Tiamat 7.1at my friends place several times. It looked like a awesome vfm headset and thus I'll advise you go for the same.

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#6 Fogel

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 02:13 PM

Not sure why 7.1 is a must as I don't ever have an issue figuring out which direction sounds I've heard are coming from ...that is even with just pathetic TV speakers, to 2.1 PC speakers, to reguar headphones with onboard sound to the G35s. I will say the G35s are a little more immersive in that regard so its a bit more enjoyable (when gaming) compared to the other options ...but I don't think it gives you an edge.

The problem with any USB based headset like the Razer Tiamat 7.1 or the G35 you will be sacrificing audio quality as everything is going through software on your PC in addition to the soundcard in the headset. Sounds like you are mostly concerned with gaming so I would go with the G35. It is the cheapest 7.1 solution yet one of the best for gaming. I've had zero issues with the mic as it worked with Vent right off the bat and people say I'm quite clear and they sound clear to me. I've used it with BF3 and I've had no issues picking out the direction of noises while communicating with my friend and his friend. I'm a little picky on music quality so I had to buy a separate set of phones for music ...though I would have regardless of any gaming set I would have got. Besides I'm not big on listening to music while playing FPS games as I want the advantage of hearing my environment.

Edited by Fogel, 09 January 2012 - 02:14 PM.


#7 tbris84

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:58 PM

The Tiamat 7.1's aren't USB based, they have 3 3.5mm jacks and a USB plug solely for power. Not sure if I want to drop 180$ on a headset though.
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#8 Fogel

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:44 AM

The Tiamat 7.1's aren't USB based, they have 3 3.5mm jacks and a USB plug solely for power. Not sure if I want to drop 180$ on a headset though.


Oops! I see what I was doing when I made that post.

Now that I am looking at the correct headset I would have to agree with Muchoman. I wouldn't expect anything stellar outside of gaming and possibly movies. Looks too gimicky for me. I sure wouldn't pay that much for a set of gaming cans. If they were competing in the same price range as the G35, or maybe for like $20 more I would consider ...but not at $100 more. The $99 set of Tiamats look like an even bigger waste of money since their functionality is reduced by quite a bit, but I'm sure they make your ears sparkle with leds!

I would love to try them out and see how well they work but even if they worked great I'm not sure I could justify that cost. I'd rather buy another SSD or another set of music cans.

#9 Master Binky

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 11:57 AM

I have a set of Astro A40's with the mixamp as well as an Asus xonar sound card in my pc.

I've tested with the little bose headphones that are like $80 and the A40's on the mixamp (consoles and PC) and the onboard audio, and Xonar card, and what I think it comes down to is that the soundcard is what makes all the difference in the world with any decent headphones. I haven't heard any of the actual multiple speaker in an ear headsets, but I think if you want to hear a difference that makes you grin, don't use the onboard (unless it's a high-end onboard) sound. I'm weary of the USB soundcards too, I really was interested in that diablo 3 headset until I saw that.. bleh...

Edited by Master Binky, 13 January 2012 - 12:06 PM.


#10 Waco

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:05 PM

I have a set of Turtle Beach HPA2s (real 5.1 surround) and while they are nice...you can get positional audio that's 99.9% of the way there with simple stereo headsets.

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#11 Master Binky

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:15 PM

The benefit of multiple speakers in the earpiece that I would be able to see is that you no longer rely on algorithms to down convert into two drivers. Getting those right is the tricky part, which is why I thought the Psyko headset was a spiffy idea since it was designed to give the proper delay to each ear by physical means instead of a modeled delay.

The way I see it, you only have two ears, more speakers are just making it easier to skip a physics calculation.

#12 NoSnipeLimit

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:34 AM

I had the Razer Barracuda 5.1 headphones. Was much better than my $5 headset.
I new have Sennheiser 558. The razer did have a better soundstage for counterstrike, I found that it's more difficult to place ppl with the sennheisers.
However the difference in sound quality is huge, I can faster tell that someone is close with the sennheisers than the razers.
I've not used virtual sound.