Yet another headphone thread

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

That's good info on the disc polishers. I expected to have to try that once I start ripping older things. I'm just happy that EAC will NOT rip the track if there are issues. Then I can go and re-buy the CD or try polishing it. Ripping it in iTunes would give me imperfect rips that I would end up discovering later on. I hate when that happens.

If you dig into the settings of EAC, there is some great error correction features. Extraction may take longer than real time, but I used it to extract wavs from some f'd up CDs and it worked great. I have had a couple tracks get copied that had a skip or two, but it was from an unplayable CD. It is impressive software.

So I seem to have horrible luck with gaming headsets. My latest headset is a Plantronics that I've had for about a year 1/2. Last night it just snapped when I put it on, not sure what happened. I've probably gone through 3 headsets in the past several years, one being destroyed in a tug of war with my kid, the other being one I stepped on like an idiot.

So here's my question: what's the life expectancy of a gaming headset? Should I expect to replace headsets every few years? Also, what are your recommendations for getting a good gaming headset? I paid about $60 for my old set, but am willing to put out for the higher products if they'll last longer.

jdzappa wrote:

So I seem to have horrible luck with gaming headsets. My latest headset is a Plantronics that I've had for about a year 1/2. Last night it just snapped when I put it on, not sure what happened. I've probably gone through 3 headsets in the past several years, one being destroyed in a tug of war with my kid, the other being one I stepped on like an idiot.

So here's my question: what's the life expectancy of a gaming headset? Should I expect to replace headsets every few years? Also, what are your recommendations for getting a good gaming headset? I paid about $60 for my old set, but am willing to put out for the higher products if they'll last longer.

Well, life expectancy should be a very long time unless something happens like "tug of war with my kid." After my recent foray into expensive headphones, I would still suggest the Steelseries Siberia V2s for gaming headphones. They are extremely comfortable after long gaming sessions. I will get a bit of pinch on my ear after hours of wearing them, but it's not bad. The retractable pullout mic is just plain convenient and awesome. I paid too much for them at some point, but you can get them for $90 on Amazon.

A lot of people have recommended the Razer Carcharias headset which is similar. It's got a boom mic however, which might sound better, but isn't retractable. They don't look as pretty as the Steelseries, but I know there have been some good deals on them once in awhile.

While you're figuring out the life expectancy of better headsets, spend $15 on these beauties.

They're cheap and work great. And while you have them you can decide if spending $100 on another set is something you need to do.

jdzappa wrote:

So I seem to have horrible luck with gaming headsets. My latest headset is a Plantronics that I've had for about a year 1/2. Last night it just snapped when I put it on, not sure what happened. I've probably gone through 3 headsets in the past several years, one being destroyed in a tug of war with my kid, the other being one I stepped on like an idiot.

So here's my question: what's the life expectancy of a gaming headset? Should I expect to replace headsets every few years? Also, what are your recommendations for getting a good gaming headset? I paid about $60 for my old set, but am willing to put out for the higher products if they'll last longer.

http://www.astrogaming.com/products/

They have the best sound systems you can buy out of the box for gaming. It is comparable to a personal home theater just for your head. The wired version is a mature well tested product. Even if you do not pair it with one of their headsets, it is worth the investment. The wireless version works great too, but it has far fewer connection options.

I use mine with the Sennheiser HD595, but they have gone up significantly in price. Same with the HD555 model.

Whether you decide to go surround sound or not, I think these headphones would be a good choice on their own or with the mixamp:

http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-HD-...

Pair it with a Zalman clip mic. They cost about ten bucks. Just a good cheap omnidirectional mic. that is easy to replace or remove, but it integrates perfect with a ten foot headphone cord.

I think you are correct in recommending the Sennheisers heavyfuel. They should be better sounding than what I recommended and there are many excellent deals to be had. I still love the Sennheiser 428s I bought (I think that was something you recommended) for on the go with my iPhone and laptop.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

I think you are correct in recommending the Sennheisers heavyfuel. They should be better sounding than what I recommended and there are many excellent deals to be had. I still love the Sennheiser 428s I bought (I think that was something you recommended) for on the go with my iPhone and laptop.

I am amazed they are getting so expensive; the old 5xx line. I am glad I got my HD595 before they went back up to $250. The new 5xx line is becoming the better deal. The old models are becoming collectors items apparently.

heavyfeul wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

I think you are correct in recommending the Sennheisers heavyfuel. They should be better sounding than what I recommended and there are many excellent deals to be had. I still love the Sennheiser 428s I bought (I think that was something you recommended) for on the go with my iPhone and laptop.

I am amazed they are getting so expensive; the old 5xx line. I am glad I got my HD595 before they went back up to $250. The new 5xx line is becoming the better deal. The old models are becoming collectors items apparently.

Wow, the HD 595s are really "expensive" now. I just bought the AKG K702s for $250. They are not necessarily better, but they are more reduced in price at the moment.

Anyone know where I can score a pair of v-moda crossfade M-80's in Canada? They've reviewed well and they seem like a good option for a pair of portable cans. Alternatives are welcome as well

heavyfeul wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

I think you are correct in recommending the Sennheisers heavyfuel. They should be better sounding than what I recommended and there are many excellent deals to be had. I still love the Sennheiser 428s I bought (I think that was something you recommended) for on the go with my iPhone and laptop.

I am amazed they are getting so expensive; the old 5xx line. I am glad I got my HD595 before they went back up to $250. The new 5xx line is becoming the better deal. The old models are becoming collectors items apparently.

The 595's are, I thought, discontinued, and replaced with the HD598's. That might explain the reason for the price hike? Like you, I got my 595's a few years back and only paid $175 shipped. They are absolutely wonderful, and I use them for both gaming and music (plugged into the Total Bithead)

For gaming sessions where I need voice, I use a cheap pair of USB Logitech headphones with a mic.

To update my current situation, I just bought a LOT of music this last weekend on CD and vinyl. I picked up that Hillary Hahn - Bach Violin Concertos that Thin_J recommended (really good by the way). A couple of favorite things I picked up were the Beatles Stereo Remasters, Miles Davis 40th Anniversary Bitches Brew (has many CDs and Vinyl Discs), and Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon (30th Anniversary remasters).

Now I'm just waiting on the Maverick D2/A1 combo I ordered. The D2 is currently on backorder, so it'll be late December or early January before I get that. For now, I'm beginning the long process of ripping all of these recent purchases and my old CDs to lossless. I haven't played with JRiver yet because I dont' have the DAC or headphone amp. I'll report back whenever I get my setup working.

Was wearing my A900's today and wishing they had earcups on them like the AD700's. I must have had the thought ten times in an hour. Then the last time I looked over and there's the AD700's just hanging there. Thought: well they're both 53mm drivers and the housings look identical. I bet the earcups are interchangeable between the two.

Sure enough they are. Used my A900's with the cooler easier to wear cloth pads from my AD700's for a couple of hours. Sooo nice. And even better, the AD700's with the A900 earpads on them also work better. The pleather earpads don't get nearly as hot with the big open design on the AD700's letting some air move through.

I'm pretty sure they're going to stay this way.

so im contemplating the HD595s, whats a good mic I can pair with these if I want to just use these as my gaming headset as well?

I ended up returning the Audiotechnica AD900s. Not because i didn't like them, they were quite comfortable and immersive, running off my HTO Claro sound card. I just decided that i wanted to find a headphone amp first, and then trial a few pairs of headphones after i get that.

I did pick up a pair of Brainwavz B2 IEMs, wow. Fantastic sound for the price, i'm very happy with these. Very clear, crisp, and sharp. So good, and they come with foam ear inserts.

Well. I went and did it.

IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v282/Thin_J/MaverickD1.jpg)

Impressions after I've figured out exactly how I want to keep it hooked up and I've spent some time with it.

Nice Thin_J! I think my D2/A1 combo thing is supposed to ship tomorrow. Hopefully it doesn't get delayed. I will give my thoughts as well, but that probably won't happen until late December or early January. For now, I'm ripping and re-ripping stuff in lossless while I wait.

I'm curious what you think about the build quality on the unit. I've heard mixed things.

Edit: I should also mention that I am in love with jRiver. It is a great piece of software. I hadn't intended to use it for a PS3 media server, but I set it up in a couple minutes on a whim and it works really well to stream .mkv files and DVD rips to my PS3 in the living room. It is very powerful. There are so many options. Thank goodness I don't have to deal with iTunes anymore.

A future project for me will be to get a touch screen all in one PC set up in the living room that boots into jRiver. If I do that, I may even just ditch my subsonic music server in favor of using jRiver.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

I'm curious what you think about the build quality on the unit. I've heard mixed things.

Really? It's actually a pretty damn heavy piece of kit. It's easily close to if not just as heavy as the much larger 360 that's sitting under it. It's solid as can be.

I would suspect that anybody whining about build quality on this is somebody that's going to whine about build quality on probably 90% of the audio gear out there.

Thin_J wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

I'm curious what you think about the build quality on the unit. I've heard mixed things.

Really? It's actually a pretty damn heavy piece of kit. It's easily just as heavy as the much larger 360 that's sitting under it. It's solid as can be.

I would suspect that anybody whining about build quality on this is somebody that's going to whine about build quality on probably 90% of the audio gear out there.

I think there were a couple small problems with the initial builds (possibly review builds). When I was reading reviews, a couple people mentioned it. For example, if you took out the screws to take the cover off, things didn't line up properly. Good to hear that it is solid!

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

For example, if you took out the screws to take the cover off, things didn't line up properly.

I don't know why this would be a problem for most people

I mean, I guess if you were going to change the tube(s) or something, but even then it's just a little bit of fiddling to get things back together. I don't know. I just know I was pretty impressed with it when I took it out of the box, particularly for the price paid.

Thin_J wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

For example, if you took out the screws to take the cover off, things didn't line up properly.

I don't know why this would be a problem for most people

I mean, I guess if you were going to change the tube(s) or something, but even then it's just a little bit of fiddling to get things back together. I don't know. I just know I was pretty impressed with it when I took it out of the box, particularly for the price paid.

I am totally taking the covers off to admire everything. I am super happy to hear that it feels solid. All the photos I've seen definitely make it look that way. By the way, did you order it straight from mav-audio, or did you pick up one on ebay or something?

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

I am totally taking the covers off to admire everything. I am super happy to hear that it feels solid. All the photos I've seen definitely make it look that way. By the way, did you order it straight from mav-audio, or did you pick up one on ebay or something?

Straight from Maverick Audio. Ordered on Thursday morning, came this afternoon. Pretty quick shipping considering it comes from Qingzhou Road in Shanghai. According to the shipping label it was actually shipped on the 16th, which makes it actually kind of crazy that it's here already.

Can't wait to hear what you guys think, Maverick is on my short list.

Blotto The Clown wrote:

so im contemplating the HD595s, whats a good mic I can pair with these if I want to just use these as my gaming headset as well?

Zalman clip-on mic: http://www.amazon.com/Zalman-Zm-Mic1...

It's actually a pretty damn heavy piece of kit.

You know, it's worth pointing out that judging audio equipment by weight is, perhaps, not the best measure.

I may or may not have discovered a good solution for those of us who don't care for gaming headsets but want a mic.

The Modmic looks like it could be exactly what I've been looking for. I've been mute a couple of times recently playing Battlefield 3 because I prefer my AT A900's by a huge degree over the Astro A40's, but the A40's are the only thing I have with a good mic. Hoping this can solve the problem for me.

Should have one to test on Friday. I'll let everybody know how it turns out.

*Also of note: Audiotechnica revamped their A series lineup of headphones. The new models are designated with an X on the end, so A900X is the new A900. They have a new housing design, new thicker more "cushy" earcups on all the models I've seen so far (also higher quality pleather material on the earcups instead of the vinyl like stuff the older models use) and supposedly sound better than the old models already did. Early impressions have been very positive on head-fi.

Thin_J wrote:

I may or may not have discovered a good solution for those of us who don't care for gaming headsets but want a mic.

The Modmic looks like it could be exactly what I've been looking for. I've been mute a couple of times recently playing Battlefield 3 because I prefer my AT A900's by a huge degree over the Astro A40's, but the A40's are the only thing I have with a good mic. Hoping this can solve the problem for me.

Should have one to test on Friday. I'll let everybody know how it turns out.

OOOOHHHHH!!! If I ever replace my Beyerdynamics I will look into this; I will also recommend it to my buddy who is rocking the Senn 550 and a desk mic.

Malor wrote:
It's actually a pretty damn heavy piece of kit.

You know, it's worth pointing out that judging audio equipment by weight is, perhaps, not the best measure.

When you're talking about build quality noting that the entire thing is essentially constructed of metal is not at all an inappropriate comment. There's no sh*tty cheap plastic anywhere. There's no rattles or shakes. It's solid.

He asked about build quality. I answered. I made zero comments about sound.

So I guess what I'm saying is that singling out one sentence in a whole post and then applying meaning to it that wasn't even implied by the poster is, perhaps, not the best approach.

Thin_J wrote:

Magnetic Mic stuff

That looks to use Neodymium magnets. I guess they are far enough from the magnet on the speaker to not interfere, but I'd probably put them a bit away from that area.

This looks to be a removable version of a pretty common mic mod I've seen around where people would take similar mics and mount them in nicer headsets, or velcro them to the sides. That's a bit pricey vs the mic's people were using, but I guess that's OK in a packaged deal.

Thin_J wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:

This looks to be a removable version of a pretty common mic mod I've seen around where people would take similar mics and mount them in nicer headsets, or velcro them to the sides. That's a bit pricey vs the mic's people were using, but I guess that's OK in a packaged deal.

I've seen those mods, but they always involve buying some other thing, essentially breaking it and taking the mic off, and then ghetto-ing it onto a pair of headphones. At least this is something designed specifically for this purpose.

I was really close to trying it a few times but could never quite bring myself to do it.

Some of those are like you say. I know there was a discontinued Labtec headset that was commonly used. But others have used laptop mics that just basically consist of a boom attached to a right angle 3.5mm plug.

That ModMic looks awesome. The Zalman is functional and that's about it. The ModMic page shows it on HD650s like they're saying, "See Liquid? It's for you!"