Headphones and Soundcard with a 200€ budget

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by ryn-, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. ryn-

    ryn- New Member

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    Hello there. This is my first post on the Guru3D forums, although I've been a silent observer for several months now (ever since I started researching components for my new PC). At this point I have everything sorted - except my sound setup.

    I never gave much attention to soundcards and such, as I primarily used my PC for gaming and image editing so I quickly settled for what I had (onboard solutions more often than not). For the last two years I haven't even owned a PC, so if I'm honest what my idea of "sound" is at this point is an early 2008 MacBook Pro through Logitech Z-2300 2.1 speakers.

    I'd like to make some informed decisions about the sound on my new rig though. I'm not an audiophile by any stretch of the imagination, but I would like to have a decent sound setup (I'd love to have a decent microphone as well), so I'd like you, the Guru3D soundfolk, to help me get there. I will be using this PC for image editing, video editing, gaming and just plain old listening to music and watching movies. I do not have and have no ambition to get a 5.1 or 7.1 surround setup in the future. And please keep the budget in mind (200€).


    1. How do the speakers I have (Logitech Z-2300) compare to headphones like the Razer Carcharias or SteelSeries Siberia v2? Is it worth getting either of those as an upgrade in sound quality? If not, which headphones would you recommend? Or would I just be better served spending all of my budget on a top-end soundcard?

    2. The Asus Xonar DX, Creative X-Fi Titanium and Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional are soundcards that I've been considering to buy along with one of the before-mentioned headsets. Which one out of the three would you recommend? Is there a fourth option in this price range that would be a better choice?

    Also feel free to volunteer information that's not directly related to the questions but is relevant to the topic :)
     
  2. Rebel975

    Rebel975 Maha Guru

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    1) I've never heard the Z-2300, Razer Carcharias, or SteelSeries Siberia before (I did own the Z-5500, but that's irrelevant). However, I can tell you that a pair of headphones + CMSS-3D or Dolby Headphone (A technology that X-Fi/Xonar DX cards have) will give you a lot better sound positioning in games than a pair of 2.1 speakers will. CMSS-3D/Dolby Headphone simulates 5.1 surround sound via stereo speakers. It's really quite amazing.


    Headphones: Intimacy, sound positioning, microphone
    Speakers: Bass.


    2) Asus Xonar DX will likely sound better, but it comes at a cost. It's PCI-E versus the PCI X-Fi cards, and it also requires a power connector where the X-Fi cards do not. If that's okay with you then I would get the Xonar DX.


    As far as headsets go there are a lot of recommendations on the Sennheiser PC350.


    Sennheiser PC350 - Amazon - £99.99
    Xonar DX - Amazon - £60.03
    OR X-Fi Titanium - Amazon - £74.85


    Personally, unless you want to wait and save up for the Xonar Essence ST + £200 headphones I would just get the PC350 + Xonar DX or X-Fi.
     
  3. Lie495s14

    Lie495s14 Master Guru

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    asus xonar DG + audio technica M50 = having a good time
     
  4. Rebel975

    Rebel975 Maha Guru

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    He wants something with a microphone. I do agree though, the ATH-M50 is nice. However the OP is asking about headsets, and the PC350 headset + Xonar DX is perfectly in his price range. Besides, the ATH-M50 is 30€ more than the PC350.
     

  5. ryn-

    ryn- New Member

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    Thank yu for your replies. I'm set on the Xonar DX now, still on the fence about the headset though. The PC350 really looks perfect on paper, but it is considerably more expensive than the other two - and reading this thread I got the impression that the higher price may not really be justified - the PC350 is put in direct competition with the Carcharias and Siberia v2 according to the OP.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying for quality, I'd just love to hear someone who has experience with at least two of these headsets to give me a direct comparison. I did read somewhere that the PC350 has the same drivers as the HD595 audiophile grade set, but apparently you need to drill holes into the drivers to improve sound quality... which makes me a bit uneasy.

    So if anyone owns/has owned one or more of these headsets, please share your experience - especially if you can compare them.
     
  6. momomo67890

    momomo67890 Ancient Guru

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    m50s buy clip on mic
     
  7. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    The PC350 and the DX would be a bad combo for the op, The PC350 works best with a headphone amp, they will not sound right if you dont use one. the Xonar DG has Mic connection on it, It also has a Headphone amp as well. If he goes with a PC350 , he be better off with a Xonar STX or that DG.

    The Op can use a clip on mic and get something like Momomo mention,As well as a ultrasone HFI-550/580, I also seen the Ultrasone PRo 650 for 113ish new on ebay.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  8. Scorch666

    Scorch666 Ancient Guru

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  9. ryn-

    ryn- New Member

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    After some more research I've decided to use headphones + separate mic. I've narrowed it down to the ATH-M50 and the ATH-AD700. Atm I'm leaning toward the AD700 simply because it's much simpler for me to get to. The general consensus seems to be that the AD700's are the go-to for gaming, but people seem to think so mostly because of the bigger soundstage/less bass distraction for competitive FPS. My gaming really isn't about that at all, the FPS I play isn't competitive and I care about immersion a lot more than strict FPS utility. With that in mind, would you recommend the M50, or are the AD700's just as immersive?
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  10. Postalisback

    Postalisback Ancient Guru

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    From what I've heard from a friend, who has the ATH-M50, they would be a very good option for immersive gaming. :thumbup:
     

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