So I was looking for a good DD 5.1 headphone for gaming (specifically xbox one but want to be able to use it on pc ps4 etc). I picked up the Astro A50. I like them and they are the most comfortable headphones I have ever had. They don't make my ears hurt or too hot after using them, but of course they are an ungodly amount of money. Are there any other quality headphones out there?
I’ve used the Logitech G930 and the Corsair Vengeance 2100 wireless headsets. They’re both really comfortable and smartly designed, with 7.1 surround, swiveling mikes, etc and the ability to use them while charging on a mini-USB cable (I think mini, anyway). I think the G930 has a few more features overall, like on-ear programmable keys and silly voice filters, but I ended up benching it because it was having interference issues and just plain cutting out for a few seconds at a time, without warning and within a few feet of the receiver. It seemed like the battery was also not performing to spec. And for a while there was no low battery notification under Windows 8.1. I have had no similar issues with the Vengeance 2100 and I have been using it for weeks now. I will note that I RMAed the G930 once for a replacement and had exactly the same issue, so I suspect it was shitty drivers rather than the headset itself.
I got the Sennheiser PC363D earlier this year and absolutely love them. Comes with a USB audio device it plugs into that provides the 7.1. Headset is very comfortable and has a nice feature where you just tilt the mic up to mute it.
I’m using an older Corsair, HS1 I think. It’s USB, simple, works very well, the software is ok, and it sounds good. I have a Logitech G35 (wired version of the G930 essentially), and those were great–until the software simply stopped working. I mean, it just stopped. Reinstalling it did no good, I could not get the thing to work. Then all my Logitech drivers crapped out, and reinstalling them did nothing either. But, my BSODs also stopped. I have a healthy distrust of Logitech drivers now (I have a G510 keyboard and a G500 mouse, but they run fine on standard Windows drivers, though I lose the LCD on the keyboard and stuff like that). tl;dr, I don’t trust Logitech any more so I’d go with someone else for headphones.
The mike-tilt thing seems to be pretty standard - both headphones I mention above do that.
I see refurbs for $180 on Amazon. Tempted to grab them. I have the Sony PS4 Gold wireless headset now, which is adequate, but lacks bass (which might just be subjective) and they can get a bit uncomfortable after an hour or so. Also, it obviously only works with the PS3/PS4. I don’t suppose you’ve used both and could specifically compare them?
I’ve had a set of the astro’s for 5-6 years now. They are an ungodly amount of money but they seem to last forever. Previous to this I was lucky to last two years on anything I tried. A downside to them is if you want to use them for pc gaming you need a digital out with dolby live enabled on it for 7.1 sound. That’s not as common as you might think. Just because you have a digital out does not mean it will do dolby live.
If you check the Logitech and Corsair USB audio forums, the drivers are often late and poorly-supported no matter what USB audio vendor you choose. Razer’s USB Surround software seems to be the best supported.
I admit to a bias because I rep them in Canada, but I’m a huge fan of SteelSeries headsets. The new Siberia v3 Prism sound great, don’t cost your first-born, and work multiplatform.
I haven’t. That said, Astro customer service seems to be on it and you’re buying from Amazon so I would say go for the refurbished A50.
You would think you’d be able to test these things out at best buy, but they never have them or they never work.
Shadows of Mordor was pretty freaking sweet with the A50s. You could hear the yells from behind you and in the distance. I wish games would have binaural option
I will now answer my own question! I got the refurbished A50s. Early impressions: maybe heavier overall than the Sony Wireless Gold headset, but considerably comfortable on my ears.
The sound is better, and it definitely has a lot more bass. On the “media” EQ setting I’d say way too much bass, and maybe too heavy on the regular setting to, but that could also just be my reaction since the Sony set is decidedly weak in the bass department.
I couldn’t get a really objective comparison of the actual surround effect or accuracy; the A50s seem great, but I never had any problem with the Sony set either. I also don’t know what [I]my[/I] sound is like for other people—I have no idea how the mics compare.
The headset controls are a lot more intuitive than the Sony set. On the Sony Wireless Gold, there’s a pair of volume up/down buttons, a pair of chat/game audio balance buttons, a mute button, and a button that cycles through surround EQ presets. They’re all just buttons. It took me a while to remember which was which, there’s no tactile difference other than knowing where on the headset they are. I’m still not positive which button was mute.
On the A50s, there’s a dial for volume, the chat/game audio balance is sort of the entire shell of the right headphone on a rocker switch, the EQ selector is a slider with three positions, and the mute is triggered by swinging the mic up. This is much easier to understand and get used to, especially the mute. Other than the discomfort of the Sonys, which some people may not have a problem with, this is my favorite improvement.
[B]However[/B], the A50s have one pretty big caveat for their overall experience, and that’s the time you might have to spend adjusting PS4/receiver settings every time you want to play. They plug into the optical port on the back of the PS4. There’s a passthrough on the base, so if your setup already uses the optical port, this probably isn’t an issue, but I suspect most people are just using the HDMI for video and audio these days. The PS4 will output audio to both at once, but it will only output a 5.1 signal to one or the other, whichever you designate “primary”. So every time I switch between the headphones and the speakers, I have to go toggle this setting on the PS4 dash. Plus, I have to turn my receiver all the way down, because it still gets the stereo audio signal from the HDMI port (just muting it leaves the world MUTE on screen the whole time).
I realize this is a tradeoff, and the flip side is the versatility of being able to use the A50s with a lot of different systems. And if you only ever want to use your headphones, this isn’t in issue at all. But if you’re switching back and forth, the simplicity of the Sony Gold Wireless really shines. You just turn on the headphones and the audio switches over to them entirely*, turn them off and you’re back to the sound coming out of the receiver. So again, this has nothing to do Shieldwolf’s question, but for anyone else, the A50s are definitely higher quality, easier to use (based on button design), but the Sonys might be fine for someone looking for just occasional headset use because you don’t have to fuss with settings.
Otherwise, I’d say the price difference is reflected in the quality (Sony Wireless Gold retails $99, but every couple months you can find them for $69, A50s retail for $300, but you can get the refurbs like I did for $180, no complaints about going that route yet).
*technically you could also run just the chat to the headphones and the game audio to your receiver with both of these headphones, but they’re both closed over-the-ear headsets, so that doesn’t seem like it would ever be the best setup.
I’ve used a bunch of expensive headphones, but they’ve always been too bulky for my taste… Largely because I want them to be wireless, I think. And packing all the surround sound stuff into wireless headphones seems to make them bulky fast. The fact that i wear glasses also means that coconut type headphones are extra uncomfortable.
The set I keep going back to, although it’s not surround sound, is the Logitech h800.
It’s extremely comfortable and lightweight, and has a decent mic.
Another nice thing about it is that it’s both wireless via a mini USB adapter, as well as a bluetooth, which makes it easy to use on two devices. For instance, I have the USB adapter in my PC, but I have the bluetooth paired to my tablet, so I can use it for both just by flipping the switch on the headphones.
You can usually get a set for $70.
Like I said, perhaps not what the OP was looking for, but a good headset in my experience.
i have 14 sets of headphones. the kingston hyperx cloud ii are hands-down the most comfortable.
Any success with wireless… i’ve gone through ah half dozen. Man o War is the once of choice at the moment since its got the most stable connection.
I just want one of the high-end manufacturers to make a premium quality, super comfy, mono chat headset.
I know there are a lot of arguments about the 5.1 and 7.1 headsets being fake or ridiculously expensive… yeah expensive, but I sure can hear things on them I don’t hear on my actual surround sound set-up. I keep looking to update that set-up though but … it seems kind of complicated if i need get a receiver or just use an old logitech.
i can’t recommend wireless and only researched over a year and a half ago. my office/condo is saturated with 2.4 ghz wireless access points so my home network has gone to 5 ghz. i had to look at a few (turtle beach, astros) that offered a 5ghz transmitter but i didn’t want to run into the chance of bumping up against my wifi.
The Man of War works really, really well… except if it doesn’t receive audio for a bit, it shots off which is very, very annoying. It also always registers as on so because of the wireless piece so it doesn’t natively bounce between speaker and headset on it’s own…also annoying.
The Logitech G633s are really uncomfortable with their tall rectangular ear shapes.
I’ve gone through dozens of headsets, mostly wired, a few wireless. Those were the cheapest feeling ones too. It felt like they would snap if i just pulled pulled outward a bit. I think they cut a lot of corners with those.