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Thread: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

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    Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    Hi. I currently have a Sennheisser PC350 headset, the original version, bought it pretty close to launch and must have owned them now for many years. https://en-us.sennheiser.com/profess...llation-pc-350

    My experience of them is the sound is thin with virtually no bass. Last night after listening to Diablo 3 through my excellent bookshelf speakers I thought I better switch to headphones in order to let the neighbours sleep. After an hour on the speakers the headphones were so "thin" I just took them off and turned the speakers down a bit.

    The MIC however is excellent and for years of playing games like WoW they have been outstanding, but there the MIC is king and mainly you are listening to voices, not the game. Voices on the PC350 sound spot on.

    Is it possible that headphones have improved ? That now you can get a "deeper" experience ? I don't want to ruin it with over the top bass that can't be dialled out / ruins speech either so I'm aware it's a fine line.

    A little more information. I'm using the headset from the sound on an "average" SB card linked to the front ports on the case (no external DAC). I also have a set of Momentum's so tonight I will try using them instead to see the difference (wish the cable was a bit longer for use with the PC). I can also try plugging the PC350 into may main AV Amp to see if that makes them shine.

    Thanks for any thoughts, especially from anyone with experience of the PC350's.

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    RGB Champion Ttaskmaster's Avatar
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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    "Gaming" headsets generally seem geared toward the kind of booming bass that makes your FPS shooty bang-sticks sound like, so amazeballs, lol....
    Rule 1 - Go with a set from an audio company, not a gaming peripherals company.

    Sennheiser do some good stuff, especially these days at the upper end. I've tried their 363 set and it was night and day compared to my Corsairs, my Steelseries Siberia, Razer's offering and all the other "gaming" brands, but also discernibly better than some of the other audio brands I tried.
    Sound was clear, crisp, warm, well-rounded and could be adjusted for music, movies or shooty-bang amazeballs if you choose... or left on the default profile, for good all-round performance.
    Rule 2 - You get what you pay for.

    I'm no audiophile by any stretch, even when it comes to my music, but even I could hear how defined and how much better the Sennies were.

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    Senior Member Macman's Avatar
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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    I have these

    Being partially deaf in both ears. So I'm no audiophile but I need a lot of sound with clarity for FPS etc. These headphones blow away TB which I used for XB360 and XBOne for years.

    Recommend. Really comfortable too!

    For the record, my brother no longer needed them and were only 6 months old. Gave them to me for free, who am I to complain lol.
    Last edited by Macman; 19-01-2017 at 02:10 PM.

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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    Anything with the word gaming in I assume is overpriced tat. I'm surprised at Sennheiser sounding thin, as they tend to add a bit of extra bass to their headphones I've found.

    I too am on 4.1 bookcase speakers for gaming and a just-a-mic headset thing that sits over my ears. Works a treat, but alas I'm going to have to move to headphones. I've been pondering what to get, but I'm going to go with hifi stereo headphones and a desk-mic to start with (as I already own these).

    I've got some now obsolete, but rather good, Sennheiser HD 212 Pro headphones that I use for music at work currently. Combine that with a Creative "beam forming" microphone, hopefully that'll do nicely.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    Surprised to hear you've got Sennys that are light on the bass - I thought rich bass was meant to be a key characteristic of Sennys kit.

    Then again, I'm a bit of a Senny fan boy, and I'm not a huge bass bunny, so as usual YMMV. Over the last 2 - 3 years I've bought full size cans, portable cans and in-ear headphones all from Sennheiser and been *very* happy with them: the full size cans are used for recording work (mostly spoken word + a bit of music), and the in ear and portable cans for listening to music/radio while out and about, so they're pretty versatile.

    If you want good quality audio reproduction across a wide range of sources I'd backup what Ttaskmaster says - go for something froma recognised audio company rather than a gaming peripheral, and don't skimp

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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Macman View Post
    I have these
    I can't recall if it was these or a slightly different model, but when my old Vengeance 1500v2 headset (which was darn good for a gaming headset, by the way) karked it I looked to replace it with the closest available... Sound quality was great, but the volume was deafening just on 4 (out of 100) and I had to send them back. Apparently it's a design flaw in some Corsair headsets...?

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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    I can't recall if it was these or a slightly different model, but when my old Vengeance 1500v2 headset (which was darn good for a gaming headset, by the way) karked it I looked to replace it with the closest available... Sound quality was great, but the volume was deafening just on 4 (out of 100) and I had to send them back. Apparently it's a design flaw in some Corsair headsets...?
    Yep, got those. I've got https://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/ to make it sensible volumes (from http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=123956).

    Back to the original poster, try your headphones elsewhere - if you like how it sounds maybe a new soundcard would help, or just tweaking some levels? (equalizer apo would work for that as well.)

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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    Cheers all for the replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    If you want good quality audio reproduction across a wide range of sources I'd backup what Ttaskmaster says - go for something from a recognised audio company rather than a gaming peripheral, and don't skimp
    Please bear in mind that these are Sennheiser's (very much an Audio company) and at the time were close to being the most expensive "gaming" headset made. All the reviews at the time mocked the cost, yet here we are several years later and they are just considered a normal high-end price.

    I will do the testing I highlighted earlier (hopefully this evening) and report back. It may simply be that no headset is going to match my 2.0 speaker setup for richness of sound, but my current set is nowhere near. Must be something better.

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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    Have you tried using the equaliser on your sound card to increase the lower frequencies (or rather, decrease all the higher frequencies and turn the volume up)?

    It definitely makes my Audio-Technicas sound much stronger in the low end on my X-fi Titanium.

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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy14 View Post
    A little more information. I'm using the headset from the sound on an "average" SB card linked to the front ports on the case (no external DAC).
    That's your problem. The cans are 150Ohms, too much impedance to be driven without an amp. Get a xonar card or something with a dedicated headphone amp at the least.

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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    A thing to note - I have the PC350SE which has slightly more bass. They are designed as gaming headsets,so prioritise clear sound(especially around the midrange) and spatial separation over massive bass,which is what you want when playing FPS games,ie,you want to be able to actually here where other people are on the map,and also what your teammates are saying instead of it being drowned out by massive amounts of bass and they are also close backed too.

    However,if you want more based,you can mod them as they use drivers from more some of the half decent Sennheiser headphones as the company has a habit of using only a few driver designs over their entire range and use different enclosure designs to tailor the sound differently. Just look for the various mod threads and YT videos on the "PC350 base mod".


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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    Thanks gents. It appears that my Sound card is a SB X-Fi Extreme (bought with the PC) which I expect was mid range as I don't remember spending crazy money on it. It looks as though I haven't installed the SB drivers for it, seem to remember trying, having issues and removing them.

    I've tried my Sennheiser Momentum's instead, chalk and cheese. They sound everything that the PC350's don't. Great range, everything balanced. Obviously they don't have a MIC, the cable is too short (can be sorted) and they do give an isolated (slight pressure in the cups) feel that's not present on open backed or the bigger 350's.

    Haven't had the chance to test the 350's on my AV AMP this evening. Need to find an adapter first...

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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy14 View Post
    Thanks gents. It appears that my Sound card is a SB X-Fi Extreme (bought with the PC) which I expect was mid range as I don't remember spending crazy money on it. It looks as though I haven't installed the SB drivers for it, seem to remember trying, having issues and removing them.

    I've tried my Sennheiser Momentum's instead, chalk and cheese. They sound everything that the PC350's don't. Great range, everything balanced. Obviously they don't have a MIC, the cable is too short (can be sorted) and they do give an isolated (slight pressure in the cups) feel that's not present on open backed or the bigger 350's.

    Haven't had the chance to test the 350's on my AV AMP this evening. Need to find an adapter first...
    Sennheiser share drivers between various ranges - so the drivers on the PC350/PC350SE/PC363/PC363/Game Ones,various HD500 series models,etc are all the same.

    They just change the drive housings,to tailor the sound. Like I said people have taken the headphones apart and confirmed it. You have to realise having base heavy gaming headphones are probably not ideal- you need clarity,which is why the headset you have de-emphasises base,and emphasises the vocal ranges,etc so you can hear your teammates over things like Mumble,etc. I have a pair of Grado SR125 headphones which are open backs and they are far more open and have more bass - if you look at the HD598SE for example its the same,and I have tried some expensive headphones out myself.

    Here is what the PC350 driver looks like:

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/406187/modd...0#post_6934486

    Here is what the HD595 driver looks like:

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/403963/senn...s#post_5334057

    Very similar if not the same drivers. Its been happening for a few years,where Sennheiser either modifies the enclosure,or literally adds some foam or tape on certain models to change the sound(!),

    There are plenty of mods,for the PC350 to improve bass:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFjm96M-QQg
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Senn...C350-bass-mod/
    http://www.overclock.net/t/1237985/s...bass-boost-mod
    http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...-hero-mod.html
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/406187/modd...-pc350-headset

    Basically the they made sure the driver is blocked to decrease the base on purpose,so the mods add a small base port to them.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 20-01-2017 at 12:37 AM.


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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy14 View Post
    I've tried my Sennheiser Momentum's instead, chalk and cheese. They sound everything that the PC350's don't. Great range, everything balanced.
    They're only 18 Ohm impedance, thus much easier to drive from the SB than the 150 Ohm PC350s.

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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    Honestly, buy a pair of Koss Porta Pro if sound leakage isn't an issue for you.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Koss-Headph.../dp/B00001P4ZH

    The good:
    a) The sound from them is exceptional for a £31.00 pair of headphones
    b) They're ridiculously comfortable, even for people with glasses - you don't get squashed, aching hot ears with these, they sit lightly on your ears without long term discomfort. I could wear them all day without issue.
    c) They fold up nice and small with a soft carry bag (less than 10cm diameter when folder away for transport)
    d) lifetime warranty - replacements at the cost of delivery only...around £12 last time I checked
    e) mine have been abused - I've had two pairs, the first still "works" but one of the plastic mechanisms failed after I stepped on them by accident. 2 pairs in around 8 years of use and the wiring is still good! The ear pads can be replaced with spares readily available online / ebay for a few pounds.

    The bad:
    a) They don't come with a mic - just buy a desk mic or clip-on mic
    b) Cable is relatively short (1.2m) but good enough for me
    c) The sound leakage is severe so if this is an issue for you, this isn't the product you're looking for, unfortunately.

    Read the reviews if you don't believe me.
    Last edited by cptwhite_uk; 20-01-2017 at 11:21 AM.

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    Re: Gaming Headsets - thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    They're only 18 Ohm impedance, thus much easier to drive from the SB than the 150 Ohm PC350s.
    Appreciated. I find it hard to believe though that a set of headphones specifically designed for the PC won't work fully with a SB card. But I do intend to test this by running them from my AV Amp tonight.

    I've ordered an extension cable for the Momentum's. In a way I have the best of each world, I just need 2 sets to get it. The 350's are spot-on for gaming in groups where voice comms are all important and the Momentum's are excellent for single player gaming / music.

    I suspect the perfect all-in-one would combine the sound of the M's with a MIC & potentially be open backed.

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    Honestly, buy a pair of Koss Porta Pro if sound leakage isn't an issue for you.
    Thanks for the recommendations, but I already have 2 sets of excellent headphones.
    Last edited by Andy14; 20-01-2017 at 11:59 AM.

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