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Audiophilia: Headphones, Amps, DAPs, and Empty Wallets

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Posts

  • NaphtaliNaphtali Null Registered User regular
    Aridhol wrote: »
    Trajan45 wrote: »
    I think it depends on your use case. Do you want to walk away from your desk and still listen to music or be on a call? Do you plan on using them with your phone to listen to music on the go? Those seem to be the most common reasons for wireless. Wireless in general is going to impact the sound quality you get, so unless you need that freedom, it's probably best to go corded.

    I'm far from an expert but from what I gather there isn't really any other "gaming" headsets that will blow your Arctis Pro 5 out of the water. Maybe the Audeze Mobius or the beyerdynamic MMX 300, both out of your price range.

    I'm not really sure if there is anything that would be much of an upgrade in your price range. You're probably best off staying with the AP5 and saving up. For example the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are around $200 CDN but for gaming, from what I'm reading they are pretty close the the Arctis (they have more bass).

    I want to be able to walk away from the desk and also to not deal with wires if I am out and about at a coffee shop or whatever working.
    I will probably still use earbuds on the go but depending weight & battery life that would be an option.

    I like my current headset but I hate the wire part :/

    maybe look into a higher end arctis that's wireless, like the arctis 7 should still be in your budget and you could try selling off the arctis 5 to help defer costs.

    B.net: Naphtali#1830 | Steam | Nintendo ID: Naphtali | PSN: EI-Naphtali | Wish List
  • Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    Yeah can't help with gaming headsets as I've not heard any. Adding a ModMic isn't going to help if you want to be able to move about with them on. The HyperX Cloud Flight seems like the best option to try. It's in your price range and the reviews are all pretty positive. The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless seems to have slightly better sound quality, but most posts I see mention it's not worth the massive price increase.

    For some of the best wireless headsets, you'd need to move into the $350 range. The Sennheiser Momentum Wireless and Sony WH1000XM3 both get a ton of great reviews.

    Origin ID\ Steam ID: Warder45
  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    i got the toneking t88k

    which i did not need

    they have 8 balanced armatures

    unnecessary

    sounds pretty fuckin good though

    poo
    CormacTrajan45chrishallett83
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid Drunk sailor Seattle, WashingtonRegistered User regular
    edited May 29
    After seven years of very hard use my Sennheiser PC360s are finally starting to give out and I need to start looking into a new pair of headphones to use for PC Gaming. I'm interested in getting a pair of dedicated cans and just sticking a ModMic on them. I've got a Xonar STX card so I can power basically anything and am willing to drop a couple hundred bucks on something that's gonna sound good and will last. Oh, and open cans are totally doable since I don't need to worry about bugging anyone with them. Y'all got any recommendations?

    EDIT: I'm eyeballing the Sennheiser HD650s right now and especially like the replaceable cable since that's usually what tends to fuck up over time. That price on Amazon is a fucking steal too. Any thoughts on those?

    TOGSolid on
    ZMkKzv8.png
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    edited May 29
    HD650's are great and for many, myself included, is their entry point into high end headphones. I still have my HD650's but don't use them anymore because I have a couple of pair of much better headphones. I'll never get rid of them because of their sentimental value and because of how beat to shit they are.

    Personally, I much prefer HD700's to HD650's for gaming as their soundstage, precision, and positioning of sounds are far superior. The HD700's have a much brighter, vibrant sound and are not lush, warm, and dark like the HD650's. The 700's are also much easier to drive without a dedicated amp, but they're really only available used now as Sennheiser seems to have discontinued them. They pop up occasionally on Head-Fi in the $300 range.

    Another good option would be Audio Technica AD series are great for gaming. They lack substantial bass response which can be a deal breaker for some, myself included, but they're still great headphones. I'd also look into AKG K712 or the Massdrop K7xx (if they're equivalent), the Massdrop HD6xx is, the HD660's are good too, and the Hifiman HE4xx are all worth consideration.

    Cormac on
    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | Destiny: Gridlynk
    TOGSolid
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid Drunk sailor Seattle, WashingtonRegistered User regular
    edited May 29
    I can drive up to a 600ohm set of cans (theoretically, according to the STX) so I can get pretty silly with my options. I like having a solid bass oomph due to the weird range of music I listen to though I hate muddy, overwhelming bass. I generally prefer a very crisp sound where I can easily zero in on any facet of the sound I wish (probably a side effect of how my high school band director tended to have the band as a whole sound). Thanks!

    TOGSolid on
    ZMkKzv8.png
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    TOGSolid wrote: »
    I can drive up to a 600ohm set of cans (theoretically, according to the STX) so I can get pretty silly with my options. I like having a solid bass oomph due to the weird range of music I listen to so I'll check out the other options. Thanks!

    There are a lot of great choices under $400. If you're budget goes $500 more options do open, but at that price point I think a dedicated headphone amp would really start to be a necessity (so add at least another $100-300). While the card says it can drive 600ohm headphones I'd like to see how it compares to a basic dedicated $100 amp. I'd bet you'd hear a noticeable difference but for now concentrate on getting the best headphone you can afford. If you find the Xonar needing to be set at greater than 50% volume to achieve good volume levels then you'll know you need something more substantial.

    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | Destiny: Gridlynk
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid Drunk sailor Seattle, WashingtonRegistered User regular
    edited May 29
    I mean, I own Steel Battalion and play flight sims so getting stupid with hardware is totally my jam. What should I be looking at if I want to cut out the STX and move to a dedicated amp so I can get better sound quality?

    EDIT: What about the HD600s? They seem to have a pretty neutral response in all regards judging from what I've been reading both to its benefit and detriment in that it's pure reference so it neither adds nor subtract anything so it's up to what you're listening to to sound good which honestly sounds kinda great for both gaming and music and in line with my preference for a very crisp in all regards sound. They're also still readily available and pretty cheap for what they are.

    TOGSolid on
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  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    edited May 29
    HD600's are great. I have not heard them myself but they are supposed to be far more neutral than the HD650's. The HD660's would be another great option as they seem to be a blend of both the 600's and 650's. You can't go wrong with any of them, but I think Headphonia said it best:
    The HD660 S has the speed, transparency and clarity of the HD600, combined with the bass, naturalness and musicality of the HD650. It’s like the perfect headphone if you can’t decide which of the “old ones” you like most. Those not liking the “veiled’ nature of the HD650 will love the more clear HD660 S and those who find the HD600 too sterile, will love the more natural HD660 S.

    Cormac on
    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | Destiny: Gridlynk
    TOGSolid
  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    Cormac wrote: »
    HD600's are great. I have not heard them myself but they are supposed to be far more neutral than the HD650's. The HD660's would be another great option as they seem to be a blend of both the 600's and 650's. You can't go wrong with any of them, but I think Headphonia said it best:
    The HD660 S has the speed, transparency and clarity of the HD600, combined with the bass, naturalness and musicality of the HD650. It’s like the perfect headphone if you can’t decide which of the “old ones” you like most. Those not liking the “veiled’ nature of the HD650 will love the more clear HD660 S and those who find the HD600 too sterile, will love the more natural HD660 S.

    I have HD600s and like them a lot -- I wanted something that was as unbiased as possible so that I could tweak response elsewhere in the chain, and they seemed like a good bet for that. (though I haven't listened to HD650s so can't comment on that particular comparison).

    TOGSolid
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid Drunk sailor Seattle, WashingtonRegistered User regular
    edited May 30
    I took the plunge on the HD600s and juuust got them plugged them in. First off, huzzah, my STX is exactly as awesome as it advertised, driving these 300 ohm cans with minimal effort. Secondly, this is exactly the sort of sound profile I was looking for but holy shit y'all. These are my first real higher end headphones and suddenly I can understand all the things people talk about with these sort of cans. I can hear shit in the music I didn't even realize was there now with all sorts of incredible nuance to the sound. Every aspect of the sound is so fucking crisp on these with nothing in particular emphasized allowing every bit of the track to shine through with fantastic clarity. The bass is punchy without being muddy, the trebles aren't tinny and the mids aren't mushy. I've had to dial back all my EQ stuff to negligible amounts due to these being so much cleaner sounding than my old PC360s which were decent for a gaming headset, but still needed some help.

    As far as gaming performance goes, I took these things into Squad and they work fantastically. The precision on them keeps audio comms clear and understandable while making all the battlefield effects just sound wonderful. They also do a good job of letting me tell where shots are coming from, a hell of a lot better than my old PC360s. The enhanced clarity is also letting me pick out sounds like the hiss of a distant RPGs in flight.

    The Antlion ModMic works pretty damn well and attached with no fuss. The included cable wrapper does a good job of keeping the cables sorted out and the audio quality seems to be pretty solid.

    All in all this has been a fantastic upgrade and I'm looking forward to another long enjoyable run with an awesome Sennheiser product.

    EDIT: I loaded up Insurgency Sandstorm and nearly pooped myself when I heard the CAS BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT. That shit is terrifying when it sounds all the more real.

    TOGSolid on
    ZMkKzv8.png
    Cormacchrishallett83AridholdjmitchellaBlackDragon480Trajan45
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    TOGSolid wrote: »
    I took the plunge on the HD600s and juuust got them plugged them in. First off, huzzah, my STX is exactly as awesome as it advertised, driving these 300 ohm cans with minimal effort. Secondly, this is exactly the sort of sound profile I was looking for but holy shit y'all. These are my first real higher end headphones and suddenly I can understand all the things people talk about with these sort of cans. I can hear shit in the music I didn't even realize was there now with all sorts of incredible nuance to the sound. Every aspect of the sound is so fucking crisp on these with nothing in particular emphasized allowing every bit of the track to shine through with fantastic clarity. The bass is punchy without being muddy, the trebles aren't tinny and the mids aren't mushy. I've had to dial back all my EQ stuff to negligible amounts due to these being so much cleaner sounding than my old PC360s which were decent for a gaming headset, but still needed some help.

    As far as gaming performance goes, I took these things into Squad and they work fantastically. The precision on them keeps audio comms clear and understandable while making all the battlefield effects just sound wonderful. They also do a good job of letting me tell where shots are coming from, a hell of a lot better than my old PC360s. The enhanced clarity is also letting me pick out sounds like the hiss of a distant RPGs in flight.

    The Antlion ModMic works pretty damn well and attached with no fuss. The included cable wrapper does a good job of keeping the cables sorted out and the audio quality seems to be pretty solid.

    All in all this has been a fantastic upgrade and I'm looking forward to another long enjoyable run with an awesome Sennheiser product.

    EDIT: I loaded up Insurgency Sandstorm and nearly pooped myself when I heard the CAS BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT. That shit is terrifying when it sounds all the more real.

    Gorillaz first album - amazing subtle mixes going on under the covers.

    chrishallett83
  • RaynagaRaynaga Registered User regular
    edited June 1
    Ok, so, I have a SVS SB-2000 sub for the home theater system. I am now on my second blown driver in 2 years and am not looking to replace it again and give them another go.

    Their customer service was great when it broke the first time and sent me new driver, etc free of charge. But the replacement is already out again and at this point I just don't trust their quality control.

    I also hate the AVS forums, so I really don't want to go there. Any recommendations for similar quality/price?

    The sub is amazing, until it breaks. I have heard good things about HSU? Any input appreciated.

    Raynaga on
  • Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    edited June 27
    I have 2 Outlaw LFM-1 EX's that I've had since 2013 without issues. Since I moved to DC and live in an apartment, I only use 1 of them now :( I remember getting a great deal on 2 around black friday of that year.

    Trajan45 on
    Origin ID\ Steam ID: Warder45
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    I'm trying to pick out some PC speakers for my computer room setup and I'm having difficulty. Anyone have advice?

    I think I will be okay with 2.1, I could do 5.1 and mount the rear speakers on the wall behind me. The main use for these speakers will be gaming and watching youtubes and stuff. My living room is right next to my computer room - I have my computer connected to the 5.1 surround and 4K tv in there (via optical audio to my AV receiver and HDMI to the TV) - so movies, music, that stuff is all done from in there. So I don't really need surround in my computer room. I'm just sick of always wearing headphones.

    I was tempted to order the Logitech G560 2.1 speakers today, but I backed out on seeing some mixed reviews.

    One key point is if possible I would really like these to be connected to my computer via USB.

    Would it maybe be a better idea to just buy a DAC which connects to my comp via USB, and then get two bookshelf speakers and run them from that? Is that a thing people do?

    PSN: AWATTT66| XBox Live: AWATTT66| Steam: AL-WAT| Battle.Net: ALWATTS #1320
    Origin: aiwatt| Switch: SW-8499-0918-5960
  • twmjrtwmjr Registered User regular
    Al_wat wrote: »
    I'm trying to pick out some PC speakers for my computer room setup and I'm having difficulty. Anyone have advice?

    I think I will be okay with 2.1, I could do 5.1 and mount the rear speakers on the wall behind me. The main use for these speakers will be gaming and watching youtubes and stuff. My living room is right next to my computer room - I have my computer connected to the 5.1 surround and 4K tv in there (via optical audio to my AV receiver and HDMI to the TV) - so movies, music, that stuff is all done from in there. So I don't really need surround in my computer room. I'm just sick of always wearing headphones.

    I was tempted to order the Logitech G560 2.1 speakers today, but I backed out on seeing some mixed reviews.

    One key point is if possible I would really like these to be connected to my computer via USB.

    Would it maybe be a better idea to just buy a DAC which connects to my comp via USB, and then get two bookshelf speakers and run them from that? Is that a thing people do?

    The last bit is essentially what I do. I have a USB DAC that runs into my receiver and out to my speakers.

  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    The tried and true Klipsch Promedia 2.1 are still good and I think they're still available new. I'm still using my 15'ish year old set as speakers for the TV in my PC/gaming room.

    I too wear headphones for the majority of my computer time, but for when I don't want to wear them I bought a Yamaha ATS-1060 soundbar for around $100. It connects through BT and sounds good enough for Youtube videos and basic stuff.

    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | Destiny: Gridlynk
    Trajan45
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    I ended up ordering Harmon Kardon Soundsticks III. They seem to have pretty good reviews for what they are. They don't have USB connectivity, but I figured out that using the 2.5mm headphone jack from my motherboard should be fine.

    It should work perfectly for what I want to do - play music through my 5.1 setup in the other room, while having game sounds coming from the 2.1 speakers on my desk.

    PSN: AWATTT66| XBox Live: AWATTT66| Steam: AL-WAT| Battle.Net: ALWATTS #1320
    Origin: aiwatt| Switch: SW-8499-0918-5960
  • DrascinDrascin Registered User regular
    edited July 7
    Agh. So this february, when my old Samson 950 headphones gave up the ghost, I found out that apparently I had gotten them in a sale, because they were now significantly more expensive. So I got a set of HD681EVO, since people said they were good value for money.

    And they're already broken. The little plug on the left can where the male connector hangs seems to have gotten straight up sliced by the tension, so now I need to be holding the cable together in order for the right headphone to sound. Blegh. Might try to open and duct tape a bit if I have time.

    Could use some suggestions for new ones in case I can't manage to get them to work though.

    Drascin on
    Steam ID: Right here.
  • EriktheVikingGamerEriktheVikingGamer Registered User regular
    Okay, looking to maybe get into streaming/video making. Been looking into XLR mics for the quality/price.

    This a good get?

    AT2020 deal

    Also, what's a good starter sound board?

    Origin ID: RedBeardViking
    Steam ID: MovieStuffs
    BNet ID: VikingErik#1560
    XBox Live ID: XboxVikingGamer
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited July 22
    Okay, looking to maybe get into streaming/video making. Been looking into XLR mics for the quality/price.

    This a good get?

    AT2020 deal

    Also, what's a good starter sound board?
    The AT2020 is a good starter/cheap microphone (especially for streaming, but it's okay on vocals and acoustic instruments, too), but you can usually find it used for 40-60 bucks (even new, you can definitely find free shipping for 70-80 bucks, checking on Reverb.com). I'm uncertain about the quality of that microphone boom arm, which can vary highly depending on manufacturer. Pop filters are pop filters (it's hard to mess that up), although if you buy a shock mount for the microphone, it usually also comes with a pop filter specifically for it. The deal that you linked isn't an awesome deal for the price (it doesn't scream "BUY ME"), but it's a convenient package, I guess. If it were me, I'd buy the component parts instead of taking that deal (but I already own a mic arm).

    The AT2020 also comes in a USB model if you want to skip out on the audio interface entirely. Having an XLR version means that it's compatible with whatever future use you may have for it, audio-wise, but it also means that you have to buy either a mixer with a USB line-out or an audio interface (the AT2020 requires 48V phantom power, which is provided by the mic pre-amps built into a mixer or an audio interface). The mixer gives you more buttons and switches and sliders to mess around with, but it also means a bit of a learning curve with live-mixing, and it's less suitable for recording (mixers tend to have more noise than interfaces, especially on the low end).

    Your best bet is swinging by a local store or recording studio that can let you try out different mics and sample a bunch of different microphones to see what complements your voice. I realize, though, this is a difficult task depending on where you live and your connections.

    What's your budget overall for your setup? Is it important to go with an XLR mic?

    Hahnsoo1 on
    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
  • EriktheVikingGamerEriktheVikingGamer Registered User regular
    edited July 22
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    Okay, looking to maybe get into streaming/video making. Been looking into XLR mics for the quality/price.

    This a good get?

    AT2020 deal

    Also, what's a good starter sound board?
    The AT2020 is a good starter/cheap microphone (especially for streaming, but it's okay on vocals and acoustic instruments, too), but you can usually find it used for 40-60 bucks (even new, you can definitely find free shipping for 70-80 bucks, checking on Reverb.com). I'm uncertain about the quality of that microphone boom arm, which can vary highly depending on manufacturer. Pop filters are pop filters (it's hard to mess that up), although if you buy a shock mount for the microphone, it usually also comes with a pop filter specifically for it. The deal that you linked isn't an awesome deal for the price (it doesn't scream "BUY ME"), but it's a convenient package, I guess. If it were me, I'd buy the component parts instead of taking that deal (but I already own a mic arm).

    The AT2020 also comes in a USB model if you want to skip out on the audio interface entirely. Having an XLR version means that it's compatible with whatever future use you may have for it, audio-wise, but it also means that you have to buy either a mixer with a USB line-out or an audio interface (the AT2020 requires 48V phantom power, which is provided by the mic pre-amps built into a mixer or an audio interface). The mixer gives you more buttons and switches and sliders to mess around with, but it also means a bit of a learning curve with live-mixing, and it's less suitable for recording (mixers tend to have more noise than interfaces, especially on the low end).

    Your best bet is swinging by a local store or recording studio that can let you try out different mics and sample a bunch of different microphones to see what complements your voice. I realize, though, this is a difficult task depending on where you live and your connections.

    What's your budget overall for your setup? Is it important to go with an XLR mic?

    It isn't super important, just that all the research I've run into so far seems to point me in the direction of XLR for the purposes of sound quality and the ability to expand on complexity later on if I so choose. Budget is in the $200.00 ~ $300.00 range, ideally. (Though I'm willing to stretch further for the quality.)

    Thanks for the help, btw.

    EriktheVikingGamer on
    Origin ID: RedBeardViking
    Steam ID: MovieStuffs
    BNet ID: VikingErik#1560
    XBox Live ID: XboxVikingGamer
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited July 22
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    Okay, looking to maybe get into streaming/video making. Been looking into XLR mics for the quality/price.

    This a good get?

    AT2020 deal

    Also, what's a good starter sound board?
    The AT2020 is a good starter/cheap microphone (especially for streaming, but it's okay on vocals and acoustic instruments, too), but you can usually find it used for 40-60 bucks (even new, you can definitely find free shipping for 70-80 bucks, checking on Reverb.com). I'm uncertain about the quality of that microphone boom arm, which can vary highly depending on manufacturer. Pop filters are pop filters (it's hard to mess that up), although if you buy a shock mount for the microphone, it usually also comes with a pop filter specifically for it. The deal that you linked isn't an awesome deal for the price (it doesn't scream "BUY ME"), but it's a convenient package, I guess. If it were me, I'd buy the component parts instead of taking that deal (but I already own a mic arm).

    The AT2020 also comes in a USB model if you want to skip out on the audio interface entirely. Having an XLR version means that it's compatible with whatever future use you may have for it, audio-wise, but it also means that you have to buy either a mixer with a USB line-out or an audio interface (the AT2020 requires 48V phantom power, which is provided by the mic pre-amps built into a mixer or an audio interface). The mixer gives you more buttons and switches and sliders to mess around with, but it also means a bit of a learning curve with live-mixing, and it's less suitable for recording (mixers tend to have more noise than interfaces, especially on the low end).

    Your best bet is swinging by a local store or recording studio that can let you try out different mics and sample a bunch of different microphones to see what complements your voice. I realize, though, this is a difficult task depending on where you live and your connections.

    What's your budget overall for your setup? Is it important to go with an XLR mic?

    It isn't super important, just that all the research I've run into so far seems to point me in the direction of XLR for the purposes of sound quality and the ability to expand on complexity later on if I so choose. Budget is in the $200.00 ~ $300.00 range, ideally. (Though I'm willing to stretch further for the quality.)

    Thanks for the help, btw.
    My background is mostly audio hobbyist for music/vocals recording, so my needs are going to be different than that of a streamer. So take these recommendations from an outsider perspective (the most I ever stream is on Twitch Sings or Jackbox Games, occasionally).

    Long effort-post incoming:

    If you are looking for a budget setup overall (200-300 range) and still want to go with an XLR microphone, the AT2020 is a good choice (again, used at 50-60 bucks, new at 70-80 dollar deals are out there. I wouldn't pay more than 100 bucks for an AT2020, including shipping). You will probably want a boom arm and shock mount. I use a Neewer* boom arm and I hate it (lol, what an endorsement!), but it's about the minimum quality I would go for (and they go for around 13-15 bucks). I've seen people mod the Neewer boom arm by clipping the springs by about 1 cm and stretching them to increase the tension on it, but I don't think that's necessary. An AT2020 Shock Mount+Pop Filter combo is around 15 bucks as well, and probably a good investment.

    * Neewer also makes shitty microphones that you should avoid at all costs. The BM-800 is a generic Chinese microphone model which has shitty sound and is made by a bunch of different Chinese manufacturers (Fifine, Tonor, etc.).

    Hidden costs include an XLR cable for the microphone (if it doesn't come with one), patch cables (if you want to run your console/computer audio through the mixer), and cable ties (after all, you want your setup to look clean, although you can just use garbage bag twistie ties for that). Some mixers don't come with a USB A-USB B cable to connect to your computer either. Just expect to spend about 20-30 bucks for extra cables in your budget, and you won't know what you need until after you get your toys. If you want a good dependable budget brand for audio cables, I'd recommend Hosa.

    Another hidden cost would be if your location has dirty/unstable/fluctuating power, in which case you may want to get an (expensive) uninterruptible power supply with sine wave power or a power conditioner (Furman is a good brand). You can tell this is happening if you get weird ass hums or buzzing in your audio that isn't solved by proper grounding.

    For your interface/mixer, you are probably looking at either a Behringer Xenyx Q802USB mixer (between 70-90 bucks new. Don't get the mixer smaller than that one, the 502USB, because it doesn't have 48V Phantom Power, which is what the AT2020 and nearly all condenser microphones in the world need) or a Behringer UM2 Audio Interface (around 50-60 bucks new, less than 40 on sale).** Behringer is a bit of a joke in the pro audio community (you'll see LOL Behringer a lot in those forums), but they are perfectly fine pieces of gear and the best budget entry-level option into better audio. If you want to go a step up, I'd recommend either a Yamaha MG10XU mixer (I use one of these, and they're great! Around 150 bucks, 100 used) or a Focusrite audio interface (either the Focusrite Solo $90-$100 or the next step up). The 3rd generation Focusrite interfaces JUST came out, and so the 2nd generation ones are all on sale lately... I'd get a 2nd generation, personally, if the price is right for you. The 3rd generation does have slightly better pre-amps and transformers and uses USB-C, I think, but they don't give too much benefit over 2nd gen for a streamer. One more step up from that is the Mackie PROFX8V2 mixer (8 channel, USB, $200), which is overkill, but I see a lot of streamers using that in their setups (Annemunition, for example, uses this).

    ** There are XLR-to-USB adapters out there, but I've never seen one worth getting (as in, won't fall apart in a year) that is under the price of a simple Behringer UM2 interface.

    You only need a Mixer with USB OR an Audio Interface, not both! Mixers will give you a lot more manual knobs and sliders to control your sound live, but an Audio Interface will generally be cheaper and have higher quality preamps with less line noise than a live mixer. I'm told that most non-audio-focused streamers (ones that aren't musicians of some sort) prefer using Mixers.

    If you want to throw more money at it, I'd probably invest in a slightly better microphone, like a Rode NT-1A. The great thing about most higher end audio stuff is that they have great resale value if you decide that they aren't for you (and this could very well be the case! Every microphone is different and will color the sound differently, and even shitty mics can sound great with certain voices and vice versa). If it were me, I'd start out with an AT2020 and see how well that works for me (but I like the sound of the AT2020 on my voice, so...).

    Speaking of resale value, you can often find audio gear for cheaper (with shipping) at ebay, Reverb.com, or just good ol' Craigslist. Just do a search for microphone or interface in the Musical Instruments section. Lots of folks sell off their old gear, and you can often score a good local deal that way. If you want to hold off, usually Musiciansfriend.com (the Stupid Deal of the Day in particular) and sweetwater.com have deals that roll around as well.

    If you don't want to bother with a mixer or audio interface, there are a LOT of USB microphones out there. The Blue microphones line is pretty popular (the Yeti and the Yeti Pro which has USB and XLR), and the AT2020 comes in a USB configuration (as does the Rode NT). They generally run around 150 dollars, 100 dollars on sale. The disadvantage of going USB is that you simply have to sell the microphone if you want to expand or you hate the sound of the microphone. Womp womp. Also, the Yeti in particular is super duper heavy and requires a pretty beefy microphone arm to stay stable. But a lot of streamers use USB so they don't have to bother with any audio crap.

    I'm also interested to see if other people who actually do streaming (not me!) have advice on this subject. Most of what I know comes from the audio recording world, which has some small amount of overlap, but there are stream-specific things like soundboards that I don't use.

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  • EriktheVikingGamerEriktheVikingGamer Registered User regular
    edited July 23
    Thanks for the effort post! @Hahnsoo1

    Went ahead and picked up an AT2020, Pop filter/shock absorber kit, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd gen), and a Neewer mic boom arm for the desk.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Thanks for the effort post! Hahnsoo1

    Went ahead and picked up an AT2020, Pop filter/shock absorber kit, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd gen), and a Neewer mic boom arm for the desk.
    I'm glad you picked something out! The AT2020 is a side address microphone, so be sure when you speak into it, you are speaking into the side (the cylinder part) and not the end (the circle part)... this is a mistake that a surprising number of streamers do, probably because they think their microphones work like the Shure SM7B. The pop filter mounts over the cylinder, so it's pretty easy to remember (speak into the pop filter). Also, it's a cardioid, so it's one-sided (usually the side of the microphone with the logo)... don't speak into the back of the mic or you'll sound distant.

    If you think you don't sound good on the AT2020 (I actually don't think this is going to be a problem, because the AT2020 hits WAY above its weight in its price range), then there are other microphones that you can try, too, even in the AT2020 price range. The Behringer (B-1 or C-1), MXL (990, V67G, or 770), Shure SM58 (more for singing vocals than streaming voice), and iSK Pro Audio (BM-900 or ICDM) are all similar quality choices (the Samson C01 is also in that range, but I'm not fond of it). The interface you got is pretty damn good one, so I wouldn't worry about that part of your setup.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited July 23
    In personal news, there was some dude who was selling their Yeti Pro AND Focusrite 2i2 (2nd Gen) for 130 bucks, and I couldn't pass it up. I was a bit nervous that the price was too good, and he would rip me off, but I just tested out both the Interface and the Yeti Pro on my own setup, and they both work perfectly fine. That's an awesome deal!

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  • Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    Drascin wrote: »
    Agh. So this february, when my old Samson 950 headphones gave up the ghost, I found out that apparently I had gotten them in a sale, because they were now significantly more expensive. So I got a set of HD681EVO, since people said they were good value for money.

    And they're already broken. The little plug on the left can where the male connector hangs seems to have gotten straight up sliced by the tension, so now I need to be holding the cable together in order for the right headphone to sound. Blegh. Might try to open and duct tape a bit if I have time.

    Could use some suggestions for new ones in case I can't manage to get them to work though.

    How much do you want to spend? Looking up both those models they seem to be on the cheaper side (under $50), which may explain the quality issue. I've have a couple pairs of ATH-M50's that have taken a beatings and are doing fine. The newer model even has multiple cords. But you're looking at the $100 range for those.

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  • emp123emp123 Registered User regular
    I'm thinking about making the jump to a wireless headset as I'd like something to use from my couch, but I dont really know if they're worth it vs similarly priced actual headphones (biggest loss for me would be a mic, which maybe I could finagle another way). Currently I have Logitech Z-5500s hooked up to my tv and all the sound comes through there. I use Audio-Technica ATH-M50xs on my PC and they're fine. Not great, not bad; if I get a wireless headset I'd like to use them on both my PC and my PS4.

    I've found 3 headsets that might work for me, but I really dont know what I'm getting myself into.
    The wireless options I've seen recommended are:
    Sennheiser GSP 670
    SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless
    HyperX Cloud Flight

    I didnt go into this expecting to spend $350 on a headset that would let me talk while playing BL3 and at that price I kinda figure it'd be better to spend the money on actual headphones and just suck it up when it comes to wireless and the PS4 (I think I can plug my earbuds into my controller and have chat go through that while game sounds go through my speakers?).

    Anyone have any suggestions?

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  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Don't know if folks around here are into this kind of thing, but can anyone recommend waterproof headphones/players for lap swimming?

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
  • Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    Don't know if folks around here are into this kind of thing, but can anyone recommend waterproof headphones/players for lap swimming?

    Whatever is cheapest haha. I got through new tips all the time on my gym headphones; I don't have much faith in underwater ones. Seems there are decently cheap options on Amazon with decent reviews.

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  • Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    emp123 wrote: »
    I'm thinking about making the jump to a wireless headset as I'd like something to use from my couch, but I dont really know if they're worth it vs similarly priced actual headphones (biggest loss for me would be a mic, which maybe I could finagle another way). Currently I have Logitech Z-5500s hooked up to my tv and all the sound comes through there. I use Audio-Technica ATH-M50xs on my PC and they're fine. Not great, not bad; if I get a wireless headset I'd like to use them on both my PC and my PS4.

    I've found 3 headsets that might work for me, but I really dont know what I'm getting myself into.
    The wireless options I've seen recommended are:
    Sennheiser GSP 670
    SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless
    HyperX Cloud Flight

    I didnt go into this expecting to spend $350 on a headset that would let me talk while playing BL3 and at that price I kinda figure it'd be better to spend the money on actual headphones and just suck it up when it comes to wireless and the PS4 (I think I can plug my earbuds into my controller and have chat go through that while game sounds go through my speakers?).

    Anyone have any suggestions?

    I hate plugging my headphones into my PS4 controller. Doesn't matter how good or bad they are, the controller doesn't have enough juice to power them. I output my PS4 audio to my PC soundcard and then drive my M50's from that.

    If you want something that sounds better than the M50's, I'm not sure how much luck you'll have with a wireless set. Non-gaming wireless headsets may not sound much better (some places have the BT version of the M50 as one of the best out there). For gaming headsets, I think it's matching the M50's or under when it comes to sound quality.

    If you want something with similar sound quality that's wireless, you could probably find that (I'd buy from a place with a good return policy). But for a noticeably improved sound quality, I'd stick with the wired kind. Though that opens up a whole other can of worms around where you want to go with the improvement and sound signature lol.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Don't know if folks around here are into this kind of thing, but can anyone recommend waterproof headphones/players for lap swimming?
    @firewaterword I'd recommend a bone-conduction headphones or speaker of some sort. There are models of speaker that are designed to fit under your swim cap. They are the size of a small glasses case, and they transmit sound through the back of your skull (freaky!). Aftershokz makes a waterproof version of their bone-conduction headphones, as of this year. The sound quality isn't fantastic, but it overall felt better than earbuds I've tried, and they don't isolate sound (I prefer to maintain my hearing when swimming, but not everyone wants this, obviously).

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  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    Don't know if folks around here are into this kind of thing, but can anyone recommend waterproof headphones/players for lap swimming?
    firewaterword I'd recommend a bone-conduction headphones or speaker of some sort. There are models of speaker that are designed to fit under your swim cap. They are the size of a small glasses case, and they transmit sound through the back of your skull (freaky!). Aftershokz makes a waterproof version of their bone-conduction headphones, as of this year. The sound quality isn't fantastic, but it overall felt better than earbuds I've tried, and they don't isolate sound (I prefer to maintain my hearing when swimming, but not everyone wants this, obviously).

    Oh yeah I remember looking into those when I was running outdoors. Do they have a built in player? I've read bluetooth doesn't play well as far as transmitting in water goes.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    Don't know if folks around here are into this kind of thing, but can anyone recommend waterproof headphones/players for lap swimming?
    firewaterword I'd recommend a bone-conduction headphones or speaker of some sort. There are models of speaker that are designed to fit under your swim cap. They are the size of a small glasses case, and they transmit sound through the back of your skull (freaky!). Aftershokz makes a waterproof version of their bone-conduction headphones, as of this year. The sound quality isn't fantastic, but it overall felt better than earbuds I've tried, and they don't isolate sound (I prefer to maintain my hearing when swimming, but not everyone wants this, obviously).

    Oh yeah I remember looking into those when I was running outdoors. Do they have a built in player? I've read bluetooth doesn't play well as far as transmitting in water goes.
    A lot of them do, yes! And you are absolutely right, Bluetooth (and other wireless) does NOT play well with swimming/water.

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