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Surround Sound Headsets

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Posts

  • martyllianmartyllian Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I recently bought these from Amazon for around $99
    Tritton TRIAX-720 AX 720 Dolby Digital Surround Sound

    I really like them. I use them with my Iphone, Xbox 360, PC, etc. they come with an insanely long cable too.

    Sound quality is really nice, and they do tend to replicate the surround sound well (rear sounds come from rear, et al)

    If you, like me, wanted a decent headset but couldnt spend the $250 on the ones you wanted, you should not be dissapointed with these. They are also comfy.

    martyllian on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Shit, while we're here I'll give a heads up to all my new Astro buddies.

    If you're using it on Xbox, careful with that chat cable (controller to Mixamp/Receiver). I assume they're using the same thing with the new wireless Mixamp, and it's more fragile than it looks. It's probably the highest failure item of the whole kit.

    Basically, that black block in the middle? That's not "solid." It's not like a simple DC choke or anything, it's actually got a PCB mounted in there with dual transformers soldered to it (for, I'm assuming, electrical isolation). Let it bang against the ol' table too many times, and they can break loose...then you'll either not be able to talk or not be able to hear. No fun. And, because it's a high failure rate item, they're often out of stock at Astro...it took me like four to five weeks to get one when mine failed (support gives them out free, but they were sold out at the store as well).

    So, like, be careful with it.

    See post #8 in this thread for a little more info and pics (they're clickable thumbnails).

    Not a bad thing, I wouldn't even call it poor design, but without letting the customer know that it's...well, not quite "fragile" but not so solid...it leads to a lot of unnecessary failures. People will treat things better if they know they have to.

    mcdermott on
  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Huh. I'm not on Live a whole lot, so I don't see it being a huge issue for me. You know, after looking at my cable, it doesn't have the black block in the middle. It's just a straight up 2.5mm to 2.5mm cord.

    For people without AV Receivers, I've kinda jury-rigged a little thing together so I only have to have one (long) TOSlink cable running from my PS3, TV, and 360.

    If your 360 doesn't have optical out, you'll need the adapter. You can either pay $40 for the official HDMI cable from Microsoft, Monoprice has this (on back order, though)

    Or you could get this from Amazon, which is an HDMI cable + adapter for 8 bucks. Not bad, all things considering, and it's eligible for Amazon Prime.

    As for everything else, you just need this switch from Monoprice, and a sufficient number of cables! I spent about ~15 on cables and adapters and everything, which is a heck of a lot cheaper then a receiver.

    Pirusu on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Pirusu wrote: »
    Huh. I'm not on Live a whole lot, so I don't see it being a huge issue for me. You know, after looking at my cable, it doesn't have the black block in the middle. It's just a straight up 2.5mm to 2.5mm cord.

    For people without AV Receivers, I've kinda jury-rigged a little thing together so I only have to have one (long) TOSlink cable running from my PS3, TV, and 360.

    If your 360 doesn't have optical out, you'll need the adapter. You can either pay $40 for the official HDMI cable from Microsoft, Monoprice has this (on back order, though)

    Or you could get this from Amazon, which is an HDMI cable + adapter for 8 bucks. Not bad, all things considering, and it's eligible for Amazon Prime.

    As for everything else, you just need this switch from Monoprice, and a sufficient number of cables! I spent about ~15 on cables and adapters and everything, which is a heck of a lot cheaper then a receiver.

    Maybe on the wireless version they moved the isolation circuitry into the receiver? They might have more space now. That's good, though, because man is that a pain in the ass on the wired. And on the wired mixamp, a simple 2.5<->2.5 cable won't work, you'll get all kinds of noise and shit (some people cobbled together some stuff using chokes on a standard cable, though).

    Anyway yeah, I've already got a ncie optical setup...3 optical cables that are like 3', a 3 to 1 switch, and I already have a 25' optical. That way I can run all my devices using just the one output and the switch, and the long cable runs (relatively) discretely to my wired mixamp.

    mcdermott on
  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Well, I've got the wired. Odd. Could be they mis-packaged it or something.

    Pirusu on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Pirusu wrote: »
    Well, I've got the wired. Odd. Could be they mis-packaged it or something.

    So...it didn't come with one of these?

    mcdermott on
  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Pirusu wrote: »
    Well, I've got the wired. Odd. Could be they mis-packaged it or something.

    So...it didn't come with one of these?

    Nope! I checked all my cables. It just has a normal 2.5mm <-> 2.5mm cable, without the brick in the middle of it.

    Edit: Figured I'd go to the source, so I asked on the forums, and they've revised the mixamp and the cable so that I don't need the brick-y cable.

    Source.

    Pirusu on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Excellent...definitely a good idea. Though hopefully they figured out either a different method to isolate or secured the transformers a little better inside the Mixamp, since now any problem would require sending the entire Mixamp back.

    See, now this has me wanting to sell my A40 system and buy a new one, just so I have the current revisions. It's a trap, though, because they improve it a bit every year. I probably will actually do this anyway, but only because I want to get the green BXRs next time they become available (I went ahead and signed up to be notified).

    mcdermott on
  • IcemopperIcemopper Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    They do have upgrades on the website if you want that. That way you can keep your old one, upgrade it a bit, and not have to buy a whole new set.

    I don't think it is a full upgrade, but it might be close enough?

    Icemopper on
  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Gonna pick up a set of the 720s on the way home from work and give 'em a whirl. My $20 Sony headphones I use for everything are starting to get painful.

    I looked over the Astros but holy shit are they pricey.

    maximumzero on
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    Switch: 6200-8149-0919 / Wii U: maximumzero / 3DS: 0860-3352-3335 / eBay Shop
  • heckelsheckels Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I have the 720's and they are pretty good.

    heckels on
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  • IcemopperIcemopper Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Got the Astro A40's today. I haven't tried them on a game yet (since I'm at work), but listening to music is fantastic. They're a bit bulky, so I'm not walking around the office or anything with them on. Still, the sound quality is incredible, at least compared to what I've had before. They're extremely comfortable, and very good at blocking outside noise.

    It was expensive, but it is so worth it. The build on these things makes it obvious that these will last a very very long time.

    Icemopper on
  • AthenorAthenor Who needs lions when you have a battlecruiser? Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    On your recommendations I picked up the Sennheiser 151's. Holy.. Wow, these may be the best headphones I've ever worn, and they blow my 377's out of the water. Haven't tested the mic yet, but it's a really noticeable difference, even without tinkering with my audio card settings.

    Thank you sound gurus!

    Athenor on
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    Steam & NNID - Athenor // 3DS: 3883-5283-0471
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Icemopper wrote: »
    Got the Astro A40's today. I haven't tried them on a game yet (since I'm at work), but listening to music is fantastic. They're a bit bulky, so I'm not walking around the office or anything with them on. Still, the sound quality is incredible, at least compared to what I've had before. They're extremely comfortable, and very good at blocking outside noise.

    It was expensive, but it is so worth it. The build on these things makes it obvious that these will last a very very long time.

    I have a set of A30s (the PAX limited edition ones) for work. They are amazing as well, and at $100 (no tax, no shipping) they were quite a steal.

    If Astro has the kind of presence next year that they had this year, and if PAX is your thing, look for them.
    Gonna pick up a set of the 720s on the way home from work and give 'em a whirl. My $20 Sony headphones I use for everything are starting to get painful.

    I looked over the Astros but holy shit are they pricey.

    Honestly, once you've gone that far I'd at least chip in the little extra and get the Turtle Beach's (the x41s are nice, wireless, and do the same surround effect).

    mcdermott on
  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Icemopper wrote: »
    Got the Astro A40's today. I haven't tried them on a game yet (since I'm at work), but listening to music is fantastic. They're a bit bulky, so I'm not walking around the office or anything with them on. Still, the sound quality is incredible, at least compared to what I've had before. They're extremely comfortable, and very good at blocking outside noise.

    It was expensive, but it is so worth it. The build on these things makes it obvious that these will last a very very long time.

    I have a set of A30s (the PAX limited edition ones) for work. They are amazing as well, and at $100 (no tax, no shipping) they were quite a steal.

    If Astro has the kind of presence next year that they had this year, and if PAX is your thing, look for them.
    Gonna pick up a set of the 720s on the way home from work and give 'em a whirl. My $20 Sony headphones I use for everything are starting to get painful.

    I looked over the Astros but holy shit are they pricey.

    Honestly, once you've gone that far I'd at least chip in the little extra and get the Turtle Beach's (the x41s are nice, wireless, and do the same surround effect).

    Well, I'm gonna give the 720s their fair shake, but if I decide to keep them I'll likely end up returning them and getting them from Amazon instead. I've got a $25 Gift Card and that plus their already cheaper price and no tax means it's like $50 cheaper than I ended up at Best Buy.

    maximumzero on
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  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Welp, it's as I feared. The Optical out on my TV only works for Cable/Antenna, meaning that it doesn't output every audio source that's inputted into the TV, which means the AX 720's useless.

    It sounds great plugged directly into the 360, but I'd kinda like to use these headphones for all my consoles.

    Edit: I'm gonna play the 360 for about an hour or so and then back in the box they go for return tomorrow. Guess I'll stick to the MDR-V150s that I've always used.

    Edit 2: What I seem to need are the AX 900s, which has this.

    tritton-ax-900-gaming-headphones-20090611034005997.jpg

    That'd be perfect. Optical out of my 360 into Ch1 there, and the Audio Out on my TV to Ch3. That way I'd get true 5.1 for the 360 and then standard Stereo for the Wii, Dreamcast, and N64. Alas, it seems that the AX 900s doesn't even exist.

    maximumzero on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Looks like the AX900 closed the gap in price, though, with the A40 system; still cheaper, but they were pushing $200...and $200 can get you an Astro Mixamp combined with any number of competent standalone headsets (such as the Razer Carcharias).

    The reviews I saw looking around at the AX900s were all from like 2009, and nothing since...did those ever even see a "real" release? Or did they realize the pricepoint was no good and dump the stock they'd produced? Because damn, you're right...those things do not exist. Not even used, not on eBay, nothin'.

    mcdermott on
  • IcemopperIcemopper Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    So with the A40s, is there a way on my PS3 to get 7.1 surround? I'm only seeing the 5.1 option...

    Icemopper on
  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Icemopper wrote: »
    So with the A40s, is there a way on my PS3 to get 7.1 surround? I'm only seeing the 5.1 option...

    The Mixamp will upconvert the audio. Just set it to 5.1 in your PS3 audio options, and the Mixamp does the rest.

    Pirusu on
  • IcemopperIcemopper Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I figured that might be it, since one would normally need an HDMI cable for true 7.1. That makes sense though.

    In any case, holy Merlin's pants, the A40's sound incrediblamazing. Wow.

    Icemopper on
  • IcemopperIcemopper Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Would I be wrong in saying this looks like an excellent sound card for the Astro A40s?

    Actually, I don't think I have the right connector... Bummer, that's such a good deal

    Icemopper on
  • IcemopperIcemopper Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    No wait... I think I do... I have a slot that is PCIex, so that's right, right? It just looks from that picture to have an extra little dongle that needs a slot.

    Icemopper on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Don't know what that "dongle" is, but yeah it's a standard PCIe card.

    And it works just great with the Mixamp. Full real-time DD5.1 encoding, which the Mixamp then decodes, on any game that can put out a 5.1 analog signal. The way it works is that it "ties" your standard analog 5.1 output (that every soundcard basically has) into the SPDIF slot.

    So on your games/OS, you choose the normal sound output (not the optical).

    But then it AC3 encodes it, and pipes it over the optical.

    The only downside, I think, is that you can't really use either output independently then (like, you can't just plug in headphones or speakers to your rear jack anymore). Not without going back into the settings, and disabling Dolby Digital Live.

    Regardless of all that, though, it works perfectly.

    As a heads-up, though, that one that's shipped through Circuit City took over two weeks to get to me. That was back near Christmastime, but still they were absurdly slow on shipping.
    I bought one for $100 at Best Buy, and when the one came in from CC I just returned it to BB. I'm a bad person.

    mcdermott on
  • IcemopperIcemopper Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I might still go for it, despite the slow shipping. It just seems like such an awesome deal!

    Icemopper on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Icemopper wrote: »
    I might still go for it, despite the slow shipping. It just seems like such an awesome deal!

    It is, that's a great price on it.

    And the spoiler'd bit is always an option...you know, if you're a bad person too.

    mcdermott on
  • IcemopperIcemopper Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm mostly just lazy. But I appreciate the advice.

    Icemopper on
  • Big ClassyBig Classy Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I've had some cheap-o Sennheiser headphones for about 6 years now. Sadly a few days ago the right speaker cut out and I found that the wire going to it cut out. If I twist it it'll work but really, I'll just settle for a new pair.

    They were so comfortable too. Don't think they're surround sound though.

    sennheiser-hd202-headphones.jpeg

    Big Classy on
  • martyllianmartyllian Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I use an optical switcher for my AX-720's. But I realize not everyone can do this. They really are nice Headphones for the price

    martyllian on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Big Isy wrote: »
    I've had some cheap-o Sennheiser headphones for about 6 years now. Sadly a few days ago the right speaker cut out and I found that the wire going to it cut out. If I twist it it'll work but really, I'll just settle for a new pair.

    They were so comfortable too. Don't think they're surround sound though.
    sennheiser-hd202-headphones.jpeg

    No, but they are nice. I just picked up a pair of Senn 515's, and man...it's kind of sad that they're nearly the equal of the A40s in sound and comfort (or actually the equal of them) for about $55. Though no microphone, obviously, and the mic on the A40 is pretty damn amazing.

    So yeah, it comes back to headset versus headphones.

    And there are very few actual "surround headphones," usually you're basically dealing with plain old headphones and a surround-sound processing amp (like the Mixamp, or the amp for the Trittons, etc). Occasionally these are built inline, but I think those are usually USB headsets and PC-only.

    Well, and there are also those silly headsets that have a hundred mini cones stuffed into them to produce "real" surround sound. But, of course, it's "real" garbage-sounding surround sound. Dolby Headphone processing into two good drivers beats the shit out of "real" surround with six or eight or however many fucking speakers those things have in them. The very definition of gimmick, those are.

    mcdermott on
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