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View Full Version : Headphones + mike: Is cheap too crappy to be useful?



mandrill7
02-18-2006, 02:37 PM
Visited the local computer accessories store and viewed a rack of headphone/ mike sets ranging from $40 to $100. Is there a real functional difference between to two ends of the price spectrum as far as online simming is concerned? Are the cheapoes usable?

mgoyat
02-18-2006, 02:47 PM
Actually, 40 bucks for what is, after all, a mic and 2 mini-speakers is already expensive.
I have an El Cheapo one that cost me probably less than that (it was the cheapest one I found, actually), it works good enough for TS and playing FB when people are sleeping around. It's not even USB, bu classic minijacks (I have a Harman kardon Sound Sticks USB system).
Only thing you get with more expensive headphones is more comfort, which can help if you play hours without pausing...


iborg on HL

p-11.cAce
02-18-2006, 02:48 PM
I recently bought a $80 plantronics usb headset to take the place of the $19 radio shack headset I've been using for 3 years. I like the new headset alot but in some ways I like the cheap set better (and it still works fine). I would say cheap is no obstacle to usefulness - the sound just may not be as good.

jds1978
02-18-2006, 02:54 PM
Bought my HP259 for under 10$'s.....no problems here

SithSpeeder
02-18-2006, 06:11 PM
I had a radio shack cheapo (under $10?) set of headphones/mic with the standard plug.

I did a bunch of research and found a USB set that met my specifications for $35. I ended up getting a $50 pair for Christmas.

First, if you go USB, you can pipe just voice comms through the headphones and still have the in game sound (engines, guns, etc.) go through your speakers. For me, this is a huge immersion thing (subwoofer plus four speaker surround gives a great in-game sound).

Now if you are trying to "keep it down" by putting all the sound into your headphones, investing more money might be better.

BTW, I have a Logitech Premium USB Headset 300. It's a pretty nice unit and I would recommend it.

* _54th_Speeder *

jimDG
02-18-2006, 08:17 PM
yes. I got myself a crappy cheap set and the only way I can make the mike work is to put it 1mm in front of my mouth (otherwise noone hears anything). Or beter still - in my mouth.

Arms1
02-18-2006, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by mandrill7:
Visited the local computer accessories store and viewed a rack of headphone/ mike sets ranging from $40 to $100. Is there a real functional difference between to two ends of the price spectrum as far as online simming is concerned? Are the cheapoes usable?

AHS 502 best bang for the buck! not for the most discerning audiophile but they sound pretty good through an audigy2. been using them for a year now with no problems.

http://www.magnum-pc.com/ssproduct.asp?pf_id=10361105

vocatx
02-18-2006, 09:24 PM
I've been using a cheap pair of Logitech headphones with a voice-activated boom mic for nearly a year now. It plugs into the input and output jacks on my sound card. Cost about ten bucks a Wallyworld.

Tully__
02-18-2006, 09:26 PM
Should be able to find quite acceptable "they work" level headsets for US$20 or less. They're nothing to write home about in the quality department but they do work.
On the other hand I'm quite glad I spent US$60-70 for a set of fully enclosed Koss headphones/mic. Very comfortable to wear for long periods, good quality and they do a nice job of keeping the kids music out while I'm flying http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Bearcat99
02-18-2006, 09:33 PM
I use Logitech USBs for $49... they work great for me. Whatever you get get USB.

Freelancer-1
02-18-2006, 09:36 PM
My set up consists of 2.1 speakers off the sound card for the game sounds and a Plantronics USB headset for TeamSpeak.

A little more immersive that way, IMO.

Gold_Monkey
02-18-2006, 09:43 PM
Which headset has the less sensitive mic? I have a Plantronics with standard plugs, speaker/mic (which I have to replace because of a busted ear piece) but the mic is so sensitive that when my cat farts across the room everyone else can hear it on voice comms.

Arms1
02-18-2006, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by Bearcat99:
I use Logitech USBs for $49... they work great for me. Whatever you get get USB.

no disrespect bear but myself i would advise against usb, everything else i have is usb and plugging them directly into my sound card works fine, not sure on this but i heard running usb is more resource demanding, maybe someone could tell us more on this

Tully__
02-19-2006, 02:32 AM
Originally posted by Arms1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bearcat99:
I use Logitech USBs for $49... they work great for me. Whatever you get get USB.

no disrespect bear but myself i would advise against usb, everything else i have is usb and plugging them directly into my sound card works fine, not sure on this but i heard running usb is more resource demanding, maybe someone could tell us more on this </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
USB headset uses CPU to emulate hardware audio emulation and to do encrypt/decrypt for compressed audio (codecs) when on comms. If you're running through a recent model sound card most of that load will be supported by the card rather than CPU.

If you've got a hot system with plenty of performance headroom, no reason not to run USB but I'd not recommend them for a machine that is already maxed out running the sim.

p-11.cAce
02-19-2006, 07:26 AM
Gold_Monkey you may need to adjust your voice-activation level either under the radio settings under hardware setup in the game or under the settings in team speak. I only use ptt because I have a bad habit of yelling ******* or ******* or sometimes***** when I'm in a heated fight http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

madsarmy
02-19-2006, 07:39 AM
I can highly recommend these if you have the cash.

http://play.com/play247.asp?pa=srmr&page=title&r=ELEC&title=172076

Gold_Monkey
02-19-2006, 09:19 AM
Thanks Ace I'll play around with it but it seems no matter what voice com I/we are using (currently Skype set to conference call) the mic is so sensitive that the other guys can actually hear the clock on the wall ticking. (big clock) http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

HeinzBar
02-19-2006, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by Arms1:

AHS 502 best bang for the buck! not for the most discerning audiophile but they sound pretty good through an audigy2. been using them for a year now with no problems.

http://www.magnum-pc.com/ssproduct.asp?pf_id=10361105

S!,
Gotta agree w/ Arms1. I've used this headset since it was first released (or versions of it). I've gotta say the sound is excellent, but the comfort is superior to most headphones available. There's nothing worse than those cheap headsets when it comes to comfort. The exposed foam ear cups are just down right uncomfortable and irritating.

At $25-40 range, they're a very good deal.

HB

PBNA-Boosher
02-19-2006, 10:17 AM
A Plantronics headset is the way to go. It's about 24 bucks and it lasted me a few years. Sadly, it was destroyed because, when cleaning the house, my mom threw it on the floor clearing my desk. The connecting joints which keep the earpieces in were broken. It only goes to show you, if you mistreat something, it will break. Still, as long as the pressure from my ears on the frame keep the earpieces in, it still works very well.

airjunkie
02-19-2006, 12:28 PM
I use the mic that came with the computer and panasonics hp-ht355. Cannot bet the bass no other headphones can.

p1ngu666
02-19-2006, 01:31 PM
medusa headphones here too, deffo worth the money.

dont skimp on stuff u interact with (moniter, kb, mouse, joystick headphone/mic

Byron2005
02-19-2006, 01:35 PM
I have a pair of logitech headphones/mic that I bought for like 35-40, hella confortable and really nice mic.

CD_kp84yb
02-19-2006, 01:57 PM
i use El Cheapo de luxe as headset, first one coste 14 euro , bought one 3 weeks ago for 7,95 euro.

Well look from the brightside, when you get waxed online you can smash them at the wall
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif, without going bankrupt. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

both are working good but the damping on the ear wears fast, must be the track ir dots i have mounted on the mike, shaky head hahahaha

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Gold_Monkey
02-19-2006, 02:29 PM
I just picked up a $20 "Altec Lansing" head set at Staples no complaints with the sound and the mike has high/low/mute settings and of course volume control for the ear pieces. Music sounds good for a $20 set so online gaming sounds should be fine. Made a recording with the mike on medium and didn't hear any background noise on playback.

Bearcat99
02-19-2006, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by Tully__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Arms1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bearcat99:
I use Logitech USBs for $49... they work great for me. Whatever you get get USB.

no disrespect bear but myself i would advise against usb, everything else i have is usb and plugging them directly into my sound card works fine, not sure on this but i heard running usb is more resource demanding, maybe someone could tell us more on this </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
USB headset uses CPU to emulate hardware audio emulation and to do encrypt/decrypt for compressed audio (codecs) when on comms. If you're running through a recent model sound card most of that load will be supported by the card rather than CPU.

If you've got a hot system with plenty of performance headroom, no reason not to run USB but I'd not recommend them for a machine that is already maxed out running the sim. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I am using a Soundstorm setup.. but I have no problems at all on an XP3200 w 2GDDR400.

MrQBerrt
02-22-2006, 10:09 AM
Common 20 bucks? The man said cheap. I use these bad boys (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16826106502) that I got for less than $6, and they work great.

TgD Thunderbolt56
02-22-2006, 10:35 AM
"Headphones + mike: Is cheap too crappy to be useful?"

Absolutely not...period. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

I use a $180 set of AKG studio headphones/mic and would rather use a cheap $10 set with others on TS than nothing.

Lucius_Esox
02-22-2006, 10:48 AM
yes. I got myself a crappy cheap set and the only way I can make the mike work is to put it 1mm in front of my mouth (otherwise noone hears anything). Or beter still - in my mouth.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif I now know why some people sound so odd on t/speak...

Slechtvalk
02-22-2006, 11:11 AM
Originally posted by Bearcat99:

I am using a Soundstorm setup.. but I have no problems at all on an XP3200 w 2GDDR400.

My understanding is that when you got an usb headset it won't even use your soundstorm and therefore I believe EAX won't work either.

So if you got a good soundcard never get an USB headset.

jds1978
02-22-2006, 02:04 PM
whatever you do make sure you go push to talk http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/crackwhip.gif