Best headsets for PC voice chat
I have never been big on voice chat, but with the current crop of games I have noticed it's getting more and more necessary. I currently have a Jawbone II that I can hook up via bluetooth to my PC, but it's kind of a pain in the arse to do, and sometimes randomly starts substituting very loud static instead of my voice. You should hear the wails of surprise and horror when that happens.
So what's a good, comfortable, easy to work with solution for PC gaming? Wireless would be best, but only if it's super convenient to get working, I don't like fiddling with it every time I want to use it (a one time involved setup is fine). I am fine with either USB or something that plugs directly into the headphone jack. Bonus points if it works nicely with the 360 wirelessly. If it was good at surround sound that wouldn't go amiss either.
I recently got the Sennheiser PC 350 and I absolutely love it.
I've found that USB in Valve games is a waste of time. Must use the audio plugs, and therefore route the sound through the headset. Valve games put the comms on the same channels as game sound. The feedback some people with sensitive mic settings cause is a serious pain :/
Still king of lost
I've used Creative (not bad, at least the wireless one), Plantronics USB and mini plug as well, and other brands.
If you're going USB and you don't want to spend an arm and a leg, Plantronics and Sennheiser are decent brands. If you must have old EAX or OpenAL support for some old games (not really an issue in most old games) then you're going to want a sound card, probably a creative brand card, and a mini plug headset. If you already have a decent sound card, you again might also want a mini plug based headset. Otherwise USB works fine and is easy to configure. When you plug them in, they usually become the default sound device, but can also be configured to use only for voice communications in programs like Ventrilo and Teamspeak, allowing you to still fill the room with game sound from your normal sound card and speakers if you so choose.
The reviews for most of the surround based headsets are mixed. I would avoid blowing a lot of money on one unless you can test it somewhere. Otherwise, there are a number of headset brands to be had below about $60.
I picked up this HS-1200 Creative wireless headset a while back and have really enjoyed them so far. The internal batteries last for a decent time period after charge and it's not that big of a deal to charge while playing either. Bonus for this model for being WELL supported with effects in game due to it being a Creative brand.
Big fan of Sennheiser but I think I hate wires more. I use my HD600s all the time but I am always ripping the cords out of the ear pieces because I stand up with a foot on the wire. Hard to picture I know, but I consistently manage it.
I hate Creative too but that head set looks like it's pretty much what I want. Never tried surround sound head phones, I always thought it was a stupid gimmick, but then again I thought that yamaha ysp was too, and man was I wrong on that one. Thanks for the suggestions guys!
i got the pc (gray) version of the xbox wireless headset for $30 CAD on sale (regular $120 for some reason) and it works with both the PC and 360. granted, you have to use your regular pc speakers for sound still.
I have been using my regular headphones (Sennheiser HD580) with a Zalmann mic that attaches to the headphone cable successfully for years now. It's the clearest sounding mic I have ever used on my PC.
How does that work? Doesn't the mic shift around as the cable moves? I'd actually be curious to see a pic of that setup.
I don't play many Valve games, so YMMV but I wouldn't touch non-USB heatsets with a 10 foot pole after getting used to using USB heatsets. It is so much nicer to have exact volume and mixing control from two different devices for game sounds vs voice.
I've used the Microsoft LifeChat and some Plantronics usb headset for which I forget the model number and both worked great and cost about ~$25.
I'm thinking of telling the wife to get me the Astro A40 system as a present for my (gasp) 40th b'day next month. I'd be using it ostensibly for PC gaming. I wonder if my integrated mobo audio would undermine the benefits of a good mixer/headset?
that wireless creative one's looking pretty good: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16826158069
What are the downsides to it? I probably wouldn't use it that much, but it would be nice to have a mic/headset for playing games like Left4Dead. USB and wireless seem like a big plus, although that's a Valve game, so is that a bad choice because of the USB point mentioned above?
Still king of lost
- I think I get about 4-6 hours per charge.
- Well padded but somewhat tight at first. I bent the metal inside the headband ever so slightly to fix it.
- Sits on the ears, not over the ears. (I mention this because some folks hate that style.)
- They are USB. Easily allows mixing sound and voice sources if you want to use speakers for game sound and the headset for only voice communication.
- I can walk downstairs and into my kitchen with them on and still hear game sound.
- The charge cable can be plugged in as you wear them. It's small and thin, not bulky like a normal headset cable.
- Will work with EAX and OpenAL if you play a lot of older games.
- Has a very bendable metal mic that swivels up and out of the way. Probably the most posable mic attachment I've used on a headset.
- Very light. They seem much lighter (and cooler) than my 2 plantronics headsets.
- Great for game audio.
- Great mic pickup and clear transmit.
- Decent for music. Punchy but not overpowering bass. Okay mids. Highs seem a bit low volume on stock eq.
- Have volume up/down, power on/off and call-anser buttons on the right ear.
- Swiveling the mic all the way up on the left ear turns it off.
In summary these are GREAT for my gaming PC. I wouldn't use them to replace my audio headphones on my stereo though. They sound okay for that, but just not as clear on the top end as I hear on my heavy plug in stereo speakers. This is probably just a matter of the number of drivers. The headphones are not big, and there's only so much you can squeeze in there.
Sound great - thanks for the detailed thoughts. I only want it for occasional multiplayer gaming and talking on Skype, so it sound perfect for those purposes.
Still king of lost
No prob Dess, hope you enjoy them.