Headset help for a headset noob…

#1 Posted by crusher529 (172 posts) -

I'm currently in the market for a headset, and I'm really not sure what to get. I would love to get some help for those of you who have experience with headsets.

Current Situation:

For my time of playing on PS3 I currently have surround sound audio system and a wireless bluetooth ear piece. I decided that I would like to upgrade to a headset when I get a PS4 this summer.

What I'm Looking For:

I would like to get a headset with…

-Universal Capabilities (At least: PS4, PS3, Mac, and iPhone)

-$100 and under (wouldn't mind going slightly over)

-Overall good quality (Mic, audio, etc)

-Lastly, the ability to hear my own voice (I don't want to be screaming in the headset at my friends, or disturb the people in my house because I can't hear myself.)

-(Preferably not Turtle Beach)

Thanks in advanced for anyone who provides good/helpful input!

#2 Edited by barry000 (806 posts) -

i have the sony pulse headset (i have both the elite edition and the gold edition). although you can't hear your own voice in them since the mic is built in to one of the earphones, they are far better than any other headset in my opinion. plus there is an app for the elite edition and the gold edition on both the ps3 and ps4

#3 Edited by crusher529 (172 posts) -

@barry000: How is mic quality? Thats the only that that I heard was bad about them. I don't want to have my friends or teammates complaining about my mic.

#4 Posted by barry000 (806 posts) -

@crusher529: the mic quality is fine. everybody on my friends list knows i got the pulse headsets and none of them have any issues hearing me.

#5 Posted by crusher529 (172 posts) -

@barry000: That is weird, I listened to some mic tests on YouTube and the mic sounded like they were talking underwater. I'll have to go take another look soon.

#6 Posted by barry000 (806 posts) -

@crusher529: thats why i don't use youtube for headset reviews. the pulse headsets are not as bad as some make it out to be. when i first started using the pulse headsets, i asked people on my friends list if they could hear me clearly and they all said yes.

#7 Edited by MethodManFTW (25356 posts) -

@barry000: How is mic quality? Thats the only that that I heard was bad about them. I don't want to have my friends or teammates complaining about my mic.

i have pulse elites. i like them. they aren't the most high quality headsets in the world but they work just great for me on PS4 and PC.

though you can hear yourself talk on them if you want. it has three different levels for that.

#8 Edited by BattleSpectre (5952 posts) -

Official Wireless Sony 7.1 surround sound headphones. You just plug a USB into your PS3 and you're good to go. Doesn't get much better than that, and yes they work with PS4 and PC.

#9 Edited by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

Just keep in mind that these Sony headsets aren't very good. You should save some money and actually get something decent. The only reason people even bought the Pulse and Gold is because they say Playstation on them.

The sound is average, the surround sound sucks and they are made out of cheap plastic with pleather earpads. Once the pleather starts to peel, you can't replace them. If you misplace the USB dongle, you can throw the headset in the garbage because they won't replace that either even for a price the Pulse headset also has a known cracking issue because the plastic materials used cannot handle stress.

#10 Posted by stationplay_4 (442 posts) -

i have a motorola s305 and it is my preferred mic to use.

#11 Edited by BattleSpectre (5952 posts) -

@Murderstyle75 said:

Just keep in mind that these Sony headsets aren't very good. You should save some money and actually get something decent. The only reason people even bought the Pulse and Gold is because they say Playstation on them.

The sound is average, the surround sound sucks and they are made out of cheap plastic with pleather earpads.

I've had mine for 2 years without a single issue. Also you have never used them before have you? Because if you have you would know for the price tag these are the best bang for buck 7.1 surround sound headphones going around in the market.

How about you name me another pair of headphones that are wireless, as simple to use and also come with 7.1 surround sound for the exact same price tag.... Yeah that's what I thought.

Please don't shit on a product going by what idiots tell you online, I suggest you buy a pair before you judge, you might be surprised.

#12 Edited by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@BattleSpectre:

I've heard them and they aren't good at all. Console gaming headsets are pretty much a gamers version of Beats and SOL Republics

The only reason people think they like them is because they have never heard better because the comparisons consist of other crap like a Turtle Beach, Afterglow and Tritton or a shitty pair of iBuds.

And the so called surround sound is just aweful. This is not 6 channel simulation like products using Dolby Headphone through Toslink. This is two channel stereo with some gimmicky effects to try and perceive 7.1 and does a poor job doing it. Sadly, they actually sound better with the VSS turned off. None of the processing is even coming from the headset you bought. It all happens in the console itself and sent to the headphones through that crappy dongle.

So then what exactly did you pay $100 to $150 for? It's certainly not the headphones because a $30 pair of Sennheisers or Sony MDR's sound better. Just a bunch of gimmicks written on a box, access to a crappy audio application, a mic comparable to what I can buy for $3.00 and vibrators for your ears.

And if you think there isn't a build problem, perhaps you should visit Sonys support board. Here's one

http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation-Peripherals-Support/Is-Pulse-Elite-Headset-a-case-for-recall/td-p/41498393

And here is what can happen to the cheap earpads which can only be replaced on the original wireless using a different brand. It would cost hundreds of dollars in trial and error to find a replacement for the Elite or Golds

http://www.head-fi.org/t/663648/replacing-the-pleather-earpads-on-the-sony-wireless-7-1-headset-with-velour

#13 Edited by barry000 (806 posts) -

@Murderstyle75: at the end of the day, its your OPINION, not a fact. you can talk bad about the pulse headsets all you want but its all an opinion. you also have to realize that not everybody has $200 or $300 to spend on a great headset. i have the pulse headsets and the sound is better than you claim. just because some people have had problems with the sound or the build of the headset, that doesn't mean everybody else has. i have never had any problems at all with the pulse headsets. maybe the people you claim have problems with them are the kind of people that take terrible care of their headsets. the pulse headsets are good headsets for their price and fit better than turtle beach headsets if you wear glasses.

#14 Posted by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@barry000:

Why don't you read the support post I linked and you will see it's a problem with the plastic itself. And nothing I am saying is opinion. You really did pay $100 to $150 for a $40 headset. Saying it's opinion would be like saying it's only opinion that 1080p looks better then 480i. Is it really opinion that 6 channel licensed surround sound is better then some generic 2 channel VSS? Is it opinion that open back headphones offer higher fidelity and a realistic soundstage? This isn't opinion. It's fact and science. The only reason you think your Pulse sounds great is because you never bothered to hear better and bought into this console headset scam.

And sure. People may claim they don't have money to spend on a headset however that also doesn't mean you should be held hostage by shitty products because you don't know how to save for better.

These headsets don't last forever and if you don't end up with a plastic problem, you are going to eventually end up with a battery problem which Sony will not replace and these batteries do not last forever. Meanwhile the setup I spent a few hundred on (saved BTW) will last me at least 20 years. You can also get a good entry level setup for under $200 with the ability to upgrade.

#15 Edited by barry000 (806 posts) -

@Murderstyle75: all you are showing me is you hate sony products. i have never had any problems with the pulse headsets regardless of how much you don't like them and unlike you, i'm not going to spend hundreds of dollars to make a headset last 20 years. a cheap $100 headset is good enough for me.

#16 Posted by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@barry000:

No. Actually the Sony MDR MA900's are some of the best headphones ever made. These of course are made by Sony Japan. Not some crappy headset sold at Toys R Us that's not even made by their headphone division. They probably even hired a former Turtle Beach engineer to design the stupid things. They don't even release the specs for these because there is much to hide. They only advertise gimmicky features like VSS and Pulse feedback.

What's apparent here is you are getting all fanboy over a headset that says Playststion on it, justifying paying $100 for maybe $20 in audio. Save some money and buy something nice. Stop getting ripped off. Your ears deserve better, my friend and a good pair of cans will drastically increase your gaming performance because you will have true hi-fidelity, an excellent soundstage and imaging and dead accurate positional cues like you are really on the battlefield. Of somebody is shooting at me from my six, 25 feet on a second story building, I know exactly where they are. Then by tracking their footsteps, I know exactly where they are going.

People buy new consoles and 1080p HDTV's for the best experience. Why on earth would you want to sell yourself short when it comes to your audio? You might as well be playing in 480p. Keep in mind that $200 to $300 on a decent headphone system is the equivalent of having a $1000 to $2000 home theater on your head. With the price of the Pulse, you would be more then half way there on an entry level headphone system that blows away even a $300 console headset.

#17 Edited by barry000 (806 posts) -

@Murderstyle75: i'm getting all fanboy? don't make me laugh. the reason why i prefer the pulse headset over any other is because they fit better than any other headset i've tryed for someone like me who has to wear glasses all the time. i don't know you so i'm not going to sit here and call you a fanboy (unlike you) just because i disagree with you. headsets are just like consoles. they are all about preference. not which is the best. you need to learn to get to know someone a little bit before you start that "fanboy" crap. i'm not a hardcore gamer like you so i'm not going to spend $300 on a headset when i don't play multiplayer games that much. i use my ps3 and ps4 mostly for single player games, netflix, the WWE app and to chat with my friends. not to get obsessed with getting the best experience out of shooters. like i said, a $100 headset is good enough for me. i don't need a $300 headset.

#19 Edited by BattleSpectre (5952 posts) -

@Murderstyle75 said:

@BattleSpectre:

I've heard them and they aren't good at all. Console gaming headsets are pretty much a gamers version of Beats and SOL Republics

The only reason people think they like them is because they have never heard better because the comparisons consist of other crap like a Turtle Beach, Afterglow and Tritton or a shitty pair of iBuds.

And the so called surround sound is just aweful. This is not 6 channel simulation like products using Dolby Headphone through Toslink. This is two channel stereo with some gimmicky effects to try and perceive 7.1 and does a poor job doing it. Sadly, they actually sound better with the VSS turned off. None of the processing is even coming from the headset you bought. It all happens in the console itself and sent to the headphones through that crappy dongle.

So then what exactly did you pay $100 to $150 for? It's certainly not the headphones because a $30 pair of Sennheisers or Sony MDR's sound better. Just a bunch of gimmicks written on a box, access to a crappy audio application, a mic comparable to what I can buy for $3.00 and vibrators for your ears.

And if you think there isn't a build problem, perhaps you should visit Sonys support board. Here's one

http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation-Peripherals-Support/Is-Pulse-Elite-Headset-a-case-for-recall/td-p/41498393

And here is what can happen to the cheap earpads which can only be replaced on the original wireless using a different brand. It would cost hundreds of dollars in trial and error to find a replacement for the Elite or Golds

http://www.head-fi.org/t/663648/replacing-the-pleather-earpads-on-the-sony-wireless-7-1-headset-with-velour

Like I said smartass name me a pair of headphones for the exact same price that offer 7.1 surround sound? Also for your information the official Sony headphones retail for $80 not $150. You can sit there all you want and talk out of your ass but the difference is I actually own the headphones and can vouch for how great they are.

Thanks for coming.

#20 Edited by Geminon (1095 posts) -

astro A50s... yes they are well above your price, but they are the best headset you can buy for console gaming. you will never need to look elsewhere.

#21 Edited by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@BattleSpectre:

7.1 Surround Sound. Lol

Apparently you are a victim of the marketing on the box. That headset isn't anymore 7.1 then Home Theaters were, 5.1 in the 1980's. That surround sound you claim you are getting through that dongle isn't any different then a setup using red and white A/V cables. Even the positive tech reviews for Sonys headsets say the Surround Sound isn't even close to real. Stop talking about. 7.1. Those headsets are only two channels.

#22 Posted by juboner (327 posts) -

@Murderstyle75: But you do like the Dolby surround of the mix amp pro right murderstyle?

The thing is that you will get used to the sound quality of nice headphones real fast and then they dont have the same impact anymore. Until you go back to the old crappy pair you where using.

#23 Edited by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@juboner:

Certainly. Dolby Headphone simulates 7.1 from Dolby 5.1 while Sonys VSS is only using a two channel source. But it's not Dolby Headphone alone that makes headphones good for gaming. The headphones need a good soundstage and imaging as well or else Dolby Headphone will sound too closed in.

#24 Edited by juboner (327 posts) -

@Murderstyle75: Oh I didnt know that it used a stereo signal to produce surround with the sony pulse. I'm thinking about just getting a chinese DAC with headphone amp built in: Audio-gd NFB -11.32 , I wont have Dolby surround but I can use it for music and hook it up to floorstanding setup along with my consoles. I want to see if I can get some more out of my HD 558's. chasing better and better sound lol.

#25 Edited by Sephir0th_ (1377 posts) -

I've been using a Turtle Beach X12 for almost a year now and I love it. It's definitely worth taking a look at.

#26 Posted by bezza2011 (2193 posts) -

@crusher529: I put the same thing on here a few months ago and many encouraged me to buy a gaming wireless headset but Murderstyle75 gave me great advice, I was looking for headsets below $100 aswel but murderstyle75 linked me to some great setups, if your not bothered about wires and want true surround sound and great clear sounds and a great mic you need to get my setup.

you need a

Astro MixAmp Pro $129.99 LINK

Superlux HD668B Headphones $38.99 LINK

Zalman ZM-MIC1 $7.59 LINK

7.1 surround sound, great base, great feel, the Mic is super clear, you can adjust game audio and mic audio, probably the best sounds i have ever heard for gaming, because it's so good you can turn down the tv volume and no one can hear anything except you. yes go with the whole wireless headphones if your not bothered about quality otherwise this setup is an absolute pleasure to play gaming with, it actually made the games better, i was hearing sounds i've never heard before on my tv or in any other headphones i've ever had, yes it's a bit more on the expensive side, but you have to remember the mix amp pro is very durable and will last a long long time and if you ever wanted to get better headphones or your headphones break, your not breaking the bank again to sort it out.

i honestly cannot praise this setup enough, it's leaps and bounds beyound anything i've ever had before, the only draw back is the wires but that's what you get for if you want stable quality, just like internet connection is always bettered wired.

#27 Posted by crusher529 (172 posts) -

Well, I think I have actually decided on what I would like to get. Just saw the Skullcandy PLYR 1 go on sale on Amazon for $135. It seems like a pretty good deal for the price. :)

#28 Edited by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@crusher529:

If you aren't willing to buy a wired setup like the one mentioned above, the PLYR1 is surprisingly good for a console headset. Sounds really good, uses 7.1 Dolby Headphone and has velour/memory foam earpads.

It's not a great competitive headset since it's not an open design but it definately gets the job done for that kind of price. This headset is about 5 steps above the Pulse or Gold and even outperforms the $300 Astro A50's.

I also see you inquired about them on the official Playstation boards. da1writer can help you with everything you need to know about the Plyr1. A lot of people on that board who found a wired setup to be a deal breaker, are now using this headset after I recommended it, most upgrading from the Sony Wireless or Pulse.

#29 Posted by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@juboner:

Yep and I don't believe it's possible to pass real surround sound through that dongle.

And what you are trying to do with your headphones sounds interesting. Have you tried the HD558 mod? Apparently if you remove these tape strips from inside the headphones, they sound a bit more like the HD598's. I watched a video on YouTube and it looks really easy.

#30 Posted by juboner (327 posts) -

@Murderstyle75: Yeah I have heard about the mod on some forums but not sure I want them to sound like 598's, I like bass. Might look into it more like how the inside of 598's are designed, couldnt be the same as 558's just without tape strips could it? That would be something. I thought 598's where more for classical or symphonic type real instrument music more so than 598's.

#31 Posted by crusher529 (172 posts) -

@crusher529:

If you aren't willing to buy a wired setup like the one mentioned above, the PLYR1 is surprisingly good for a console headset. Sounds really good, uses 7.1 Dolby Headphone and has velour/memory foam earpads.

It's not a great competitive headset since it's not an open design but it definately gets the job done for that kind of price. This headset is about 5 steps above the Pulse or Gold and even outperforms the $300 Astro A50's.

I also see you inquired about them on the official Playstation boards. da1writer can help you with everything you need to know about the Plyr1. A lot of people on that board who found a wired setup to be a deal breaker, are now using this headset after I recommended it, most upgrading from the Sony Wireless or Pulse.

Well, thanks for the recommendation of the headset and for reassuring me that I will be purchasing a good product. I have seen you around on the Playstation forums being of great help to those who are not familiar with headsets.

For that, I thank you.

#32 Edited by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@juboner:

The HD598's really stand out for classical and acoustic music but sound great with most all music though. They are also exceptional for competitive gaming although your 558's are really good as well. Removing those strips should give you a trade off. You should get brighter mids and highs with more detail at a cost of some of your bass. It should open the soundstage more too. In threads I've viewed, most seem to prefer the strips off. But of course if you didn't like it, you could always put them back on.

#33 Posted by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@crusher529:

No problem and if you look through this guide, you can get a pretty in depth review from the Audiophiles perspective.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-update-4-17-2014-akg-k612-and-k712-pro-added-edits

#34 Posted by juboner (327 posts) -

@Murderstyle75: Yeah thats what I figured, Im sure it opens them up a lot. Maybe sometime much later I will but there is very little bass on most stuff I listen to. But when I play a more modern song with loads of bass it does stand out quite a bit then.

#35 Edited by crusher529 (172 posts) -

@crusher529:

No problem and if you look through this guide, you can get a pretty in depth review from the Audiophiles perspective.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-update-4-17-2014-akg-k612-and-k712-pro-added-edits

Last question:

Will these work out of the box with iPhone and Mac, or will I need to purchase some sort of converter?

#36 Edited by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@crusher529:

I do know there is a port on the headset but I'm not sure if it's used for audio or just Xbox chat. Since they are optical though, they should work on your Mac so long as it has an optical port for Dolby Surround Sound. These questions can be better answered by da1writer on the official forums or send him a message on PSN.

What I can tell you is that you can plug your phone into the base station and listen to music while gaming which is a feature the Playstation itself currently lacks. The base station also doubles as a headset stand.

#37 Edited by crusher529 (172 posts) -

@Murderstyle75:

That's great to hear. Thank you for your help, and I will definitely refer to da1writer.

[EDIT]: da1writer just told me that you can get a Turtle Beach PS4 chat cable to connect your headset to your phone.