PC gaming with 5.1 speakers vs 5.1 headset

spacemanspaceman Posts: 138
edited July 2011 in Video Games
Ok for starters, I think gaming headsets have terrible sq compared to regualr stereo headphones. Get that out of the way first.

Now, I have a decent surround system. I use the entire room which is about 14X13 w/ 10 ft ceiling. Not a good room. The pc is in the middle of the room giving me as much distance from the speakers as possible. The result is ok.

My wife gets pissed at me at times though. TOO LOUD!! Yeah, it is that. When you have Rocket 550MKIIs as main speakers you know it can get crazy loud.

So I am planning on getting an alternative, wife friendly option.

Therefore, I want to buy a 5.1 headset. I am planning on getting the new Turtle Beach Z6A when it comes out in August.

http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/pc-gaming-headsets/ear-force-z6a.aspx

Any arguments for or against this plan? Anyone have experience they want to share?

I am going to play BF3 competition. My team has won several events in BF and Cod. I will NEVER play cod but it does pay so we compete in it. Not me. I am a snob.
Post edited by spaceman on

Comments

  • AsSiMiLaTeDAsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,717
    edited July 2011
    My general experience is that the 5.1 headsets are rubbish. You would be better off with just a good regular set of headphones.
  • spacemanspaceman Posts: 138
    edited July 2011
    Like I said already, agreed in terms of SQ. However, if the directional sound is excellent....

    So, who has tried a 5.1 vs something like a pair of 701s? I have lots of experience w/ stereo headphones from jvc harx700 up to Stax. I found Stax to be the best for FPS gaming.
  • tommyboytommyboy Posts: 1,444
    edited July 2011
    spaceman wrote: »
    Like I said already, agreed in terms of SQ. However, if the directional sound is excellent....

    So, who has tried a 5.1 vs something like a pair of 701s? I have lots of experience w/ stereo headphones from jvc harx700 up to Stax. I found Stax to be the best for FPS gaming.

    I might be wrong, but aren't 5.1 headphones just running in dolby pro logic II?
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  • AsSiMiLaTeDAsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,717
    edited July 2011
    5.1 sets aren't just bad because they have poor sound quality, they're also bad because you give up all that sound quality and don't really get any better directional positioning than with a good set of cans.

    I've tried multiple 5.1 headphones, and none of them image any better than any of my 'good' headphones.

    I play plenty of CoD and BC2, and my Sennheiser 650 give me much better imaging than any of the 5.1 sets I've tried. In both scenarios I can hear things all around me, with with the 650 I can tell what it is and how far away it is, none of the 5.1 sets I've tried have enough 'resolution' to do that as easily.
  • spacemanspaceman Posts: 138
    edited July 2011
    tommyboy wrote: »
    I might be wrong, but aren't 5.1 headphones just running in dolby pro logic II?

    The ones I am referring to use 5.1 analogue inputs. The Dolby headsets are not considered.
  • spacemanspaceman Posts: 138
    edited July 2011
    5.1 sets aren't just bad because they have poor sound quality, they're also bad because you give up all that sound quality and don't really get any better directional positioning than with a good set of cans.

    I've tried multiple 5.1 headphones, and none of them image any better than any of my 'good' headphones.

    I play plenty of CoD and BC2, and my Sennheiser 650 give me much better imaging than any of the 5.1 sets I've tried. In both scenarios I can hear things all around me, with with the 650 I can tell what it is and how far away it is, none of the 5.1 sets I've tried have enough 'resolution' to do that as easily.

    I tend to agree with that. I do not like the 650s much for gaming but they are still great in many other ways.
  • spacemanspaceman Posts: 138
    edited July 2011
    My Stax Lambda Normal bias had a weird way of acting like a pair of ear binoculars. I swear I could "zoom in" with my ears using those.

    So the 5 speaker in a cup idea has never been better than stereo? That is my opinion too. I just thought maybe there was an advantage strictly in terms of gaming sound only.

    The new Turtle beach looks like the same old idea rehashed. For $100 I was considering those. I am actually trying to get a pair to review. I actually have a quite extensive resume with headphones. I have had nearly every dynamic pair made to date but only the Stax Lambda Normal bias out side the dynamic family.
  • AsSiMiLaTeDAsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,717
    edited July 2011
    I actually don't think the 650 area great for gaming, they're just 'as good' as any of the 5.1 sets I've used and are obviously a better all around set. I use them because they're what I have atm.

    This thread has got me to thinking and looking though, and I've just ordered a set of BD DT880 and see how I like them for gaming.
  • swb502swb502 Posts: 112
    edited July 2011
    I checked out the Logictech G35s just in the store and I'd buy a better pair of 2 channel anytime, they just weren't reayl doing much for me. Now I havn't played with them so maybe there great. All I play is Starcraft so I don't get too caught up with 'where' the sound is coming from. I generally know.
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  • spacemanspaceman Posts: 138
    edited July 2011
    Oh the 880s do well for gaming. They have an interesting head stage. You get great directional sound from them. Probably my second favorite gaming headphone.
  • spacemanspaceman Posts: 138
    edited July 2011
    I am going to try a pair of Sony PFR-V1 headspeakers. Should be fun! My 5.1 speakers work but I have to have them LOUD to hear properly. Wife does not appreciate BFBC2 rocking the house.
  • MacLeodMacLeod Posts: 14,365
    edited July 2011
    You also gotta think that the drivers in a set of 5.1 headphones are gonna be tiny and thats never a good thing. Theyd be more like tweeters than midrange drivers.

    You might lose a little bit of directionality by going with a 2.0 set of cans but the vast improvement in overall sound quality will more than make up for it.

    A lot of games have a setting for 2.0 headphones and they do a pretty decent job of giving a surround sound.

    Im using a set of Razer Carcharias (Im a Razer fanboy) and they sound very good. I dont miss the surround sound at all. Granted I cant tell when somebody is behind me but its never been a problem for me and I play pretty much only shooters.
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  • spacemanspaceman Posts: 138
    edited July 2011
    I got the Sony's and they are excellent. Directional sound is about the same as my 550MKIIs in stereo. Less detail and oomph but they work well. They really do sound like a pair of bookshelf speakers on your desk. Funny.
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