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Xbox Area > What gaming headphones to buy?
Shin CZ's Avatar Shin CZ 08:11 PM 09-30-2010
Yeah, kind of the way an amp after the the Mixamp doesn't alter DH mode, asides from possibly increasing or reducing soundstage.

TheNewb's Avatar TheNewb 10:39 PM 09-30-2010
Would connecting a behringer ha400 headphone amp to the mixamp via a 3.5mm to 3.5mm mini cable result in Distortion or Loss of Positional cues?
Shin CZ's Avatar Shin CZ 10:59 PM 09-30-2010
Adding an amp after the Mixamp MIGHT affect overall clarity (not that it will, but some people are anal about having less processing in the chain between a source and their headphones) but wouldn't affect positional cues. The amp you'd use is still getting the dolby headphone processing of the mixamp.

I don't know how good the Turtle Beach inline amps are, but they add obvious hiss. However, with the E5 and E7 amps I own and used after the mixamp, they only altered soundstage width and depth, and not clarity (unless I use Bass Boost). Positioning was still just as good though it may sound different because of the amps own sound signatures and altered soundstage size.

I can only speak for the ones I have owned and tried, but I'm gonna assume it's the same for all decent amps.
coyote_5's Avatar coyote_5 07:26 AM 10-01-2010
I added a Matrix M-Stage amp after the mix amp with no noticable loss of audio quality...
Shin CZ's Avatar Shin CZ 11:45 AM 10-01-2010
So the Turtle Beach Z2 arrived at my mom's house. I ordered it two days ago. Damn, Amazon is quick sometimes.

Picking it up tonight, and testing them out tomorrow.
SAVholic's Avatar SAVholic 05:33 PM 10-01-2010
that's it i think I'm getting the 720's I'm tired of the "out of stock", "continental US shipping only" or way to expensive shipping rates for the spectrum's...
Shin CZ's Avatar Shin CZ 09:23 PM 10-01-2010
I think most will agree in saying that the AX720s may not be particularly great at anything, but they aren't missing anything. For most of us, they will do just fine. As we always say, the amp is the most important part, as you can always get some awesome headphones for it later, if you still feel like the AX720 is lacking.

Having the Mixamp already, I wouldn't go for the AX720, which is why I took a gamble on the Turtle Beach Z2. Had I not owned the mixamp, the AX720 is a no brainer.

Wow, just took the Z2 out the Amazon box. It's pretty big, lol.
Shin CZ's Avatar Shin CZ 10:16 PM 10-01-2010
Initial impressions on the Turtle Beach Z2: I'm at work, so I could only test them out with my Sansa Fuze unamped.

The first thing anyone would notice about the Z2 is how ginormous they are. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that they are even bigger than the AD700s and K70x. HUGE. They swallow my head, and I'm not exactly a small guy. They would put some aviator noise cancelling headphones to shame in sheer size.

They are made of some heavy duty plastic. These things are rugged. Looks like they can take quite a beating.

They definitely aren't the lightest headphones out there, but I would guess that they are lighter than the A40s.

Comfort: They get a 7.5/10 in comfort. The would have better off with velour or soft pleather pads, instead of the neoprene pads they come with. They are comfy, but I could see the pads bothering me during lengthy sessions. The PX21 has similar pads, but it's so weightless, you can't feel them much.

Initial sounds: I'm torn. They are obviously very balanced and crisp, but the neoprene pads don't isolate too well, and SQ is lost due to the distance from the driver to the ears. If I press them close to my ears, they get a major boost in SQ. I'm hoping that the pads soften up in time, and maybe shorten the distance between the drivers to my ears. I still have to test it with the Mixamp though.

I know for a FACT that the pads are what's hampering these headphones. I think some leather/pleather pads would do them a world of good. They really do sound good if you can find a way to form a decent seal. Have to look for large oval pads to replace these with. I'm gonna try my CAL pads, but I doubt they'll fit.

At home right now are the CALs, K701, my roomie's M50s and HD201, and my girl's Siberia V1s. Almost positive the M50 pads, and possibly Beyer pads fit...
Zorro-1's Avatar Zorro-1 12:00 AM 10-02-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shin CZ View Post

Initial impressions on the Turtle Beach Z2

I'm very interested to know what you think of the Z2 in comparison to the PX21. I just bought a pair of PX21's and am wrestling with whether or not the hiss is acceptable, so I'd say your opinion will probably decide for me whether or not I keep my PX21's. For movie and games, the hiss is barely noticeable, but I also listen to a lot of music, and I hate that the hissing takes away from the clarity.

Do the Z2's have the same bass punch that the PX21's have? The one thing I do like about the PX21's is that it does have strong, but not over-powering bass. The mids and highs are acceptable for the most part, but they are a touch under-whelming, so I'm using EQ to balance the sound from 500Hz through 2Khz, and 16KHz through 20KHz.

So, essentially, what I'd like to learn from your impression is if the Z2's match the PX21's in audio performance, minus the hiss. I suspect the Z2's won't have the same bass, but is it comparable to the PX21's after using the EQ from the soundcard w/o the Mixamp? TIA
Shin CZ's Avatar Shin CZ 12:24 AM 10-02-2010
Yeah, that's the problem with the PX21. No matter how well they perform and sound, the hiss will always be there to detract from the overall experience. It completely ruined it for me. That and that it's USB powered. I don't want a powered headset. I wanted a headset to reduce wire management, not add to the problem.

So far, I would say that the Z2 actually sounds just a teeny bit better than the PX21(punchier bass, and smoother mids and highs) when you press it up against your ears, but if you leave it just sitting on your head, the bass is very weak (just a tad bit stronger than AD700's bass), and it's a bit too treble-y for my ears.

Bear in mind that I tested the PX21 with the Mixamp and games only, while I have only tested the Z2 with music. I don't have a proper comparison yet, but the PX21 sound is still fresh in my mind.

It's like taking your fave headphone and listening to them as if they are just barely off your head, where they lose their optimal sound. The pads are definitely at fault. It's more than obvious to me.

I have two options. Changing the pads to leather/pleather pads for a much better seal, or crushing the mesh neoprene pads under my couch while I sleep and hope that they become thin enough to give the Z2 the sound I know it's capable of.

In the very short time I have tested the Z2 (not even gamed with them yet), I wouldn't recommend them unless you find some good pads to replace the stock ones.

This may change while gaming with the Mixamp, as perhaps they may sound similar to the AD700, without the open soundstage (Z2 is a closed headset). If so, I could get past the pads being so wrong for them, but I know the Z2 won't be at their best.
Shin CZ's Avatar Shin CZ 12:47 AM 10-02-2010
Holy crap! I was adjusting the headband, and the right cup snapped off!

Uhh... this is NOT cool.

Amazon better take this **** back.

It seems I was VERY wrong about build quality. If and when I do get
my refund, I believe I'm gonna go ahead and NEVER order another TB product ever again...
Zorro-1's Avatar Zorro-1 08:08 AM 10-02-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shin CZ View Post

Holy crap! I was adjusting the headband, and the right cup snapped off!

Uhh... this is NOT cool.

Amazon better take this **** back.

It seems I was VERY wrong about build quality. If and when I do get
my refund, I believe I'm gonna go ahead and NEVER order another TB product ever again...


Sorry to see your experience with them wasn't so well. I never thought that trying to find the right headset would be like shopping for a car. It seems that the kind of quality that makes a complete, all-around solution doesn't start until the $129 range.
bbexperience's Avatar bbexperience 11:10 AM 10-02-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shin CZ View Post

Holy crap! I was adjusting the headband, and the right cup snapped off!

Uhh... this is NOT cool.

Amazon better take this **** back.

It seems I was VERY wrong about build quality. If and when I do get
my refund, I believe I'm gonna go ahead and NEVER order another TB product ever again...

Oh brother. Just because that product broke on you doesn't mean ALL Turtle Beach products are crap...
Shin CZ's Avatar Shin CZ 11:11 AM 10-02-2010
Bah, I think I'm just gonna exchange them. Broken as they are, I tested them with the Mixamp on both my PS3 and 360, and I was very pleased with their sound. The positioning was very good, and the sound was clear and balanced. I would have no problem using them while messing around in multiplayer.

I'm gonna consider it a freak accident, as the other side seems very sturdy. Maybe it was damaged during shipping but I didn't notice. I'll be extra careful next time.

The CAL and M50 pads definitely don't fit the cups, so I guess I'd have to step it up to AD700 pad sizes. Will keep you guys posted. Gonna have to wait until Monday to send them back though...
Shin CZ's Avatar Shin CZ 05:40 AM 10-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbexperience View Post

Oh brother. Just because that product broke on you doesn't mean ALL Turtle Beach products are crap...

Lol, I didn't see this earlier. I was angry. Needed to vent. Having issues in more than one place.

I requested an exchange. They're sending me a new one now, and I can send my old one back as long as it's within 30 days. I'm shipping it back tomorrow.

Seriously though, the Z2 sounds good with the mixamp, and they are well built. I dunno why or how the right cup snapped off from the headband but it did. I take really good care of my headphones, so I was shocked that this one broke within the first 30 minutes of use.

I'm sure it won't happen again. It was probably damaged during shipping last time, and may have had a crack I didn't notice.

One thing I did notice was that it sounded like it was a bit hard to drive on the mixamp with voice chat on the PS3, but sounded fine while testing them in Castlevania on the 360. If anything, I at least have the option of using the voice chat on the mixamp or using the voice chat connection on the inline volume control and probably adding the E5 to boost the volume output for just the chat...
wilimino's Avatar wilimino 05:42 AM 10-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shin CZ View Post

Bah, I think I'm just gonna exchange them. Broken as they are, I tested them with the Mixamp on both my PS3 and 360, and I was very pleased with their sound. The positioning was very good, and the sound was clear and balanced. I would have no problem using them while messing around in multiplayer.

I'm gonna consider it a freak accident, as the other side seems very sturdy. Maybe it was damaged during shipping but I didn't notice. I'll be extra careful next time.

The CAL and M50 pads definitely don't fit the cups, so I guess I'd have to step it up to AD700 pad sizes. Will keep you guys posted. Gonna have to wait until Monday to send them back though...

i am interested on getting the z2...cant wait for your final verdict, especially on comparison to the ad700. wow i cant really imagine any headphones with bigger cups than the ad700.
Shin CZ's Avatar Shin CZ 06:11 AM 10-03-2010
Not necessarily bigger, but they take up more room. The AD700 is perfectly round, while these are oval and bulkier. They stick out of your head quite a bit farther than every other headphone I have ever put on, except maybe the XB700 (and I still wonder if they bneat even those). The headband is also very thick, and the mic is loooong. Don't let the online images of the Z2 fool you. They are absolutely humongous.

In the very short time I heard them with the Mixamp, I would say that they are decently crisp and balanced. The AD700's soundstage is WAAAAAAY bigger as the Z2 is closed, but they have a decent soundstage for being closed, reminiscent of the CAL. Overall positioning isn't anything anyone would complain about either. The AD700 sounds so crisp, like cold mountain air, it's hard to really compare the two. I would still prefer the AD700 sound, but the lack of a mic, and terrible lack of a normal style headband were deal breakers for me. 3D wings just fail so hardcore for me. I would never ever get another Audio-Technica with 3D wings, which sucks as their best headphones all seem to have them.

I would still pay some decent money for an AD700 modded with a normal headband. That is quite an undertaking though, unless transplanting the drivers into an open headphone with similar dimensions would work.

I of course won't recommend the Z2 quite yet until I can sit down with them for at least a few hours worth of gaming. As it stands, they obviously don't stack up to the CAL or AD700 in the price range, but they do have a mic, and still sound great enough that no one would seriously complain, with the exception of their bass. The bass is DEFINITELY there, but the pads just don't allow it to reach your ears.

When I get my second Z2, I'm gonna go over my friend's house and see if the AD700's pads fit. If so, I will more than likely order some.

I'd say so far, the Z2 is like a closed AD700. That is both good an bad, as the AD700's main thing is their huge soundstage, which makes a closed version lack quite a bit in comparison. Without the soundstage, the AD700 are just a very bass light, cold, and treble oriented headphone. An open Z2 would probably compete with the AD700, from the little I heard if only because they actually have bass, and the sound is more evened out as a whole. They aren't as crisp as the AD700, but they ARE crisp. There is NO hint of muddiness/veiled sound from the Z2. That is a VERY good thing. I'm inclined to believe they may sound even more crisp than the CAL, but the CAL just has this smoothness to it I love. Not muddy, but juuuust right.
joseraul's Avatar joseraul 02:30 PM 10-03-2010
Wow, I've been catching up on this thread and there's a lot of good info.

Back in 2008, I purchased a JVC SU-DH1, AD700's, and used a Plantronics X30 under them for chat. Not the best solution, but worked pretty good.

Now the headset's no more and those AX720's look good. I think I'll get rid of the JVC unit for that set.
KBI's Avatar KBI 03:51 PM 10-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shin CZ View Post

Holy crap! I was adjusting the headband, and the right cup snapped off!

Uhh... this is NOT cool.

Amazon better take this **** back.

It seems I was VERY wrong about build quality. If and when I do get
my refund, I believe I'm gonna go ahead and NEVER order another TB product ever again...

What did you expect? Most gaming head phones are built like toys.. Which compared to the DT770/DT880/DT48, they are..
Zorro-1's Avatar Zorro-1 04:21 PM 10-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shin CZ View Post

Seriously though, the Z2 sounds good with the mixamp, and they are well built.

Thanks for your previous insights. I ended up returning the PX21's and exchanged them for a Sennheiser HD-203. This hiss wasn't a hindrance for me in games, but for music I couldn't stand it. Having used the 203's for a bit now, I can appreciate what TB was trying to do, if only they'd used a quieter amp. The bass from the PX21's is pretty damned clean, and the 203's can't compare, in fact I kind of miss it. During explosions, the PX21's are immersive - TB found the right frequency to boost with the inline amp - such a shame they have the hiss. If you were to listen to "Dream is Collapsing" on both the PX21 and the 203, you'll understand what I mean.

A word of note with the 203's, they have substantially more detailed sound. In "Time of the Season" by the Zombies, there's a sound that for years I thought was wood hitting wood - when listening to the song through the 203's, it became apparent that the sound is a hand clap in a cavernous room. In songs with flutes, I can hear people inhale before they play, and on a couple songs I can sometimes hear guitarists prepping their notes before they hit them. I've only had these for 2 hours, so I can't imagine how much better they'll be after 200hrs. Design-wise, if you're rough with your stuff, these headphones are for you. The plastic Sennheiser used for these is the hard-pliable kind, meaning that if you were to bend these past their range, they would stretch in the direction of the stress, as opposed to snapping apart. The headband is very simple, and from a manufacturing perspective, it looks like they were designed to save money so that cost and expense could be put into the drivers. I don't have money for an amp, but when I do, I'll be trying these with one. The only downside is that they have no mic, but it wouldn't be difficult to mod these.
Shin CZ's Avatar Shin CZ 08:28 PM 10-03-2010
Yeah, I would have LOOOOVED the PX21. They had everything going for it, except the stupid hiss, and the fact that it's more cable clutter, as you have to have it USB powered, adding another wire compared to a regular headphone.

KBI, the TB Z2 is well built. I honestly don't know how the hell it snapped. I saw the other side, and it would take a LOT of force to break it like that...
Zorro-1's Avatar Zorro-1 09:59 PM 10-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shin CZ View Post

Yeah, I would have LOOOOVED the PX21. They had everything going for it, except the stupid hiss, and the fact that it's more cable clutter, as you have to have it USB powered, adding another wire compared to a regular headphone.

After you amped the Z2, did it give you the same bass response as the PX21? I re-read your review, and it almost sounds like the PX21 is a Z2 with the amp.

*Update*

I did a tone generator test on the 203's. I think Sennheiser was taking some liberties with their specs, although they are being truthful. The speakers will produce sounds as listed, 18Hz to 18KHz. However, in order to hear the far end of the frequencies along with anything else, you'll need the volume to almost painful levels. At easy listening levels, the drivers will reliably produce frequencies from 30Hz to 16KHz. I'm beginning to see that in comparison, the PX21's have a wider soundstage. As the 203 drivers begin loosen-up, they're gradually getting closer to the immersiveness of the PX21's bass, but in all - the 203's are more intimate, definitely designed for music. In retrospect, even with the hiss, I'd say the PX21's are very good gaming headphones, the 203's great for music... now, when is someone going to put the two together in a design that I can afford?
Yrd's Avatar Yrd 10:48 PM 10-03-2010
Can someone list a good microphone that can plug into the 360 controller and use with my headphones, and I'm not willing to do any modding, rewiring or anything like that. I've tried the the regular headset around the neck, with voice going through the speakers(headphones) and it was horrible. The one time I tried, it was uncomfortable and the voice codec seemed to degrade. I couldn't even recognize my friend's voice and he said he couldn't hear me either. Hopefully that was just a glitch, but in any case, I don't like the thing around my neck.

So I'm looking for something I can either clip on a shirt or headphone wire or anything that doesn't require me screwing with my headphones, and has the mini plug for the 360 controller.
SAVholic's Avatar SAVholic 12:51 AM 10-04-2010
still your going to get a crappy voice chat unless you get a mixamp or mixer:
http://www.astrogaming.com/products/detail/69/MixAmp/
http://steelseries.com/products/cons...audio-mixer-xb
Shin CZ's Avatar Shin CZ 05:59 AM 10-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorro-1 View Post

After you amped the Z2, did it give you the same bass response as the PX21? I re-read your review, and it almost sounds like the PX21 is a Z2 with the amp.

Sorry, I didn't mean to make it sound like that. I honestly didn't test the Z2 and PX21 out long enough to give a fair comparison, but the PX21 is still fresh in my mind. The only way I could test the Z2 was if I could hold one cup in my hand. The Z2 is definitely more capable of bass than the PX21, but I felt that when I did leave it just resting on my head, the bass didn't reach my ears, and definitely sounded a little weaker than the PX21's bass.

The PX21 has the inline amp that allows for more bass, and you can definitely put it all the way to 100% bass, and it'd still sound bass neutral and balanced. I'd guesstimate that the bass of the Z2 just sitting on my head compares to the PX21's bass if the bass dial is at like low bass. The Z2 is pretty bass light if left alone. However, forcing the cups closer to your head, the bass is definitely a lot stronger than the PX21, which is why I believe some good pads would remedy what the neoprene pads do to the SQ for the Z2.

I still feel like I shouldn't be writing this quite yet, but I felt like responding. The Z2 should be in my hands no later than Wednesday, so I hope to finally give you a much better comparison.

One thing I will say is that I absolutely loved the punchy, quick bass of the PX21. It dwells on sounding bass light, but hits quickly. There is no bass extension whatsoever, which I actually enjoyed quite a bit for multiplayer video gaming. It doesn't linger around making you miss other sounds, so it's perfect in that regard.
jth83's Avatar jth83 09:04 AM 10-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yrd View Post

Can someone list a good microphone that can plug into the 360 controller and use with my headphones, and I'm not willing to do any modding, rewiring or anything like that. I've tried the the regular headset around the neck, with voice going through the speakers(headphones) and it was horrible. The one time I tried, it was uncomfortable and the voice codec seemed to degrade. I couldn't even recognize my friend's voice and he said he couldn't hear me either. Hopefully that was just a glitch, but in any case, I don't like the thing around my neck.

So I'm looking for something I can either clip on a shirt or headphone wire or anything that doesn't require me screwing with my headphones, and has the mini plug for the 360 controller.

I use Olympus me-15 clip on mic, works connected straight to the controller, you just need to get 3,5 female/2,5 male adapter for it. If you connect headphones to the TV's headphone plugin, put chat through speakers, lower the game volume down from the games own menu, then put volume volume up from the TV, tweak these around for a minute and youll find perfect balance between game and chat audio volume
SAVholic's Avatar SAVholic 09:59 AM 10-04-2010
Got the 720's today....pleased for what I paid, great gaming immersion and descent sound...
Shin CZ's Avatar Shin CZ 10:16 AM 10-04-2010
So after all that, you gave up and went the tried and true route?

Believe me, that was my next step if the Z2 had failed. <_<<br />
Who knows?
SAVholic's Avatar SAVholic 11:10 AM 10-04-2010
yeah...and to my surprise they sound better than expected, so in terms it wasn't a consolation prize
obazavil's Avatar obazavil 11:34 AM 10-04-2010
Well... I ordered some brand new AKG K702 + Fiio E7 (bought a MixAmp before) ... let's see how they work. For the price I paid, I hope they work fine :P

I will mod them maybe by christmas, when I have money again :P
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