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5.1 headpones through receiver for gaming?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have a a Kenwood 600W receiver (VR705). It does not have a dolby headphone. I wanted a pair of headphones for my ps3 and xbox 360. I was looking at the Tritton AX Pros but dont want to spend $170. So then I got a bright idea, use my AV receiver w/ headphones. I understand that using the headphone jack to plug in 5.1 headphones will automatically switch them to 2.1 stereo. My buddy has a Zalman ZM-RSSC V2 mixamp w/ headphones. Apparently the only input is usb, although on the input/usb side of it there is a coaxial digital female port as well. But according to the manual this is for output only, although the manual doesnt show you how this port can be utilized. Could I use the coaxial digital port and plug it in to the back of my receiver, which has a coaxial digital port? My consoles are all hooked up to the back of my hdtv, from there I have an optical cord from my tv to receiver. My receiver only has one optical port. If the zalman mixamp wont work, what are my best options for the best quality sound while on a tight budget. I bet I could get the zalman amp and headphones for 40, or go out and get a 20 dollar pair of over the ear headphones and just plug them into my audiojack (I suppose I'm ok with crossingfading type sound from 2.1 stereo headphones, but really want 5.1, thats what I'm told I want, altough I read some places that 2.1 stereo sound can sound better than 5.1 sound). Right now I have KLH, KHP-500S cans and I just plug them into my receiver headphone jack. These are fairly old headphones. Would a newer $20-30 over the ear pair sound better than these?

Ultimately I'm looking for a really cheap, best I can do with what Ive got method for headphones. Maybe for Xmas Id get the Tritton AXpros or equivalent. If I went that route I wouldnt want to spend more than $170, but right now I'm looking to try and get cheap quality sound (if thats even possible). I never had gamed before with headphones, so even putting on the KLH headpones (although I feel I could get better sound quality than these, they arent a bad start though), was very diff. from listening to my 5.1 sound system. I like how headphone sound is right there in your ear... So right now its a case of I really dont know what I'm missing if I dont drop $170 on headphones. Are they that much drastically different from $30 cans other than better sound separation due to 5.1?

Thanks for your help, sorry for long post...
post #2 of 5
I believe the consensus is 5.1 headphones are a joke. 5.1 makes sense with speakers because the sources are away from your ears. On headphones its a gimmoc. If you're worried about locating someone by sound you can do that with regular phones.

However headphones for gaming can be awesome, personally i use a set of sennheiser hd 650s. Head-fi. Org is a good resource in fact there is a large gaming headphone thread there but I can't seem to find it.

AD-700's (http://www.amazon.com/Technica-ATH-A.../dp/B000CMS0XU) have a good soundstage, meaning you can locate things easily but I believe the bass is somewhat lacking. Still great cans though.
post #3 of 5
Virtual 5.1 (or 7.1) is not a joke. I use the Turtle Beach Ear Force DSS and it works pretty dang good with a decent set of open ear cans. Definitely superior to the plain 2.0 sound coming out of the headphone jack of the MARANTZ receiver I was using previously. Not too expensive either.
post #4 of 5
I think you're both right.

5.1 speakers in the headphones are a joke.
Virtual 5.1 (done via hardware or software) and then output via 2.0 headphones are not a joke.

Adding 6 speakers in a headset usually means 6 mediocre/average quality speakers. Better to get a good 2.0 headset and let software/hardware determine the 5.1 surround for you (using real algorithms that tell your brain the location of the sound source, just like your real ears, ears are 2.0 after all; There's a published paper on all this that I don't want to Google right now, HTRF stuff I believe).
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by BinaryTB View Post

I think you're both right.

5.1 speakers in the headphones are a joke.
Virtual 5.1 (done via hardware or software) and then output via 2.0 headphones are not a joke.

Adding 6 speakers in a headset usually means 6 mediocre/average quality speakers. Better to get a good 2.0 headset and let software/hardware determine the 5.1 surround for you (using real algorithms that tell your brain the location of the sound source, just like your real ears, ears are 2.0 after all; There's a published paper on all this that I don't want to Google right now, HTRF stuff I believe).

I would like to second this opinion. I owned a pair of AX PROs for over a week and I returned them due to the awful sound quality. Tritton's own AX 720s are a vastly better sounding headset thanks to the simplified 2 channel cans combined with the Dolby Headphone processor. One thing about the Trittons though is they're only compatible with themselves-- meaning Tritton amps only work with Tritton cans...

My suggestion would be to buy the Turtle Beach Ear Force DSS or the Astro Mix Amp. The DSS can be found for less than 100 dollars most places or for around 130 when combined with a pair of their comfortable (if not quite audiophile ) gaming headsets.
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