Old 05-05-2012, 04:33 PM
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Urne Urne is offline
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Location: Denmark
Posts: 247
Default Headphones + Mic Hunting

A good friend of mine is turning 18 years old in a few days and I managed to pull two wishes out him: A trip to Hawaii and a a new "headset". So since Hawaii is not going to happen on my budget I decided to ask him out on those headphones.

(Me): But what was wrong with your old headset?
(Him): "They smell too much of discount, I need something better."
(Me): @_@

So there you go, not much to work with I suppose. My guess would be that he is looking for something sturdy that feels good in the hands and sounds nice. His previous headset was some random Logitech with a built-in microphone. Now I am looking for a replacement to get him on his birthday the 11th May. Perhaps you guys can help me out?

I have searched this sub-forum and found two general solutions I think could work for him: Either buying a pair of headphones with build-in microphone or buying a pair of headphones and then buy a microphone for example one of those you can clip on your shirt. Now I'm onto finding a specific headphone that matches his needs.

Budget: Let's go with around $130 exclusive shipping. I expect that this includes a microphone and a pair of listening devices.
Location: Denmark / Europe. Willing to import if necessary.
Headphone type: Full sized or portable headphones. He would prefer closed headphones. Isolation doesn't have too high priority. The sound should not leak too much though.
Shape: His previous headphones was circumaural but as long as the headphones are comfortable I am sure he doesn't care about this matter.
Primary location of use: Home/indoor use, primarily for gaming and for voicechatting.
Preferable SQ or Sound Signature: To be honest I have absolutely no idea. He likes bass but is no basshead. Perhaps a neutral sound would do him best? *Help*.
Media: He listens to a lot of Pendulum, a bit of Dub-step and some trance. The headphones will mostly be used for gaming and less music I assume, though.
Source: His desktop computer.

My own searching has returned a few results already (random order), but I would love to hear your opinion.

Pair 1: AIAIAI TMA-1 (Mic included)
I own these, and they are appearently sold with a mic. It's way over my planned budget though.

Pair 2: Audio-Technica ATH-50 + External Microphone
This pair of headphones might do for him, but I have never heard it. It was suggested by jupitreas in this thread.

Pair 3: Plantronics DSP-500 (Mic included)
Suggested by sideways in this thread. They seem to have been discontinued but are still available at amazon, though they are slightly expensive.

As to external microphones..
I like this idea, but where should I look for such? He is not looking for studio quality, just something decent. I read mixed responses to this mic, but I like the idea of a clip-on microphone. Can you recommend anything along these lines?

What other equipment would you suggest? Or perhaps you can provide any feedback on what I already have in my list up there?

Thanks in advance! ^^

Last edited by Urne; 05-05-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:10 AM
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Jack4L Jack4L is offline
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Location: Finland
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I'd just go for something like the Turtle Beach X12 and leave it at that. No sense in paying more then that for a headset. Unless you buy both a good set of headphones and a good mic. The combination rarely ever comes in the same package if you start paying more then 60 on the set. Over that price point and you just start getting useless things like surround sound.

I don't know of many standalone Lavalier/Headset mics that sound too great. Although I've seen some pretty interesting looking mods, where you just take any old headset boom mic and attach it to your choice of headphones. Thats basically what I do- except I've got a phantom powered t-bone mic hooked up to mixer, so that I can tweak the sound.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:07 PM
mutescream mutescream is offline
Join Date: May 2012
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Of those choices (and the suggested pricepoint), I would probably go with the ATH-50. I've never demoed them myself, but they do get incredible reviews and a ton of people profess to love them.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:51 PM
forensic fox forensic fox is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 20

Never buy turtlebeach anything.

The general rule is that anything branded with 'gaming' is going to sound way worse than any regular headphone in the same price range. In terms of crappy gaming headsets, I would say Sennheiser makes the best of the worst.

In terms of quality, the headphone + external mic combo would be the best. Monoprice makes a spectacular mic for $5. The logitech USB mic for $20 seems to be the most popular budget mic (though I've never tried it). If your friend has a laptop, then the Samson Go mic & Blue Snowflake are good portable choices because they can clip onto the laptop (the Samson sounds better). Clip-on mics simply don't sound good unless you pay hundreds of dollars for a quality lavalier mic.

Last edited by forensic fox; 05-06-2012 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:42 AM
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Urne Urne is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Denmark
Posts: 247

Thanks guys for your reply and sorry for the late comeback to this thread. Everything has been quite busy around here, but now I'm back to catch up.

I have been speaking with my friend and he has nothing against IEMs either. When I asked him about external microphones he said it didn't sound very practical. If you know any IEMs which are around $70-100 and includes a microphone, please feel free to suggest it. Anything with a lower pricepoint is also welcome, as long as it is sturdy and *easy* to put into the ear. What do you have in mind?

My previous findings had a much larger pricepoint, but my friend convinced me to not spend so much money on a gift for him. Headphone suggestions are therefore also welcome.

I will be looking around myself now, but will come back to this thread tomorrow.

EDIT: From what I have read SoundMAGIC E10M seems to be exactly what I am looking for. Now all I need is a TRRS to dual stereo TRS converter. Anyone knows where to get that?

Other suggestions are still welcome. Also if any of you have tried them, please feel free to share what you think about them!

Last edited by Urne; 05-24-2012 at 07:10 AM.
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headphones, microphone, skype, sturdyness, voice-chat

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