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Gaming Headsets

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I have no exterior game speakers beyond the cruddy ones in one of my monitors.  So, I don't mind spending some extra money if I can get good quality. The headset, which is a  headphone with a microphone, is needed for times when I play games with others -- like when Shannon talks me into a hot game of Company of Heroes.

 

I was very happy with my last headset, the Razer Piranha.  I got it on sale at $69.95, and was quite pleased overall.  The sound seemed good and the fit was comfortable.  My main problems were twofold:  the third cord, a USB-only was merely for lighting the headset, was just an extra wire hanging around for me.  The other was the annoying ease of unintentionally muting the microphone.  I believe Shannon is also having problems with his microphone itself.  Unfortunately for me, while pulling out my computer from its cubbyhole, the cord got caught and microphone no longer works.  Best Buy no longer carried the Piranha locally, so I looked for another set.

 

After reading a few reviews, I decided on the slightly more expensive Plantronics Gamecom 777.

 

My feelings on the 777 are mixed.  They are Dobly 5.1 surround sound headphones.  The quality seems to be much better--the high and low ranges are higher and lower than the Piranha.  The microphone fits snugly within the headset itself when not in use.  The microphone mute button is more firm, and shouldn't so easily be flipped.  The Dolby USB converter is absolutely awesome, as it not only converts but it applies better Dolby effects to regular onboard sound (note you probably wouldn't use this with a good sound card).  Sound in-game certainly seems to have more surround-sound depth than before.

 

On the down side, the headphones are huge -- like shooting gallery huge (they do seem comfortable, though).  The ear pieces are set up to allow some air, but one may find them to get a little warm as they fit around the ears instead of on top of them (like the Piranha).  I also find myself wishing for an equalizer or bass-control, as it seems a little tinny in music-- probably personal preference, and such controls are the responsibility of the onboard soundcard's maker.

 

I suspect that if I could find a way to boost the bass, I'd be very pleased with the Plantronics Gamecom 777.  As it stands now, I'm "okay" with them (knowing onboard sound always is worse quality than a separate card).  Perhaps I should have instead bought some very nice headphones and a desktop boom mic?  Or do any of you know of a way to boost bass?

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