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A Quick Guide To Audiophile

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  • A Quick Guide To Audiophile

    Well hello there PMS girls and H2O guys. I wanted to make this guide to explain a few things on Audiophile Audio. Audio is the #1 aspect of gaming in my opinion, so in the next few minutes here I hope to teach you guys/girls a thing or two about audiophile, or even convert you guys/girls to become an audiophile your self.

    1.) What does Audiophile mean:

    Audiophile comes from the Latin audio "I hear" and Greek philos "loving," is a hobbyist who seeks high-quality audio reproduction via the use of specialized high-end audio electronics. Audiophiles prefer to listen to music at a quality level that is as close to the original performance as possible using high fidelity components.

    - Now that you understand the meaning of the word, lets get into the actual mechanics and such of what Audiophile really is and how it compares to gaming audio.

    2.) Gaming Headset Gimmick Marketing Strategies:

    I want to cover this topic before furthering deeper into the world of audiophile. The reason why audiophiles don't associate them self with gaming audio/headphone is because of the pre-conceived notion that gaming headphone (like other fashionable headphones) will not be value for money as compared to the more dedicated "audiophile" headphone, especially since the money that was meant for research and production of the headphone were dedicated instead into marketing strategies. It is a preconceived notion though, so it by no means infer that gaming headphones are worthless. Just like not all "audiophile" headphones are gems either.

    In a more simpler terms the strategies that these manufacturers use is ones of which to market lower end performing products for the same price as mid range to high range audiophile headphones. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying all "Gaming" headphones are terrible in audio replication or even position awareness due to the fact that the algorithms that our ears use to precisely define sounds from one point to another, are different in each person.

    3.) Stereo 2.0 - 2.1 vs. Dolby 5.1 - 7.1:

    To kick things off you must first understand the numbers in each of these version of audio. The first variable represents the number of speakers/drivers, while the second number represents the number of sub woofers present.

    I prefer Stereo over Dolby 5.1 - 7.1 for the fact that each persons ears interprets sound waves different. With that being said, the next thing I want to say is that there is no such thing as "True Surround Sound" with headsets. The main approach is processing the audio with psychoacoustic sound localization method to simulate a two-dimensional (2-D) sound field. Surround sound in gaming headsets are nothing more than a pair of 2.0 stereo /headphones that virtually replicate surround sound digitally. Stereo headphones have better clarity, sound positioning/awareness, and sound stage then 5.1/7.1 fake headsets. Remember this as a valuable life lessons "Audio is only as good as it's initial source. You can have for example a nice pair of Beyerdynamic DT 880s but lack in sound processing via a Sound card, which would not benefit you at all.

    Below is a Venn Diagram I made showing two different pairs of audio sources as I compare both of them against each other. The price range I picked is around $80-$120 since that's a decent affordable range for a pair of cans (headphones/headset.)



    Now the average person is going buy a Logitech G35 based on the ease with the Plug N Play factor. With a Audiophile pair of headphones it can get pretty hectic based on the fact that if you do go with a high Ohm Impedance pair of cans you are going to have to buy an additional Amplifier to power your headphones to get the full potential out of them... 32 Ohms is a great range and does not require amplification until you start getting past 60 Ohms because the fact that anything past 60 Ohms has a lot more resistance.

    Further more the Logitech G35 has a built in audio processing chip that processes all the sound for you, which is why a sound card is not needed. This is convenient indeed, but lacks in the area of audio quality compared to the AD700s paired up with a dedicated sound card, such as a ASUS Xonar STX. Now you could go the route of getting an audio receiver or a DAC (Digital Analog Converter) but the easiest way in my opinion is just to get a good pair of cans and a nice sound card.

    The AD700s do not have a built in mic, and indeed it does not. You must all be wondering why you would ever get a pair of headphones with out a mic, since communication is a key factor in gaming. The reason why I don't use headsets with built in microphones is for the fact of which built in mics can cause disruption between audio signals and produce feedback. Not all headsets have this issue but some that I've used have this problem.

    4.) Conclusion:

    Whether you agree with me or not, I feel that audiophile headphones are better than gaming marketed headsets. I my self use a pair of DT 880s with a Peavey i100 studio microphone and I love them I have used a lot of headphones and headsets in the past and nothing that I have used compares to the utmost quality of these bad boys.

    I apologize if I have offended anyone with my bias statements.

    -Fr1nge-
    3
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    66.67%
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  • #2
    Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

    As an audiophile myself, I would personally like to applaud your post. I'm a bit too lazy to type up something like this myself

    You pretty much hit the nail on the head, with the ENTIRETY of your post. Hopefully this will explain things a little further for those uneducated and also those who don't really have much to do with Head-Fi, etc. :P You've brought up specific points on those "gaming" headphones that I've stated already in these forums numerous times to members, so the graph and all should help with understanding a bit better

    Sadly some will still be too stubborn to listen to hard facts on quality vs marketing, but that's their loss


    Oh btw, not only are the AD700's great as low impedance, the AD900's are as well (Just not at the AD700 price range of course). And pairing with an ASUS Xonar Essence STX (I loooooooooooooove this sound card, blows any Creative card out the water by miles), just zomgorgasminmehEARS!!!!!


    lol long post here, but I'm just thrilled to see someone else with an understanding of the quality behind the audiophile segment (Another big plus to you for mentioning the 5.1/7.1 crap, its terrible) Btw, nice set of cans =D Beyerdynamic is a company whom I highly recommend for both the DT880 and DT990
    Last edited by sobe; 10-17-2011, 08:03 PM.
    <3 my PMS girl Archeai

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    • #3
      Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

      I am flattered that you appreciate my post ^__^.. AD900s are good for sure.. but for everyone else wanting to get started in the world of audiophile note this. You don't have to buy a really mad expensive studio microphone like me.. I use this microphone both for recording vocals on my Electronic/Dubstep tracks and to communicate online.

      Here's a decently affordable pair of cans, a mic and a sound card to get started.

      Sennheiser HD555: http://amzn.to/pitBtu

      Zalman Microphone: http://amzn.to/pzdqBm

      ASUS Xonar STX: http://bit.ly/GPrrE

      Most onboard sound processing units are terrible but I have to say the processing chip on my Biostar 890FX ain't to bad.

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      • #4
        Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

        Yep, I still have a pair of the 555's laying around along with some Grados. I was impressed by the STX as a sound card though, just because Ive been using a Littledot MKV and just gotta hand it to ASUS, while In on the pc Im not "forced" to use the mkv to bring out the headphones.

        Even going 555 as an entry is great, because through Senn's entire HD line, they have a natural sound to them compared to others, and in that mixed with the low impedence, its nice to not be forced to use an amp
        <3 my PMS girl Archeai

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        • #5
          Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

          Originally posted by H2O sobe View Post
          Yep, I still have a pair of the 555's laying around along with some Grados. I was impressed by the STX as a sound card though, just because Ive been using a Littledot MKV and just gotta hand it to ASUS, while In on the pc Im not "forced" to use the mkv to bring out the headphones.

          Even going 555 as an entry is great, because through Senn's entire HD line, they have a natural sound to them compared to others, and in that mixed with the low impedence, its nice to not be forced to use an amp
          I highly recommend a pair for Senn headphones for a starting pair. They are not that expensive, they are amazing quality, and they are pretty darn comfortable.

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          • #6
            Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

            Why aren't Astro A40 and A30's mentioned, they're the highest rated and best selling 7.1 headset AND the majority of Pro's in MLG prefer them. I have a set my self and it's like sex for your ears.



            Can Be daisy chained for LAN's



            AND comes with a Preamp



            It works with all consoles and PC
            7.1 Surround sound!
            Last edited by Char2000; 10-20-2011, 12:52 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

              Originally posted by Char2000 View Post
              Why aren't Astro A40 and A30's mentioned, they're the highest rated and best selling 7.1 headset AND the majority of Pro's in MLG prefer them. I have a set my self and it's like sex for your ears.



              Can Be daisy chained for LAN's



              AND comes with a Preamp



              It works with all consoles and PC
              7.1 Surround sound!
              >:O Did you even read the post? lol Astros are low end gimmick marketed headsets. These MLG people only say they are good, because they are only use to that type of audio. Sorry but they are really not worth the $250.

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              • #8
                Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

                Char, marketing 101 just kicked your ass and ran off with your wallet. Astros, Tritton, Psyko, etc are ALL gimmick.... only those who dont know about audio get them and say they are good. Its just a fact.... take a listen to the AD700's in Fr1nge's original post and see that even good headphones under $100 sound better than those Astros.

                If you are one of the many that dont know about audio and only know what "other gamrrs prefer", then that is your pitfall right there. If you ever noticed, "pro" gamers use Audio technica and Sennheiser most of the time when not at large LANs where they wear Astro or whatever due to endorsements, etc.
                <3 my PMS girl Archeai

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                • #9
                  Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

                  Originally posted by H2O sobe View Post
                  Char, marketing 101 just kicked your ass and ran off with your wallet. Astros, Tritton, Psyko, etc are ALL gimmick.... only those who dont know about audio get them and say they are good. Its just a fact.... take a listen to the AD700's in Fr1nge's original post and see that even good headphones under $100 sound better than those Astros.

                  If you are one of the many that dont know about audio and only know what "other gamrrs prefer", then that is your pitfall right there. If you ever noticed, "pro" gamers use Audio technica and Sennheiser most of the time when not at large LANs where they wear Astro or whatever due to endorsements, etc.
                  Teams like Fnatic, SK, EG and so on only wear the sponsors products to promote their gear. I my self say that's pathetic I don't care what the sponsors want.. I like Steelseries for their Mice, Mousepads and Keyboards but when it comes to audio they suck just like the rest of these gimmick gaming companies.

                  It's sad cause all these little 12 year old kids see these sponsored pro wearing gear that their sponsors tell them to wear, and then the kids think that it's good so they buy it.. It's a cruel world we live in.

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                  • #10
                    Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

                    What about turtle beach?
                    Regardless of warnings, the future doesn't scare me at all...
                    Big: JeepChick PMS | Betty PMS
                    Lil: Cortana Siffow PMS | PMS Poptarts
                    <3 My H2O: H2O OnTuesdays
                    @Victoryoftheppl, CM @ Noiz.gg

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                    • #11
                      Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

                      Victory, for consoles its alright to go the route of these game gimmicks because the hardware in say, the xbox360 sucks in graphocs and audio as it is, you wont get quality sound from console gaming unless you purchase a quality receiver with good dac, preamp and amp onboard or mix with seperate setup.

                      Lol Ill be flamed for that but its true. If you get a receiver you can use good headphones without issue
                      <3 my PMS girl Archeai

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                      • #12
                        Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

                        Originally posted by H2O sobe View Post
                        Victory, for consoles its alright to go the route of these game gimmicks because the hardware in say, the xbox360 sucks in graphocs and audio as it is, you wont get quality sound from console gaming unless you purchase a quality receiver with good dac, preamp and amp onboard or mix with seperate setup.

                        Lol Ill be flamed for that but its true. If you get a receiver you can use good headphones without issue
                        I am surprised we haven't got flamed already

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                        • #13
                          Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

                          Well, I'm talking about PC actually since the division i lead is a PC one >.>
                          Regardless of warnings, the future doesn't scare me at all...
                          Big: JeepChick PMS | Betty PMS
                          Lil: Cortana Siffow PMS | PMS Poptarts
                          <3 My H2O: H2O OnTuesdays
                          @Victoryoftheppl, CM @ Noiz.gg

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                          • #14
                            Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

                            I could go into the specific details of why Astro's are great, but won't. And just because they are popular and a big sponsor doesn't have anything to do with quality.I'm only a music producer and computer engineer, what do I know lol

                            And Trittons do suck and WTF are psyko's? lol

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                            • #15
                              Re: A Quick Guide To Audiophile

                              Psykos are another gimmick that promised a new age of surround sound in headphones... Headphones are headphones, STEREO! Dont put more than a driver in each ear piece, ffs.

                              No, Astros can be my personal sponsor, and I may certainly use them at LAN events IF they payed me, if they were to pay me in headsets, I'm sorry, but it's just not worth the little logo on the side. Think of Astro like Alienware... What are you paying for... That little logo. If you are a music producer you should already be using your own set of Senns, AT's, Beyer's, Ultrasones, etc. then and should certainly know the difference.

                              Companies like Astro remind me of Bose, LOVE to spend money for marketing/endorsing, but when you come from something quality and sit and listen to them, you think to yourself, "HOW THE FK ARE THESE OVER $200!!??!?!?!??". If the Astro A40's sold for more around $100 it might be a better selling point with the provided amp, but it's not suitable when comparing to higher quality products for less than half the cost of that little gaming headset.
                              (Because I've mentioned amps previously, here is the one I personally use, http://www.head-fi.org/t/289765/revi...hone-amplifier)

                              There's nothing wrong with not being much into the audiophile segment of the market, when I first started getting into it I was using the LAN famed Sennheiser PC150 and PC160's, when I saw the quality jump from the Bose, Logitech, Sony, gaming brands, I refused to take a step back, and furthered my indulgence with the Senn HD555's, then the 595's, then the 650's and AudioTechnica AD700s and AD900's. I personally prefer AudioTechnica's AD line over Senn due to the more crisp and broader soundstage provided along with the nice mid-tones.

                              Try to keep in mind, we aren't trying to dash peoples' hopes and dreams. Fr1nge and I are simply promoting products from well-respected companies in the Head-Fi world that "gamers" often dont use because they fall into the hype behind such companies as we've already mentioned (Be it Astro, Tritton, or whatever). The real test is to just sit and listen to each, I've personally listened to the A40's myself so Im not spouting it with simply a hate towards the company (Although I am against the "if that pro uses it maybe I should too")
                              Last edited by sobe; 10-20-2011, 11:27 PM.
                              <3 my PMS girl Archeai

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