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					A GUIDE TO HEADSETS, HEADPHONES AND YOUR OPTIONS

Your reading this because your interested in purchasing a headset or set of
headphones for gaming. This resource is designed to be starting point and
lists most of the options available. This is by no means a definitive list, but
gives you an idea of what‘s out there and what different solutions cost. This
resource was created to help first time buyers or those looking to upgrade,
and to save the same questions and answers being asked in the ‗decent
headphones for the 360 forum‘. Please continue to ask specific questions
there once you‘ve read up on a solution that interests you.

Please Note – The list of retailers isn‘t extensive and the products listed here
are available from other retailers.

Also, there is no opinion expressed in this resource. I have simply provided
the facts with regards to each solution.


ENTRY LEVEL SOLUTION

Turtle Beach Ear Force X1 Headset

Price - £39.99 - £74.99


Product Website - http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/efx1/home.aspx


Retailers

Lime

http://www.limexb360.co.uk/product/Ear_Force_X1_Headphones_TBEFX
1

SVP

http://www.svp.co.uk/technology/hardware-earphones-ear-force-x1-
hadset_earforc-01001.html


Game

http://www.game.co.uk/Accessories/Xbox-360/Ear-Force-X1-
Headphones/~r335245/

Gamestation

http://www.gamestation.co.uk/Accessories/Xbox-360/Ear-Force-X1-
Headphones/~r408923/
Description - The Ear Force X1

The Turtle Beach X1 is a headset meaning you wear a pair of headphones
with a microphone attached. This allows you to chat in game and to hear what
other players are saying, as well as hearing the game audio at the same time.

The X1 headset outputs stereo sound to the wearer.
(What is stereo sound?)
Stereo sound is sound divided across two channels (recorded on two
separate sources) then the recorded sounds are mixed so that some
elements are channelled to the left and others to the right. Basically speaking
you‘ll be able to hear the direction of sound coming from your left and your
right in games. This is particular useful for first person shooters where your
trying to get a bead on your enemies location.


Features –

      hear xbox live chat as well as game volume

      improved bass and general amplification of game sound

      separate controls for game and chat volume

      Also compatible with PC

      Powered by the usb port on your 360



Connectivity –
Turtle Beach Earforce X31 Wireless headset

Price £ 79.99 - £139.99

Product Website

http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/efx3/home.aspx

Retailers

LIME

http://www.limexb360.co.uk/product/Turtle_Beach_EarForce_X31_XBOX
360_Wireless_Gaming_Headset_TBEFX31

PLAY

http://www.play.com/Games/Xbox360/4-/11828521/Turtle-Beach-
Wireless-Headset-Ear-Force-
X31/Product.html?ptsl=1&ob=Price&fb=0&&_$ja=tsid:11518%7Ccc:%7C
prd:11828521%7Ccat:Hardware

AMAZON

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Turtle-Beach-Wireless-Headset-
Force/dp/B002KSPL36


Description

New Features over the Turtle Beach X3 include: the ability to power by USB,
Digital Rf Signal Technology (wireless) and improved ear cushion design.

The Ear Force X31 provides the listener with stereo sound (see x1
description) over an RF wireless connection whilst incorporating xbox live
chat.

Features

      Digital RF wireless technology provides CD-quality game sound
       and crystal-clear reception

      Hear XBOX LIVE chat plus stereo game sound

      Expander creates a wider stereo panorama

      bass boost adds sonic realism

      Chat Boost dynamic talkback feature lets you
       hear chat even when the game gets louder
   Independent controls for game audio and
    chat volumes

   Eliminates game sounds picked up by chat mic

   Mic monitoring allows you to hear what you're saying
Turtle Beach X41 Wireless Surround Sound headset

Price £144.99 £154.99

Product Website

http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/efx4/home.aspx

Retailers

LIME

http://www.limexb360.co.uk/product/Turtle_Beach_Ear_Force_X41_Wireless_
Surround_sound_Headset_TBEFX41

AMAZON

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Turtle-Beach-Wireless-Headset-
Force/dp/B002KSPKRS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=12633826
52&sr=8-1

GAMEPLAY

http://shop.gameplay.co.uk/webstore/productpage.asp?productcode=XT1610
&title=turtle_beach_ear_force_x41_wireless_gaming_headset_for_xbox_360


Description

The Ear Force X41 is Turtle Beaches top-of-the-line XBOX 360 headset. It
features 7.1 channel Dolby surround sound, XBOX LIVE chat functionality
and a digital RF wireless connection for clear game audio. The x41 aims to
Combine comfort with a 360 degree sound field and enhanced online
communication.

Taken from Turtle beaches website ―Playing your favourite XBOX game
with the Ear Force X41 is like having a ―secret weapon‖ in your arsenal.
You‘ll get a competitive advantage by hearing sound cues that you can’t
hear with speakers, such as the soft footsteps of an enemy sneaking up
behind you, or the click of a loading weapon far in front of you. By hearing
sounds others can‘t—and by knowing where they‘re coming from—you‘ll
react faster and take them out before they take you out.

Features

      Dolby Digital 7.1 Surround Sound
      Dolby Pro Logic IIx reproduces full-range special effects in the
       surround channels and enhances stereo sound
      Digital RF wireless technology provides CD-quality game sound and
       clear reception
   Chat Boost dynamic talkback expander automatically
    increases incoming chat volume during loud game sequences
   Eliminates game sounds picked up by chat mic
   Independent controls for game audio and chat volumes
   Mic Monitor mixes your voice into the headphones so you can hear
    what you're saying
   Hear XBOX LIVE chat plus game sound
   bass boost adds sonic realism
   Digital input for highest XBOX sound quality, plus analog input for TV
    and other audio sources
Tritton AX720 (2 channel Stereo) Surround Sound Headset

Price £107.28

Product Website

http://www.trittontechnologies.com/index.php/products/gaming_audio_technol
ogy/ax-720/

Retialers

LIME

http://www.limexb360.co.uk/product/Tritton_AX_720_Dolby_Digital_Gaming_
Audio_System_TAX720

Description

Specifically designed for the XBox and PS3 systems, the AX 720 delivers
precision audio and voice communication. The AX 720 Utilizes Dolby Digital
and Dolby Headphone technology, however the AX720 is a 2-Channel
headset that includes Dolby Digital decoder to create a 3D audio environment.
Precision balanced 40mm drivers provide bass and clear highs to the sound.
You can chat online with your teammates on the XBox, PS3, or PC using the
detachable microphone. The convenient inline audio controller features
independent voice and game volume controls so that you can clearly hear
your teammates during those crucial gaming moments. A breakaway cable
design will allow you to connect optional cables to your MP3 player or even an
iPhone.

Features

• Digital Optical Connection
• Dolby® Digital / Pro Logic® II / Dolby® Headphone
• Inline Audio Controller with Independent Chat Volume Control
• Voice Compatible with XBox Live
• USB Microphone for Playstation Network /PC/Mac
• Removable And Replaceable Ear Pads and Headrail Pad
• Removable Microphone
Tritton AX Pro Surround Sound Headset

Price £143.03 - £174.99

Product Website

http://www.trittontechnologies.com/index.php/products/gaming_audio_t
echnology/ax-pro/

Retailers

LIME

http://www.limexb360.co.uk/product/Tritton_AX_PRO_Dolby_5.1_Headp
hones_TAXPRO

IHEADPHONES

http://www.iheadphones.co.uk/headphones/24202/Tritton+AX+Pro+Xtre
me.htm

Description

The AX PRO is considered the flagship of Trittons gaming headset line.
Features include Hear Everything Technology, digital 5.1 surround sound,
simplified microphone connection for XBOX Live, and a USB port for
microphone connection to a PS3 or computer. The inline audio controller also
includes advanced features such as, individual sound field controls, master
volume mute, microphone mute control, and backlighting for low light
conditions. Precision audio drivers ensure optimum sound quality from low to
high frequencies. The AX PRO is a licensed Dolby Digital and Prologic II
certified product designed for gaming.

Features

• Digital Optic/Coaxial interface

• Digital / Dolby Prologic II

• True 5.1 Surround Sound

• Advanced Inline Audio Controller

• 8 Individual Speakers (4 in each ear cup)

• Removable Microphone

• Voice Compatible with Xbox Live
• USB Microphone for PS3/PC/Mac Headphone

• Back Light Inline Audio Controller

• Master Volume Control & Mute

• Microphone Mute

• Individual Sound Field Control

• Independent chat volume control
Astro A40 Audio System Headset and Mix Amp

Price £199.95

Product Website

http://www.astrogaming.co.uk/products.asp?id=2668&KEYWORD=astro
%20a40&jkId=8a8ae4cc247559b30124bdc0cdbe7a39&jt=1&jadid=386329
2562&js=1&jk=astro%20a40&jsid=9156&jmt=1&&gclid=CMv-
0_WqoZ8CFaBb4wodsznuJg

Retailers

LIME

http://www.limexb360.co.uk/product/A40_Audio_System_Headset_and_
Mix_Amp_A40ASB

ASTRO GAMING

http://www.astrogaming.co.uk/products.asp?id=2668&KEYWORD=astro
%20a40&jkId=8a8ae4cc247559b30124bdc0cdbe7a39&jt=1&jadid=386329
2562&js=1&jk=astro%20a40&jsid=9156&jmt=1&&gclid=CMv-
0_WqoZ8CFaBb4wodsznuJg



Description

The Astro A40 Audio System combines crystal-clear voice communication
with pinpoint-accurate 5.1 Dolby Digital and Dolby Headphone surround
utilizing a er-configurable headset.


In addition to the A40 Headset's removable speaker tags (which are high-
quality collectibles in their own right), you'll find a completely user-configurable
microphone boom. It attaches to either side or removes completely for solo
gaming and music sessions.

The A40 Audio System includes the external A40 MixAmp, providing Xbox
and Xbox 360 users with combined voice and game sound, ideal for
tournament play and discrete "midnight gaming" sessions. A discrete
game/voice balance control enables you to find the ideal in-game setting.

PC Gamers benefit as well, by offloading surround decoding and voice
communication duties to the A40 system. Combine multiple A40 MixAmps
and you'll be provided a private, hands-free, full-duplex voice communication
channel that's much higher-quality than VoIP systems, with zero network and
system lag.
Every A40 MixAmp is daisy-chainable, and each comes complete with
everything you need to connect the built-in voice communication feature of
multiple MixAmps. PLEASE NOTE you’ll need to order a separate optical
cable because this isn’t supplied. These are readily available and can be
purchased in many different lengths.

The A40 Headset comes with a quick-disconnect cable and multiple ends: an
A40 MixAmp cable (also compatible with portable audio players), and a
standard dual-jack PC connector with in-line volume and mute control.

Inject your games with your own soundtrack. Connect your mp3 player
through the mixer itself with the included cable. Free up valuable system
resources, and put your music within arm's reach.

The Astro package is a fantastic one box solution and comes in high quality
professional packaging. As stated, you get everything you‘ll need except an
optical cable. Rounding off the package is a quality travel case that stores
your headphones and mix amp.

PLEASE NOTE – There is soon going to be an astro audio system ‗2.0‘
released in the UK (1st Q 2010). This features ps3 voice compatibility out of
the box and features face lift versions of the A40 headphones and mix amp.
The 2.0 version isn‘t technically different to the solution described here and if
ps3 compatibility is a concern you can purchase the ps3 mic adaptor from
lime.

http://www.limexb360.co.uk/product/PS3_Mic_Adaptor_ASPS3MA
Astro Mix Amp (headphones/headset must be purchased separately)

Price £99.95

Product Website

http://www.astrogaming.co.uk/products.asp?id=2670

Retialers

LIME

http://www.limexb360.co.uk/product/Astro_Mix_Amp_ASMA

ASTRO GAMING

http://www.astrogaming.co.uk/products.asp?id=2670



Description

This is the same mix amp featured with the a40 headset above, the difference
here is that you‘re purchasing the mix amp separately to be used with a
different set of headphones or a headset. (any with a 3.5 mm standard
connector).

The Astro A40 MixAmp combines crystal-clear voice communication with
pinpoint-accurate 5.1 Dolby Digital and Dolby Headphone surround. High-
power, audiophile-grade amplification completes this portable, powerhouse
package. PLEASE NOTE - It’s the mix amp that gives you the Dolby
Surround you hear. The effect is either enhanced or not buy the
headphones you listen through.

The external A40 MixAmp provides users with combined voice and game
sound - ideal for tournament play and discrete "midnight gaming" sessions.

PC gamers benefit by offloading surround decoding and voice communication
duties to the A40 system. Combined with other A40 MixAmps it provides a
private, hands-free, full-duplex voice communication channel - much higher-
quality than VoIP systems, with zero network lag.

The A40 MixAmp is daisy-chainable out of the box, and comes complete with
everything you need to connect the built-in voice communication feature of
multiple MixAmps.

Inject your games with your own soundtrack. Connect your mp3 player
through the mixer itself. Free up valuable system resources, and put your
music within arm's reach.
Solutions to use with the Astro Mix Amp



Turtle Beach HPX-1 Headset

Price £66.40

Product Website

http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/efhpx/home.aspx

Retailers

LIME

http://www.limexb360.co.uk/product/Ear_Force_HPX1_%28Headphone_
only%29_TBHPX1HO



Description

This is a headset so features a mic for xbox live chat.

Please note: This headset must be used with an Astro A40 Mixamp for
compatibility with the Xbox® 360. If purchased through Lime, you‘ll be
supplied with the cable you need to connect the HPX to your mixamp.

The Ear Force HPX headset have a total of 8 speakers (four in each ear cup).
A pair of 40mm front and surround speakers in each ear can be reconfigured
to deliver realistic surround sound in 5.1 channel mode or dynamically
improved high-fidelity sound in stereo mode. In 5.1 channel mode, the sub-
woofer delivers deep, rich bass for impactful surround sound effects, while the
center speakers reproduce center channel sounds, such as the voice track on
DVD movies and PC games. The quick disconnect jack lets you easily
reconfigure the headphones.
Audio Technica AD700 Headphones

Price £99.99

Product Website

http://eu.audio-
technica.com/en/products/product.asp?catID=5&subID=37&prodID=156

Retailers

IHEADPHONES

http://www.iheadphones.co.uk/headphones/22776/Audio+Technica+ATH
-AD700+Open+Air+Headphones.htm

Description

These are headphones so don‘t come with a supplied mic. A simple
modification to these headphones can be made using Velcro to attach a boom
mic. Details of this can be found at the end of this resource..

With a lightweight honeycomb aluminum casing and magnesium frame
structure, these open-air headphones produce no sense of pressure on the
ears, offering a completely natural listening experience. Self-adjusting wing
support automatically adjusts to your head size for easy-wearing listening
comfort. A straight cord at the left earpiece terminates to a mini plug with a
3.5mm connector.

Features

      Air Dynamic (open) headphones for natural and high quality sounds
       with deep resonating bass and vocal projection
      Full open-air type headphones produce no sense of pressure on the
       ears, resulting in a completely natural sensation
      Lightweight honeycomb aluminum casing and magnesium frame
       structure
      Large-aperture 53 mm drivers with neodymium magnet systems and
       CCAW voice coils for superior sound reproduction
      Self-adjusting 3D Wing Support Housing provides comfortable support
       for a more enjoyable listening experience
      High-quality hybrid PCOCC and titanium alloy cord
      Extremely comfortable velvet ear-fitting pads
      Gold-plated stereo 1/8" (3.5 mm) connector with 1/4" (6.3 mm) adapter
Audio Technica AD900 Headphones

Price £199.99

Retailers

http://www.iheadphones.co.uk/headphones/22777/Audio+Technica+ATH
-AD900+Open+Air+Headphones.htm

Description

Audio-Technica's ATH-AD900 Air Dynamic headphones give you high quality
sounds with deep balanced bass. With unique self-adjusting bearing armband
(world's first) with newly developed 3D "wing support" which allows
comfortable and enjoyable listening experience. Features a large 53mm
aperture driver made with bobbin winding CCAW voice coil for superior sound
reproduction. Designed with light weight aluminum honeycomb casing with a
total comfort around your ears.

Specifications

      Type: Open-Air Dynamic
      Driver Unit: 53mm, CCAW voice coil
      Magnet: Neodymium
      Frequency response: 5-35,000 Hz
      Impedance: 35Ω
      Max. Input Power: 700mW
      Output overpressure value: 100dB/mW (JEITA)
      Plug: Mini/Standard Gold plated 2 Way
      Cord length: Elastomer/OFC/3.0m
      Net weight (without cord): 250g
      Detachable phone plug
Beyerdynamic DT 880 250 Ohm Semi-Open Stereo Headphones

If you decide to use these headphones it‘s the 2005 250 ohm version you
should be looking for. Please don‘t confuse these with the pro version.

Price £210.33 - £232.51

Product Website

http://www.beyerdynamic.de/en/music-
performance/products/headphones.html?tx_sbproductdatabase_pi1%5
BshowUid%5D%5BshowUID%5D=1851&tx_sbproductdatabase_pi1%5Bs
howUid%5D%5BbackPID%5D=68&cHash=ae652aa639

(link also describes difference between the pro and 2005 editions)

Retailers

DV247

http://www.dv247.com/headphones/beyerdynamic-dt-880-250-ohm-semi-
open-stereo-headphones--58375

AMAZON

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyerdynamic-DT-880-Premium-
Headphone/dp/B000F2BLTM



Description

The Beyerdynamic DT 880 Semi-Open Dynamic Headphones combines
the strengths of open and closed studio headphones. The improved systems
of the Beyerdynamic DT880 now offer a high quality headphone with excellent
analytical properties. The DT 880 reproduces an amazing sound spectrum,
with clean, clear detail from the deepest bass to the highest highs. The highs
are crystal-clear without being unpleasant, impressive even at low levels. The
neutral balanced mids are analytical and strong, without being predominant.

The Beyerdynamic DT880‘s bass is voluminous without being too obtrusive.
The single-sided cable, the soft ear pads and the padded headband makes
the DT 880 extra-comfortable for extended listening sessions. The
Beyerdynamic DT 880 is still manufactured in Germany, providing an
excellent quality.

Features

      Semi-open back design

      Gold-plated 1/8" mini stereo jack plug (3.5 mm) and 1/4" adapter
       (6.35 mm)

      3m straight cable

      Nominal impedance: 250 Ohm

      Rugged headband construction

      Soft headband pad

      Innovative bass reflex system

      Single-sided cable




Labtec Boom Mic Mod suitable for ad700, ad900, dt880 and other
headphones.

To perform this mod you‘ll need…

      Labtec LVA-7330 Microphone

      Velcro tape or pads




The labtec boom mic isn‘t available in the UK. I and many others have
purchased one through this seller on ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Labtec-LVA-7330-ClearVoice-Head-Microphone-3-
5mm-
Plug_W0QQitemZ390138449639QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDom
ain_0?hash=item5ad6104ee7
Direct link to sellers website

http://www.netdirectbargains.com/items/item.aspx?itemid=6694146

(please allow up to 4 weeks for delivery)

Instructions on how to perform this simple mod can be found here:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/10930258-post563.html




The X1 talkback puck

When using the mix amp with headphones sometimes your voice volume
can sound quiet. Obviously you can set the balance more towards ‗game‘
but this can impact on your overall sound. To combat this you can try the
following…


1) Set voice output to 'speakers and headset' in the menu on the 360. To
get there press your guide button and scroll across to the right untill you hit
sound. This setting helps because it makes voice output louder. I can
vouch for this, and personally mute my tv whenever using my headphones.

or

2) Purchase the Turtle beach x1 talkback puck from Gameshark spares.

http://store.gameshark.net/X1_Xbox_Live_Talkback_Cable_puck/4680/241

(there are also auctions on ebay if not in stock)


This device plugs into your controller and your mixamp and gives you more
control over voice comm volume.


By doing the above I've had no problems with voice comms whilst using
the a40s, ad700s, ad900s and dt880s and the mixamp. I set my master
volume to around 2 o clock and this is plenty loud enough for gaming and
have the voice balance set over to game at around 9 o clock and this
provides the right balance to me. Obviously everyone will be different, but
hopefully this will give you a starting point.




Headphone Burn in

Please see the below link for a good FAQ regarding burning in
headphones.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/headphone-burn-faq-56744/

				
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