A headphone dilemma

August 23rd, 2010 in .Blogs .Gaming .Tech
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When I first dived into the bowels of parenthood I lived in an awkwardly shaped house that meant my game room was right next door to my child’s bedroom. I couldn’t enjoy the crashing sound of a good FPS without waking her up. So I’ve been on the prowl for a good pair of headphones for ages.

The thing is, it’s a lot harder to find the right headphones than I realised. I’ve not needed them before so I had no idea that they came in so many different shapes and flavours, and that some of them could be so darn uncomfortable.

The first pair I bought turned the sound into a muffled disaster and the actual cups really hurt my ears after a while. I don’t have a big head (snort) and they were extremely tight on me. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable they would have been for someone with a larger dome.

It all went steadily downhill from there. Too big – in spite of adjusting them to the nth degree, they would slip down if I so much as moved a muscle. Too hard – my poor ears where throbbing after ten minutes of gaming. And so the list goes on – too big, too small, too fiddly, and that’s not even covering the quality of the sound.

I must admit that I still hadn’t resolved the headphone issue when I moved home. My only solution had been to put my sound on really low so I could play without waking the child so I could keep my ears from developing bunions. If ears can get bunions.

Now, when I don’t need headphones anymore, I discover that ASUS have gone and tested over 1000 different headphones in order to find the perfect match for their Xonar Xense One soundcards. Where was this information a year ago!

They chose the Sennheiser PC350 headphones (that look really tasty) as they come with EMI shielding, full-bodied sound, 6.5mm studio jacks for full-spectrum audio and support for Dolby Headphone 5.1. AND they look really comfy as they have big, ear-shaped holes. Bargain.

So I looked at this pair of headphones rather mournfully. I mean, I had no excuse to get them now that I had a secluded gaming hideaway. Or did I? What about if I was gaming on the move? Or if someone decided to come and have a snooze in my office? Surely these possibilities deserved this yummy pair of headphones? I think so too.

It’s interesting to note that the Xonar Xense One sound cards are designed to really work with hardcore gamers who enjoy playing online competitively. The card and headphones work together to ensure that sound cues are spot on while gaming. And anyone who’s ever gamed online will know that auditory cues are really important if you want to avoid dying, or catch someone out.

Together they reduce noise, deliver accurate positioning of audio, and amplify even minor ambient effects.

Actually, I think that’s my reason for getting the set right there. Obviously I can’t game properly without them…

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