Sound combo

April 28th, 2010 in .Blogs .PC Components .Products
Suds McSoapdish
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Personally, this gamer loves headphones. They’re considerate, so you can sit there all night doing your thing, gaming, watching movies, listening to music, and nobody has to suffer for it.

They also keep you kind of insulated from the environment, and if you ask me, game audio sounds a lot better on headphones. Well, there’s always room for improvement as they say, and here’s proof.

 You may have heard of the Xonar range of audio cards from ASUS, and now they have the Xonar Xense package, which has an even better proposition, because not only does it consist of an excellent audio card, it adds Sennheiser headphones to the mix.

Sennheiser’s noted as one of the leading makers of headphones in the world, and their products have been winning awards for years. The Xonar Xense card features full Dolby Headphone 5.1 surround and ASUS’ Xonar GX2.5 sound processing, so it’s important to have headphones that do all this justice, and the Sennheisers succeed triumphantly.

 Field awareness

What’s good about the Xonar Xense combo is that the two components were co-developed, so there’s no huge performance gap as might occur if you just pair random gear. This results in very clear and accurate surround that proves useful in first person shooter games where more often than not it’s only sound cues that give opponents away before they get the drop on you.

 A lot of this is likely due to the quality build of both components, which includes strong EMI shielding on the card so that audio doesn’t get muddy with noise effects. This contributes to the precision positioning of sound, something all gamers should appreciate.

 Another thing to keep in mind is amplification. Since almost all headphones lack any source of on-board sound processing, they depend on a source device to drive them. Generic or integrated audio cards often compromise in this regard, but the Xonar Xense has a relatively powerful amp so the headphones deliver sound in a more convincing manner.

Finally, Xonar Xense comes with 6.5mm professional hi-fi connectors rather than more mainstream 3.5mm’s, so they’re generally sturdier. Gamers should also find the flexible headband and ergonomic design useful for long stretches of action with reduced fatigue.

It’s good to know people are taking headphone gaming seriously again; we’re big proponents of consideration of others around here.

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