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Gaming Sound System Suggestions


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#1 NJ Shlice

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 07:58 AM

This thread could be used for Sound System discussions and recommendations.

I bought my new LCD but the sound is balls on it. During Bioshock, in certain parts the whole T.V. vibrates and it sounds like a mess.

My budget for a new sound setup is less than $100. I am not looking for some ridiculous setup because my LCD is in my room and I just want my videogames and movies to sound good coming from my Xbox 360. I have a Bose system in the living room but that's not necessary just for my bedroom.

Could you guys give me some suggestions, or feedback on products you have tried with your Xbox360 or even your computer.

Possibly something like THIS

Edited by NJ x Falk0r, 16 August 2007 - 07:59 AM.


#2 Syracuse022

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 08:16 AM

Things that I would do (best option first): 1) Save your money and get a better sound system in a little while. It's worth it. The first time I heard a bullet whiz past my ear in Rainbow Six and knew exactly where my attacker was from the sound alone, I knew that 5.1 was worth it. BioShock (and Halo 3 for that matter) with a good 5.1 sound system will be an incredible experience. I haven't bothered to try and hook my 360 up to 5.1, so I don't even know what options you have for finding an optical out, but I'm going to look into it now, since I've reminded myself how great it was to have 5.1 hooked up to my console... 2) Get a really nice 2.1 set-up instead of a lower quality 5.1 set-up. Two speakers and a sub can still do some really great things with sound, and anything's better than your TV's speakers. Look around and see what you can find. 3) Headphones. The MLG pros rock 'em, though a large part of the point there is that it's blocking out crowd noise at busy tournament venues. Still, you can get some nice headphones that will give you better sound quality than your TV, no doubt, so it's a final option to consider. Don't bother with ones that are supposed to mimic 5.1 because the whole point of 5.1 is the spacing. Just get some nice stereo ones. Check out Sennheiser (Final Boss approved) and Grado, both are big names in the headphone industry. Now, I don't know how far you sit from your TV (those MLG guys practically sit inside the damn thing), but cord length could be a problem, so you may want to look into wireless headphones. Seriously, though, save up some money and get a nice 5.1 system that you'll be happy with, instead of rushing to buy something less expensive now.

#3 NJ Shlice

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 08:34 AM

Thanks.

My theory on things like this is "Buy something decent now, but still better than what you're working with... and save up for something awesome."

Example: Last year I was playing Halo 2 on a 32" tube television that looked bad. I went out and bought a 20" CRT when I got my 360 that looked soooo much better. I saved up and recently bought my LCD.


What do you think about me getting something like This and then picking up a sweet 5.1 system in a couple months?

Or do you think that anything under $100 isn't going to even be worth it??

#4 Syracuse022

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 09:35 AM

I haven't bothered to try and hook my 360 up to 5.1, so I don't even know what options you have for finding an optical out, but I'm going to look into it now, since I've reminded myself how great it was to have 5.1 hooked up to my console...

Wow. After a little bit of research, I guess the cable that comes with the Pro is already capable of optical output... Time for an embarassing admission - I was so eager to buy the 360 that I bought a Core and a separate hard drive. When I trade it back in at Best Buy, you can bet I'll just pick up the Pro so that I can enjoy glorious 5.1 once more.

As for the system you've picked out, it looks like it should be just fine for its intended purpose. It's up to you, though; just pick out something you'll be happy with (after a little bit of research) and it should be all good.

#5 DualX

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 10:38 AM

I'm actually using the first link you have. And I can tell you that it sounds very nice compared to just hearing it from my monitor. You honestly can't beat a setup like this for only $60. Yes, I do use it for both my computer and 360 (which is also the same deal for my monitor since I don't have a TV yet).

This is my setup.
Posted Image
Had to do some Frankenstein surgery on these pictures, but it should give you an idea.

#6 Drew

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 02:50 PM

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16826106392

Do it. They're like sex for the ears.

#7 Syracuse022

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 04:03 PM

You should be able to find them for a little bit cheaper elsewhere, but yeah, I'd throw in a recommendation for those, too. Not a personal one (though I'm debating between those and Grado SR-80s for myself), but one from a much better source: Final Boss. Those guys used to rock these, and I'd bet that they still do, though I haven't been keeping up with MLG as much lately.

#8 NJ Shlice

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 04:38 PM

OK, lets say I go the headphones route: 1.) What about hearing my teammates while playing on Live? 2.) I don't recall there being a headphone jack on my 360, do I plug them into my TV? But then won't I just be hearing sound that my TV is capable of outputting and not getting it directly from the Xbox? /AudioN00b

#9 Drew

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 04:47 PM

You'll probably have to route the sound through your computer or a stereo before you can get it to work. Definitely for single-player only, but the sound quality is better than any speaker setup I've heard and Dolby Headphone Surround is beautiful.

#10 Syracuse022

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 05:01 PM

Why would he have to route it elsewhere? Most TVs have headphone jacks... I've never owned a TV that hasn't. As far as I know, the fact that it's routed through the TV is irrelevant, sound quality wise, beyond the fact that internal wiring could possibly be sub-par and you'd never know it. The speakers on the TV are bad, not the electrical components that take in the signal, but if you're worried about it, you can buy a converter (for 10 bucks tops at a store like Radio Shack) that will take the red and white RCA inputs directly from your Xbox 360 and convert them into a headphone jack. Either way (TV or converter) it won't be super powered like an audiophile would like it (they use amps with their headphones), but it should be fine... EDIT: Also, regarding team chat issues, it's not that hard to at least hear us (set voice output to speakers only), and I'm sure you could set-up the mic (see also: jerry-rig) in a fashion that's comfortable.

Edited by Syracuse022, 16 August 2007 - 05:06 PM.


#11 NJ Shlice

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 05:15 PM

EDIT: Also, regarding team chat issues, it's not that hard to at least hear us (set voice output to speakers only), and I'm sure you could set-up the mic (see also: jerry-rig) in a fashion that's comfortable.


Now, I think I read somewhere that Final Boss and other teams that use those kind of headphones are able to hear their teammates next to them because they are "Open Air" headphones or something like that. Is this true?

And if I'm plugging the headphones into the T.V., I'd hear my teammates over Live INSIDE of the headphones.

#12 Drew

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 05:26 PM

That's why I said you should route it elsewhere. Preferably something with a Dolby Headphone Surround processor in it. If you're going to invest in these headphones, you damn well better invest in something that will be able to pump quality sound into them. Otherwise, all of that extra money is wasted.

#13 Syracuse022

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 06:15 PM

The MLG forum's resident audiophile weighed in on headphones

He's not a huge fan of the HD 555s but he did have this to say:

These are easy to drive headphones, and will work with anything that has a headphone jack.


His opinion is that headphones like the HD 580 are much better for the price range. Here's my problem with that statement. The 580s are a little bit higher priced, but he also claims that they will need an amp for things like an Ipod (though he says that TVs and stereos should power them fine). Well, buying an amp immediately vaults them up into a different price category, making them a completely separate (and much more expensive) proposition than 555s.

Regarding stereo connections: I'd agree it's probably a better idea, but my understanding was that you were looking for a speaker system, so why would you have a stereo receiver/amp just lying around? If you do, go for it. On the other hand, the TV is right there and he's saying that it should power them just fine. Given his background, I'd take his word for it. There's a diagram for the common sense impaired at the bottom of his post, if you're curious how you should be setting things up (lol).

Regarding team chat: the quote about Final Boss hearing their teammates just fine was because they play in tournaments. Their teammates sit right next to them and the open nature of the headphones means that ambient sound can get in. When OGRE 2 says something, Walshy's no more than 5-10 feet away, so he can hear it in spite of his headphones. I regret to inform you that I will not be sitting 5-10 feet away when we play Halo 3, so I stick to my advice. If you want to use them for online play, set team chat to speakers only (which will output my sweet, sweet voice to your headphones), then figure out a comfortable way of fixing your mic in place.

#14 MoNuckah

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 11:58 PM

I've got the Sennheiser RS 130 wireless headphones. Highly recommended. I also have a good 5.1 surround sound set up, but I can't bump that once the chilluns' are asleep, so I went with wireless headphones. I sometimes use them even when its not late, just so no one has to hear the games. +10 to Spousal Bliss.

Edited by MoNuckah, 17 August 2007 - 12:03 AM.


#15 NJ Shlice

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 03:29 AM

Pictures for Justice:

Posted Image

Posted Image


Okay, what do you guys suggest I do.

As of now, my Xbox is hooked up to my LCD in my room and this is where my Audio dilemma is.

As you can see, in my living room I have a nice sound setup but the t.v. sucks at 32" standard definition. My problem is that the living room is where all casual chilling and television watching is and I feel that my living room is just a tad too big for my 26" LCD. Also, I didn't buy the best brand name LCD and I really dont feel comfortable using it ALL OF THE TIME for everyday watching.

In my room is a nice, comfy, small, intimate gaming scenario that I love right now, just the sound sucks.

Do you think I should just suck it up and move the LCD into the living room or just work on getting some good Audio in my bedroom?

Also, I live alone so its not a matter of other people being in the living room or anything.

#16 urk

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 07:32 PM

Can you move the Bose system into the bedroom? They tend to be small enough, so I think it would fit. When you get some funds ready, you can pick up a surround setup for the living room. If cost is your primary driver, I'd recommend an Onkyo HTIB. You can get a nice 5.1 system for under $300 from sites like Vanns.com. Speaker cabs are huge, but they sound awesome. Anyway, if you move the Bose into your room, assuming you can, you get to keep your gaming den and have the nice sound in there too. Unless you buy something, you're going to have to sacrifice, and it sounds like you're more comfortable back in your den of iniquity then you are out in the open of the living room. What brand LCD did you pick up? I've got a Sammy and the speakers are trash.

#17 NJ Shlice

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 03:06 AM

Can you move the Bose system into the bedroom? They tend to be small enough, so I think it would fit. When you get some funds ready, you can pick up a surround setup for the living room. If cost is your primary driver, I'd recommend an Onkyo HTIB. You can get a nice 5.1 system for under $300 from sites like Vanns.com. Speaker cabs are huge, but they sound awesome.

Anyway, if you move the Bose into your room, assuming you can, you get to keep your gaming den and have the nice sound in there too. Unless you buy something, you're going to have to sacrifice, and it sounds like you're more comfortable back in your den of iniquity then you are out in the open of the living room.

What brand LCD did you pick up? I've got a Sammy and the speakers are trash.


My problem with moving the Bose system in to my bedroom is because i live alone and my house is usually a hang out place for friends and stuff and when they are over and we're watching football or watching a movie we are all in the living room.

I've been thinking a lot about this, and what it really boils down to is how often am I actually going to have my t.v. loud while I'm playing Halo3. Only in campaign and even then I'll be with other people most of the time and I want to hear them. When I play multi I don't like my t.v. that loud at all. So i'm leaning more towards a good set of computer speakers to hook up to it for under $100.

My T.V. is not as sexy as your Sammy. It's a 26" Magnavox. I was in budget t.v. mode cause I HAD TO HAVE ONE before the Beta started. So I picked up the Magnavox, got it for like $550. Bestbuy now has a sexy ass Westinghouse 26" for $499 if anyone is in the market.

I never noticed a problem with my Magnavox speakers until in Bioshock where you first inject yourself with the Electro Plasmid and fall off that balcony. The cutscene right where the little sister and big daddy come up to you, oh my God my t.v. rumbles like Jackie Chan in the Bronx. It sounds terrible. But in Beta I had no problems/complaints.

#18 DualX

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 04:03 PM

Here we go. I found a way to take bigger pictures.

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#19 quickshade

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 04:50 PM

Personally headphones are pointless if you want 5.1. They just simulate it. Which is complete crap and is nothing like real 5.1. Personally I would try to save 200 bucks and go buy a sound system. it might not be the most expensive in the world but you will hear the difference in any game you play. I remember the first time I got my surround sound hooked up to my Xbox it was amazing. and I had a crappy sony system with a blown speaker. I recently upgraded to an onkyo system and it's amazing. I also bought an HP monitor to go with my HD setup. My monitor isn't 40 inches but it looks great and is fine for my room size. And the fact that I'll wake up everyone in a 2 block radius of my house on the 25th makes it all worth it.

#20 urk

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 04:55 PM

Eh, there are some headphone sets that do a great job of simulating 5.1 sound. In fact, for Halo 3 reviews, Bungie has been supplying reviewers with headphones. If it's good enough for that purpose, it's good enough for a bedroom. ;) I have an Onkyo HTIB that I picked up a couple of years ago and it sounds amazing. It's the 6.1 1000 watt setup. Base shakes my balls.

Edited by urk, 02 September 2007 - 04:55 PM.



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