Looking for cheap USB headset with somewhat flat EQ

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SparkySpark
KVRAF
1864 posts since 30 Aug, 2004 from Lancaster, UK

Post Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:03 am

Hi,

Due to the current situation, I am now away from my studio phones (Sony 7506 and AKG 712 Pro). In addition, I have no multimedia headset at my present location. Thus, I am thinking of ordering a cheap on-ear USB headset (up to 50 bucks or so) to both do some music and also talk with others on. I understand this won't give me a great pair of headphones and a great mic, but still...

I have used Logitech headsets before with a GREAT mic, though rather bass heavy 'phones. I spoke to someone online who had an old Sennheiser headset, also with a great mic, like podcast quality.

It seems that when it comes to inexpensive headsets, it is easier to get a (reasonably) good mic than an accurate listening experience. Speaking of which, I may also want to use the mic to do some rough singing sketches, to be replaced later on when I am back with my studio mic.

I guess more than I face the same situation at the moment.

Any suggestions? From what I gather, it seems only Sennheiser and Logitech offer such solutions, without hyping bass like crazy. There is also Plantronics, but I don't know their brand. I noticed that at least in some Sennheiser headsets, there is something called ActiveGuard, which protects one's hearing. That's a great feature, but what it does is compress everything that's too loud. For making music, I'd much rather have a feature that cuts the signal completely (otherwise it will be difficult to know when it is engaged or not).

I could of course go with any cheap headset in a local electronics supermarket, but I want them to be reasonably neutral, and I assume many hype the bass.

Thanks for any suggestions!
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donkey tugger
Boss Lovin' DR
6947 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from the grimness of yorkshire

Re: Looking for cheap USB headset with somewhat flat EQ

Post Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:16 am

I'm away from home as well at present so know how you feel!

Got one of the Plantronics headsets (work gave it me..) and whilst the headphones aren't bad, the mic is appalling!

What I'm using is one of these with a pair of headphones instead;

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SAMSON-Sagomic ... B001R76D42

Mic is much better quality and you can choose your own headphones of course. Perhaps another option to look at. You can get them much cheaper than £49..

SparkySpark
KVRAF
1864 posts since 30 Aug, 2004 from Lancaster, UK

Re: Looking for cheap USB headset with somewhat flat EQ

Post Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:48 am

donkey tugger wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:16 am
I'm away from home as well at present so know how you feel!

Got one of the Plantronics headsets (work gave it me..) and whilst the headphones aren't bad, the mic is appalling!

What I'm using is one of these with a pair of headphones instead;

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SAMSON-Sagomic ... B001R76D42

Mic is much better quality and you can choose your own headphones of course. Perhaps another option to look at. You can get them much cheaper than £49..
Cool, thanks, and thanks for the verdict on Plantronics!

Actually the Logitech headset I (also) left behind has a great microphone. The headset is overall great, good sound as well and great price, it's just a little bass-heavy. ...so another option would be to include a temporary EQ last in the Master rack of my DAW. I think I have this one, https://www.logitech.com/en-roeu/produc ... ?crid=1873 but a slightly older version of it. I have used it as a mic for sound effects and for doing web-based lectures, with great results. I have even laid down a lead vocal track with it! (My main problem was not the sound quality but the unevenness in volume, due to the close proximity.)
Person 1: Say a number between 1 and 10.
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Passing Bye
KVRian
1498 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Re: Looking for cheap USB headset with somewhat flat EQ

Post Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:02 am

...

Winstontaneous
KVRAF
1822 posts since 15 Feb, 2006 from Berkeley, CA

Re: Looking for cheap USB headset with somewhat flat EQ

Post Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:12 am

FWIW it's not a USB headset but the Plantronics wired headset I have gets more RF interference (even with ferrite beads on cable) than anything I've ever heard. For a couple pennies more, they could have used a properly shielded cable. Plantronics touts the fact that they are a NASA supplier, but they also make cheap consumer garbage.

SparkySpark
KVRAF
1864 posts since 30 Aug, 2004 from Lancaster, UK

Re: Looking for cheap USB headset with somewhat flat EQ

Post Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:03 pm

Winstontaneous wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:12 am
FWIW it's not a USB headset but the Plantronics wired headset I have gets more RF interference (even with ferrite beads on cable) than anything I've ever heard. For a couple pennies more, they could have used a properly shielded cable. Plantronics touts the fact that they are a NASA supplier, but they also make cheap consumer garbage.
OK thanks, then it is either Logitech or Sennheiser, I guess. :phones:

Though I must say, the NASA angle may not be so far off anyway; right now seems like a reasonable time to be in space. :wink:
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ztrauq
KVRist
244 posts since 13 Dec, 2004 from USA

Re: Looking for cheap USB headset with somewhat flat EQ

Post Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:53 pm

I have tried a whole bunch of different headsets, both standard Logitech/Plantronics and random knockoffs, and I've never found one that does a job above "meh" in terms of either headphone or audio quality. Even the knockoff ones aren't too bad for spoken word (I use a pair as my phone headset), but in my experience the microphones tend to go out fairly quickly.

My own personal solution to this, while about twice the price, was a pair of relatively inexpensive Mackie headphones and the aforementioned Samson GoMic, which worked pretty well as an interim setup.

That being said, you can probably get a pair of good enough Samson or Sennheiser or Monoprice headphones and a half-decent USB pedestal computer mic for around 50 quid, and they'll both likely last longer than a combination headset.

SparkySpark
KVRAF
1864 posts since 30 Aug, 2004 from Lancaster, UK

Re: Looking for cheap USB headset with somewhat flat EQ

Post Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:03 am

ztrauq wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:53 pm
I have tried a whole bunch of different headsets, both standard Logitech/Plantronics and random knockoffs, and I've never found one that does a job above "meh" in terms of either headphone or audio quality. Even the knockoff ones aren't too bad for spoken word (I use a pair as my phone headset), but in my experience the microphones tend to go out fairly quickly.

My own personal solution to this, while about twice the price, was a pair of relatively inexpensive Mackie headphones and the aforementioned Samson GoMic, which worked pretty well as an interim setup.

That being said, you can probably get a pair of good enough Samson or Sennheiser or Monoprice headphones and a half-decent USB pedestal computer mic for around 50 quid, and they'll both likely last longer than a combination headset.
Thanks for your input! Yes, I agree this makes sense. In my case, I think I will go for convenience and travelling too (well, we cannot be locked up eternally) so I will probably go with the Logitech H390 again. Speaking of which, I have (ab)used my Logitech H390 (?) headset for three years without any technical problems, so it is quite robust. Though it is a bit bass-heavy, it is good enough to make synth patches with for example, because sonically it is very detailed for the price. And as I mentioned above, the mic is surprisingly good.

My option would be a Sennheiser headset (probably the Sennheiser SC60, https://epi.eposaudio.com/globalassets/ ... 19_int.pdf), thanks to its sound protection (ActiveGard). The Logitech unfortunately has its volume controls on the outer rim of the volume control, so if it is below some stuff it can accidentally turn to max volume. Once, my cat (!) laid on the headphone control, and then I auditioned a bass drum sample... Let's just say I now know how the inside of a drum set feels...! :scared: Here's a white paper on ActiveGard: https://sennheiserusa.happyfox.com/kb/a ... s-it-work/

Just to add to your list of recommendations: Soundelux HD681 is also a good pair of inexpensive headphones, for a "split" setup.
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chai_all_day_long
KVRist
34 posts since 27 Jan, 2019 from Inland Empire (So-Cal)

Re: Looking for cheap USB headset with somewhat flat EQ

Post Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:02 am

Have you considered looking at an Antlion USB Modmic.

https://antlionaudio.com/products/modmic-usb

They are a little pricier for the USB version and the cord can be a bit of a pain (my headphones have a coiled cord) at 75 (might be able to find a secondhand for 50) but it's a great way to use your existing headphones with a good mic. The Logitech H540 my work provided sounded good, but pinched my ears with my glasses so I got this mic to use with my Beyerdynamic DT770's.

The comparison here really gave me a good idea of what each comfort / gaming style headset sounded like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBnCkHxrg4M

SparkySpark
KVRAF
1864 posts since 30 Aug, 2004 from Lancaster, UK

Re: Looking for cheap USB headset with somewhat flat EQ

Post Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:21 pm

Thanks! That was really interesting. Funny video too! :D

Well, earlier today I ordered the Logitech headphones. I am not entirely sure they are the ones I used to have, but fingers crossed... :wink:
Person 1: Say a number between 1 and 10.
Computer scientist: There is no number between 1 and 10.
Go MuLab!

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