Basic Audio Question


May 10, 2011
Hey guys, I've recently gotten interested in high quality audio and headphones now that I am becoming more interested in computers altogether.

I've built my own computer after hours of tedious research, however, audio is a major category that I haven't gotten the time to research and learn more about.

This said, I've been looking at the Astro A40s for a few weeks now, and after countless positive reviews, I've decided that if I'm going to get a pair of headphones for gaming, it would be the A40s.

However, many people on forums and review sites talk about "optical ports and cords". I've never used any of those in my life, I'm wondering if somebody can clarify what they exactly are and what I'm going to need in order to use them with the A40s. Also, I'm going to be gaming on PC, so if there are any things that I might need along with the optical cords, feel free to tell me :)

headphone jacks come in 3 sizes

6.35mm or 1/4" jack, found on studio/professional headphones
3.5mm miniature jack, found on the vast majority of headphones
Jack, 2.5mm subminiature, found on cellphone headsets, similar devices.

your headset uses the standard 3.5mm jack which will hook up right to the backpanel of your computer or in some cases on the front panel. there is even a special port available just for headphones.

s/pdif (optical) ports on some soundcards are to provide a high definition sound output to a device such as an av receiver. however, hdmi cables can carry high definition audio and video so is most often recommended over splitting the sound/video unless you don't have hdmi out. you don't have to worry about optical as it doesn't relate to your headphones.

you don't really need anything special just to play games on the pc. i've played games on perepherals totaling over $500 and on perepherals totaling less than $30. once you get comfortable with your input devices it doesnt much matter. you just have to find a product which is comfortable to use and that you are happy with.

personally i like using a razer deathadder mouse (about $50) and my old mechanical ibm model m keyboard (which is over 20 years old!). however if you want new products then if you like mechanical keyboards go with either a das or unicomp (probably around $80) or if you like rubber dome keyboards go with something in the logitech G series lineup (the ones with the lcd screen). just my recommendations. what you like may vary.