Computer audio: headset and speaker


Jul 9, 2015
I'm in the process of building a computer and it's almost done. However I still need a gaming headset and speakers. I don't know anything about speakers or pic headsets. What is the best headset around 150-200$ and what type of speakers should I get.?I've heard things like 7.1 and 5.1 but I don't really understand. I don't know how much I should invest into speakers and a headset as I've spent almost $2000 on the computer and still haven't bought a gaming chair or desk. If it helps, I'll only be using one monitor. And if you know anything about gaming chairs that'd be cool also. Thanks if you give me feedback.
the number before the . denotes how many speakers. the number after denotes how many subwoofers. thus 5.1 = 5 speakers and a subwoofer, 7.2 = 7 speakers and 2 subwoofers, etcetera. generally 5.1 or above is considered by most as "surround sound". 5.1 is cheaper, has more video content available for it and is easier to fit in a room. 7.1 has a bit more advantage when it comes to natural surround however you may run into cases where content is recorded in 5.1 only not 7.1 and sets might cost more or be more limited in availability depending on what you're looking at.

as far as headsets are concerned there are different choices you can go with. first is surround sound or not. there are stereo only headsets/headphones which will only give left and right direction to sound (though what is known as soundstage can make it seem like it gives far far more). there is virtual surround which converts a stereo headset into sounding more like it was a 5.1 or 7.1 set of speakers around you for a bit more natural surround. then there are the true surround (multiple drivers in each earcup) design which is a hardware version of surround at the expense of using smaller worse sounding drivers. also do consider that you can also buy headphones and a separate microphone (either clip on, boom or desktop) which will often offer far better sound quality than any headset would.

how much you should spend is relative to what you expect in terms of performance. about $80 can get you a hyper x cloud headset which is pretty decent for budget level audio. for $100 you could get a hd518 + cheap microphone which is one step up from that. for $200 or under you have even more options available. for about $250-300 you can get some of the best value headphones overall. in terms of speakers you can get cheap average sounding speakers for $50 or below. for under $100 you can get slightly better than average 2.1 or 5.1 pc speakers or nicer sounding 2.0 home theater speakers. for $200-300 you can get some mid-level bookshelf speakers and an amplifier or entry level 2.1 set. for about $400 you can get some nice entry level (but still far superior to any pc speakers you can buy) home theater equipment

i wouldnt go too excessive on fancy gaming desks. often moderation is key. you can buy some nice desks for a very nice price (even better is to build your own). as for chairs look at dxracer or herman miller - two good brands.

perhaps you can get a few ideas from what i use (click build link in signature). my equipment might be much more than what you're looking for however it gives you an idea of what you could do. i'm using a 40" tv as my main display combined with a 5.1 klipsch home theater. you can consider it mid-level. i do have a pair of headphones ($100-150 range) though i do not use them often for anything but some music.

as a side note, you should link what hardware you are planning on buying here so we know. sometimes things carry over from hardware to the peripheral side so we need to know what you have.
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