I need sound advice (Pun intended)

iamatechnoob

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May 21, 2013
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Sorry there's no TL;DR because there's just too much details to leave out IMO ):

I apologise in advance for the long story, just thought I should flesh out the details so people can have a clear story of what I need.

I have recently decided to replace an old & cheap Sades headset that has a broken mic. I have just started playing Rainbow 6, and with a mic it might improve the gaming experience for me.

I have did research over the past few days, and decided on a decent headset + mic combo. No strict budget but I am trying to go below $100 in total, but if there is a need I can increase.

I do not live in the US, so am trying to consolidate my purchased items into 1 shipment and ship it to my home country. So where possible I would like to make a quick decision over the next week or so.

Headset:
I have decided on the Samson SR850, after considering the Superlux 668B for the longest time, mainly due to the fact I do not have to purchase velour earpads replacement and they cost the same. I live in a tropical climate and the breathable earpads will help with the sweat situation. The only thing I am worried about is its semi-open back nature, I have yet to own one, and I am afraid when gaming/listening to music at night at average levels I might bother people in the same/next room (doors open). Any opinions on that would be good.

Mic:
I have an old Shure Beta58A (supercardioid dynamic vocal microphone) with an XLR to USB 2.0 cable. This is my first time using it even though I've bought it before. However, the pick up volume is extremely low unless I am right on top of the mic, or shouting, and even then it is still not overly loud. I am not sure if this is due to the nature of the microphone, or the lack of power from the XLR-USB cable.

Now you have my backstory, here is my 2-level dilemma:

Do I need to purchase a DAC/AMP so that I can have decent sounding music/mic pick up with my Shure mic & Samson headset? I do not think I have a soundcard, and the motherboard I am using is Gigabyte GA-H87-D3H. Not sure if this can provide decent sound with the Samson headset. I am currently using cheap speakers and headsets so can't tell, but I would like to improve my experience since I have a little bit of extra cash right now.

Do I purchase a new mic? There are a couple of cheap mics that I can clip onto the cable of the headset that seems to pick up decently as seen/heard from the Amazon reviews.

Clip on Mic options:
Neewer 2X 3.5mm Hands Free Computer Clip on Mini Lapel Microphone
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005DJOIPQ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A2RY31CCUR7EWF&psc=1

and

Zalman Zm-Mic1 High Sensitivity Headphone Microphone
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00029MTMQ/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Huge thanks to anyone who has read all the way, I very much appreciate this community.
 

SoggyTissue

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the diffrerence is minimal if youre just using headset, it helps replicate multiple overlap sounds (which you can hear better with a speaker set up - sound wave interaction is better aided).

eg a chorus ... will sound better at 96 (due to soundwave interaction replication), a gun fight will sound the same at 48 and 96 (multiple same sounds but not simulataneously overlapping).

the external umc22 will be much better for your mic as thats what it is specifically designed for: input recording.
 

SoggyTissue

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to be honest, i'll always suggest buying a separate sound controller if youre putting serious money into a headset or speakers ($100+)

mobo sound is limited to 64 channels, and the accuracy of sound replication isnt as good as a separate card/controller. This dont 'sound' very interesting so i have a way to enable you to understand what a controller should be bought for:

you ever eat baked beans? can you tell the difference between value beans and heinz? some people can, because their taste buds are more sensitive. and this is true for sound. a boom from an explosion may sound the same, but will you hear the dirt and rubble as it sprays across the floor? better sound accuracy and isolation from a separate controller/card (with 128 channels of sound / double a mobo) will allow you to hear things (if you have good hearing) better, as the sounds wont get drowned/missed out like they do on mobos.

you dont NEED a controller/card, but if you like sound, then you should consider getting one. anyone with a $100 headset and claims mobo sound is better, has a very bland hearing range.
 

iamatechnoob

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May 21, 2013
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I'm not sure if I would be able to discern between that quality of sound. I have yet to try high quality audio setups.. The Samson SR850 aren't $100 though, they only costs around $40 currently, but reviews are generally good. Do you think with my current mobo it can be decent? Or is buying a sound controller the best option for me since I have a microphone to consider as well?
 

iamatechnoob

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May 21, 2013
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If there is an entry-level sound controller you would recommend, what would it be? Hopefully nothing above $100 that also works with my Shure Beta58A microphone because I definitely need that gain, else I won't be able to use it at all.

And even though the Samson SR850 isn't >$100, do you think the quality of it is good enough for a sound controller? Reviews have been raving to say the least.
 

iamatechnoob

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May 21, 2013
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Thanks! I did hell a lot of research the past week or so.

I would prefer not to get a soundcard, too much trouble to install it in, and previously I had some issue of noise in my speakers that I couldnt figure out where it came from. Somehow it magically disappeared couple of weeks ago, and has not been back since. An external sound interface will probably suit me better. Do you think the Behringer UMC22 will be a good choice? Its cheaper than the soundcard too, currently going at $40 on Amazon.

I am also going to experiment with testing a XLR-3.5mm cable instead of the XLR-USB that I have now. Perhaps that way I can increase the gain using the onboard sound chip and see if it works well.
 

SoggyTissue

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it has 46KHz playback, the xonar has 96KHz ... just saying it will be better end sound, but being external will almost eliminate any buzz and interference which would be more important.

its not bad, looks like its specifically designed for in/out music use, so should have good volume boost for headsets.
 

iamatechnoob

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May 21, 2013
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What audio difference will a 48khz vs 96khz sound like?

If I plug my headphones into the audio interface, and listen to music through it, will it sound better than if i plug it directly into my mobo?
 

SoggyTissue

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Jun 27, 2017
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the diffrerence is minimal if youre just using headset, it helps replicate multiple overlap sounds (which you can hear better with a speaker set up - sound wave interaction is better aided).

eg a chorus ... will sound better at 96 (due to soundwave interaction replication), a gun fight will sound the same at 48 and 96 (multiple same sounds but not simulataneously overlapping).

the external umc22 will be much better for your mic as thats what it is specifically designed for: input recording.
 

iamatechnoob

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May 21, 2013
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I see, thanks for the tips and advice! I'll try out using the XLR-3.5mm cable first, if it doesn't work I'll probably get the Behringer UMC22.
 
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