My Headset Woes


Oct 11, 2015
I just built a brand new 1200$ gaming PC, and I bought a new headset to polish it off. I'm really happy with the PC, but I'm pretty disappointed with the headset. My motherboard (Gigabyte Z170XP-SLI) has an AMP-UP on-board soundcard which is supposed to be pretty good. However, I've already sent back one headset, and I'm the verge of sending back another.

My old headset was an Arctic Sound P531. It's a pretty low-end 80$ 5.1 USB headset, and it's given me no troubles over the 3 years I've owned it. Now one of the right speakers is going out, so I was excited to have an excuse to upgrade. The first headset I bought was a HyperX Cloud II. I looked at the reviews and lots of people said it was a really solid middle-of-the-field headset. Yet when I plugged it in I was surprised by how flat my music sounded. On top of a slight static noise 100% of the time, there was a real lack of bass. The P531 was the first time I used a headset that would shake my head with bass, and I was hoping for that again with some crisper sound quality in the middle and high frequencies. However, it really disappointed me. I played with all sorts of settings and drivers, but nothing brought bass to them like my old (and much cheaper) P531 had. After reading lots of threads about the static noise and the lack of any real bass in my music, I sent them back.

Today I just got my 2nd new headset, a Razer Tiamat 7.1. And sadly enough, I'm in the same boat as when I first tried the Hyper X Cloud II. The mid and high frequencies sound noticeably better, but the bass is non-existent. Again I've been reading dozens of threads, trying all sorts of driver changes, and adjusted tons of settings, but nothing is giving me the bass I've gotten used to over the last 3 years. Every time I change the equalizer it simply turns my music into a muddy mess instead of adding real bass to it. I've seen people saying the headset just isn't capable of good sound quality, while others are saying their Tiamat sounds amazing with and without a dedicated soundcard. I'm a little hesitant to drop more money in a dedicated soundcard and still have the Tiamat disappoint me.

Is there something I'm missing here? Was the insane bass on the P531 just something that isn't very common? One thing I notice is when I tap on the P531's speaker group I can feel what seems like a large spring inside the headset. The Tiamat doesn't have the same spring feeling, is that where the difference in bass comes from? My old, half broken, 80$ headset still sounds better to me than this Tiamat which costs twice as much. Would buying a headset with only a USB connection and not 3.5mm jacks give me that bass I'm looking for? Thanks for reading my novel, I hope someone can shed some light on what I'm missing here.