Recommend a USB headset
December 21, 2006 10:57 AM   Subscribe

Recommend a USB headset to use for voice-chat in games (mainly WoW).

My criteria are fairly simple...

First, comfort: I'll be wearing this thing for a few hours at a time.

Second, sound quality: I'd like it if it was usable for something other than just voice.

Third, price: I'd like to be spending less than $50 if possible. (My SO and I are doing a Christmas "gift exchange" where we buy each other the same thing... so higher prices are magnified here.)

I'm fairly set on USB -- I don't want to have to swap my speakers out when using voice-chat, and neither of our computers has Bluetooth.

This AskMeFi from February 2005 covered the same ground, but is quite outdated now -- the product they recommended is no longer manufactured.
posted by Kemayo to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Plantronics DSP-500 if you can find them. Fantastic headset.
posted by empyrean at 10:59 AM on December 21, 2006

I've never had a problem with these ones from Logitech.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:21 AM on December 21, 2006

I've never had a problem with these ones from Logitech.

That's not a USB headset.
posted by mcstayinskool at 11:47 AM on December 21, 2006

I have a logitech too that I used to use for City of Heroes. They're acceptable. The mic quality is excellent and the comfort is good though that's not going to be universal for any headset. The inline controls were great too.

My only complaint is the sound was muddy. It was ok for games but when I use my $40 Sennheisers at work it becomes clear just how bad the Logitechs sound.
posted by chairface at 11:47 AM on December 21, 2006

I currently have the one chairface has and use it with WoW. The ear cushions are smaller than nice headphones will have, and they don't have the richest sound, but for under $50 (mine were $35) they get the job done admirably.

If you're using Ventrilo, the program picks up on the input and output sources automatically. After all, VoIP is what they're meant for.

Also, they dont have an annoying in-line remote....I personally hate those things and threw away my other logitech headset (the one allkindsoftime posted) because of it.
posted by cowbellemoo at 11:59 AM on December 21, 2006

Go with the Logitech. I use the 300 USB model for gaming, doing audio work, so on. The cord is plenty long, if maybe a little too thin.
posted by grabbingsand at 12:18 PM on December 21, 2006

I have to disagree with the purchase of the Logitech set linked by allkindsoftime. I've had one of these sets for about a year and frankly i dislike it intensely. Firstly, for the comfort issue, notice that the plastic strap goes around behind your head. That means that the weight of the headset is being supported by your ears, which grows noticably uncomfortable very quickly- when I first got it it would become quite bothersome by the end of a level 60 instance run.

Furthermore, I think the quality and construction are just not there. Mine are basically falling apart after only a year, which is a bitch when you're tanking Chromaggus. The mic quality is great, but the set suffers from really poor design.
posted by baphomet at 1:13 PM on December 21, 2006

I agree with baphomet with regards to the comfort of behind-the-head style headsets. I played WoW for a year and half, using two different headsets: a cheap (~$10 Canadian) Plantronics over-the-head style set that was plenty comfortable for 4+ hour raids in BWL, etc. When the mic stopped working I replaced it with a $50 Logitech behind-the-head style headset. What a mistake. The better mic and headphone quality of the Logitech meant nothing when my ears were throbbing sore after an hour of use.
posted by good in a vacuum at 1:28 PM on December 21, 2006

I have to second chariface's recommendation, as I also have the Logitech headset. Back in my WoWing days I used it all the time, and never had a problem, now I mostly use it for Skype if I'm too lazy to use my phone.

My one complaint also mirrors chairface, as the headset does tend to sound a little muddy when listening to music. But for voice chat it works great.
posted by Tennison Tarb at 2:58 PM on December 21, 2006

Plantronics DSP-500 if you can find them. Fantastic headset.

Seconded-- I used to use that headset when I did internet radio and had a really crappy sound card, and it was wonderful- took care of everything, and it was totally comfortable too. Sadly it met an awful end at the feet of my rolly chair.... so I bought another! (Rolly-chair strikes again, damnation) The adjustable bit is snapped and the earpiece with the mic is hanging just by a wire... but it still works. :D
posted by Glitter Ninja at 3:00 PM on December 21, 2006

Oh, I also forgot to mention- the DSP-500 is no longer available from Amazon, as far as I know. I had to settle with the 400 as a replacement (as a christmas gift) and I'm hoping it lives up to the legacy the 500 left with me.
posted by Glitter Ninja at 3:02 PM on December 21, 2006

I've been using a Logitech 350 USB for Teamspeak purposes, and it's an over-head, not behind-head model. Actually at the moment I'm using it as my primary audio output device, pumping game audio, TS, and music through it. It works like a charm with the caveat that the mute button is way too easy to hit.

I've had it for most of a year and it's showing no sign of falling apart, and has never failed. The over-ear design is very comfortable if a bit snug on my round head, and I'm actually quite pleased with the audio quality. Since I actually lead (and tank) most of our instance runs and raids, I'm pretty fussy about not wanting to deal with excess problems. Apart from the aforementioned mute button being way too big and easy to push, I've had none.
posted by majick at 4:34 PM on December 21, 2006

(Oh, and MSRP on the Logitech 350 is $50, which should be right in your price range. Also, I normally despise Logitech products, so a recommendation from me is a pretty serious endorsement.)
posted by majick at 4:41 PM on December 21, 2006

Plantronics DSP-500 if you can find them. Fantastic headset.

Those headsets are the bomb. Can't recommend them highly enough.
posted by DWRoelands at 9:17 AM on December 22, 2006

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