best SOUND experience

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by newmacnooby, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. newmacnooby macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    hi well im getting my i5 next moth and like pretty much any other laptop they come with a crappy sound so im thinking on up grading this for movies and gamming exprience, specially gamming...

    and i was reading about this 5.1 surround soung gamming headsets and was really exited about them after reading more on them found out they are BS...

    so here is what i have come up so far to solve this...(im also on a tigh budget)

    get an external sound card (wich would simulate surround sound) and some nice stereo headphones.

    i have come up with 2 sound card opcions. Creative sound blaster X-fi GO! or Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1(wic is the one im feeling more inclined to) but the X-fi go! has better reviws but i havent find a comparison between both.

    and for headphones i think ill get some Sennheiser HD-280 $57 refub (i would have to strech my budget a bit). Sennheiser HD428 $18(refub). Koss PortaPro $34(new). Zalman ZM-RS6FM Virtual 5.1-channel $55 (this are 5.1 a big plus). Audio-Technica ATH-M30 Professional Headphones $46(New) excellent reviews.

    Any help is really welcome as i really dont understand a lot about sound... what im llong for is just a nice sound wich makes me feel into the game not nesessarelly positioning location but into the game, i dont listen to them really loud not i loeve harcore bass... not wireless not microphone. dont matter they look ugly or that they are not very resistent they be taken good care off and not moved around a lot.

    thanks for your help;)
  2. sadcamper macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    I wouldn't bother with an external soundcard that uses 5.1 if you're using headphones, unless of course the price is right.

    I'd recommend a USB DAC (I use one made by Pro-ject) and a headphone amp. You can also find various combinations of the two.

    For a tight budget, check out this DAC/amp (or the various products offered):

    For headphones, Grado makes decent stuff for the price, SR-60i specifically:

    Both will cost less than $200 USD.

    Hope that helps! :)

    ps - you didn't mention your exact budget, but you can get deals on this stuff if you shop around/ebay/etc.
  3. newmacnooby thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    yeaaaah i kind of not mentioned my budget hahaha cuzz what you just showed my is waaaaaaay out of it but thanks a lot though.
    the sound card i posted are around $50. and they are both X-Fi wich i hear is really great for gamming and i do want some kind of 5.1 for th sourround sound, but why do u recomend the amp instead what would be its upper hand against the virtual 5.1?
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Most 5.1 headsets are pretty crappy because instead of 2 speakers, they need to split the cost between up to 6 speakers.

    For around $50 I would look into regular headphones instead, or get the 5.1 speaker from a place with good return policy and plan on returning it.

    Btw I use an Apogee Duet 2 channel sound card. They also make one at half price now too.
  5. newmacnooby thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    thats what i have heard and thats why im NOT getting 5.1 headphones im getting some stereo headphones and a X-fi external sound card wih would "reproduce" 5.1 virtually with any stereo headphones keeping the sound quality of the normal headphones but imitating sorround, dont really know how they do this bt i guess its kind of like this ( u ll need headphones to make it work, its great though ;)
  6. sadcamper macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    I'm not up to date on how they manage to get surround sound in a standard pair of headphones...but if it works, that's great, go for the surround card.

    I still recommend the Grado headphones though...they're amazing. You can probably find good deals on Audiogon.
  7. blackwind macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2008
    Really depend on what you looking for. I have tried with many but i am really fussy with sound. Those headset and desktop speaker are product a certain sound quality to a certain ears. I had afew desktop speaker but i end up resale it or give away to my family member.

    NOw i have the BOSE Companion 5 desktop speaker (3rd one, last 2 has problem with soundcard. exchange and upgrade firmware from bose). THis one rock and really nice to me.


    And for my iphone and mbp i use Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5. Soft (very comfortable) and sound really nice. I love it. I use to have bose and Sennheiser not sure where they all gone now.

  8. newmacnooby thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    thanks guys for all the replies really helpfull.-

    SADCAMPER: I dont know eaither but check out the link i have its just awsome and works with any earphones and computer... ill check out those Grado headphones tomorrow..(im falling asleep right now).

    ATTICUS: Nice speakers and those headphones are also in my list they got excelent reviews on amazon and are super cheap so they are defenitaly an opscion.

    BLACKWIND: :eek:Those Speakrs are WAAAAAY to cool(and out of my leag right now jeje, but just for curiosity what speakers are those? and i really cant stand earplugs sorry thats just my but every single one i have tried is very unconfortable i cant stand them, nor scarfs, tight clothes and a whole lot more of stuff hahaha ima weirdo.

    Any thought on the sound cards? has anyone tried them?
    or he diference beteween a sound card X-fi and an Amp?
  9. McMoronic macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2010
    Here's my advice.

    1. Avoid all things BOSE.
    2. Grado's are highly uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time and the sound isn't appealing to all so try a live demo if you can.
    3. Sound cards won't help much since the macbook runs optical out the audio out. You can get a 2.5 to optical cable.
    4. Everyone's fav headphone is their opinion. Check out head-fi for better advice on that stuff. My favourite headphones are 10's and Denon D 7000 but they might be out of your price range. Recommended buys for you are Sony XB700 for $75 or even lesser and zune headphones for a portable on the go solution.
    5. For a DAC, get a headphone that can actually utilize the DAC/amp. Check out the Duet or iBasso stuff.
    6. In short stay away from bose, get decent headphones as a one time investment. For speakers, consider Swan M100's awesome for the price or get the Sony HTIS 100 for around $199.

    Hope this helps and good luck.
  10. sadcamper macrumors regular

    May 19, 2010
    All headphones have the potential for being uncomfortable after extended use...that's a personal preference. I can wear the Grado's all day...after an hour wearing canalphones, I'm ready to rip my ears off. Everything's ymmv, so agreed that demo is always best.

    Agreed on the Bose point tho. ;)
  11. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    Um the audio out is both 3.5 and optical.
  12. McMoronic macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2010
    I meant 3.5 to toslink, sorry. That's what i use.
  13. newmacnooby thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    i always thought it was the cream of the crop(or however you write it) :eek:

    and this may sound real dum but... well here it goes... whats the diference between optical and 3.5 and why having an optical would interfere with the usb sound card, sorry but im just getting started with all ths techology stuff.
  14. dr. shdw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    Optical is digital, 3.5mm jack is analog.
  15. newmacnooby thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    and one is better than the other becasuse.........................?
  16. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Using 2 channel headphones for gaming, if you turn your character you can pinpoint source of sound without surround sound headphones.

    That doesn't help with movies.

    Not sure about simulated surround sound. Doesn't hurt to try perhaps?
  17. newmacnooby thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    well it does hurt.... my pocket at least hahaha but yeah its only 50 bucks so i guess it ont hurt thaaat much... and getting some nice stereo headphones will give a nce sound regarding the sound cad .

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