Jump to content
CamSkene

Dynamic Microphones and Soundcards - Help please!

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, I recently purchased a Sennheiser PC 350 gaming headset to be used for online communications (read: ventrilo) while gaming.

 

As I was pawing though several online reviews for said headset, I encountered a reviewer who stated that the microphone used in the Sennheiser PC 350 headset is too high quality to be used with an onboard sound chip as the signal produced is too weak to be picked up. Text reads like this:

 

Another obstacle in the way of users who find the PC 350 and other high-end portable audio systems attractive is the problem of getting the microphone signals flying down the line boosted to line-level amplitude before they reach a computer's input port. For those who may not be aware of the problem, it suffices to say that the signals generated by high-quality microphones are usually too weak to be picked up by on-board audio circuitry on most computers (including all Macs). Most users will need to acquire a preamplifier like the M-Audio MobilePre USB or the Pro-Ject Head Box II to use the PC 350's microphone.

Full link here.

 

So after unwrapping the box, I plugged it in to my laptop in an attempt to test the quality of the set. Unfortunately as the reviewer said would happen, the laptop did not appear to be picking up the signal from the microphone based on attempts made in Sound Recorder, much to my disappointment.

 

After research on google, it turns out that the Sennheiser PC 350 has a dynamic microphone as opposed to what I take to be the more standard electret condenser microphone, the signal of which is unable to be picked up by onboard sound.

 

While my laptop is a crapbox and I wouldn't be surprised that the onboard sound wasn't good enough to pick up the signal from the microphone, I am upgrading to a new gaming PC in just under a month and I was wondering as to what my options are in terms of getting the microphone on this headset to be compatible with the new computer.

 

First solution that came to mind was a dedicated soundcard. But the reviewer mentioned the necessity of microphone pre-amplification. So, I was wondering, would a standard dedicated soundcard such as the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi PCI-E (or any other soundcard) be sufficient for the new headset, or will it be necessary to pick up a pre-amplifier? What kind of pre-amplifier? Any other options? I'm not very knowledgeable in this area (aside from the lingo I picked up from the reviews ;) ), so any advice as to what kind of solution would work would be much appreciated. As it stands, money isn't too much of a hassle as I have already sunk $270 into the headset and intend to see it though, but it would be nice if there is a cheap solution.

 

 

Cheers guys - Cam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried using it?? Is the results OK? If it fits your specifications then there will be no problem using it. When using it in communicating with other people, can you hear them clearly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Cam

 

I was in the market for a new headset and went the Beyerdynamic DT234 pro, after reading forums about the audio quality of the 350's

 

Seems strange about the mic got me there. Never known a mic to need any help.

 

As for a sound card im looking for one now as the 234's dont give me positional audio as my Medusa 5.1 did ( with sb live 5.1 souncard)

 

Depending upon what OS you are using i would go the Auzen x fi prelude (not a creative product) for xp or the Asus DX range for vista, only reason i say this is due to reading reviews all day & is the general view.

 

Rumors are that eax is being phased out (asus cards use "emulation")

 

Unless i can get the positional audio i my buy another set of Medusa's

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No aaliyahlim, the reason I am posting is because the microphone doesn't work, but the headphone component is top notch, can hear everything fine. There seems to be no visual response from the sound recorder software when I talk into the microphone and tap it a bit. Unfortunate though.

 

Thanks for the recommendations Barradooka, I have also heard that EAX is fading away due to Vista's hardware access only supporting openAL. I'l definitely look into one of the Asus cards as an option, but I really need to know if it will handle the microphone of the headset before I make up my mind. Much appreciated.

 

Edit: For the sake of future responses: yes, I do plan on using Vista 32-bit for my new build. Hope that helps.

 

- Cam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The output of the mic is too weak for a line level input. Cheap solution would be a Griffin iMic. BTW have you tried looking for mic boost in windows sound manager? There is a +20dB boost check box somewhere if I remember correctly. If your laptop soundcard input doubles as mic input this should work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The output of the mic is too weak for a line level input. Cheap solution would be a Griffin iMic. BTW have you tried looking for mic boost in windows sound manager? There is a +20dB boost check box somewhere if I remember correctly. If your laptop soundcard input doubles as mic input this should work.

Yeah, I tracked down the microphone boost option under the advanced settings found in the Master Volume window, however it was already on.. So I fiddled around with it and tried it with both on and off, but with little success unfortunately - didn't seem to make any difference.

 

The Griffin iMic looks like a good solution as it mentions direct input for musical instruments. However, the Streetwise (very good mac store) website is down right now, so I might need to wait a bit before that comes back. Thanks for the recommendation!

 

Edit: Just realized that the documentation doesn't mention support for Vista - any chance of it working?

- Cam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×