July 17, 2013

My Battlefield Headphones

In an attempt to take things here beyond posting videos by others of how to play Battlefield and rumors about what may or may not be coming with BF4 in October, I've decided to touch on hardware a little bit.  Today's topic is headphones.

A good headset can be important in Battlefield.  DICE works exceptionally hard to make the sounds you hear in game amazing and relevant.  With the right headset, you might just hear that guy sneaking up to swipe your tags.  I currently have a discontinued Turtle Beach headset that has multiple speakers in each ear to provide extremely realistic surround sound.  Upgrading to these from the $15 pair of headphones I was using originally has been an amazing improvement.  While I am still working to tune my in-game awareness of sounds, I have noticed I have a much better sense of where action is based on where the sounds are.  However, I have to wonder if the multi-speaker setup is as good as the digital surround.  I say that because I really don't see headsets like these anymore.  It may also be that it is cheaper to use the digital surround, and it certainly makes for a lighter headset.  I will eventually need to get a new one, but for now, these are working for me.

The nearest equivalent Turtle Beach has appears to be the Ear Force DP11.  It offers Dolby surround and an in-line amplifier, where you can make adjustments on the fly.  The overall sound on my Turtle Beach headphones is amazing, so I would expect the same from this set.  However, the bass is strong on mine, and sometimes overwhelms the other sounds (I should probably tweak some settings).

If you wish to spend a little more, consider the Audio-Technica 700X Audiophile headphones.  These are currently on sale at Amazon for $139 (versus $199).  According to reviews, the bass in these is light, so you may need some form of equalizer to amplify the bass, if you want your explosions to rumble a bit more.  However, because of the strong mid- and high ranges, these should allow for a much better detection of footsteps, etc.  The downside is that these are not a gaming headset, so you would need a separate microphone.

If you are still using an inexpensive headset, consider an upgrade.  It certainly enhanced my Battlefield experience.  Though it did not make me a better player overnight, it did help to more clearly hear from what direction the action is coming, as well as increase my immersion in the game dramatically.  I have so much more fun in Battlefield being able to truly enjoy the quality sounds DICE put in and trying to use them to my advantage.

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