Are gaming headsets uncomfortable?

Are gaming headsets uncomfortable?

With Black Ops 2 coming out in less than a month, I figured it would be an ideal time to remind my subscribers how Treyarch does Call of Duty titles, so went and started another Road To Commander Series.

As with my Modern Warfare 3 RTC the majority of the games feature live team communication but I know people get bored of the same old thing, so I recorded some solo gameplay with the aim of doing an old school commentary.

I wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to talk about it but a chance encounter with an old friend gave me some food for thought. “Rubber Johnny” has been designing for his whole adult life and now runs his own consultancy business, where he helps businesses to transform designs into fully fledged products. Did I forget to mention he works with rubber? And his name is John?

We somehow got onto the topic of gaming peripherals and after some discussion of custom controllers, ended up on headsets.

“Prepare for Black Ops 2″ RTC: Episode 27 (Questions: A Commentary)

In order, I asked viewers “where did you buy your gaming headset”, “how much did you pay” and “do you have a problem with heat build up”. Personally, I find the ear cups get really uncomfortable after a while and I think this is down to a heat build up, which is made worse by the materials used.

Thus far, it seems I am in a minority but I’m going to let this research run for a while.

So, what if it turns out there is a problem? What next? Well, I’ll work with Rubber Johhny to produce some alternate ear cup designs. There is no point re-inventing the wheel so if they turn out well in the prototyping stage, we’ll look to patent the design and then licence this to established manufacturers of gaming headsets.

If you guys have any thoughts please feel free to leave them below or in the comments section on my YouTube channel.

Thanks all :0)

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  • KillerSam (COD Jumper Forums)

    Posted by KillerSam in the CODJumper.com forum:

    Personally I have gotten through a LOT of headsets and they all suffer from 4 main considerations in my opinion:1) weight2) weak plastic joints3) weak cable4) choice of material on the ear cupsFew headsets have a good mix of all of these. The plastic used by most of the cheaper headsets is extremly brittle and thus snaps / shatters generally just above the ear cups on a great many headsets when they get knocked about or dropped, or worn for long periods of time. This is frustrating, but i’ve not experienced it with any of the £60+ headsets.The next issue is the weight. Generally not a problem for the stereo headsets or ones that don’t have the genuine 5.1 with seperate speakers in each cup. But with a product like the Medusa 5.1 range this is the biggest factor that contributes towards discomfort in my opinion, as I am somebody that has my headset on for at least 10 hours a day, often more.The weak cable issue is self explantory and much more likely to be an issue on the cheaper headsets, it’s something the more expensive headsets have generally handled well with armoured cabling and they wire them with a loop inside the headset so if you pull it hard, it simply extends the loop rather than pull the wire away from the soldered joint.And finally an issue that the expensive headsets seem to largely suffer with (perhaps because they otherwise lasat long enough for it to be a factor). The fake leathery cushion pads used on a whole range of the mid-high end headsets are made of some cheap synthetic chinese creation that actually erodes when it comes into contact with the oil from your skin. Over time it weakens and becomes thin and then eventually flakes away in annoying little chunks.Personally I find the pads on something like my G35 to be really comfortable and not an issue for use over extended periods – but they do suffer with the flake issue and you need to replace the pads every 12months or so if you use them alot. That’s my 2 cents anyway  

  • Drofder2004 (CODJumper Forums)

    Posted by Drofder2004 in the CODJumper.com forum:I am going to answer your question regarding the problem of comfort and totally ignoring the build and sound quality.I currently use a Razer Carcharias, I used to use a Speed-Link Medusa and before that I used very cheap Amazon and Game store headphones with cheap synthetic ear cups. On the cheaper headphones, you will get a cheap material that flakes and can cause itchyness, but I have never had ‘heat’ issues. Now that I buy better quality headsets with fabric earcups, I do not get any problems at all (neither itchyness or overheating).I can happily sit with my headphones on for hour after hour without issue, however I do know others who do have the problem with heating – and the one thing they have in common is their age – they are way above the 18-25 bracket.That age group is hardly a market to be aiming at.

  • Adam_Arnold

    Posted by PedsDude in the CODJumper.com forums:

    I’ve got a Logitech G35, bought from PC World for £92. Highly recommend it.I’ve also got a Steelseries Siberia v2, which I bought for £50 from a friend. I only use it to listen to music / watch films, I don’t use it as a microphone headset for gaming. Also very good headset, nice and comfortable.With both headsets, I haven’t found any issues of my ears getting too hot or itchy, but I guess it’ll depend on the person really.

  • Adam_Arnold

    Posted by Killer Sam in the CODJumper.com forums:

    Personally I have gotten through a LOT of headsets and they all suffer from 4 main considerations in my opinion:1) weight2) weak plastic joints3) weak cable4) choice of material on the ear cupsFew headsets have a good mix of all of these. The plastic used by most of the cheaper headsets is extremly brittle and thus snaps / shatters generally just above the ear cups on a great many headsets when they get knocked about or dropped, or worn for long periods of time. This is frustrating, but i’ve not experienced it with any of the £60+ headsets.The next issue is the weight. Generally not a problem for the stereo headsets or ones that don’t have the genuine 5.1 with seperate speakers in each cup. But with a product like the Medusa 5.1 range this is the biggest factor that contributes towards discomfort in my opinion, as I am somebody that has my headset on for at least 10 hours a day, often more.The weak cable issue is self explantory and much more likely to be an issue on the cheaper headsets, it’s something the more expensive headsets have generally handled well with armoured cabling and they wire them with a loop inside the headset so if you pull it hard, it simply extends the loop rather than pull the wire away from the soldered joint.And finally an issue that the expensive headsets seem to largely suffer with (perhaps because they otherwise lasat long enough for it to be a factor). The fake leathery cushion pads used on a whole range of the mid-high end headsets are made of some cheap synthetic chinese creation that actually erodes when it comes into contact with the oil from your skin. Over time it weakens and becomes thin and then eventually flakes away in annoying little chunks.Personally I find the pads on something like my G35 to be really comfortable and not an issue for use over extended periods – but they do suffer with the flake issue and you need to replace the pads every 12months or so if you use them alot. That’s my 2 cents anyway  

  • Adam_Arnold

    Posted by Drofder2004 in the CODJumper.com forums:

    I am going to answer your question regarding the problem of comfort and totally ignoring the build and sound quality.I currently use a Razer Carcharias, I used to use a Speed-Link Medusa and before that I used very cheap Amazon and Game store headphones with cheap synthetic ear cups. On the cheaper headphones, you will get a cheap material that flakes and can cause itchyness, but I have never had ‘heat’ issues. Now that I buy better quality headsets with fabric earcups, I do not get any problems at all (neither itchyness or overheating).I can happily sit with my headphones on for hour after hour without issue, however I do know others who do have the problem with heating – and the one thing they have in common is their age – they are way above the 18-25 bracket.That age group is hardly a market to be aiming at.

  • Adam_Arnold

    Posted by F | Madness | U in the CODJumper.com forums

    I think Peds and KS pretty much summed up my opinions in their posts. I own a Logitech G35 that was £55 on ebay (new) – a very good deal if I say so myself! I agree with KS’ points about it being stable and not weak plastic etc, I sometimes find discomfort after a few hours without removing it, but generally I don’t use a headset for over an hour at a time anyway. So yeah the only real improvements that I think can be made are on comfort- where I don’t know if rubber could be used to make a more comfortable fit or not.

  • Adam_Arnold

    Posted by Sonic in the CODJumper.com forums:

    SonicAs for the headset thing, to be honest I personally don’t like any headset at all.I’ve had a shit load of headsets from Siberia, GameCom, Roccat Kave, even my DJ headset and they all seem the same to me.I’m using in-ear headphones atm (the ones you use for mp3 or whatsoever) and they work perfectly fine for me, as for the mic I just use some regular cheap one. People arguing about “what headset is the best for soundwhoring” has always been (and probably always will be) a little ‘war’.What did help alot for me though, was upgrading my soundcard. I could definitely tell the diffrence between onboard sound and the actual soundcard’s sound (quality wise). But that’d be another subject.But yeh, like Peds said. It depends on each person’s likings. Good luck finding one!

  • Adam_Arnold

    Posted by Crazy Panzer in the CODJumper.com forums:

    I have personally used several different Razer headsets and am currently using a combination of 3 different headsets on each of my gaming setups. I would also like to mention that I also have long hair like you (as in VERY long hair), and I also wear glasses (which play a large role in my headset choice factors).

    Razer Piranha:

    In the past I have had a Razer Piranha headset. This is an on-ear headset that was actually quite comfortable for me with nice cushioning on the ears, although it may take some time to find the perfect adjustment that doesn’t feel like it squishes your head. They seemed fairly tight on my head at first but I did find an adjustment that was satisfying. Unfortunately I tend to have very bad luck with microphones on my Razer Headsets, the Microphone broke after a year of use, and the headset itsself eventually stopped getting sound to either ear, to the point where I had to squeeze on the little volume adjustment thing just to connect the wires to get sound. I will admit this was partially my fault though, I mistreated them considerably.

    Razer Carcharias:

    I have and am still using a Razer Carcharias headset with my laptop gaming setup. The headphone cups are large and comfortable and they will fit your head well no matter how big it is. The microphone has a nice sound quality but unfortunately mine broke after 1 – 2 months of use. I use a USB desktop microphone now and still use the headset for sound quality, they are comfortable and I can wear them for hours while gaming. Be aware that the comfort of the headset comes with a small price. The headphones have considerable sound leak since they set on your head lightly and dont hold sound in them well. Anyone near you can clearly hear what you are listening to if you have your volume up loud like i usually do.

    Razer Tiamat:

    I also have a Razer Tiamat headset that I use with my desktop gaming setup whenever I don’t need to use a microphone. Excellent sound quality coming from these although the microphone is bad and stopped working after about 6 months for me. Although I must say this headset is VERY uncomfortable with my glasses. The headphone cups clutch around my ears very tightly and dig the sides of my glasses into my head, causing significant headache after a while. If you do not wear glasses this might not be a problem for you. But this headset definately has the best sound quality out of any I have ever owned.

    Logitech H330:

    Whenever I need to use a microphone with my desktop gaming setup I use a Logitech H330 headset (an older version without the USB plugin feature). It is a comfortable little headset with a good quality microphone. Unfortunately it only has support for 2.1 stereo audio. I happen to have a good sound card in my desktop though and have forced it to have a nice surround sound to it. The only major problem with forcing this surround sound is that there is literally no audio from anything directly behind me, but everything else has excellent positioning. The headset is slightly awkward at times and doesn’t like to sit on your ears very tightly, but I’ve only had it slip off my head once.

    It’s mostly up to your personal preference for what headset you want to use. But I hope this helps you a bit.

  • Adam_Arnold

    Posted by YosemiteSam [NL] in the CODJumper.com forums:

    I only use 2 headphones and both give me uncomforteness(?).With both headphones my ears get painful after 2 to 3 hours. Probably the size of peoples ears and the age are a factor too :(

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