Saturday 8 March 2008

Put on your headset, please....

Minggu lalu Rachma nyoba-nyoba broadcasting, dengan masalah yang sama, voice yang dihasilkan juelek, banyak noisenya. Mengingat kalo dari segi bandwidth mah udah bagus, kemungkinan yang bermasalah adalah microphone ato soundcardnya. Tapi perasaan mah, mic yang Rachma pake itu teh bagus, mic imut keluaran logitech. Kalo dipake voip selama ini fine-fine aja. Penasaran, akhirnya pake mic built in yang ada di webcam, ya tetep aja, kalo buat voip mah bagus hasilnya, tapi kalo dipake siaran, tetep ada noisenya.

Mungkinkah karena terjadi loop? jadi ada noise? soalnya Rachma ngakses server yang tiada lain kompie sendiri, nyoba denger di iTunes yang juga di kompie yang sama, mungkin soundcardnya jadi pusing :D. Akhirnya, minta temen buat ngakses server Rachma, ngasi kursus kilat, terus minta dia jadi DJ saat itu. Pas Rachma akses, voicenya jelas dan jernih. So, what's wrong then?

Setelah googling sana sini, akhirnya Rachma mengetahui jenis-jenis mikrofon yang ternyata beragam, dan berakhir pada kesimpulan, mungkin, mic [baik yang di headset maupun di webcam] itu termasuk mic yang ngambil suara dari berbagai arah, makanya banyak noisenya.

Kemudian googling berlanjut [hari itu Rachma internetan ampe jam 4 pagi, heuheuheu, sampe rasa penasaran terkalahkan rasa ngantuk :D]. Akhirnya ditemukan jawaban, bahwa untuk broadcasting, yang baik adalah headset, karena micnya didesain untuk mengambil suara dari satu arah saja, dan speaker yang nempel ditelinga mengurangi kemungkinan adanya echo/loop bagi lawan bicara/kita sendiri.

Jadilah, tahap selanjutnya, headset apa ya... yang mesti Rachma beli... :-?
Kalo udah tertuju pada satu barang yang niat mau dibeli, biasanya Rachma tidak terpatok budget, tapi... lebih ke menyesuaikan harga pasaran ajah :D. Setelah baca review dan diskusi di beberapa forum, akhirnya sampailah pada satu merk perusahaan Jerman: Sennheiser. Melihat kenyataan, bahwa headset yang didesain khusus untuk broadcasting berharga 200an euro ke atas, akhirnya mulai mempersempit pencarian ke daerah middle. Hingga akhirnya sampai pada satu tipe Sennheiser yang sebetulnya didesain untuk gaming: Sennheiser PC 166.

Review headsetnya [diambil dari web] kaya gini:

Some companies by their very nature demand that little bit of extra respect. Sennheiser is just such a company, and its reputation has been earned not through eye catching marketing or design, but simply by producing high quality products again and again over a long period of time.

As such when this Sennheiser headset arrived in the office it was of significant interest. This, the PC166 USB, represents the very best of the Sennheiser's gaming headset range and features its own USB soundcard, as well as a noise reducing microphone. It has supposedly been developed with the assistance of pro gamers; though in and of itself this is hardly a claim I'd place much faith in. I'd sooner trust the experience of a Sennheiser engineer than some guys that just happen to have the dedication and sheer motivation to be very good at playing games.

Unpacking the set the first thing you'll probably notice is how incredibly long the cable is. In total it measures three metres, and is long enough that you're more likely to have problems with it being too long than too short. Thankfully, there's a cable management system provided that allows you to wrap any superfluous cable around an oval shaped accessory that has slits for fastening the cables and a clip for attaching it to your clothing. It's a pretty essential addition, especially since not using it can result in some annoying entanglements.

Other neat features include a small removable clip that's useful for attaching the wire to your shoulder and away from your arms, while there's also inline volume control and a mic on/off switch. At the end of the cable are two 3.5mm stereo jacks for both the headphones and microphone, while the USB adapter features sockets for each. As a result you can use the headset with or without the USB soundcard, which will please those who have splashed on expensive soundcards for their home PCs.

The USB adapter is, however, a critical factor and one which makes this set ideal for LAN parties and other events where you're not using your own equipment. This ensures consistency and eliminates the possibility of distortion and interference from lower quality on-board sound devices. Using the USB soundcard is certainly preferable to using on-board audio, providing a high level of clarity. It won't, however, ever replace high quality dedicated hardware and the default volume of the USB adapter is noticeably lower than a standard soundcard.

The headset itself is binaural, with the cups sitting on your ears rather than around them. Everyone has their own preference, but though I generally prefer headphones that surround the ear this set still proved to be very comfortable. Each of the cups is mounted on hinges so they adjust to your head, while the foam padded headband is suitably cushy. Both cups can also be adjusted vertically to match the size of your head, and the mechanism strikes a nice balance between being secure enough to not move involuntarily while not being too stiff to adjust either.

As one might expect, these Sennheiser's feel very well made as illustrated by the microphone which has a supremely smooth and steady hinge mechanism. It's a shame though that it isn't detachable. This rather restricts the potential alternative uses, and though one could use the set with an MP3 player one could hardly imagine sitting on the train and not looking just slightly silly. But, given this set is intended for gaming, it's hardly worth giving this disappointment too much weight.

Once you start using the PC166s one can immediately appreciate the clarity and general quality of the sound produced. Most parts of the musical spectrum are well handled, with a particularly nice balance between the mid and high low range. Bass, however, isn't quite as impressive. Though the overall sound is warm and bass well defined, the low range isn't quite as pronounced as it could and ought to be with a distinct lack of punch and power.

What the set does do well, however, is creating a good sense of immersion and this becomes more apparent when watching films or playing games. In the case of games this means being able to quickly identify the location of potential positions/direction of incoming fire, enemies and other hazards. Here the set excels, producing subtle sound effects with a high level of clarity and accuracy.

But, while audio performance is generally very good, it’s the microphone that really impresses, combining superb clarity and impressive noise cancelling to ensure you can be heard by your team mates. Unlike the microphones on cheaper headsets which are often too quiet and rather muddy, the volume and clarity provided by these Sennheisers is nigh on faultless. Consequently, whether you're gaming or Skpye calling, the Sennheisers won't let you down.

Indeed, the only real barrier to getting this set is the price. Overclockers UK are currently selling them for £58.74 inc. VAT, which is a superb price. But this is by far the best price I've found, and elsewhere you'd be hard pressed to find them for less than £60, some retailers are even selling them for £90 to £100. Even the Sennheiser PC165 USB which, by all accounts is identical, will set you back at least £80. At the Overclockers UK price I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this set, but for £70 or more the choice is less obvious. As a result if you can snap these up at the current price then do so because it's a complete steal, but if paying more the choice isn't quite as clear cut.


Great design, features and performance make the PC166 USB Headset an obvious choice for the discerning gamer that requires the very best. Depending on price they're great value too, though availability is sketchy at best as is pricing which varies considerably. Still, if you have the money you can't go too far wrong.

Lihat-lihat harga pasaran tipe itu... hmm.... tidak bisa dibilang murah, jadi Rachma bertumpu pada kalimat: "worth gak sih" ?

Setelah membaca opini-opini tentang tipe headset itu, Rachma teryakinkan, tuh headset... walopun gak bisa dibilang lucu, yah, boleh deh beli [kalo mau yang lucu kan sebenernya ada headset Sennheiser yang ada kristal Swarovski nya :D].

Googling berlanjut ke pencarian harga paliiiing murah, dan feasible. Yang paling murah tentunya kalo order dari daerah US yang dilabel dengan harga dollar, karena walo dah dihitung pajak dan biaya kirim, tetep aja lebih murah dibanding euro :D. Tapi karena rata-rata shipping satu sampai dua minggu, pleus mesti pake kartu kredit... jadilah nyari yang wilayah Holland ajah. Setelah nemu yang termurah, diperoleh di sebuat toko di Eindhoven, jadilah pesen di situ. Harganya... hmm... cukup untuk membeli tiga microwave baru :P.

Rachma pesen tanggal 5, terus delivery pake TNT post nyampe di groningen tanggal 7, tapi dikirim ke rumah tanggal 8 tadi. Diterima sama temen sekoridor, orang China yang lagi ngambil kuliah bisnis :). Hari itu juga kebetulan ada temen sekoridor lain yang dapet paket, Rachma yang nerima paketnya :D, jadi kaya impas.

Setelah dapet paketnya, penasaran langsung buka, langsung nyoba. Wih, asik nih headset, speakernya mantep. Terutama karena USB-based, bisa dipake buat komputer kampus [yang mic sigmatel bermasalah tea]. Kan asik jadinya, voip-an di kampus tuh lancar abiis, bandwidth berlebih pokoknya :)).

Menu utama adalah ngetes kualitas mic. Setelah nyoba broadcast, iya... gak ada noise, tapi kalo Rachma ngomong di situ, tetep ada noise walopun dikit. Heran, padahal reviewnya bilang nih micnya bagus bener. Setelah hampir putus asa, akhirnya... tadddaaaa, voicenya jernih.
Jadi tau gak masalahnya di mana sebenernya?
heuheuh... :))
buffer, bukan mic =)). Jadi sebetulnya Rachma gak perlu beli mic baru, tapi karena di broadcasternya, buffer voice terset default sangat kecil. Hayah, makanya ini, kalo apa-apa teh mesti teliti yak mrgreen. Tapi, menyadari bahwa diri masih amatir dengan dunia perbroadcasting-an, yah... namanya juga belajar. Kan jadi ada hikmahnya tuh, ngoleksi headset bagus :)). Heuheu, mouse udah logitech MX 518, headset udah Sennheiser PC 166... hmm,,, main game yuk :D, heheheh.

Oya, akhirnya, dengan meninjau kemudahan, jadilah broadcasting dengan codec mp3 di 64 kbps 24 KHz. Walopun... asli, sayang bandwith banget tuh [keukeuh lebih milih AAC+ :D]. Tapi yah... jadi lebih mudah untuk diembed di blog...seperti di bawah ini misal: [lagi nyari widget flash yang lebih lucu... kalo ada yang punya, mau dong... ;;)]

Karena sekarang mah insya Allah udah gak ada masalah sama voice, tinggal nyoba sinkronisasi VOIP dan broadcasternya. Harusnya malam ini teh nyoba lagi broadcasting, tapi temen Rachma nya pada tepar semua cenah. Ya sudah lah, nyoba sendiri ajah, yang bisa dites sendiri :D. Sambil narsis sana sini, hehehe.

So, happy DJ-ing everybody... :hi:

Dalam rangka menyibukkan hati dan pikiran


ganDA RAHman garNADI said...

asli, paling terpana kalo denger orang ngomongin sesuatu hal yang dia tampak expert banget... apa ya istilahnya??? PASSIONATE...
i wish i can be a man like that...

Rachmawati said...

Hus, gak boleh terpana Gan, pamali...
hueheheheh :D

You can be a man like that :), bahkan lebih dari itu. Tinggal diniatkan ajah, ku Rachma dido'ain dari sini :D.

Kalo Rachma sih, daripada ngelamun gak jelas, yah, mending ngoprek-ngoprek biar pikirannya sibuk ^^.

Tambah lagi, akhir minggu ini, radionya dah harus broadcast, jadi harus dah bener-bener diminimalisasi masalah teknisnya. Sapatau Ganda mau mendengarkan radionya, tentang "Tips Memasak enak,sehat, cepat, murah dan bergizi" . Rachma jadi DJnya lo, heuheuheu
*jadi promosi kieu*

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