Part of what you’re paying for with gaming headsets is the features package. The design, the external DAC in the case of the two products we’ve discussed previously, and the microphone.
If you’ve already got a decent microphone and decent audio solution for your PC, I see no major reason to go for either the Astro A40 or the Steelseries and every reason to try a nice pair of headphones. You could even duplicate the surround sound functionality of the two headsets with Windows Sonic or Razer Surround.
Many gamers aren’t starting from the place you are.
They need an all-in-one solution, and that’s what gaming headsets are catering to. But since you’ve already got an external mic you might as well make use of it and get a good deal on some headphones! Many headphone prices fluctuate with demand, instead of hovering around their MSRP like gaming headsets do.
There are about a million places you could start with a nice pair of headphones for gaming. The 770 and 990 are great options, and they’re both typically cheaper than either of the gaming headsets you’ve asked me about. The 880 has the flattest sound profile out of the Beyerdynamic lineup, but it’s usually over $200 due to being their most in-demand product.
As far as comparisons between the A40, Arctis Pro, and typical audiophile headsets…the A40 is more of a fun product. It has deeper bass and gentler highs than the average studio pair.
The Arctis Pro has a sound that’s right in line with other studio pairs, and it’s designed to appeal to audiophile listeners. So, on the plus side, you could buy those knowing that you’re getting a sound that’s comparable to $200 studio headsets. On the minus side, if you get the full package with the GameDAC…you’re paying $249.
If you want a more detailed breakdown of sound signatures than my rambling subjective articles, you should check out a measurement- focused site like www.rtings.com.