I am no audiophile, but if I am going to spend some money, I'd like to get a quality product. That said, I upgraded my initial $20 gaming headset to a massdrop AKG-K7XX headphone and a modmic 5. Its been pretty good, a definite improvement over the cheap crap I was using. But I am also interested in adding a DAC/Amp into the mix here. For a LONG time I could only find 1 option that actually supported console play- Xbox specifically. That, of course, is the Astro MixAmp. It gets great reviews from many gamers who purchased the MixAmp along with the A40 gaming headset as an upgrade from their cheap gaming headsets. However, anyone who is in to audio in general HATES the MixAmp, declaring it a piece of garbage, and that ANY DAC/Amp is better. Thats fine for PC gamers, but for us console guys, a standard DAC/Amp combo starts to become a bit of a logistics issue.
From what I can tell, to get a functional setup for an XBox I need an DAC/Amp with optical in to get the audio from the Xbox. Then I also need to have a line out that will pass through the Mic input, which then has to be run to the controller. (Thanks microsoft...) So its a bit of a wiring mess. I'm not sure if there is a better setup that people are using- maybe just use a standard DAC/Amp, and since my modmic can be plugged in separately, I could run that straight to the controller- not sure if that works or not.
However, I recently came across the Mayflower ARC DAC/Amp, which has headphone output, but also has mic input, and a seperate pass through mic output. Clearly designed for Xbox compatibility. It seems to get pretty good reviews.
What are other people using for console DAC/Amp solutions? Is the Mayflower ARC literally the only option that doesn't suck?