Sorry for the delay, just got out of the sack and found your reply notification in my e-mail.
Agreed, at first look, they are both USB headsets, but going in-depth, you will find that the Kave is a true
surround unit, whereas the Arctic is a virtual surround
head set, where the channels are encoded in the in-line control.
The Kave has four cables that connect to your rig, three 3.5 mm jacks for the sound card, and the USB for the tip 'n control box power. This makes it a true
5.1 headest. I have to say, that USB or not, the Arctic has a very impressive spec.
No headset manufacturer will quote a S/N ratio for their product, they will specify the sensitivity of the speaker unit(s) in the headset.
As regards using online chat, I would say a pure USB headset would be a solution, but there would be a trade-off in audio purity without some sort of audio control (as in the Arctic headset) for gaming. I am unsure if any USB connection's transfer speed will have any affect on the audio purity, thus my personal preference for the true surround headset with a physical connection to the sound card!
However, personal preference, and financial circumstances will dictate.
The ASUS Xonar DX card looks like a very good buy
, and much in line with the spec of your present headset. In fact, I would seriously consider it for my rig but for the fact that my on-board sound has the same (or similar) spec. as the card.
The spec. states 100 dB S/N Ratio with a sampling rate of 24 bits at 192Khz . As far as I can ascertain this means that every 24 bits of audio signal are processed at 192KHz, which makes for excellent audio processing, with the audio signal 100dB louder than any noise generated in your rig, on the card, or by any external source.
Edited by Kevin384, 05 February 2013 - 02:36 AM.