I didn't start gaming with a true gaming headset. I had a pretty lame Jerry rigged setup. It consisted of a set of Sony headphones and a separate elongated microphone that I taped to the headphones. The sound wasn't so great and the microphone was horrible. At the time, I was doing CAL league matches playing RTCW, so it was necessary for communication during practices and league games. It also didn't help that at the time the best gaming voice program was Roger Wilco. That program used a horrible codec that made everyone sound bad. There were also the clicks that were annoying. Either people didn't know you could disable them or just didn't care.
My first real headset wasn't even a gaming headset. It was an old Logitech 200 that was made for chatting and general use. It was poor quality and ended up breaking on me at the side adjuster, requiring duct tape to hold together. Actual gaming headsets were rare and too expensive for me to purchase. Looking at what was out then, to what is available now, there is a stark contrast. Games and movies have driven the industry to a whole new level. Back then, it was hard to find a game that fully supported 5.1 surround sound. Now, it's a hit to their ratings if they don't. Time has also driven the level of detail and immersion that can be achieved, so it's almost necessary to have a good sound setup to get the most out of a movie or game.
Cooler Master is breaking into gaming audio with the CM Storm Sirus True 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset. The Sirus offers full 5.1 surround sound with 4 speakers in each ear pushing front, center, rear, and sub channels. 30mm drivers push the front, center, and rear channels while bigger 40mm drivers boom the low sub channel. Included are 2 sets of ear cups for either breathable audio or noise cancellation. Connected is a microphone that offers background noise cancellation and an LED mute indicator. The Sirus also comes with a Tactical Mixing Console that lets you control each channel independently.