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Best Gaming and Movie Headphone AD900 or DT880 or AKG K701

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I would be grateful for some advice on which of these headsets would be the best fore my set up. I would only be using them for gaming and movie watching. I am in the UK so prices are a little higher than the states.

All 3 headphones ie AD900, DT880 and AKG k701 can be got for roughly the same price - £180 ($300). i currently have a set of AD700 £89 ($149)

They will be powered by an astro mixamp Dolby Headphone portable amp which will be connected to an Onkyo 705 amp which will do the audio switching duties (i have my PS3/ xbox and sky HD box connected by optical to the onkyo and then there is an optical lead running from the Onyko to the mixamp)

First point i assume that for the purposes of amplification that the Onkyo itself is not adding any power to the optical signal leaving it - i assume the optical is simply passing through the onkyo amp.

I currently use a set of AD700 and love the overall sound of these but they are slightly bass light for movies so ideally i would like something with a large soundstage but with a bit more bass.


I am torn between the DT880 and the AD900. I assume using my onkyo 705 amp to pass the optical sound through has no effect on amping the signal hence the AKG K701 are out (that would be my first choice if the mixamp would power them). Although there are again reviews on the avsforums where people are using the 701's with a mixamp with good results.

So second point are the AKG 701's a complete no no with my set up as these would be my first choice if they could be powered by my set up etc.

I do love the AD700 but whilst the AD900 are going to be improvement there are a couple of reviews (mainly those where music is concerned ) which say that the jump in performance is not really justified. Whilst others rave about the AD900. Again all i want is a good set of cans for gaming and movies. Music is not really an interest to me at home. Does the increase in quality in the AD900 justify the additional cost in getting them.

I do like the sound of the DT880 but am concerned again with the issue of getting the best out of them.

The confusing thing is that the majority of posters on the headfi forums all say that the 250 oms DT880 should be properly amped to get the best out of them ie like the AKG K701's. Whilst you have some reviews saying that they are fine with the astro mixamp.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/dt8...-ad900-421497/

for example in this comparison between the AD900 and the DT880 the AD900 come across as the better can unless you have an adequate power source for the DT880 which once amped then takes the lead. I assume that the mixamp whilst being able to get some juice out of the DT880 id not going to get the best out of them whilst the same mixamp will get the best out of the AD900's


The DT880 do seem like an ideal set to me ie good open soundstage but with that little bit of bass for movies. But i keep on getting drawn back to the AD900's due to my concerns that the mixamp is not going to drive the DT880 properly

Does anyone have any experience of these headphones.

Any advice would be appreciated.
post #2 of 17
I don't think the AD900 will be enough of an improvement as far as bass goes.

DT880 and AKG702 are probably both good options. I think the only difference is a slightly more comfortable headband between the 702 and 701.

Another headphone you can consider is the Denon D2000. Closed but also has good soundstage and much better bass.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epik View Post
I don't think the AD900 will be enough of an improvement as far as bass goes.

DT880 and AKG702 are probably both good options. I think the only difference is a slightly more comfortable headband between the 702 and 701.

Another headphone you can consider is the Denon D2000. Closed but also has good soundstage and much better bass.
I Agree in my experience the jump in base was minimal but overall SQ was better.

For gaming Kool Bubba Ice Base is a useful read.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
I would go with the DT880 (i think) provided i knew that the mixamp would power them adequately - enough for movie and gaming use anyway.
post #5 of 17
K701 didn´t work at all for me with movies. I had trouble hearing speech and overall K701 is not all to great with voices. I doubt you will get that much more bass from it either. K701 has great bass extension but the bass is not boosted at all. Quite demanding on amplification as well

I would probably either stick with what you have or look into some Ultrasones. Pro 900 is by far the best headphone for movies I ever owned but you may want to go with an easier driven one on your setup.

Otherwise DT 770 you will not finding you lack bass on that even though it´s not that good quality

DT 770/A900 did complement eachother nicely when I had that. DT 990 Pro for action and A900 for dreamy japanese stuff. Quite good soundstaging too particularly for being closed. Otherwise I would probably go for DT 990 rather then DT 880 if you need bass.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
If i knew the DT880 would be powered sufficiently by the mixamp then i would get those i think
post #7 of 17
ATH-AD900 are incredibly shrill. Which is why Audio-Technica call them "Air" I guess. I wouldn't wish them upon my worst enemy (yes, I bought them and returned them). I can only imagine them being liked by those who listen to audio very low and/or listen to light wispy music and like the "presence" this headphone gives them. I guess Airy music would be more precise.

I do love their comfort (unmatched) which is why I am eager on trying other (possibly non Air-branded) Audio-Technica headphones with their wing system design.

But the sound? They could successfully be used as torture devices.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by oqvist View Post
DT 770/A900 did complement eachother nicely when I had that.
Keep in mind the
Audio-Technica ATH-AD900
and
Audio-Technica ATH-A900

are two completely different headphones.
post #9 of 17
Without an amp I wouldn't go for the K701s. You can use them without an amp and plenty of people have mentioned that they find them to be fine without an amp, but they aren't the most bass heavy cans to begin with, and without a dedicated amp I feel like you will be under-whelmed by them. I have AD700s and K701s and in an unamped situation I prefer my AD700s.
post #10 of 17
The astro MixAmp powers the DT880 250ohms just fine. I used to use my vhp-2 desktop amp with the mixamp and the DT880's, but found that the mixamp powers them without a problem. There is no distortion and plenty of volume. Go with the DT880 for the best movie and gaming headphone, and the best headphone for synergy with Dolby Headphone 5.1 DSP. Plenty of hard hitting bass. You will not be disappointed.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the advice - i will get the DT880's
post #12 of 17
Personally I think movies requires more power handling capabilities esp. for subwoofer channel and I found HD 650 to be much superior than DT880 (100mW) in that respect. DT880 also has recessed mid which isn't great for hearing conversations.
post #13 of 17
Well I don't know why you would want to upgrade your ATH-AD700 for gaming, upgrade bug maybe? I use them for gaming and they are beyond fantastic If i were to ever upgrade it would be the DT 880 for the microphone mod and their look (I like their lookk much over the AD700). I don't really like watching movies, especially at the computer so I can't comment on that, although the bass of the DT880 over the AD700 would be a nice improvement. No comment on AD900 except they aren't worth the upgrade from AD700 IMO.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SiRuI View Post
Personally I think movies requires more power handling capabilities esp. for subwoofer channel and I found HD 650 to be much superior than DT880 (100mW) in that respect. DT880 also has recessed mid which isn't great for hearing conversations.
recessed? hardly. They are not the best, but good imo.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
I assume that the mixamp would never be able to power the sennheiser 650's?
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