Hello! I am seeking a headphone to compliment both my music and gaming, and after a few suggestions in my thread at Introductions I was directed here. Both gaming and musical experience are equally important to me. I feel like I might have to compromise the quality of one for the other... hopefully this is not the case!
In terms of gaming, I am looking for an immersive environmental experience. With that in mind, I was leaning towards open cans. I am not a competitive gamer, but I enjoy being able to place what's going on around me and being able to sink into environmental ambience. Natural white noise like urban backgrounds, weather, water, footfall, etc, are important to me. For any of you familiar with Myst: Revelation... I literally spent hours tapping on every object (uniquely coded with it's own sound). I also love dialogue in games, and so I need headphones that treat both male and female vocals well.
Overall, I am hoping for a fairly accurate, immersive, “surround sound” experience. To this end, it was suggested I possibly pair my eventual headphones with a Sound Blaster Z. I would be interested to hear if any of you have experience with that particular sound card.
I also need something comfortable and light for long gaming sessions.
Music is a little more complicated. The tracks I want to sound best are often a mix of airy or smooth vocals, heavily laced with electronic sound; sometimes more or less purely electronic. Female vocals feature prominently, though I love male vocals as well. Violin and cello are my favourite traditional instruments, so I'd like something that captures resonance instead of muddying it.
I also listen to some very complicated, almost cluttered tracks (extreme example)... I miss being able to pick out the individual signature of each instrument, and I especially miss being able to distinguish between the layers in each track. (I used to own an amazing noise-cancelling Sennheiser.). Some of my favourite tracks are immersive, complicated and dark. Inversely, many are bubbly or full of bright energy. Most (not all) have electronic and instrumental elements.
All that being said, I listen to a huge variety of music and play a large variety of games, and so something balanced (that doesn't overfavour one element only to ruin another) would probably be best. So: immersive environmental experience, quality vocals for both males and females, clarity and accuracy that allows for immersion, and definitely NOT something that muddies the layers in a track...
I was suggested the Audio Technica ATH-AD900X initially, but I've been reading up on it / listening to reviews, and it was described that “layers bleed into each other” which would be pretty awful for me, even though it sounded pretty good otherwise. The Sennheiser HD598 was also suggested to me for it's good imaging quality for gaming.
I was looking at a budget of approximately 300 for the phones. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!