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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 1323

post #19831 of 37263

Hi guys, 

I'm looking for a new gaming headset and I come across this forum.
I was choosing between Siberia V2 and Razer Kraken 7.1, but then this thread somehow made me realized that it's better to buy audio headphones than dedicated "gaming headphones".

 

Sadly, as a layman, the terminologies I encountered here are too technical for me.
Sorry.
Anyway, I quickly skimmed through the pages and "AKG Q701" often pops up. 
If I were to buy this kind of headphone, is this just plug-and-play on my laptop? or do I need those AMPS/DAC that I often see on this thread?

Also, when you guys say "setup", this is what I have in mind:

[Headphone] --> [DAC/AMP] --> [Sound Card?!] --> [Laptop]

is my understanding correct?


If the AKG Q701 needs that kind of setup, then, I still need to buy a DAC/AMP and a SoundCard. (getting expensive :()
Can anyone point me to a good but cheap DAC/AMP and Sound card? should be compatible with laptop coz I travel every now and then. 

Also, if I may ask, if I already have a hardware setup, (headphone+dac/amp+soundcard), do I still need to utilize the Surround softwares like Razer Surround, etc etc? or the hardware setup itself will take care of all the things?


Edited by xanderwolfe - 1/9/14 at 10:59pm
post #19832 of 37263
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

I'd recommend just going with the K712s. 

They're one of the most well-rounded mid-fi cans, and they handily beat the HD650 in soundstage size and spaciousness.  Regardless of soundstage, I prefer them to the HD650 anyways - as I find the HD650 a little sterile and boring sounding in comparison. 

HD650, sterile? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR EARS MAN? tongue.gif

It has the warmest, most euphonic mids I've heard outside of the LCD2. frown.gif

Though the HD650 does sound different depending on amp. It's character does tend to change. It can even sound very neutral...

I dunno, I really like the HD650. Not as much as the Annie, but on certain occasion, I prefer them.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 1/9/14 at 11:44pm
post #19833 of 37263
xanderwolfe,
Yup, your "setup" is correct

[Headphone] --> [DAC/AMP] --> [Sound Card/Processor] --> [Laptop]

If you use a laptop, you can't put a soundcard inside... instead you need an external USB surround processor. Some options are the Asus Xonar U3 or U7 (if you like Dolby Headphone), Creative X-Fi Go! Pro (if you like CMSS-3D), Creative Recon3D USB (if you need something that works Windows, Mac, or console, and you like THX TruStudio Pro), or Creative Omni (Win+Mac, SBX ProStudio). I have a pretty extensive review of the Recon3D USB in my signature, and it's still my go-to device for the sake of flexibility (I prefer it over a Dolby Headphone device), but I bought an Omni for comparison and hopefully for a hardware upgrade. I hope to make a pretty comprehensive review of the Omni too.

Speaking of upgrades, the Omni and U3 have optical outputs if you want to later add an external DAC that has optical input. The U7 may also... but I haven't read as much about that model, sorry, but you can feel free to explore and share your findings. If you get the U3, you would more than likely want to upgrade the DAC right away, and if you get a DAC then you need an Amp either integrated in (FiiO E17) or a separate component. You can attach the same extra add-ons to the Omni... but the Omni has a better DAC and amp integrated inside than the U3, so you may not need anything else between your headphones and the laptop (or just leave the special upgrades at home). I'll test out my Q701 with my Omni on Saturday night, if I don't spend the night with my girlfriend. I expect the Q701 to sound better with at least an external amp plugged in, but if the Q701 doesn't sound harsh straight out of the Omni I'll let you know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

...
As for cables, the best monoprice one is the "designed for mobile" one.  DO NOT get the premium cable.  That cable is huge and inflexible, and it will destroy your jack.    I like to call that cable "Jack the ripper" as it rips up headphone jacks wink.gif ...
2x what Chico said, mobile cable GOGOGO!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

I don't think anyone really asked them.  :\

FiiO has it's own forum, maybe we could do a little petition thing there for one:
http://www.head-fi.org/f/180/fiio

FiiO Reps:
http://www.head-fi.org/u/715/joe-bloggs
http://www.head-fi.org/u/148324/JamesFiiO
If it only took 7 people (on Head-Fi) to convince FiiO to change their E12 amp, it probably wouldn't be hard to convince them of a surround processor (DH or otherwise...) with a few loud voices and someone pointing to all the traffic to this thread WHICH IS DEDICATED TO headphones that work well with VIRTUAL SURROUND!
MORE GOGOGO!!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moskrilla View Post

Hi,
I am gonna pull the trigger on a new set of headphones this weekend and I have been going back and forth between two different ideas and I am not sure which is the better long term investment. I currently wear headphones for about 15 hours a day between work and gaming and my current setup is:

PS4 > Mixamp Pro 2011 > ATH-AD700s
or:
PC > Creative SBZ > ATH-AD700s

My question is given a budget of $400-$500 is it worth it to have 2 separate pairs of headphones and get something like HD6XX's and switching over to the ATH-AD700's when playing FPS's or should I just retire these and get another pair of large stage headphones like the AKG 702.52/712's and be happy with a single pair.

I do plan on eventually (few weeks after getting the headphones) investing in a matching amp and my music tastes are pretty varied from 80s pop/electro/jazz and I play 100s of games a year not just FPS's.
OMGGG!!!
That's a TON of listening hours my friend! The longest single session I ever could stand was 9 hours with MY ATH-AD700, mostly because (after I bent the headband to a good shape) it was really lightweight and that weight was evenly spread around. I often had 5+ hour single sessions with it. Personal comfort varies, BUT you're gonna need a very light, low clamp, soft-padded, and heat dissipating headphone to not have irritation develop beyond tolerances if you want to wear headphones so long!

The HD650/600 will not meet the bill. Right away they are heavier, and have strong clamping force. Your taste/mileage may vary (YMMV), but from all reports the HD650/600 have a relaxed sound (look up how many people say they have a "laid-back" character) that may cause less listening fatigue... but also won't give you the sense of punch and urgency you probably find lacking in the AD700 you already have. Sonic tastes are opinion though...

The only headphone I can think of (that I've tried) that comes close to the marathon comfort of a well-adjusted and broken-in AD700 would be Sony's MA900. It's also light and dissipates heat well (better than the AD700), improves on the midbass, still has great soundstage and imaging, but the headband will dig into your cranium after an hour and would need extra padding IMO. It could be a good replacement for the AD700 if you want just one headphone.

Personally, an AKG was the next step that appealed to me, and I haven't been swayed away from that yet. My Q701 adds the excitement and euphoria I was looking for, fair bit better bass extension and treble refinement, and I just love listening to it (FPS and RPG games, Sci-Fi and Fantasy movies, pop/rock/electro/orchestral are my tastes). I would recommend you get one of those or one of the new AKGs without headband bumps, and I think you'll be very happy. HOWEVER, if you've already got the AD700 into a shape that sits the earpads evenly against your head and you have a rubberband between the wings to keep them at the right elasticity to keep the headphones from sliding down, I think you should keep it for when another headphone makes your ears/head tired. The AKGs are very comfortable, and the larger Circumaural earpads are a treat, but after 4 hours it would be nice to switch to the lighter weight and lesser-bass AD700's. I don't have the freedom to have marathon sessions like before, but for a while I kept the AD700 alongside my AKGs just because of their comfort and simple amping requirements.
Edited by Evshrug - 1/10/14 at 12:47am
post #19834 of 37263
Thread Starter 
Hifiman HE-400i and HE-560. Open Planarmagnetics for a realistic price are back, baby.

the 400i weighs almost 100g less than the 400, and has a new headband design and pads. I wonder what changes in sound it will have. Hopefully more upper mids, and way less treble.

I very much miss the planarmagnetic sound, and it'd be what I'd go back to if I was gonna spend so much again...


Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 1/9/14 at 11:56pm
post #19835 of 37263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

HD650, sterile? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR EARS MAN? tongue.gif

Agreed. "Sterile" is completely the wrong word to describe the HD 650. "Boring" and "lazy" are much better words for it. :beerchug:

post #19836 of 37263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Hifiman HE-400i and HE-560. Open Planarmagnetics for a realistic price are back, baby.

the 400i weighs almost 100g less than the 400, and has a new headband design and pads. I wonder what changes in sound it will have. Hopefully more upper mids, and way less treble.

I very much miss the planarmagnetic sound, and it'd be what I'd go back to if I was gonna spend so much again...

 

 

post #19837 of 37263
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post

Agreed. "Sterile" is completely the wrong word to describe the HD 650. "Boring" and "lazy" are much better words for it. beerchug.gif



So I guess, the LCD2 and Mad Dogs are boring or lazy then? They're tuned to be a lot more polite than what you'd like, sure, but that's the beauty of having a variety of headphones. The 650 is intimate, sultry, and syrupy. Not something you'd use for metal or aggressive genres in general, but certainly capable with the right music.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 1/10/14 at 1:01am
post #19838 of 37263

I have wanted to try the HD650 since I first jumped into this hobby... just never did because I read they have a less than average soundstage (for open headphones). Maybe someone will one day be kind enough to let me try them... *hint* :wink_face: *hint*


Edited by Change is Good - 1/10/14 at 1:04am
post #19839 of 37263
Thread Starter 
Yeah, the soundstage is definitely not a strength on the 650, though it's still gonna outclass most closed headphones. Basically same problem the LCD2 has. It's that tonality that makes the soundstage more constricted.

The 650 is warm, bassy, and intimate. Not things that usually lend themselves well to soundstaging.

If the MA900 had a much smaller soundstage, I'd say it'd remind me a lot of the HD650, as they're both warm, organic mids, with an upper bass hump, and soft treble. I even bought a 2nd HD650 to use when my then LCD2 got tiring. they were too similar overall that I felt it moot to own both, especially when the LCD2 was simply a considerably more improved HD650 in planar form.

But the HD650 scales up exponentially with amping, FWIH, though I liked it as much on the E9K as I did on the SA-31. Fiio stated the E9 was built with the HD600 and HD650 in mind, so that may have played a role.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 1/10/14 at 1:11am
post #19840 of 37263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

If it only took 7 people (on Head-Fi) to convince FiiO to change their E12 amp, it probably wouldn't be hard to convince them of a surround processor (DH or otherwise...) with a few loud voices and someone pointing to all the traffic to this thread WHICH IS DEDICATED TO headphones that work well with VIRTUAL SURROUND!
MORE GOGOGO!!!!!!!!!
OMGGG!!!

 

@JamesFiiO, can you please manufacture a device (with a Dolby Headphone processor and chat capability) that will blow the other competition away?!? I know you can do it! I mean, you are FiiO!!!

 

Everyone who agrees quote me with a +1

 

That should grab they're attention


Edited by Change is Good - 1/10/14 at 1:19am
post #19841 of 37263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Change is Good View Post

@JamesFiiO
, can you please manufacture a device (with a Dolby Headphone processor and chat capability) that will blow the other competition away?!? I know you can do it! I mean, you are FiiO!!!

Everyone who agrees quote me with a +1

That should grab their attention
+2
Using a FiiO E17 with a surround DSP added would easily blow the competition away, but HDMI passthrough (instead of coaxial?) would make it future-proof.

(Is this posted on a FiiO page? And if so, which one?)
post #19842 of 37263
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Change is Good View Post

@JamesFiiO
, can you please manufacture a device (with a Dolby Headphone processor and chat capability) that will blow the other competition away?!? I know you can do it! I mean, you are FiiO!!!

Everyone who agrees quote me with a +1

That should grab they're attention

+1

10/10 would do again
post #19843 of 37263
So that's three...
post #19844 of 37263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

+2
Using a FiiO E17 with a surround DSP added would easily blow the competition away, but HDMI passthrough (instead of coaxial?) would make it future-proof.

(Is this posted on a FiiO page? And if so, which one?)

Not that I know of. Feel free to do so (if you're up to it) and give a link to my post. I want him directed straight to this thread, so he can see the kind of investment this would be... and at the same time he can check some of Mad's reviews on the competition.

Plus, this would be the perfect place for them to get suggestions on what we are looking for in this device.
Edited by Change is Good - 1/10/14 at 1:40am
post #19845 of 37263
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post
 

 

I'd recommend just going with the K712s. 

 

They're one of the most well-rounded mid-fi cans, and they handily beat the HD650 in soundstage size and spaciousness.  Regardless of soundstage, I prefer them to the HD650 anyways - as I find the HD650 a little sterile and boring sounding in comparison. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


Personally, an AKG was the next step that appealed to me, and I haven't been swayed away from that yet. My Q701 adds the excitement and euphoria I was looking for, fair bit better bass extension and treble refinement, and I just love listening to it (FPS and RPG games, Sci-Fi and Fantasy movies, pop/rock/electro/orchestral are my tastes). I would recommend you get one of those or one of the new AKGs without headband bumps, and I think you'll be very happy. HOWEVER, if you've already got the AD700 into a shape that sits the earpads evenly against your head and you have a rubberband between the wings to keep them at the right elasticity to keep the headphones from sliding down, I think you should keep it for when another headphone makes your ears/head tired. The AKGs are very comfortable, and the larger Circumaural earpads are a treat, but after 4 hours it would be nice to switch to the lighter weight and lesser-bass AD700's. I don't have the freedom to have marathon sessions like before, but for a while I kept the AD700 alongside my AKGs just because of their comfort and simple amping requirements.

 

Appreciate the responses (and the great guide MLE) seems like a good next step is the AKG 712/702.65 and maybe I'll look into a pure music headset in the future. Thanks again!

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