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Going Audiophile For Gaming!

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I want to first introduce my self to the forums. My name is Kevin Glover I love gaming, life and god. I love to listen to a wide genre of music such as Dubstep, DnB, Techno, Electronic, Trance, Hip Hop, R&B, Alternative Rock, Rock, JRock, JPop etc.... anything that has a bumpn beat ^_-

 

Next before I get into anything else I want to say I don't really have a budget but if I have at the most I would say $800 for a soundcard and a pair cans.

 

I am looking to get in the big world of audiophile and get my self a good soundcard and a nice pair of cans. I currently own 2 headsets as of now. Such ones being the Gamecom 377 Stereo Headset and the Steelseries 7H USB Headset. The Steelseries 7H that I have is analog 3.5mm to a USB dongle that basically uses the dongle as a soundcard to produce the sound. The headset has virutal 7.1 which isn't all that good so I am very disappointed that I did pay the $150 for these cans.

 

I know I could have gotten a lot better set of cans for the price I payed for these and even used my onboard till I could afford a nice soundcard like the STX from ASUS, but the gimmicky marketing schemes of these companies lured me in to believe this is the best anyone has to offer for an initial audio source for gaming.

 

I do a lot of competitive gaming as well as casual gaming so I need a good pair of cans that will give me good positional awareness and very very very clear audio with crisp tones. I play games like Crysis, Crysis Warhead, Crysis Wars, Crysis 2, Call of Duty 4, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty Black Ops, Battlefield Bad Company 2, (Soon Battlefield 3 when that releases ^_^), Bulletstorm, Guild Wars, Left 4 Dead 2 and so on.......

 

Now on to the real jiff of the thread here. I am going to get some new cans and a soundcard like a mentioned before. I understand a good bit about what I am getting into and I have done my research so I am not completely blind sided about the audiophile world. Heres a few set of cans below that I was looking at getting. 

 

Audio Technica Cans:

 

1. Audio Technica ATH-AD700

2. Audio Technica ATH-A700

3. Audio Technica ATH-A900

 

Sennheiser Cans:

 

1. Sennheiser HD 555

2. Sennheiser HD 600

3. Sennheiser HD 650

4. (HD800 Is way way out of my price range)

 

Denon Cans:

 

1. Denon AHD2000

2. Denon AHD5000

3. Denon AHD7000

 

Beyerdynamic Cans:

 

1. Beyerdynamic DT770

2. Beyerdynamic DT880

3. Beyerdynamic DT990

 

ASUS Sound Cards:

 

1. Asus Xonar Essence ST

2. ASUS Xonar Essence STX

 

HT | Omega Sound Cards:

 

1. HT | Omega Claro

2. HT | Omega Claro Plus+

 

I have done a good bit of research on Audiophile Cans vs. Gaming Gimmick Cans and I am pretty certain a good pair of cans and a nice sound card will out perform a gimmick 7.1 virtual surround sound pair of cans. Plus you only have 2 ears so you will get better soundstage and clarity from stereo 2.1 cans anyways right?

 

The one thing that I am not certain about is the whole thing with why more ohm is better on your cans. I know that less ohm impedance means it has less resistance and it is easier to drive (thus being said it doesn't need an amp.)

 

Now for DACs, I don't know if I want to go that route and get one because I don't that knowledgeable about what they do. I do know that they convert a digital signal to a analog signal and such but are they really better than using a internal sound card like the ASUS Xonar STX or the HT Omega Plus+.

 

Thank you for your time and patience for taking the time to read my thread I really do appreciate it. I hope you guys can assist me in the right direction in purchasing a good pair of cans for gaming.

 

Regards, 

- Fr1nge - Kevin -

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Fr1nge - 4/5/11 at 11:21pm
post #2 of 40

I can't say I envy you. I am in a similar situation. I am not only interested in gaming though which makes my situation really, really difficult. I hear the AD700's lack bass.. so that kinda scratches them off..  A700 have bass but, I've heard the sound stage suffers.. I don't know how much though..There seems to be a rule of thumb  pick two low cost (under 200$), Immersion, and pinpoint accuracy. While I don't game "professionally" I am wondering if A700 would be good enough for competitve gaming on a more serious level.. I do listen to music and can't afford 3 sets of headphones.. I also dislike the lack of bass I've experiences with some headphones.. Even with a great soundstage to hear someone slap a clip in a gun and have it sound muddy is well.. depressing.. By contrast to hear clearly defined footsteps (awesome) and have no idea where they are coming from is.. well.. crap. I can't afford 300$ for an amp and headphones.. oh well...  I never thought of myself as an audiophile.. but, looking at the cost of these headphones.. I have to question that..


 

 



 

post #3 of 40
If you only plan to use it for gaming and cause listening to music I guess getting a DAC and Amp will no be necessary. So you are looking at a entry level headphone with decent sound stage. From you listing I think you can forget about the Byers, and HD600 or HD650 from Sennheiser. I used to own hd555 so i would recommend that one for you. Never tried to play game with it, but it works fine without amp.
and has very decent sound stage. I think D2000 is out picture now too, since it dose require some amping. I'm not sure about the Audio-technica though. But in my opinion the Open cans usually have better sound stage.
post #4 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow_Fox View Post

I can't say I envy you. I am in a similar situation. I am not only interested in gaming though which makes my situation really, really difficult. I hear the AD700's lack bass.. so that kinda scratches them off..  A700 have bass but, I've heard the sound stage suffers.. I don't know how much though..There seems to be a rule of thumb  pick two low cost (under 200$), Immersion, and pinpoint accuracy. While I don't game "professionally" I am wondering if A700 would be good enough for competitve gaming on a more serious level.. I do listen to music and can't afford 3 sets of headphones.. I also dislike the lack of bass I've experiences with some headphones.. Even with a great soundstage to hear someone slap a clip in a gun and have it sound muddy is well.. depressing.. By contrast to hear clearly defined footsteps (awesome) and have no idea where they are coming from is.. well.. crap. I can't afford 300$ for an amp and headphones.. oh well...  I never thought of myself as an audiophile.. but, looking at the cost of these headphones.. I have to question that..

 

 

 



 

 

Ya with the 7Hs I hear footsteps and gun shots but the positional awareness sucks because I can't make out the exact location and they sound all garbled.

 


Edited by Fr1nge - 4/5/11 at 11:29pm
post #5 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrucYSN View Post

If you only plan to use it for gaming and cause listening to music I guess getting a DAC and Amp will no be necessary. So you are looking at a entry level headphone with decent sound stage. From you listing I think you can forget about the Byers, and HD600 or HD650 from Sennheiser. I used to own hd555 so i would recommend that one for you. Never tried to play game with it, but it works fine without amp.
and has very decent sound stage. I think D2000 is out picture now too, since it dose require some amping. I'm not sure about the Audio-technica though. But in my opinion the Open cans usually have better sound stage.
 
I don't mind getting a amp if I have too, if any of those do require a amp then I wouldn't mind if that is the headset that I will be getting.

Edited by Fr1nge - 4/5/11 at 11:28pm
post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrucYSN View Post

If you only plan to use it for gaming and cause listening to music I guess getting a DAC and Amp will no be necessary. So you are looking at a entry level headphone with decent sound stage. From you listing I think you can forget about the Byers, and HD600 or HD650 from Sennheiser. I used to own hd555 so i would recommend that one for you. Never tried to play game with it, but it works fine without amp.
and has very decent sound stage. I think D2000 is out picture now too, since it dose require some amping. I'm not sure about the Audio-technica though. But in my opinion the Open cans usually have better sound stage.



I think it depends.. I don't have experience with higher ends.. But, my personal experience so far has been immersion vs. accuracy of sound.

 

my Open backed cans have all been muddy or indistinct sounds.. enough so that I can tell *where* something is.. but, still not well defined or "firm"..

 

While closed backed cans are very distinct each footstep is heard.. but, where its coming from is  up for grabs..


So for a lot of gamers where immersion is more important.. or hearing what is going on closed backs would be better.. by constrast if hearing where things are is higher priority then open works better..

 

@fr1nge don't write off the importance of immersion entirely either.. I am trying very hard to find a good under 200$ medium that wouldn't cripple me if I got a chance to play professionally (dreaming) but, doesn't sound muddy and ill defined..


Edited by Snow_Fox - 4/5/11 at 11:28pm
post #7 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow_Fox View Post






I think it depends.. I don't have experience with higher ends.. But, my personal experience so far has been immersion vs. accuracy of sound.

 

my Open backed cans have all been muddy or indistinct sounds.. enough so that I can tell *where* something is.. but, still not well defined or "firm"..

 

While closed backed cans are very distinct each footstep is heard.. but, where its coming from is  up for grabs..


So for a lot of gamers where immersion is more important.. or hearing what is going on closed backs would be better.. by constrast if hearing where things are is higher priority then open works better..


Yes.. When I hear a footstep or a gun fire I want to automatically know the location, not sit around wondering where it came from..

 

post #8 of 40
Foot steps so you are talking about the detail revealing, try the HD555 it might just blow you mind, make you realize that there are so many things you never heard in ur favorite songs.
although Amp could be expensive. What's your budget.

Edit: you hear better foot step in close cans is probably because the isolation it provided
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fr1nge View Post




Yes.. When I hear a footstep or a gun fire I want to automatically know the location, not sit around wondering where it came from..

 


While that is true.. You also want to know that it was gun fire.. or in my case if I hear an obscure instrument play in the background I want to know what it was..

 

In l4d2  you hear the bacteria sound which means a a player entered spawn mode.. with open backed it seems to bee harder to distinguish.. but, then I can actually hear where the snarling is coming from easier...

 

But, with closed backs;.. I hear what it is and know what to look out for as soon as it spawns.. I can even get an idea of how close it is.. just not the exact location...

 

so.. both of those have major ups/ downs..

 

post #10 of 40
DT880 and STX -- use Dolby headphone. If output is not sufficient then amp it . . . but it should produce at least 16 milliwatts if I'm right at 250 ohms for the Beyer's. I could throw in another contender too, AKG K601.
Edited by Shike - 4/5/11 at 11:41pm
post #11 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shike View Post

DT880 and STX -- use Dolby headphone. If output is not sufficient then amp it . . . but it should produce at least 16 milliwatts if I'm right at 250 ohms for the Beyer's. I could throw in another contender too, AKG K601.


But why the higher Ohm I never really understood that....

post #12 of 40
I thought BD are not very good with sound stage compare to the cans in same league, lol


Fringe: find the exact location through headphone could cost you a lot of money. that requires the correct distance in imaging and both width and depth in sound stage. I got feeling you are going for the HD800, K1000, or R10..... Just start with something cheap. HD555 is not only $80 on Amazon and you can always return in in 30 days. If you wanna 880 T make sure you get a low Independence one
post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fr1nge View Post





But why the higher Ohm I never really understood that....


it's the impendance of the phone, High impendance ( >100 ohms ) requires high voltage swing to drive it. Low Impendance is more rely on the current.

There is a 32 ohm version of DT880, should be easy to drive with sound card.
Edited by BrucYSN - 4/5/11 at 11:48pm
post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 

My guitar center has the DT 770s and I am sure they have the 880s also.. I might go up there tomorrow and try them out.


Edited by Fr1nge - 4/5/11 at 11:48pm
post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fr1nge View Post





But why the higher Ohm I never really understood that....


I think the 250 ohm is the best balance between voltage and current driven myself. It also increases the damping factor to minimize impact of output impedance, though the 880 32ohm doesn't seem to have a large impedance spike.

Does anyone know the output current limit of the STX?
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