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Need Help Deciding between two headphones for desktop PC

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, I'm currently a college student in the UK living in dorms at the moment. I have a desktop PC and I currently am using a pair of knock-off Beats Studio Headphones I bought in Hong Kong (cost me 80 USD) as my audio solution. They sound really really good for the price even though they are fake and a little flimsy side (or maybe it's that they're the first headphones that I've owned so I probably don't know what I'm talking about).


Anyway, I would like to buy a new pair of headphones since I've been reading that they make a world of difference if they are good quality ones. I've narrowed myself down to two models in particular:


Beyer DT990 PRO 250 Ohms:



Audio Technica ATH-M50s:



I'll mostly be using them for gaming and some movie watching, I won't be moving them around as they going to be my computer's "speakers" if you will :P . I was just wondering if there is a major sound quality difference between the two. I have a dedicated Sound Card (Creative X-Fi Titanium).


I've read that the M50s are great for their price and are great sound quality, but they're not really good for gaming.


Also, I heard that the DT990 needs an amp of some sorts. Is this true even if I plug the headphones directly to the sound card at the back of my computer?


If I need to purchase one with the headphones would this one (Fiio E5) be sufficient?



I'm very new to this stuff, so let me know there is something else I should be looking into. Thanks very much in advance.

post #2 of 4
Every headphone needs an amp. Your sound card--and anything with a headphones output--already has an integrated amp. It just may not be that high fidelity or have enough power to play at a certain volume for certain headphones. FiiO E5 is good for the price, but it's underpowered for such headphones unless you listen at lower levels. There are DT 770, 880, and 990 32 ohms versions for those without a dedicated amplifier or a more powerful setup.

DT 990 and any open-back headphones (i.e. non-isolating and block next to no sound coming in our out) is probably a very bad idea if dorms in the UK are like any I've ever seen. You're going to want sound isolation to not be disturbed by others, and not disturb others yourself. You can never be too sure with some roommates.

ATH-M50 would be a much better choice just because of that. Or rather, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 ohms (borderline quiet with some music or movies with very wide dynamic range, out of many sources). There's a premium 32 ohms version, as mentioned earlier. That's closed and isolates better than most closed headphones too, while being comfortable for hours of use.

Does gaming involve any kind of fps or other game where you'd be interested in picking up spatial cues through the audio?
post #3 of 4



DT990 > M50. There's not even a contest. It has just better quality, more comfortable, vastly better sound stage, more comfortable.


It will work fine out of your sound card, 250ohm and below is fine for sound cards. I used impedance that high 10 years ago on sound cards. Seriously, you'll be ok. Get the DT990 PRO. It's an excellent headphone for gaming, movies and music for that cost if you're looking for comfortable open-air headphones with some good bass presence and detail.


Very best

post #4 of 4

The M50s definitely are not good for gaming, the DT990's instrument separation, overall clarity, natural timbre and soundstaging makes the M50 sound like a cluttered tin-can.


The M50 only does one thing better than the DT990, and that's produce a super low bass.  The DT990s are pretty aggressive down to about 50-60hz, then they roll off.  The M50 has its own rolloff as well, but to compensate, it beefs up its bass response to above neutral.


If you're looking for a perfect marriage of the two, look at the Denon D2000.  It takes the bass extension of the M50 and adds in the clarity and soundstaging of the DT990.  Both are good enough to make it a decent choice for gaming, EXCELLENT for movies, and a very good music headphone.



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