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Headphones for gaming?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hey people on Head-Fi!

 

I'm looking for some help with navigating the vast market of headphones. Since I'm a total newbie and have some fairly special requirements, I thought I'd stop wasting more time on google and try asking some of you experts that hangs around on this forum :)

 

I'm looking for a pair of closed headphones which will mainly be used for gaming but also be able to plug into an mp3 player and sound good.

 

The reason I'm not looking for a headset is that I don't use a mic too much and I would feel stupid walking around outside with a huge mic. A detachable mic would be cool, but dont mind using a desc mic in gaming/skype when i need it.

 

 

So my main question is: will good quality headphones made for music sound good in games? and will they be able to play virtual sorround sound (important for positioning in FPS games)?

 

Dont really have a tigh budget but was thinking somwhere in the $150-250 range. Also they MUST have big (closed) earcups with a fake leather-like material - for some reason foam feels really uncomfy and scratchy on me - even the soft "premium foam" some use.

 

I have been doing alot of googling and some candidates at this point is:

 

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 (there is also an "S" version - is that better?)

 

Sennheiser HD 448 (have heard the bass was a bit low though)

 

Another difference between music and gaming use is that comfort is much more important. When gaming you might sit 8-10 hours in a row, noone does that with music - so even headphones that is very comfy for 2-3 hours might not be ideal for gaming.

 

Again, they have to be closed (doesn't have to be totally noise cancelling) and with a leather-like material on the ear cups. Other than that, here's a list of what's most important:

Comfort (low weight)

Sound quality

Build quiality

Looks/Material

Detacheable mic (bonus)

 

 

Can't think of any more information atm, but feel free to ask if I forgot something - all replies is much appriciated! :)


Edited by birdshake - 11/17/11 at 4:10pm
post #2 of 21

Will you be doing any competitive gaming or it will be mostly for fun where you prefer a lot of extra bass?

 

IMO the best closed headphone under $200 for competitive gaming is the KRK KNS-6400 with the 8400 memory (leather like) foam pads. It's a detail monster and gets nearly everything right for gaming. Tons of detail, a clear sound and a very good soundstage. Some may want a little more bass than it offers.

 

To me, the M50 is HORRIBLE for gaming. Too much bass and treble with a soundstage that's way too small.

 

If you're OK with something semi-open that doesn't leak much, I love the K240 Studio ($99) for gaming. I'd take that over even the HD-555 for gaming anyway.

 

K240 Studio to me is like a neutral studio monitor, but with a slight bass boost. It comes with pleather pads.

 

 

post #3 of 21

Ultrasone Pro 550.  Can be had as low as $100 used, $150 new.  Great soundstage and detail for gaming and a fun sound for music and movies.  They perform well with dolby headphone or strait stereo.  Large earcups, standard pleather pads, comfy even though they're not the lightest can I've owned.  Pair em up with a cheap clip on or desktop mic and your set. 

 

Can't compare them to the 448's but sound quality and soundstage blow the m50's out of the water for gaming.

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks alot for the replies so far, you guys are fast! bigsmile_face.gif

 

Forgot to say in the OP that I'm gonna pair them up with the Xonar DG soundcard (seems to be a good value card where I'm not overkilling/wasting money on something I prolly can't even tell the difference between)

 

So I think it's safe to say that the M50's are now out of the picture, and we have widened the field to the following headphones - I am ordering from Amazon.co.uk and I will add price+weight+comment on each one:

 

 

Sennheiser HD 448

 

They weigh 196g including cable and cost £66. Probably the ones that looks the best fwiw - they only cost $55 on amazon.com though so value for money might not be the best on these

 

AKG K240 MKII Studio

 

They're semi open which I'm still not sure if I want, if they do sound much better than the alternatives It'd be hard to justify not buying them though.  They weigh 240g and cost £94, they do look comfy but maybe not for very long gaming sessions. It's obviously hard to tell from a picture but the extra ~50g it has on the HD 448 will most likely be noticed after extended play.

KRK KNS 6400

They weight 202g and cost £84, they look nice and not too heavy.

 

Ultrasone - PRO 550

They weigh295g and costprice: £130 - the most expensive pair and they look really big/heavy and probably arent as good for long sessions.

 

Also read alot of positive things on this forum about the cheap Samson RS850

Cant find info on the weight but they only cost £30 - have read that they're comfy even though they don't look that good. And the build quality is supposed to be kinda bad aswell. Almost three times less expensive than the second cheapest pair so far so that's to be expected I guess.

 

 

I'm probably leaning mostly towards the KRK KNS 6400 at this point but not sure at all.

 

@tdockweiler

 

How would you compare the KNS 6400 to the K240 for gaming? also taking into account weight/comfortability.

 

Will probably read up a bunch of reviews on the different sets and see if other suggestions comes in the meanwhile. Again thanks for the answers, this forum seems awesome - people are much more mature and objective than the ones I'm used to :)

post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdshake View Post
Thanks alot for the replies so far, you guys are fast! bigsmile_face.gif

Forgot to say in the OP that I'm gonna pair them up with the Xonar DG soundcard (seems to be a good value card where I'm not overkilling/wasting money on something I prolly can't even tell the difference between)

So I think it's safe to say that the M50's are now out of the picture, and we have widened the field to the following headphones - I am ordering from Amazon.co.uk and I will add price+weight+comment on each one:

Sennheiser HD 448

They weigh 196g including cable and cost £66. Probably the ones that looks the best fwiw - they only cost $55 on amazon.com though so value for money might not be the best on these

AKG K240 MKII Studio

They're semi open which I'm still not sure if I want, if they do sound much better than the alternatives It'd be hard to justify not buying them though.  They weigh 240g and cost £94, they do look comfy but maybe not for very long gaming sessions. It's obviously hard to tell from a picture but the extra ~50g it has on the HD 448 will most likely be noticed after extended play.KRK KNS 6400 They weight 202g and cost £84, they look nice and not too heavy.

Ultrasone - PRO 550They weigh295g and costprice: £130 - the most expensive pair and they look really big/heavy and probably arent as good for long sessions.

Also read alot of positive things on this forum about the cheap Samson RS850

Cant find info on the weight but they only cost £30 - have read that they're comfy even though they don't look that good. And the build quality is supposed to be kinda bad aswell. Almost three times less expensive than the second cheapest pair so far so that's to be expected I guess.

I'm probably leaning mostly towards the KRK KNS 6400 at this point but not sure at all.

@tdockweiler

How would you compare the KNS 6400 to the K240 for gaming? also taking into account weight/comfortability.

Will probably read up a bunch of reviews on the different sets and see if other suggestions comes in the meanwhile. Again thanks for the answers, this forum seems awesome - people are much more mature and objective than the ones I'm used to :)


It's Samson SR850 and they are made by Superlux (for Samson), my SR850s should arrive on Friday.

Asus Xonar DG is a great value.

Name brand headphones will be dropping in price a month or two after Christmas.

 

 

 

post #6 of 21

I used a ultrasone HFi-780 my self for gaming usage, it did a good job in games, tho it uses Pleather on its ear-pads and headband, and the headband might annoy you but people head are different sizes. I don't know if it will run from portal mp3 devices because I never tried it when I had it with them. But it does a good job unamp, But I find it bass improved when I ran them amped. Tho they req to be burned in for 300ish hours.   Their bass doesn't out do the rest of the sound. When I used them with games, I still heard foot steps real easy with them. Their Sound imaging is very good,As I liked their sound imaging over the AD700 that I had before.

post #7 of 21


Just as a note. The stock pads of the 6400 are pleather, but the upgraded pads are cheap enough that it doesn't increase the total by that much.

If I had to pick between the 6400 and the K240, I'd probably take the K240 Studio only due to being slightly more comfortable and having a larger soundstage.

It also has a bit more bass. If I ONLY wanted a competitive closed gaming headphone, it'd be the 6400 for sure.

 

K240 Studio does need some type of amping though, which kind of kills that idea.

 

I believe Superlux might have a clone of the K240 Studio. It's not the HD-668B. I found that pretty bad for gaming.

Quote:

I'm probably leaning mostly towards the KRK KNS 6400 at this point but not sure at all.

 

@tdockweiler

 

How would you compare the KNS 6400 to the K240 for gaming? also taking into account weight/comfortability.

 

Will probably read up a bunch of reviews on the different sets and see if other suggestions comes in the meanwhile. Again thanks for the answers, this forum seems awesome - people are much more mature and objective than the ones I'm used to :)



 

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

Bah I'm getting more and more confused - this is seems so much more subjective than I thought. Was hoping to find a pair that consesus beat all the "gaming" headsets in sound (Razer, Steelseries, Corsair, Sennheiser G4ME).

 

I Really appriciate all the advice, but as I'm a total newb when it comes to sound quality I have no idea what I like/is good for gaming - therefore I would much rather opt for some generally acknowledged "good cans" for gaming - like a pair of HD 555's just closed and with pleather earcups.

 

BTW it doesn't matter if they can be powered by anthing but the Xonar DG as I probably won't use them on my mp3 player anyways - And I guess I have a totally average sized head. And remember comfort/being leight weight is the first priority - then comes sound quality (for gaming).

 

Anyways I've decided that I don't want semi-open headphones so the ones that's still in the picture is:

 

KRK KNS 6400

 

Samson SR850 ("safe" option since they're so cheap)

 

Sennheiser HD 448

 

I might even go back to what I was gonna buy untill I read that all headsets designed for gaming sucked, the Sennheiser PC 350 (Comfort should be second to none - Bass should be pretty low but seems like thats good for gaming?)

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

I have found a new cheap contender with the JVC HA-RX700 they do look quite heavy so maybe the JVC HA-RX500-E is a better option - too many choices blink.gif

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

also the Shure SRH440 have great reviews and are incredibly lightweight. Both them and the JVC HA-RX700 will be shipped for free by amazon which is obviously a bonus aswell.

post #11 of 21

Have you considered the Denon D2000 ? It's expensive but seems to fit your description, also if you head over to game-fi you can read up on how it stacks up for gaming. You shouldn't need me to tell you it's a highly regarded headphone in general.

 

If Denon is too expensive, there's always the Sony XB line of headphones for a lot less dollar....they're supposed to be really comfy but the cups are so deliberately big!! 

 

It's up to you, but based on your requirements there you should at least read up on those for your purposes if you haven't already - also neither require an amp if I remember correctly.

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input Thommohawk.

 

I Might just go with a cheap model and see if I'm satisfied with those. I wouldn't mind throwing $200 after a pair if I KNEW they would be incredible for gaming, but everyone seems to have a different opinion - so it's probably better to play it safe with a cheap end pair. They should still have better sound that the headsets made for gaming - right?

 

I imagine I will be pretty easy to satisfy since I've never owned/tried anything worth mentioning - and it would be silly to buy something expensive and fancy if I couldn't really tell the difference.

 

So we're left with the Asus Xonar DG paired up with:

 

Samson SR850 (best sound for gaming?)


Sony MDRXB500 (most comfy? but what about sound quality?)

 

JVC HA-RX700 (somwhere in the middle of the two above?)

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdshake View Post
Thanks for the input Thommohawk.

I Might just go with a cheap model and see if I'm satisfied with those. I wouldn't mind throwing $200 after a pair if I KNEW they would be incredible for gaming, but everyone seems to have a different opinion - so it's probably better to play it safe with a cheap end pair. They should still have better sound that the headsets made for gaming - right?

I imagine I will be pretty easy to satisfy since I've never owned/tried anything worth mentioning - and it would be silly to buy something expensive and fancy if I couldn't really tell the difference.

So we're left with the Asus Xonar DG paired up with:

Samson SR850 (best sound for gaming?)

Sony MDRXB500 (most comfy? but what about sound quality?)

JVC HA-RX700 (somwhere in the middle of the two above?)


The Samson SR850 is semi-open, it has the same cups as the Superlux HD-668B.

Sony XB500, headphones I like the least, lots of crude BASS.

I used the JVC HA-RX900s, they were fairly decent headphones, some like the sound of the RX700s over he RX900s.

 

 

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

ah didn't realize the Samson's were semi open - then it's a no go.

 

And after further investigation it does seem as if the Sony's might be too basy for gaming.

 

That leaves the JVC HA-RX700 - the biggest downside being the 330g weight - they look fairly comfy tho and damn they're cheap! £30 + free shipping..

 

I think I'll just order them and throw them out/give them away if I don't like them (which i probably will considering I have only had ****ty gaming headsets in the past)

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdshake View Post

Thanks for the input Thommohawk.

 

I Might just go with a cheap model and see if I'm satisfied with those. I wouldn't mind throwing $200 after a pair if I KNEW they would be incredible for gaming, but everyone seems to have a different opinion - so it's probably better to play it safe with a cheap end pair. They should still have better sound that the headsets made for gaming - right?

 

I imagine I will be pretty easy to satisfy since I've never owned/tried anything worth mentioning - and it would be silly to buy something expensive and fancy if I couldn't really tell the difference.



That's head-fi.....the only consensus you'll get here is a what's decent and what's truly awful, you'll often see the same stable of names brought up a lot but beyond that it seems everyone here has conflicting opinions - 1 person highly recommends brand A, the next person had and hated brand A. It's frustrating sometimes as a newbie especially but ultimately it leads you to the same conclusions, you won't get miracles on a tight budget, perhaps not even at any budget - but to find something of a certain standard of 'good' that you are more than happy with for the price you'll pay on it you have to research and just take the plunge but learn from it if you need to because you might not nail it at your first attempt. 

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