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Alternative gaming cans to Audio Technica AD700?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I see that the whole "gaming" headphone question does come up quite a bit after doing a search to find the answer. However, I can't find an answer for my specific situation. So, here it is:

 

  1. I am looking for good quality headphones for gaming (Primarily FPS. I do not want a headset. I prefer using a microphone)
  2. I'm completely new to quality headphones
  3. My research has led me to believe that the end-all be-all headphones for gaming are the Audio Technica AD700
  4. I would like to spend around $100 (maybe even up to $150, but would rather keep it around $100)
  5. I have a small head

 

As I'm sure you are aware, #5 is my problem. I've seen the whole "mod AD700 thread", and I've also seen a few threads on alternatives to AD700. However, I don't really want to mod my first pair of headphones, and the "alternatives" I've read about for AD700 are usually for music, not gaming (and don't tend to mention the whole head size problem either).

 

Any help would be very greatly appreciated. Thanks.

 

 

 

post #2 of 15

Heya,

 

I completely do not understand how the AD700 comes up any time a gaming thread starts/ends, but it does. Is it an ok headphone? Sure, it is. Is it a good headphone for $100? I don't think so. So if it's actually worth $100 to you, ask yourself if you want to do anything other than play competitive-online-footstep-listening, such as listening to music or enjoying a non-FPS game, or even a FPS game that is story based (Crysis or Fallout or something). There's a detailed review of the AD700 in my signature if you click the model number. The AD700 basically has one thing going for it: it's got a huge 3D like sound stage that is pretty unnatural sounding, but is good for games. Other than that, it's just not a $100 headphone to me. But, don't let me sway you, I'm sure there are a lot of AD700 White Knights coming to the rescue soon.

 

The beauty of a lot of headphones that are not factory-crippled (like the AD700) is that you can equalize the bass down for FPS games for competitive-foot-step-listening. Then when you want the bass back, it can be there. This is much easier than trying to add bass to a headphone that lacks it (like the AD700).

 

Also, I assume you already have Dolby Headphone (sound card with that specific capability or something like an astro mixamp) for the actual positioning? Because if you don't, the AD700, nor any headphone, is going to magically provide surround sound and all of this will be rather pointless since you won't be getting any advantage to wearing any headphone over another, other than strictly sound quality and sound pleasure. Positioning has to do with a headphone's sound stage, imaging, and then the rest is all up to if you're using Dolby Headphone.

 

If you're on a budget, here's some suggestions:

 

Panasonic HTF600 (1/3rd to 1/2 cost of AD700); equalize the bass down and you have an interesting large sound stage headphone that is smooth and comfortable to wear, ready to bass it up when you want for music/movies/games/fun.

Samson SR850 (~ 1/2 cost of an AD700); everything the AD700 has, for half the cost, and has the bass of a normal headphone.

Fischer Audio FA-011 (equivalent cost of AD700); a really quality headphone, good natural sound from top to bottom, good imaging, comfortable. If you ever consider the AD700, you should hear a Fischer FA-011 first (albeit a difficult task).

 

Anyhow, maybe the AD700 is for you. If all you want is a huge 3D sound scape for foot step position listening with factory-crippled-bass, then the AD700 will definitely do that with no fancy equalizing or software. But if you want anything more for your $100ish, like a complete headphone, good sound in all ranges, no floating wings that touch only the sides of your head, no massive pads that fall off your head if it's small/narrow without serious bending of the headphone, then maybe consider researching a lot more headphones before committing to a purchase.

 

My suggestion to you is to get a Fischer Audio FA-011 for $118.

 

FA011_01.jpg

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 11/23/11 at 10:00pm
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by YabosMcGee View Post
Sorry, I see that the whole "gaming" headphone question does come up quite a bit after doing a search to find the answer. However, I can't find an answer for my specific situation. So, here it is:

 

  1. I am looking for good quality headphones for gaming (Primarily FPS. I do not want a headset. I prefer using a microphone)
  2. I'm completely new to quality headphones
  3. My research has led me to believe that the end-all be-all headphones for gaming are the Audio Technica AD700
  4. I would like to spend around $100 (maybe even up to $150, but would rather keep it around $100)
  5. I have a small head

As I'm sure you are aware, #5 is my problem. I've seen the whole "mod AD700 thread", and I've also seen a few threads on alternatives to AD700. However, I don't really want to mod my first pair of headphones, and the "alternatives" I've read about for AD700 are usually for music, not gaming (and don't tend to mention the whole head size problem either).

Any help would be very greatly appreciated. Thanks.


What sound card are you using?

You really can not get a better headphones for FPS gaming in your ($100) price range.

 

 

post #4 of 15

Beyerdynamic DT440 or Sennheiser HD558.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

I completely do not understand how the AD700 comes up any time a gaming thread starts/ends, but it does. Is it an ok headphone? Sure, it is. Is it a good headphone for $100? I don't think so. So if it's actually worth $100 to you, ask yourself if you want to do anything other than play competitive-online-footstep-listening, such as listening to music or enjoying a non-FPS game, or even a FPS game that is story based (Crysis or Fallout or something). There's a detailed review of the AD700 in my signature if you click the model number. The AD700 basically has one thing going for it: it's got a huge 3D like sound stage that is pretty unnatural sounding, but is good for games. Other than that, it's just not a $100 headphone to me. But, don't let me sway you, I'm sure there are a lot of AD700 White Knights coming to the rescue soon.

 

The beauty of a lot of headphones that are not factory-crippled (like the AD700) is that you can equalize the bass down for FPS games for competitive-foot-step-listening. Then when you want the bass back, it can be there. This is much easier than trying to add bass to a headphone that lacks it (like the AD700).

 

Also, I assume you already have Dolby Headphone (sound card with that specific capability or something like an astro mixamp) for the actual positioning? Because if you don't, the AD700, nor any headphone, is going to magically provide surround sound and all of this will be rather pointless since you won't be getting any advantage to wearing any headphone over another, other than strictly sound quality and sound pleasure. Positioning has to do with a headphone's sound stage, imaging, and then the rest is all up to if you're using Dolby Headphone.

 

If you're on a budget, here's some suggestions:

 

Panasonic HTF600 (1/3rd to 1/2 cost of AD700); equalize the bass down and you have an interesting large sound stage headphone that is smooth and comfortable to wear, ready to bass it up when you want for music/movies/games/fun.

Samson SR850 (~ 1/2 cost of an AD700); everything the AD700 has, for half the cost, and has the bass of a normal headphone.

Fischer Audio FA-011 (equivalent cost of AD700); a really quality headphone, good natural sound from top to bottom, good imaging, comfortable. If you ever consider the AD700, you should hear a Fischer FA-011 first (albeit a difficult task).

 

Anyhow, maybe the AD700 is for you. If all you want is a huge 3D sound scape for foot step position listening with factory-crippled-bass, then the AD700 will definitely do that with no fancy equalizing or software. But if you want anything more for your $100ish, like a complete headphone, good sound in all ranges, no floating wings that touch only the sides of your head, no massive pads that fall off your head if it's small/narrow without serious bending of the headphone, then maybe consider researching a lot more headphones before committing to a purchase.

 

My suggestion to you is to get a Fischer Audio FA-011 for $118.

 

FA011_01.jpg

 

Very best,


 

Wow. Thank you so much for your very detailed response. As you can probably tell, I've only just recently started reading and learning about headphones. I really do appreciate the time and effort you took in your reply. 

 

To answer a couple of your questions:

 

  • The headphones will be for my computer. And, yes, I pretty much only primarily play FPS. I don't find myself watching videos or doing anything other than playing FPS on my gaming computer since I have a different setup for watching movies, tv shows, etc. 
  • The sound for my gaming computer is currently supplied by onboard Realtec ALC889. Again, since I'm new I don't know for sure, but everything I've read indicates that the ALC889 supports 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel.

 

I will definitely look into the suggestions you made. If anything I just posted makes you change any recommendations I would be very grateful to know what your new recommendations are, and why you changed them. Besides reading through the forums here, are there any other resources for educating myself?

 

Thanks.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post


What sound card are you using?

You really can not get a better headphones for FPS gaming in your ($100) price range.

 

 


My soundcard is onboard Realtec ALC889. From what I've read it does support 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel. 

 

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by YabosMcGee View Post


My soundcard is onboard Realtec ALC889. From what I've read it does support 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel. 

 

 

Heya,

 

That onboard sollution channel support is for individual speakers. It will not do anything more than stereo for a pair of headphones. To generate surround sound in headphones, it takes hardware/software emulation basically. And the better one is Dolby Headphone.

 

Xonar DG is all you need. Built in headphone amp, dolby headphone for gaming. Inexpensive.
 

Very best,

 

post #8 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
That onboard sollution channel support is for individual speakers. It will not do anything more than stereo for a pair of headphones. To generate surround sound in headphones, it takes hardware/software emulation basically. And the better one is Dolby Headphone.

Better than what, exactly?

 

I won't say it's better or worse than CMSS-3D Headphone (used on X-Fi cards) until someone hands me an Astro Mixamp to do some comparisons. Regardless, either one probably works better than pure stereo.

 

Still, at $30, the Xonar DG is hard to beat...EAX support might be lacking depending on how well that GX2.5 emulation works, but few people aside from myself seem to care for that anymore because they're playing newer games with software audio engines anyway.

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
Heya,

That onboard sollution channel support is for individual speakers. It will not do anything more than stereo for a pair of headphones. To generate surround sound in headphones, it takes hardware/software emulation basically. And the better one is Dolby Headphone.

Xonar DG is all you need. Built in headphone amp, dolby headphone for gaming. Inexpensive.
Very best,

Asus Xonar DG (PCI), great bang for the buck sound card,

Headphone amplifier rated up to 150-Ohm.

Dolby Headphone great for DVD movies, should also help with gaming.

$10 mail in rebate this month.
 

 

 

post #10 of 15
I know you don't want the AD700 due to your small head. But I'd like to counter Malveaux's opinion on the AD700. It seems he hates these cans with a passion and is pretty much a basshead. That's ok but expressing his opinion in such a bashing manner made me displeased. They have the largest soundstage and are probably the BEST for gaming, not the best for music. The imaging is ok, not special as many higher tier headphones. But in gaming the soundstage matters the most as well as some degree of imaging. I'd like to say that classical can be enjoyed on the AD700 due to the soundstage, it beats the HD 800 in soundstage, but not imaging.

My rec is an HD558/598 they can give the AD700 a run for its money in terms of competitiveness, I am no pro but I had a 558 and it was almost as good as the AD700 in terms of soundstage, the imaging and positioning was roughly the same. If you're not obsessed with competition, you can consider an RX700. Overclock.net has a good guide.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Asus Xonar DG (PCI), great bang for the buck sound card,

Headphone amplifier rated up to 150-Ohm.

Dolby Headphone great for DVD movies, should also help with gaming.

$10 mail in rebate this month.
 

 

 


So, I've looked up Dolby Headphone and what I'm seeing is that it's a technology that is included in specific headphones. Is that correct? If so, that leads me back to my original question of which one I should look further into for comfort, long periods of gaming (5+ hours sometimes), and having small head. Thanks. 

 

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by YabosMcGee View Post
So, I've looked up Dolby Headphone and what I'm seeing is that it's a technology that is included in specific headphones. Is that correct? If so, that leads me back to my original question of which one I should look further into for comfort, long periods of gaming (5+ hours sometimes), and having small head. Thanks. 


"Dolby Headphones" usually means (cheap) stereo 2.0 headphones that come with a separate Dolby device.

 

 

 

post #13 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by YabosMcGee View Post

So, I've looked up Dolby Headphone and what I'm seeing is that it's a technology that is included in specific headphones. Is that correct? If so, that leads me back to my original question of which one I should look further into for comfort, long periods of gaming (5+ hours sometimes), and having small head. Thanks. 


Dolby Headphone doesn't come as part of the headphone itself, unless it's some USB headset that has its own DAC/DSP where the Dolby Headphone effects are applied. It's a feature of the source (and USB audio devices come with their own source, so to speak).

 

There are other, similar technologies, like CMSS-3D Headphone (X-Fi) and the Smyth SVS Realiser (if you have to ask, you can't afford it). I won't say which is better or worse, but it's definitely something where your mileage WILL vary, since they're all dependent on head-related transfer functions that vary with every listener's head. (The Realiser gets around this, but again, too expensive.)

 

If you need to factor in a sound card with your budget...well, a Xonar DG + the FA-011 would run right up to $150. That might cut it too close.

 

Also, one more important question...do you play absolutely anything that might use EAX 3/4/5, which is sound card-dependent (specifically, constrained to Creative-based cards)?

post #14 of 15

Samson SR850 (made by Superlux), $40, gamers seem to like it.

Asus Xonar DG, $27, and there is a $10 mail in rebate.

Total (after rebate) $57.50.

Leaves you $42.50 left over from your budget.

post #15 of 15

If you want a headphone that's good for EVERYTHING, including movies, music AND gaming, don't get the AD700. It's not bad for music, but is only really good for specific genres.

If you're one of those (like many on here) that has multiple headphones, the AD700 is quite good as a gaming headphone if you don't plan on using it for music/movies. Yes, some buy a gaming ONLY headphone!

 

Please tell me of a headphone under $100 that has the soundstage, detail, sound clarity and treble of the AD700. No closed headphone has it. The suggestion of a closed headphone over the AD700 or ANY open headphone for gaming under $100 is just so wrong. Unless you have no plans to do any type of competitive gaming or play any FPSs.

 

I have the AD700 and I'm not a fan of it, but I'd take it over the HD-555 and many under $100 headphones any day for gaming. It's collecting dust, but I'll have to try it again soon. Strangely enough I think my AD300 sounds better, but not as clear or have as much treble.

 

One other headphone I'd suggest that's a "do everything" headphone is the K240 Studio. It's only $90 and is semi-open. Unlike the AD700 is good for many genres of music, but doesn't really have the detail and soundstage size of the AD700. No way I'd use the K240 Studio over the AD700 for any type of competitive gaming.

 

Without a receiver, how are you supposed to EQ a headphone just for gaming? Can't be done with the Xbox 360 or PS3 as far as I know. I use the Turtle Beach DSS.

 

BTW worst thing about the AD700 is that it's treble is quite bothersome. It's mids also have some slight recession however this is possible. Don't ask me how! For music, it's the one headphone that doesn't really have enough bass.

 

I imagine fans of Classical would find the AD700 a nice $100 option. Listening to rock on it would make me sad. regular_smile%20.gif

 

BTW don't get the AD700 if you have a small head. I do somewhat I think and it's extremely loose. You can bend the headband together to make it have some more clamping force.

 


Edited by tdockweiler - 11/24/11 at 8:55pm
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