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Gaming Headphones

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am a new user to this site. It seems that many of you provide excellent advice and a wide range of opinions. I was wondering if you could do the same for me. I have looked at many of the threads in the forum... the reviews online... etc. , but I just want to make sure one last time that I get all the specifics tailored for my particular situation.


First off, I am a competitive FPS gamer. I play ESEA for CSS, etc. I need a quality headphone (or can?) that has a good sense of directional sound. I would like to have a headphone that is comfortable, doesn't look ridiculously goofy, and costs at  > $300. I am going to use these primarily for gaming. For listening to music, I have my corsair sp2500 speakers which I found cheap and I think they sound pretty darn good for a 2.1 speaker system (don't hate on me too much). Now, here are many of the ones I see repeatedly mentioned:

I seem to like the open style a little more than the closed. However, I love the AKG Q701 aesthetics (of course this isn't that important). It seems that it would be a good fit for my head. The Audio Technica AD700 is the popular "favorite" since they are cheap and have a pretty good directional sense, but a far from exceptional bass level (even though I am not that concerned with bass).

I know you guys/ladies recommend amps / mixamps for your headphones. Two that I see that are in my price range are the E9 and the astro 5.8 mixamp. However, I cannot find the 5.8 anywhere. Which headphones absolutely need a mixamp? Right now I have no current sound card either.

I am upgrading from the Turtle Beach X41's (which I got back when I was a console gamer), and I found that they were getting a little too "hissy" for me. Also, my SP2500s come with that receiver that you can plug your headphones into which is supposed to deliver "a more balanced sound". I know this is probably a marketing gimmick, but I do think the speakers sound quite nice. Just want a little feedback if possible about that.

Should I save more and get something  like the HD 650's?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much and have a nice day.


**EDIT** - Forgot to mention that I use a desktop mic which I have had no complaints about.

Edited by rstodd - 4/9/12 at 12:26pm
post #2 of 17

Check these two out.





post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

I have looked at both of those, but there are just so many opinions that it is hard to discern what is the correct choice for me is going to be. That is why I am tailoring it to my own specific situation to hopefully get a better insight as to what would be a good pick. I realized that much of it is subjective and an acquired taste, but you guys know much more than me when it comes to this stuff.

post #4 of 17

I would not recommend HD650's for gaming. They don't have the sound stage for it, they sound utterly fantastic for everything else but gaming is not a strong suit. 


AKG K701 or AKG Q701 is what seems to have the best sound stage that also works well for gaming. But I've heard people have comfort issues with the AKG's , you either find them comfortable or hate how uncomfortable they are. Another good one is the DT 880 , I own these and they rock for gaming. They aren't the best but they are well balanced and I personally enjoy the hell out of them. But you are a competitive gamer so you want detail , sound stage over everything else. And that's where the AKG K or Q 701 wins.


I would just get them through Amazon as they have a great return policy and just settle on whichever one you feel is the best match. 

post #5 of 17

The AKGs are insanely comfortable, in my opinion (especially given their size).


I have not gamed in them yet, though. I will boot up Dragon Age in a bit and give my impressions of the 3D soundstage.

Originally Posted by clarknova View Post


AKG K701 or AKG Q701 is what seems to have the best sound stage that also works well for gaming. But I've heard people have comfort issues with the AKG's , you either find them comfortable or hate how uncomfortable they are.


post #6 of 17

I used to use dt990 as my gaming headphone, and I like it is great! Some games take for hours so you really need a comfortable can such as dt990.

post #7 of 17
I had the same situation until last fall. I hmmed and hawed about purchasing just the right setup.

Eventually I went with the following:

- AKG q701 (white)
- Astro MixAmp via Optical out from sound card

I could not be happier. I had the MixAmp from a couple of years ago with my PS3 but I never really considered it for PC use until late last year. The surround processing of the MixAmp is superb. I tried just about every type of USB and "true" surround headsets and none sounded even acceptable, let alone good enough to listen to and wear for long gaming sessions. The soundstage of the q701s and the surround processing of the MixAmp is so realistic and comfortable that they make me forget that I am using headphones after a while! I have damn near walked away from my desk a couple of times pulling everything along behind me.

I am going to add an amp between the MixAmp and the headphones at some point. Probably double duty the Fiio e17 to push a bit more power to the q701s.

Audible, gaming goodness! I strived for it and hit a sweet spot, definitely! Good luck to you. I hope you find the perfect combo, as well.
Edited by Frumpy - 4/9/12 at 1:06pm
post #8 of 17

I like the dt990 for gaming

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the informative post. This is exactly what I had in mind. I just have to make sure I make the correct choice before dropping $300+ for a headphone and mix amp.

post #10 of 17

I would agree that with the K/Q701 comes the comfort factor, mostly due to the poor headband design. I play skyrim for long periods of time, and the band does begin to irritate my skull.


If anything, you can purchase a K601 band from AKG and replace it with the K701 band. There's a thread somewhere here. The only thing is I recall the band costing somewhere like $80?

I was thinking of doing the same sometime soon.

post #11 of 17

I never use my mix amp because everyone I buy breaks in ~ a year, I guess I just have bad luck with them :( but I will do some experiment with the headphones and amps and dacs I have (including a mix amp) too see what the best combo is but resently I have just been using my e17 hooked up to my computer via usb and audio technica ath m50 limited editions, but I do know that the e17 can drive the dt990 pros but I never got too test them with a wide range of music or gaming with just the e17, before whenever I would use the beyer dt990 I would use it with a mix ampand a fiio e9.

post #12 of 17

what games are you going too be playing?

post #13 of 17
Originally Posted by rstodd View Post

Thank you for the informative post. This is exactly what I had in mind. I just have to make sure I make the correct choice before dropping $300+ for a headphone and mix amp.

How about Samson SR850 headphones and the Asus Xonar DG (PCI) sound card.

total around $85, what is way under your budget.


Or the Sennheiser HD558 headphones and the Asus Xonar DG.

Total around $200. still fairly under your budget.



post #14 of 17
Fwiw, I found the Q701's fantastic for BF3 sound positioning and horrible for comfort. I've yet to try their replacements (880 Premium 600) in game, but they're FAR more comfortable and I prefer their sonics as well.
post #15 of 17

I would also suggest the Beyer dt990 for gaming...and music also. The Beyers have great build quality, are incredibly comfy for long gaming sessions and have a good sound stage. Now granted, for an open headphone these are somewhat bassy. I like that for gaming. But if you are a competitive gamer you may find that distracting. If so, then consider the hd598 with lot's less bass and a great sound stage and great comfort.



good luck!!

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