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DT990 Pro 250ohm vs Q701 as part of PC/Console gaming setup - Noob needs some guidance!

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I've been lurking around the head-fi forums doing some research (including a long read of Mad Lust Envy's gaming headphone thread) on my next pair of gaming headphones for a while now and have narrowed my search down to two candidates:  The beyerdynamic DT990 Pro and the AKG Q701.  Both seem like very attractive options for my situation but, I can't make up my mind.  The other part of my dilemma is that I've encountered conflicting opinions on whether or not additional amplification would be needed in my situation.  My end goal is to spend no more than $400 (preferably under $350) total for the headphones and everything I will need to support them.  Now for some background info:

 

What have I been using?

For console gaming, Astro A40's.  I know these cans have got a bit of hate on these forums but, I'm not a hardcore audiophile so, they've done pretty well for me although I've felt they've always been a bit lacking in the bass department.  

I haven't done much PC gaming until recently so, I was just using a crappy $30 plantronics headset I got from best buy - Definitely feeling the need to upgrade there.

For music, I do a bit of bedroom DJ'ing so, I've listened to a lot of music on a pair of pioneer HDJ-1000's.  They're definitely the "bassiest" headphone I have and I enjoy their sound but, I don't really use them much for "recreational" music listening as they tend to become uncomfortable for me after more than an hour of constant use. 

 

What am I going to be using the headphones for?

As the post title suggests, primarily gaming/movies (about 85% of the time) and music the other 15%.  I play a wide variety of games including FPS, RTS, RPG, and flight sims.  I do some "competitive" gaming (primarily BF3 and MW3) so positional accuracy is pretty important but, I primarily play for fun/immersion factor.

Music-wise, I listen to a lot of electronic (primarily trace, DnB, and dubstep) as well as a good deal of newer rock/metal.

 

 

What am I hooking these up to?

For console gaming: Astro Mixamp

For PC gaming: I plan on either purchasing a creative X-Fi Platinum HD or asus Xonar DX 7.1 . I'm looking for advice on which of these to pick or other sound card suggestions as well.  If possible, I'd like to drive the headphones right off of the card.  If that's not possible, I'd be willing to look at a semi-inexpensive amp.  (Was looking at a FiiO E9 or E10)

 

 

TL;DR version:

Considering either the Q701's or DT990 Pro's for an all-round gaming/movies/music headphone.  85% movies/15% music.  Which would you pick?  Anything else in that price range I should consider?

Looking at either a X-Fi Platinum HD or Asus Xonar DX 7.1 to support these cans with my PC.  I'd like to drive the headphones directly off of the card if possible.  Either one better than the other for that or another similar card I should consider?

If I need to purchase an amp to use these properly, would a Fiio E9 or E10 work well (enough)?  Something else in that price range I should consider?

 

So, head-fi... what do?

post #2 of 27

Which impedance are you considering with the DT990 Pro? Anything higher than 100 ohms will need an amp, although sensitivity must be taken into account. The Q701 is a pain in the arse to drive as well. Between the two, I'd pick the DT990 Pro mainly because of the bass, since you're more dedicated to movies than gaming. 

 

Or you could save a lot of money buying the HD598. Most importantly, it doesn't need an amp. It's like a less clear Q701 with more bass (so better for movies), better imaging, and thicker sound (Q701 tends to be on the lean side for some genres). I don't know if comfort is an important factor in your decision but the HD598 is DISGUSTINGLY comfortable. You can get them cheap for around 200 dollars somewhere. The Q701s are pretty comfortable too but they have an annoying headband. 

 

MW3 doesn't really have a good sound mechanic compared to the other CODs (MW1/ MW2). In addition, the maps are all so ridiculously small that every footsteps that are necessarily to hear will be there. So, the DT990 Pro is more preferable than the AKG Q701. And for games like Battlefield, I think bass is important for greater immersion. I hope to god you play on the PC though. The console BF3 is no less of a joke than MW3. 

 

As for amp considerations, you have to first ask yourself, do you want a portable amp or a desktop amp? What price range? 

 

And I just noticed what your music preferences are. Between the two, definitely go with the Beyerdynamics. The Q701s are amazing with jazz, acoustics, and classical; for something like rock or metal, I find them to be a little too distant sounding, almost like you're in a cavern. The HD 598 is more diverse than the Q701s but unlike the Q701s, they lack a bit of speed with genres like metal. Their bass is definitely more preferable for dubstep though. 

 

Just know that the DT990 Pros have a very strong treble. When compared side by side with other headphones I've tried, their treble kinda made me cringe. It's relative so you can get used to them over time though. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by l337m4573rpyr0 View Post

I've been lurking around the head-fi forums doing some research (including a long read of Mad Lust Envy's gaming headphone thread) on my next pair of gaming headphones for a while now and have narrowed my search down to two candidates:  The beyerdynamic DT990 Pro and the AKG Q701.  Both seem like very attractive options for my situation but, I can't make up my mind.  The other part of my dilemma is that I've encountered conflicting opinions on whether or not additional amplification would be needed in my situation.  My end goal is to spend no more than $400 (preferably under $350) total for the headphones and everything I will need to support them.  Now for some background info:

 

What have I been using?

For console gaming, Astro A40's.  I know these cans have got a bit of hate on these forums but, I'm not a hardcore audiophile so, they've done pretty well for me although I've felt they've always been a bit lacking in the bass department.  

I haven't done much PC gaming until recently so, I was just using a crappy $30 plantronics headset I got from best buy - Definitely feeling the need to upgrade there.

For music, I do a bit of bedroom DJ'ing so, I've listened to a lot of music on a pair of pioneer HDJ-1000's.  They're definitely the "bassiest" headphone I have and I enjoy their sound but, I don't really use them much for "recreational" music listening as they tend to become uncomfortable for me after more than an hour of constant use. 

 

What am I going to be using the headphones for?

As the post title suggests, primarily gaming/movies (about 85% of the time) and music the other 15%.  I play a wide variety of games including FPS, RTS, RPG, and flight sims.  I do some "competitive" gaming (primarily BF3 and MW3) so positional accuracy is pretty important but, I primarily play for fun/immersion factor.

Music-wise, I listen to a lot of electronic (primarily trace, DnB, and dubstep) as well as a good deal of newer rock/metal.

 

 

What am I hooking these up to?

For console gaming: Astro Mixamp

For PC gaming: I plan on either purchasing a creative X-Fi Platinum HD or asus Xonar DX 7.1 . I'm looking for advice on which of these to pick or other sound card suggestions as well.  If possible, I'd like to drive the headphones right off of the card.  If that's not possible, I'd be willing to look at a semi-inexpensive amp.  (Was looking at a FiiO E9 or E10)

 

 

TL;DR version:

Considering either the Q701's or DT990 Pro's for an all-round gaming/movies/music headphone.  85% movies/15% music.  Which would you pick?  Anything else in that price range I should consider?

Looking at either a X-Fi Platinum HD or Asus Xonar DX 7.1 to support these cans with my PC.  I'd like to drive the headphones directly off of the card if possible.  Either one better than the other for that or another similar card I should consider?

If I need to purchase an amp to use these properly, would a Fiio E9 or E10 work well (enough)?  Something else in that price range I should consider?

 

So, head-fi... what do?

post #3 of 27

Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro 250-Ohm headphones, $165 used, $179 new.

Fiio E9, $106

Asus Xonar DX (or D1) sound card, used $50

 

When your gaming with the console and the Mix-Amp. you can plug the Fiio E9 into the headphone jack of the Astro. and the DT990 into the Fiio E9.

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 

Just to respond to a couple of your questions:

 

I was looking at the 250ohm DT990 pro and actually will probably be doing more gaming than movie watching (about 60/40 gaming/movies - not sure if that changes your opinion at all).

Definitely playing BF3 on the PC - Is there another way to play it? ;)  I play a couple quick matches of MW on 360 just to kill 20 minutes here and there.

Yes, comfort is a pretty big factor for me.  One of my big concerns with the Q701's was the "headband ridges" that several people disliked.

Amp-wise, desktop would be fine - probably preferred as I would think I could get something better for the same money vs. portable.  I really wouldn't want to spend much (if any amount) over $100 for the amp.

I've heard that the treble is a bit much with the DT990's but have also heard that it seems less noticeable when using headphone surround versus just listening to music in stereo - would you agree on that?

 

Thanks for the help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NimbleTurtle View Post

Which impedance are you considering with the DT990 Pro? Anything higher than 100 ohms will need an amp, although sensitivity must be taken into account. The Q701 is a pain in the arse to drive as well. Between the two, I'd pick the DT990 Pro mainly because of the bass, since you're more dedicated to movies than gaming. 

 

Or you could save a lot of money buying the HD598. Most importantly, it doesn't need an amp. It's like a less clear Q701 with more bass (so better for movies), better imaging, and thicker sound (Q701 tends to be on the lean side for some genres). I don't know if comfort is an important factor in your decision but the HD598 is DISGUSTINGLY comfortable. You can get them cheap for around 200 dollars somewhere. The Q701s are pretty comfortable too but they have an annoying headband. 

 

MW3 doesn't really have a good sound mechanic compared to the other CODs (MW1/ MW2). In addition, the maps are all so ridiculously small that every footsteps that are necessarily to hear will be there. So, the DT990 Pro is more preferable than the AKG Q701. And for games like Battlefield, I think bass is important for greater immersion. I hope to god you play on the PC though. The console BF3 is no less of a joke than MW3. 

 

As for amp considerations, you have to first ask yourself, do you want a portable amp or a desktop amp? What price range? 

 

And I just noticed what your music preferences are. Between the two, definitely go with the Beyerdynamics. The Q701s are amazing with jazz, acoustics, and classical; for something like rock or metal, I find them to be a little too distant sounding, almost like you're in a cavern. The HD 598 is more diverse than the Q701s but unlike the Q701s, they lack a bit of speed with genres like metal. Their bass is definitely more preferable for dubstep though. 

 

Just know that the DT990 Pros have a very strong treble. When compared side by side with other headphones I've tried, their treble kinda made me cringe. It's relative so you can get used to them over time though. 

post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by l337m4573rpyr0 View Post

Just to respond to a couple of your questions:

 

I was looking at the 250ohm DT990 pro and actually will probably be doing more gaming than movie watching (about 60/40 gaming/movies - not sure if that changes your opinion at all).

Definitely playing BF3 on the PC - Is there another way to play it? ;)  I play a couple quick matches of MW on 360 just to kill 20 minutes here and there.

Yes, comfort is a pretty big factor for me.  One of my big concerns with the Q701's was the "headband ridges" that several people disliked.

Amp-wise, desktop would be fine - probably preferred as I would think I could get something better for the same money vs. portable.  I really wouldn't want to spend much (if any amount) over $100 for the amp.

I've heard that the treble is a bit much with the DT990's but have also heard that it seems less noticeable when using headphone surround versus just listening to music in stereo - would you agree on that?

 

Thanks for the help!

I don't remember how comfortable the beyerdynamic headphones were. But many people consider the hd598 to be the most comfortable headphone they've ever worn. 

 

If you're doing 60/40 gaming/ movies... well to be honest the HD598 and Q701 both have better positional accuracy over the Beyerdynamic due to their larger soundstage. When I use my astro mixamp, I feel that the bass is slightly withdrawn and soundstage slightly larger... this may possibly mean that the DT990's treble will seem even brighter than usual. That's just my take though. I wouldn't worry too much about the treble other than for music though. 

 

Desktop amps aren't necessarily better than a portable one. I think most desktop amps are just way overkill in terms of providing voltage. If anything, tons of desktop amps are really inflexible because they can't drive low impedance headphones well (which demand more current). I've been looking into the Cmoy amp which apparently can drive a wide range of headphones well. Unfortunately it's not usb powered :( Desktop amps do have the advantage of an internal power supply most of the time though and a 1/4 inch jack usually. Personally, I'm not experienced enough to recommend amps. There are just too many :( Someone else has to help you there. 

post #6 of 27

I have owned all three at one time or another, and I still have the DT990pros they are built like tanks and sound just as amazing. Yes they are  v-shaped but when properly amped the mids will come forward a bit. Looking at your music tastes other then the trance, the pros will smoke the other two on dubstep and DnB since both of those genres are v-shaped loving genres.

 

The HD598 is the most comfortable headphone I have ever tried. Amazing speaker like quality, to much mid freq for gaming in my opinion. 

The Q701s comfort issues is blown out of proportion. I think the hard velour pads are more painful then the headband, your head will break in both. Yes they need an amp they are harder to drive.

The Pros don't have the out of this world soundstage as the other two. But a rocket launcher blast that lands behind and near you is going to have you cursing out loud with excitement. The Pros also don't have HD598 comfort but it is close. That bass for an open headphone is one of kind in it's price range. It will also stomp both in action movies. If you find the clamp to tight can also stretch the pros easier due to the metal headband.

 

 

If properly amped:

 

Competitive gaming- Q701 had bass but it just doesn't feel as satisfying as the Beyers.

Fun Immersive gaming/action films/bass heavy music- DT990pros

Vocal based acoustic music- HD598 just tickle your eardrums with female artists in a good way. Have yet to hear a headphone that makes Daft Punk or Portishead sound so amazing.

 

Sorry I get a little excited when I see these three in the same thread because they are all so different from one another. I am also a DT990pros whore I admit it. The Pros are also the cheapest which allows a few extra bucks towards amping them. You can run them off a desktop or iphone but an amp just makes them so much finer and tightens up the bass making it less sloppy.

 

For amping and gaming make sure you buy an amp with a line in or rca in for Dolby Headphone/CMSS if you are going that route. Amps like the Matrix M-Stage, O2, Fiio E9, Tube Magic D1, etc. Or built in like the Asus DG, or STX.

post #7 of 27
I agree with hailin.


I'd start with DT990 Pros as they are the most exciting, then the Q701. I don't like the HD598 outside of purely competitive gaming. The mids are exaggerated, and I find it thin sounding compared to the Q701 which does everything better, with the mids being more natural. The only reason to go with the HD598 is if you don't want to get a beefier amp for the Q701.

I honestly wanna give the DT990 Pros another chance, because it doesn't make sense for me to find it's bass uncomfortable, when I'm part basshead. The DT990 Pros should be the best value in their price range for any basshead. Sound quality worth $250 for almost $100 less.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 7/28/12 at 1:14pm
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

I agree with hailin.
I'd start with DT990 Pros as they are the most exciting, then the Q701. I don't like the HD598 outside of purely competitive gaming. The mids are exaggerated, and I find it thin sounding compared to the Q701 which does everything better, with the mids being more natural. The only reason to go with the HD598 is if you don't want to get a beefier amp for the Q701.
I honestly wanna give the DT990 Pros another chance, because it doesn't make sense for me to find it's bass uncomfortable, when I'm part basshead. The DT990 Pros should be the best value in their price range for any basshead. Sound quality worth $250 for almost $100 less.

I find the HD 598's midrange to be only slightly forward sounding. Very slightly. It has a nice timbre to it and the right amount of thickness. The Q701 actually sounded a bit lean in comparison. And sometimes its soundstage made vocals sound more distant than necessary. I do appreciate the speed of the Q701 sometimes though, depending on the music. 

 

As for the "sound quality worth $250"... it would be inaccurate and an exaggeration to use price as a measurement of sound quality. I wouldn't mention it even out of convenience. 

 

Quite surprised a basshead likes the Q701 :o  

post #9 of 27
I'm part basshead. I appreciate a good balanced sound too. I just decided to return my faulty Pro 900 for a refund instead of an exchange, because the HE400 is so damn good, I know the bass on the Pro 900 isn't enough to compete with the HE400's overall amazing sound.

I find the Q701 much better than the HD598.

By saying the DT990 Pros are worth $250 on sound, its due to comparison of other $250 headphones. They compete very well in that price range, yet cost less a lot of times.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 7/28/12 at 7:55pm
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

Sounds like the DT990 pros + E9 are probably going to be best "bang for the buck" for my purposes then.  Still debating on the sound card but, I've been doing most of my gaming on consoles the past few weeks so, I guess that part can wait a bit more.  Thanks for the help, everyone!

post #11 of 27

Are the DT990 more comfortable than the mmx300? My main issue for gaming would be that my sessions are long and the headphones get uncomfortable, especially the headband.

post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 

So, I ended up going with DT990 pros, fiio E9, and a xonar DX 7.1 .  Thanks to some ebay best offers and ~$30 of amazon credit, I managed to get everything for under $300 new so, definitely "mission accomplished" for me price-wise.  I'll update one last time with my impressions once everything gets in if anyone is interested.

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by l337m4573rpyr0 View Post

So, I ended up going with DT990 pros, fiio E9, and a xonar DX 7.1 .  Thanks to some ebay best offers and ~$30 of amazon credit, I managed to get everything for under $300 new so, definitely "mission accomplished" for me price-wise.  I'll update one last time with my impressions once everything gets in if anyone is interested.

Cool.

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by l337m4573rpyr0 View Post

So, I ended up going with DT990 pros, fiio E9, and a xonar DX 7.1 .  Thanks to some ebay best offers and ~$30 of amazon credit, I managed to get everything for under $300 new so, definitely "mission accomplished" for me price-wise.  I'll update one last time with my impressions once everything gets in if anyone is interested.

Nice job. Price wise that was a good decision. 

post #15 of 27
Keep us posted.
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