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Quality open air headphones for gaming and other media

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 

EDIT 1 - Decided on going with the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro w/ a Titanium HD sound card.

 

EDIT 2 - Looking for an amplifier


Edited by Incrementum - 12/10/12 at 12:17pm
post #2 of 82

The AKG's KQ701/2's would be ideal for what you're looking for but they don't have much bass. They do have a fantastic soundstage which perfect for gaming, movies, and for certain music genres. They have quite a neutral signature with a slight treble emphasis. They also need a lot of power to come alive so a decent amp would be needed. The D2000's may be better for you if you want more bass.   

post #3 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

The AKG's KQ701/2's would be ideal for what you're looking for but they don't have much bass. They do have a fantastic soundstage which perfect for gaming, movies, and for certain music genres. They have quite a neutral signature with a slight treble emphasis. They also need a lot of power to come alive so a decent amp would be needed. The D2000's may be better for you if you want more bass.   

How much would a decent amp cost me?  Any suggestions?

post #4 of 82
Thread Starter 

I've also heard good things about the Audio Technica ATH-AD900.  I should've mentioned that portability is not really an issue here.  I'm going to be using this in the comfort of my home 99% of the time.  Same goes for the amplifier and DAC.

post #5 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incrementum View Post

How much would a decent amp cost me?  Any suggestions?

A great amp with them is apparently the Lyr. I used to have the Asgard also from Schitt and that was good with them too. But the Lyr has lots more power and is generally considered a great match. Just check out the Schitt website for details

post #6 of 82
Thread Starter 

If I have to spend more than $100 total on the amp / DAC for them to sound good then I think I'll pass.  I can't spend hundreds on top of the headphones right now.

post #7 of 82

SONY MDR-MA900 is also good at gaming and multimedia. MA900 is very comfortable when you wear long time. Its treble is weaker than K701 series, so if you play FPS game, I recommend K701. MA900 is rather suitable for RPG. MA900 is not a true hi-fi headphone and has impedance matching circuit to avoid influence of environment, so high quality DAC and amp would not be needed.

post #8 of 82
Thread Starter 

The HD 598 is so sexy :3

post #9 of 82

Save a few dollars, used HD558, $150, or less.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sennheiser-HD-558-/160907463178?pt=US_Headphones&hash=item2576d50a0a

 

refurb Creative X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) PCI-E sound card, $49.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102043

 

So, for $200, or less, you good to go.

 

Later on if you feel you want to add an external DAC/Amp.

SMSL SD-793II optical input DAC and amplifier. $60

http://www.ebay.com/itm/280993199312?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

post #10 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Save a few dollars, used HD558, $150, or less.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sennheiser-HD-558-/160907463178?pt=US_Headphones&hash=item2576d50a0a

 

refurb Creative X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) PCI-E sound card, $49.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102043

 

So, for $200, or less, you good to go.

 

Later on if you feel you want to add an external DAC/Amp.

SMSL SD-793II optical input DAC and amplifier. $60

http://www.ebay.com/itm/280993199312?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

So the sound card acts as an amp?  Is there any downside to this?

post #11 of 82
Thread Starter 

What if I went with the Sennheiser HD 598 and E7 for the amp / DAC?  Would the E7 be able to power the 598?

 

I'm not a big fan of buying previously used electronics

post #12 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incrementum View Post

So the sound card acts as an amp?  Is there any downside to this?

The Titanium (non-HD) does not come with a headphone amplifier, but is should be able to decently drive 50-Ohm headphones.

Usually sound cards have a headphone jack with high impedance (resistance, measured in Ohms).

Its preferable to have the headphones with an Ohm rating 8 times (or more) then the Ohm rating of the headphone output jack.

The lowest impedance rating for a sound card is 10-Ohms (like the Asus STX, ST & Phoebus)

The Creative Titanium HD is 35-Ohm(?), I have no idea on the Titanium (non-HD) Ohm rating, but I would not be surprised if it's 35-Ohms or higher.

Some of the low cost Asus Xonar's are believe to have 100-Ohm output impedance

I would think most sound cards have a high Ohm rating (older sound card designs & built-in audio on motherboards), I believe their headphone jack is more like a line-out that pretends to be a headphone output.

Now external headphone amplifiers can come with really low impedance ratings, like .5-Ohms (O2 and Fiio).

I think the Matrix-M stage is around 5-Ohms.

post #13 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incrementum View Post

What if I went with the Sennheiser HD 598 and E7 for the amp / DAC?  Would the E7 be able to power the 598?

 

I'm not a big fan of buying previously used electronics

The Fiio E7 can easily drive 50-Ohm headphones and make them sound good. but the E7 has zero gaming features, like no surround sound, only stereo 2-channel.

post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

The AKG's KQ701/2's would be ideal for what you're looking for but they don't have much bass. They do have a fantastic soundstage which perfect for gaming, movies, and for certain music genres. They have quite a neutral signature with a slight treble emphasis. They also need a lot of power to come alive so a decent amp would be needed. The D2000's may be better for you if you want more bass.   

The Q701s hardly have a neutral sound signature - the sound is skewed towards the upper mids and treble.  "Slight" treble emphasis does not equal peaks in 2khz and 10khz. Like you said, their bass is very lacking and while they are fantastic for positional audio, they will make explosions and thumps very unrealistic and underwhelming. 

 

The HD598 is a very good balance between supreme positional audio and game enjoyment. The bass is very close to neutral and  HD598 can produce a lot of bass when it's supposed to be there. The D2000 is another viable option but their treble is quite strong, and their bass detracts from proper positional audio despite having a decent soundstage. And I'd take the HD598 simply because it was (imo) more comfortable and lighter. 

 

Virtual surround sound makes things sound more 3D. A lot of soundcard offers this. I'd recommend you invest in one and get a separate amp. 

post #15 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

The Q701s hardly have a neutral sound signature - the sound is skewed towards the upper mids and treble.  "Slight" treble emphasis does not equal peaks in 2khz and 10khz. Like you said, their bass is very lacking and while they are fantastic for positional audio, they will make explosions and thumps very unrealistic and underwhelming. 

 

The HD598 is a very good balance between supreme positional audio and game enjoyment. The bass is very close to neutral and  HD598 can produce a lot of bass when it's supposed to be there. The D2000 is another viable option but their treble is quite strong, and their bass detracts from proper positional audio despite having a decent soundstage. And I'd take the HD598 simply because it was (imo) more comfortable and lighter. 

 

Virtual surround sound makes things sound more 3D. A lot of soundcard offers this. I'd recommend you invest in one and get a separate amp. 

Okay so aside from the Sennheiser HD 598, I need an amp and a sound card.  Do I need an amp / DAC combo or will the sound card act as the DAC?

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