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recommend Audiophile Headphones comfortable with glasses/ virtual surround sound

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am looking for audiophile grade headphones to be used with gaming, movie viewing, and music. I have a few questions that would help me pick a set. I will pay a lot if it is worth it. Budget is up to $500, preferably much less however I would spend closer to $500 if iy made a difference. I wouldn't mind two recommendations such as a $200-$300 recommnedatioin and a $300-$500 recommnedation.

 

 

1) I want around the ear headphones that are comfortable over glasses and for someone with a big head. Any recommendations would be helpful.

 

2) I want to add something like a Antlion Modmic to the headphones for pc gaming chat, etc... or continue to use my current Desktop mic I am interested in these Sennheiser HD 598. They are "open" so does that mean a mic that is close by , like a modmic or desktop mic, will pick up the "open" sound that extends outward from the headphones?

 

3) Does a "open" design allow you to hear a little bit of the background/ outside sounds?

 

4) I have a HT Omega Claro Plus sound card which has Dolby Digital and Dolby headphone and other high end audio features (I think). I am not an audiophile however I noticed the sound card makes sound much better compared to my onboard motheboard audio, therefore I think they deserve a nice set of headphones. Would I need an exteranl amp to pull better/ noticable better sound or is my sound card good enough? I have an Astro Mixamp, would using that beasically be like plugging a sound card into a sound card, with the only benefit of adjusting voice chat volume on the dial? Would I lose quality plugging my Mixamp into my sound card?

 

5) I noticed the Razer Tiamat 7.1 has the 5 color pc surround sound 3.5mm plugs. What is better the virtual Dolby Headphone feature of sound cards and amps (which I have used and enjoyed) or the 5 color pc surround sound 3.5mm plugs?

 

Thanks for all your help.


Edited by merigoldsass - 11/4/12 at 9:10pm
post #2 of 7

Welcome, merigoldsass.  Open designs do let in outside sounds.  For example if some is talking or playing music in the room you're in, you'll notice it.  Likewise if someone is sitting close by and you're wearing open 'phones, then they're likely to hear some sound from what you're listening to.

 

In terms of headphones creating discomfort because of your glasses, I think that's possible, but will depend both on your glasses and how tight the headphones clamp.  The earpieces with my glasses are quite flat and really I don't notice it when the pads from my headphones press down on them.  Also the pads are soft so it deforms around the earpiece part of the glasses a bit as well.

 

With a larger head you don't want high clamping force.  It will just be uncomfortable. One style that might give a light fit are the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700's.  In my experience they never fit tight.  Good sound and low pressure against the head.


Edited by flatmap - 11/4/12 at 8:22pm
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

thankyou flatmap. besides other people in the room hearing my headphones open sound will a close by mic pic up that sound, specifically something like a Buddy DesktopMini 7G and antlion modmic?
 

post #4 of 7

Open back headphones are often quite audible at close distances, depending upon the brand.  I am not familiar with either microphone you're looking at so I don't know how likely  they would be to feedback with open backs.

 

Unfortunately, many of the traits audiophiles look for in headphones (quick decay, tuneful but not overwhelming bass, distinct 2-channel operation as opposed to surround) may not be compatible with what you're looking for in a video game system.  Picks for one may not work as well for the other due to these conflicting needs.  You should decide which is more important: game play or true audiophile quality.  This forum is dedicated to the audiophile side with little to no regard for gaming usage.

 

Also, since your budget is $300-500 you're likely in the wrong forum.  You may have missed the following text at the top of this forum's index.

 

Quote:

This forum is for discussion of top-of-the-line (TOTL), exclusive headphones (eg: electrostats) and high-end audio and headphone rigs.

If you're not sure, if it doesn't involve multi-thousand-dollar systems, it probably doesn't go here.

 

You would likely be better served in either the Computer Audio or the Headphone (Full size) forums.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeckles View Post

Open back headphones are often quite audible at close distances, depending upon the brand.  I am not familiar with either microphone you're looking at so I don't know how likely  they would be to feedback with open backs.

 

Unfortunately, many of the traits audiophiles look for in headphones (quick decay, tuneful but not overwhelming bass, distinct 2-channel operation as opposed to surround) may not be compatible with what you're looking for in a video game system.  Picks for one may not work as well for the other due to these conflicting needs.  You should decide which is more important: game play or true audiophile quality.  This forum is dedicated to the audiophile side with little to no regard for gaming usage.

 

Also, since your budget is $300-500 you're likely in the wrong forum.  You may have missed the following text at the top of this forum's index.

 

 

You would likely be better served in either the Computer Audio or the Headphone (Full size) forums.


thanks for your help, maybe I will move my question elsewhere. I figured high end headophones that are capable of incredible music audio would also be capable of great gaming audio, especially being that music is huge part of video games, or at least the ones I play. Recent examples of games with amazing music would be Bastion, Deus Ex Human Revolution, and Sleeping Dogs - in my opinion.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by merigoldsass View Post

thankyou flatmap. besides other people in the room hearing my headphones open sound will a close by mic pic up that sound, specifically something like a Buddy DesktopMini 7G and antlion modmic?
 

Hmmm, good question about the possible interaction with a mic.  Not sure at all and I have a feeling that Smeckles is right that it might depend on the brand.  

 

On the other hand, Ive seen pictures of members who mount an aftermarket mic setup on open headphones, so it may not be out of the question either.  Take a look at this thread!  http://www.head-fi.org/t/607014/modmic-on-my-dt880

post #7 of 7
smeckles is right - this is in the wrong section. This is the "Ferrari and Bentley" section of Head-Fi. tongue.gif Anyways...
Quote:
Originally Posted by merigoldsass View Post


1) I want around the ear headphones that are comfortable over glasses and for someone with a big head. Any recommendations would be helpful.

Can't help with glasses, but I have a big head. So I'll keep that in mind as we move on.
Quote:
2) I want to add something like a Antlion Modmic to the headphones for pc gaming chat, etc... or continue to use my current Desktop mic I am interested in these Sennheiser HD 598. They are "open" so does that mean a mic that is close by , like a modmic or desktop mic, will pick up the "open" sound that extends outward from the headphones?

No, I've never had any of my mics pick up feedback from any of my open headphones - that's quite a few mics and quite a few headphones over the years. While the sound does leak out, it's not like using speakers - you won't get the talk-through echo.
Quote:
3) Does a "open" design allow you to hear a little bit of the background/ outside sounds?

Yes. Actually it's more like "a lot" - especially if nothing is playing. You will hear keystrokes if your keyboard isn't dead quiet, you will hear heating and cooling equipment, computer fans, etc. Most open headphones are "acoustically transparent" to the world around them (or if they do have any attenuation, it's usually only at the extreme HF) - which means you will hear anything you would normally hear. Now, music or audio signals will block that out, but there is no isolation. If you need to block external noises, you want a closed or sealed headphone.
Quote:
4) I have a HT Omega Claro Plus sound card which has Dolby Digital and Dolby headphone and other high end audio features (I think). I am not an audiophile however I noticed the sound card makes sound much better compared to my onboard motheboard audio, therefore I think they deserve a nice set of headphones. Would I need an exteranl amp to pull better/ noticable better sound or is my sound card good enough? I have an Astro Mixamp, would using that beasically be like plugging a sound card into a sound card, with the only benefit of adjusting voice chat volume on the dial? Would I lose quality plugging my Mixamp into my sound card?

It depends on the headphone as to whether or not they need external amplification. Regarding other stuff:

- Dolby Digital is simply an audio codec that is used for DVD audio and some other things, it's of little interest here.
- Dolby Headphone is a nice HRTF feature that C-Media based boards use, it's discussed in much more detail in the surround gaming guide over in Computer Audio.

I don't much about the Astro - the Computer Audio guys will probably have more information.
Quote:
5) I noticed the Razer Tiamat 7.1 has the 5 color pc surround sound 3.5mm plugs. What is better the virtual Dolby Headphone feature of sound cards and amps (which I have used and enjoyed) or the 5 color pc surround sound 3.5mm plugs?

You don't want a "surround sound" headphone - the quality is generally abominable. Dolby Headphone is ideal for a stereo headphone, the 7.1 PC'99 audio is discrete, but it doesn't work out very well with headphones (if you had 7.1 speakers it would be what you'd want, over upmixing). More channels does not equal more better in this scenario.

As far as what headphones you should get - there's many options. Personally I like the Ultrasone HFI-2400 within your budget, S-LOGIC works very well at providing a convincing 3D soundstage, they are relatively comfortable, and they have satisfying bass impact (which makes explosions and other sound effects come to life). They're relatively easily driven too, so they'll play nicely with most devices. You can add a variety of mics to them as well. If they don't do it for you, I'd suggest the AKG K701, which have less bass impact, but are more conventional in design. The Sennheiser model you mentioned above would also be suitable (really when it comes to positional audio and games, there is a "good enough" bar that doesn't sit extremely high - with any of these three you'll be doing well enough to be accused of hacking at some point).

Quote:
Originally Posted by merigoldsass View Post

thankyou flatmap. besides other people in the room hearing my headphones open sound will a close by mic pic up that sound, specifically something like a Buddy DesktopMini 7G and antlion modmic?

No it should be no problem. Maybe if you listen at *insane* levels, but it should be no problem overall. Again, I've never heard a complaint or had issues with any of my open cans, and I have some *very* open and *very* leaky cans. smily_headphones1.gif
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