First off, I need to say that I enjoy the convenience of a headset. The mic is right there, never moving, includes a mute switch for sneezes/coughing, and generally the quality is on par enough for Vlogs and Podcast work.
I don't think I'm an audiophile, but I do know when headphones are too muddy or tinny. I game a lot, FPS, RPG, etc, and although I'm not a pro gamer, I enjoy having quality sound as intended by the developer. Within FPS games I enjoy directional queues, but don't require a super huge sound stage, I think I prefer immersion over foot step listening. I also need a closed set up because I game in the same living room where my wife watches television.
I also listen to music on occasion, sometimes while I am gaming, but mostly while I'm browsing the web or working on some tasks at my PC. I would say a healthy mix of use for me would be 75% gaming and 25% music. I listen to Dubstep, laid back electronic, and Alt-Rock. My source of music is generally Pandora or Spotify, so in this area I'm being fed sub-par quality.
That said, I've been going crazy trying to decide what to get. I've been recommended so many different things that I'm at a total loss. On a whim, and due to so many suggestions, I ordered a set of AD700's and a Blue Yeti mic. First off, the AD700's were WAY too large for my head and put all the pressure on my jaw instead of evenly around my ears. The pads were comfortable, but sort of itchy. Also, they were open, which I knew, but gave it a shot anyway; my wife did not approve. The sound stage was brilliant but there was no bass and the game sounded tiny and far away. As for the Blue Yeti, I've also sent that back because I couldn't justify a studio quality mic, just something that can pass as "good" quality (no hissing, cutting out, or crackling).
I have a $200 budget, own a Asus XONAR_DG sound card (for Dolby Headphone) and would enjoy having headphones that can fill my needs in general, like a jack of all trades, but master of none. This budget needs to include some sort of mic that has a mute ability: I can't stress enough that I REQUIRE a mute switch on the mic, not via software. I also would prefer to have some sort of noise canceling mic that will cut out sound from around me (Television, wife on the phone, son playing with friends, etc), though this is merely a plus and not a requirement.
Edit: I should also mention that I have a keyboard with a mute mic switch on it, but can't imagine it's a good idea to run my sound from mic to keyboard to Xonar. Wouldn't that destroy the quality? If not, then I guess I can probably go without the mute switch.
Currently I'm leaning toward a Sennheiser 350 Headset simply because I can not find a mic that meets my needs and will allow me to order headphones. I've been recommended CAL!'s, Sennheiser HD 280, Ultrasone HFI 580, and Beyer DT770 Pro 250ohms - all of which span from $100 to $200, within my budget, but then I would need to add a mic.
I'm going crazy and just need some guidance, not a definitive answer, just.. help.
TLDR; $200 budget // Closed Back // Over-Ear // Asus XONAR_DG // 75% FPS, RPG // 25% Dubstep, Electronic, Alt-Rock // Mic MUST have mute and noise canceling a plus.
Edited by aethyal - 12/23/12 at 11:50pm