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ATH-A900X vs AKG K550 - GAMEWISE

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Has anyone used any of this cans for competitive gaming? For positional audio in fps.

I would also like to know experiences with other closed-back headphones that have performed well in such aspect.

post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRG View Post

Has anyone used any of this cans for competitive gaming? For positional audio in fps.

I would also like to know experiences with other closed-back headphones that have performed well in such aspect.

 

Heya,

 

For pure position audio, in a closed back headphone, I would go with:

 

Shure SRH940

Beyer T70 (used)

Mr Speaker Mad Dog with Alpha Pads


Very best,

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

For pure position audio, in a closed back headphone, I would go with:

 

Shure SRH940

Beyer T70 (used)

Mr Speaker Mad Dog with Alpha Pads


Very best,


What games have you played with them?

post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRG View Post


What games have you played with them?

 

Tetris, Pong and a little some Pac Man.

 

I hear them coming from a mile away.

 

Really though, COD, BF2, etc.

 

Very best,

post #5 of 25

I just received my A900X in the mail today; my AKG K550 is on the way as well. Will do a full comparison after both are burned in.

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Tetris, Pong and a little some Pac Man.

 

I hear them coming from a mile away.

 

Really though, COD, BF2, etc.

 

Very best,

Ahaha XD

post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagheera View Post

I just received my A900X in the mail today; my AKG K550 is on the way as well. Will do a full comparison after both are burned in.

 

Will look forward to it, previous reviews have torn apart the a900x whilst comparing it with the K550 though.

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRG View Post

 

Will look forward to it, previous reviews have torn apart the a900x whilst comparing it with the K550 though.

 


Yes I've read all of them. :P But I am a long-time Audio-Technica loyalist, so this I'll be interesting (I won't be biased against K550; I am just interested to see how either of these cans compare against the traditional AT presentation, which IMO is defined by the likes of A9X and EW9)

 

I opened my A900X and am currently burning them in. Personally, I can assure you that many criticisms concerning the build quality of these cans is overly harsh and unwarranted. The craftsmanship is definitely there, and although I would have liked to see more metal than plastic on the frames, the housings are sturdy and well-made. The plastic bits are also high quality plastic, not "cheap" looking (the A900X is miles better than the A900 when it comes to construction quality and aesthetics, IMO - though I wished the appearance had a bit more punch like my A9X).

 

As for the biggest complaint most people had, which is the Audio-Technica "wing-support" design - I had absolutely no issues in the comfort department with the A900X. They are comfortable, and doesn't slip off or press down on my ears due to weight.  May be I just have a wide head.  I've never had any issues with AT's "wings" in any previous models.

 

Chances are, if you had issues with previous AT "winged" models, you will with this one. If you didn't, then you won't.

 

Originally when I saw all the complaints regarding the A900X's wings, I thought may be they reduced the downforce of the springs to reduce pressure on the top of the head, thus causing the headphones to slip down.  But I compared A900X's wings directly against my A9X's wings, and the downforce is exactly the same. So this is definitely not the issue.

 

The other complaint was how "flimsy" the wings are and they just kinda flop around. Katun's review especially tore it apart saying it's a step backward compared to previous wing designs. I examined the design of the wings carefully and determined the cause: It's a new implementation of the "3D Wing" design, likely done to make the manufacturing process easier. Let me explain:

  • On the old, old model like the A9X, the wings only pivot in one direction (let's call it the Y-axis), which is up and down.
  • On the A900, AT implemented the "3D Wings" which pivot in two directions (X- and Y-). The way they achieved this is by making the wings themselves into a 2-piece design - there's an "outer ring" that pivots around the Y-axis (like the old wings), and an "inner piece" that pivots back and forth (X-axis).  This is actually a fairly intricate design and I imagine, harder to manufacture.
  • On the A900X, AT simplified the "3D Wings" to ease manufacturing process while still retain pivots in both directions. The wings themselves are now back to a 1-piece design and pivots up and down (like the old wings on A9X), but the T-shaped joint where the wings are clipped onto the arms now pivots back and forth (in the older models, the joint is fixed).

 

The new design seems to be a bit more loose in the X-axis, which is why they wobble/flop around a bit, lending the impression that they are flimsy and not well-made. But I really don't find this to be the case - durability remains to be seen I suppose, but this really doesn't bother me.

 

Anyway, will report back with sound quality once they are burnt in. :)


Edited by Bagheera - 2/8/13 at 5:55pm
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRG View Post

 

Will look forward to it, previous reviews have torn apart the a900x whilst comparing it with the K550 though.

You probably read Katun's review. I feel like that review is unfairly harsh and biased. I have these and they feel very well made. I also think the sound is very very good and not as bad as Katun said they were. I also have a pair of D600s at the moment, and the sound stage and imaging sound a little better on the a900x at the moment. I also played some Fallout NV and LA Noir, and though I wasn't really analyzing their sound at the time, they sounded more than adequate. They're not as aggressive as the D600s, which is pretty in your face with the sound. The sound is more distant, but this allows for better 3D imaging in my opinion, which is great for gaming.

post #10 of 25

Actually I play BF3 and own both the A900X and AD900X. I would go for the AD900X. Excellent with all games. The stage is massive. The added realistic bass is excellent. The best sound positioning possible imo. The A900X is also great but a bit too boomy in in door shoot outs. I forgot to mention the new cloth pads that the AD900X use are like pillows on your head. I also owned the AD700 I used to use for gaming. The AD900X is better in every possible way for gaming. These cans actually have bass the AD700 never did. Not to mention way better sound over all.


Edited by Dsnuts - 2/8/13 at 7:31pm
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagheera View Post

 


Yes I've read all of them. :P But I am a long-time Audio-Technica loyalist, so this I'll be interesting (I won't be biased against K550; I am just interested to see how either of these cans compare against the traditional AT presentation, which IMO is defined by the likes of A9X and EW9)

 

I opened my A900X and am currently burning them in. Personally, I can assure you that many criticisms concerning the build quality of these cans is overly harsh and unwarranted. The craftsmanship is definitely there, and although I would have liked to see more metal than plastic on the frames, the housings are sturdy and well-made. The plastic bits are also high quality plastic, not "cheap" looking (the A900X is miles better than the A900 when it comes to construction quality and aesthetics, IMO - though I wished the appearance had a bit more punch like my A9X).

 

As for the biggest complaint most people had, which is the Audio-Technica "wing-support" design - I had absolutely no issues in the comfort department with the A900X. They are comfortable, and doesn't slip off or press down on my ears due to weight.  May be I just have a wide head.  I've never had any issues with AT's "wings" in any previous models.

 

Chances are, if you had issues with previous AT "winged" models, you will with this one. If you didn't, then you won't.

 

Originally when I saw all the complaints regarding the A900X's wings, I thought may be they reduced the downforce of the springs to reduce pressure on the top of the head, thus causing the headphones to slip down.  But I compared A900X's wings directly against my A9X's wings, and the downforce is exactly the same. So this is definitely not the issue.

 

The other complaint was how "flimsy" the wings are and they just kinda flop around. Katun's review especially tore it apart saying it's a step backward compared to previous wing designs. I examined the design of the wings carefully and determined the cause: It's a new implementation of the "3D Wing" design, likely done to make the manufacturing process easier. Let me explain:

  • On the old, old model like the A9X, the wings only pivot in one direction (let's call it the Y-axis), which is up and down.
  • On the A900, AT implemented the "3D Wings" which pivot in two directions (X- and Y-). The way they achieved this is by making the wings themselves into a 2-piece design - there's an "outer ring" that pivots around the Y-axis (like the old wings), and an "inner piece" that pivots back and forth (X-axis).  This is actually a fairly intricate design and I imagine, harder to manufacture.
  • On the A900X, AT simplified the "3D Wings" to ease manufacturing process while still retain pivots in both directions. The wings themselves are now back to a 1-piece design and pivots up and down (like the old wings on A9X), but the T-shaped joint where the wings are clipped onto the arms now pivots back and forth (in the older models, the joint is fixed).

 

The new design seems to be a bit more loose in the X-axis, which is why they wobble/flop around a bit, lending the impression that they are flimsy and not well-made. But I really don't find this to be the case - durability remains to be seen I suppose, but this really doesn't bother me.

 

Anyway, will report back with sound quality once they are burnt in. :)

 

Thanks a lot for the heads up

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsnuts View Post

Actually I play BF3 and own both the A900X and AD900X. I would go for the AD900X. Excellent with all games. The stage is massive. The added realistic bass is excellent. The best sound positioning possible imo. The A900X is also great but a bit too boomy in in door shoot outs. I forgot to mention the new cloth pads that the AD900X use are like pillows on your head. I also owned the AD700 I used to use for gaming. The AD900X is better in every possible way for gaming. These cans actually have bass the AD700 never did. Not to mention way better sound over all.

I need closed cans for the isolation, so any ATH-ADxxxy is a no-no.

post #12 of 25

K550 just arrived! :) Will begin burn-in immediately (it may not require much of it - I pair I ordered are used, but in like-new condition. Not sure how many hours are already on it - may already be burnt in - but either way A900X still needs some burn-in)

 

Will return with comparison soon. The A900X is at 30 hours at the moment, the sound stage is very wide. Will see how K550 does.

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagheera View Post

K550 just arrived! :) Will begin burn-in immediately (it may not require much of it - I pair I ordered are used, but in like-new condition. Not sure how many hours are already on it - may already be burnt in - but either way A900X still needs some burn-in)

 

Will return with comparison soon. The A900X is at 30 hours at the moment, the sound stage is very wide. Will see how K550 does.


Did you manage to get a good seal with the K550s?

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRG View Post


Did you manage to get a good seal with the K550s?

I had no problem getting a good seal with the K550 at all. I think the reason people have trouble getting good seal is because the joints at which the cups are attached to the frame/headband is a bit tight, so the position/tilt of the cups have the tendency to "stick".  The headband on the K550 is also a bit loose and doesn't provide a good amount of clamping force, so the cups often don't adjust themselves to fit the contours of the user's head.  If you adjust the cups a bit before putting the headphones on (or make sure they are adjusted and centered after putting them on), they will seal properly and stay sealed.

post #15 of 25

Comparison review is up: http://www.head-fi.org/t/650499/comparison-review-ath-a9x-ath-a900x-akg-k550-three-way-shootout

 

Will burn both cans more and update if I detect sound quality changes. I think the A900X will be a better choice for gaming both due to louder bass (gives gunshots and explosions more impact) and I personally felt sound positioning is more focused/precise on the A900X.  K550 has a very large, airy sound stage that envelopes you but sound image is also a bit blurrier.

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