Just a quick post (and recent owner of the AKG K712 Pro headphones); for gaming I use the Turtle Beach EarForce DSP v1 as that has Headphone Dolby. I plug my Xbox 360 optical output into it, and then use a small 3.5 mm male to male interconnect to plug into my JDS Labs C5 amp.
Unfortunately the Xbox One does NOT have DolbyD output, so unless I can find a stereo/multichannel HDMI DSP device that can also be used for multichannel purposes for headphones (not actual multichannel headphones... >_>), I'm stuck. I know Essence has one for stereo but uncompressed HDMI input/output, but right now my DSS v1 is bring used: I set my Xbox One to Stereo DTS uncompressed, connect my optical TOSLINK to my EarForce DSS v1 and set that to bypass mode. Not impressed. Indeed, when I watch Netflix or other multichannel programming, I still use my 360.
My headphones are either Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro or AKG K712 for gaming (was Heir Audio 4.Ai in-ear monitors and AKG K701's, but mainly for multiplayer. however I usually listen to my own music if I play online multiplayer. I use the Beyerdynamic COP's for single player).
I got new gel pads for my aging AKG K701 (expensive at nearly £40 per earpad!), and a day later my AKG k712 arrived. I love both (the K701 is my first audiophile headphone) but the K701 has broken plastic straps and is not as good at bass texture and aplomb as my AKG K712.
I haven't fully burned in the K712's but I like listening to the minute changes as I play it, just like I did with my K701's.
My KEF M500 still reign supreme in pure musical bliss and balanced bass slam (in fact balanced frequencies top-to-bottom), but are not technical; they are not detail monsters but music is so beautiful to listen to through them. I hope KEF make a serious circumaural headphone!
I used my Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro's for about a month with music but did not like their darker intonation on music and they had nothing over my AKG K701's or my Heir Audio 4.Ai in-ear monitors (I didn't own the M500 until Dec '13).
They are relegated to TV/Films/Gaming duties.
My Heir Audio 4.Ai’s are like mini AKG K701's with more musical presence (but not by much), and I loved using them for everything until I got my KEF M500.
I don't like the fiddly nature of inserting them in my ears as I have odd ear canals.
I'll be upgrading to Noble Audio Kaiser 10 later this year.
I still enjoy them, but the KEF M500 on-ear headphones are just amazing. Then I got my new pads and headphones below; keep reading!
The AKG K712's improve on many things over my K701's except airiness and top sparkle, but due to the weightier bass response they are not as sibilant (though they are sharper than all my headphones).
For years I used my old NuForce Icon amp (23W PSU) and both JDS Labs c421 and later C5 to power my old AKG K701's, but stopped using them about Feb '13.
After I got my CEntrance HiFi-M8, I still didn't use them until I got new pads, but then found out about the gel pads.
Late Dec '13, I purchased the pads and the AKG K712's just 'cos. I blame this hobby and awesome headphone deals.
Listening to both through my CEntrance HiFi-M8 is a lesson in musical freedom, inner peace and exhilaration. I never knew what my old K701's could do, never mind the newer K712's!
I'll never get rid of the K701’s due to sentimental value, but they are now just my bedside headphones, but will remain the headphone I compare everything else against (again, they are my first audiophile headphone, so they hold a special place to me).
Really happy atm.
However, I wish I could mod my K712's into balanced headphones. Is there a reputable place to do this (especially in the UK?).
Also, I'm still saving for the Beyerdynamic Custom One Tesla (to replace my COP's), Noble Audio Kaiser 10, and either Audeze LCD-XC or Mr Speakers Alpha Dogs (depending on my budget later this year).
This also includes recables from Toxic Cables.
[Ed. I forgot to mention, the AKG K712's are the most COMFORTABLE headphones I have ever worn, followed by my KEF M500's, Beyerdynamic COP's, and AKG K701's with original foam pads.
With gel earpads on my K701's they are far nicer to wear, but the pads on the underside of the headband will forever push them into uncomfortable territory.
All universal in-ear earphones or monitors have had odd comfort values for me.
My old Etymotic ER-6i were very comfortable with triple flange or foam ear tips.
Both my Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 Pro and Triple.Fi 10 Pro IEM's were horrible to wear, but I <3 the latter's sonic's.
Heir Audio 4.Ai’s are comfortable...ish.
This is all mainly to do with my left ear canal being slightly larger than my right, but all ear tips bug me.
It's not to do with irritation really, just fit and keeping the monitors in place.
I need to move on from Universal monitors and go into Custom IEM's, hence Noble Audio Kaiser 10.
As I am already getting balanced Toxic Cables for my 4.Ai’s, which was ordered before the announcement of both the Kaiser 10 and JH Audio Roxanne, I'm sticking to the Kaiser 10. I'll also gave a personal, unique, design.
To me, both CIEM's are 'alternative equivalents' of each other.
'Equivalent' because they have same number of drivers except the bass drivers. Here JH Audio employs 4 small bass armatures and Noble Audio uses two gigantic bass armature drivers. Thus they are equivalent of each other.
'Alternative' as each designer has the same goal, but they both, separately, reached it in their own ways, from different tunings to different partnerships with armature manufacturers to technology. JH Audio wins with Freqphase and tunable audio on the cable, Noble Audio for designing cosmetics and 'The Wizards' unique take on audio tuning.
Both Dr Moulton and Jerry Harvey are kings of CIEM's in my opinion!
Sorry, this is about AKG K712 isn't it? Got sidetracked... :S].
[Edited 03/01/13 @17:00 UK GMT: Went through the post and did some spelling, grammar and sentence structure changes to make better sense of what I wrote. I expanded on the gaming paragraph and cost of the gel earpads also].Edited by TheOneInYellow - 1/9/14 at 9:41am