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Open cans for gaming/music: ATH-AD700, ATH-AD900, Sennheiser HD598 or something else?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello! Still having trouble trying to decide on a good set of headphones for my gaming/music. Both are equally important to me. I have a budget of about 300 for the phones, so unfortunately that pretty much excludes the AKG K702 Annies, despite the fact that they were recommended to me twice on Mad Lust Envy's thread.

 

What I'd like from my phones:

- Comfortable for 6hrs+, can't fatigue jaw

- Immersive environmental experience, including ambient "white noise" in games (urban and natural noises like traffic, footfall, flowing water, etc). I play on PC.

- Treats male and female vocals exceptionally (music, game dialogue)

- Robust electronic sound (the "right" amount of bass is fine, esp. since the cans are open)

- Treats resonance well (love violin/cello)

- Many of my tracks are dark and complicated; inversely many are bubbly, bright, or soothing and ambient - I need something balanced enough that it treats most genres well

- Perhaps most importantly, I need something that does NOT muddy the layers of a track... I love being able to separate the layers, listen to the individual signature of each instrument, to be able to mentally slide through the tiers of a soundscape, so to speak. I also listen to some pretty complicated/cluttered tracks.

- Not too worried about heavier genres like metal/hard rock; not worried about super heavy bass response

 

Here are some quick examples of the kind of music I generally listen to, since I long ago gave up on definition by genre:

Airy vocals heavily laced with electronic sound (Little Boots)

Immersive (Trifonic)

Layered and dark (Moderat)

Electronic and instrumental mix (Heboscrub)

Bright energy (Studio Killers)

Bubbly (Caravan Palace)

I also listen to a lot of female vocals (Florence + The Machine, La Roux, etc) and male (Gotye, Muse, etc).

 

ATH-AD900: paired with Sound Blaster Z sound card was my initial recommendation. It still looks really good overall - comfort, general immersion, and most reviews praise the soundstage. The only problem is that I read a review that said the layers tend to bleed into each other. Is that true for any other owners of ATH-AD900? Please keep in mind I enjoy deeply layered tracks and a lot of electronic sound.

 

ATH-AD700: mostly on my list because they're on sale right now for 100. Their quality looks moderately comparable, though I am worried about them being very uncomfortable over long periods of time.

 

Sennheiser HD598: looks like another generally good phone for imaging. Have read good things about their ability to handle layered/complex songs. Have also heard they might be a little "boring", unsure of how true that is for most people. Seems like a good starter phone for gaming/music, could be wrong about that.

 

If you have any input or even different suggestions I would love to hear them.


Edited by Aurora-Storm - 9/5/13 at 1:42am
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora-Storm View Post
 

Hello! Still having trouble trying to decide on a good set of headphones for my gaming/music. Both are equally important to me. I have a budget of about 300 for the phones, so unfortunately that pretty much excludes the AKG K702 Annies, despite the fact that they were recommended to me twice on Mad Lust Envy's thread.

ATH-AD900: paired with Sound Blaster Z sound card was my initial recommendation. It still looks really good overall - comfort, general immersion, and most reviews praise the soundstage. The only problem is that I read a review that said the layers tend to bleed into each other. Is that true for any other owners of ATH-AD900? Please keep in mind I enjoy deeply layered tracks and a lot of electronic sound.

ATH-AD700: mostly on my list because they're on sale right now for 100. Their quality looks moderately comparable, though I am worried about them being very uncomfortable over long periods of time.

Sennheiser HD598: looks like another generally good phone for imaging. Have read good things about their ability to handle layered/complex songs. Have also heard they might be a little "boring", unsure of how true that is for most people. Seems like a good starter phone for gaming/music, could be wrong about that.

I do like my ATH-A900Xs (closed) for music audio, and I would think the ATH-AD900X (open) would be a little better.

The Audio Technica ATH-AD900X sells for $200, the bleeding part might be slightly true.

 

The ATH-AD700 are too bass light (I own them),

makes it feel like something is missing in music audio and movies.

 

I own the Senn HD558 (same driver as the HD598), the HD5XX series are a little "cold", some describe it as "veiled", I guess "boring" is another way to describe their sound.

I like to describe the HD5XX audio as very "functional" and say they are a jack of all trades.

The HD598 are not bassy headphones, but should provide more bass then the ATH-AD700s

post #3 of 6

Heya,

 

Philips Fidelio X1

Sony MA900

Beyer DT880 (any impedance)

 

Sound Blaster Zx

 

Very best,

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

@ PurpleAngel:

 

Okay, so I've pretty much decided on your original recommendation, which is the ATH-AD900X with the SB-Z.

 

Just to be clear, this particular sound card is the one I believe I was recommended: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102054

 

It'll fit in my case just fine. My OS, however, is Vista, and it lists 7 and 8. Do you have any idea if that's going to be a problem?

post #5 of 6
Heya, are you into modding?
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurora-Storm View Post
 

@ PurpleAngel:

Okay, so I've pretty much decided on your original recommendation, which is the ATH-AD900X with the SB-Z.

Just to be clear, this particular sound card is the one I believe I was recommended: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102054

It'll fit in my case just fine. My OS, however, is Vista, and it lists 7 and 8. Do you have any idea if that's going to be a problem?

Oops looks like the Z series only has drivers for Win 7 or Win 8, but not Vista.

The one you listed is an OEM (SB1502?) and does not seem to come with a microphone (or cover shield).

The Sound Blaster Z SB1500 model is retail package, comes with the cover shield and a microphone and is only $7 more.

http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Blaster-Beamforming-Microphone-SB1500/dp/B009ISU33E

But it looks like you can not use the Z series, might look into getting a Win 7 or Win 8 upgrade disk

Seems to cost around $65 for Win 8 upgrade.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 9/6/13 at 7:50pm
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