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Sub $200 Open Headset for Gaming

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello all! I've been lurking around and posting here or there to try and find myself a solid pair of headphones under $200. I'm very new to these forums and the audiophile world in general. I plan on using these cans for both gaming(60%) and music(40%), and am looking for a large sound stage, positional accuracy, and detailed sound. I'm certainly no basshead, but I don't want them to be airy. I want there to be some punch given that they're open headphones. I'm also looking for low impedance, given that I plan on using them with a Sound Blaster Z and have no plans on buying an external amp at this time.

 

To be honest, my only real audio experience has been with gaming headsets. I've never actually experienced open headphones. That makes it hard to describe exactly what I'm looking for. I know that I don't want the music to sound distant. I'll be using them with surround sound, and I want to hear everything right around me.

 

I've been looking at a few options. Beyond sound, I'm looking for high build quality and replaceable ear pads and cords. I don't need them to hold my head like a vice, but i'd prefer tighter over falling off all the time. I'll be using them pretty much exclusively for home use, so portability isn't really a problem. Neither is sound leakage as long as it's not too obnoxious.

 

For the most part, I'm between the Q701 and AD700x. However, the higher impedance of the Q701 (62 ohms) has me a bit concerned. I'm not sure if a simple sound card amp will be enough for these.

 

I'm completely open to any suggestions, opinions, criticism, etc. I'm counting on all of you to persuade me of which set of cans will best suit my needs.

 

P.S. I've been eyeing the Philips Fidelio L2, although it doesn't release in the U.S. until February.


Edited by thePhysicist8 - 11/25/13 at 7:03pm
post #2 of 5

The Sound Blaster Z (& Zx) has a headphone output impedance of 22-Ohms.

Technically you would want to use a headphone with an impedance of 176-Ohms or higher.

But chances are you going to be using headphone well under 176-Ohms.

Headphones to check out.

Sony MDR-MA900, 48-Ohms

AKG K612 Pro, 120-Ohms

Maybe Beyerdynamic DT880 or DT990 250-Ohm headphones.

post #3 of 5

They're not open, but have you heard the Sony PS3 Pulse Elite? The pulse technology is awesome for gaming and music, and the bass is adjustable. They can be wireless with your Playstation (if you have one), and they have a detachable cable.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The Sound Blaster Z (& Zx) has a headphone output impedance of 22-Ohms.
Technically you would want to use a headphone with an impedance of 176-Ohms or higher.
But chances are you going to be using headphone well under 176-Ohms.
Headphones to check out.
Sony MDR-MA900, 48-Ohms
AKG K612 Pro, 120-Ohms
Maybe Beyerdynamic DT880 or DT990 250-Ohm headphones.

Thanks for the suggestions, but keep in mind I'm looking for open headphones. What output impedance for an amp should you be using for a given headphone impedance? Should it be a 100 ohm amp for a 100 ohm set of headphones? I've heard things about using the 1:8 rule, so should it be a 12 ohm amp for a 100 ohm set of headphones? I've also heard that sensitivity can play a role.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by thePhysicist8 View Post

Thanks for the suggestions, but keep in mind I'm looking for open headphones. What output impedance for an amp should you be using for a given headphone impedance? Should it be a 100 ohm amp for a 100 ohm set of headphones? I've heard things about using the 1:8 rule, so should it be a 12 ohm amp for a 100 ohm set of headphones? I've also heard that sensitivity can play a role.

Looks like you got the right info, the 8 to 1 rule is a (rough?) guide line and sensitivity can play a factor.

If your headphone amplifier has a 10-Ohm output impedance, then getting headphones that are 80-Ohms or higher is recommended.

My Essence STX sound card has a 10-Ohm output impedance, but I use headphones that are 32-Ohm, 40-Ohm and 50-Ohm with it.

 

The AKG K612 Pro is 120-Ohm, so it's 5.5 times impedance of the Z card.

I believe the 48-Ohm MDR-MA900 come with a special chip that helps it work with higher impedance sources (like the Z).

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