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PC Gaming headphones with low sound leakage

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

Newbie posting here, so pardon if this question has been answered. I've read through the "Mad Lust Envy's Headphone guide" in the games forum, but unfortunately I could not find the info I needed. Namely, I am looking for a pair of headphones or a headset that will not leak sound, or at most very little of it. I tend to game close to other people, and I do no want my sound disturbing them.

 

Appreciate any feedback,

Thank you

post #2 of 14

What system(s) you are needing said headphones?

 

What is your budget?

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

As per title, PC. No specialized sound card, only the basic on-board, ADI AD2000B.

 

Budget ideally under $150, but I wouldn't necessarily disregard other suggestions in the ballpark if they are significantly better than the less expensive alternative.

post #4 of 14

Missed the title.  My bad.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by magus View Post
 

As per title, PC. No specialized sound card, only the basic on-board, ADI AD2000B.

 

Budget ideally under $150, but I wouldn't necessarily disregard other suggestions in the ballpark if they are significantly better than the less expensive alternative.


Gemini HSR-1000 (Takstar Pro 80) closed headphones, $56.

Asus Xonar DG (PCI) sound card, $26.80 and there is a $10 mail in rebate this month.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 


Gemini HSR-1000 (Takstar Pro 80) closed headphones, $56.

Asus Xonar DG (PCI) sound card, $26.80 and there is a $10 mail in rebate this month.

How would you say those compare to something like Sennheiser HD280? Do you think the audio card is necessary? What I mean is, I keep seeing mixed opinions on whether a dedicated sound card is really necessary. Some say the integrated is good enough for basically anything short of professional, others - particularly in the gaming section of this forum - suggest the Asus. I would probably be getting the DGX (PCI-e x1), as that would future-proof it a bit, since PCI slots are well on their way out - is there any reason to pick one over the other besides preferred interface?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post
 

Missed the title.  My bad.

 

Not at all a problem! Figured I would clarify it a bit more too. I had thought I had a Realtek chip like so many others, but looking it up turned up that my motherboard, ASUS P6T Deluxe, in fact does not have such.


Edited by magus - 12/9/13 at 6:06pm
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by magus View Post
 

How would you say those compare to something like Sennheiser HD280? Do you think the audio card is necessary? What I mean is, I keep seeing mixed opinions on whether a dedicated sound card is really necessary. Some say the integrated is good enough for basically anything short of professional, others - particularly in the gaming section of this forum - suggest the Asus. I would probably be getting the DGX (PCI-e x1), as that would future-proof it a bit, since PCI slots are well on their way out - is there any reason to pick one over the other besides preferred interface?

I have several nice headphone that are in the $250-$300+ range and the Gemini HSR-1000 is not that far behind compared to them.

 

Your budget falls short of the headphones ($200 or more) that makes a noticeable difference, you might get lucky with something used off eBay, with in your budget.

I've never listened to the Sennheiser HD280 Pro, but as they sell for under $100, Market forces have shown what the public thinks they are worth. even with a good name like Sennheiser.

(To me the Sennheiser HD558s at $130 are selling for less then they are really worth).

Integrated motherboard audio has been getting better every year, but I'm assuming your motherboard design is several years old and the company that made it's (AD2000) audio processor dropped out of that part of the market about 3 years ago, so I'm assuming there is not much in the way of driver updates.

Where as the Xonar DGX has drivers that have been updated 7 months ago (Unified Xonar Drivers).

The Xonar DGX has a basic headphone amplifier, where I'm assuming your motherboard uses a Line-out jack that pretends to also be a headphone output.

The Xonar DGX comes with Dolby Headphone surround sound, I'm guessing your motherboard does not.

The Xonar DG and DGX are really the same, except for the PCI/PCI-E interface.

There is even a $10 mail in rebate for the Xonar DGX this month.

The Xonar DGX is really not a lot of money for something that might improve audio quality.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

I have several nice headphone that are in the $250-$300+ range and the Gemini HSR-1000 is not that far behind compared to them.

 

Your budget falls short of the headphones ($200 or more) that makes a noticeable difference, you might get lucky with something used off eBay, with in your budget.

I've never listened to the Sennheiser HD280 Pro, but as they sell for under $100, Market forces have shown what the public thinks they are worth. even with a good name like Sennheiser.

(To me the Sennheiser HD558s at $130 are selling for less then they are really worth).

Integrated motherboard audio has been getting better every year, but I'm assuming your motherboard design is several years old and the company that made it's (AD2000) audio processor dropped out of that part of the market about 3 years ago, so I'm assuming there is not much in the way of driver updates.

Where as the Xonar DGX has drivers that have been updated 7 months ago (Unified Xonar Drivers).

The Xonar DGX has a basic headphone amplifier, where I'm assuming your motherboard uses a Line-out jack that pretends to also be a headphone output.

The Xonar DGX comes with Dolby Headphone surround sound, I'm guessing your motherboard does not.

The Xonar DG and DGX are really the same, except for the PCI/PCI-E interface.

There is even a $10 mail in rebate for the Xonar DGX this month.

The Xonar DGX is really not a lot of money for something that might improve audio quality.

Nice, nice! You mention $200 sets - what do you think would be a good set for $200 (I might price-hunt to see if I can get one for less) that would fit my criteria (quiet outside the headphones, good for PC gaming)? Yeah, my motherboard is ~4 years old now, and I checked the driver - it's the generic "Microsoft High Definition Audio Device" - it's 3 years old as well!

 

What's the difference between a headphone amplifier and how the motherboard does it? That's a question of curiosity mostly.

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by magus View Post
 

Nice, nice! You mention $200 sets - what do you think would be a good set for $200 (I might price-hunt to see if I can get one for less) that would fit my criteria (quiet outside the headphones, good for PC gaming)? Yeah, my motherboard is ~4 years old now, and I checked the driver - it's the generic "Microsoft High Definition Audio Device" - it's 3 years old as well!

 

What's the difference between a headphone amplifier and how the motherboard does it? That's a question of curiosity mostly.

Of the other headphones I own, the AKG K550 and Audio Technica ATH-A900X, would be in the $200 or more range (for a closed headphone), the ATH-A900Xs are the better music headphones, more "life" to their sound, I guess they bleed at the sound a little (overlaping?), but really good music audio, sells for around $220 currently. You can get the Hifiman Velour ear pads for the A900Xs for $10+shipping, glade I got the Velours.

The K550 are not as much an "in your face" type of sound as the A900X, so they are easier on the ears, better for long term listening. HarmanAudio sells refurb K550s with factory warranties, on eBay, my winning bid was $180. Used K550s will sell for even less.

If I had to choose between the two, I would get the A900Xs

 

Shure SRH840s seem to get recommended by their owners.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 12/10/13 at 6:50am
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Of the other headphones I own, the AKG K550 and Audio Technica ATH-A900X, would be in the $200 or more range, the ATH-A900Xs are the better music headphones, more "life" to their sound, I guess they bleed at the sound a little (overlaping?), but really good music audio, sells for around $220 currently. You can get the Hifiman Velour ear pads for the A900Xs for $10+shipping, glade I got the Velours.

The K550 are not as much an "in your face" type of sound as the A900X, so they are easier on the ears, better for long term listening. HarmanAudio sells refurb K550s with factory warranties, on eBay, my winning bid was $180. Used K550s will sell for even less.

If I had to choose between the two, I would get the A900Xs

 

Shure SRH840s seem to get recommended by their owners.

Awesome, thank you! I think I'll go with the Gemini HSR-1000 + ASUS DGX combo for now, for monetary constraints. The HSR-1000 sounds like an amazing deal with for the price - Amazon's got em for $55 right now. I'll keep the other sets in mind for an upgrade in the future.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

So now that I got both pieces, I have been testing a bit. There is a rather noticeable high-pitched tone in the headphones (plugged directly into the sound card) when the ASUS software is set to output to Headphones. Switching that to 2 speakers removes the tone, and also outputs at higher levels. I presume that is not the expected operation. Any suggestions?

 

The sound isolation is pretty damn good so far - it seems you basically can't hear the music outside of the headphones, barring reasonable volume,  if the cups are closed on the ears.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by magus View Post
 

So now that I got both pieces, I have been testing a bit. There is a rather noticeable high-pitched tone in the headphones (plugged directly into the sound card) when the ASUS software is set to output to Headphones. Switching that to 2 speakers removes the tone, and also outputs at higher levels. I presume that is not the expected operation. Any suggestions?

 

The sound isolation is pretty damn good so far - it seems you basically can't hear the music outside of the headphones, barring reasonable volume,  if the cups are closed on the ears.

When playing music files, do you set the Audio Channel to "2-channel"

 

Did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio? in the BIOS.

 

Delete the Asus software and try installing "Unified Xonar Drivers"

http://maxedtech.com/asus-xonar-unified-drivers/

 

Otherwise you could try removing and resetting the sound card.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

When playing music files, do you set the Audio Channel to "2-channel"

 

Did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio? in the BIOS.

 

Delete the Asus software and try installing "Unified Xonar Drivers"

http://maxedtech.com/asus-xonar-unified-drivers/

 

Otherwise you could try removing and resetting the sound card.

Yep, 2-channel and disabled onboard. I'll see about the drivers later today, thank you for the suggestion.

post #14 of 14

If you are considering the $220 closed AKG K550 with amazing sound stage, but want something more portable you can get the new portable/closed AKG 545 at $200.

 

the k550 would be great for competitive fps.

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