I'm very new to the world of "nice headphones". After reading around on Head-Fi, I believe the HD598s don't compare to some of your setups, but I'm hoping someone can offer some quick advice. Basically, my girlfriend got me a pair of these for my birthday. I was previously using a Soundblaster Tactic3D Sigma headset, which I really liked for $60 I got it for. Comfort wise, the 598s are very similar but I can definitely tell that they sound different.
With most music, I really like the way they sound. Honestly, I like listening to electronic music where the quality of these cans probably doesn't make as much of a difference, but it is different. I found an online headphone quality test that someone had posted here. I ran through them, and on some I wasn't sure if my ears just aren't used to listening for certain frequencies or finding small pitch changes. Whatever, they're still cool, and I want to love them. So I opened up Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to give them a more interactive test run. The first thing I noticed was that the higher sounds, like firing/reloading pistols, were painfully loud while other sounds weren't nearly as overwhelming. Lowering the volume really seemed to affect those highs more than the lower sounds like footsteps and voice communication. So eventually I found a volume where I could play comfortably, but I don't feel like that should happen. Is anyone familiar with this behavior with headphones? Any comparisons I could do to help describe it any better?
Other than gaming, I want to be able to love them as much as possible while just listening to music at work. I don't know if I can expect much more out of the music quality, as right now they sound great but I'm not necessarily having my mind blown. These have gotten wonderful reviews for being great all around headphones, so I'd like to be able to make sure I'm actually hearing 9/10 sound and not being crippled unknowingly.
Is it possible that I need a better dac or possibly an amp? I was using the USB dac that came with my SoundBlaster headset. Seeing as the entire headset was less than most of the dacs I've seen recommended here, I wouldn't be surprised if it was suspect but I also don't know what would make it necessarily worse than any of them. I did make sure to disable all effects provided by the Tactic3D console such as bass boosting, crystallization, and surround. I've seen the HD598 appreciation thread and I'm sure I could just go spend money on items that posters there have bought, but I want to make sure whatever I do actually addresses the issues I'm having.