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Looking for new PC gaming/music/movies headset

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So I've been watching a lot of reviews and reading through a lot of other websites, guides and threads especially mad lust envy's/nameless's guides for headphones but I'm still a little confused as to what to buy. My basic needs or concerns are as follows:

- I have no amp, nor discrete soundcard and don't particularly want to need to buy or install one. I understand I may not get the best quality as a result of this

 

- I play games mostly for fun, occasionally FPS's but nothing serious. Immersion is important to me. I also want to be able to watch movies or listen to music (electro, chill, pop, rock, drum n bass)

 

- I am in Australia, land of the everything overpriced. Amazon does ship, but not all models etc.

 

- I am getting the headphones for my birthday, and the price range is about $200, maybe $300 max if i chip in. <$200 is better

 

Bearing in mind that I have no experience in headphones whatsoever (at best I have used a pair of sennheiser HD202 once) I rounded up some options:

 

- Skullcandy SLYR --> $80

- Corsair vengeance 1500 v2 --> $115 (I don't see these mentioned anywhere on this site)

 

Headphones which i could attach a mic (Zalman mic:$10 unless there is a better suggestion):

 

- Audio-Technica ATH-M50 --> $150

- Sennheiser momentum -->$300

- PSB m4U1 --> $300

 

Again these are only based on reviews I've looked at from various sites and peoples opinions. I have only been able to try on the sennheiser momentums briefly in a store, I could not find any of the others to try. The momentums seemed comfortable enough but its hard to tell without wearing them for hours.

 

Finally, the headphones must be closed and over ear. I need to not have sound escaping, noise cancelling is not an issue. I find on ear or in ear uncomfortable.

 

Thanks for any help, it is greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 10
I'm not quite sure if mrspeakers ship to Australia, but look into the mrspeakers mad dogs. I'm sure their sound signature will suit your music choices much better.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply B00000!

 

Apparently they do ship to Aus, with the total cost incl. shipping being between $325 and 350. I can see why you recommend them after reading some reviews, the only thing I'm not sure about is whether they would still be a good purchase when not using an amp/soundcard?

 

They are just slightly over my budget, but i could probably cave if they are amazing and long lasting as i don't really plan on buying a new headset for a long time.

 

Any other input is greatly appreciated ;)

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by noswej View Post
 

Thanks for the reply B00000!

 

Apparently they do ship to Aus, with the total cost incl. shipping being between $325 and 350. I can see why you recommend them after reading some reviews, the only thing I'm not sure about is whether they would still be a good purchase when not using an amp/soundcard?

 

They are just slightly over my budget, but i could probably cave if they are amazing and long lasting as i don't really plan on buying a new headset for a long time.

 

Any other input is greatly appreciated ;)

I believe you do need an amp to get the most out of the Maddogs.

 

In this case, I would recommend the AKG K550 as they are much more sensitive and still have a great soundstage.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ok, the price that i can get for the AKG K550 is about $280, at that price point do you think these are one of the better pairs to buy? How does it compare to other headphones at around the same cost?

 

Is there an easy way to tell whether a headphone will require (or benefit from) an amp or soundcard, or is it just necessary to check reviews in each case?

 

Thanks for the help!

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by noswej View Post
 

Ok, the price that i can get for the AKG K550 is about $280, at that price point do you think these are one of the better pairs to buy? How does it compare to other headphones at around the same cost?

 

Is there an easy way to tell whether a headphone will require (or benefit from) an amp or soundcard, or is it just necessary to check reviews in each case?

 

Thanks for the help!

There are a couple factors on whether or not you need an amp.

 

The first is sensitivity. Take for example a headphone with a sensitivity of 90db/mw. This means that with 1mw input of power, you will get 90db SPL. But take a different headphone with a 105db/mw and you see that at the same power level, you get 15db more of SPL.

 

The second is the impedance of the headphones, that is the resistance of the headphones. Many headphones are around 32ohms to 50ohms and these are generally very easy to drive (a few exceptions, namely the planarmagnetics). However, there are also headphones that are 250ohm+ which are much harder to drive. For example, lets say your source can output 100mw @ 32ohms. Well this output power is reduced to 10mw@250ohm. For reference, I plugged in a pair of Beyerdynamic DT880 250ohm's into my Galaxy S3 and at 100% volume, I could barely hear the music, while the ATH-M50's did just fine.

 

I hope this helped, and that I didn't confuse the hell out of you.

post #7 of 10

Are you 100% sure that they have to be closed back? Open headphones are generally much nicer for gaming.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well the reason i say closed back is so that i don't disturb my girlfriend while I game. This is the main purpose behind getting the headphones, as she's sick of death sounds. I believe open back would not help much for this issue?

Also Gary I don't think you confused the hell out of me :) Thanks for the explanation. The specs for the mad dogs mentioned above are :

 

  • Efficiency: 92dB/mw
  • Impedance 50 ohms

    and the site says this about their use:

MrSpeakers' Mad Dog headphones can be driven by most personal music players, including iPads, iPods, iPhones, laptops, PCs and other devices. MrSpeakers recommends the use of a good (or great) amplifier, DAC or DAC/Amp with at least 100mW per channel.  The great thing about these headphones is that the better the source components the better your headphones will sound.

So 50 impedance is the top of the range on what i could use without an amp generally I think. Whereas the AKGs you mentioned:
 

  • Impedance 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity 114 dB

    So they will run more easily and provide more sound at lower volumes. Is that accurate?
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by noswej View Post
 

Well the reason i say closed back is so that i don't disturb my girlfriend while I game. This is the main purpose behind getting the headphones, as she's sick of death sounds. I believe open back would not help much for this issue?

Also Gary I don't think you confused the hell out of me :) Thanks for the explanation. The specs for the mad dogs mentioned above are :

 

  • Efficiency: 92dB/mw
  • Impedance 50 ohms

    and the site says this about their use:

 

MrSpeakers' Mad Dog headphones can be driven by most personal music players, including iPads, iPods, iPhones, laptops, PCs and other devices. MrSpeakers recommends the use of a good (or great) amplifier, DAC or DAC/Amp with at least 100mW per channel.  The great thing about these headphones is that the better the source components the better your headphones will sound.

So 50 impedance is the top of the range on what i could use without an amp generally I think. Whereas the AKGs you mentioned:
 

  • Impedance 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity 114 dB

    So they will run more easily and provide more sound at lower volumes. Is that accurate?

At the same power, yes, the AKG will be louder. That's why you don't need an amp with the AKG's as 114db/mw is incredibly loud..

post #10 of 10
IMO you shouldn't think about an amplifier until you find your soulmate headphones. Yes they'll improve your headphones, but not that much. Also if it's volume you're worried about, just forget the amp entirely. My laptop can power my all of my headphones to volumes louder than I'd listen to. (Hd 800, q701, he400)
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