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PC gaming headphone setup help.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have been looking around everywhere trying to decide on what to purchase for my next set of headphones. I have come across the Sennheiser HD598, Sennheiser HD 558, Beyerdynamic DT-880 Pro, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, AKG Q701, and the ATH-AD700 headphones. 

 

I was wondering which is best for an all around gaming, music, and movie headset (mostly gaming though)?

But I'm open to other suggestions.

 

I was looking at the Creative ZxR, Zx and Z sound cards with the Astro Mixamp to give the headphones the virtual surround effect for the games I play. I'm mostly pairing the sound card with the mix amp because I have heard that if you don't have a Dobly digital Live sound card you wont get anything but 2.1 sound. 

I am also open to other suggestions to these as well. 

 

I am also not sure if I will need an amp but I was looking at the Fiio E10, E9K, and the Schiit Magni and Modi set.

 

Also I'm going to be upgrading from my Tritton Ax Pro's.

 

So any help in the beginning steps of my trip to better audio equipment would be awesome, and thank you for your help.


Edited by mrpandas - 1/27/14 at 12:19pm
post #2 of 15

I've used Sony's Pulse headset, which does the job and works great on PC/Mac + you can wire it in. 

pretty comfy aside from the weird leatherette stuff on the band, not as comfy for excessively long sessions. 

 

Have a ridiculously comfy pair of Razer Tiamat 2.2's, which are so light and lovely they're great! Mic is fantastic, braided cable looks pimp and the sound quality isn't half bad, it's muddy as hell if you compare it to high-end stuff but for games where LOUD NOISES and more LOUD NOISES happen, they're satisfying in a dirty way, they don't make you sweat like a fat dude in a lift either, worn mine for all night BF4 shootouts. 

 

Setup traditionally is: 

 

Sound Blaster Recon3d USB 

Razer Tiamat 2.2's (BOOM!)

 

Or if I'm feeling like a posh sod, 

 

Recon3d:

Audio out port: Fiio e5 hooked up to Sennheiser HD650's (I hear you snipers!) (used to use HD558's, beautiful detail)

Audio in (mic) port: Sony pro video condenser Mic (or hook up my video camera with XLR Shotgun mic if I've left my other mic somewhere)

 

 

This setup makes me happy, virtual surround does it's job admirably and I could (and have) happily worn both setups for Korean-style long gaming sessions. 

 

 

My uncle has an Astro A40 setup with the mixamp, tbh I'm not that impressed, the mixer is pretty damn cool and works perfectly but I think you get a better sound out of the recon. It's properly expensive for what it is but it sure it pretty. 

 

The Plantronics rig is an ok buy, it can be had relatively cheaply and I was pretty happy with how it sounded. 

 

Not a fan of most of the Razer stuff, it's all too bass heavy but not in the Tiamat's way. 

 

Moderately impressed with the Tritton 720's and the Pro+ but the surround is easily comparable to the Recon3d's virtual without the option of your own headset. 

 

Good luck bro! 

post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpandas View Post
 

I have been looking around everywhere trying to decide on what to purchase for my next set of headphones. I have come across the Sennheiser HD598, Sennheiser HD 558, Beyerdynamic DT-880 Pro, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, AKG Q701, and the ATH-AD700 headphones. 

I was wondering which is best for an all around gaming and music headset (mostly gaming though)?

But I'm open to other suggestions.

I was looking at the Creative ZxR, Zx and Z sound cards with the Astro Mixamp to give the headphones the virtual surround effect for the games I play. I'm mostly pairing the sound card with the mix amp because I have heard that if you don't have a Dobly digital Live sound card you wont get anything but 2.1 sound. 

I am also open to other suggestions to these as well. 

I am also not sure if I will need an amp but I was looking at the Fiio E10, E9K, and the Schiit Magni and Modi set.

Also I'm going to be upgrading from my Tritton Ax Pro's.

So any help in the beginning steps of my trip to better audio equipment would be awesome, and thank you for your help.

If your getting any of the Sound Blaster Z series (Z, Zx, ZxR) sound cards, you really have no good reason for getting the Astro mix-amp, for use with a PC, the Z cards already come with built in SBX Headphone Surround Sound.

The Asus Xonar DG sound card, $20-$30, can match the mix-amp for Headphone Surround Sound.

So Mix-amp for consoles and sound cards for PCs.

For a given budget, the SB-Z ($60-$90) with a Senn HD558 ($110-$130), should provide you with good audio for gaming, movies and music. Next step up in headphones (price wise), AKG K612 Pro ($155 used, $200 new).

Also right now the DT880 250-Ohm Pro headphones are at there lowest price I've seen in a long time, $195.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Ok, so no Mixamp, just one of the sound cards.

 

Which sound card would be best?

 

And, which one of the headphones would be best for an all around pair to use, they are not going to leave my room so I really don't care if they leak sound.

Also, would I need an amp at all?

 

I also don't really want a USB sound card when I have perfectly good PCIe slots to use.

Will the Fatal1ty and Recon3D give the same results as the ZxR, Zx, or the Z?

Beacause I was leaning toward getting the ZxR or the Zx.


Edited by mrpandas - 1/27/14 at 5:22pm
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpandas View Post
 

Ok, so no Mixamp, just one of the sound cards.

Which sound card would be best?

And, which one of the headphones would be best for an all around pair to use, they are not going to leave my room so I really don't care if they leak sound.

Also, would I need an amp at all?

I also don't really want a USB sound card when I have perfectly good PCIe slots to use.

Will the Fatal1ty and Recon3D give the same results as the ZxR, Zx, or the Z?

Beacause I was leaning toward getting the ZxR or the Zx.

I guess it would be helpful to know your over all budget for this audio setup?

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

My budget is a minimum of $500 but I will go higher if needed.

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpandas View Post
 

Ok, so no Mixamp, just one of the sound cards.

 

Which sound card would be best?

 

And, which one of the headphones would be best for an all around pair to use, they are not going to leave my room so I really don't care if they leak sound.

Also, would I need an amp at all?

 

I also don't really want a USB sound card when I have perfectly good PCIe slots to use.

Will the Fatal1ty and Recon3D give the same results as the ZxR, Zx, or the Z?

Beacause I was leaning toward getting the ZxR or the Zx.

From what I've seen, the Z series are a massive improvement over the Fatality and Recon cards.  No point getting the Zx.  The only thing it offers over the Z is the control pod, which has been found to reduce sound quality noticeably.  The ZxR gets you better amp and DAC chips, but the ones in the Z aren't bad at all.  Granted, I've only heard the Z myself, but it sounds pretty good.  If you can afford the extra $100 for the ZxR, get it, but don't blow your budget on that - $100 more on headphones will go a lot further.

 

On headphones, looking at the ones you listed, I'd skip the DT880.  They're a good headphone, but the others outclass them for gaming purposes.  The HD558 are good, but not as good as the 598 (foam mod helps, but still doesn't quite get them there)  The HD598 are probably the most balanced of the remainder.  DT990 are going to have better bass, while the K701 will have the widest soundstage.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Ok, so looking at the DT990's, if i were to get them should I get the 250ohm pro or 250 ohm?

Or are they pretty much the same?

 

Then looking at the HD598, is there a noticeable amount of bass like I have heard about the DT990's or is it more neutral sounding?

 

And for both, which is better for longer sessions of wearing?

Also which is better for the immersion aspect?

 

And the sound card should be suitable for driving the headphones right?

post #9 of 15

From what I've read, the DT990 pro has more bass than the regular DT990.  Also a coiled cable vs. straight on the regular.

 

The HD598 is going to have less bass than the DT990, but not as little as the AD700 or K701.  It's a relatively balanced headphone.

 

I think the Sennheiser design is pretty comfortable (had HD555s, which had the same design, and they were super comfy).  Haven't worn Beyers, but they're supposed to be comfortable as well.

 

Haven't heard either myself, so I can't speak for immersion.

 

The Z or ZxR should drive either of them just fine.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Ok, so I'll most likely get the HD589 headphones, when I order my sound card.

 

Also when I was looking at the ZxR, I noticed that it also has the satellite volume nob, does this also effect the sound like the Zx, or has it been fixed, or is it optional on the card?

post #11 of 15

AFAIK, it's the same and it's not fixed, but it is optional.  It's optional on the Zx as well, but it's literally the only change between the Z and the Zx, which makes getting the Zx completely pointless from an audiophile perspective.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

So I looked around, and I have choose to get the Z instead and test the two headphones, Hd598 and DT990. 

They both seem really nice from what I have read, so I shall test to see which I like more but I think the HD589 will win for the balance you say it gives, and the sound card looks very nice too. 


Edited by mrpandas - 1/28/14 at 10:05am
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpandas View Post
 

Ok, so looking at the DT990's, if i were to get them should I get the 250ohm pro or 250 ohm?

Or are they pretty much the same?

 

Then looking at the HD598, is there a noticeable amount of bass like I have heard about the DT990's or is it more neutral sounding?

 

And for both, which is better for longer sessions of wearing?

Also which is better for the immersion aspect?

 

And the sound card should be suitable for driving the headphones right?

250-Ohm Pro or 250-Ohm Premium?

Better to save a few dollars and just get the Pro.

The DT990 is full bass and full treble, which slightly over shadows the mids, but the mids are clear.

The HD598 is more balanced and are a little more reserved, just enough bass to do the job.

The SB-Z can easily drive both of them.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

The DT990 is full bass and full treble, which slightly over shadows the mids, but the mids are clear.

The HD598 is more balanced and are a little more reserved, just enough bass to do the job.

 

 

So would you say that the DT990 would have a more fatiguing  experience since the treble and bass are a little to overpowering?

 

and what do you mean by a little more reserved, like more neutral,less bass and highs, but still nice to listen to? 

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpandas View Post
 

 

So would you say that the DT990 would have a more fatiguing  experience since the treble and bass are a little to overpowering?

 

and what do you mean by a little more reserved, like more neutral,less bass and highs, but still nice to listen to? 

The DT990 is a little more in your face kind of sound, where as the Senn HD5XX sound might be considered a little more detached.

I do like like my HD558s, does decently well with anything.

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