or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › HiFi cans for PC gaming
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HiFi cans for PC gaming

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hello all. I am new to this forum as I just signed up today. Sound reproduction has been an increasingly interesting topic for me in recent months and now it is time to make my first leap into this hobby of yours. 

 

I know this question has been asked hundreds of times over the years (I have read many posts and some of the guides on this forum as well) and now it is my turn to ask it: what are the best cans that money can buy for PC gaming? However my needs are very specific, but before we get into that let's talk about my current setup. I presently use Astro A40 + ASUS Xonar Phoebus sound card. This setup has served me well in all this time but I may as well have just used my motherboard's onboard sound (which in my case is the SupremeFX on my Maximus V Formula,  which is quite good for onboard). I need to upgrade to something that is more worthy of my sound card.

 

What I am looking for is a set of cans to use specifically for non-competitive gaming. I will continue to use the Astro A40 for situations requiring a microphone. I may use it for music in the short term but ultimately the needs of gaming (and movies) are different than the needs of critical music listening so I will eventually get separate cans for that purpose. Yes, these will be used ONLY for gaming and nothing else as far as I am concerned.

 

Now let's move on to my criteria. I'll list them in order from most important to least important:

 

  • MUST be an open design. A wide soundstage is important in games whether one is playing competitively or not.
  • Comfort. I must be able to endure hours-long gaming sessions without fatigue or discomfort. I have a fairly large head and find velour or memory foam padding preferable.
  • I willing to be liberal with the budget. Up to US$1,000.
  • Balance. I don't want the lows to be overpowering or aggressive but I still want them to be there nonetheless. I do want strong vocal performance as I will be using these mainly for single-player, story-driven games with lots of voice acting. Good mids will be a particularly strong selling point as well.
  • Impedance shouldn't be a limiting factor for my sound card.

 

Based on what I've read so far I've seen many recommendations for HD598, ATH-AD700 and DT990 so far. They all are strong contenders worthy of consideration but considering my budget the questions beg to be asked. Are there any higher end offerings that are suitable for gaming? And would my sound card be sufficient to power them or would I need an external DAC and amp to get the most out of them? Also please share with me the setups that you have used. Oh, and one last thing. I'm a noob so it must be said that this will be my first purchase of anything in the audiophile realm and I'll be making it based on your recommendations. Thanks!


Edited by XANADV - 2/28/14 at 3:59am
post #2 of 19

Hopefully you disabled the motherboard's on-board audio? in the BIOS.

Why even use the Astro mix-amp if you already have the Phoebus sound card?

The Phoebus has a better headphone amplifier, better DAC and should(?) have better surround sound processing power, then the Astro Mix-amp.

Beyer DT880 or AKG 612 Pro or AKG Q701/702/712 might be headphones to consider.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 3/1/14 at 6:38pm
post #3 of 19
I use beyer dt990 250 pro and they make amazing gaming and movie cans
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Hopefully you disabled the motherboard's on-board audio? in the BIOS.

Why even use the Astro mix-amp if you already have the Phoebus sound card?

The Phoebus has a better headphone amplifier, better DAC and should(?) have better surround sound processing power, then the Astro Mix-amp.

Beyer DT880 or AKG 612 Pro or AKG Q701/702/712 might be headphones to consider.


I use the MixAmp for my consoles.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rush-n-crush View Post

I use beyer dt990 250 pro and they make amazing gaming and movie cans


How do you think the 600Ohm premium version will sound?

post #6 of 19

If this is your first time living with decent cans you dont need to spend 1k bucks. A well spent 500 will absolutely blow your mind. I'd suggest a usb dac/amp that you can use as an external sound card and possibly double as a portable amp. Another 300 on a pair of decent cans and you're comfortably in the diminishing returns zone.

post #7 of 19

Razer makes really good, FREE software that will emulate surround sound on stereo headphones.

 

It's very good, and it enables you to use your dac/amp and bypass all of your PC's other audio.

 

I used that with a pair of Sony MA 900s and the results were awesome.  I haven't tried my Q701's, but I've heard that people really like them for gaming too.

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by XANADV View Post
 


How do you think the 600Ohm premium version will sound?

I do not think the Astro Mix-amp can drive 600-Ohm headphones.

 

Sennheiser HD558, they are only 50-Ohm.

Amazon sells used ones for $94

Here is a good replacement cable for the HD558, comes with a 3.5mm plug.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/261255113290?var=560215640800&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I do not think the Astro Mix-amp can drive 600-Ohm headphones.

Sennheiser HD558, they are only 50-Ohm.
Amazon sells used ones for $94
Here is a good replacement cable for the HD558, comes with a 3.5mm plug.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/261255113290?var=560215640800&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

What advantage do you gain with the replacement cable vs the stock cable on the Sennheiser HD5xx series?



To OP, you should also add the Sennheiser PC 360 to your list. Very good for PC gaming and it comes with an excellent mic as well. I'm using the PC 360 with the Asus Xonar DG card and I'm really pleased with the results.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by terance View Post
 

Razer makes really good, FREE software that will emulate surround sound on stereo headphones.

 

I haven't really used it much. I usually use Dolby Home Theater V4 or straight stereo. Just curious since you seem to use razer a lot how it compares to other virtual 7.1 out there

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpower View Post
 

If this is your first time living with decent cans you dont need to spend 1k bucks. A well spent 500 will absolutely blow your mind. I'd suggest a usb dac/amp that you can use as an external sound card and possibly double as a portable amp. Another 300 on a pair of decent cans and you're comfortably in the diminishing returns zone.


 What are good options in the 300-500 range?

post #12 of 19

Used Sennheiser HD800 + Sound Blaster Z (SBX Pro Studio) or Creative X-Fi(CMSS-3D)


Edited by AUserName501 - 3/2/14 at 8:42am
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by XANADV View Post
 


 What are good options in the 300-500 range?

 

Any of those already mentioned will make a fine choice. No need to over think it, the dt990 250 pro or the cheaper Senns mentioned hold their resale value so well you can try them out at very little cost.

post #14 of 19
Philips Fidelio X1 are my favorites for RPGs and FPSs. Sound quality, soundstage and comfort. And enough bass to not sound boring when games have a cinematic score.
post #15 of 19
You should take a look at the Sennheiser PC 360s. I have them and when paired with Asus Xonar DG they are excellent.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › HiFi cans for PC gaming