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