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Sennheiser HD600 For Music & Gaming

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, first post.

 

I am looking at the HD600 with the NuForce Icon HDP for gaming, but I also want some headphones that double for music. Will this setup be beneficial for FPS? I play a lot of Counter Strike. Also, are the HD600 and Nuforce Icon HDP a good combination? I am a noob and all of this is a lot to take in. Any insight would be appreciated.

post #2 of 13

There is a very large HD600 appreciation thread here on Head Fi.  You could try reading through it and probably decide on your own if they are want you want.  Good Luck. 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have done plenty of research, but want to know about their gaming performance and how well the Amp and headphones work together. I have seen mixed opinions. I would particularly like to know how the soundstaging is on these headphones. I would like to hear the footsteps/location of other players in games.


Edited by Beatitupp - 4/10/14 at 3:59pm
post #4 of 13

I would say the HD600 is a decent choice for gaming, but in the end a better choice for music. That said I know several of the elite CS 1.6 players back in the day used HD600/650's. Soundstage and imaging are both good but not great. Also keep in mind it's an open headphone, so outside noise will interfere with in game sounds. There's a gaming headphone thread somewhere on headfi that has a lot of other options, mostly closed headphones.

In terms of the HDP + HD600 I had that combo for a few weeks years ago and thought it was a very poor match. It made the Sennheisers sound a bit bright/harsh and grainy in the upper frequencies without adding much. Personally I would look elsewhere for a decent dac+amp or combo.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Does anyone have the Jolida Audio - FX Tube DAC or HiFiMAN? Would they be a good match? This is my first set of good headphones, I am kind of lost in all of the choices. :confused_face(1): I am going to Guitar Center tommorow just to try some stuff out.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatitupp View Post
 

I have done plenty of research, but want to know about their gaming performance and how well the Amp and headphones work together. I have seen mixed opinions. I would particularly like to know how the soundstaging is on these headphones. I would like to hear the footsteps/location of other players in games.

 

If all you want from it is that the frequency response and therefore the tonal qualities of the audio reproduction, including gaming and movies, are good, then yes they are good for gaming. I watch movies on them and the explosions rock.

 

If you're expecting the soundstage to help you with FPS, no, it won't, or at least not with the HDP. If the DAC gets a regular 2ch signal then the HD600 gets a regular 2ch signal. Not even the K1000 or speakers will reproduce sounds coming from behind and around you without a surround simulation program, and AFAIK, installing the software won't let it go through the USB audio output unless it's one of those external soundcards that I think have their own processing software, for example Creative has some of these. Alternately, even your usual $50 Creative headset comes with a surround-simulator USB DAC so you might want to just drop another $50 on a dedicated gaming headset rather than fess around trying to get surround on the HD600. Unless, of course, you have one of those $200 MSI motherboards that have high output op-amps, so you not only get a lot of power for headphones like that, but the surround simulation software will work with it too.

 

Note also that each pair of HD600 earpads are $60, and wearing them several hours a day can wear them out too much. Heck, even wearing them several hours in one sitting will already affect the sound. Some people attending meets and hear a drastic difference between the HD600 and HD650 usually didn't swap out the pads, so in all likelihood one of them doesn't sound like itself to begin with. If you look at the pads being disposable $50 to $75 on a separate gaming headset becomes reasonable. I use a $50 Creative on my desktop computer btw, and having the mic right there near my mouth and built into the headphone is great for barking out orders to or receiving reports/warnings from my brother (we really only play Total War, and when we play together I prefer commanding infantry and he takes the cavalry). It takes generic $1 pads from local stores too. However I have to admit I'm saving up for a Sennheiser headset, not really because there's anything wrong with my headset now, but just something that I hope performs a little bit better on Crysis.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 4/10/14 at 9:57pm
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

However I have to admit I'm saving up for a Sennheiser headset, not really because there's anything wrong with my headset now, but just something that I hope performs a little bit better on Crysis.

Maybe we need a headset/game synergy thread on Head-Fi biggrin.gif

Anyway, I agree with ProtegeManiac. You'll want virtual surround processing for the best gaming experience. If you have a desktop, you could get a Xonar DG for very little money. Then get a DAC/amp with optical input, and it will be able to use the Dolby Headphone feature in the soundcard.
post #8 of 13

While I was working in Afghanistan I used my HD650 to connect to my GAEMS Vanguard. The sound quality is very good. I started to hear a lot more sound effects. The music seemed better. Depending on the connection to the headphone you might need an amp. The only thing I dislike about the hd650 for gaming is it gets very uncomfortable after about 1hr of use.

post #9 of 13
I can see only three (possible) negatives to using the 600's for gaming:

1. Potential mic issues. Being open means that some of the audio from your headphones can leak into your mic when trying to communicate. I wouldn't consider this a big deal, though. It only matters if you really, really, really want a clear channel for your voice. It will be significantly better than using a mic with speakers, but I've done that in the past without too many complaints.

2. Less bass. This is more of a gimmick, but I can enjoy a lot of strong bass to "feel" what's going on around me...actually, this is completely a gimmick. I would only consider getting more bass out of my gaming 'phones if I also needed...

3. Isolation. This is also a limited scope item. Again, the 600's are open, so you are still going to hear things around you. Normally you would only care about isolation if you played in a noisy environment, but isolation could also be good if you were really into a survival horror game, since it could keep you closer to the game world.

So yeah, these things are really minor and subjective. The 600's should and will be great. For any positional audio stuff, you either need a third party program to mix your sound down to two channels, or you need your game to do it (many PC games have audio settings for headphones).

I just got my 600's recently, so I haven't gone through the full round of games yet, but I love the sound quality, and I would have no issues using them for everything on my desktop.

EDIT: for reference, my other pair of headphones--which I have been using for gaming--are ATH-M50's. They are better at isolation at the expense of some sound quality.
Edited by superjawes - 4/11/14 at 8:34am
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Maybe we need a headset/game synergy thread on Head-Fi biggrin.gif

 

Actually all I meant was hopefully better sound processing and amplification,* plus maybe better drivers and a circumaural cup might help with a more 3D soundstage, not so much matching games to headsets (or, well, price bracket-headsets to games). Or to be perfectly honest I just feel like my next PC deserves a $200+ headset, given I have no intention of upgrading anything in my 2ch rig anymore.  :D


*I'm sure to get the latter off the new mobo when I build my next PCas I'm planning to use the MSI's with the OPA627 audio chips, but hopefully the surround processing works as well as the packaged USB soundcard

Quote:
Originally Posted by superjawes View Post

2. Less bass. This is more of a gimmick, but I can enjoy a lot of strong bass to "feel" what's going on around me...actually, this is completely a gimmick. I would only consider getting more bass out of my gaming 'phones if I also needed...
 

 

Not a gimmick. It's kind of like having vibrating control pads, of course other people get racing seats and play all games on them to get the same bass feel. For those of us who can't let too much sound get all over the place, there's still that bass from the headphones. We might not feel it like with a real subwoofer or bass shaker, but at least explosions should sound very detailed. Just switching from a really cheap headphone to the HD600 has a noticeably better "crunch" to the cavalry charge impact in Total War, and explosions in FPS games.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

So I ordered the Sennheiser HD-650 and Nuforce Icon HDP. I found the amp/dac combo for $350 on Amazon. There are many reviews in favor of this setup. I will try my best to remember to post my experience with this combination. Thanks for all the advice guys! :D 


Edited by Beatitupp - 4/12/14 at 1:32am
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

Note also that each pair of HD600 earpads are $60, and wearing them several hours a day can wear them out too much. Heck, even wearing them several hours in one sitting will already affect the sound. Some people attending meets and hear a drastic difference between the HD600 and HD650 usually didn't swap out the pads, so in all likelihood one of them doesn't sound like itself to begin with.

so if i use them 10 hours a day i'm screwed?

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by guy3134 View Post

so if i use them 10 hours a day i'm screwed?

In the long run, pretty much. I had mine a few months back in 2010 and wore out the pads a lot more from playing games. At some point I thought it sucked for music before I noticed how sorry the pads looked. I didn't even play ten hours a day since I'm at work for eight and my commute can be over an hour each way, then MA classes at night. Heck I didn't even log ten hours on a Saturday or Sunday. It was all more like two hours on weekdays and six hours on weekends, then exacerbated by my sweat on those six hours of midday gaming.
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