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New Desktop PC Gaming Setup - DT 770/880 + SB Zx?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello Head-Fi,

 

I've been lurking heavily for the past few weeks researching a new gaming setup, but there are a couple of sales going on at local retailers so I'm thinking it's time to jump.

 

My current setup: 

 

Soundcard: SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro

Speakers: Logitech Z-5300

Headset: Logitech G930 (failing with disconnects, ear cushions and headband shredded)

IEMs: Shure SE215

 

I love the bass of the G930's, but they disconnect regularly and also don't seem to sound very good for music (though music is only about 25% of my listening with headphones).  I like the SE215's for portable use, but they're not all that comfortable for long gaming sessions and seem to lack a bit of the bass and punch I'm used to while gaming (they sound good for music though).  I do like my bass, and I do like being immersed in a game so I've mainly looked at closed headphones.  I don't play competitive and I'm not really into FPS games (though I do play a few, but very rarely multiplayer), I'm mainly an RPG gamer (Diablo 3, Skyrim, Batman Franchise, Final Fantasy Franchise, Indie titles etc).  I would also use them to watch TV/Movies.

 

My proposed upgrades:

 

Soundcard: SB Zx

 

I chose this because it has enough I/O to handle my speakers while also having an amp for headphones.  I also use Optical-In for an Xbox 360.  I looked at the ZxR but it's quite the jump in price to the Zx and I'm not sure if I need the extras.  My current soundcard is good but I need to share an I/O port between headphones and my rear speakers...the alternative being using the headphone jack on my Z-5300's which has a bit of a hiss.  I do enjoy surround sound as well and it seems like the newer tech will play well with the newer games, while also solving my I/O problems.

 

Headphones:

  • Beyerdynamic DT 770-250,
  • Beyerdynamic DT 880-250 (Edition - part 481793) - currently these are discounted to the same price as the 770's above (~$250)
  • V-Moda M-100 - currently more expensive than the 2 above and I wonder if they're not quite as comfortable
  • Also open to suggestions

 

As I mentioned above I'd been mainly looking at closed, "fun" headphones and have read Mad Lust Envy's gaming guide.  I'd all but decided on the 770-250's when I noticed a sale on the 880's.  I realize they're partially open but from what I've read they're much better even though they may not have as much bass as the 770's.  I don't have any sound leakage concerns as I have everything set up in a separate room, though when I play at night my sub can be heard in other rooms hence my headphone requirement.  Given that the 2 are the same price right now, I'm really torn.  I also think that my listening is a bit ruined by the bass in the G930's and since I've never had a pair of "real" headphones (other than my IEM's) I may be talking a bit of nonsense when it comes to what I'm really looking for.  That said, my music tastes are mainly metal/rock (Tool/DMB etc) for which a good bass punch is preferable (at least for me) and I'd like to be able to get that without having to put the volume up too high.  I'm a bit worried I'd be disappointed by the bass in the 880's, but if they still have that bass kick punch and can hit the low frequencies in games (like the d3 waypoints/explosions for example) I think I'd like them.

 

The other main consideration I have is comfort.  I wear glasses, which is I think how my G930 earpads became so ripped up, and I've found that headphones with a stiffer clamp (I think that's the right term) can give me headaches.  For that reason I wasn't sure if the M-100's would be the right fit, and I've heard so much about the comfort of Beyer's and their sexy velour earpads.

 

Lastly I should also mention that I live in Canada so prices may be a bit different, but I do have a US address I can use worse-case.

 

I'd be especially interested to hear from someone who's upgraded from the G930's, but any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

post #2 of 12
You should look into the Philips X1 or the HiFiMan HE-400s (Razordog currently has a $50 off promo code). These are fully open headphones with good bass emphasis, so you'd get the big soundstage of an open headphone for gaming, bigger than the DT880s and better bass than the DT880s. For instance, here's a review of the HE-400s. Note how it compares to other headphones in that review list. And here is a good one for the X1: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/big-bottom-and-lively-top-philips-fidelio-x1.
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by huadiph View PostV/Movies.

 

My proposed upgrades:

Sound card: SB Zx

I chose this because it has enough I/O to handle my speakers while also having an amp for headphones.  I also use Optical-In for an Xbox 360.  I looked at the ZxR but it's quite the jump in price to the Zx and I'm not sure if I need the extras.  My current sound card is good but I need to share an I/O port between headphones and my rear speakers...the alternative being using the headphone jack on my Z-5300's which has a bit of a hiss.  I do enjoy surround sound as well and it seems like the newer tech will play well with the newer games, while also solving my I/O problems.

Headphones:

  • Beyerdynamic DT 770-250,
  • Beyerdynamic DT 880-250 (Edition - part 481793) - currently these are discounted to the same price as the 770's above (~$250)
  • V-Moda M-100 - currently more expensive than the 2 above and I wonder if they're not quite as comfortable
  • Also open to suggestions

As I mentioned above I'd been mainly looking at closed, "fun" headphones and have read Mad Lust Envy's gaming guide.  I'd all but decided on the 770-250's when I noticed a sale on the 880's.  I realize they're partially open but from what I've read they're much better even though they may not have as much bass as the 770's.  I don't have any sound leakage concerns as I have everything set up in a separate room, though when I play at night my sub can be heard in other rooms hence my headphone requirement.  Given that the 2 are the same price right now, I'm really torn.  I also think that my listening is a bit ruined by the bass in the G930's and since I've never had a pair of "real" headphones (other than my IEM's) I may be talking a bit of nonsense when it comes to what I'm really looking for.  That said, my music tastes are mainly metal/rock (Tool/DMB etc) for which a good bass punch is preferable (at least for me) and I'd like to be able to get that without having to put the volume up too high.  I'm a bit worried I'd be disappointed by the bass in the 880's, but if they still have that bass kick punch and can hit the low frequencies in games (like the d3 waypoints/explosions for example) I think I'd like them.

The other main consideration I have is comfort.  I wear glasses, which is I think how my G930 ear pads became so ripped up, and I've found that headphones with a stiffer clamp (I think that's the right term) can give me headaches.  For that reason I wasn't sure if the M-100's would be the right fit, and I've heard so much about the comfort of Beyer's and their sexy velour ear pads.

 

I think for whatever bass you might think you might lose (compared to the DT770s) going with the DT880s, will be more then made up for with the over all sound quality of the DT880s.

To me the DT880s have a very decent bass.

 

I've heard the external ACM module that comes with the SB-Zx has a slight negative effect on audio quality, you might save a few (Canadian) dollars by just getting the SB-Z.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the recommendation, I did look around for those as they were highly touted in the gaming thread, but they both seemed (at least where I looked at the time) to cost a bit more than I was looking for.  That said, with shipping to Canada the HE-400 are $330 (the $50 off code would not apply for me, I wonder if that's because they're already on sale) which considering how they were reviewed in your link would be an acceptable price for my budget  That includes the velour pads as well, which I've read are excellent.  I wonder if I'll get dinged for duty though...has anyone else done this and can comment?  I may just send them to my friend in the US and save some dollars if duty will stack on top.

 

I can only find the X1's on Amazon.ca for $400+, and neither of the 2 other Canadian stores I've found seem to carry them.  The 880s I can pick up locally for $250 which seemed like a great price, but you seem to confirm my suspicion that I won't like the bass.  

 

From a comfort perspective, the HiFiMan's look (and are reviewed) like they would be extremely comfortable, especially with the included velour pads from Razordog.  I am very much leaning towards these now.  Thank you!

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by huadiph View Post
 

I can only find the X1's on Amazon.ca for $400+, and neither of the 2 other Canadian stores I've found seem to carry them.  The 880s I can pick up locally for $250 which seemed like a great price, but you seem to confirm my suspicion that I won't like the bass.  

 

Why not just get the Beyer DT990s?

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

I think for whatever bass you might think you might lose (compared to the DT770s) going with the DT880s, will be more then made up for with the over all sound quality of the DT880s.

To me the DT880s have a very decent bass.

 

I've heard the external ACM module that comes with the SB-Zx has a slight negative effect on audio quality, you might save a few (Canadian) dollars by just getting the SB-Z.

Thanks for the tip on the sound card, I may do that as these will be plugged in pretty much all the time so using the hookup in the back of the PC shouldn't be an issue.

As noted in my last reply to cel4145 I'm now also strongly considering the HiFiMan HE-400's as well, how would they compare to the 880s for sound quality?  I was hesitant at the price I could find them at, but at the price above I can make them fit into my budget, especially after saving some money on the sound card.

 

Thanks.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

Why not just get the Beyer DT990s?

The best price I can find for the 990's are about $400 as well...I don't really want to go that high.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by huadiph View Post

Thank you for the recommendation, I did look around for those as they were highly touted in the gaming thread, but they both seemed (at least where I looked at the time) to cost a bit more than I was looking for.  That said, with shipping to Canada the HE-400 are $330 (the $50 off code would not apply for me, I wonder if that's because they're already on sale) which considering how they were reviewed in your link would be an acceptable price for my budget  That includes the velour pads as well, which I've read are excellent.  I wonder if I'll get dinged for duty though...has anyone else done this and can comment?  I may just send them to my friend in the US and save some dollars if duty will stack on top.

I can only find the X1's on Amazon.ca for $400+, and neither of the 2 other Canadian stores I've found seem to carry them.  The 880s I can pick up locally for $250 which seemed like a great price, but you seem to confirm my suspicion that I won't like the bass.  

From a comfort perspective, the HiFiMan's look (and are reviewed) like they would be extremely comfortable, especially with the included velour pads from Razordog.  I am very much leaning towards these now.  Thank you!

$330 is good for those. They used to be $399 up until this winter, and they've been $299 everywhere but at Razordog. Considering how much way overpriced stuff can be in Canada, that sounds pretty darn good. Definitely better bass than the 880s. The 880s are to me, best described as more of an analytical, cold sounding headphone, with a tinge of brightness and a fairly linear response except for the emphasized highs. The HE-400s are a little bit warm (not a lot) sounding headphone with great bass impact, but not overpowering bass. And I think the HE-400s have better detail resolution.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
OK in an interesting twist I've found the dt990 premium 32ohm for CDN$259. I did some additional reading on the HE-400 and they do sound like great heaphones but many seem to say they are quite heavy which concerns me a bit. I've been known to have some long late night gaming sessions. Have you used them for long periods? Like 3-4h at a time?

Thanks.
post #10 of 12
I usually only wear them an hour or two at a time, but I have worn them for a few hours. I have a big head. They don't bother me. Maybe some people have a weak neck or poor posture. (lol)

Seriously, some of the complaints may come from people that have tried them and found them heavier than their regular headphones and are speculating, rather than being owners. I would ask in the HE-400 discussion thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/604583/hifiman-he-400-impressions-and-discussion-thread.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

It's funny the initial post of that thread was one of the reviews I read which mentioned the weight as a negative, but within the thread (and elsewhere, like this comparison: http://www.head-fi.org/t/639337/comparison-between-hifiman-he-400-beyerdynamic-dt-990-250-w-pics/15) there is certainly a difference of opinion.  I think I also like the idea of having a meaty set of headphones as well, plus they look pretty awesome, not that aesthetics really matters much.

 

Thank you very much for all your help.  I think I'll put in my order :)

post #12 of 12
Great! Be sure to come back and share your impressions of how they sound smily_headphones1.gif
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