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Need help picking a headphone or headset for gaming

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, first post and hope this is the right board to ask. I'm looking to buy my first headset or headphone which I will mostly use for gaming(being good for music and movies would be a nice bonus). So originally I was going to buy a Steelseries Siberia V2 which seemed pretty good(every review I saw was positive) but after searching around a bit I've seen people say that regular headphones offer better sound quality than gaming headsets for the same price or less so I decided to get a headphone instead because why not.

 

After doing a lot of research I've seen many people recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700(x) for people who are on a budget like me. I've read that this headphone has a wide sound stage which allows the player to really pin point where things like footsteps are coming from and are good for hearing details but on the downside they have little bass so things like explosions don't sound as "boomy". So they're great for fps and competitive gaming. But here's the thing, I don't do competitive gaming much and I don't only play fps.

 

I've also heard that closed headphones generally offer better bass and the A700x seems to be the closed version of the AD700x and both are priced the same.

 

So what I'm wondering is should I get the AD700x or the A700x? Is the A700x good for gaming and does it still offer a wide sound stage like the AD700x? I'm not looking for something that will blow my ears off, just a headphone(or a headset) with nice sound that offers good directional accuracy while still having a decent bass so things like gunshots and explosions won't sound boring.

 

How does the Sennheiser HD 558 compare(or one of their PC headsets like say the PC 350)? Or are there better options(preferably around this price range)?

 

Btw is it actually true that headphones are better than "gaming headsets"? Should I just get the Siberia V2 and be done with it or are those headphones really that much better? >.>


Edited by Booby Trap - 4/12/14 at 3:34pm
post #2 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booby Trap View Post
 

Hey guys, first post and hope this is the right board to ask. I'm looking to buy my first headset or headphone which I will mostly use for gaming(being good for music and movies would be a nice bonus). So originally I was going to buy a Steelseries Siberia V2 which seemed pretty good(every review I saw was positive) but after searching around a bit I've seen people say that regular headphones offer better sound quality than gaming headsets for the same price or less so I decided to get a headphone instead because why not.

 

After doing a lot of research I've seen many people recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700(x) for people who are on a budget like me. I've read that this headphone has a wide sound stage which allows the player to really pin point where things like footsteps are coming from and are good for hearing details but on the downside they have little bass so things like explosions don't sound as "boomy". So they're great for fps and competitive gaming. But here's the thing, I don't do competitive gaming much and I don't only play fps.

 

I've also heard that closed headphones generally offer better bass and the A700x seems to be the closed version of the AD700x and both are priced the same.

 

So what I'm wondering is should I get the AD700x or the A700x? Is the A700x good for gaming and does it still offer a wide sound stage like the AD700x? I'm not looking for something that will blow my ears off, just a headphone(or a headset) with nice sound that offers good directional accuracy while still having a decent bass so things like gunshots and explosions won't sound boring.

 

How does the Sennheiser HD 558 compare(or one of their PC headsets like say the PC 350)? Or are there better options(preferably around this price range)?

 

Btw is it actually true that headphones are better than "gaming headsets"? Should I just get the Siberia V2 and be done with it or are those headphones really that much better? >.>


How loud is your PC? I have both closed an open headphones. I tend to use the open headphones because they are better (AKG K702), but I also have Shure srh 840s that block out a lot more noise. In all honesty, you don't need super detailed studio monitors for FPS games; the sounds aren't typically that subtle. More important is long term comfort. However, for music better headphones are going to be noticeably better, and open backed headphones typically sound better than closed back of the same price range.

 

I am not entirely convinced that the "soundstage" people describe has any effect on being able to position audio when you are only listening to a stereo signal; a wide soundstage makes the sound seem like it is coming from a larger area in space, but when you are listening to stereo audio you are going to have the stereo separation no matter what headphones you use, and that is the primary thing that lets you know where something is.

In FPS games I use Razer surround, which virtualizes surround sound for stereo headphones. This makes a bigger difference in locating audio than the differences in soundstage between headphones.

 

If you get open backed headphones, you may have issues hearing some higher pitched sounds while gaming if your GPU fans are loud (typically they are higher pitched than case fans and are more audible).

post #3 of 40

For pure gaming = Audio Technica ad700x. They have very little bass but will allow you to pin point any sound. They look really goofy in person.

 

For casual gaming = Beyerdynamic 990 250ohm. Heavy bass and great sound stage. You need an amp to use them and it takes 2 weeks of constant use for them to be comfortable. When you first put them on the sound after 30 minutes will begin to fatigue. But if you go the 2 weeks listening to them you'll be rewarded with a great all around gaming headphone. 

 

Closed headphones are absolute trash. But if you do need a closed headphone get a pair of Denon 2000's. Great sound stage and great bass. They are kind of heavy and out of production right now.  

 

Do NOT buy anything from razer, turtle beach or any company that claims to be a gaming headset company. 

 

I haven't tried sennheiser 558, but its suppose to be an updated version of the 555's. People raved about the 555's but I just couldn't get into them. The sound is incredibly artificial and they feel way bigger then they need to be. 

post #4 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booby Trap View Post
 

Hey guys, first post and hope this is the right board to ask. I'm looking to buy my first headset or headphone which I will mostly use for gaming(being good for music and movies would be a nice bonus). So originally I was going to buy a Steelseries Siberia V2 which seemed pretty good

After doing a lot of research I've seen many people recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700(x) for people who are on a budget like me. 

I've also heard that closed headphones generally offer better bass and the A700x seems to be the closed version of the AD700x and both are priced the same.

So what I'm wondering is should I get the AD700x or the A700x? Is the A700x good for gaming and does it still offer a wide sound stage like the AD700x? I'm not looking for something that will blow my ears off, just a headphone(or a headset) with nice sound that offers good directional accuracy while still having a decent bass so things like gunshots and explosions won't sound boring.

How does the Sennheiser HD 558 compare(or one of their PC headsets like say the PC 350)? Or are there better options(preferably around this price range)?

Btw is it actually true that headphones are better than "gaming headsets"? Should I just get the Siberia V2 and be done with it or are those headphones really that much better? >.>

It would help if you could list a budget for your audio enhancement?

I personally prefer my HD558s to my AD700s, the HD558 does not have a lot of bass, but at least it's more then my AD700s.

post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folex View Post
 

For pure gaming = Audio Technica ad700x. They have very little bass but will allow you to pin point any sound. They look really goofy in person.

 

For casual gaming = Beyerdynamic 990 250ohm. Heavy bass and great sound stage. You need an amp to use them and it takes 2 weeks of constant use for them to be comfortable. When you first put them on the sound after 30 minutes will begin to fatigue. But if you go the 2 weeks listening to them you'll be rewarded with a great all around gaming headphone. 

 

Closed headphones are absolute trash. But if you do need a closed headphone get a pair of Denon 2000's. Great sound stage and great bass. They are kind of heavy and out of production right now.  

 

Do NOT buy anything from razer, turtle beach or any company that claims to be a gaming headset company. 

 

I haven't tried sennheiser 558, but its suppose to be an updated version of the 555's. People raved about the 555's but I just couldn't get into them. The sound is incredibly artificial and they feel way bigger then they need to be. 

Oh look, typical head fi hyperbole and ridiculous suggestions.

 

 

Closed back headphones are not "trash." They will be fine for gaming, and will block out more ambient noise than open backed. This will allow you to hear quiet sounds more easily over the sound of your computer or whatever else my be going on in the background.

 

I am not sure why you suggested those Dennons. They are much more expensive than what the OP was looking at, and they are discontinued. I doubt OP wants to buy used headphones.

post #6 of 40
Well, if it's clarity you need then go for the AD700X or something similar. If you also want to listen to music, and think that the AD700X is too bass light, the HD558 works too.

Searching for headphones for gaming is less picky than it is for music.
post #7 of 40
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses.

My pc doens't get very loud. I rarely notice the fan while playing so I doubt it'll get in the way.

My budget is about $180. So again I'm basically looking for a headphone with a wide sound stage for directional accuracy like the AD700x but has a decent enough bass so things like explosions won't sound flat and boring. Which is why I'm looking at the A700x because I heard they offer both but just want to confirm it. Otherwise I'll just go with the AD700x or the HD558.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Folex View Post

 

For casual gaming = Beyerdynamic 990 250ohm. Heavy bass and great sound stage. You need an amp to use them and it takes 2 weeks of constant use for them to be comfortable. When you first put them on the sound after 30 minutes will begin to fatigue. But if you go the 2 weeks listening to them you'll be rewarded with a great all around gaming headphone. 

 

Getting them and an amp seems a bit expensive. >_>

 

How are the DT 770 pro(250 ohm or 32 ohm)?


Edited by Booby Trap - 4/13/14 at 6:13am
post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booby Trap View Post
 

 

Getting them and an amp seems a bit expensive. >_>

 

How are the DT 770 pro(250 ohm or 32 ohm)?

 

If you have a guitar center around you they should have 770's, 880's and 990's you could try along with the sennheiser 558's. Their prices are going to be a lot more expensive then you'd find online so I'd only go there and try them out.

 

And if you really need a pair of closed headphone and cheap the sennheiser 280's are really good. They are only 80ohm but they really do need a small amp like a fiio 5 for $30. They were my first pair of "expensive" headphones and I loved them until i found myself having to take them off every hour due to my ears being hot. 


Edited by Folex - 4/13/14 at 7:47am
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booby Trap View Post

Getting them and an amp seems a bit expensive. >_>

How are the DT 770 pro(250 ohm or 32 ohm)?

Open headphones will almost always out do closed headphones for gaming because of their bigger soundstage. But if you are willing to concede the larger soundstage, the DT770s could be a good choice.

Do you have a soundcard on your computer? If not, then you might plan to upgrade to one next. Soundcards have virtual surround processing which also improves the soundstage experience.
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 

Well I actually use a laptop atm. I do plan to get a desktop in the future but idk when that will be. Either this year or the next. I've searched around a bit to see what soundcard this thing has(if it has one) and in device manager I see IDT High Definition Audio CODEC, Nvidia High Definition Audio, and Nvidia Virtual Audio Device (Wave Extensible) (WDM) listed. Though I don't think any of them is a soundcards(?).

 

No comment on the A700x? <.<

I don't have a guitar center or any place around me that has these headphones so I can't try them irl unfortunately.

It doesn't really matter to me if the headphone is open or closed but if open really is better for gaming then I guess I'll just go for that. So which of these two would be the better option then, AD700x or HD 558?

post #11 of 40

You can always buy from amazon and return if you don't like them; amazon returns are pretty easy, even on headphones. A lot of other online retailers don't even let you return headphones.

post #12 of 40
Thread Starter 

I guess that's possible but it takes a while for amazon to deliver something so I'd rather not start sending back and forth tbh. 


Edited by Booby Trap - 4/13/14 at 12:08pm
post #13 of 40

If you are set on ad700x or 558's then it comes down to how hardcore you plan to play. Ad700x's if you want to be competitive. If you then decided to listen to bass heavy music, or even music where bass is a part of the music the ad700x's will let you down unless you EQ them to have a bass boost.

 

 This isn't so say the 558's are bad at gaming. They are really good but bass is the enemy when playing FPS games. It distorts the low faint noises making it harder to pin point exactly where sounds are coming from. For hardcore gaming I'd give ad700x a score of 95 and give 558 a 87. When it comes to music I'd give the 558's an 85 and ad700x a 60. Keep in mind this is my personal opinion and as with anything people have different ears and preferences. 


Edited by Folex - 4/13/14 at 12:19pm
post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 

Based on your description it seems the HD 558 are the ones I should be getting. If they have a decent bass but are still really good for pin pointing where sound is coming from then that's good for me. And as I said being good for music and movies is always a nice bonus.

 

Thanks for all the replies everyone.

post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booby Trap View Post
 

Based on your description it seems the HD 558 are the ones I should be getting. If they have a decent bass but are still really good for pin pointing where sound is coming from then that's good for me. And as I said being good for music and movies is always a nice bonus.

 

Thanks for all the replies everyone.

But also keep in mind the 558's aren't bass canons. For me personally I like a little more bass. This is why I'm using the 990's. The 990's you can hear 2 separate tracks. 1 for pure bass and one for pure mids/highs. It makes for a very enjoyable headphone if you can endure the fatiguing effect. 

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