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Best Headset For Gaming + Music and A Mic?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey guys! I am looking for a new headset + mic combo for home. I am a huge gamer and love to listen to rap and hip-hop (lots of both male and female vocals) when I'm not gaming. I am on my PC many hours a day so I need a durable and comfortable headset. I looked through Mad Lust Envy's HUGE thread about headphones and found two headphones and two mics that seemed to be a good fit for me. The two headphones were the Phillips Fidelio X1's and the Beyerdynamic DT990's. I also looked through the mics and found two that interested me: the AntLion ModMic and the V-moda BoomPro. What would be the best combination of mic and headset for me? I just picked these 4 items as they seemed to be good for me but I could be wrong as you guys are the experts and not me. Also, would I need an amp with the headset? I know very little about this kind of stuff so I am relying on you guys to explain it all for me. Thanks!


Edited by Sahand75 - 6/7/14 at 7:18am
post #2 of 19
Howdy, and welcome to Head-Fi! The motto here is, "sorry about your wallet!"

The X1's work with the V-moda mic, so the DT's you'd probably want the ModMic. If you game on PC, I'd recommend a cheap sound card as well, I use the Asus Xonar DGX personally, only ~$40, clearer sounding than onboard, louder, and it has DSP I can run out via optical. I'm assuming you're looking at the 250 ohm DT's, I'd research if a card like that can make them get loud enough... Though many use them without a dedicated amp. My brother has the X1 + V-moda combo, and loves it for gaming. I'm not a huge fan, the bass is a bit too bloated and slow for my tastes... But YMMV.

Feel free to ask any questions!
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

I am getting my own PC so I will most likely add a soundcard to my PC then. Thanks for the help. About the headset, though, do you recommend I get the X1's? I don't really know what it means when the bass is bloated and slow but I know that it doesn't sound good. What exactly is "bass" and what does it sound like when it's bloated and slow?

post #4 of 19
The bass is the low frequencies, like bass guitars, kick drums... Honestly for your music tastes they'll be great. Vocals are fantastic, and the bass is powerful and full sounding, it just sounds muddy on very fast music, metal probably wouldn't sound too good, or bebop jazz. I seem to be in the minority of people who don't like the X1's bass, your millage may vary. The DT's have a more engaging, fun sound due to the brighter high end notes. For longer listening sessions, I'd take the X1's, for gaming and movies, either would be great. I think it just depends on if you want to spend $70 more for X1's. Many users love both equally, for my personal tastes, I'd go for the DT's I think.

I hope that helps! Keep asking questions if you need, and keep searching around on the site for comparisons!
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the amazing reply! Now that I have read more about them, I would prefer the X1's as they seem to be the same as the DT990's but have fixed the little mistakes that the 990 had. I have one last question though. How exactly do these perform to other gaming headsets? Are headsets like the SteelSeries Siberia V2 and the Astro A40's better when it comes to gaming? I know that the X1's would win by far when it comes to music and overall sound, but in competitive play when I need to hear the footsteps, would I be hearing footsteps better than if I had a Siberia V2 or A40's? I am not sure spending all this extra money would be beneficial to me since I am gaming almost all the time. Also, are there any audiophile headphones better than the X1's in gaming? I know the Audio Technia AD-700X headphones are good for gaming but are they better than the X1's? Sorry for all these questions. I am just very scared about purchasing headphones at this price.

post #6 of 19
For $230, you'd better be asking questions! For gaming, I've heard nothing better. The soundstage and imaging are pretty awesome... There's a thread on here I always reference called "Mad Lust Envy's Guide To Gaming"or something like that... He rates them up with the best. DT's too... But my brother got his X1's for gaming and never misses any queues. They're maybe better than my LCD-2's because of a better center image. I think that could be my amp though... But I digress. They're awesome. Worst case, you could EQ the bass down a tad for maximum footstep-detail-retrieving.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

My last concern has to do with accessories. I already know the mic I am getting but I have no idea about amps and sound cards. I am about to buy the parts for my own PC and have heard a lot about sound cards recently. I have heard many people saying you must get a sound card and some say that it does absolutely nothing to help audio. I also know that if I were to buy the DT 990's I would need an amp for the 250 ohm version. Does this apply to the X1 as well? Would I need an amp and sound card? If so, which do you recommend?

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahand75 View Post
 

My last concern has to do with accessories. I already know the mic I am getting but I have no idea about amps and sound cards. I am about to buy the parts for my own PC and have heard a lot about sound cards recently. I have heard many people saying you must get a sound card and some say that it does absolutely nothing to help audio. I also know that if I were to buy the DT 990's I would need an amp for the 250 ohm version. Does this apply to the X1 as well? Would I need an amp and sound card? If so, which do you recommend?

 

The headphone amplifier built into the SB-Z would work fine with the DT990 250-Ohm headphones,

Where as the 30-Ohm Fidelio might get a little "bloated" in the audio sound, from the SB-Z.

You can get a DT990 Pro 250-Ohm for around $150, on eBay.

post #9 of 19

The DGX I mentioned has an output impedance of 10 ohms according to one source... which is pretty high, fine for the DT's, but not ideal for X1's. I will say though, it's still a definite improvement over your motherboard's on-board sound for either. If you're not planning on a DAC/amp right away... I'd say it'll take care of you for quite a while. On high gain... it'll probably be just fine with the DT's, Even one for the X1's could help, they only get just past a 'loud' listening level for my ears.

 

I'd grab a card like the DGX just to start, and then later you could run it out to an amp or DAC/amp using the optical out to use the 5.1 virtualization for gaming if the urge strikes. It did for me, ask my wallet. I almost liked the DGX as much as my Audio-GD NFB-28 dedicated desktop DAC/amp with the X1's. Go figure. The bass was maybe less bloated (doesn't really make sense, like PurpleAngel says, it should be more bloated), and the treble had more sparkle. The AGD amp is for sure more accurate, but that doesn't always mean it'll sound better.

 

Feel free to check out other sound cards, I just got the cheapest one I could get that would do virtual 5.1 out via S/PDIF to my rig. http://www.head-fi.org/t/593050/the-nameless-guide-to-pc-gaming-audio-with-binaural-headphone-surround-sound is a pretty intense resource on the subject... maybe ask on there?

 

I hope that helps.

 

Edited to remove redundant info.


Edited by jodgey4 - 6/7/14 at 8:55pm
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

Is there anything you can do so that the bass doesn't become bloated? I plan on getting the Sound Blaster Z sound card but you and PurpleAngel mentioned that it would be bloated. Would it still be worth it considering I listen to rap and hip-hop about 95% of the time? Also, is there a DAC I can get that would help the bloating and would make music more enjoyable? I looked around but only found DAC's that had amps built into them and I'm guessing that would just make the bloating even worse. If it is too much of a hassle, I can always just buy the 250 ohm version of the 990's and have both the sound card and amp/dac without problems.

post #11 of 19

I wouldn't worry too much about bloating, remember my DGX almost had less bloated bass for whatever reason than my big desktop rig. Bloating just means more volume and less detail. Unless you listened exclusively to jazz or something where the bass needs extra control, I think you'll be fine/happy at the performance of a soundcard for your music tastes. You mostly just need a full bass for rap/hip-hip, which will be delivered.

 

What will help the bloating is a low output impedance of your amp. The general rule is 1:8 shown as output:headphone's impedance. If you want to consider a DAC/amp down the line, look for something with 4 ohms or less output impedance. My brother will probably be getting the optical Schiit Modi and Vali amp (6.5 ohms output, but reported to sound rich and dynamic regardless). Objectively, a better choice would be the Magni amp at <0.1 ohms for the X1's. Also, the stock cable of the X1's is reported to sometimes have a high impedance, so replacing that with a different cable (V-Moda, Mediabridge, Monoprice... nothing expensive) has been reported by some to tighten up the bass.

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahand75 View Post
 

Is there anything you can do so that the bass doesn't become bloated? I plan on getting the Sound Blaster Z sound card but you and PurpleAngel mentioned that it would be bloated. Would it still be worth it considering I listen to rap and hip-hop about 95% of the time? Also, is there a DAC I can get that would help the bloating and would make music more enjoyable? I looked around but only found DAC's that had amps built into them and I'm guessing that would just make the bloating even worse. If it is too much of a hassle, I can always just buy the 250 ohm version of the 990's and have both the sound card and amp/dac without problems.

 

Getting a low impedance headphone amplifier would work well with the Fidelio.

Get a Asus Xonar DX/D1 sound card (used, $60) and a Schiit Magni or O2 (Objective 2) headphone amplifier, both headphones amps have an output impedance of less then 1-Ohm :)

The Xonar DX/D1 and SB-Z use the same CS4398 DAC chip.

So install the DX/D1 into the computer and the external amp into the DX/D1 and the Fidelio into the external Amp.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

I have two questions on the Asus sound cards. First of all, I have heard that the front out jack for the Asus DX is 100 ohms. Is this true? Also, I have heard their drivers are horrible compared to the drivers of other brands. They are rarely updated and don't works sometimes. Is this true as well? I also have three questions about the DAC. Are they going to make a large difference? It is $120 dollars and I am not sure I am willing to spend that much unless I know that it will improve the sound quality a lot. My next question has to do with the two you recommended. Which one do you prefer and recommend? I am not sure which one is better and would like to ask you since you have more experience with audio in general. Lastly, where would I plug in my microphone? I am getting the V-Moda microphone to go with the X1 and I am a little confused as to how it would work. Do I plug in my mic to the front panel but my headset to my amp which connects to my sound card? Do I connect the microphone to the sound card and the headset to the amp? Do both go into the amp? Thanks to both of you for the help!

 

Edit: Also, I seemed to forget one of the questions (sorry for so many questions!). Do you recommend the Magni or Modi? I don't really know the difference between amps and DAC's too well but I have been told to get a DAC.


Edited by Sahand75 - 6/8/14 at 3:55pm
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahand75 View Post
 

I have two questions on the Asus sound cards. First of all, I have heard that the front out jack for the Asus DX is 100 ohms. Is this true? Also, I have heard their drivers are horrible compared to the drivers of other brands. They are rarely updated and don't works sometimes. Is this true as well? I also have three questions about the DAC. Are they going to make a large difference? It is $120 dollars and I am not sure I am willing to spend that much unless I know that it will improve the sound quality a lot. My next question has to do with the two you recommended. Which one do you prefer and recommend? I am not sure which one is better and would like to ask you since you have more experience with audio in general. Lastly, where would I plug in my microphone? I am getting the V-Moda microphone to go with the X1 and I am a little confused as to how it would work. Do I plug in my mic to the front panel but my headset to my amp which connects to my sound card? Do I connect the microphone to the sound card and the headset to the amp? Do both go into the amp? Thanks to both of you for the help!

 

The line-out jacks on the back panel and the front panel headphone jack ports on the Xonar DX/D1 have an impedance of 100-Ohms,

100-Ohms is not great for plugging headphones directly into for audio quality, but works great for sending an analog audio signal from a sound card or DAC to the input on an external headphone amplifier.

 

All sound cards have had driver issues at one time or another, I have used five different models (DG/DGX/DS/DX/STX) of Xonar cards over the past 5 years, usually once the drivers have installed correctly, they seem stable to me.

Also there are the "Unified Xonar drivers", a third party hack of the drivers, which seem to work well.

 

If the Xonar DX (PCI-E) and D1 (PCI) are going for $120.

You might consider getting the Sound Blaster Z sound card and high impedance (120-Ohm to 300-Ohm) headphones you can plug into them.

The SB-Z amp is not as good as the Magni/O2, but if you get the higher impedance headphones, it really does not matter.

 

Not matter what you use to drive the headphones, you would still plug the mic into the sound card's input (mic) jack.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 6/8/14 at 4:10pm
post #15 of 19

With Asus cards, use the Uni drivers! It makes a huge difference with Dolby.

 

You can hook up your front panel to work with the card, there's a plug called HD Audio or AC '93... something like that. The Modi is a DAC, the Magni is an amp. The Modi you would want to get with the optical input, so you can run optical out of your card (DGX has this at least, not all) with all the Dolby processing done to your DAC, then plug the Magni into the DAC, and the headphones into the amp. Your mic would probably need an extension cord to make it to your mic input... just depends on where you put everything.

 

The external DAC can reduce noise, increase clarity, and probably produce a more natural sound. You'd need an amp to go with the DAC, as the signal coming out of a DAC is pretty weak and usually fixed in volume.

 

As far as DT-990 250 ohm vs. X1... do you want a natural sounding headphone with a bit of a bass boost, or one with a more fun and engaging sound? The X1 probably does music/vocals better, the DT would be killer for movies and engaging for gaming. Worst case, many places have great return policies. As I said, for my ears, I'd go for the DT-990's, but I love the X1's and recommend them to people left and right. The DT's are more different from my current headphones, and I don't like the feel of the X1's on my ears. Most people love the pads... again, I seem to be in the minority of people who aren't crazy about X1's. They're still a killer value, as are the Beyers.

 

For your tastes, I think you'd like the X1's. Just decide if it's worth the extra $$.

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