Closed headphones in the $250-350 range.
Nov 16, 2008 at 6:29 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

Ziek

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First time poster here. With so many threads just like this one I'll skip on down to the nitty gritty.

As the title says, I'm looking for a good pair of closed headphones in the $250-350 price range. My only source will be my home PC. (GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel mobo onboard sound) I can get a sound card down the line if it would improve the sound by a large margin and/or would be needed to drive the headphones to/close to their maximum performance. The same goes for amps.

I'm an avid gamer. I owned a pair of Speedlink Medusas for that very reason. Those 'phones recently bit the dust however, and I would like to do a little (heh) homework this time. I don't want to dive into a purchase just because a product says "5.1". Is it true that I can get a 5.1 effect through software of some sort that wouldn't leave me disappointed? (and would it be possible to turn this off for music enjoyment?) I ask this because I play a lot of FPS's and sound direction has become very important to me.

I listen to a lot of different music, rock/metal (Zeppelin, Sabbath, Danzig, ect) being my most favorable. Having said that I guess I consider myself a bit of a bass-head. I do like a strong bass but I don't want it to drown out everything else or be obscene for the listening level. (I don't plan on damaging my hearing any time soon.)

Comfort is kind of a big thing since I will be using these for several hours at some times. The ATH-A900 seem to recieve a lot of praise in this department. Are there better alternatives to the 900's that have a better sound quality, bass, ect? Sadly there's a whopping 0 local shops that carry high-end headphones at all. So trying anything out in person, before buying, is not an option. Any and all suggestions will be appreciated of course.

I apologize for; any errors I made, anything that I possibly missed and this rather bland wall of text. Thank you for reading. And thank you Head-fi'ers for making such a great community.
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 8:58 AM Post #3 of 18

1Time

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You may want to budget for a gaming sound card, maybe one of the X-Fi model.

I've owned the HD280 and A900. The A900 is a commonly used closed headphone for FPS, a safe bet. I've not played FPS games, just read about headphones used for it. For closed headphones for FPS, I'd probably go with the HD280. It doesn't have strong bass, but it is good for positional audio. For open headphones for FPS, I'd want to try the Pioneer SE-A1000, which sells on eBay for under $150 shipped. Its soundstage is comparable to the A900. None of these headphones require an amp.
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 9:21 PM Post #5 of 18

Ziek

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Bump! I'm still interested in CMSS-3D. Just from looking at a few Creative cards on newegg, I see that in the Features tab it mentions CMSS-3D. Does it come stock with this? Or, do I need to download it? I'm still very new to this and any insight would be much appreciated.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 12:00 AM Post #7 of 18

phkd

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I would say that if you are going to spend that much for headphones, you should seriously consider that soundcard upgrade. It's pointless to get a nice pair when their potential will never be met. However, on-board sound isn't always that terrible, you may get lucky with that motherboard. That's when the 30-day money back policy comes in handy with headphones!

Anyways, I would recommend the Audio-technica ATH-A700 (which I prefer to the 900 for rock) and I've also heard good things about the previously mentioned ultrasones, though I am not familiar enough to pick one.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 12:07 AM Post #8 of 18

Ziek

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Quote:

Originally Posted by phkd /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I would say that if you are going to spend that much for headphones, you should seriously consider that soundcard upgrade. It's pointless to get a nice pair when their potential will never be met. However, on-board sound isn't always that terrible, you may get lucky with that motherboard. That's when the 30-day money back policy comes in handy with headphones!

Anyways, I would recommend the Audio-technica ATH-A700 (which I prefer to the 900 for rock) and I've also heard good things about the previously mentioned ultrasones, though I am not familiar enough to pick one.




Aye, I am definitely going to go for the sound card. With the holidays so near, it shouldn't be a problem at all.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 12:18 AM Post #9 of 18

dclancy

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Guitar Center carries Ultrasones, and if there is one by you, they may have a demo pair to try.
I only mention it because, these are the cans that are tempting me as of late, so I have no experience with them myself.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 12:21 AM Post #11 of 18

phkd

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 1Time /img/forum/go_quote.gif
A better and similarly priced alternative to a sound card may be a USB DAC/amp. I use the HotUSB1 which sells for ~$60 shipped.


good call! Another great option.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 12:24 AM Post #12 of 18

tintin47

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As far as gaming headsets go, you should check out the headphone thread on MLGpro.com. It is actually just called "the headphone thread", and you should find it pretty easily in no time. There is a lot of good input there.

I don't know if you must have closed phones or not, but I have always loved my Senn HD595 for gaming, because it has great soundstaging. I feel like open phones generally have better staging than closed, but maybe I've just tricked myself into thinking that.

For closed recommendations, possibly D2000, though I think you'd need an amp.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 9:27 AM Post #15 of 18

Ziek

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 1Time /img/forum/go_quote.gif
A better and similarly priced alternative to a sound card may be a USB DAC/amp. I use the HotUSB1 which sells for ~$60 shipped.


Can I achieve the same thing as CMSS-3D through a USB DAC/amp? This is rather important to me since I enjoy gaming quite a bit.

It's frustrating knowing so very little about this. I'm not really one to ask so many questions, but it's hard not to. I basically stumbled across Head fi, through [H]ard, with no prior knowledge to high-end audio.
redface.gif
There's a guitar center about 30 minutes away I found out. I -might- be able to try out at least 1-3 of the aforementioned headphones.

I hope it's okay to keep bumping this thread. I'm in no real hurry to make a purchase.
 

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