Headphone Setup for Gaming/Music for ~$500
Nov 5, 2017 at 10:18 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

Xurasses

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Hi there,
I'm looking for a good headphone setup with maybe an Amp and/or DAC (if necessary), and was hoping that maybe some of you could help me out, since I don't really know a lot when it comes to audio.
I currently own a pair of Astro A40s, but want something more for my ears. I also don't have a soundcard or an external Amp/DAC, I use the onboard audio from my motherboard; Asus SupremeFX.

These are my requirements for the headphones:
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
  • Good for Gaming
  • Detachable Cable is preferred, but not necessary
  • As little leather as possible
  • Durable/Sturdy
  • I love Velour Padding, but not necessary
  • Should excel at many different music Genres (Especially those listed below)
Not so Important:
  • I don't mind whether they are open or closed, as I'll be in my own room
  • Price: Don't go recommending me something like HD800s, but know that I am flexible in terms of budget

Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide has helped a lot, but I still don't know what to get... For the Amp and the DAC I'm thinking about the Schiit Stack (Magni 3/Modi 2). *The Budget includes this by the way!*

For the headphones I was thinking one of these:
  • Beyerdynamic DT 880
  • Beyerdynamic DT 990
  • AKG K612
  • AKG K712 (or another AKG K7xx line model)
Please let me know if you would recommend one of these headphones and if the Schiit Stack is the best Amp/DAC to go with, or if you have any other equipment suggestions for my taste of music. I really want to make sure that they'll be worth it; that I get the most for my money before I spend so much on them.

Right now, my favorite artists include Crywolf, EDEN, Jaymes Young and Oh Wonder, but my taste in music really ranges, as I listen to loads of other genres like Rap and Chillstep to name a few.

I would also hope that the headphones are good for gaming (Competitive Gaming, like Counter Strike, but also Campaign Games like the Witcher or Skyrim), but this is not a huge priority, as I'll always have my Astro A40s to fall back on in case they aren't good enough.

Thank you so much for your advice in advance!

Also, I will be buying these on Amazon.com, because here where I live, prices are way too high...
 
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Nov 5, 2017 at 11:52 AM Post #3 of 20

cossix

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Fidelio X2 plus the Schiit Stack is one of the best gaming setups. I use the 598 but it's a bit bass light and not as well built as the X2
 
Nov 5, 2017 at 9:27 PM Post #4 of 20

YJX94

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Within that price range and out of the headphones you've listed, K712 hands down. Know that it's best when paired with a dedicated high quality DAC/Amp, an Astro Mixamp will do and a Schiit Stack will do even better.
 
Nov 5, 2017 at 10:42 PM Post #5 of 20

Xurasses

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Either Beyer DT990 (80 ohm preferably with the Magni) or Fidelio X2...personally I prefer the X2 for the bass,but either will work.
Thank you so much for your really quick reply! I'm not sure what you mean about the 80 ohm DT 990s as I can only find 32, 250 and 600 ohm models, but it's alright, I'll find out which model the Magni is best for online.
Right now it's between the:
  • Philips Fidelio X2(HR)
  • Beyerdynamic DT 990
  • AKG K712 Pro
Thanks again for the reply! I really appreciate it...
 
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Nov 5, 2017 at 10:50 PM Post #6 of 20

Xurasses

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Fidelio X2 plus the Schiit Stack is one of the best gaming setups. I use the 598 but it's a bit bass light and not as well built as the X2
Thanks for the fast answer! I prefer the looks and build of the X2 to the Sennheisers aswell... Thanks for the suggestion... I've taken a look at the Philips Fidelio X2 and it seems really nice. Just one question: For the $275-$300 that they're going for right now, would you suggest the Fidelio X2 or the AKG K712 Pro? Thank you so much for the answer again :)
 
Nov 5, 2017 at 11:02 PM Post #8 of 20

YJX94

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Thanks for the fast answer! I prefer the looks and build of the X2 to the Sennheisers aswell... Thanks for the suggestion... I've taken a look at the Philips Fidelio X2 and it seems really nice. Just one question: For the $275-$300 that they're going for right now, would you suggest the Fidelio X2 or the AKG K712 Pro? Thank you so much for the answer again :)
There's no such thing as an 80 Ohm DT 990 IIRC, I think monsterzero meant DT 770s.

X2, DT 990 and K712 are the 3 that ALWAYS come up when someone is looking for gaming advice, these 3 are all quite different to each other but you cannot go wrong with either of them.

Philips Fidelio X2:-
  • BASS for days
  • V-shape so a fun headphone meaning recessed mids
  • Widest soundstage of the 3
  • Removable cable with the ability to add a Boom Pro to turn it into one of the best headsets ever
  • Doesn't need an amp but EVERY headphone will benefit from a high quality DAC
  • More meant for immersive gaming than competitive but still good for competitive
  • Super comfy with the soft headband and big earcups

Beyerdynamic DT 990:-
  • BASS for days, TREBLE for days which you may or may not find too sharp
  • V-shape again so a fun headphone meaning recessed mids
  • 3rd widest soundstage
  • Cable not removable which is a big downside for me
  • Needs an amp to get the best out of it
  • This can do immersive gaming as well as competitive equally as good
  • Comfy with the headband and big velour earcups

AKG K712 Pro:-
  • Very nice Neutral-ish sound with a flavourful colouring to the sound, very nice bass response, clear mids/vocals, crystal clear treble
  • 2nd widest soundstage but the best and most realistic sounding
  • Cable is removable
  • Needs an amp to get the best out of it
  • This is definitely the best all-rounder out of the 3, amazing for immersive and competitive gaming and just one of the best all-rounders there is
  • Soft leather headband that you can't feel on the top of your head and huge wonderful velour memory foam earpads

I don't really like any of Beyers cheaper offerings so I wouldn't go for the DT 990, it's the most risky of the 3 because of the treble. X2/K712 are equally safe offerings.

Out of the K712 and X2 I suggest the K712 hands down all day every day.

If you want a fun sounding all-rounder with the option to attach a boom mic then get the X2.

If you want something more neutral but honestly one of the best all-rounders ever then get the K712.
 
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Nov 5, 2017 at 11:12 PM Post #9 of 20

Xurasses

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There's no such thing as an 80 Ohm DT 990 IIRC, I think monsterzero meant DT 770s.

X2, DT 990 and K712 are the 3 that ALWAYS come up when someone is looking for gaming advice, these 3 are all quite different to each other but you cannot go wrong with either of them.

Philips Fidelio X2:-
  • BASS for days
  • V-shape so a fun headphone meaning recessed mids
  • Widest soundstage of the 3
  • Removable cable with the ability to add a Boom Pro to turn it into one of the best headsets ever
  • Doesn't need an amp but EVERY headphone will benefit from a high quality DAC
  • More meant for immersive gaming than competitive but still good for competitive
  • Super comfy with the soft headband and big earcups

Beyerdynamic DT 990:-
  • BASS for days, TREBLE for days which you may or may not find too sharp
  • V-shape again so a fun headphone meaning recessed mids
  • 3rd widest soundstage
  • Cable not removable which is a big downside for me
  • Needs an amp to get the best out of it
  • This can do immersive gaming as well as competitive equally as good
  • Comfy with the headband and big velour earcups

AKG K712 Pro:-
  • Very nice Neutral-ish sound with a flavourful colouring to the sound, very nice bass response, clear mids/vocals, crystal clear treble
  • 2nd widest soundstage but the best and most realistic sounding
  • Cable is removable
  • Needs an amp to get the best out of it
  • This is definitely the best all-rounder out of the 3, amazing for immersive and competitive gaming and just one of the best all-rounders there is
  • Soft leather headband that you can't feel on the top of your head and huge wonderful velour memory foam earpads

I don't really like any of Beyers cheaper offerings so I wouldn't go for the DT 990, it's the most risky of the 3 because of the treble. X2/K712 are equally safe offerings.

Out of the K712 and X2 I suggest the K712 hands down all day every day.

If you want a fun sounding all-rounder with the option to attach a boom mic then get the X2.

If you want something more neutral but honestly one of the best all-rounders ever then get the K712.
Thanks so much for this! It's really making things clear for me! I guess then the Beyerdynamics are out of the picture, since the cable is not removable. So it's between the K712 and the Fidelio X2. I'll do some more research on the two to find out which one I'll like more, and I'll think about whether I prefer the Neutral or the V-Shape, as I think that will ultimately be the deciding factor between the two, since both have everything I am looking for, and are both good for both Competitive and Immersive Gaming... Thanks so much again! You really helped with these answers!
 
Nov 5, 2017 at 11:22 PM Post #10 of 20

YJX94

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Thanks so much for this! It's really making things clear for me! I guess then the Beyerdynamics are out of the picture, since the cable is not removable. So it's between the K712 and the Fidelio X2. I'll do some more research on the two to find out which one I'll like more, and I'll think about whether I prefer the Neutral or the V-Shape, as I think that will ultimately be the deciding factor between the two, since both have everything I am looking for, and are both good for both Competitive and Immersive Gaming... Thanks so much again! You really helped with these answers!
No problem, you are very welcome.

I personally prefer a Neutral sound sig but not so neutral that it's flat out boring like a Shure SRH1540.

X2 is more fun than the K712, the bass is boomy and explosions and everything in game will sound awesome. For this reason it's great for immersive and competitive gaming but leans more towards immersive gaming.

The K712 is more neutral but AKG has tweaked it in a way where it's a neutral-ish sounding headphone that can be fun and energetic sounding when it needs to be, for this reason it has the best balance between immersive and competitive gaming therefore being a better all-rounder.

Bear in mind that most people will recommend the X2 for various reasons:-
  • No amp needed
  • Can use a boom pro on it
  • Has a safe fun sound signature
And remember that just because it doesn't need an amp doesn't meant that it won't benefit from a high quality DAC.

This is where the AKG wins because with a DAC/Amp it stomps the X2. Many people put the X2 and K712 on equal footing because they're equally priced but IMHO the K712 is well beyond the reach of the X2 and is on a whole different level.
 
Nov 5, 2017 at 11:29 PM Post #11 of 20

Monsterzero

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There's no such thing as an 80 Ohm DT 990 IIRC, I think monsterzero meant DT 770s.

Yup,youre correct.Im getting old.

  • No amp needed
  • Can use a boom pro on it
  • Has a safe fun sound signature
And remember that just because it doesn't need an amp doesn't meant that it won't benefit from a high quality DAC.

This is where the AKG wins because with a DAC/Amp it stomps the X2. Many people put the X2 and K712 on equal footing because they're equally priced but IMHO the K712 is well beyond the reach of the X2 and is on a whole different level.

I agree with most of what is written here,however unless the OP is willing to shell out for a good amp/DAC (more than what a Magni can do in my experience) the X2 is the safer bet.
 
Nov 5, 2017 at 11:39 PM Post #12 of 20

YJX94

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I agree with most of what is written here,however unless the OP is willing to shell out for a good amp/DAC (more than what a Magni can do in my experience) the X2 is the safer bet.
Yep, that's absolutely right. X2 is a much safer bet but I assure you OP that if you can afford it, go the extra mile with the K712.

Also the K712 and many other AKGs aren't as hard to drive as many people say. Volume isn't the only factor when it comes to amplification, there's the quality of the sound and the frequency response too. My K712 gets pretty darn loud from the back of my PC but when I plugged them into an O2+ODAC the sound just came alive. Tighter/punchier bass with more texture and detail, mids cleared up and sounded less muddy, treble clarity improved a lot and it sounded a lot more airier and wider because the soundstage opened up too.

So for the K712 and some other AKGs, volume isn't the main reason for amplification but the overall sound quality is, think of it as driving a Bugatti Veyron on a 30 MPH speed limit road, you are severely limiting what it can really do and the same thing applies to the K712.
 
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Nov 6, 2017 at 12:03 AM Post #13 of 20

Xurasses

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Within that price range and out of the headphones you've listed, K712 hands down. Know that it's best when paired with a dedicated high quality DAC/Amp, an Astro Mixamp will do and a Schiit Stack will do even better.
Thanks for the suggestion! The other 2 have suggested the Fidelio X2, do you have any familiarity with these? If so, how do they compare?
Yup,youre correct.Im getting old.



I agree with most of what is written here,however unless the OP is willing to shell out for a good amp/DAC (more than what a Magni can do in my experience) the X2 is the safer bet.
What do you suggest as a good Amp and DAC for the K712, and what DAC would I get for the Fidelio X2? I'd like to compare prices between these options to see which is better in terms of price to performance. How would I go about using only the Modi 2, or is it not possible? Because there's nowhere to plug in the headphones unless I were to connect to Magni, right? Sorry I don't understand, I'm a bit of an idiot xD
 
Nov 6, 2017 at 12:14 AM Post #14 of 20

Monsterzero

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A good DAC is a good DAC.Some lean more towards brightness,some towards warmth,and some are pretty neutral...at the end of the day a good DAC will work with any HP being mentioned in this thread.

An amp is a different story.Im not going to sit here and bash the Schiit Magni,its a good bargain and for the X2 it will be more than enough,perhaps a bit on the bright side though.However I did not feel the MU2 had the balls to manhandle the AKGs that i owned...they got loud but the bass wasnt controlled/present and sound stage wasnt great.

With the DT990 that combo was just painfully bright,but that can be said for many amps+DT990.

If I were you and was considering these three headphones I would look into:

AKG K712+Chord Mojo
DT990+Modi Multi-bit+Darkvoice
X2+ pretty much any amp+DAC will work
 
Nov 6, 2017 at 12:29 AM Post #15 of 20

PurpleAngel

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Hi there,
I'm looking for a good headphone setup with maybe an Amp and/or DAC (if necessary), and was hoping that maybe some of you could help me out, since I don't really know a lot when it comes to audio.
I currently own a pair of Astro A40s, but want something more for my ears. I also don't have a soundcard or an external Amp/DAC, I use the onboard audio from my motherboard; Asus SupremeFX.
Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide has helped a lot, but I still don't know what to get... For the Amp and the DAC I'm thinking about the Schiit Stack (Magni 3/Modi 2). *The Budget includes this by the way!*
hese headphones and if the Schiit Stack is the best Amp/DAC to go with, or if you have any other equipment suggestions for my taste of music. I really want to make sure that they'll be worth it; that I get the most for my money before I spend so much on them.
Right now, my favorite artists include Crywolf, EDEN, Jaymes Young and Oh Wonder, but my taste in music really ranges, as I listen to loads of other genres like Rap and Chillstep to name a few.
I would also hope that the headphones are good for gaming (Competitive Gaming, like Counter Strike, but also Campaign Games like the Witcher or Skyrim), but this is not a huge priority, as I'll always have my Astro A40s to fall back on in case they aren't good enough.
Thank you so much for your advice in advance!
Also, I will be buying these on Amazon.com, because here where I live, prices are way too high...
Nothing against you buying Schiit, but i think you should be spending more of your budget for headphones, then the DAC/amp to drive them.

Beyerdynamic T90 (250-Ohm) headphones (buy used, $300).
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card (used, $65), assuming your looking for headphone surround sound.
The SB-Z card can easily drive 250-Ohm Beyerdynamic headphones.
Later on (optional) you can get an external DAC/amp and connect it to the SB-Z's card optical output.
 

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