I'm a noob, help me pick headphones please?
May 17, 2012 at 11:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 24

Xall

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Hey everyone, I'm a gamer.. and I'm over crappy gaming headsets. I decided to go the Headphones + stand up mic route.
Could you all help me decide on decent headphones I could get for about $100-150? (I can go a bit over if it's a big difference) Even though they'll be used primarily for online game sounds + voice chat programs.. I'd like it if even music and other things sounded good also. 
 
As a side note, I'd prefer to buy from Amazon.com, I love their return policies + I get free 2 day shipping and have a gift credit.
 
I've heard good things about Sennheiser 595's, and Shure SRH 840's
 
Thanks
 
May 18, 2012 at 12:20 AM Post #2 of 24

Dyaems

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ATH AD-700
 
www.amazon.com/Technica-ATH-AD700-Open-air-Audiophile-Headphones/dp/B000CMS0XU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337314700&sr=8-1
 
 
or AD-900? although its kinda out of your budget
 
http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-AD900-Dynamic-Headphones/dp/B001AQ7KII/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1337314725&sr=1-2
 
might as well throw in a mic in case you dont have one
 
http://www.amazon.com/Zalman-Zm-Mic1-Sensitivity-Headphone-Microphone/dp/B00029MTMQ/ref=pd_cp_e_3
 
May 18, 2012 at 12:51 AM Post #4 of 24

Dyaems

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they are lightweight and really comfortable. they also have big soundstage because of open design, which is good for gaming. it sounds great for music as well.
 
i haven't heart the 595s but the 840 tend not to be comfortable at long periods of wearing it and the pads gets hot after some point of usage, but that depends on which country you are living
 
May 18, 2012 at 12:55 AM Post #5 of 24

Lorspeaker

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KRK KNS8400....
gs1000.gif

 
good spatial quality...v compheee...inexpensive.
 
May 18, 2012 at 1:26 AM Post #6 of 24

Xall

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Any other opinions? so far AD-900 is looking like the winner. Keep in mind I know nothing of the technical aspects of headphones, and I will be using these for long periods of time
 
 
Thanks for the responses so far!
 
May 18, 2012 at 4:40 AM Post #7 of 24

reddragon

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i had a pair of sennheiser pxc450 before i gave it to my dad because i really didnt need the noise cancellation function and didnt want to feed it batteries (also you dont have to use the noise cancellation function you can still listen to music). i think it has the same driver as the hd595 (correct me if im wrong), my pxc450 sounds clear with a large soundstage for closed back headphones (or so i feel) but maybe its a little bit bass shy to you.  
 
May 18, 2012 at 8:13 AM Post #8 of 24

theeyealtering

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AD700 and AD900 are both good choices. Both are very comfortable, they sound great and buying an amp isn't a requirement.
DT440 is another good one, though might not be so comfy.

If you wanted closed (i.e. better isolation) SRH840 is good, or even DT250/80 if you can stretch your budget is an excellent and very versatile headphone. I play games with it a lot and it is great.
 
May 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM Post #9 of 24

PurpleAngel

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Quote:
Hey everyone, I'm a gamer.. and I'm over crappy gaming headsets. I decided to go the Headphones + stand up mic route.
Could you all help me decide on decent headphones I could get for about $100-150? (I can go a bit over if it's a big difference) Even though they'll be used primarily for online game sounds + voice chat programs.. I'd like it if even music and other things sounded good also. 
As a side note, I'd prefer to buy from Amazon.com, I love their return policies + I get free 2 day shipping and have a gift credit.
I've heard good things about Sennheiser 595's, and Shure SRH 840's

Is this for PC gaming, if so, what sound card are you using?
xbox gaming?
PS3 gaming?
Looking for open or closed headphone?
 
May 18, 2012 at 6:12 PM Post #10 of 24

Xall

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@Purpleangel,
 
This is for PC gaming, I'm currently using my onboard sound card because there isn't much room in my computer with 2 graphics cards.. though I *MIGHT* be able to fit a PCI-E sound card in.
 
My motherboard: http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extreme4
If you click on the second picture you could see the audio inputs, and how my pci/pcie slots are positioned. as for the quality of onboard im not really sure.
 
Once again im totally a noob at this so.. if I need a headphone amp (Ive never had one before) or anything like that let me know
As for open/closed.. I've used both and honestly as long as they're comfortable it doesn't matter much to me
 
Also, for anyone wondering I can stretch to around 200 if its a huge quality difference
 
 
Thank you everyone for answering so far!
 
May 18, 2012 at 6:47 PM Post #11 of 24

theeyealtering

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Also, for anyone wondering I can stretch to around 200 if its a huge quality difference

There are some really great value headphones around the $200 mark (AD900, SRH840 and DT250 being among them), but at that point source starts to become an issue. Onboard motherboard sound is generally pretty average and if you've bought a nice set of headphones you want to be feeding them the good stuff. Therefore, I'd say if you were going to invest in something like the AD900, it'd be a good idea to also grab either a decent soundcard or USB DAC/Amp at some point down the track. We're not talking hundreds of dollars here, something like a Fiio E10 or Asus Xonar DX would do nicely.
As for standalone amps, I'm of the school of thought that says spending $200 on nice efficient headphones that don't need dedicated amping and matching them with a good (say $100) source is going to yield far, far better results than buying cheaper headphones, a cheaper source and a cheap amp.
 
May 18, 2012 at 7:01 PM Post #12 of 24

Xall

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Quote:
There are some really great value headphones around the $200 mark (AD900, SRH840 and DT250 being among them), but at that point source starts to become an issue. Onboard motherboard sound is generally pretty average and if you've bought a nice set of headphones you want to be feeding them the good stuff. Therefore, I'd say if you were going to invest in something like the AD900, it'd be a good idea to also grab either a decent soundcard or USB DAC/Amp at some point down the track. We're not talking hundreds of dollars here, something like a Fiio E10 or Asus Xonar DX would do nicely.
As for standalone amps, I'm of the school of thought that says spending $200 on nice efficient headphones that don't need dedicated amping and matching them with a good (say $100) source is going to yield far, far better results than buying cheaper headphones, a cheaper source and a cheap amp.

So, let's say my computer doesn't have room for a sound card (I don't know yet if it does or not) Could I buy headphones that don't require an amp, and use an amp anyway.. and get good sound quality? or do I need a sound card regardless?
 
May 18, 2012 at 7:31 PM Post #13 of 24

PurpleAngel

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Quote:
So, let's say my computer doesn't have room for a sound card (I don't know yet if it does or not) Could I buy headphones that don't require an amp, and use an amp anyway.. and get good sound quality? or do I need a sound card regardless?

Motherboards usually come with low cost DACs (Digital to Analog Converter), sound cards usually come with better DACs and (higher priced) external DACs can be even better.
A low cost sound card for improvement is a Xonar DG (PCI) or DGX (PCI-express), they come with a half-way decent headphone amplifier and Dolby Digital (Dolby Virtual Headphone 5.1) which is great for movies and some games.
Chances are the DAC on the DG/DGX is better then what the motherboard comes with.
The Xonar DX (PCI-Express) and D1(PCI) sound cards come with a better DAC (then the DG/DGX) and Dolby Digital (Dolby Virtual Headphone 7.1), but do not come with a headphone amplifier and are not that great for powering headphones.
But you can add just about any external headphone amplifier to the DX/D1 that you want to.
Going external DAC & amp. can get you some really great sound, but usually it's 2-channel, so your not getting surround sound.
There are a few external DAC/Amps that do provide surround sound, Astro mix-amp, Turtle beach DSS, Creative Labs X-Fi Go(?).
 
A really low cost but decent setup is an Xonar DG or DGX and (headphone wise) the Samson SR850 (made by Superlux) or Superlux HD668B.
You could do this setup for around $80-$100.
 
May 18, 2012 at 7:45 PM Post #14 of 24

Xall

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@Purple, I've had some bad experiences trying to put in a sound card with this motherboard, so I'd prefer to do everything external.
 
I'll put down ~$200 for the headphones alone (Max)
The rest can be separate, are there any External DAC/amps that'd you'd recommend specifically? I know you listed some, but out of those.. what would you do in my position?
 

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