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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (9/10/2019: Grado WH1 'The White Headphone' Added)

Discussion in 'Video Games Discussion' started by mad lust envy, Jan 17, 2011.
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  1. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    Well yes, the HE400 is very much amazing for gaming. I mean that it's more impressive for music vs the Q701, compared to gaming, where the Q701 has better positioning and soundstage, as well as a more detail oriented sound.
  2. Phos
    So just some quick explanations of what can go wrong with an amp AFAIK, low sensitivity and impedance headphones can sound bad because many amps distort more as they near their current limit.  A lot of amps and particularly PC headphone outs have highish output impedances which causes low frequency ringing during low notes, this sounds like "farty" indistinct bass on lower impedance phones, and some phones such as AKGs and Sennheisers also have really strange impedance curves, off high output impedance amps (such as though built into motherboards and the like) "warp" the frequency response (Increase in relative response at frequencies with higher impedance), which I suspect lead to the reputation a lot of headphones have.  Senns get a midbass hump and AKGs suddenly exaggerate everything over 10K Hz, and Beyers loose a bit of midrange.  
  3. Wo33er
    To give an update on the fantastic advice I received earlier in the thread, I've jumped up a bit from the intended JVC RX700 purchase and settled on a pair of HD555's and an Xonar DGX. They'll be arriving today so I'll get to try them out when I get home and determine if my first foray into decent audio is worthwhile. On that note what would be a suggested game or even video to use as a good tester? My last pair of headphones, a cheap £15 Skype logitech-thing, is USB so it should be easy and interesting to compare the two.
    I was thinking Amnesia as the sound immersion in that game is brilliant, but not sure how good it is with Dolby Headphones etc. Source is another option, but hard to do direct comparisons given the need for a fire fight.
    Cheers again everyone for helping and Evshrug for the long detailed replies. <3
  4. Evshrug
    Don't feel bad, That's a throng contender for the setup I was considering getting. The e11 technically measures very well for a sub-$100 amp, and has a sonic signature (though not as powerful) very similar to the Objective2 amp, which costs a bit over twice as much if you buy it pre-assembled (assuming USA). The E11 has about twice as much power as an E5, slightly more than twice as much into higher Ohm headphones. It also scales well to sensitive headphones.
    Here are the E11 power output stats (not the whole musical story mind you):
       Voltage=H  300mW(16Ω) ;
       200mW(32Ω); 35mW(300Ω)

       Voltage=L  120mW(16Ω);
       88mW(32Ω); 13mW(300Ω)

    And then the E5 I'm currently relying on (since my receiver must stay in a box most of the time):
       150mW (16Ω Loaded)
       16mW (300Ω Loaded)

    I don't know the stats of other amps, but I'm sure the O2's designer's blog (quoted in Ninjasushi's last post) has the output specifications listed.

    Edit: I had this post typed last night, and fell asleep. Right now I'm not so sure how useful it is... especially in the light of reading Ninjasushi's extensive research into the power requirements for a headphone to achieve a particular dB volume. While the math DOES calculate power's (i'm using powere here to refer to both current and impedance) relation to volume with set variables, and a more versatile amps that can provide adaquate power to low and high impedance loads can be an indicator of an overall well-designed system... The equation and research is all to calculate dB VOLUME. My point is, the equations are not solving for dynamic characteristics that can be vastly different at a given volume, characteristics like transparency, soundstage and layering, speed of attack and decay (tightness?), frequency modulation, etc. I have no idea how to solve (calculate) for those. Maybe somebody does, but I have a feeling the complexity, "known unknowns," and "unknown unknowns" lead amp design (and customer auditioning) to be somewhat of an experimental process.

    After all, biologists used to assume frogs were spawned from rain.

    Yay for updates! I think you should easily hear a difference in refinement, lmao. TBH, neophytes to the "journey" sometimes find the highest-end of audio to be boring in signature, so a smaller first step like you took is usually a better balance between tastes old and new.

    I haven't played Amnesia, but from YouTube clips I've seen that is ONE. INTENSE. GAME, and it relies more on creepiness and audio than fast action. I'm sure it will be a great test :D Horror and FPS games in general are good tests. Let us know how it go.
  5. NamelessPFG
    Amnesia: The Dark Descent sure is getting a lot of attention in here.
    But if you want to get the most out of the sound in that game, READ THIS!
    I'd actually advise skipping the ALchemy steps, but it's a shame that Frictional Games chose to use OpenAL, only to not really take advantage of it by only supporting the "Generic Software" device and requiring .INI file edits to make use of other software OpenAL devices or hardware acceleration.
    It's written with X-Fi cards in mind, but if C-Media cards like Xonars also list themselves as actual OpenAL devices, this can help you too.
  6. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    First home impression on the Philips Fidelio X1.

    So a bit different than the earlier brief impressions.

    Bassy, open, with a warm signature.

    Now I MUST listen to these.
  7. thelegend0210
    Hey everyone, new here and hoping to get some quick advice. At work so don't have time to read through 500 pages of this thread and can't find what I'm looking for through the search.

    I'm wanting to buy some surround sound gaming headphones, I'll be gaming on the Xbox 360 but I also want to be able to watch movies using them and getting surround sound through my receiver.
    Been doing some reading on Dolby Headphone technology, but want to make sure I understand it all.
    My current setup is all my audio going through my Pioneer VSX-92TXH.
    The headphones I've been looking at are the Tritton Warheads.
    Now my receiver says it has 'headphone surround', but with the headphones having dolby headphone tech, does it even matter?
    Basically I'm wondering if it's the receiver or the headphones that sets the surround sound feature.
    Also, any input on the Tritton Warhead headphones? Are they actually worth the $300?
  8. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    FWIR on the avsforum, the Turtle Beach XP400 seems to be the most favored of the wireless headsets. They won't compare to headphones, but the practicality and functionality is there.

    The device gives Dolby Headphone, not the headset. The Pioneer's headphone surround is another flavor of virtual surround like Dolby Headphone. It may be better or worse for you. If you wanna plug in your headphones to the receiver, you do not need a headphone with dolby headphone, unless you want DH, which you won't hook up to the receiver (these devices don't transmit Dolby Headphone digitally. They only transmit it to the headset, and MAYBE to their headphone jacks (if they have one).
  9. NinjaSushi2

    Yeah... It was a good thread post but got deleted because of mentioning you know who and links to his website. Strictly based of backing my research but never the less. I will speak to the mod and see if he can edit it in a PM so I can repost it as I am uncertain how much I can speak on, vise versa.
    Here is the low-low on what it was all about. Ohms or impedance is the resistance a headphone has. dB SPL is the decibel sound pressure level. SPL is slightly different than say just dB or even dBA. But over all without too much detail, it's how it sounds and reacts to the ear. Not however like dBA which is a hearing contour, how the ear perceives sound.
    So some basics. Ohms is the resistance of an object, current is the flow of electricity through it, voltage is a rail or also called a parameter. Headphones go off a 0V to max V rail. Basically lets say at Peak 7 volts so 0-7Vs. dB SPL is measured usually at 1 mW. (I.E. Q701 are 105 dB SPL @ 1mW) 62 Ohm resistant headphones and no required minimum voltage or current that I know of.
    If we say anything in the low 30s is low impedance, (I.E. 32,33 Ohms), then we know that these headphones require a higher current to drive them. (This does not mean they will sound better but it means they will produce noise properly. Then if we go on to state 100 Ohms and up are high impedance headphones, we know they require higher voltage to run. E.G. High impedance is higher resistance and the more resistance we have the more voltage is needed to power the phones.
    So the Q701 are really in an awkward location. Right in the middle between low and high impedance headphones. So we can base an amp off it's max peak to peak voltage or one off how much current it can channel. We have to suggest an all rounder amp. (I.E. This is why the O2 is a very good amp for the Q701.) I am no scientist nor do I hold a degree in engineering. I am just an enthusiast who loves math and science and being a nerd. So if someone more qualified find an error in my math or theory then please forgive me and correct it in a quote with bold text. Other than that I hope you enjoy the following as it took my hours of research and math to make sure I was perceiving the information correctly.
    I think I should be able to post this as long as I filter out the O2 maker's links and name. Not sure on the pictures but bear with me.
    Eh.. I am too lazy to fix it now but some of that info in there above the links was in quotes last time I posted it. Just know not all the information is mine. I don't really remember what was quoted as I can't see the original post.
  10. I95North
    Hah? What ??

    Would impedance be what your explaining??

    I always thought it was the opposite of dc resistance.
  11. thelegend0210
    It's all starting to make sense to me now.
  12. chicolom
    Those impressions make it seem sort of like Q701 (slightly warm) but with more bass and probably a more intimate soundstage. 
    I expect you to test these bad boys out for us!
  13. Wo33er
    Bad -_-.
    Installed sound card and plugged in headphones ready to go. No Windows 8 drivers. Windows 7 drives won't work. No news or information in regards to there being Windows 8 drivers coming soon... dammit. With no choice I reluctantly put them into my motherboard on-board sound card only to find that it's only producing sound out of the right -_-. /cry
    On the plus side I quickly tested them in my laptop and the headphones are fine working left and right, just means it might be a month or two until I can even use them at this rate :|
  14. Evshrug

    I feel your pain, I somehow corrupted the audio drivers for my Mac during a system update, and I didn't have ANY sound for like a month. Starcraft2 got harder :wink:
    When I had to sell my iPod Touch, my older iPod 5th gen came out of storage. When my computer audio gave up the ghost, I really started depending on my older iPod. I remember how I really loved some things about it, like the simpler menu system and the hard-to-quantify-but-repeatedly-demonstrated better song shuffle mode (I don't know why but it seems to dig up the "right" tracks very frequently, while the iPod Touch repeatedly embarrassed me by setting the wrong mood). Even after I fixed my computer's audio with my Recon3D purchase, I still pretty much listen to music off my iPod exclusively.

    In fact I'm too tired for threads right now, I'm going to slip into something more relaxing ^_^
  15. japatml
    What amplifier recommend for Q701? the aforementioned O2?
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