Need headphone recommendation - primarily for gaming and ~$150
Dec 1, 2008 at 4:29 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

PoweredBySoy

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Just found this site and it appears to be the definitive place for headphone knowledge. I did use the forum search, but I'm looking for a bit more tailored advice.

I've been using Bose Triports for about the past 3 years now, and I've gone through multiple pairs. Problem is they have horrid build quality and often break or just fall apart. Now the cushioning on my latest pair is falling off, and I'm ready to move on to something else. I'm looking for an improvement in both sound and build quality. What I really liked about them though is they are lightweight and comfortable, and they did an excellent job at blocking outside sounds.

So I'm looking for some recommendations for replacement headphones. As stated in the title they'll mainly be used for PC gaming most of the time, but I do listen to rock music occasionally too. This will all be powered via Audigy X-fi soundcard. What I need is the following:
  1. Between $150 and $200.
  2. Circumaural design that fits over my entire ear.
  3. Closed. The wife is often in the office with me, and she doesn't need to be hearing me kill zombies
  4. Comfort.
  5. Good sound with a bias towards games and rock music.

Using advice from a different forum I went out and purchased the Audio Technica A700's. After using them for a few days I really did like the sound they produced, especially the added sound stage they gave me over the Triports, which works great for positioning in gaming. Given their gigantic earmuff girth, I expected bass to be stronger, but what was there was perfectly serviceable. Now, what I don't like about them is their inability to attenuate outside sounds. The wife often watches television in the same room with me, and with the A700's the television seems to echo and reverberate within the ear chamber. So while putting the headphones on may muffle the outside sound a bit, it actually makes them more annoying in the process. Another issue is if the cloth-covered cord brushed my clothing or alongside my desk, that rubbing sound is easily transferred into the left ear. So in the end I think I'm returning the A700's. The Triports did a much better job at allowing me to tune out the outside world.

After reading this forum a bit, now I'm looking at the Denon D2000's ($200) and beyerdynamic DT-770's ($195). Given what I'm looking for, and my picky-ness with the A700's, are there any recommendations between these two pairs? Or perhaps a different pair entirely?

Also, as for the beyerdynamic's, is there any difference between the 770 and 770-Pro's ($239) that I should be taking into account?

Thanks much.
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 4:43 PM Post #2 of 12

JayB18

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Both the DT770 and D2000 have a bit of a recessed midrange from what ive read. The DT770 also needs an amp. Id recommend the Beyerdynamic DT250. It has good bass impact without being overwhelming and a nice forward midrange for rock music. Also has decent isolation (about 15db).
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 5:41 PM Post #4 of 12

PoweredBySoy

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I've actually heard from other places that the DT-770's require an amp, so I will scratch those off the short list.

Never considered the the 250's though. They certainly seem more geared towards PC applications. They're ugly as sin though - which I'm not sure matters much to me.

Quote:

What about the HFI-780? : )


....on the other hand, hot damn that's a nice lookin' pair of cans. I haven't looked into Ultrasone at all - and the $250 price is a little high. I'm intrigued by this though: "S-Logic(TM) Natural Surround Sound".

So I guess now it's down to Denon D2000 (which I still really like the look of - both spec and appearance), the beyerdynamic 250's, and maybe these HFI-780 if someone can convince me they're worth the extra $50. All recommendations still open of course.
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 5:51 PM Post #5 of 12

PoweredBySoy

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Hmmmm, never mind I guess.
frown.gif


They’re an all plastic construction and the thin aluminum veneer on the ear cups is just for decoration.

“S-Logic Natural Surround Sound” is one of the funniest examples of market speech I ever encountered. It doesn’t do anything for the soundstage or spatial positioning at all. Ultrasone just put the drivers in a slanted way into the phone’s housing, instead of the regular parallel alignment.



I'm still considering them though.
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 5:58 PM Post #6 of 12

JayB18

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Ive read the D2000 can have overpowering bass and a slightly harsh high end depending on the source if that is a concern. Ive also read the mids are slightly recessed. I haven't actually heard them myself so I cant comment.

The Dt250 on the other hand has slightly rolled off treble making it smooth and easy to listen to for hours without fatigue. The bass is slightly emphasized as well but it is not overpowering. They also have a slightly forward midrange. I guess it depends what type of sound your looking for.

I'm not sure how the soundstage and separation compare on the 2 cans though. Im guessing it is "good for a closed can" on both though. Probably not as good as the A900 (which would probably present the same problems that the A700 did for you.)
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 7:02 PM Post #7 of 12

Tiemen

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There's a huge difference between the DT770 2005 consumer edition and the Pro's.
The biggest difference is that the consumer edition is lean on the bass and leaning towards the treble.
The Pro's are bass heavy, and have lesser good mids and soundstage.
The consumer ed. is the best of the bunch.
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 7:26 PM Post #8 of 12

PoweredBySoy

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After digging deeper into this forum I am now reading that the D2000's too need an amplifier to get the most out of them. It's not that I'm against amplifiers, but I'm trying to protect my wallet from that slippery slope. I'm also reading that the D2000's have fairly poor isolation - which is a big factor for me. So I guess I'll revise my criteria with these two additional points.
  1. Sounds good without the need of an amp
  2. Tight fitting, great sound isolation


I'm still interested in the HFI-780's, but one thing that worries me about those is that, looking at the pictures, it would appear the ear cupping seems a bit on the small side. I have extremely normal ears, but I'm afraid of the cups being too small and my ears getting sore after long sessions. With my old Bose, nothing touched my ear and I loved it.

I've been to all the high-end electronic stores in my area, and it's a shame that none of them carry this range of headphones.

Thanks for the continued help.
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 8:41 PM Post #9 of 12

JayB18

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The D2000 has about 10db of isolation while the DT250 has about 15db. The D2000 can sound a bit lifeless without an amp from some reviews Ive read. The DT250 (80ohm version) benefits from an amp but doesn't need one as much as the D2000.
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 8:54 PM Post #10 of 12

Tiemen

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JayB18 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The D2000 has about 10db of isolation while the DT250 has about 15db. The D2000 can sound a bit lifeless without an amp from some reviews Ive read. The DT250 (80ohm version) benefits from an amp but doesn't need one as much as the D2000.


But doesn't the DT250 sounds a bit lifeless as well?
This is meant as a question, not as a comment.
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 9:12 PM Post #11 of 12

stumbo

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I always recommend the Ad700 for gaming on a budget. They are great phones, great SQ, fit comfortably, excellent soundstate, good price (about $100) and run great without an amplifier.

Search for them here at head-fi, you will be hard pressed to find a bad review.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 5:47 PM Post #12 of 12

PoweredBySoy

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omgomgomg, I just ordered the HFI-780's!

I actually found a local store that carries high-end headphones - Guitar Center. So I swung by there yesterday and tried a few out. Long story short, they had a pair of Ultrasone DJ1's on hand and they absolutely blew me away. Very comfortable, an airtight seal around my ears, and extremely fun to listen to. I also checked out the beyerdynamic 770-Pro's. And while they were certainly nice, you can tell they're much more of a studio headphone and came off as a little flat. I suppose audiophiles would call that 'accurate' though.

So after a bunch more research, I figured out that the DJ1's are almost identical to the HFI-580's. Then after seeing the stellar prices at Northern Sound and decided to splurge for the upgraded 780's.

I should get them in a couple days (one fault of Northern Sound is they really rape you on the shipping) and then I'll be able to compare them directly to the A700's. And despite one of the ear pads falling off, I suppose my Triports are still functional as well, so I'll compare those too - if just for a laugh.

Special thanks to pataburd.
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