Need help finding headphones for Orchestral music. ~$100 Price range.
May 30, 2010 at 4:29 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 30

Super3dcow

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Hi guys! I am a gamer, and music lover. I have been in search recently for a pair of high quality headphones. I was originally planning on getting a pair of the $130 Tritton Headphones ever since I tried them at PAX East this year, but from the reviews I've seen on the forums here, they are not the best way to go.
 
I do like to play video games, but I don't want a headset that lacks in clarity and bass when listening to music, so I'm not crazy about getting a headset that is mainly best for gaming.
 
The kind of music I like listening to is Video game music/instumental stuff, although ever since I saw the movie How to Train Your Dragon, I've become addicted to movie scores. I've never had a high quality pair of headphones. The best pair I have is a $20 KOSS headset from Walmart, and the Tritton ones I tried were the best one's I've ever heard, but apparently there are much better ones for the price. Overall I want a headset that has really crisp sound, good solid bass, and at least decent for gaming.
 
My PC(Desktop) does not have any special sound card in it, and I don't plan on getting one at the moment. The Motherboard does have Digital Input, and 5 plugs for surround sound(In case you recomend one of those headest with 8 speakers in them). I only want to spend around $100, and I've been searching for days for a decent headset but I just feel like I'm going in circles, and I hope you guys can solve that for me today. Thanks for reading this.
 
May 30, 2010 at 5:02 PM Post #2 of 30

NapalmK

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For gaming, I would recommend the Beyerdynamic DT770/80 but the bass may be too much for you as they are quite bass heavy. They are great for gaming and movies though so I guess it would be worth checking out. There's a pair on the FS forum for $100 bucks. Your other options would be the Audio Technica AD700 but it lacks bass. I guess you could use an eq to remedy both problems though but I'm not sure of the results.
 
edit: Why is this in a white box?? This must be a holy post!! You must respect and adhere to its advice.

 
May 30, 2010 at 10:19 PM Post #3 of 30

Mr Joboto

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Forget the whole 'surround sound' headphones deal. The AD700s are brilliant for gaming and all-round music (great for orchestral stuff due to their huge soundstage), but as Napalm mentioned they might be 'lacking in bass' depending on what your tastes are in this area - if you're a basshead its a no-go.
 
May 30, 2010 at 10:51 PM Post #4 of 30

Super3dcow

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Hmm, that's a tough choice. I really wish there was a store where I could test these out. I do have an equalizer on my pc, and on Winamp, which I use both to give plenty of adjusting where it's needed. I can't imagine the AD700s having less Bass than my current headphones, http://www.koss.com/koss/kossweb.nsf/p?openform&pc^fs^Solo.( Actually mine are older than that.) Although, there are some songs that are just incredible for their bass, such as the theme to The Dark Knight, by Hans Zimmer. But you guys do praise the AD700s a lot, I'll take a look at those and the DT770s. Thanks for the advice so far, and if others think they can give more advice, please do.
 
Edit: Also, how worth it is it to upgrade from a typical $20 shelf headset to something like AD700s? Is there a really noticible quality difference or is it only a minor difference that has been exagerated by audiophiles. I'm a big noob when it comes to this stuff because I've never fully tested a good quality headset, so I'm trying to make sure that I won't be dissapointed by getting an expensive pair of headphones. I'm just a college student with not a lot of money, so I'm trying to spend wisely.
 
May 30, 2010 at 10:59 PM Post #5 of 30

NapalmK

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Where are you? If you can find a Guitar Center near you I'm pretty sure they have the DT770/80 there and a few other cans worth looking at.
 
BTW If you do decide on the Beyers shoot me a pm.
 
 
Whoa! Somehow I missed the entire second half of your post.
 
Quote:
Also, how worth it is it to upgrade from a typical $20 shelf headset to AD700s? Is there a really noticible quality difference or is it only a minor difference that has been exagerated by audiophiles. I'm a big noob when it comes to this stuff because I've never fully tested a good quality headset, so I'm trying to make sure that I won't be dissapointed by getting an expensive pair of headphones. I'm just a college student with not a lot of money, so I'm trying to spend wisely.

 
There is a possibility that you'll be disappointed. I wouldn't say the differences are exaggerated but I will say that everyone hears differently. Some people are more sensitive to bass, mids, or treble and others can hear microdetails while others don't feel the difference is that great. It's really how you hear. I personally don't consider myself an audiophile but I do notice a good difference in my $100 cans and my $350 setup. Is the $250 difference worth it? It depends. To me yes. To my brother not so much. He recognizes the difference but doesn't feel it's great enough to warrant the extra cost. I'm pretty sure you will notice the increased soundstage though. In games it really feels like cheating.
 
May 30, 2010 at 11:26 PM Post #7 of 30

NapalmK

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Make sure to take your current cans to compare.
 
May 31, 2010 at 1:32 PM Post #9 of 30

Super3dcow

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Well, I got over to Guitar Center today and tested one of their $100 headsets, and I was impressed. I forget what brand they were. If I get a headset it will probably be the AD700s. I got 2 questions though. Do the AD700s have virtual surround sound? And do they take time to break in?
 
Oh, also, do those just plug into a regular headphone jack? Will they sound better if I can plug them into the digital(optical) output on my pc somehow? And are you sure they will sound better than those Tritton headphones I linked?
 
May 31, 2010 at 3:41 PM Post #10 of 30

NapalmK

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[size=medium]
The AD700s have great soundstage if that's what you mean. I've read to fully experience the 3D effect you need a good soundcard or an astro mixamp.
 
Like all cans the AD700 will take some time to burn in. I believe some of it is you getting accustomed to the sound and part of it is the headphone itself changing.
 
Yes they will fit in a regular headphone out jack.
 
Can't answer this one for sure. But I believe they would improve with some sort of amplification but that's not exactly what your talking about. I think the headphone jack should be fine.
 
They should sound better than the Tritons but not having heard them both I can't be for sure but generally headphones are of higher quality than headsets.
 
Oh yeah and just you make sure you do know that the AD700s are open cans right?
 
This thread is particularly helpful: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/483802/quest-for-holy-grail-of-gaming-sound
 
edit: AHHH!! Another holy post!!
[/size]

 
May 31, 2010 at 4:57 PM Post #11 of 30

Super3dcow

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Heh, I'm not exactly sure what Open Can means. Does that mean the part going against your ear is flat rather than concave, thus more hearable to others who aren't wearing them? As for Virtual Surround sound, I mean that with only 2 speakers can it simulate 5.1 surround sound(Dolby Digital), like those 8 speaker headphones. Soundstage is a new word for me in terms of headphones. That link though was a good read. I don't think I will have that setup for a long time since I'm not that crazy in FPS games at the moment.
 
May 31, 2010 at 5:13 PM Post #12 of 30

NapalmK

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Open headphones have open backs that allow sound to travel in and out. This generally allows for increased soundstage and a sense that the music/game sounds are coming from somewhere outside the headphones which makes it sound more realistic. Open headphones generally tend to sound better than their similarly priced closed counterparts but that comes at a cost. In a noisy environment you will be able to hear both sounds from the environment (people talking, computer fans, phone ringing, etc) and the music/ game itself and others will be able to hear you're music/game too at a little less than the same level you are listening. This is ideal if you are in a quiet environment with few distractions but closed cans suit loud environments better as they provide a deal of isolation from these noises. I generally use closed cans when I'm in the dorm but open when I'm at home.
 
You should be able to simulate the 3D soundscape quite nicely with just 2 drivers providing your soundcard has dolby headphone or a similar function. FWIR headphones with multiple drivers are usually worse at reproducing this than the cans mentioned here.
 
May 31, 2010 at 5:26 PM Post #13 of 30

Super3dcow

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Huh, I've never seen Open Cans before, that's interesting. This fall I am moving off campus at my college into a mini house with 4 other guys, but I will have my own room. I'm wondering if I should go for closed headphones. Is there a closed version of the AD700s?
Not sure if I has a Dolby headphone function. My Realtek HD Audio Manager has a Virtual Surround check box, which I already have checked, but I think that's not the same thing.
BTW thanks for all this help so far. I don't know how you do it.
 
May 31, 2010 at 5:34 PM Post #14 of 30

NapalmK

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No problem.
 
Closed cans would probably suit your situation better then.
 
Ah there is a closed version of the AD700 its called the A700 but I'm not quite sure how the soundstage compares. The soundcard you have isn't ideal if it's got Realtek onboard but it will do okay. For best performance, I'd recommend upgrading your card. You should still hear an improvement imaging/soundstage wise with whichever cans you decide on though.
 
May 31, 2010 at 6:07 PM Post #15 of 30

Super3dcow

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Yeah closed is what I am leaning towards now. Are these the ones I should go for? http://www.amazon.com/Technica-ATH-A700-Closed-back-Dynamic-Headphones/dp/B0002ERGQ0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1275341809&sr=1-3
Amazon has 2 different A700s. The ones I linked are slightly more, and look newer. Not completely sure if they will sound better than the other ones, which are here, http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-A700-Audio-Technica-Headphones/dp/B000E9VKUQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1275341809&sr=1-1
 

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