Opinions: IEM for competitive gaming?
Sep 16, 2019 at 3:59 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 38


New Head-Fier
Sep 14, 2019
Being spoilt by the soundstage on full size cans such as the Sennheiser HD800S and Fostex TH900, I'm wanting to hear opinions about whether anything comes close in the world of IEMs? Z says the Ikko OH10 has a tremendously wide soundstage, but I'd love some direct comparisons between the widest in-ears and the widest over-ears.
Sep 16, 2019 at 4:09 AM Post #2 of 38
This is just my opinion, but I think most open backed handphones will beat 90% of IEMs in terms of soundstage. IEMs are more for portability and isolation and small profile, soundstage is probably their weakness.

(Disclaimer: I have heard or owned about 20+ pairs of IEMs but most of them are budget to Midfi pricing). Maybe someone who has some TOTL IEMs can give their feedback about soundstage, I'm all ears (no pun intended) and interested to know too.
Sep 27, 2019 at 11:07 AM Post #3 of 38
I switched to IEM's for gaming because I can easily tell where someone is using them. I went out of my way to buy Andromeda's for primarily gaming after using some cheaper IEM's and seeing how much easier it was to pinpoint over something like a pair of hd 700s. Sorry I know those aren't 800's but that's the best I could get my hands on to compare to and my ears said to stick with the IEM's.

I think people mistake sound stage's importance over imaging when it comes to gaming. Something even a lot of low end chifi IEM's do well.
Oct 17, 2019 at 7:44 AM Post #4 of 38
I would think isine10's would be good for gaming. Still sorta a IEM - but openback with great sound-stage and imaging.
Dec 7, 2019 at 5:40 AM Post #5 of 38
I would advise against using IEMs for comp play, especially universals. I played cod religiously over the years and all IEMs start hurting after a couple hours of continuous use. You're dealing with a ton ear pressure on top of the fatigue you get from the in-your-head type sound.

If your adamant about IEMs, maybe go for something like 64's U12t where ADEL and the warmer sound signature might help.
Dec 9, 2019 at 8:06 PM Post #6 of 38
i use ultimate ears reference monitors for gaming. I use them for hours on end with no problem. I mean custom molded IEMs are designed around comfort. It seems kind of absurd to suggest that they couldn't be comfortable enough for hours of use in gaming imo.
Jan 19, 2020 at 5:31 PM Post #7 of 38
for fps i like the monolith m300 for their sound stage. but im not sure on how much you will consider that to be a iem.
They are also tunedbass light so really nice for footsteps, for casual gaming they sound a bit boring due to dull sounding explosions or a weaker sounding awp.

Had a lot of fit issieus at first but now just foam tips and use the cable as an earhook like with a normal iem and they are fine for hours.
Mar 22, 2020 at 12:08 AM Post #8 of 38
I think if you're playing at a level where soundstage and audio clarity are legitimate advantages, you're probably going to be better served by over ears. IEMs are great, but the cost of a pair with a soundstage comparable to over ears would be exorbitant
Mar 22, 2020 at 11:26 AM Post #9 of 38
I personally prefer gaming on IEMs (stuff like CSGO etc), because I can tell much more precisely where everybody is. Openbacks do give you a much much wider soundstage, but I still find that IEMs deliver better positional audio.
Apr 19, 2022 at 7:11 PM Post #11 of 38
Being spoilt by the soundstage on full size cans such as the Sennheiser HD800S and Fostex TH900, I'm wanting to hear opinions about whether anything comes close in the world of IEMs? Z says the Ikko OH10 has a tremendously wide soundstage, but I'd love some direct comparisons between the widest in-ears and the widest over-ears.
I'm late to le post, I know, but for anyone else who stumbles upon this like I have,

Background: I've done ~ 100+ hours in apex's firing range with various blind tests and a dozen different iems (hybrids, different tunings, etc) to determine what best identifies my teammates footsteps.

ImHo, you want to look for a few things,
A) No balanced armatures. They produce accurate but weak (no impact/ba timbre) sound. This means your ears get confused as sounds move around you and proprioception is bad. For music this isn't noticeable, but when sounds move with your camera in game, it is.
B) You do want that "gaming" tuning. It might be crap for music but music isn't gunshots overloading your eardrums. Flat responses will overload your ears and you will miss stuff in the ranges you need to hear when fighting gets messy and there's alot of sounds around you.

Unironically the common suggestion of the Tin Hifi T2 is quite excellent for a consistent soundscape that can handle alot of sounds since the dual drivers.

But ykno, the main iems I know of used by pro gamers are the senny CX3.00 by ImperialHal and Apple Earpods (fostex drivers in these) by Aceu. I suspect the Apple Earpods (and found is true in testing) have great proprioception due to the bass response BUT trades off treble in any distant sounds, so this accentuates Aceu's intuitive close range gameplay while Hal uses senny's since he does tournaments where people aren't often all around him.
Apr 19, 2022 at 10:12 PM Post #12 of 38
The two best I've tried are the Venture electronics VE Monk because they sit on the ear, and without the foam if you get a good fit they're expansive sounding. The Sennheiser Momentum wireless we're fun for wireless gaming and music.
The best headphones was the HD800S with the Sound blaster AE-9, and Audio Technica Adh1000x with the AE-7 plugged into the back, the audio control module on that is just a glorified extension cord, the AE-9 contains the amp in it. Also the Khadas Tone2 with the Grado 325 was so accurate...
Apr 20, 2022 at 2:09 PM Post #13 of 38
Fellow gamer here!

I have been testing the blessing 2, aldough not extensively, but i can confirm they have a fairly deep and accurate soundstage. Ive been testing it on the witcher 3, position of the guards, noise and sounds of the surrounds, and i found it a massive massive step up from the TIN T2's.

Ive also tested the 7hz timeless and those are absolutely unusable for gaming. They are the best things ive ever heard music wise but i switch them out for the blessings when i fire up a game.

I would love to find the iem that would give me the 7hz sound with the blessing 2 soundstage or better!
Oct 23, 2022 at 6:20 AM Post #15 of 38
i just ordered the EJ07M hot lava for game testing ! will let you know the results once i have them.
How did you find these for gaming after testing?

I bought the EJ09 after 2-days of full-on IEM testing at CanJam as they were my prefered pair for music out of almost 30 different (mostly) high-end sets. I had not thought of using them for gaming until recent as I generally do not have much free time, but I am trying to get back into it so I am in-between IEMs and a few different headphones, including the HD800S.

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