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Recommend gaming headphones $400-$500

  1. LoSt IN Hifi
    Hi everyone
    I was wondering if anyone could recommend gaming headphones in the $400 to $500 bracket( actually I am in the uk so that would be £400-£500) but would prefer to spend less but ill throw some options that I have been looking at.
    I do prefer bosomy sound but not at the expense of sound clarity, currently have some senheiser HD 650 and they are flat, horribly flat and compared to my brother Vmoda crossface 100 they sound bad. So in effect I need something better than my HD 650 which are terrible but excellent in sound quality, really I am looking for HD650 sound quality with BOOMY bass, if possible.
    I was going to buy a surround sound system but my neighbour has small children and don't want to keep them awake at night and not concerned with open back or closed back.
    so far I have
    HifiMan HE 500  vs  Denon AH-D7100 
    Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro/Premium VS Ultrasone - PRO 900 Headphones
    I am open to suggestions
    thank all
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    What sources and DAC and amp, do you plug your headphones into?
  3. LoSt IN Hifi
    I have a ASUS XONAR STX sound card which apparently has a good amp but I am currently looking at GRAHAM SLEE SOLO SRG II as aamplifier. But i am open to suggestions as I will buy a dedicated amplifier if necessary.
  4. PurpleAngel Contributor

    When you hook an external headphone amplifier to the Line-out (RCA) output jacks on the Essence STX, you lose Dolby Headphone 7.1 Surround Sound and can only get stereo output.
    Two weeks ago I just bought a Audio-GD NFB-15.32 DAC/amp, comes with USB and S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) inputs.
    Using S/PDIF inputs, the 15.32 can be connected to the STX's (or motherboard's) S/PDIF outputs, which allow you to still use Headphone Surround Sound. So the 15.32 can be used with you current computer and any future computer (PC or MAC) or add-on sound card.
    The 15.32 comes with dual WM8741 DAC chips and an amplifier that seems to be more powerful, then the STX's.
    It's $255+ shipping.
    Might(?) even put a little more life into the HD650s
  5. Primetime86
    Sony MA900 -  Amazing! Widest soundstage you will ever here in your life. Liquid Smooth midrange, Non fatigue highs, Bass is amazing considering they are open. I prefer them to the HD650 in all areas. They are the most comfy phones too. 
    No headphone I have heard as this type of soundstage and this is coming from someone who owns the K702.
    Best of all for some odd reason they are dirt cheap on amazon, I paid £85 open boxed, normal price is £135! sony sells them for £300.
  6. LoSt IN Hifi
    Really interested in that but to be honest would only be willing to pay that price if they are actually better than my Xonar STX.
    Is there any other model they sell that might be a better buy and guarantee that I can run 600ohm headphones off?
    I want to buy once and not bother with amplifer for a long time. Also are they reliable and did you buy of them?
    I  dont want to purchase them and find out they are not good or I could of got something better, the reivews I have head is that they lack bass specialy when compared to something like Beyerdynamics D990 or even the Ultrasone PRO 900?
    thanks all, appreciate the feedback :)
  7. manbear

    I haven't heard the MA900, but remember that the Pro 900 is regarded as one of the bassiest headphones ever. Almost everything is going to have less bass than the Pro 900. Similarly, DT990 have a ton of bass for an open headphone. However, if you want significantly more bass than the HD650, I doubt the MA900 is going to have that. 

    I suggest the HE-400 over the HE-500. The HE-400 is widely regarded as having better bass, it's cheaper, and easier to amp. I think the HE-400 bass is a step above the bass of the DT990. 
  8. GaryPham
    with 400-500 range, maybe consider picking yourself up a good condiion used pair of Denon D5000s?  I have the D2000 and they are my absolute favorite gaming headphones (I also own a pair of HD650s which I love, but the bass impact of the Denons clearly blows the HD650 out of the water for gaming/movies without sacrificing clarity).  From what I've read, people for the most part agree that the newer Denons are inferior to the older generation.  That's my 2 cents.
  9. PurpleAngel Contributor

    I did a bit of checking around before buying the 15.32, it's about the best value for something that comes with S/PDIF input.
    It got enough juice to easily drive my 600-Ohm headphones, but a low enough output impedance that it does well with my 32-Ohm headphones.
    Has no electrical noise, like my STX has a little in the background.
  10. Primetime86
     I own some very heavy phones, These MA900 far from lack bass,
  11. cheuh

    Do you think the ma900s are better than the hd650 or do you just prefer them? I've read that the sonys aren't even at the mid fi level.
  12. Primetime86
    Better? Soundstage liquid sound..for me yes but we are talking about midfi so it's preference. If you are looking for an upgrade then you need to up your budget. I doubt you read that from a reliable source the MA900 are probably the best gaming phone out there imo and are on the same level as the dt880 and hd600 or 650. They are so cheap that it's hard to recommend any phone over them. You want a all round phone that is amazing at gaming and lush to hear? Try them.
  13. manbear
    It seems like the OP is mostly looking to upgrade the bass. If he called the bass on the HD650 horribly flat, do you think he would be happy with the bass on the MA900? 
  14. Primetime86
    That's anyones guess. The MA900 hit harder than the 650. They have a Bass that competes with my good closed backs.
  15. cheuh
    I heard they are great for gaming, but for music they aren't refined as the mid-fi headphones? From Mad Lust Envy's gaming guide:

    Vs the mid-fi favorites:
    The MA900 is not a giant killer. The long-standing, popular mid-fi favorites like the DT880/990, K702, HD650 and even the newcomers like the Fidelio X1, Mad Dogs and HE-400 all are technically more proficient and refined overall.

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