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Recommendations for 250-500$ over-ear Gaming, Music, Movie headphones

  1. JohnHA
    Hey Head-Fi,

    You guys have helped me out quite a bit in the past and now I'm back for more! :D <3

    I plan on buying a XLR Condenser Microphone and a Focusrite Scarlett Audio interface in the near future, which means i want to go to the next level with my headphones as well.
    At the moment i use Sennheiser PC 360 which is the best gaming headphones I've ever had, i can sit with those on for hours upon hours because they are so damn comfy and the sound/mic quality is pretty decent(best I've personally owned) but now I'm ready to invest in something better since i spend a lot of time behind my desk both work related and as a hobby... = this is where i spend most of my time when I'm not at works office.

    So what I've looked at so far has been the Sennheiser HD599 - HD600 - HD660s and then ath-m50x.
    What i'm afraid off when i go higher end cans than the HD599 series is that I've read on some forums that for example the HD660s cans are more build for music and lacks when it comes to gaming sounds and so on.
    (keep in mind i'm new to the audiophile world and honestly don't know a lot about it.)
    So the first question would be, which headphones should i invest in if i want some super comfy headphones that goes well with gaming, music(chill, RnB, HipHop, Youtube "La belle Musique") movies and such.

    My second question would be, is the Focusrite Scarlett Audiointerface sufficient enough as an AMP for the higher end headphones? or would i need to get a second AMP on the side for my headphones? i've looked at schiit amps.

    My budget is not limited to 250-500$ this was just to give an estimate, i'm willing to invest more to get the "dream setup" :p

    Best regards
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The Scarlett Audio Interface offers zero headphone surround sound function, so your ok gaming (FPS gaming) in stereo audio?
    The PC360 and HD599 are both listed as 50-Ohm, so chances are they use the same drivers (diaphragms).
    The HD599 might an improved cup design and might offer noticeable improvement in audio quality, but not a big huge improvement (very big guess).
    The 300-Ohm HD600 and 150-Ohm HD660 should offer an improvement in audio quality, but the HD600 (and maybe HD660) might not be as good for FPS gaming, as the PC360.
    Guessing the Scarlett's headphone amplifier is not powerful enough to drive the 300-Ohm HD600 to their best (guessing).
    But you could always connect a Darkvoice 336SE OTL tube headphone amplifier to the Scarlett.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  3. JohnHA
    Yeah as far as i know a lot of PRO FPS players "still" use Stereo headphones to this date, so i guess if they can make it work i can as well :p
    I've had somewhat bad experiences with the 7.1 surround headphones i've had, i prefer the stereo, and still feel like i can pinpoint positions.
    As far as i know the PC360 and HD599 do use the same drivers, i've heard that the construction of the HD599 cans makes it sound a lot better though(no idea haven't tested it myself)
    True i've also heard that the Scarletts amp struggles with the 300Ohm HD600s.

    Is the Darkvoice 336SE good? :)

    Any other options for headphones out there i have missed.. since i have only looked at sennheiser and AT cans so far.

    Thank you for the reply PurpleAngel! :)
  4. Rhamnetin
    The HiFiMan Sundara technically outclasses every sub $1,000 non electrostatic headphone by quite significant margins. I own an HD 6XX (same exact sound as the HD 600) and the Sundara is really several leagues above it in every way except for portrayal of up close string instruments and up close piano (the Sundara's portrayal of sound simply isn't as zoomed in to begin with).

    Ultimately the Sundara is considerably more transparent, infinitely better bass extension and fullness (see bass measurements for both on innerfidelity, the Sennheisers have the usual sub 100 Hz nose dive and no-show), less harshness in upper mids (nothing sounded harsh), and it sounds more open and just more real and musical and engaging.

    The only real issues with it are build quality and QC. Cheap connectors, pads, cable, and lots of reported QC issues. Annoying but their customer service seems to be really good (see the Sundara thread in the Headphones section here) so I'd take the risk.
  5. JohnHA
    Nice i'll look into those, do the Sundara need a good AMP?

    How are the Sundara to have on for many hours in a row, are they as comfy as the HD600 or HD599 which i know kind of "since i have the PC 360)
  6. Rhamnetin
    The Sundara is low impedance and quite efficient. Easier to drive than the Senns. It's lightweight and comfortable due to its suspension headband design and the pads are fully around-ear. Note an effective suspension headband design like that will make even a really heavy headphone comfortable for hours upon hours as long as the clamp isn't too strong (it clamps less than the Senns too).
  7. greenkiwi
  8. JohnHA
    Awesome, i'll check it out, thanks for the replys Rhamnetin and greenkiwi!

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