SHP9500 vs. K701/K702 vs. AD900/ADG1X vs. AD700X
Jul 16, 2020 at 5:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

endesign

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Hi everyone! Which of these 5 headphones/headsets are the best for FPS competitive gaming?

- AKG K701
- AKG K702
- Philips SHP9500
- AD900X/ADG1X (have been in talks with Audio Technica and ADG1X is confirmed to be a AD900X with a microphone attached to it. :)
- AD700X (edited)

I don't mind the price difference between them, therefore Price to Performance ratio is not needed. I don't need to know how well they do in music or movie or how they are in overall. I only care about their performance for FPS competitive gaming. Mad Envy Lust have the AKG K701 as 10/10 in competitive gaming. Unfortunately AD900X/ADG1X and SHP9500 is not part of his list, so I don't know how they compare. :frowning2: Hope somebody have tried them all or some of them to give a subjective opinion on the matter :) Thanks you in advance! :)
 
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Jul 16, 2020 at 7:25 PM Post #2 of 15

YJX94

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K701 and K702 have a very wide soundstage with some excellent imaging, AD900X/ADG1X are narrower but still excellent imaging and SHP9500 is narrower again but still great imaging. All of these have something in common which is that they don't emphasise bass that much so they are pretty much perfectly suited for competitive FPS gaming, you want less bass because bass drowns out footsteps and can affect the imaging to a certain degree. Out of all of these I'd recommend the K702 and here are the reasons why: it's basically just a K701 with a detachable cable. The AD900X and ADG1X cables are not removable and the SHP9500 price has been inflated like crazy ever since they first came out and they aren't worth it at this inflated price, would rather get an HD 58X from Massdrop. Be warned though that the K702 will require a dedicated headphone amplifier to perform its best whereas the AD900X/ADG1X and SHP9500 do not.
 
Jul 17, 2020 at 3:33 AM Post #3 of 15

prymortal

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Yip, Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1 (700x +Mic), Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1x (900x +Mic).
ATH-G1 & ATH-G1WL is just the M70x.

K702 Not a bad choice, YJX94 is spot on with everything, Personally though t I do tend to find personally with AKG K7** (01,02,XX,12) series has unnaturalness with the soundstage being pushed out at closest points of produced sound, not bloaty like the Ad900x (700x & 1000x are a bit better controlled in congested sound e.g. background music + background noise + action), the AKG's are just pushed out unnaturally, less noticeable on cheaper gear like The Element but stands out like a sore thumb on D90+THX this said If i want to have "Fun" I do use the K712 because of that (& the bass boost), gives a bit more life to some games.
SHP9500 is what I'd personally use for competitive if i had to pick (keep in mind I have used them all for multiple games).
But HD58X, If you are a first time open-back/audiophile user its a great option, Downside is also its upside the imaging (positioning of sound) is very left/right/center rather than 360degree sounding, so Apex legends, destiny 2, Hyper Scape its excels at, at least for me, Meanwhile Arma feels a little claustrophobic at times & PUBG relies more on the eyes (which isn't a bad thing for that game).

Here some advice I really wish i listened to before going down the rabbit hole: If you are going for Large scale FPS (competitive focus) games focus I'm going to tell you right now start looking at HD800 as an option regardless of cost as you wont regret it & its cheaper than climbing your way up! Once you have them you literally can't blame the audio & its pointless to upgrade from them.
 
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Jul 17, 2020 at 6:01 AM Post #4 of 15

endesign

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K701 and K702 have a very wide soundstage with some excellent imaging, AD900X/ADG1X are narrower but still excellent imaging and SHP9500 is narrower again but still great imaging. All of these have something in common which is that they don't emphasise bass that much so they are pretty much perfectly suited for competitive FPS gaming, you want less bass because bass drowns out footsteps and can affect the imaging to a certain degree. Out of all of these I'd recommend the K702 and here are the reasons why: it's basically just a K701 with a detachable cable. The AD900X and ADG1X cables are not removable and the SHP9500 price has been inflated like crazy ever since they first came out and they aren't worth it at this inflated price, would rather get an HD 58X from Massdrop. Be warned though that the K702 will require a dedicated headphone amplifier to perform its best whereas the AD900X/ADG1X and SHP9500 do not.

Thanks man! Appreciate your knowledge and answer! Would you say that you personally see the K701/K702 to be superior over the AD900X/ADG1X and SHP9500 even when not taking price into consideration, when it comes to purely FPS competitive gaming? Having that in mind about bass drowns out footsteps, then which one of those headphones are least bassy? Because that might be better and more minded towards FPS competitive gaming :)
 
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Jul 17, 2020 at 6:13 AM Post #5 of 15

endesign

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Yip, Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1 (700x +Mic), Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1x (900x +Mic).
ATH-G1 & ATH-G1WL is just the M70x.

K702 Not a bad choice, YJX94 is spot on with everything, Personally though t I do tend to find personally with AKG K7** (01,02,XX,12) series has unnaturalness with the soundstage being pushed out at closest points of produced sound, not bloaty like the Ad900x (700x & 1000x are a bit better controlled in congested sound e.g. background music + background noise + action), the AKG's are just pushed out unnaturally, less noticeable on cheaper gear like The Element but stands out like a sore thumb on D90+THX this said If i want to have "Fun" I do use the K712 because of that (& the bass boost), gives a bit more life to some games.
SHP9500 is what I'd personally use for competitive if i had to pick (keep in mind I have used them all for multiple games).
But HD58X, If you are a first time open-back/audiophile user its a great option, Downside is also its upside the imaging (positioning of sound) is very left/right/center rather than 360degree sounding, so Apex legends, destiny 2, Hyper Scape its excels at, at least for me, Meanwhile Arma feels a little claustrophobic at times & PUBG relies more on the eyes (which isn't a bad thing for that game).

Here some advice I really wish i listened to before going down the rabbit hole: If you are going for Large scale FPS (competitive focus) games focus I'm going to tell you right now start looking at HD800 as an option regardless of cost as you wont regret it & its cheaper than climbing your way up! Once you have them you literally can't blame the audio & its pointless to upgrade from them.

Thanks for your input, really appreciate it! So if you had to choose between the K701/K702 vs. the AD900X would you say the K701/K702 is better for FPS competitive gaming or the other way around (without 'fun' factor taken into consideration)? I am really trying to boil it down here haha.
And would you personally prefer the SHP9500 over the K701/K702 for FPS competitive gaming as well?


Yeah, I have actually considered HD800 a lot. Just haven't made up my mind and the decision and said "**** it, I'm just gonna get HD800!" and then there is no discussion. :D where would you place AD700X in all this competitive FPS gaming talk against the other headphones/headset?
 
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Jul 17, 2020 at 6:14 AM Post #6 of 15

endesign

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I completely forgot to mention AD700X as an option as well! That one is also highly regarded in the FPS competitive genre, so if anyone have experience with that vs. those I have mentioned please feel free to tune in with your personal opinion :D
 
Jul 17, 2020 at 6:25 AM Post #7 of 15

endesign

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I guess what I am ultimately seeking is a list from best to worst between AD700X, AD900X/ADG1X, K701/K702 and SHP9500 only taking their performance for FPS competitive gaming into consideration and not for their 'fun'-factor, performance in music and performance in movies etc.
 
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Jul 17, 2020 at 6:41 AM Post #8 of 15

prymortal

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Thanks for your input, really appreciate it! So if you had to choose between the K701/K702 vs. the AD900X would you say the K701/K702 is better for FPS competitive gaming or the other way around (without 'fun' factor taken into consideration)? I am really trying to boil it down here haha.
And would you personally prefer the SHP9500 over the K701/K702 for FPS competitive gaming as well?


Yeah, I have actually considered HD800 a lot. Just haven't made up my mind and the decision and said "**** it, I'm just gonna get HD800!" and then there is no discussion. :D
Yeah I'd say the K701/02 is better it has a better sense of separation which i find a benefit in games, AD900x & 700x have a more "together" sound, the 700x really is the 1000x in gaming minus the separation of sound. the 900x can bloat the sound & bleed the sounds while rare in gaming compared to music, it does happen & comfort/fitting is an another issue.
The sound separation layer I refer to helps between the goings on foreground & the background micro-details so you can focus on closer footsteps & distant shot noises easier including more noticeable depth, depending on game.

I prefer the SHP9500 over the K701/02 for FPS games mostly because its easier to adjust to coming from other headphones. Does it job in a almost no frills way. The K701/02 have a more immersive characteristic to them if that makes sense, the soundstage gives new life to the game. SHP9500 is as close to Stale as it gets in all the good ways without killing the experience or lacking in it, so you can focus just on the things you need to.
Like if you run around in Arma you will want the K701/02 because it keeps the game alive, distant shots sound distant e.t.c. SHP9500 to stale until you are in a town hiding upstairs listening to the NPC's run past. But swap to COD & you will want the SHP9500 over the K701 because you will know every step (excluding dead silent) direction as well as depth/distance of the shots & for Warzone: whether of not the are realistically approachable engagement distance or not.
Issue with putting those headphones in order is they are all good, do different things in different FPS games & Also you can adjust better to 1 over the other, in a different way that other people do.... If you add say Tarkov to the list of games HD6XX becomes an option due to its lack of soundstage., arma K701-12 due to its larger soundstage, Apex HD58X even the 700x/900x are alright, battlefield is trickier... X2 for some maps, shp9500 for others. e.t.c. Keep in mind this is my experience. Others may vary & that's my point.

On the HD800 side of things again, you will get a laugh just watching streamers when they get shot from "what direction *rage rage rage" "there was no audio". Because you will hear it even on there streams.
 
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Jul 17, 2020 at 3:05 PM Post #9 of 15

YJX94

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Thanks man! Appreciate your knowledge and answer! Would you say that you personally see the K701/K702 to be superior over the AD900X/ADG1X and SHP9500 even when not taking price into consideration, when it comes to purely FPS competitive gaming? Having that in mind about bass drowns out footsteps, then which one of those headphones are least bassy? Because that might be better and more minded towards FPS competitive gaming :)
I think the AD700X/AD900X have the least bass out of all of them but I would recommend the K702 because it still has the imaging but also that wow immersion factor with the soundstage which also makes them quite fun. If it's within your price range then I recommend what I use for competitive and non competitive gaming which is the K712 Pro, it still has the soundstage and still has the imaging but it's a lot more fun because of the elevated bass response over the rest, this may seem counter productive for competitive gaming but trust me, it's not. K712 has very high quality bass for an open back dynamic but it won't drown out the footsteps because it's also quite bright (not piercing or sibilant) and footsteps fall into the treble region of the frequency response.

I use my K712 for competitive gaming and have been using them for the last 4 years and I have never had issues pinpointing where a sound is coming from even with the elevated bass response over the other options here, I have even been accused of aimbotting/wallhacking because I knew exactly where somebody was behind a wall, it's ridiculous. The great thing about the K712 is that at its price point it's a fantastic all rounder, you can use it for comp. and non comp. gaming, it's wonderful for music and great for movies too and it gets even better if you use oratory1990's Harman EQ for it. In my opinion it is the best open back for gaming second only to the HD 800/HD 800 S, in fact the K712 is basically a mini HD 800/HD 800 S and these Senns are basically the only upgrade path for the K712 but you do have to pay quite a lot more for them. It is the best in the K7 series of headphones by AKG in my opinion and this series of headphones is very power/current hungry and absolutely depend on a powerful, clean amplifier to get the best out of them, I run mine off a Topping E30 going into a Schiit Heresy and it's pure bliss for anything I use them for.
 
Jul 17, 2020 at 4:15 PM Post #10 of 15

harry501501

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The shp9500 as mentioned above seems to go at an inflated price these days. It's decent for games but tbh I even preferred the Kiss Porta Pro over it. The Philips Fidelio X1 was my favourite for FPS when I used to play them more. Maybe look at the x2?
 
Jul 18, 2020 at 5:56 AM Post #11 of 15

endesign

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I have now ordered all 3 - ADG1X (AD900X is more expensive than ADG1X in my country for some reason), K701 and SHP9500 knowing myself I will probably always wonder how the other one sounds like when having the other. :D Probably just gonna return the ones I don't favor

I will update with a personal opinion on these 3 against each other in different FPS games.
For future I will definitely consider K712 Pro and HD800 :D
Thank you so much guys for the answers, I appreciate it a lot!
 
Jul 18, 2020 at 2:11 PM Post #12 of 15

YJX94

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That is also a good way of deciding. If neither of them tickles your fancy then you can jump straight to the gaming endgame for most people which is the HD 800 provided you are willing to pay that much, if not then the K712 Pro is the 2nd best option.
 
Sep 14, 2020 at 5:03 AM Post #13 of 15

endesign

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Ok.. UPDATE! so I have now thoroughly tested atleast ADG1X and K701 and I will now share MY personal experience. I would say the ADG1X were very good but they gave me a bit too much detail about everything. Things that you really don't need to care about like cars that are squeeking and the fire (the cars that are default on fire) and buildings squeeking. While being accurate about directionality I felt that the K701 is more accurate about the directionality. I could easily pinpoint where the enemy was while with the ADG1X it was kind of a sense of " he is over there somewhere". If I was to tell you where the enemy is I can tell you exactly that the enemy is 90 degrees while with the ADG1X it was more like.. He is between 80-100 degrees. The K701 has massive soundstage and things that are far away SOUNDS FAR AWAY, which was said by prymotal in #8 I kinda like that, even though it might not benefit or give me an advantage for me to kill enemies who are close. Where the ADG1X was very good is, it will let you know everything, it is more up to you to determine what sounds to focus on, while the K701 was very selective. The cars on fire or cars squeaking isn't as forward and in your face with the K701 which enables me personally to better focus on what matters, however, I feel like the K701 sometimes can be a little late to give me enemy footstep cues compared to the ADG1X. The enemy kinda had to be closer to me to give me sound cues. Despite of that I ended up liking the K701 more due to the soundstage and accurate directionality. Don't get me wrong - The ADG1X far away activity also sound far away, but not just as far as the K701. To me the K701 sounds more realistic when it comes to that.

For music and movies I actually liked the ADG1X more. I think the ADG1X is a more all-around good (if not great) headphone while the K701 sounded very dull and boring for those purposes. K701 can tend to feel gritty and sandpapery if you know what I mean.. They were sometmes a little harsh to me.

Now for the Philips SHP9500... Considering that they are only around 70$ and cheaper than the other's, they are very good for the money. I enjoyed them a lot for Music and YouTube - the sound seem flat and is very pleasing. I am not sure if I enjoyed the SHP9500 or ADG1X more for movies and video genre's..
For gaming I would say directional cues were about the same as ADG1X, but sounds of everything was more pleasing to my ear while the ADG1X could sometimes often be harsh (not as harsh as K701 though). However I did have some problems with the SHP9500... When gulaggers came flying in with parachute the SHP9500 confused me a lot by not giving me any directional cues of where to look in the air. It sorta just made sound all around me playing in both left cup and right cup. It has happened several times. With the K701 and ADG1X I have had no problems to determine that and I get the direction right every time. It bugs me a lot with the SHP9500 because I die in the most noobish way hahaha xD

They were all powered by Behringer UMC204HD which seem to be enough atleast in volume for all of them without introducing noise. I did try the K701 with my friends Schiit Modi/Vali 2 which actually made the K701 not sound harsh anymore in music and videoes, so I am wondering if I should upgrade my sound output. I am curious to know if such a dac/amp would benefit me for gaming sound cues. If anyone knows please share your experience as I am dying to know :D


btw YJX94 - I have a AKG K712 Pro coming in tomorrow! I can't wait to test them out and "see" how they perform! :D I will compare them with my friends Sennheiser HD800S in music :) He is not much of a gamer, so he doesn't have that stuff installed so I won't be able to compare between the two for gaming :/
 
Sep 14, 2020 at 10:37 AM Post #14 of 15

silent-circuit

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Yeah, what you're hearing in the K701 is your amp not being up to task - that's why it was better with your friend's gear. It's the hardest to drive of those 3 by a large margin.
 
Sep 14, 2020 at 7:21 PM Post #15 of 15

YJX94

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Definitely need an amp for any of the K7 series of headphones. I recommend the Topping E30 DAC and Schiit Magni 3+ or Heresy Amp. To make the experience even more immersive and accurate, you can try spatial sound in Windows, Dolby Atmos for Headphones or DTS Sound Unbound. I personally use DTS Sound Unbound as I find that it does not alter the frequency response of the headphones and it makes the imaging more accurate and makes the soundstage larger too without adding reverb and echo, it gives you an out of your head feeling sound as if you're in a room full of speakers when using headphones.
 

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