Would this setup go together?
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Kev_Boy

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I'm a proud owner of some brandless 2.0 Speaker setup for my PC
and I'm regularly getting killed in my games because I can't quite tell where the enemy is coming from. So, a while back I decided to look for a headphone.

I know some people who have used headphones for a while, so I went to them first. But I've gotten so much mixed suggestions, I'll ask you guys


I have a couple of questions:

I have been hooked on the looks and supposably great sound of the Sennheiser HD600. I know it is stongly advised to also purchase an amplifier if you're going for this 'phone. But I really don't want to spend more than 200-300$ on an amplifier, will I be able to get enough quality? Also, will the amplifier work as sort of an external sound card, that way an Audigy2 for example can be stricked off the record and I'll save about 150$ that way aswell.

I am going to primerally use it for gaming purposes. But I enjoy the occasional movie and listen to music quite often. But, gaming in general.

I have read here that the SennHD600s aren't that suited for gaming. But I would still like a quality product. I have also been looking at a much cheaper Senn, the Sennheiser 500, I've read it has a lot of bass, which would be great for gaming? And probably doesn't need an amplifier, I suppose?

My budget is about 500$ for the audio department of my PC.

Suggestions are appreciated!
 
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bubbers214

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what about the ATH-A900's?? They are about 200, don't require an amp and im using its little brother, the A500's for gaming and i love them. I listened to my friends Senn 500's and i didn't like them at all, they had a lot of bass, way too much bass IMO.
 
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NightRaven

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AFAIK the 500s are considered among the bad apples of the Senn family tree, so wouldn't really be a fair comparison at all.
 
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plainsong

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Without an amp, I'd take a look at those a900's, or maybe their little brothers, the a500. But I know from experience that the Ultrasone family of headphones has what you want. They're available at Meier Audio (head-fi sponsor).

I also know from experience that that the HD500 is not what you want. It doesn't not have good bass, or good anything for that matter. They feel cheap and they sound cheap. If an open headphone is what you're wanting, I'd look into the new Sennheiser lineup of the Hd515, 555, 595.
 
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commando

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Nope, sorry, the amp isn't a sound card. You use the line out of your existing sound card. The Audiology2 isn't reputed to be very good for music though. If you like the HD600, go for it.

My suggested system would be HD600 ($250 at see froogle.com for where), total bithead ($270 at headphone.com, a head-fi sponsor), total, $470. You'll have a fantastic sounding system for music that you'd have to spend a lot more to improve. The HD600 should be at least fine for gaming, probably great, and can use your existing sound card. Open cans, so not good if you want isolation.

The bithead should be a pretty good source, and if you decide to upgrade to a better amp later you can use the TB as a source (says jamey from headroom who makes them). You could even do a bit of internal fiddling and take the signal before it goes thru the headroom amp and feed it into a different amp, but using the headphone out going into another amp could work well too.

A cheaper solution is to get the A900 and plug it into your current sound card. They don't need an amp so much, but would probably improve as well with the addition of a a good source and amp.

That's all I can think of for now
 
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lindrone

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HD600 also isn't recommended for gaming, because although they're very good for music, their 3d imaging (positioning) is not good enough for a gaming headphone. HD600 has a nice and airy soundstage, but the imaging is spread out and inaccurate. It produces a more natural feel for music purposes, but sucks for game purposes.
 
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Kev_Boy

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Thanks for your suggestions so far.

But I've also been interested in the Grado SR 225, I've read they're great for Rock and Metal, which are the main genres I listen 2.

My question, though, since positioning in very important to me, I see the HD600 won't be a 'phone for me


Does the Grado SR 225 have good sound positioning?

I also saw every Grado headphone has a mere 32Ohm impedance, does this mean they won't require an amplifier? If so, that's better on my wallet aswell


How do they achieve such low impedance, is there some sort of special technique involved? The SennHD600 for example has a hefty 300Ohm impedance!

But, another main factor for me is comfort. Most definantly, when i'm gaming, I need to have a headphone that's comfortable for atleast 1-5hours in a row, the Grados look cheaper built and less comfortable than the Sennheisers. Is that different in reality?
 
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bubbers214

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I have yet to use any grados, but my Audio Technica's are great for rock, at least IMO. And they are extremely comfy. So if its comfort and rock music you want, i would try those. If you find you don't like them, they will easily sell for 5 or 10 dollars less than you paid for them in the FS/FT forum.
 
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lindrone

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kev_Boy
Does the Grado SR 225 have good sound positioning?


No, SR225 has no soundstage at all, everything's flat, so positioning is flat too... that's their sound signature, and some people prefer it that way. Extremely intimate, put you right on the stage with the music. Obviously not the chohice if you want 3d positioning in games.

Quote:

I also saw every Grado headphone has a mere 32Ohm impedance, does this mean they won't require an amplifier? If so, that's better on my wallet aswell


How do they achieve such low impedance, is there some sort of special technique involved? The SennHD600 for example has a hefty 300Ohm impedance!


A900, CD3000, so on... so forth, has a very low impedance as well. Impedance is a engineering design issue, I don't understand the reason why they choose to make certain headphones high impedance and other ones low. However, impedance is not an indication of quality in any sort... it's just a specification that hints at how hard/easy it might be to drive a headphone. The other important rating is sensitivity, you can have a med-high impedance (say, 100ohms or so) and compenstate with high sensitivity and still have an easy to drive headphone.

Quote:

But, another main factor for me is comfort. Most definantly, when i'm gaming, I need to have a headphone that's comfortable for atleast 1-5hours in a row, the Grados look cheaper built and less comfortable than the Sennheisers. Is that different in reality?


The comfort issue with Grados vary from person to person.. they have many different padding options to give you different ranges of comfort and sound as well. The problem I had, is that the pads that makes them comfortable enough sounded mediocre, but the pad that sounded the best hurts my ears. It's one of those things you won't know until you try.

If your outer ear cartilage is relatively hard (some people have softer ears than others), it's more than likely that Grados will never be that comfortable for you. They are supra-aural, not circumaural, the way they sit and clamp against your head/ears is really bothersome for people with harder ears.
 
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bending the headband helps much. but if your gonna go for really long listening sessions, lik 5+ hours, id say u shuld try something a little more comfy.
 
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I'm new to the headphone game but am very experienced with the shooter games, and believe me, a good set of headphones will not be matched for positional sound.

My Sennheiser hd280's have very good sound quality to my untrained ears, not only do I hear positionally better in games, but I hear sounds farther away then I used to with cheap headphones, providing a huge advantage for me in Quake 3 compared to my old $30 aiwas. They also seal out outside sounds, which can be a positive. The downside to these headphones, in my opinion, is the comfort-- not that they're not comfortable, but since they're sealed, they get hot after awhile.

My Sennheiser hd595's need more power to drive them, but also have great positioning. Sound quality for music is a cut above the hd280's, although keep in mind, my ears are untrained at this point. I haven't heard the hd600's, so I can't compare there, but the 595's are supposed to have a more upfront sound than the 600's, which is probably better for the kind of music that you listen to as well. Also, they are unbelievably comfortable.

You can get a set of hd595's and an amp for at or under your budget.

I have no experience with any other headphones, but I see a lot of good things being posted on some of the AT and the Beyers as well.
 
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I currently have my 590's plugged straight to my Audigy for a few months now. Works just fine with me for PC gaming. 3D positioning is great & the comfort level is a lot better than the HD600. I seldom use it for music listening though since I have a separate headphone rig for music. This computer setup was my music rig before and if you have not listened to better headphone setups before, this one will sound amazing compared to your old 2.0 speaker setup


I also use the 590 for movie watching most of the time. I got a $30 CMOY & I plan to use it for my computer set-up. The volume level without an amp is ok, but this way I will have an easier time to adjust the volume with the amp instead of fiddling with volume controls in my PC. IMO If your a PC gamer & movie watcher first and music listener second, any decent headphones with low impendance & the audigy will do nicely with you.

One thing that I have noticed about headphones & soundstaging, the closer the drivers are to your ear (like the grados), the smaller the soundstage gets. So look for headphones that have big pads that extends the drivers away from your ears. This will most likely result to better comfort & a bigger soundstage.

For your other question, most headphone amplifiers wont work as an external soundcard.

Hope this helps and welcome to head-fi.
 
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Kev_Boy

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I've been reading here a bit, and I see the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro is a very well respected headphone for gaming.

Would this work nicely?

Headroom BitHead + Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro = 200$ + 215$ = 415$
That sounds about right for my budget

And how about the DT880. Does that 'phone still provide a good soundstage?

Would the Headroom Total BitHead give a lot better quality, else I might purchase that Amp, although it's about 70$ more expensive.
 
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tortie

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That may do, but without a PC soundcard, you wont have EAX support for your games. I have to add that not heard both the DT770 & the Bithead though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kev_Boy
I've been reading here a bit, and I see the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro is a very well respected headphone for gaming.

Would this work nicely?

Headroom BitHead + Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro = 200$ + 215$ = 415$
That sounds about right for my budget

And how about the DT880. Does that 'phone still provide a good soundstage?

Would the Headroom Total BitHead give a lot better quality, else I might purchase that Amp, although it's about 70$ more expensive.



 
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