The guide to buying gaming headphones 101

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by momomo67890, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. Postalisback

    Postalisback Ancient Guru

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    Trust me, I would if I could afford it :wanker:, think I'll get the AKG K81 to cover portable bases and then maybe the ATH-M50S for home use.
     
  2. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    The Qinpu Q1 Amp goes for $59 at head-direct. Which what I also using to power my Ultrasone HFI-780's and book shelf speakers. It cost $20 for shipping because it comes from there china warehouse. It does a great job too.

    http://www.head-direct.com/product_detail.php?p=49

    This what I using as a Headphone amp, as well as a amp for the sony B-1000s book shelve speakers I have.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  3. momomo67890

    momomo67890 Ancient Guru

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    adding more headphones tomorrow :)
     
  4. yellowade

    yellowade New Member

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    can i ask how much better are ultrasone than ad700?

    and how many seconds earlier u can hear e with ultrasone than with ad700

    ty
     

  5. Avocado

    Avocado Member

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    Heres a quick copy-pasta of what I wrote on another website reguarding the AD700s.
    (Ive had these for about 2 weeks now)

    --------------------------------------------
    Ok guys my Audio Technica AD700s finally came in and I was able to test them out. This is from someone who knows poo about audio. I am the alt of the ever curious Potatoes.

    Comfort: Superior. These are easily the most comfortable headphones I have ever wore. The grip of the cans is just enough to keep it on your head. The valvet pads feel very good on your ears, but they *may* get warm. However I have not had this problem yet. Because these are open eared, air can come in and out, giving your ears some breathing room. The top "fins" adjust right onto your head. I was worried about these being loose, but they're actually not. Me and my 12 year old brother can wear these with a snug fit. No need to play a balancing act. As a minor complaint, I wish the velvet was that Bose material instead. That stuff is awesome.

    Sound Leakage: These headphones have absolutely no noise cancellation. If you're not playing music you will easily hear everything outside. At reasonable volumes, you can hear a *tiny* version of what people are listening to, although its very unintelligible. These may cause issues at the library. Open ear headphones tend to have this problem, and it should come obvious to the buyer if they have the luxury of trying before buying.

    Sound Quality (on 320kbps upward): Heres where the "I know poo about audio" comes in. These headphones sound amazing with almost every type of music. Even though these are "stereo" headphones, they have a huge sound-stage, giving almost the illusion of surround sound. You can point out different instruments, and everything has a "space" between it. It doesn't feel like all the instruments are forced into a little space, as they did with my Logitech G35's. Vocals are pretty good too, you can hear their voices fluctuate, which was was pretty interesting. Never noticed it on my other headphones. Also, these headphones are very superior to the Logitech "gaming headset". Everything sounds punchier, scarier. However my biggest gripe was the lack of bass. However, I felt alot more immersed because I could hear helicopters flying over me bombing bushwookies while a tank drove right aside my flak cannon in BF:BC2.

    *Note* I have these plugged into a Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy SE (30$ at wallyworld)

    And all in all 7.1 is more of a gimmick. There is surround sound, but it sounds like enemies are coming from everywhere around you, not a specific point like you would think. As an owner of both, I find the Audio Technica AD700s + cheap mic combo superior to G35's in every respect. Also the G35's squeezed my head and gave me pain. Nothing with these headphones.

    Heres another review from a respected gaming website.
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/...adphone_review
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  6. yellowade

    yellowade New Member

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    ty for answer but i asked abuot ad700vs utrasone 780 :)
     
  7. Avocado

    Avocado Member

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    Sorry about that. I didn't post the "review" as a response to that question, I just quick-replied from page 1 because I agreed with the OP. Hopefully we can get someone in here with that info...
     
  8. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    AD700 has wide sound stage also is open back the sound leaks alot and it lack much bass. When I had my AD700 it had too much highs, tho it did very good in classical music and jazz type music but it not good for trance techno or rap any thing on the lines as that. I used a OPA627Au on the prelude when I had my AD700s to make up for it lack of much bass. Also its big and will fall off your head if you move your head in a certain way. The pads are velvet and or thick, they made my ears fell like they was in a spa and i couldnt wear them as my ears would get hot within 30 mins. Basic like ear muffs.

    With The HFI-780s which I have after going from the AD700s, I dont miss the AD700 ultra wide sound stage at all. I can hear all the details and the bass is crisp and clean and does not over power the low mids or highs( or doest not over power the rest of the sound). It also hard hitting and not boomy.They have the out of your head type of sound,I can tell my postional alot better with my HFI-780 then I could with the AD700s. When I had my AD700s I could tell my postional but it wasnt as good as it was when I move on to the HFi-780. HFi-780 has a big sound stage but its not as big and wide like the AD700, It uses Pleather for its ear pads. But the Pleather feels good on my ears and doesnt make my ears hot. With the AD700s at the time I had a prelude I had to use CMSS3D and 2.1 with a edited THX.ini to get a better postional with them. With the HFI-780 I dont have to do any of that.

    I had both the AD700 before I sold them off after getting my HFI-780 as well as my current HFI-780s for a very long time. In gaming the HFi-780 is the better choice over the AD700 if you have a bigger price range, remember mine is fully burned in and I also running thru a headphone amp on my bravura. The HFI-780 takes 300 hours to be burn in theny they open up and sound the way they should. The bass improves as well after the burn in time.I seen the HFI-780s on amazon for $155 new from one of the stores, it should be also around that price on ebay as well.

    I forgot to mention that in music I hear more details with my HFI-780 then i ever did with my AD700 and they good for all types of music, where the AD700 wasnt.

    So from using both I will suggest the HFI-780 like I mention you can find a good deal on them if you look around.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  9. 3T3RN4L

    3T3RN4L Master Guru

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    you know most of those headphones you listed are picky and need proper amplification to work at it's fullest. like the sennheiser 650's,800, akg 702's are very picky when it comes to amplification. they'll benefit more from a nice tube amp.

    only other headphones with wider soundstage then the akg 701/702's are the hd800's
     
  10. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    That is a subject of debate....many headphones experts I have spoke with suggest that "digital" based amplifiers will produce more dynamic range and fidelity over tube amplifers.
    Which makes sense if you have tested both type of amplifiers...
     

  11. 3T3RN4L

    3T3RN4L Master Guru

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    not from a soundcard tho. it's a very good source to start from but it will not fully drive high-end headphones with it on it's own. there is a difference between volume and being properly driven, cause the volume gets loud doesn't exactly mean it's driven properly,especially with headphones like the hd800's or the k701's. they are known to be very picky when it comes to proper amplification. even the sennheiser 650's are very picky that's why there known to be great with upgrades on amps and cables.

    i know i remember reading something about this on head-fi.Wait i think this is it.

    Sufficient volume vs. Sufficient headphone amping and critical listening
    http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread...cient-headphone-amping-and-critical-listening


    i apologize if it seems like i'm coming off as a douche bag or ignorant. i don't mean to.
     
  12. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Why not from a soundcard?
    What difference does it make if it is a chip or a tube provided it has proper power output to drive the headphones correctly?
    I know quite a few guys that have high end can connected to soundcard with on board headphones amplifiers such as the ST(X) and they are driven just fine
    from the electrical standpoint. If you look around here there are a few guys with the HD650's connected to a STX...

    If the onboard amplifier for these cards has the proper voltage and current, then your cans are driven properly.

    We are talking about modern sound cards designed to power high impedance headphones. I think the designers did their homework with concerns to impedance, if you look at the
    ST(X) for instance, it has three separate gain ranges and was tested with many high end cans before it even left the bench such as the HD600,HD650's, DT880, the hard-to-drive AKG K240df..etc...
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  13. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Some reason certain group of people on head-fi think if it isnt a standalone headphone amp and coming out of a sound card amp. that it cant drive it, when in fact they can. these cards can drive up to 600ohm headphones.They feel because the amp on the card is not a 200+ dollar standalone that it cant. Then say its not driving them correctly just because it not connected to a standalone amp when you use it with those cards that are mention. As long your headphones that req ohm is pluged into a ST/STX/ Forte /Bravura HT omega claro halo, which all handles up to 600ohm headphones, They will drive them.

    Just because the amp chip on it doesnt cost 200+ dollars do not mean they cant and that there not driving them correctly that just bs that they spout over there just to get you to go broke so you can please them instead of yourself. Also I never said I had volume issue with my HDAV1.3 standard to get a Bravura for its headphone amp. I got it because my HDAV1.3 wasnt driving them that well,As I tell by using a Qinpu Q1 before I sold that after wards. Then I needed the bravura muiti channel output features for my receiver. I also didn't want a standalone headphone amp in the way on my desk. I still would had rather have a sound card with a headphone amp, then buying 100+ dollar standalone headphone amp. Let along being digital as i dislike the sound of digital.

    The AD700 doesnt need to be amp it will run out the sound card as it is, as Rob mention he seen quite a few of people using HD 650 and such as such out those same cards without issues.Also Bravura mode button for headphones I think with the settings have diffent gains that you use for depending on the headphones that are used.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  14. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    If the amplifiers outputs the required voltage and current, then you have properly amplified headphones.
    Some assume that because a amplifier is external that it is better. Not true. There are good and bad amplifiers that are external.

    If you want to go with an external amplifier from a sound signature perspective, knock yourself out. If you are going for an external amplifier because you think a card with a onboard amplifier cannot power them properly, you have been seriously misinformed.
     
  15. Scorch666

    Scorch666 Ancient Guru

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    I have a pair of Beyerdynamics DT 660. Truely awesome sound.
     

  16. 3T3RN4L

    3T3RN4L Master Guru

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    man...i don't know why i apologized ahead of time for my ignorance... don't need to throw a hissy fit. maybe i was wrong about the hd650's and k701's but higher-end phones like the hd800's or the beyerdynamic tesla t1's will benefit from both the dac inside the asus card and a dedicated headphone amp to fully drive the drivers and frequency spectrum to the fullest cause both of those hit well over 600 ohm in certain frequency ranges.

    it's cool you like the sound from your soundcard and headphones. to me personally when you get to the premium headphones like the 800's or t1's a headphone amp will greatly help with the nice source combination of the dac in the asus card. doesn't have to be a tube amp. there are some really nice solid state amps as well. it's cool you like it so far and that's all that matters. just me on the other hand have a different opinion on the matter.
     
  17. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Nobody said you wouldn't get great sound using the ST(X) as a source and a high grade external amplifier. The topic was, you suggesting the amp on the card doesn't have the electrical power to drive high impedance headphones. The cards can drive almost any headphones just fine electrically. This has nothing to do with opinion, it has to do with right and wrong information.

    Now, I would think if you had the cash to buy a high end set like the HD800's, then I would also suggest a high end external amplifier. Using an external amplifier because you like the sound of it over the card is all well and good. That is NOT the topic of conversation here...
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  18. Kollunz

    Kollunz Master Guru

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    momomo, you've helped my decide on getting the AD700. Just ordered on amazon along with the essence ST sound card! Can't wait to start shooting with them.
     
  19. Corrupt^

    Corrupt^ Ancient Guru

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    As much as I think they're crazy on the head-fi forums, I also think they're right. The right external AMP/Headphone combo really makes a huge difference. The essence ST will drive the HD650 or similar headphones without problems but once you've heard an external AMP, the Xonar's built in AMP is just... meh. I've I can give people 1 advice, sound is like a sportscar, never get one, once you've experienced it you don't want to go back, no matter what the cost.

    I'm not buying any other upgrades aside from the AMP, because I know, if either the AMP or HD650 breaks one day, I will instantly go to the store and buy a new one, even if I have to eat less for a month :p
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  20. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Sure, provided it is higher quality. It is not like everything that is external is better, there are good and bad units that are external also. The Essence line is great but the head amp chip can be surpassed by other units that are higher quality.
    When you consider the total package you get for the price of the Essence cards it is pretty hard to top... That being said, if I was still using those cards and had high end cans I would get a high quality external amplifier and just use the DAC on the ST or STX to drive the amp. May different ways to hook up a PC sound system.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010

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