Best Audiophile headphones for gaming?

May 17, 2018
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Hello,

I've seen about a million threads with the same title as mine, so I apologize for the lack of originality.

I'm a gamer, I've been playing competitive games my entire life, and I'm completely addicted to shooters. I've been looking to find the ultimate sound stage with directional hearing, and after trying tons of gaming headsets over the years, I'm looking into audiophile headphones. After considering the fact that I also am a complete music freak, I figured audiophile headphones would be nice change, but music comes after gaming..

I've been doing some research into audiophile headsets, but have no idea how to go about setting them up to where they are appropriate for gaming. Would I need an amp, or virtual surround sound, or somethin like that? I'm honestly a bit confused. All I know is Surround sound and directional hearing for me are a MUST, whether they be audiophile or my norm. Sennheiser headsets have had my main attention thus far, so I'd appreciate any advice you can give me on them. I've been oggling the HD 700s, but since they would be my first high-end audiophile headset, I wouldn't know about how to get them appropriate for gaming, or if they are already good for it. I did notice a popular FPS streamer using HD 700s while gaming, so maybe they really are appropriate for what I'm looking for. There's also the GSP 500 and GSP 600s from Sennheiser to consider, though they are labeled as gaming.
Anyway, any help would be appreciated.

Thank you for your time.
 

doolittle

Distinguished
I prefer open-back / semi-open cans, the wide sound stage gives virtual surround in games much more depth and precision IMO and there are very few gaming headsets under $100 that are not closed back - only one that comes close would be HyperX Revolver, which is ported giving it a bit of a wider sound stage similar to the JVC HA-RX700 (which I have and largely prefer, due to to the incredible bass response and flat signature).

I tend to switch between those JVCs and a Samson SR850 since the velour pads give me much more comfort during long sessions, the pleather pads tend to get a bit warm over time. My "good" headphones (Philips SHP9500) is pretty much tied to my AVR since I find budget studio cans are well enough in sound quality for gaming and streaming music.

As far as surround sound, some games have it integrated into the game (e.g. "headphone" settings in the audio options), windows 10 has "sonic" spatial sound you can enable, some integrated realtek have it in the audio output options, 3rd party software solutions like Razer surround as previously mentioned and better sound cards (also previously mentioned) like the Sound Blaster Play!3 also support vsurround (which I am currently using, SBX is my favorite so far since it sounds good for games and movies and can adust the level of surround to your preference).
 

guanyu210379

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Mar 30, 2007
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I am currently using Sennheiser HD599 and this one is very good for music and nice for gaming.
I had ATH-M50 several years ago, this one is also good.
I also still have V-Moda M100, this one is also good.
 
May 17, 2018
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I appreciate the input. If I do decide to go for Sennheiser or any other audiophile headphones, how would I go about getting surround sound and directional hearing with it? Any advice on good amps or stuff like that to go with HD 700s, or similar varieties? Note that my primary interest above all else is gaming, music is a bonus.
 

guanyu210379

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Mar 30, 2007
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You can not actually get the full effect of surround sound by using normal stereo headphones, even if it was written with surround e.g. Logitech G35. Having only 2 speakers is the limiting factor.
Those headphones with only 2 drivers are actually using the so-called simulated surround effects.
This can be achieved by using software (embedded software on soundcard or windows software).
Something like this:
https://www.razer.com/surround
If you have some good soundcard, those can do it too.

I do not have real experience with such a thing since I am the opposite from you, I am aiming more for music and gaming is only a bonus.
I simply use my Essence STX2 emulation to get surround sound during games and it is enough for me.
 

doolittle

Distinguished
I prefer open-back / semi-open cans, the wide sound stage gives virtual surround in games much more depth and precision IMO and there are very few gaming headsets under $100 that are not closed back - only one that comes close would be HyperX Revolver, which is ported giving it a bit of a wider sound stage similar to the JVC HA-RX700 (which I have and largely prefer, due to to the incredible bass response and flat signature).

I tend to switch between those JVCs and a Samson SR850 since the velour pads give me much more comfort during long sessions, the pleather pads tend to get a bit warm over time. My "good" headphones (Philips SHP9500) is pretty much tied to my AVR since I find budget studio cans are well enough in sound quality for gaming and streaming music.

As far as surround sound, some games have it integrated into the game (e.g. "headphone" settings in the audio options), windows 10 has "sonic" spatial sound you can enable, some integrated realtek have it in the audio output options, 3rd party software solutions like Razer surround as previously mentioned and better sound cards (also previously mentioned) like the Sound Blaster Play!3 also support vsurround (which I am currently using, SBX is my favorite so far since it sounds good for games and movies and can adust the level of surround to your preference).
 
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