Best headphones/headset for competitive gaming?


Aug 28, 2014
Hi, I'm looking to buy a good headphone/headset for competitive FPS gaming in Battlefield 4 and CS:GO for <200-250 USD. I'm leaning towards the Audio Technica AD700x, but other suggestions are welcome. I would like ones with the best directional accuracy possible.

I also want to know if I need to buy an onboard sound card or an USB DAC with amp or if my sound is good on my z97 PC MATE motherboard to power these headphones. Suggestions on what sound card, USB DAC and amp to buy are welcome. I would also like to know what virtual surround sound software should I use with these headphones.


if you want that ultra-wide soundstage and good positional accuracy as well as a very bass-light response for good advantage in fps games the ad700x is perfect for that. while its not the most fun headphone to listen to for pure enjoyment (depending on your opinion/preferences of course..), it does that role (gaming headphone) very well.

onboard should be fine to power them although a cheap soundcard would certainly work as well if you had issues (i'd try with your onboard at first unless you have need of a soundcard for a particular reason [like a certain virtual surround type]). cheapest recommendation would be the xonar dg which is about equal to good onboard. the xonar dx and creative z are the next step up from that.

as for virtual surround... the main choices are dolby headphone (on asus cards and some onboard), cmss3d/sbx (on creative cards and some onboard) and razer (free download from razer site, needs no purchased soundcards to work). as for which are best? generally sbx or dh. razer lags behind. yes there are other virtual surround options but they are not as common.

as for an external dac/amp.. its an option if you wanted to go that route. using an external amp would work if your onboard audio was good quality but just not very strong. if your onboard had virtual surround it would still work with it but if you did not it would not add it and razer would be the only option. if you used a dac+amp i've heard it said virtual would work if your existing equipment had it but it does not add it and if not supported then razer would be the only other option (outside of getting a soundcard too which would ONLY be used for adding virtual so its pointless). generally speaking external dac units are going to give you 2.0 only sound not virtual surround. is that bad? not really as its a pure quality soundstream.. virtual distorts audio to make it appear to be 3d/surround. which you prefer (2.0 or virtual surround) depends heavily upon your own preferences as its a 50/50 split.

other options besides the ad700x?

some cans from akg like the k7xx, k612, q701, k701 would also work (some of those would need a stronger amp), the ad500x or ad900x from at would work, the dt880 would work if you wanted bass presence but would need a decent amp ideally. overall the ad-700x is pretty easy to power and use which makes it a good option for fairly cheap.
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