Best Non-Gaming Headphones.... For Gaming

OnyxTheMineral

Estimable
Dec 16, 2015
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4,510
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As people for a while have known that "Gaming" headphones are usually trash, I'm looking to branch out from the brands I have purchased from previously (Razer, Logitech, Audiotechnica). My experience with Razer and Logitech has been dreadful with lackluster headphones that broke in short periods of time while my Audio-Technica ATH-AG1's are currently serving me very well. I am certain that it will eventually break, and for when that happens I wish to have a back up plan.

To me the best option out there seems to be getting Audiophile grade headphones and putting a Mod mic on them. However I simply can not choose any of the headphones myself and was wondering if I could get some input. I'm looking to spend somewhere around $300 for an open back premium grade headphones that do not have a mic on them, but can have a Modmic Antlion 4.0 attached to them. These will be used on my computer for gaming and internet purposes, I would prefer a dark non flamboyant colour and something that will stay comfortable for long periods of time.
Thank you for reading.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
the ath-adg1 is actually based on a "non gaming headphone" in case you did not know. its basically the ad700x with a microphone slapped on it. similarly the sennheiser game one is the hd598 with a mic slapped on it. even the hyper x cloud from kingston is based on a non-gaming headphone the pro80 from takstar. the game zero/pc363d/pc350se are all similar to the hd555/595. so yes, there are non gaming headsets on the market however there certainly are not many and they make up the minority.

what exactly did you not like about the ad700x? they are about as advantageous as you can get for gaming due to the incredibly huge soundstage, good positional audio and lack of bass response which allows you to hear footsteps easily. as far as non-gaming headsets go they are considered one of the better choices for people who care more about advantage than fun factor in headphones (akg cans also would do well in this regard) or for those who do not like deep bass response.

if you were looking for something with more pizazz and fun factor but could give up some of that advantage then something along the lines of the dt990 is across the spectrum from them with a heavy v-shaped profile. bright detailed treble with deep bass considering they are open cans. very comfortable as well with large earcups and nondescript styling. you will want a decent amplifier or soundcard for them so i'd suggest using the rest of that $300 budget for either an amp or soundcard.

if you wanted something more mellow, less bright, more easy listening and neutral sennheisers hd518/558/598 lineup is worth noting. a good all rounder but doesnt stand out which makes them liked by most people.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
the ath-adg1 is actually based on a "non gaming headphone" in case you did not know. its basically the ad700x with a microphone slapped on it. similarly the sennheiser game one is the hd598 with a mic slapped on it. even the hyper x cloud from kingston is based on a non-gaming headphone the pro80 from takstar. the game zero/pc363d/pc350se are all similar to the hd555/595. so yes, there are non gaming headsets on the market however there certainly are not many and they make up the minority.

what exactly did you not like about the ad700x? they are about as advantageous as you can get for gaming due to the incredibly huge soundstage, good positional audio and lack of bass response which allows you to hear footsteps easily. as far as non-gaming headsets go they are considered one of the better choices for people who care more about advantage than fun factor in headphones (akg cans also would do well in this regard) or for those who do not like deep bass response.

if you were looking for something with more pizazz and fun factor but could give up some of that advantage then something along the lines of the dt990 is across the spectrum from them with a heavy v-shaped profile. bright detailed treble with deep bass considering they are open cans. very comfortable as well with large earcups and nondescript styling. you will want a decent amplifier or soundcard for them so i'd suggest using the rest of that $300 budget for either an amp or soundcard.

if you wanted something more mellow, less bright, more easy listening and neutral sennheisers hd518/558/598 lineup is worth noting. a good all rounder but doesnt stand out which makes them liked by most people.
 

OnyxTheMineral

Estimable
Dec 16, 2015
6
0
4,510
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I was looking at Beyerdynamics before and they seem to be very well constructed however I'm unsure about the rippled nature of the cups, to me it doesn't seem like a Modmic would stay on it? The thing I didn't like about my current headphones is that they're closed back so I have to have one ear cup off to hear my surroundings. It was pretty silly of me to get the closed back version but at the time I did not like the open back versions colour scheme, other than that these headphones are perfectly fine. I just wanted to get an idea of what my next move would be if they were to break.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
oh sorry, i was confusing the adg1 with the ag1.. the adg1 is the open back based on the ad700x open back http://www.amazon.com/Technica-ATHADG1-Open-Back-Gaming-Headset/dp/B00H8NS1K8 and the ag1 is the closed back http://www.amazon.com/Technica-ATHAG1-Closed-Back-Gaming-Headset/dp/B00H95X98O which is likely based on the a700x closed back. those are similar in nature with the same drivers but the open version is considered better given the better soundstage you get from open.

now that i've clarified that.. if you like the sound of your headphones and want to stay with a similar signature but with open cans...

ath-adg1 (open version of what you have)
ath-ad500x
ath-ad700x
ath-ad900x
k701
k702
k612
k7xx

depending on if they were used usb or 3.5mm and what kind of audio card you have you might want to think about something better to power them. the akg k701/702 are harder to drive while the rest you would want at least decently powered onboard or soundcard for.

if you wanted to completely change your sound signature (not sure if you do given your previous statement) but i'll answer your question anyways since you asked it: modmic on dt990 http://i.imgur.com/TiC0rOn.jpg which is going to have the same frame as a dt880.

 

OnyxTheMineral

Estimable
Dec 16, 2015
6
0
4,510
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I'd like to switch manufacturers after a headphone dies just to get a feeling for each and every one and find out what my "go to" one is. The description of the DT990 sounds great and is probably what I'd like to go for next, however DAC's and Soundcards seem to be very expensive (Australia pricing), would you happen to know a DAC that won't burn a hole in my wallet?
Edit: Just to clarify I have NO soundcard on my PC whatsoever, I am currently running the ATH-AG1's from the USB DAC that it came with.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
for ideal performance i would suggest something like the schiit magni (preferable) or fiio e12 as they will really bring out the volume, bass and detail of the dt990. on a budget you could likely make do with a creative z soundcard or fiio a3 which will power them although you are not going to get the most out of them.

for reference, your motherboard has a soundcard on it.. it just might not be very powerful/good.
 

OnyxTheMineral

Estimable
Dec 16, 2015
6
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4,510
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I have an ASRock Z87 Pro4, I'm pretty sure that it has a pretty shitty soundcard. I looked at a couple Linus and Jay videos and to me the Fiio E10k seems pretty good for the DT990's, I can get them for $105AUD which seems like a good deal. However do you think that it can power 250ohms?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
you might want to read on headfi or other audio forums or watch youtube videos from actual audio experts with loads of equipment and experience, not linus. and yes, i'm even telling you to doublecheck everything i say for yourself so you can be content its correct.

as far as i can recall the e10k (which is a dac+amp not just an amp) only has an amplifier as strong as the a3 so its really not much better off than the creative z or a3. can it power them enough to run them? sure. will you get the most out of them? likely not.

250ohms is just impedance.. what also matters is sensitivity and the beyers are not hard to actually power. bass however requires more power so when an amp is lacking you can either get clipping or poor bass extension. as a budget tactic, you might be able to reuse the dac that your current headset uses (if it plugs into it with 3.5mm and the soundcard is separate from the actual headphones) along with an amp and double-amp instead.. you might be able to get away with the a3 in that scenario (though double amping is generally avoided since it has its own audio distortion properties).
 

OnyxTheMineral

Estimable
Dec 16, 2015
6
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4,510
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Ok, looking on Head-fi audio forums I see the Fiio E11 being recommended multiple times which is basically an a3. I found a FiiO A3 Kilimanjaro2 for $94AUD, before I change my headphones I should have upgraded my motherboard by then (switching to Skylake) so I will have the Z170A Gaming M5 which has Audio Boost 3 (sounds like snakeoil but it's definitely better than my current motherboard). That mobo plus the amp should be enough to adequately power the DT990 right? Cause I absolutely cannot spend over $500, altogether the price is $423 which I'm perfectly fine with.
 

OnyxTheMineral

Estimable
Dec 16, 2015
6
0
4,510
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Just to give this thread some closure for my birthday I bought a pair of DT990 Pros with an Antlion Modmic 4.0, which I used for a few weeks without an AMP and it sounded quiet and when I turned up the audio I could hear static (as expected) so I went and put my money to something that will last being the Schiit Magni 2 and it works great. And as I thought my ATH-AG1's did break... sort of, the rubber on the mic and the metal inside broke leading it to dangle making it hard for my friends to hear me making me use a dodgy duct tape fix job, along with the USB DAC breaking meaning I cannot use the mic as my PC only has separate mic and AUX inputs. I'm sort of glad that I don't have the odd "wing" headrest anymore as it was annoying to be in the middle of a game and having the rubber band holding them together (Linus recommended it and it worked) snap making me fumble around for a new rubber band.
Thank you ssddx for your guidance.
 
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