Buying new headset/headphone. Cloud 2 vs M40x

Joel_O

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Aug 18, 2015
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Hello.
I've been looking to get new headphones for a while. I play mostly games and listen to everything from jazz to house (while playing other games). I also used to do some video editing. A hobby that I hope too soon revive. I play mostly FPS games and am a pretty competitive player.
My budget is around 100-120$.
I've been looking at the HyperX cloud 2 since people say it's the best "gaming" headset for the price. I have also looked at the Audio-Technica M40x, also a great value I've heard.

Since I do listen to music I don't want a bass bloated pair of Krakens. (I've tried them) I'm looking for something in the middle ground between hi-fi capable headphones and decent gaming performance.

The DT990 and HD558 also crossed me but both of those go up to 200Ω and need an amplifier. If I need to buy a amplifier/soundcard the total price goes a bit too high for my budget.

So basically: How bad are the cloud 2 for music and editing and how bad are the M40x for gaming? Is there any better alternatives?

I get severe OCD whenever I think of buying new stuff so I'd really appreciate some feedback. :)

(reposting this in the proper category)
 
you do not want the m40x - its a lower end version of the m50x which has a small soundstage which is not ideal for gaming. i have a m50s myself and while i like it, they are not the most ideal for anyone wanting to be ultra competitive.

take a look at the ad500x, ad700x, hd518 and hd558. none of them are 200ohm (they are 48 and 60ohm respectively) so do not need an amp, only a fairly decent soundcard.

on a budget i'd look at a xonar dg or u3 soundcard paired with a ad500x or hd518. that would be a much better sound than the hyper x (even though it is true that the hyper x is good)

if you just wanted the headphones, the hxc is based on the takstar pro 80 which can be found cheaper than yo ucan get the hxc2

 
you do not want the m40x - its a lower end version of the m50x which has a small soundstage which is not ideal for gaming. i have a m50s myself and while i like it, they are not the most ideal for anyone wanting to be ultra competitive.

take a look at the ad500x, ad700x, hd518 and hd558. none of them are 200ohm (they are 48 and 60ohm respectively) so do not need an amp, only a fairly decent soundcard.

on a budget i'd look at a xonar dg or u3 soundcard paired with a ad500x or hd518. that would be a much better sound than the hyper x (even though it is true that the hyper x is good)

if you just wanted the headphones, the hxc is based on the takstar pro 80 which can be found cheaper than yo ucan get the hxc2

 
there is not a very large difference between the 500x and 700x however there is a noticeable difference between the 500x and 900x. as you go up 5-9 you get slightly more bass, somewhat better pads, slightly better sound quality.

bass on any of the ad-series is going to be weak. many call them bass less but that isnt quite true. they do have some punchy mid bass however it is not very deep and rumbly and they lack any sub level bass at all. while some may find this to their liking anyone who expects some good rumble might be disappointed. the lack of bass is what gives them a fps gaming advantage though.

the hd-series while not bass heavy at all is a bit more neutral and has a bit more bass than the ad-series. often enough to satisfy most people who arent bassheads.

if you're a real basshead... there are certainly headphones that can satisfy that on budget however you will lose gaming advantage and they will not be accurate for doing music recording.

likewise the m50x/m40x are okay for music recording however lack depth and arent really good for gaming.

the hd series is pretty neutral so would be fine for both.

the ad series lacks bass extension so may not be the best if you're working on bass heavy music but would work for both.

for music editing, often neutral is best as it gives the most natural sound, though you can certainly do it with other cans according to your preference.

if possible its ideal if you listen to the headphones in person. while not accurate (as it only shows some differences between headphone signatures but plays over your current headphones or speakers so really is a vague comparision and does not showcase the exact properties of said headphones) you might find http://www.sonicsense.com/resourcecenter/app/audio?load=featured&preset=over_ear_headphones&source=result interesting for some very basic comparisons on headphones. please take what you hear there with a huge grain of salt.
 

Joel_O

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Aug 18, 2015
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So basically my best bet for all-round performance is the HD 518? I am by no means a basshead. If I listen to something very bass heavy I'll use a my big speaker system. But I do like to have some amount of bass in my headphones.

I'll try to find a pair to listen to before i buy but I live in the middle of the forest in sweden so there is some distance to the nearest well sorted store. :)
 

Joel_O

Estimable
Aug 18, 2015
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Let's just say I go a bit higher in price and get a pair that needs a sound card. How does the DT990 PRO compare to the HD558 or HD518? I can get the DT990 PRO for around 160$.
 
well, i'd likely compare it to the hd598 but in general they have different sound:

both have wide soundstages. the 598 is more neutral sounding, the 990 has a v-shape which boosts highs and lows a bit. the 990 hits much harder for bass despite being open design. the treble is also bright on the 990. the 598 is a slower headphone, laid back sounding if you will which makes it more easy listening while the 990 is brighter and more detailed. some call the 990 fatiguing and love the 598 instead while others love the detail of the 990 and call the 598 boring for being so laid back. often you like one or the other. both are comfortable although the 990 wins out by having larger and more comfortable pads. both are fairly ugly so no winner there.

the 990 is harder to drive. you might be able to get by on a soundcard like the Z but going with an external amp like a fiio e09k, e12k, e11 or e12 will likely do a bit better. the 598 is easier to drive and any soundcard is fine normally.

in the uk where the price for a brand new 990 is $160 and your other choices are all very bloated in price it makes the 990 a rather good deal (normal prices are around $200-220) but you need to factor in requiring a way to power them as well.

i'm hesitant to say one or the other is better... both are good in their own ways depending on what you're looking for.
 

Joel_O

Estimable
Aug 18, 2015
8
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4,510
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I think I lean more towards the HD558 or 518. I'll try to listen to them to see if the better bass on the 558 is worth it.
Thanks for the help! :)
 
the 518 will have more bass than the 558. the 558 will feel slightly more refined and a bit larger on soundstage though. ultimately all 3 (518, 558, 598) use the same exact drivers... the difference in sound is due to design. build quality and the pads used vary and get better as you go up though.
 
akg cans tend to be fairly bright on treble ... more like audiotechnica's ad-series are but even more so. the hd-series is more laid back and treble is not as bright.

which is better? depends on what you're looking for. if you enjoy every little detail and sparkling bright treble the akg cans are good. if you want something you can listen to for hours without getting fatigued the senns are good.
 

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