Headphones for Gaming and Music (£150/ $200 budget)

theonlygizelli1

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Aug 14, 2017
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So I've owned multiple gaming headsets over the years and all of which have broken in under a year and I'm looking to get a better quality, more durable pair with much better audio quality. I've been doing some research and have come to the conclusion that 7.1 surround is not worth it as it degrades the audio quality too much for how little it increases your perception of where sounds are coming from.

I need good positional audio and clarity for gaming (I mainly play CSGO and PUBG) but I also love listening to music (mostly drum and bass/EDM) so I need decent but not overpowering bass that would distort the sound. I'd also prefer the headphones to be open back since it gives a wider sound stage which is vital for stereo headphones with no surround sound.

My budget is about £150 / $200 for the headphones and I play on buying an antlion modmic 4.0 for an extra £50 on top. I do not have an external DAC, amp or good sound card (I have an Asus Xonar DGX) so I would appreciate recommendations that don't require any of those to achieve the headphones full potential.

I've considered these so far although I'd like someone to let me know if I would absolutely need a DAC for any of them (if so I'll remove them from the list):

AKG K702 - £130
AudioaTechnica ADH AD500/700x - £105/130
Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro /Premium(250 OHM) -
£105/135
AKG K612PRO - £100
Sennheiser HD598 - Will only buy if they go on sale for under £150 on amazon.

Please reply with any headphones that are in my budget, don't need an external DAC/decent sound card (unless it's really cheap), have a great soundstage and have good enough bass for EDM/DnB but not too much as I need prominent highs/mids for footsteps in games and such - so basically something quite flat.

Thanks
 

True Buie

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Aug 29, 2016
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Heyo theonlygizelli1

Sweet to see you want to get into the headphone game.
As for headphones I'll recommend the Beyerdynamic DT 770's since they're all around a good choice. They're closed-backs, yes. Although still miles ahead of any gaming headset you can find. I own a pair myself, the 250 ohm version. They have amazing bass and sub-bass so that should fix your "needs".
Something like the Audio-technica ATH-M40X's are also a great headphones for their price, although they'l most likely need some new pads on. A pair of HM5 pleather pads would do them nicely.
That would be my recommendation as a "starter headphone".

As for your own "choices".
All look good, although I'll have to say that the DT990 have "killer highs" where they're literally at the point where it actually hurts your ears. This is of course not the scenario for all people. One of my friends have them and say they're great and all. Although, if you buy those you'll need some kind of DAC.
I know you said you didn't want to buy any, but here's something to think about at least. The Fiio e10k. Great little DAC/AMP combo which will gladly drive those headphones.
If I were you I'd probably skip the HD598's since they can be somewhat meh compared to other headphones. They're great, don't get me wrong, but compared to something like the DT990's they "lack" alot of bass/highs compared to those.
I'd probably say you should go for the AKG K702's since they're a good "all arounder" and for a great price even.

If you could scrounge up a pair of used Sennhesier HD650's you'd be good going. I have those myself and love 'em to dead. They're usually ~£300, but can be found used (At least in Denmark) for around ~£180. They're a great pair of headphones and really let you get everything from your music.

Cheers
 

theonlygizelli1

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Aug 14, 2017
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If I were to go for the AKG K702s or beyer 770s would a DAC be necessary to drive them or can I get away with not having one?
 

True Buie

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Aug 29, 2016
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I'd say you should get a DAC/AMP for both. You'd probably be able to run the K702's "fine", but the details might veil a little. You could run 32 ohm DT770's without one, but I'd say you should shoot for the 80/250 ohm edition, where you'd need one.
Your pc would be able to run the 250 ohms DT770's, but details would be missed, so you're basically shooting yourself in the foot by not getting one. You can run pretty much any headphone without a dedicated DAC on your pc, but higher impedance headphones such as HD650's which have an impedance of 300 ohm, would suffer severely.

Cheers
 
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