Headset or Headphone $400 budget

DeathPONY

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Jul 22, 2015
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Hi all,
As the title suggests I'm looking for a headset or headphone solution with a $400 budget. Pardon my lack of sound knowledge but ill give an idea as to the type of sound I'm looking for. I have previously owned the Logitech G35 I did enjoy how punchy the bass was with this headset, however after owning 2 pairs and both breaking at the same point i decided to move on. I then got the Corsair Vengeance 1500, I do like the clarity of the sound but it seemed a bit lacking in bass by comparison to the G35's.

I was looking at the Sennheiser HD598 or the PC363D. After reading a few reviews and hearing they are bass lacking, I'm hoping to not run into the same lack of punch I find in the Vengeance 1500.

I would mainly be using these for gaming (positional audio would be nice). As well as tv shows, movies and music. A good all-rounder with punchy bass comparable to the G35's yet the crispness of the Vengeance 1500.

So firstly I'd like to know if the PC363D have comparable punch to the G35's or more comparable to the Vengeance 1500.

Would also look warmly upon suggestions of other headphones/sets that would be available within my budget.
 

RazerZ

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Aug 18, 2013
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I would first suggest the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Ohm with a modmic and later on an amplifier if needed. Rugged construction, comfortable, wide soundstage for a closed back headphone, excellent bass extension/impact, and a fun v shaped sound with emphasis on the low end and treble which you would like coming from a bass heavy "gaming" headset.

The 598 is exactly what you don't want, great clarity and detail but lacks bass impact.

An in between would be the DT 990 Pros. They are open back and will leak sound like crazy. Do not get these if you plan to use them on the go or have others in your room which would be disturbed by the sound. Same V shaped sound like the DT 770 Pros but trade sub bass impact for detail and clarity. They have the largest sound stage of the other Beyers in its price range.

If you live by a place like Guitar Center or Best Buy (Magnolia section) you might be able to try them out in store. That would be your best bet in finding the pair which fits your preferences. Descriptions can only go so far.
 

A12MO12

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Fidelio X2 could be worth looking into. Great set of headphones with good bass and rugged construction. Just get a clip on mic to go with it and you are good to go.
 

DeathPONY

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Thanks for the info. I'll be trying to get to a headphone store in the city and have a listen to the DT770pros. From what I have found out from looking around it is suggested I use desktop amplification. Could you suggest such a device as well?

In my search for info on the DT770pro I have found a headset made by the same manufacturer called the Beyerdynamic Custom One, how would they compare with the DT770pro?
 

DeathPONY

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Thanks for suggesting I will try getting a listen to these as well.
 

RazerZ

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I haven't heard the COP but can find a comparison of the two from users which have had both:

Clearly I'm not a pro at this but here goes something...

After not feeling 100% satisfied with my T 70's I wanted a little more Umph in the bottom end so I found great deals on the DT 770/80 ($149 new eBay- Contact me if you want the link they have more plus a 60 day return policy... Yes 60 days no questions asked) and the COP ($189 Amazon-Currently you can get them for $162). I'm still not finished with the testing but so far I do agree with what some have said so far. The DT770/80's have a much crisper sound than the Custom One Pro's but thats not a knock against the COP which I like but it is what it is. I actually put them up against my HIFI-780's and the COP won hands down and I sold my 780's which again I loved.

Now to the direct comparison and I'll break this down to make it simple and quick

Comfort: Tie - The COP's are super light weight, zero clamp, and soft leather pads while the 770's are a little heavier with a slight clamp but the Velour pads are amazingly comfortable. Not as comfortable as the DT 990/250's but honestly nothing I've ever worn before can compete with the comfort of those bad boys. I told my wife I was going to make a Velour jumpsuit out of those pads... She shook her head and quickly walked away.

Portability: COP - 16ohm speakers... Nuff said. You need to amp the 770's for them to reach their full potential but running them through my Macbook Pro I got great results. My e11 does ok but I think its time for a change but not sure what to change to, a little help would be nice for those of you that are amp savvy

Soundstage: DT 770/80 - This is where the tide changes and stays in favor of the 770's. The sound stage is amazing for a closed can and it has the best depth of any headphone I've tested/owned. Using them with my Astro Mixamp 5.8 is redonk!! The bass you would think would get in the way and yes its clearly there but it doesn't get in the way at all. Playing BF3 on my 360 good luck sneaking up on me because the distance and direction is better than the best "gaming" headsets I've tested. I'm a sneaky C4 junky so sitting and waiting for tanks has never been easier. And when the boom comes the bass is eye popping and always giggle inducing. Now on the other hand the COP are no slouches either, but the bass feels a little muddy and the separation is good but cant compete but honestly, what can??

Highs: DT 770/80 - They just come through cleaner and more relaxed but neither has the it factor in this area. The COP's are brighter and seem to pop out a little better but at the same time can get fatiguing at higher volumes. While I was A/B the two this was the biggest difference IMO. The COP's highs are right in your face aggressive and at times it feels like they're trying to hard. That is where the 16ohm ratings are at a disadvantage because being that easy to run is nice an all until you wanna turn the volume up and it feels like your ear drums are gonna pop.

Midrange: DT 770/80 - Not as recessed which will be shocking to most that know the 770's because they have pretty recessed mids in the first place but for the type of music I listen to with these they work. If I wanted to High and Mid myself to death I have the T 70's for that :) I think the real problem with the midrange on the COP's is the the fact the the highs and lows just simply overwhelm the mids and because the separation isn't that great it makes it hard for the mids to come through.

Bass: DT 770/80 - This one I thought was going to be a toss up but it was not. At first when you pick up the COP's of course the first thing you want to do is crank the switch to the 4th and final position throw on some dub and get to work!! And at first its like yes this is nice, but once your ears stop ringing from all the Robot sex you start to listen and notice how bloated the bass is and how hard its working to keep up with the music you're putting through it. At higher volumes notes were missed, drops were sloppy, and general sadness started to kick in. Once the volume was returned to a normal state things improved greatly. Now the 770's on other hand were cool and collected regardless of what I put them through and at all volumes. The levels didn't increase with the volume and they remained steady throughout the entire process. What was funny was that the only time I felt they were limited was when I put them through my e11 hence the reason I say its time to move on. Soundstage was reduced and the bass got bloated regardless of the settings. Clear winner in the category.

Isolation and sound leakage: Tie - Isolation goes to the 770's but The COP's do a better job at keeping all the sound in your head and not in your neighbors lap.

Overall thats 4 wins for the DT 770/80's 1 win for the COP's and 2 ties giving the clear and decisive win to the 770's. I like what Beyer did here with the COP's. They clearly were going for the commercial sound and if compared to the Beats and Sol's of the world they win hands down in almost every way possible except for being overpriced. Beats will win that battle almost every time.

Which one you buy is ultimately up to you and hopefully I gave you some useful information to make the choice a little easier and if I didn't oh well, at least I had fun in the process. Thanks for the read and please throw out your suggestions for a good portable Amp under $160 that will do a better job than the e11 or gives a different sound signature.

The general consensus seems to be that the DT 770 Pros are better overall in all aspects aside from being easier to drive.

You should be able to run them fine with your onboard integrated audio chipset. I would see if you are happy with them unamped first. If you were to look into a headphone amp I would look into a little dot, Objective 2, Schiit Magni or Fiio E9/E10 for options around $100. I would look into the 80ohm version as they would be the easiest to drive with an amp.
 

DeathPONY

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Jul 22, 2015
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Thanks for that comparison. Would I be best going with a dedicated soundcard over onboard? Something with positional sound then getting just a desktop amp to make sure the headphones are powered properly?

Sorry for all the questions my sound knowledge isn't really up to par and I am hoping to get a long term solution.

Thanks for your input.
 

A12MO12

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dedicated sound card usually is better. You can buy one that sits insides your computer or get an external soundcard otherwise known as a DAC. A desktop amp might be necessary to drive some larger and more powerful headphones.

The go to inexpensive DAC/Amp combo would be a Schiit stack modi/magni. they are $99 US each and can drive many headphones well.

http://schiit.com/products
 

RazerZ

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That depends. If you wanted surround sound and an improved DAC (digital to analog converter) over integrated you could opt for a soundcard. Some of them will also have a decent amp which can be used in place of a headphone amplifier. A lot of times people can not tell the difference b/t an external DAC and integrated since it has come a long way, so really the main point in buying a soundcard for headphones is for virtual surround sound. If you don't need that feature you would be better off with a amp/DAC combo.
 

DeathPONY

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Jul 22, 2015
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Thanks for that mate.



I would be wanting positional sound, if the only way to get this is sound card ill go that way. Are there any you recommend?

Or would you still believe a dac/ampo like the suggested schiit stack is a better way to go?
 

A12MO12

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if you want good positional sound the headphones to get would be the hd598 for their good soundstage. If you want okay soundstage (positional audio) and good bass the fidelo X2 is for you. I would recommend the schiit stack over just the sound card if possible. Most sound cards combine amp + dac so are okay quality individually, the schiit magni + modi are great quality for the price.
 
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