Looking for some good headphones. Around $130 budget.

TomThePotato

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Jul 2, 2014
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Coming from a Razer headset.... I think most headphones would be an improvement.. :p With Christmas coming up, I decided to get new headphones. At first, I was going to get A40s, but after some research, It looks like headphones + mic were the best bet.

I was going to get the Sennheiser HD 558s, but I heard they sound leak, so with another person in the room who usually studies.. I decided not to get them. (Wanted them though )

So, I guess I'm looking for closed headphones. People have been recommending the M50(x)s, and I was wondering if those are worth the price, or if there's a better option. (~$130 budget)

Another thing I wanted to add was that I have an entry-level motherboard. To be more specific, it's the Z97 PC MATE, and I'm not sure if the on-board sound is decent enough for the headphones. Should I buy a sound card, or is it just not worth it since I don't want to spend too much money?(Under 50, sadly.. I do not own a money tree ;_; )

Lastly, I'm going to need a mic to talk in-game/skype/etc.. I've seen the Zalman Clip-On mics being recommended to others. However, the "modmic" seemed promising, but is the price difference worth it?

That's about it, thank you in advance! (I need to order this better... x.x )
 

thor220

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They are the best if you consider audio quality and they are closed. They don't leak much sound so the people around you won't be able to hear much.

Unfortunately, the soundstage isn't very good on them. This means that at times, in video games, it can be hard to tell what direction noise is coming from. This is an issue with almost all closed cans. Usually if you want a better soundstage, you need to buy open cans (which leak allot of noise) or be ready to pay big bucks for higher end headphones. Compared to your old razors, it's not a downgrade soundstage wise. Most of those gaming cans make up for poor sound quality and soundstage by using virtual surround sound and equalization. Both of them are just poor substitutes for an actually good headset.

Aside from that one disadvantage, they are by far widely reguarded as the best bang for your buck in that price range. Make sure you purchase them from a legitimate retailer though. These cans are really popular so there are many fakes. Compare to real pictures if you have to.

About the sound card, don't bother if that's all you have to spend. A $50 sound card will hardly improve much over the onboard. Take that money and just buy the ATH-M50x.

As a tip for the future, I'll let you in on a little secret. Most sound cards are pretty bad, even the expensive $200 creative sound blaster X-FI. The only sound card that is actually worth it's price is the Asus Xonar Essence STX II. Sound cards are really just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to sound quality though. What you want is a DAC/AMD. These are little units that sit outside your PC that do the same thing a sound card does. Just having the unit outside the case allows the unit to stay interference free, which means better audio. In addition to that, these DAC/AMP units are built with better components .

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
 

thor220

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So you want closed cans with a mic? Around $130?

Audio technical ATH-M50s + modmic.

You can also get the M50x which is an updated version, it's a bit better.

A note on upgrading your sound system - always do it in this order

Headphones/output device -> Soundcard/DAC -> AMP (More expensive headphones require an amp, you don't need to worry about this.)
 

TomThePotato

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Jul 2, 2014
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Mic's not part of the budget, if I didn't put that in. Are M50s really the best "bang for the buck" headphones around that price point? :eek: If I did want to buy a sound card, any .. decent ones that you'd recommend under 50 dollars? The cheaper, the better! but, I guess I can't go cheaper if I don't want to compromise any quality.

EDIT : I forgot to put uses....

Main Usage : Gaming/Music, mainly gaming but I do listen to A LOT of music. :p
 

thor220

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Dec 15, 2009
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They are the best if you consider audio quality and they are closed. They don't leak much sound so the people around you won't be able to hear much.

Unfortunately, the soundstage isn't very good on them. This means that at times, in video games, it can be hard to tell what direction noise is coming from. This is an issue with almost all closed cans. Usually if you want a better soundstage, you need to buy open cans (which leak allot of noise) or be ready to pay big bucks for higher end headphones. Compared to your old razors, it's not a downgrade soundstage wise. Most of those gaming cans make up for poor sound quality and soundstage by using virtual surround sound and equalization. Both of them are just poor substitutes for an actually good headset.

Aside from that one disadvantage, they are by far widely reguarded as the best bang for your buck in that price range. Make sure you purchase them from a legitimate retailer though. These cans are really popular so there are many fakes. Compare to real pictures if you have to.

About the sound card, don't bother if that's all you have to spend. A $50 sound card will hardly improve much over the onboard. Take that money and just buy the ATH-M50x.

As a tip for the future, I'll let you in on a little secret. Most sound cards are pretty bad, even the expensive $200 creative sound blaster X-FI. The only sound card that is actually worth it's price is the Asus Xonar Essence STX II. Sound cards are really just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to sound quality though. What you want is a DAC/AMD. These are little units that sit outside your PC that do the same thing a sound card does. Just having the unit outside the case allows the unit to stay interference free, which means better audio. In addition to that, these DAC/AMP units are built with better components .

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
 

TomThePotato

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Jul 2, 2014
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Turns out.. Open headphones are okay, after talking to my roommate.. Scratch everything. :pt1cable:

Any recommendations besides the sennheiser 558?
 

thor220

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Yeah, that was one crazy deal. They also had the HD 650 (one of the best cans on the market) for $350. It was a pretty great holiday if you were looking for headphones.
 
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