New pair of headphones

Craftsman_2222

Estimable
Nov 4, 2015
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4,510
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I'm looking into getting a new pair of headphones/headset used primarily for gaming. I have a few questions:
-What are the best of the best headphones, no price limit
-Best headphones for around 150-200 ( Also need a good mic, but isn't included in price so list that too please)
-Best headset all around without a price limit
-Best headset for around 150-200

I'm still pretty new to the world of audio so any help regarding what key signs to a good pair headphones would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

slyverine

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Mar 4, 2016
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Well let me help you a bit.
Firstly, someone can't simply declare a best of the best pair of headset/headphones, there are so many factors involved like desing, build quality, sound quality , mic quality etc some may good in some things and lack something else.

Secondly, you most probably want a headset if you want it for gaming so that you can have a mic as well.

Thirdly, google is your friend! The way i buy things is google best "product" "price range" , like best headset at 200 euros. Or you can simply search for best headset, read like 5-6 pages articles and decide for yourself what suits you best!
 
best of the best? that is highly subjective as everyones ears and tastes differ. what i may find to be the best might differ from what you think.

probably the "best that you can buy" might be the sennheiser orpheus at $50,000 though the more average fellows might say the $4,000 audeze lcd-4, stax hr-009 at $3,500 or various other planar magnetic headphones in the same category are considered to be the creme of the crop. such products are however the price where only people with disposable incomes or true audiophiles can enjoy them and dac+amp equipment is in addition to this cost.

there are headphones at many different price points. for budget level around $100 can get you some decent sounding cans. perhaps the best deal per dollar can be found at under $250. the next major step up is the $300-500 range.

best headphones for 150-200 depends on your preferences honestly. some of the most popular are the hd598 from sennheiser, dt770/880/990 from beyerdynamic, ad700/900x from audiotechnica and akg k701/702/q701. of course there are others that are good as well.

best headsets for gaming are generally those based on headphone designs but most tend to be highly expensive for what you get and buying the headphone and strapping a mic on is often far cheaper. the beyerdynamic mmx300 (old dt770 premium design +mic), audiotechnica adg1/ag1 (ad500x/a500x +mic), audiotechnica pc363d/pc373d (based loosely on old hd555/595/pc350 design + mic) and sennheiser game one (hd518/558 + mic) are often considered the cream of the crop for stereo headsets. all but the game one are overpriced. i'm not listing any 7.1 gaming sets like the astros or similar as while they might have more drivers overall sound quality will be worse off with more but smaller cheaper drivers.

again, best headset for 150-200 heavily depends on preference. generally the game one is considered very good though.
 

Craftsman_2222

Estimable
Nov 4, 2015
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What would the specs on headphones tell me? Like the Impedance, frequency response, sensitivity, and driver diameter?
Thanks!
 
impedance and sensitivity go together so use them together.

sensitivity - how much decibel loudness output per watt of power input
impedance - resistance of the headphone circuit to electrical power

high impedance headphones also have greater control over the driver so generally sound better. not always, but as a general rule most high end headphones are high impedance.

generally high impedance low sensitivity = hard to power, high sensitivity = easier to power, higher impedance normally = harder to power but you cant always go by that since high sensitivity/high impedance are not always bad.

another thing to note, amp impedance. generally low impedance amps are best. some people say about 1/8 the headphone impedance or less is best but i'm not an expert on that.

frequency response will tell you from what hertz level frequency (think sound pitch, treble/bass) extents the drivers are capable of producing. keep in mind this does not tell you how they sound. while looking at frequency response numbers also look at frequency response graphs which provide a visual image. left to right is frequency (really low bass to really high treble) and vertical is weak response to high response (volume in db). for example a V shape on the chart indicates v-shaped sound with fun heavier bass and heavy treble audio signature while flat at 0 is a completely neutral can.

example here http://cdn.head-fi.org/c/cb/350x280px-cb811a2c_graphCompare.png

for headphones driver size is not an easy set in stone answer. it goes along with driver mass or weight. bigger heavier drivers generally are capable of better bass and are not as good on treble however this is by no means a solid rule (there are big driver low bass and small driver really heavy bass cans) so you can not really go by this to make a final call.

at 300-350+ you can often start getting into planar magnetic headphones like the he-400i. some planar headphones have good bass extension and better mids but some lack as much treble. they are often heavy. hard to say they are better than dynamics but certainly not bad. electrostatics are what stax and other high end headphones are and they are also considered good. honestly there are high end in all 3 (dynamic, planar, electrostatic) and all have good/ bad points. most of your headphones are going to be dynamic though.
 
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