Which "audiophile" headphones would be best for gaming?

mrnorrisman

Honorable
Oct 19, 2013
7
0
10,510
0
Recently my Turtle Beach px21 headset broke so I'm looking to get a replacement.

I have been researching many different "gaming" headsets, as well as "audiophile" headphones. I am trying to determine whether or not a cheaper audiophile headset + microphone would be worth it compared to just a full headset. Here is what I have been looking at:

Headphones/Headsets
Hyperx Cloud 2 ~$100
Sennheiser HD 518 ~$70
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x ~100

Microphones
V-Moda BoomPro mic ~$30 (Requires that the headset have a detachable cable)
Audio-Technica ATR2100 ~$55
Modmic 4.0 ~$50

My budget is $120 tops for mic+headphones.
Another big question I have with going with headphones is whether or not the positional audio will be as good as with a "7.1 Headset." This is also why I believe I need a big soundstage in order to have better positional audio?

So in short I am wondering if audiophile headphones will be good for gaming as far as surround, and also which ones to get (or just go with a headset?). Thanks in advance :D

 
your voice from talking on the mic is going to be louder than the soundleak on open cans - unless you crank up the volume to ear-splitting levels. if you need it that quiet in your room you will not want to use the microphone. while open headphones do of course leak audio, generally you will not hear it beyond a few feet away even at moderately loud volumes. as for picking up it on the mic, normally that isnt an issue unless you're listening to rather loud audio.

heres an idea of leakage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBUbdkPdiDw

true, the headband design of the audiotechnica ad/a headphone lines are a bit odd. some love the wing design since it is light and airy while some dislike it.

some other cans worth looking at under $100...

akg k240 - akg cans tend to be bright with fairly little low end bass but fair mid-bass.
senn hd439 - only if you are after more bassy sound signature
takstar pro 80 - hyperxcloud is based on this
vmoda m80 - fairly strong mid bass but not so much low end bass.

generally open cans have much larger soundstages than closed cans due to being open.

if you want virtual surround , you might want a soundcard. the xonar dg is a good budget option. if you do not care about virtual surround, a budget level amplifier might suit you better. (though the plus of going soundcard is better than onboard-audio quality).
 
please do not bump posts, be a little patient it has only been a day.

generally speaking quality headphones will trump gaming headsets every time in quality of audio. the exception would be headsets based on actual headphones such as the hxc, game zero, game one, pc363d, mmx300, etcetera.

the hd518 is a good all around headphone with a neutral soundstage. decent sized soundstage, decently bright treble, decent but not large quanties of bass, decent comfort. they are more laid back and easy listening than some other headphones which makes them either boring/dull or not-fatiguing based on what your personal preferences are.

the ad500x is a good choice for gaming. huge soundstage, great positional audio. on the bright side with good treble energy. lack of any low end bass though decently punchy mid level bass. also of note is the ad500x which is a closed version which has more bass but less soundstage.

for gaming you do not want the m40x. very small soundstage makes it not ideal. i personally own an m50 and do like it however i will admit that its not the best choice for gaming (i use mine for music).

the hyperxcloud is based on the takstar pro 80 in case you wanted just the headphone part of it to pair with another mic. while i think the hd518 or a/ad 500x are a bit better the takstar is not bad.

the modmic is hands down the most convenient mic since it clips on. quality is also good for the price. for cheaper there is the moovmic though quality is not as good.

not sure about the 2100 but the atr2500 is a great mic.

the boompro isnt a terrible mic though unless you specifically have 3.5mm detachable cable it will be an issue. if you used a 2.5->3.5 adapter it could be frail and snap off.

another option would be a lavalier microphone and using a cable adapter. there are some nice sounding mics in the sub $40 range.

most surround sound gaming headsets are still only 2.0 headphones but use virtual surround to fake the surround sound effect. only some of the very expensive headsets are true surround and even then that comes at a cost of lower sound quality. if you want to add virtual surround all you need is either A) virtual surround supported by your motherboard soundcard drivers, B) a soundcard like the xonar dg or u3 with virtual support or C) razer virtual surround software (free) which adds the function (though its not the best of them). some people prefer just straight up 2.0 over faked virtual, what you like depends on your own preferences.

its hard to go wrong with a hd518 + modmic + u3/dg (or ad500x/a500x). if you really wanted an all in one, the hyper x cloud isnt a bad choice.
 

mrnorrisman

Honorable
Oct 19, 2013
7
0
10,510
0
*Sorry for bumping soon ( I have seen posts where they get responses in a matter of minutes so I wasn't sure)
Anyway thank you for all this info you really know your stuff. :p

My only concern with the 518s is that they are open back (which is my fault for not specifying). I tend to stay up really late and need things to be quiet in my room. As for the a500x the top cross section or whatever its called seems a little odd as far as comfort would go for long periods of time... maybe i'm wrong as I've never used that design before. Is there a closed back version of the 518s with similar sound/soundstage?

So many choices and things to consider.

*Also a little side note: technically I do have a soundcard installed, but it wouldn't really be suitable for my purposes. It is a Creative E-MU 0404 PCIe card.
 
your voice from talking on the mic is going to be louder than the soundleak on open cans - unless you crank up the volume to ear-splitting levels. if you need it that quiet in your room you will not want to use the microphone. while open headphones do of course leak audio, generally you will not hear it beyond a few feet away even at moderately loud volumes. as for picking up it on the mic, normally that isnt an issue unless you're listening to rather loud audio.

heres an idea of leakage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBUbdkPdiDw

true, the headband design of the audiotechnica ad/a headphone lines are a bit odd. some love the wing design since it is light and airy while some dislike it.

some other cans worth looking at under $100...

akg k240 - akg cans tend to be bright with fairly little low end bass but fair mid-bass.
senn hd439 - only if you are after more bassy sound signature
takstar pro 80 - hyperxcloud is based on this
vmoda m80 - fairly strong mid bass but not so much low end bass.

generally open cans have much larger soundstages than closed cans due to being open.

if you want virtual surround , you might want a soundcard. the xonar dg is a good budget option. if you do not care about virtual surround, a budget level amplifier might suit you better. (though the plus of going soundcard is better than onboard-audio quality).
 

mrnorrisman

Honorable
Oct 19, 2013
7
0
10,510
0
Alrighty thanks for all this.

I will probably end up going with the 518s and modmic (possibly BoomPro just for price sake...) as it seems to be the best bang for the buck for what I need.

Either way it will be an upgrade from my px21 headset (especially considering they broke). And heck if they aren't working for me I can return them.

Thanks
 
if you arent as worried about super high quality mic audio, perhaps the moovmic. its similar to the modmic in design (stick on) but doesnt sound as great. it might be easier to hookup than the boompro given that the hd518 has 2.5mm cable end with a special twist lock design on the end while the boompro is 3.5mm. you would need an adapter (you might even need to shave one down to work) if you used the boompro but this would make it a breaking point likely.

i'd give thought to a soundcard like the dg since i'm unsure how good your onboard audio is going to be or how strong its amplifier is.


$70.99 hd518
$29.99 xonar dg
$19.99 moovmic
---------
$120.97... which is about your budget limit.
 

mrnorrisman

Honorable
Oct 19, 2013
7
0
10,510
0
Ohh I am glad you pointed this out, I could have made a big ol' woopsie...

As for my onboard audio I have an ASRock z77 extreme 4 motherboard which has the ALC898 audio chipset which is apparently one of the best as far as onboard audio goes. I'll definitely consider the card because for the price it seems pretty good.

Then again for the mic.. there is still that atr2100... even though it is pricey
 
instead of the atr2100, i'd look at the atr2500. its like the at2020 just about 60% as good with less build quality. keep in mind that you would want a shock mount, boom and filter (do not make the mistake of having it all the way across a desk next to your loud pc case fans and expecting it to ignore them). at minimum it should be on the desk closest to you as possible (the mic should be closer to you than any other source of noise).

since you have good onboard, you could always try that first and get the dg later if you do not like it. that would give you more budget for a mic. enough for either the 2500 or modmic for sure.
 

mrnorrisman

Honorable
Oct 19, 2013
7
0
10,510
0
Yeah at this point I'm thinking the modmic would probably be the best way to go. True the audio quality is much better with a full mic like the atr2500, but I dont really have room or the setup to make it work well. I have my noisy PC to the left, and 2 monitors to the right so there isnt really a place to put the mic without being in the way too much, even with a boom.
 

mrnorrisman

Honorable
Oct 19, 2013
7
0
10,510
0
Question:

I can't seem to find the uni-directional modmic with mute on amazon.
They only have the omni-directional mic, do you know if it is available there or should I buy it someplace else.
 

mrnorrisman

Honorable
Oct 19, 2013
7
0
10,510
0
*Sorry for bringing this forum back again but...

My new headphones came in (HD 518s) and
HO LEE CRAP I have been missing a lot with my turtle beaches!!!

Thanks so much for the help. I know they aren't the top of the line but these compared to what I had is just insane. I never even realized what I was missing. Thanks

* Feel free to close this thread or whatever needs to happen, I'm not really sure :p
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Galthran1327 Audio 7
M_RiGGz Audio 5
C Audio 2
S Audio 1
D Audio 2
D Audio 6
D Audio 6
P Audio 1
L Audio 4
C Audio 1
M Audio 8
Z Audio 3
J Audio 5
A Audio 6
S Audio 8
D Audio 2
T Audio 2
S Audio 5
S Audio 8
One Cool Cow Audio 1

ASK THE COMMUNITY