Headphones for gaming and music

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Erialc, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Erialc

    Erialc New Member

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    Hi,

    I think I'm all researched out, so really looking for some expert thumbs up (or down!) at this point please :)

    Requirements:
    -£150ish to spend - I can go to £200 to include a DAC/amp - would like to try without one first though.
    -Full size headphones
    -Will mostly be used for gaming (first-person shooters and MMOS, so need that positional awareness for people sneaking up on me!) but also a wide range of music (Tori Amos, The Beatles, Motown, Daft Punk, Jay Z, Gang Starr - pretty much anything but no classical or opera).
    - Open or closed (noise leakage is not a problem as these will only be used with my PC at home)
    - Really comfortable as will be worn for hours on end.

    My concerns are really regarding versatility for my needs above and also whether I need to purchase an amp (DAC?) in addition to headphones. I don't have a dedicated sound card in my PC (motherboard is ASUS P8 Z68-V/Gen 3 if that helps!).

    I'm looking at these three currently, in order of my current leaning:
    - Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 Open Back Hi-Fi Headphones - lots of reviews mention lack of bass, is this really a major issue? I don't like tinny but I don't like muffled either.
    - Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO Closed Back Headphones 80Ω - so many varieties on this model! It sounds like 80Ω could be fine, even without a DAC?
    - Shure SRH840 Professional Closed-Back Headphones - Always my last choice really unless someone really can convince me otherwise as they seem to lack a bit compared with the other two.

    Any advice greatly appreciated! Thanks :)
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    The Beyer 770 looks like a clear winner there. A more full bodied sound than the Shure. I don't think you'll find something better until you go way up in price
     
  3. Erialc

    Erialc New Member

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    Thanks for the input dalethorn. Would I be OK without an amp with the 80Ω version? Or if needed, which model amp would be best to go for?

    Also, I've heard from a few people that closed headphones can really make your ears/head hot if worn for an extended amount of time. As mentioned, I would be wearing these for hours - is this much of an issue with the Beyers?

    Thirdly, does anyone have any info on the soundstage for the Beyers? I've read tons about this for the Audio-Technica set (most seem to be positive), but not much for the Beyers.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    The 80 ohm version should be OK with just a music player, but that varies according to the volume level of the music tracks you play. If you feel you need a headphone amp anyway, such as the FiiO E17 or one with similar power output capability, then you get not only more dynamic range, but potentially better sound quality depending on the output options of the music player.

    That also varies. If you use them indoors in a not-too-warm environment, it should not be a problem. Used in ambient temperatures in the upper 70's fahrenheit, it could get warm.

    Open headphones usually have a more impressive soundstage, but there's a lot of variance there also. I've heard closed headphones that sound better in that respect than some open headphones, so it's not assured that open alone is the key factor. If you have for example a really fine orchestra recording that you know should sound a certain way, that's the best test for any headphone to see how it presents that soundstage. I have a favorite open and closed headphone on my desk, and downloaded the new Blue Coast DSD recording of the San Francisco Symphony doing Mahler's First, cond. by Michael Tilson Thomas, and the ambiance is pretty amazing - better than anything I've heard to date. I appreciate the sound on both the closed and open headphone myself, but some other person who is extremely sensitive to how the soundstage should be presented might not agree. There's no way for me to predict that.
     
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