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Open or Closed Headphones? (Gaming + Music)

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I want something with a very large soundstage. As I'll be playing on my Xbox I will be using a sound processor to create 5.1/7.1 surround sound. (Something like this or this)

Should I be looking at open or closed headphones? I realize the key difference between them is how much sound gets in and gets out, and I'm leaning toward closed because I'm right next to my kitchen, so often somebody is in there making a racket. I suppose sound not getting out and annoying others would also be beneficial. Are there any problems a closed headphone poses for the purpose I want in the first place, though?

PS: I also want a microphone, but please don't recommend the clip-on microphones... Those are always a pain. Does anybody have something I could attach to my headphones on an arm that swivels perhaps?

For headphones I'm leaning towards the Audio Technica A700x's, so my budget is around $150-170. I know these can be had for even cheaper (~$120) but my budget is a little bit higher.
Edited by Madman340 - 10/21/12 at 8:18am
post #2 of 22
in general you'll sacrifice soundstage with a closed headphone. i personally only used closed headphones because background noise bothers me, it pulls me out of the music/game. i can't comment on many open headphones (at least not with my own personal experience) so i'll stick to closed.

DT770 Pro 80's - i've been using these for about a year and half now and think they're great. the current amazon price is a little over your budget but they fall to $170 all the time. they have great soundstage for a closed headphone. they are bass-heavy so keep that in mind. a bass emphasis is not ideal for competitive FPS playing, but makes for a great experience. my choice of music (indie rock, folk, acoustic) sounds great on these too. nice and warm.

M50's - i've only auditioned these at guitar center with my iphone, so take my advice with that in mind. these are great for music, similar sound signature to the DT770 Pro 80's but with a little more clarity in the mids to my ears. shallow soundstage so not very good for gaming where positional audio is needed. i personally wouldn't go with these since i game a lot. a counter-point though - i own a pair of HD280's which also have a shallow soundstage. i can make due with them in FPS games.

Brainwaivz HM5 - i'm discussing these on rep alone, i've never heard them myself. i have a pair (one of the clones, the NVX Audio XPT100) coming to me tomorrow to try out. if you read all the info on these and their various clones, they are supposed to be fantastic for music and gaming. very neutral and a large soundstage. they look 'cheap' to me, but that's subjective. the hype-machine was in full swing on these for a while, so impressions may have been over exaggerated. guess i'll see.

if you decide to go with open headphones there are many options available, and more qualified people on OCN to weigh in.

edit: give this a read if you haven't already, will probably answer all your questions: http://www.overclock.net/t/1014902/ocns-most-recommended-audio-products
Edited by Porter_ - 10/21/12 at 11:31am
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post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
One thing I think will be the most important is the soundstage, so this is giving me doubts. Another worry I have is that the Dolby sound processors I am looking at will not provide good enough emulation that properly compliments the needs of a huge soundstage headphone such as the AD700's, which as I'm sure everybody knows are the open version of my initial headphone choice.

I really hope somebody tuned to this sort of thing can pitch in. What you've said, Porter_, has definitely expanded my thoughts a good bit, and I'm much less eager to buy today. (Good thing ;p) I do want to get the best for my budget and gaming, but I don't want to make any rash decisions now.
post #4 of 22
AD700. There one of the best headphones for positioning, they have a huge soundstage and OUTSTANDING for gaming.

Quote from Mad Lust Envy's headphone gaming guide
Quote:
Spectacular for FPS games. Great detail in the mids and energetic treble. Soundstage is the biggest of any headphone I have heard in Dolby Headphone mode (including the K701). Everything sounds just so crystal clear and sparkly. Directional accuracy is just bloody fantastic (2nd only to the DT770 Pro 80s for me). If you want a headphone that just murders practically everything else for FPS games, the AD700s is that headphone. They are really bass light. That is their biggest issue. Bass is so light, it sounds like a tin can attempting to sound like a subwoofer. Just no bass, lol. So for immersive, non-competitive gaming, these aren't going to impress. The treble can also be quite grating and harsh. They also sound somewhat artificial, so don't expect accurate and realistic sounds coming from this headphone.


Comfort-wise, the pads are super comfortable, but the cans are way too loose for some people, and your ears may touch the drivers which a shock prone person like me couldn't handle anymore.


Fun: 6/10 (the soundstage is it's own brand of fun, but soundstage and clarity aside, they're not going to wow you.)

Competitive: 10/10

Comfort: 3/10

Edit: If you are playing on Xbox I highly recommend the Astro mixamp
Edited by CorruptEagle - 10/21/12 at 2:08pm
  
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post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorruptEagle View Post

AD700. There one of the best headphones for positioning, they have a huge soundstage and OUTSTANDING for gaming.
Quote from Mad Lust Envy's headphone gaming guide
Edit: If you are playing on Xbox I highly recommend the Astro mixamp
Hey, I saw your thread on a very similar topic. I was wondering if you know if the closed version of those suffer from a reduced soundstage or clarity, do you know? Are you suggesting the Mixamp because it's the only one you know, or is the price truly justified?
post #6 of 22
I'm not sure about the closed version of the AD700, but there are many alternatives to the Astro Mixamp Pro like the Turtle Beach DSS, Astro Mixamp 5.8 but the best for console is the Astro Mixamp Pro (although not sure if price is justified).

Also to answer your earilier question about attachable mic the Antlion Modmic is amazing.
  
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post #7 of 22
I wish I could hear a benefit using the 5.1 conversion stuff, to me positional audio is actually more accurate in stereo.
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post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by duox View Post

I wish I could hear a benefit using the 5.1 conversion stuff, to me positional audio is actually more accurate in stereo.

Perhaps your audio drivers automatically do it already? On the 360 there is no sound card to handle this type of thing, so unless you have something like Turtle Beaches, Trittons, or Astros, (anything with Dolby sound processing really) you will always hear it in stereo. I hear what you say a lot, but whenever people say that they are usually PC gamers that don't realize they actually are listening in 5.1 or something; not flat stereo.

I actually have JVC HARX 900's as well, and I've tried them out on my 360; basically it's like trying to listen through a wall and it's neigh impossible to pinpoint where sounds are occurring unless they are directly in front of me or to the left or right slightly.

What about the M50's?
Edited by Madman340 - 10/21/12 at 3:16pm
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Alright I think I know what I'm going to do, thanks to CorruptEagle showing me that link... I'm going with these:

ModMic (Will be waiting for 2.1)
Mixamp Pro
AD700s (open)

Which brings the total to around $270 for a complete solution.
post #10 of 22
One way it was explained to me was if you want better bass, go with closed. If you want soundsage, go open.

That said, part of the reason I went closed was because I wanted to block out external noise and not get nagged for it being too loud.

I also use my headphones on airplanes so there is the added benefit of blocking out the engine noise there too if you travel alot.

P.s.

I am very happy with my SteelSeries Siberia V2 w/ USB soundcard. They are mainly good for gaming as the audio jack doesnt work with my ipod for some reason. That said I use AKG K 271 Mk II for music.
Edited by madbrayniak - 10/21/12 at 5:22pm
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