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Which headphones should I buy? (more details inside) - Page 2

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiihokatti View Post

MLEHGG
OCN's Most Recommended Audio Products
HD681Evo review/modding guide
HD330/etc. review
And the HD668B is legendary enough that it doesn't need introductions.

That should cover pretty much everything I recommended thumb.gif

So I've spent quite a few hours researching, reading and watching on headphones in general and especially all the recommendations. I've chosen the ones that seemed to have the best reviews in regards of my needs, one of which is competitive gaming. Here's my conclusion so far:

AKG K612 Pro:
Seemingly pretty much the only downside is that it doesn't do as well with fast-paced and energetic music (metal, hard rock in my case). Everything else, including detailed sounds, bass and competitive gaming seems quite perfect.

Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro:
Seems to provide very high level of comfort and an even higher level of sound quality than K612, however it's more bass-y (seemingly a bit 'too' bass-y in regards of the midrange), so it's harder to determine the positions in competitive gaming.

Sennheiser HD598:
Seems to offer great sound quality (not as good as the other two, though), a bit less comfort, less immersive in games that do require immersion (story-driven) due to the mediocore bass, however they seem to be an excellent choice in regards of competitive gaming.

Superlux HD681 EVO:
Seems to provide decent sound quality and relatively okay level of comfort, however the sounds are not very detailed. That being said, as well as considering the general sound quality factor - the quality is moderately lower than that of the headphones above, especially the DT990. Considering that I'd buy the pads as well, it'd still be half the price of any other headphones listed.

Conclusion:
To be honest, I mostly like DT990 and K612 - both the design and what they have to offer. HD598 is nice too in that sense, but somehow I like it less than the other two models, and Superlux seems like a great and much cheaper solution. K612 seems to have problems with detailed sounds and fast-paced/energetic music, while the DT990 seemingly puts too much emphasis on the bass which also screws up the mids a bit, whereas the HD598 puts too little emphasis on the bass, and Superlux seems to be of poorer quality overall (makes sense due to the price difference) than any of those, however it offers great quality for the price. I would say that the best choice would be K612 or DT990, but I'd like to receive some more feedback/advice on this, as it's hard for me to decide (and it's A LOT of money), even after spending hours researching about it - I have never researched into higher-level sound, and I understood little about Kave, except that it provided me with higher quality sound and had multiple speakers that gave me a very immersive feeling due to the positioning of sounds in games (5.1), as well as music that was blasting all over the cup rather than... Dryly, one-directional sound which was offered by every headphones I had prior to those.

Some concerns:
Since all of them are open headphones, I wonder if I'd be able to hear my fans, people talking outside my room or kids playing outside (with my windows closed) - I can hear all of that without my headphones (my hearing's really good). Kave isolates it somewhat, I can still hear it, but not heavily at all, and for the most part a weak sound coming out of my headphones pretty much makes background noises unnoticeable (or close to that, if it's really weak). Sometimes I just wear it to cancel the background noises without anything playing (when I'm not gaming, the video card fan isn't that loud, so it reduces the general fan noise around by half, which is barely hearable. My phone says it's 10dB background fan noise under normal conditions, but I'd say it's around 20-25dB). When my VGA's fans are at the max (whenever I game), my phone says it goes up by ~10dB, but I think and a YouTube video says that it goes up to 60dB (say -10dB due to the PC case and distance, so 50dB where my ears are), and I can also hear the coil - I've a 7000s AMD card, which is a very annoying noise. I've looked into DT770s too, just in case - unfortunately it seems like they are pretty bad for competitive gaming, maybe not in itself, but in comparison to any of those. So basically I'm unsure as of how much of all of this I would be hearing - if I'd hear it just like it is, then I don't think I could ever get immersed into any game (as I'd be constantly hearing something outside of the game, play competitive games (I'd be hearing additional noises when I'd need silence to hear steps, etc.). I suppose I could crank up the volume when listening to music and watching movies - I do that anyway, but still - quiet scenes may not be as enjoyable if I could hear my fans more than I can hear them with my Kave. Gaming with Kave is alright too, it isn't that bad, except the static in the front speakers.
post #12 of 25
Both K612 and DT990 Pro 250 ohms are kind of not that sensitive and relatively high impedance, so for very loud listening you can max the volume and not get enough.

I had K601, which should be similar to the newer K612, but I don't know about them not doing as well with fast music.

With these open headphones, you'll hear fans and everything else pretty much as if you're not wearing anything. Unless your rig is relatively quiet you probably don't want open headphones to game.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

Both K612 and DT990 Pro 250 ohms are kind of not that sensitive and relatively high impedance, so for very loud listening you can max the volume and not get enough.

I had K601, which should be similar to the newer K612, but I don't know about them not doing as well with fast music.

With these open headphones, you'll hear fans and everything else pretty much as if you're not wearing anything. Unless your rig is relatively quiet you probably don't want open headphones to game.

I've read that Xonar would be able to handle them, which I wouldn't mind buying.

That's just something I've read/heard at a couple of places.

My rig is relatively quiet when idle, but when gaming, 3 fans on my VGA go off + coil wire - it gets pretty loud and there is nothing I can do about those fans. I can put my PC case away a bit, but it'd still make noise - if I'd do that, I wouldn't hear the coil with my Kave and it'd be just a bit louder than idle with them on, which I could deal with. But if it's the same as if I'd be wearing nothing, I don't think I could deal with that - there'd be constant background noises which would completely break how immersive it would be. Guess without water cooling and room with no background noises I can't use such then, can I...? EDIT: I looked around and seemingly the quality drops quite significantly if they aren't open headphones, especially in detail.
Edited by newn - 5/12/14 at 11:48pm
post #14 of 25
Actually I didn't find the open-back design that much of a problem with my Hifiman HE-400. And I also have a HD7950 Windforce with bad coilwhine right next to my face (PC is arms length away at ear-level with a side-fan).

You can hear the fans but at least with my usage the noise bleeding was pretty minimal, I had to focus to hear the fans over my game audio (I was playing Reckoning at the time iirc). Keep in mind that I'm used to the extreme isolation of Beyerdynamic DT770: (Click to show)

PS: I hate it when ppl walk behind me while I'm using the DT770... While I'm playing Dead Space... You only notice them when they knock on your shoulder...

Although I didn't get to test the Hifimans with 1150MHz core clocks... The cans are plugged to my other HTPC/stuff rig atm.
Edited by Tiihokatti - 5/13/14 at 8:14am
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post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiihokatti View Post

Actually I didn't find the open-back design that much of a problem with my Hifiman HE-400. And I also have a HD7950 Windforce with bad coilwhine right next to my face (PC is arms length away at ear-level with a side-fan).
You can hear the fans but at least with my usage the noise bleeding was pretty minimal, I had to focus to hear the fans over my game audio. Keep in mind that I'm used to the extreme isolation of Beyerdynamic DT770: (Click to show)

Although I didn't get to test the Hifimans with 1150MHz core clocks... The cans are plugged to my other HTPC/stuff rig atm.

Seems like HE-400 is actually worse than DT990 (I will look for similar graphs for the other headphones to compare), and yet you didn't have much of a problem with that. Well, I've a 7970 with a bad coilwire, the PC case is on my left by my legs (also can reach it with my arm), I can shove it under the table in the computer case compartment, which reduces the noise a bit, but my PC also heats more. Also Windforce here and my clock's at 1150Mhz as well. Generally I've good hearing (can easily hear quiet whisper further away when others haven't even realized that someone was whispering, etc.), though. By that I mean that I don't crank up the volume as much as quite a few people I know, I also talk quieter than people I know because I feel like I'm shouting whereas to them it's 'normal' sound, I also find that a lot of people actually are shouting, yet to them - it's normal volume. Anyway, maybe that's a bit of a weird way of explaining it/comparing it to.

DT770 seem to be a HUGE difference between any of those, though, which makes it seem that it'd mean more to you - the background noises, as you're used to isolation.

I would be interested if you could do some testing to see how much of a difference there is when gaming.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
PS: I hate it when ppl walk behind me while I'm using the DT770... While I'm playing Dead Space... You only notice them when they knock on your shoulder...

That's so funny! biggrin.gif I've been having somewhat similar problems when I bought Kave, although that was mostly because it has multiple speakers, so the sound is coming from multiple directions instead of one (although the headphones in question here would simulate the sound in a somewhat similar manner with one huge speaker), so while it keeps some noise off (-5dB maybe, maybe -10dB I'd say), the speakers completely 'cover' my ears, so I had to tell people to stop doing that - then they started shouting. Sometimes I couldn't even hear them shouting pretty loud because of active ambient sound (white noise-y, kinda, like Half-Life 2) when I cranked them up a bit louder. Or when listening to music a bit louder, especially if it's something more energetic (like metal) - I could barely hear them shouting. Sometimes I do hate it because I can't hear the phone and such.
Edited by newn - 5/13/14 at 8:15am
post #16 of 25
For AKG, I fully stand by the K550 (if you will have them amped), you can get for around $200. Better sounding than the K612 and K700's in my opinion. If you want a more "boomy" bass, go with Beyerdynamic. If you like tight bass, you'll love the K550.
Edited by xstarscream - 5/13/14 at 8:37am
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post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xstarscream View Post

For AKG, I fully stand by the K550 (if you will have them amped), you can get for around $200. Better sounding than the K612 and K700's in my opinion. If you want a more "boomy" bass, go with Beyerdynamic. If you like tight bass, you'll love the K550.

I will look for some reviews on those. Why would you say that they sound better, though?
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by newn View Post

I will look for some reviews on those. Why would you say that they sound better, though?

Well, it's just my preference, so yours may very well vary. The K700's sound too bright in my opinion, lack much bass (which I think is a bad thing for games). I think the 700s are best suited and shine in the area for classical music, strings, etc. Beside sound, I think the model with the ribbed headband is uncomfortable for long sessions.

I actually haven't listened to the K612 under a nice DAC or AMP so I won't try to say anything about them, but if the K700s should outperform them, I don't think I would enjoy them either; even when hooked up to good equipment.

I think the K550s are a awesome contender for both music and gaming. They are very neutral, have deeper, better bass response than the K700's (party due that the K550 is a closed headphone) (this is still a very open sounding headphone for being closed, one of the intriguing aspects about this model). The ONLY area the K700s beat this headphone, in my opinion, was with classical music. They had a slightly better "sound stage" for the instruments. Besides that, the K550 handles all variety of music really well. I listen to a little of every genre and have never found one lacking (as long as the source was good quality). I am very satisfied with it in gaming, but if you are looking for a booming head rattle when a grenade goes off, these won't do it naturally. The fine details you haven't heard before in your game with a nice DAC and Headphone is amazing, if you pay attention to those things.

All in all these are amazing headphones for the price. The only stuff I've heard outperform it is a $3,000 dollar setup, compared to my $500 setup. You get a lot of bang for you buck.
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post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xstarscream View Post

Well, it's just my preference, so yours may very well vary. The K700's sound too bright in my opinion, lack much bass (which I think is a bad thing for games). I think the 700s are best suited and shine in the area for classical music, strings, etc. Beside sound, I think the model with the ribbed headband is uncomfortable for long sessions.

I actually haven't listened to the K612 under a nice DAC or AMP so I won't try to say anything about them, but if the K700s should outperform them, I don't think I would enjoy them either; even when hooked up to good equipment.

I think the K550s are a awesome contender for both music and gaming. They are very neutral, have deeper, better bass response than the K700's (party due that the K550 is a closed headphone) (this is still a very open sounding headphone for being closed, one of the intriguing aspects about this model). The ONLY area the K700s beat this headphone, in my opinion, was with classical music. They had a slightly better "sound stage" for the instruments. Besides that, the K550 handles all variety of music really well. I listen to a little of every genre and have never found one lacking (as long as the source was good quality). I am very satisfied with it in gaming, but if you are looking for a booming head rattle when a grenade goes off, these won't do it naturally. The fine details you haven't heard before in your game with a nice DAC and Headphone is amazing, if you pay attention to those things.

All in all these are amazing headphones for the price. The only stuff I've heard outperform it is a $3,000 dollar setup, compared to my $500 setup. You get a lot of bang for you buck.

Wow, that is a very big claim about them, I would say. In any case, I didn't have time to look around, was out for the day, so I'm gonna do that tomorrow. Thanks for your advice!
post #20 of 25
If you want AKG, I recommend the Q701 without reservation.

I am very partial to Grado, having every model except the SR60/80, and I have yet to hear a better sounding headphone than the PS1000.
Still, not everyone likes them for whatever reason.

The Q701's have been getting more and more use lately tho...
   
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