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*TPU's Gaming Headphone/Headset Thread*

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by Kursah, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Kursah

    Kursah

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    I love my HARX700's. I didn't dynamat, all I did was the felt removal mod to add a little more definition to the mid/treble, and stuffed some foam behind the earpads for comfort and added bass on the lower end. Neither are massive changes, but both helped. The biggest help was having a decent sound card that can output a lot more power out of the 3.5mm jack than onboard jacks can, and with a good EQ like what I've used with Creative's Console on my X-Fi cards and Auzen X-Fi, that's where the difference really lies. The HARX700's need some EQ tuning and even some bass boost if you want some serious bass...they'll shake the cups and shake on your head with a decent sound card, get a card like the Auzen that has a dedicated headphone amp and they get even louder and more defined.

    Really find yourself a decent Auzen, Creative, Asus sound card. My main experience is with the X-Fi Extreme Music, the X-Fi Audio, and the Auzen X-Fi Forte sound card wise and all did damn awesome. Think of it this way though, if your music sounds good, then your games will too, at least in my experience that's how it's played out thus far! I'm not saying you need an X-Fi, but that's just what I've gone with and everything I listen to after taking some time to tune sounds great to me. Each set of ears will hear things differently and you'll prefer a different sound too, which is why having a good EQ and tunability is a MUST imo. See what you can find used, if you could snag a used X-Fi Xtreme Music for $50 shipped or less, that's what I'd jump on imo...if not, look for something in the $75-100 range new imo. I'm not hardcore into soundcards, and I got a helluva deal on this Forte last summer, otherwise I wouldn't have purchased it. But in reality, while the headphone amp is nice, it was not required...I could still be on my old, cheap x-fi and still be happy as hell.

    It also depends how loud you wanna go, you might consider skipping an add-in sound card and using a headphone amp ran from your onboard's digital output...though that option can get really pricey, really fast. I'm considering trying the Creek OBH11 someday to see how a real headphone amp does, not sure if that takes digital signals though. Take a read through, but really, bang for the buck, the JVC HARX 700's can't be beat imo!
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  2. n-ster

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    Wow! thanks for the lenghty response :) Really helpful...

    Does it change anything if Bass isn't a priority for me? I'm into RnB and treble and stuff... And I don't go too loud either... and it would be a plus if my headphones work on my itouch

    I was hoping that for 100-125$ max I could get my sound card and Headphones :) But are their headphones that sound good even without a sound card? I mostly listen to my music on-the-go, so I am considering something that is good even on an itouch or a laptop (2530p elitebook)

    Considering my type of music, is the dynamat a good mod to do? or is the felt mod + stuffing mod all I need?

    And as I said, good headphones without a sound card?
  3. Kursah

    Kursah

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    The itouch is probably a bit weak but should be do-able. Part of the output power and EQ is to add to the fullness of sounds and using the EQ to fill in the flat sound the 700's will create on a weaker output, especially not EQ'd...they sound flat out horrible on onboard or weak mp3 player in comparison to even a low-end x-fi soundcard, at least to my ears. I like bass, but I don't need a ton of it, I like my sound to be well rounded to my ears.

    The 700's are also pretty big, so not necessarily the best for portability. You might look at the Koss KSC75's (iirc), those are popular for portability, or Koss Porta Pro's...something similar.

    I know some people are happy with the 700's with just onboard audio, but I tried on a couple solutions (granted after hearing them on an X-Fi), and was flat out disgusted at how they sounded...it sounded thin, cheap, tinny, and after hearing the full, tuned sound of a sound card...no way I will go back.

    My old Plantronics gaming headset did pretty good with just onboard though, before the JVC 700's I used gaming headsets primarily...or earbuds for mp3 players...like the JVC Marshmallows (JVC HAFX33B). Link: http://reviews.walmart.com/1336/5151011/reviews.htm

    Those actually sound pretty good, some have even modded those over on head-fi.org. I'd use those for portability, and I use my 700's and DX3's with my PC and sound card. Sure the in-ears aren't as full sounding, but those little JVC's actually put out a pretty damn good overall sound and are easy as hell to drive and go more than loud enough. Plus they were very affordable.

    :toast:
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  4. n-ster

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    in-ear earbuds sound great for portability! are the JVC HAFX34B as good as the 33B? I will probably buy a pair tomorrow

    So some headphones sound better on onboard than the RX700s? I want it to sound good on my 2530p that I just bought :) If I find the earbuds good enough for itouch use (are they comfortable by the way? do they fit in everyone's ear ok?) I will be using it 2/3 times onmy laptop and 1/3 on the desktop

    How much can I expect to get for 50ish dollars in a sound card?
  5. Kursah

    Kursah

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    I think the newer ones are just a different UPC, iirc they're all but identical. But looking at mine they're the HAFX34B's, and I like the sound of them for their portability just fine.

    They come with different types of foams you can use for different fitments iirc, I didn't keep the packaging, and found the first set worked fine for me.

    On the sound card like I said a used X-Fi Xtreme Music, if you wanna go new the X-Fi Xtreme Audio
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102007

    Here are a few others on newegg, some of the cheaper ones I'm not sure just how good they are, but some other users might pipe in and give some better info here.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010290057 5004&bop=And
  6. n-ster

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    What's up with the bad reviews?
  7. Kursah

    Kursah

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    Of the marshmallows? Some like em' some don't...really between those and the stock zune and ipod are all I have to compare to in those things as I much prefer a real pair of headphones to some of those in-ears...good ones can cost ludicrous amounts (well any headphone/headset can depending on your definition of good). For me they work well, but also I don't really use my MP3 player all that much in all honesty, though when I do, I'm pretty happy with them...but my old POS Dell MP3 player has an EQ on it too...which might make a difference.

    :toast:
  8. shevanel

    shevanel New Member

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    bah i ned a sound card badly.. this realtek garbage is a pain in the ass.. everytime i reboot i lose my sound and have to go though a lottery like process to get it working again.

    are you guys using any processing aps or anything to "improve" sound?
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  9. n-ster

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    sorry I meant the newegg reviews of the sound card you linked :laugh:
  10. Kursah

    Kursah

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    Dunno, I scrolled through a few, but I know a guy that's had that card for years. The Xtreme Audio that is, and he's used it on XP, Vista, and 7, in both x86 and x64, along with server 03 and 08 x64 w/o issues. Frankly though, I think the sound output from the X-Fi Xtreme Music is a tad more, it seemed to take less master volume to get my RX700's up to my preferred listening level...which could be considered a good or bad thing...it seems best to turn the audio source like winamp, media player, or whatever down a bit (some say no higher than 50%) and use master volume the rest of the way. Really I don't seem to notice a difference, but I'm not hardcore into buying mass amounts of FLAC CD's to replace my MP3 (mostly 320k) collection.

    Though if you could afford it this Auzen X-Fi Bravura 7.1 card, iirc replaces the Forte and kicks ass:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829156015&Tpk=Auzen

    Yes it's $135 shipped, you might find it cheaper, but it's really got a ton of great features, outputs and support. My Forte is an insanely good card, and most that buy em' love em'! Though the drivers are still beta, and have been 1.1 since last July, I still love the card! The X-Fi Bravura 7.1 is supposed to be a progression and a tad better in some respects. If you could swing it and want a damn good sound card, this would be what I'd go for...though there are better for music, and better in-card headphone amps...the price hikes up pretty quick...example:

    The Asus STX Essence: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132010&Tpk=STX Essense

    Can't get it on the 'Egg anymore, but it's better tunes for music and higher quality sound files...but the Auzen is a better all arounder with good gaming, music and audio. Though if those seem too pricey, remember that a sound card generally will stick around for a long time, because there aren't generally major advances every year or few months like CPU's, Ram, Vid cards, etc. So the upgrade increment is far longer, so it doesn't hurt to get something good that'll really treat you well. At the same time, if you really don't wanna spend that much money, see if you can find a good condition used X-Fi, Asus, Auzen card. The few I linked to ya above are some options, but the three brands I listed are what I'd go with in all honsety...and of all those, the bang for the buck imo still goes to the good old X-Fi Xtreme Music...still one helluva card to this day!

    :toast:
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  11. n-ster

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    So finally I kinda gave up on the idea of earphones for right now... if I get any, it'll be 1 pair that me and my sister will share and it will be either the marshamallows (FX34) or the FXC50

    I also gave up on the sound card, since I currently don't have a rig

    So if we take all that into account, are the RX700s (with felt mod, stuffing in the back, and foam around the ear) my best bet? what other alternatives do I have for sub 50$ headphones? portability is a plus, but quality and durability is MUCH more important, even if it means not very portable

    EDIT: after going back and reading the thread, I just realized that I should have read it beforehand (well I did, like super long ago lol)

    So disregard this unless you don't mind repeating and stuff xD Sorry :eek:
  12. n-ster

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    UPDATE!!!

    I bought the KSC75s for my portable needs, and Creative Aurvana Live! (same drivers as the Denon AD1001H or something), and I plan on buying the Asus Xonar DS

    I'm so impatient :D I should get the KSC75 in about 1 week, 1.5 weeks, the CAL! in 2 weeks, and Xonar DS in 2.5 weeks
  13. Kursah

    Kursah

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    Nice, from what I've read the KSC75's are worth every penny and then some. People that love them usually end up with a few pairs of them. I also read the Aurvana Live! drivers are the same as the Denon AD1001H's too, but the difference lies in the rest of the design which does affect sound some, but is a very solid headphone none-the-less.

    I actually just snagged a deal on a pair of Denon AH-D2000's...they showed up last night. And they have some serious sound and comfort, that's all I'm gonna say at this point! I'll post a review in a week or two.

    Keep us posted on your goodies n-ster! :toast:
    n-ster says thanks.
  14. Kursah

    Kursah

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    Not quite ready to do a reveiw of the D2000's yet, but they are a pleasure to listen to and very comfortable to wear. My Auzen Forte drives them quite nicely too which is a huge plus! I'm surprised that these actually have more comfort than my DX3's, but the D2000's are a good bit more comfy.

    You ever get the KSC75's yet? Those CAL!'s should be arriving to you soon! Looking forward to reading how they treat ya! I do gotta say if you want to blow some serious cash on some kickass headphones the D2000's do an amazing job. Though again they are another headphone I wouldn't recommend without at least a semi-decent sound card with EQ. I haven't tried them out of an MP3 player or anything else but my Auzen as of yet...but with a flat EQ they do sound kind of bland and need a boost in Bass as do all headphones hooked up to my sound card (for my ears to enjoy of course! :D ) and a very small boost in the midrange around the 1-2k. But that quick and easy EQ tune brings out some amazing sound that neither my DX3's or HARX700's can match. And now I'm thinking of doing some serious mods to my HARX700's to see what I can make them do! :D More to come!
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  15. n-ster

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    Unforunately, I will get my CAL!s only in about 2 weeks, but it is worth the wait :D Me being a cheapo, I bought the KSC75s from some website that have shit shipping lol, and it is labeled as gift so they save money and stuff LOL it said, 4-45 days xD

    I will have an ASUS Xonar DS in about 2 weeks also... So that will be nice. My iTouch apparently has a nice Wolfson DAC, so I'm guessing sound isn't that bad.

    Reason why it takes so much time for the CAL!s to come my way is because I had asked Paulieg to buy me them and ship them to me at the same time as he ships the i7 920 + mobo + RAM I bought from him :D


    btw, I love playing with EQ, it can make a song much better lol
  16. Kursah

    Kursah

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    Added my D2000 review, at least the first one. I ended up merging a 2nd review to the DX3's later on...so that could happen again. I love the D2000's...amazing in every way I wanted...but at the same time...that kinda money is getting ridiculous for gamers imo. Plus it also showed me how good the RX700's really are...especially modded. I plan to mod my 700's further with cotton stuffing and some other goodies. I'd like to find a way to match the D2000's or DX3's comfort on the 700's. I may sell my D2000's...they're a true joy to listen to, and are totally kickass and perfect for what I wanted...but dammit...I'm get budget minded and could get my money back and be that much happier knowing the RX700's or DX3's are close...it's a tough choice. But I will say if you come across some money and want some amazing headphones....these are it...though if it's a purchase you can't justify, don't talk yourself into it if you can still live with what you have. See the end of the OP for the review!

    :toast:
  17. Zubasa

    Zubasa

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    Got myself a pair of Shure SRH 440 today, loving it so far. :rockout:
  18. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i got a pair of sennheiser CX-300 II precision earbuds today for $30, and screw you all, they sound awesome!

    budget ftw!
  19. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Tried its big brother, the CX-500. Sounded good on its own, but if you purposely compare them to the Shure 530, they sound like cheap pieces of crap.
  20. Frederik S Staff

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    Compared to the SE530s they are cheap....
    Comparing budget in-ears to high-end stuff is utterly useless, the CX-300s sound perfectly fine for what they are, bassy budget in-ears.
  21. Frederik S Staff

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    Great to see you found a set you like. The D2000s have a huge potential, the drivers are really good, but the cable and dampening quality is holding them back. If you decide to get crazy and mod them check out Head-fi.org they have a mod guide by a user MarkL that describes how to get the very best out the D2000 design. The mod for them is a bit costly, but should yield a massive effect to the sound quality of them.
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  22. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    but can you get those for $30 shipped overnight? :D
  23. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    For someone who uses HD555 and Z-5500, your "crapware tolerance" is certainly very high.
  24. computertechy

    computertechy New Member

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    don't worry Mussels, i have the CX300 II's as well and i like them for what they are, but i game on my Sennheiser PC350's

    goto you local high end hi-fi store(richer sounds, hill's ect ect) and hear a denon, B&W, or onkyo amp. makes anything worth less than a k sound like nokia's playing polyphonic ringtones

    EDIT: maybe not a k but u get the idea.
  25. shevanel

    shevanel New Member

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    id like to demo that. ive always wondered what a hi end sound system truly sounds like

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