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*TPU's Gaming Headphone/Headset Thread*

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I like your reviews, love to see more of them in the future ;) I recently discovered quality audio, and I must say, it is impressive, even with a small budget.
There will be more reviews of budget head/earphones over the summer from various brands. There will also be something a little something on the side for all of us interested in headphones.
 

Kursah

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Kursah you might want to add a link to TPUs review section to the first post: http://techpowerup.com/reviews/?q_reviews=&p=1&pp=all&order=date&category=Headphones

Please note that the oldest ones feature a obsolete rating since the performance of headphones have been improved immensely over the last few years.

Technically I am a user so hopefully the reviews qualify (fingers crossed) :)

Great thread btw, nice to see people sharing thoughts on headphones in an organized way.
Consider it done my friend! In all honesty I didn't even consider doing that since what you do and what I've done are on completely different levels. I've enjoyed many of your headphone reviews, so I'm pretty stoked you want those to be a part of this thread.

Your reviews definitely qualify ya though, I gotta go through and add a few more user submitted reviews anyways, I needed a reminder. This thread picks up, then slows for a couple weeks, then picks up. I'm glad that people are able to enjoy it and post their thoughts here, and be honest about it along with the helpful TPU attitude that is impossibly hard to find elsewhere more often than not.

Any other changes you guys see, please let me know and please keep your reviews coming in for everyone to read and get an idea if it's something they want to buy or not. The worst part about headphones is the plethora of them you can't try without buying, and there are soo many great headphones out there for pretty much any need.

:toast:
 
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wait..
ill repost my request here.
im thinking of 70-110US$ price range.
criteria :
1. headphone (circum-aural or supra-aural)
2. closed or open back doesnt matter
3. loads of bass but not sacrificing the mids and highs
4. easy to drive as i dont have an amp
5. sound characteristic like the CX300 <loved them>

any recommendations?
 
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You could go for the Grado SR-80i or 60i. If you are lucky you can score a set of Audio-technica AD700s.

There is also Sennheiser HD555 but they are bass light compared to the CX300s.
 
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I'm actually looking for a headset, this thread has a lot of important information. I really think it should be stickied. Hats off to Kursah, you made my job easier.
 

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Glad it could be useful for ya man! Please do donate your own reviews in this thread, I do need to add a few to the OP. Would be cool if it was stickied..but people seem to find it even when it goes a few pages back. It's a good but often missed out on topic, people waste a lotta money sometimes before they get something decent or even what they expected.

What you planning on getting?

:toast:
 
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Well since I'm a bit on a budget, I think I'm gonna try the JVC HA-RX700. It will be a massive improvement for me, I come from an A4 Tech HS-800, which I have to admit has a pretty poo poo sound and the plastic holding the earcup just decided to break by itself with just the pressure of putting it on and off. (you get what you pay for, it cost me around $10) I would have tried some of the others you recommended, but since I don't know sh*t about sound (maybe I have bad ears) well I just don't see the massive investment since I'm saving to get another gpu. Be sure I'll send in some words when I get it. Might take a week or two though.

Again I do think this thread should be STICKIED, this could help a lot of folks here. I hope a MOD sees that ;)
 

Kursah

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Well assaulter, it seems to have been stickied, thanks TPU staff! Never really expected this thread to be, just wanted to share what I learned diving head-first into this area that is often vague and not touched on as often as it should be here.

Assaulter, the HARX700 are a great start! I will say though, please do consider getting a sound card down the road...even a used X-Fi Xtreme Gamer or Xtreme Music would be HUGE compared to an onboard solution...this I know from experience...it's night and day difference. But just headphones themselves should be a good improvement, especially if you have EQ capabilities, but even then...it'll pale in comparison to what a dedicated soundcard can output. Don't let that deter ya though..many people are happy with the 700 + onboard, but many of them have yet to try a sound card...let alone with one like mine that has a dedicated headphone amp built in (but in headphone amp territory, it's pretty weak compared to a dedicated amp).

So you do have some options to grow, and the 700's rock! There are a couple of mods out there to modify the sound, comfort, clearness, bass, etc. Mostly on head-fi.org. I can post the links later after ya get some time with them. They will make your ears warm...they are mostly sealed...but they sound damn good for how cheap they are...JVC did a really good job giving people a better way to prove that good sound can be had for cheap...as I said in my Denon D2000 post, my slightly modified 700's are pretty close..the D2000's at almost 10X the price msrp is better in all areas and does stand out, but nothing worth 10X the price...but the comfort is worth 2-3X the price. I still use my D2000's, but both my JVC sets are with me. The HA-DX3's never get used anymore, but they were very comfy...just didn't have the bass hit like the 700's...but they were crisp and clear for gaming.

Keep us posted on what you end up doing, and again TPU Staff, thanks for stickying this thread, and Assaulter, thanks for suggesting it...I really had never considered it!

:toast:

Edit: Just noticed, 1 year after this thread was created it became a sticky...lol! Thanks again! And let's keep this thread rollin'!
 
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+1 Sticky

(I'll put my mini-review about the Roccat KAVE headset I have as soon as I get around to testing it.
Not sure how to test it though in other scenarios other than games. Perhaps you can put some sort of testing tips so that those of us that aren't really audiophiles can give a clearer opinion?)
 
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guys anything for creative headphones
 
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Well I've decided to go for the 700's, but I'll only get em in a month or so, due to shipping it from far. In the meantime, I got an a4tech HU 510 to use till then, jeez, what an awful experience. Not saying they are bad (I'm no expert when it comes to discern whether sound is good or not) It was an upgrade from the HS 800, but there is a major problem with the head, since it is usb+5.1 and that a4tech don't have recent drivers for win7, its a major pain in the *ss. It does ship with some drivers, but they just crash up your pc and by that I mean f*ck up bad (just google the head and you'll understand). My pc has become a snail since I installed it. Even if you do uninstall it, it stays in your control panel. Seems that my experience with win7 longevity will stop here sadly, because of that POS. I'll probably just nuke it later. An advice here though, never, and I mean it, never buy sh*t that even their company has stopped supporting. Cheapness comes with a price I guess. I had some experience with their keyboard and mouse, same damn problem. I managed to get the head to work without their native drivers, thanks to windows though, but I can't seem to get past my memories of what I had to endure with it. Sorry this post has turned into a hate one instead of reviewing said product, but if you lived what I have lived since yesterday, you'd probably just attempt suicide. ;)
 
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Creative headphones? I've heard good of the Aurvana Live!

Alright let me talk about the headphone I have, the Shure SRH440, got them at 70$ through Amazon and Paulieg (thanks :D), used with a Fiio E5 amp, and Fiio L1 LOD for my ipod, and that amp + Asus Xonar DS for my PC

Mind you, I am completely new to good headphones so take my opinion with a grain of salt, the only other headphone I really tried is Beats by Drake or wtv

Great headphones overall, but comfort may be lacking

Before starting, I will say that I have an average sized head, a bit above average sized ears, and ears that stick out a little :p

1 problem I ran into was that my ears touched the metal round thing that protected the drivers and it hurt me like hell, so I stuffed tissue under the earpads :D That not only stopped that ears from hurting, but ended up being more comfortable that way and it has a better soundstage too. I will however replace the Kleenex with Foam when I get to that. I'm guessing the SRH840 pads would be better, what I can tell you is the pads for Beats by Drake are much more comfortable and softer

Another problem I have is that when wearing them for more than 2 hours, it starts hurting on the top of my head, and if I make them looser, the sound isn't as good (though not much of a difference), and the headphone basically slide of my head with a tiny nudge. This may be solved with a little more padding on the top. Again, Beats be Drake have great and soft padding in that area

I do sometimes listen to them in the subway, though I do look a bit ridiculous xD No style like Beats by Drake

One advantage of the SRH440 is at this price range it has a nice detachable cord :) The isolation of the SRH440, IMO, is medium-low. It does isolate enough, but you need medium-loud (ie: at the volume I usually listen to music) music to not hear someone talking 10 feet from you.

The Shure SRH440 aren't known for their Bass, and the Fiio E5 helps tremendously, but the best is when I EQ it with my Xonar DS, the Bass can be punchy enough for me, while being totally controlled. This also helps for games, a nice U-shaped EQ does the job. The sound is verrry accurate with this set of headphones, and isn't colored. If you want it colored, just EQ xD. I am very please with the sound quality, especially when I EQ it like I want. U shaped isn't the solution for everything, it depends on the song, I usual listen Flat or U shaped though. FINALLY something I prefer for the 300$ (at least in Canada) Beats be Drake, they were too colored


So before buying the SRH440, I'd suggest you try them on first and see if they are comfortable. If I had, I would NOT have purchased the SRH440, instead I would have tried the SRH840 or 750DJ. I would NOT buy the SRH440 as gaming headphones, but more for either Music, or multipurpose.
 
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I heard good from them but I haven't heard much... have you checked head-fi?
 

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Hey Kursah, you think this would be good with HA-RX700s ?)

http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=129331

Sounding like a perfect card for my need with impedance tunable amp onboard. Think I found a birthday present for myself :)

edit: more specs http://cdn.slashgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/ASUS-Xonar-DG-specifications.jpg
and a front image http://cdn.slashgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/ASUS-Xonar-DG-sound-card-top-view.jpg

Wouldn't mind having virtual 3D sound with my cans in certain games at all. Price seems to be 40-50€ and available already this month \o/
 
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I would be willing to bet compared to onboard audio it'd be great...and who knows how good the onboard headphone amp is, but I'm sure it's better than using the standard speaker output which is much, much better than any onboard audio output I've ever heard. So I'd be willing to bet that card would do well. Most of my experience lies with Creative based cards...but the HARX700 is easy to drive, but loves more power and feeds really well off of more power and a good EQ. The 3D sound in a gaming mode is actually pretty neat, and for most FPS games I play and even racing games it works well.

If I didn't have my Auzen Forte, I'd be getting it! :toast:
 

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Yep, I'll post some pictures/feelings of it if/when I get it/find it somewhere :) Have a feeling the price might rise once it gets here locally and you never know when that is. Although it's ASUS so availability should be great everywhere.

Low profile is also nice, leaves more room for GPU to breathe. Well will be already 2 slots in between even if I don't put it to the lowest slot as that is bracket "taken" with fan controller.
 

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What do you guys think about the Creative Soundblaster Arena headset ?

I'm looking for a good pair of headphones (or headset if it has a removable mic) to use in gaming (not professional, just for entertainment), movies and music. I'm used to playing for 2-3 hours so I want something light. Noise cancelling is not a requirement but high fidelity is a must.

Up until now I had the Sony MDR-V300 which were very light and extremely resiliant. I must've dropped them 30 times and they still work. The only problem is that the ear pads are broken (after 3 years of usage lol).

My current pair is a Sennheiser PC-161 and I'm not very impressed with them. They're heavier and the sound quality is a bit better, however the bass is lacking and I have to boost up the sound in Windows to get something out of them.

I want to replace them while at the same time staying under 100$. Not sure I want supra-aural anymore, I'm willing to try something around the ears.
 

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I am looking for a headset under $100, mainly for gaming (MW2, CS 1.6 - pinpointing enemies is a priority). I have an onboard soundcard (Realtek ALC889A), does that mean I need a USB headset?
I have heard about:
- Siberia V2 which all of my friends have.
- Creative Sound Blaster Arena
but no idea which is better.
anyway, I'm open to suggestions.
 
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Creative headphones are basically Fostex design with another badge on them sold at a much higher price. They typically OEM the same headphones to several brands with Creative being one of the higher priced ones.

For gaming I think it is hard to beat the Audio-technica AD700s and 500s which I heard the other day. They sound really good. The first is also available in a closed back design which sounds a bit more tinny but has many of the same virtues which makes them good for gaming.

The JVC fullsized headphones sound really good compared to their price. They are definitely behind the Audio-technicas in terms of sound quality, but they are priced way lower which to my mind makes them one of the best headphones for gamers.
 

skinnyq

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Creative headphones are basically Fostex design with another badge on them sold at a much higher price. They typically OEM the same headphones to several brands with Creative being one of the higher priced ones.

For gaming I think it is hard to beat the Audio-technica AD700s and 500s which I heard the other day. They sound really good. The first is also available in a closed back design which sounds a bit more tinny but has many of the same virtues which makes them good for gaming.

The JVC fullsized headphones sound really good compared to their price. They are definitely behind the Audio-technicas in terms of sound quality, but they are priced way lower which to my mind makes them one of the best headphones for gamers.
I already mentioned I have an onboard soundcard.
Would the AD700's still sound good enough for gaming?
 
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Yes they would because they are relatively easy to drive. Of course they will sound better on a better card but for starters it is a good upgrade.
 
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Sennheiser HD 215




The Good:

* Affordable
* Detachable cords for length & replacement convenience
* Comfortable light-weight design with studio level monitoring sound quality
* Highly detailed and accurate sounds with noise cancellation


The Bad:

* Appearance is too plastic
* May not be the headphones for Bass Junkies
* You get what you pay for



The Review:

Well after going through a couple of monitoring headphones, I found the Sennheiser HD 215 to have the most detailed and balanced sound. Most headphones within its price point usually either have too much treble or bass, but this model is crystal clear and on the spot. It goes hand in hand with my Auzentech X-Fi Forte for both gaming and music playing.

It may not have 5.1 spec but with a sound card that supports X-Fi CMSS-3D, there is no need for one. You get both 5.1 and studio quality music and sound which is more than what anyone can ask for at the price point of my Sound Card and Headphones together.

Summary:
Best studio quality & monitoring headphones I've tested to date. Wish I had money for the more expensive models :rockout:
 
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Benchmark Scores not benching anymore...
how about the Audio Technica M50?
 
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very popular, bassy and "fun" colored sound, great for music and game IMO