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*TPU's Gaming Headphone/Headset Thread*

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My HyperX Cloud is finally giving out after 5 years so I'm now in the market for some new cans. I have zero knowledge about headsets so I would appreciate any recommendations or tips. Main uses will be gaming (and discord while doing so), music listening on the go and the occasional movie or two. The plan is to have the headset wired while using discord/gaming and wireless for everything else.

What I'm looking for:
- Same or better size and comfort as the Cloud as I have big ears.
- Bluetooth connectivity is a must to use it with a phone (no wireless gaming, just phone calls/music).
- 3.5mm jack for PC audio+mic

Budget is around $200, currently looking at the Razer Opus, Sennheiser PXC 550 II, and Sony WH-XB900N. I'm also considering getting a V-Moda Boom Pro line mic as I keep hearing the mic quality on these headsets is mediocre compared to the HyperX Cloud. Is that true?

Any help is most welcome.
Cheers
 

Mussels

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Isn't the cloud II well liked? Is there a reason you havent jumped to its successor?
 
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It is, however I want to make the jump to wireless and use the headset for both PC and phone. I considered the Cloud Mix but the above three seem to be better reviewed than it.
 
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This will be my setup in anticipation of BF2042, Philips fidelio x2 + Beyerdynamic mic, i considered the x3 but didn't really want to spend the cash, should be pretty nice.
 
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Anyone got the Audeze Penrose? The reviews seem very favorable especially if the earpads are replaced with something comfy.
 
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I've been rocking a Steelseries Arctis 7 for a bit now, and am more-or-less ready to drop a verdict (now that SS is probably ready to drop the model).

Good stuff:
- It's rather comfortable (for my small head and ears). The cups are soft, if a bit warm after a while, and the auto-adjusting headband system works GREAT. It's the first headphone I've ever had of any type that doesn't press too hard on my pointy crown.
- Twin audio outputs are delightful. This is my first and only gaming headset, so don't know if that's common.
- The dial controls for volume and source balance are pretty great. I really like not having to do that through software
- Feedback from people on the other end of the microphone has been positive both about voice quality and noise cancellation. Discord still triggers voice pickup at default settings when I'm typing on my ROMER-G-based keyboard, though.
- Sound is good enough for my more-picky-than-regular-people-but-definitely-not-audiophile ears. CAVEAT: Music doesn't sound quite right out of my work laptop, but fine on any of my home PCs.
- Multiple input types, specifically the inclusion of 3.5mm, is appreciated
- Good-to-excellent battery life
- Windows recognizes mic and both outputs without apparent driver installation
- I really like how the mute button works. It's a locking button (don't know the proper name for the switch type) where mute is in the disengaged position. What that means is you can mute the device, then give the button a half-press to un-mute without re-engaging the switch. A nice little way to enable PTT.

Not-good stuff:
- The cans rub against the gimbal frames, causing occasional creaking noises to come through the cans. I plan to trim the frames back to remedy this.
- They're pretty heavy, so retention isn't great. Don't look down. Or have a heavy metal head-banging session.
- No bluetooth connectivity.
- Unless you turn it off through SS' desktop software (which sucks), the receiver blinks while connected. Annoying.
- Steelseries GG software is dumb and bad. IMO. I don't have good justification for this opinion.
- The power button shows charge level by blinking green, orange or red. Problem is, it's usually wrong unless you plug it in to charge for a bit while in use, which does make the fact that my slightly colorblind eyes have trouble distinguishing whether it's orange or green in the brief amount of time it blinks "on" sting a bit less.

Would I recommend it at its USD150 MSRP? Maybe. At the discounted USD120 I got it for? Oh yeah.
 
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My HyperX Cloud's breaking apart as well. So I'm eyeing the original headphones I had been considering before I bought it. Superlux 681B from AliExpress. Many people find the treble harsh on the whole Supelux headphones. But I've recommended it to a friend years ago and had a listen to it. I don't mind it that much. But that was years ago and I might need to re-listen and if it sucks it's not too much of a loss considering it's a bass-optimized (according to reviews) semi-open headphones at only $42 including shipping from Aliexpress.

Another consideration is Monoprice 43242. It's basically open-back Takstar Pro 80 it looks like, the OEM of HyperX Cloud I and II. Since it's open-back the bass will be little dim compared to the Clouds but the soundstage I reckon will be HUGE. Sadly not many reviews of it even reddit ones. Is $50 but the day before yesterday was listed as $25. Shipping from US is a hassle but if the discount is so steep like that again I might just buy it for the heck of it.

Truthfully I wouldn't want to jump through so much hoops to get a decent pair of cans if the local distributor of Cooler Master stocked the Cooler Master MH751 regularly. But everytime I check the sites it's always out of stock. I guess they're not bringing it in anymore.
 
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I still love my Philips SHP9500 for gaming, though my go to is mainly my HD58X cans. both with asgard amp and modi 3 dac
 
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A piece of advice, one that I'd just learned. IF the headphone you have comes with velour or velvet or cloth type pads, buy replacement earpads with more or less similar type material. While the earpads on my Beyerdynamic DT990 Premium are still in okay condition, I'd thought it'd be fun to replace them with more comfy and padded leather type earpads, so I'd gotten a pair online. Big mistake! While I was expecting more bass, I wasn't expecting it to sound muffled and hollow, with bass overwhelming mids and highs. I swapped back to the stock pads as my DT 990 Premium had become insufferable. Now shopping for velour type replacement earpads for the DT990, I've learned a lesson, fortunately, it wasn't an expensive less, cost me just over 20USD.....won't make the same mistake again!
 
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Nice thread,

I'm hoping to draw on the experience of everyone here. My son is 10 and I am looking for a headset for him for Christmas. As being 10 I would assume he needs something light for his little neck. Budget $60 range, hopefully something a bit sturdy or durable.

Suggestions?

Thanks
 
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I use Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 32 OHM headphone when I'm not on the go. When I first got them I wasn't 100% certain I liked them. But after roughly a year of ownership and comparisons to other headphones, I have changed my opinion and really really like them. I opted for the 32 OHM version so that I could drive them with my cell phone and laptop without issues, which I can confirm works just fine.

The sound is a bit v shaped, which, while a negative trait sometimes, is not a drawback at all in this case. I've used SoundID Reference to make them perfectly flat and vastly preferred the out of the box sound. The slight boost in bass makes music punchy, and the treble makes percussion pop. The soundstage is good for open backs. Overall the sound is great.

These headphones are comfortable, too. The 32 ohm come with pleather earpads versus velour on the higher ohm versions. I can wear these for many hours before I begin to feel discomfort.

The DT770s are well built and feel like they will last a good long while. The one exception is the plug on the cable, which is easy to break. This can easily be remedied by just screwing on the 3.5mm to 1/4in adapter it coems with and then using a 1/4in to 3.5mm on top of that, however. The headband cusioning can be removed with just a few snaps in seconds, and the earpads are not terribly hard to get on and off, if they do wear. So far the materials have been durable and show basically no wear.
 

Kissamies

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Sorry that it's a Finnish shop, but I'm thinking of new headphones, and usually Superlux are awesome for their price. I'm thinking of these, what do you think?


I'd say that max 60EUR is fine.
 

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I was looking into getting some Superlux headphones a few years ago when I was looking for a budget set to modify. I'm not familiar with those, but I do know that some folks on Head-Fi speak highly of the brand, both with and without modding, and some hate them. As anything, if you can try them first or find a place with a good return policy, that's the way to go. You might go check on head-fi.org and see what folks think of them, you're more likely to get responses over there. If you do get them, please come back and let us know your thoughts!

I've been rocking my AKG K553 Pro's for the past few months, and loving them still even after 7 years. The biggest disappointment is the ear pads wearing out and not being able to replace them with OEM ones any longer. I picked up replacement pads through much headache and about 4 attempts by AKG to send me the wrong pads, what a fiasco it was lol. But damn these K553 Pro's are worth it, I find them comfortable, they sound great, isolate quite well.

I still have my JVC HA-RX700 from the OP, but with the angled pads I put on a few years ago, they're amazingly comfortable. These are my fun cans, they can handle all the power and EQ-ing I can throw at them. They don't isolate that well because they're semi-open with a ring vent and being built out of cheap plastic, but have so far been indestructible. The angled pads I put on them increased the comfort by 1000%, they're easily the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn. They're also the most durable, reliable, and can-do kinda cans I've ever owned. The fact I still have them over 12-13 years later and use them regularly speaks to that. This is the pair of headphones that I replaced my old Turtle Beach (I believe HPA2, I'd have to check the OP) gaming headset with and never looked back.

the AKG's are my isolation and detail cans. They can't do the bass power the JVC's can, but the mids and highs make up for it. And they respond extremely well to EQ-ing, I can still get plenty of bass without ruining the rest of the spectrum. I do appreciate these more for gaming where audio placement and clarity is important, so FPS/online, they work great. For being a closed-back headphone with good isolation, they still amaze me with how open they sound. The build quality of these are very good overall.

Neither are huge audiophile cans, but both get the job done for me still. Shame the new AKG K-300 series doesn't quite follow up the 500 series. I at one point was considering a K371, but decided to avoid. I may still pick up some Beyer DT770's someday.

Though I did go down the headphone rabbit hole a little ways, what I found out is that I'm no audiophile, and I like more budget-oriented cans to the $400+ offerings out there. Sure, I had a lot of fun with the HE-400's, but those things were some of the least comfortable cans I'd wear, no isolation whatsoever, and were heavy as hell.

:toast:
 

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I have Superlux 668B's now but its cable (though a removable one) is dying so I just thought that I'll just get new headphones AND a new cable; these can continue their life on my 2nd PC..
 
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I found a pair of Audio-technica ATH-M40 "Studiophones" on eBay for a low price and wanted to try them out. They were in very rough shape, in need of a new plug, earpads, and headband padding. I went ahead and replaced the earpads and headband padding, as well as soldered on a jack to the end of the cable. They are in decent shape now, so I was excited to test them!

But I was disappointed. I wasn't expecting anything exceptional, but these did not meet my expectations still. The bass feels quite boosted and is fairly clear, but that's about the only pro I can say. The mids, where most of the music lives, sounds quite muffled. It sounds like the guitars are in a different room and I am listening to them by pressing my ear to the drywall. The treble is not very good either, but not as muffled as the mids.

Comfort is decent as they have a lot of swivel and adjustment. The replacement material and padding here is very comfortable, I cannot say what the original material's comfort characteristics would have been when new. The build quality is good and these feel pretty solid, but nothing exceptional.

Overall I am disappointed with the sound quality.
 

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I'm using a Plantronics Blackwire 3200. tried some proper gaming ones but they hurt my ears with wearing specs and this doesn't. Sound and mic is perfect as you would expect from Plantronics.

 
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Good to see people gaming on normal headphones. IMO, that is the way to go. The audio in gaming headsets is just never as good as the least expensive pairs of headphones that mega headphone nerds might spend the same money on. We all have talked about it at some point. Gaming headsets are usually a step down in sound quality from similarly priced headphones, which makes sense, as they have to do more. But so often, I see people buying them when I'm not convinced there's really any added benefit to them in particular getting the ones with the 'Gaming' tag on them. Pretty much anything that is not exclusively used for gaming, that is branded for gaming, tends to get the sideye from me, though.

TBH, I do most of my gaming that I do with headphones on my HD6xx's. Soundtracks in games are too good now. Many are worth hearing on headphones with good mids. They really care to mix and compose these things to have a lot of detail and feeling, with just... a lot of fine musicality going on. The sound of those headphones is also just extremely non-fatiguing to me.

Though to be completely honest, nothing beats opening up the 12" sub under the desk and just blowing shit up. I can simulate that with my Audeze LCD2C's, which are wicked in the bass department. They vibrate your eyes with just a couple dB of boost in the 20-60hz range. I just feel like I'm gaming in the suction dome with how heavy they are, and how aggressive the seal is. Not to mention, the staging and imaging is goofy. Like, really goofy, partially because planars have unique design challenges when it comes to those things, but also because of how scooped out they are in the upper mids. Still great headphones for games with good explosion and gunfire sounds, you can really feel it in a way that I would say is fairly unique to gaming with bass cans. I think it's about the proximity of the bass emmision point to the head, and how it ends up propogating from that point, versus in a room with multiple modes and phase considerations. It's just purer, even though you're localizing the sounds right inside your own head... but I think that's a big part of what makes it hit in a special sort of way.

I use Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 32 OHM headphone when I'm not on the go. When I first got them I wasn't 100% certain I liked them. But after roughly a year of ownership and comparisons to other headphones, I have changed my opinion and really really like them. I opted for the 32 OHM version so that I could drive them with my cell phone and laptop without issues, which I can confirm works just fine.

The sound is a bit v shaped, which, while a negative trait sometimes, is not a drawback at all in this case. I've used SoundID Reference to make them perfectly flat and vastly preferred the out of the box sound. The slight boost in bass makes music punchy, and the treble makes percussion pop. The soundstage is good for open backs. Overall the sound is great.

These headphones are comfortable, too. The 32 ohm come with pleather earpads versus velour on the higher ohm versions. I can wear these for many hours before I begin to feel discomfort.

The DT770s are well built and feel like they will last a good long while. The one exception is the plug on the cable, which is easy to break. This can easily be remedied by just screwing on the 3.5mm to 1/4in adapter it coems with and then using a 1/4in to 3.5mm on top of that, however. The headband cusioning can be removed with just a few snaps in seconds, and the earpads are not terribly hard to get on and off, if they do wear. So far the materials have been durable and show basically no wear.
Beyer man... very nicely-built headphones, even on some of their cheapest offerings. Good resolution and often quite accurate imaging with a very defined soundstage. The DT990's are especially good as 'footstep headphones'. I used to game with a pair frequently. The comfort is definitely a huge plus for long sessions, too. DT770's are the same platform and no doubt feel about as good.

But man, the way they tune their headphones hurts me when it comes to any kind of music. Beyond too much upper treble energy for me. I do lean towards the darker-sounding headphones though.
I found a pair of Audio-technica ATH-M40 "Studiophones" on eBay for a low price and wanted to try them out. They were in very rough shape, in need of a new plug, earpads, and headband padding. I went ahead and replaced the earpads and headband padding, as well as soldered on a jack to the end of the cable. They are in decent shape now, so I was excited to test them!

But I was disappointed. I wasn't expecting anything exceptional, but these did not meet my expectations still. The bass feels quite boosted and is fairly clear, but that's about the only pro I can say. The mids, where most of the music lives, sounds quite muffled. It sounds like the guitars are in a different room and I am listening to them by pressing my ear to the drywall. The treble is not very good either, but not as muffled as the mids.

Comfort is decent as they have a lot of swivel and adjustment. The replacement material and padding here is very comfortable, I cannot say what the original material's comfort characteristics would have been when new. The build quality is good and these feel pretty solid, but nothing exceptional.

Overall I am disappointed with the sound quality.
Ahhh man... that whole line is esteemed by reviewers everywhere. You'll see some version of it reccomended in 'best budget headphones' and it's really doing a lot of people a disservice imo. They are not, and have never been that great. AT are legends in many areas of audio, and they DO make good headphones, too. I just don't think that line is worth it. There far are better-sounding headphones for less. I really have never understood what anybody liked about the sound of those things. And again, price? I would STILL reccomend the Beyers and I don't even like those, but they are far better-performing headphones.
 
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Ahhh man... that whole line is esteemed by reviewers everywhere. You'll see some version of it reccomended in 'best budget headphones' and it's really doing a lot of people a disservice imo. They are not, and have never been that great. AT are legends in many areas of audio, and they DO make good headphones, too. I just don't think that line is worth it. There far are better-sounding headphones for less. I really have never understood what anybody liked about the sound of those things. And again, price? I would STILL reccomend the Beyers and I don't even like those, but they are far better-performing headphones.
These are the older M40s that are from the 90s and not sold anymore, not the newer M40x that are reccomended a lot. Those may sound better.
 
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These are the older M40s that are from the 90s and not sold anymore, not the newer M40x that are reccomended a lot. Those may sound better.
Maybe, maybe not. I find the sound of them to be pretty overrated for what you pay these days. I think maybe there was a time when they made sense but there are just so many other good headphones in that bracket that I think border on dwarfing them in sound. I really think many just hadn't heard better yet when those things became a consumer favorite. It just wasn't really there. Things were very different, you know?

I don't know how they are now, but I had a pair of m40x's in the late 2010s and it was cheap, creaky plastic with no soundstage and hot-feeling pads. Really sounded how it felt to me. Really sort of etchy and indistinct with a dead midrange and no bass or sparkle to justify it. I remember being quite disappointed. Dang man, the DT990's I can't stand for music beat them soundly in every area. The m40x's sounded closer to things on the level of like, an old pair of cheap Yamahas from the department store. I think I would've legitimately preferred a well-worn >$50 pair of Yamaha rh5ma's. And those are by no means the greatest cheap headphones.
 
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I found a pair of Audio-technica ATH-M40 "Studiophones" on eBay for a low price and wanted to try them out. They were in very rough shape, in need of a new plug, earpads, and headband padding. I went ahead and replaced the earpads and headband padding, as well as soldered on a jack to the end of the cable. They are in decent shape now, so I was excited to test them!

But I was disappointed. I wasn't expecting anything exceptional, but these did not meet my expectations still. The bass feels quite boosted and is fairly clear, but that's about the only pro I can say. The mids, where most of the music lives, sounds quite muffled. It sounds like the guitars are in a different room and I am listening to them by pressing my ear to the drywall. The treble is not very good either, but not as muffled as the mids.

Comfort is decent as they have a lot of swivel and adjustment. The replacement material and padding here is very comfortable, I cannot say what the original material's comfort characteristics would have been when new. The build quality is good and these feel pretty solid, but nothing exceptional.

Overall I am disappointed with the sound quality.

Solid work on restoring them. They look new now. Yes, you're not alone in thinking that the sound quality is poor. I had Audio-Technica M40X's as my first "real" headphones and found that their products are highly overrated. I still have mine but I hate listening to them. Very bass heavy, but also tinny mid-range and bright treble. The fake leather starts disintegrating within a couple of years and the plastic joints creak. Eventually I went down the road of AKG's and Sennheisers which have been much better products.

Currently on a pair of Sennheiser HD599's with an external Ifi Zen V2 DAC. Best sound quality I've had to date.
 
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These are the older M40s that are from the 90s and not sold anymore, not the newer M40x that are reccomended a lot. Those may sound better.
The ATH-M50X is overrated, very narrow soundstage, lack of 'air', boosted bass that muddies mids, that's the impression I'd gotten when I'd tried one out years ago when I was into buying cans (didn't buy that one though). The M40 that you have (great restoration work btw) is from a generation I ain't too familiar with as the design is different from the usual M40X I've seen.

Regardless, I don't think much of the Audio Technica 'M' series, but I've tried the ATH-AD2000 and ATH-R70X, and found them to be pretty good, I do however regret selling them off, especially the AD2000 as female vocals on that can is just sublime. At present, I do have the ATH-A900X Ltd and it's a keeper for me, sounds better than the very narrow/closed in M50X, it's a closed back can and it's only among 3-4 closed back cans that I've like and kept after culling my collection somewhat.

A good alternative to, say, the ATH-M50X would be the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 Ohm (Grey version can be had for about the same price as the ATH-M50X), excellent tight bass, nice treble sparkle (without being too bright, at least, not to me), good mids....really nothing to complain about really.

Meanwhile, since you've restored the M40 (bet it was a fun project, and perhaps you've learnt something from the experience), just use it and bear with its sonic shortfalls, just ask around here when you feel it's time for an upgrade and the most excellent members here can, perhaps, point you in the right direction.
 
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The ATH-M50X is overrated, very narrow soundstage, lack of 'air', boosted bass that muddies mids, that's the impression I'd gotten when I'd tried one out years ago when I was into buying cans (didn't buy that one though). The M40 that you have (great restoration work btw) is from a generation I ain't too familiar with as the design is different from the usual M40X I've seen.

....

A good alternative to, say, the ATH-M50X would be the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 Ohm (Grey version can be had for about the same price as the ATH-M50X), excellent tight bass, nice treble sparkle (without being too bright, at least, not to me), good mids....really nothing to complain about really.
I've got to agree...some time ago a friend let me audition his ATH-M50X and while I can't remember the exact reasons, I wasn't really impressed. Eventually I replaced my old Senns with the same DT770 80-ohm model.
 
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What's your op about the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay Portal?
I have a simple wired headset (Corsair HS50) but I want to move to a wireless one.

((I don't have a clue about headphones....))
 
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