Gaming Headphones - Official Discussion

I just saw that video as well. Almost ordered one immediately. Then I remembered his review of the PC38x. I’ll keep it short and sweet, I’ve never been more disappointed in a product that received so much praise. He also mentioned that set in the same breath as the 800s.

What did you not like about the PC38x? I was debating that with the 300r. The tuning of the 38x on graphs looks excellent, but what concerned me was multiple reviewers admitting to it’s lack of detail which I enjoy.

The 300r, while no where near as detailed as the Sundara, is very good for it’s price point and being a DD (I find in the budget category, most Dynamic driver’s can not match the same level of detail and resolve as the more budget planars do). For gaming though, I find planars to be not very good with directional imaging. It’s strange, and I don’t know why exactly, but the Sundara has amazing imaging for music but not for gaming.

There was a lot I didn’t like. And just a reminder, this is subjective.

  1. Comfort was non-existent. Clamp too hard, pads too hard.

  2. Detail was very lacking.

  3. Low-end was overpowering. It’s fun on gunshots explosions etc, but for atmospheric sounds, not so much.

  4. It’s legendary imaging and soundstage consists of left, center, right.

Again, this is all my opinion. I simply didn’t like it. Jason Valour, DMS, Tyler (I think) from this forum love it. They ALL have 1000x my experience, so if you want to try it, go for it. And to further wreck any credibility I have, I don’t like the Sundara either. Sounds great, but it wasn’t comfortable to me. Also, Hifiman shouldn’t get away with their shitty build quality and craptastic cables. I recently got an Arya to try out and it should be illegal to include a cable like this. /rant


haha, no worries, Audio is subjective. I love the Sundara and I’ve tested almost every major recommendation in the sub $500 category. I agree, the cable are junk, but I got a replacement cable on Amazon for like $12 and it’s been perfect.

Quality control is def an issue with Hifiman, but their customer service has been excellent, they replaced mine without question.

Anyways, without going off topic, I def recommend checking out the TYGR specifically for gaming. They are not super easy to drive, but not that hard either, but the imaging is what makes them excellent.

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I would get the TYGR in a heartbeat, but I have the dt990 and mmx300 (different, I know) and I can’t excuse the non-removable cable. Honestly, I’ve been gaming with the iBasso SR2 and sure, it’s not world class gaming experience, but it’s good enough and it’s soooo comfortable. I like it more then the LCD-GX which I’ll be selling soon.
There was an almost-two-hour headphone show recently where they talked about gaming headphones. Two key takeaways were immersion vs competitive audio requirements (spoiler; no cans can really do both. Maybe the hd800s on a tube amp, but I’m on the fence for that). Second takeaway is chasing audio quality in gaming is kinda stupid. Most games have crap audio so what exactly are we chasing?


For sure, The TYGR is a modified DT990 (dampened to bring the treble down). With that said, the main requirement for me with a gaming headphone is excellent directional imaging (I play mostly online FPS), and a well balanced sound (the Harman modified curve that Resolve uses I find to be ideal) and it must be easy enough to drive that I can run it off a controller.

While I now have my xbox setup like a gaming computer (Desktop monitor, mouse, keyboard, and running the Topping E30 + Atom Amp), I also want to be able to use the headphones off the controller if I want to play a non-competative game on a big screen TV with just the controller to drive them.

This is often overlooked with high-end headphones. Most of them require an amp and the Xbox Series X no longer has an optical out and the USB ports only allow audio-out to specifically developed devices, of which, I don’t know of any simple DAC’s that work with it.

The TYGR was the ideal solution for me as an all-around gaming headphone, but does still suffer from the lack of a mic. I will prob do the modification so I can run a mod-mic in the future.


Some great setups here guys. Not as much variety as I was expecting though honestly. Not yet at least. But just goes to show how good the cans mentioned multiple times really are

Apologies if it came across that I was trying to detract from the TYGR. I like my Beyerdynamics and I’m sure the TYGR is great.

I don’t console game at all so I have more flexibility in amp/DAC etc.

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Honestly, I think the hd700 is the best gaming headphones outside of the hd800… my eyes are dilated so I can’t see very good white writing this on my phone… PC37x 38x are “good enough” solutions for consoles gaming… while on PC if grab my Verite closed or hd800 running off my TT2 and T4 amp…

But, as stated above most game audio is poo :poop: ha! So if go with comfort as a priory over other factors… but detail and stage are pretty important to me along with good imaging. And now I can’t see anything but blobs so I’m going to end it at this ha!


See this is why I love this forum. Someone will come along and bring another perspective. Yes, I can agree the pc38x is good enough for console gaming.

As for the hd800s, I have a feeling I’m never going to be content until I get that can out of my system lol. I auditioned it for 30min at a local audio store. I didn’t like the store experience and I think that colored my perception of the headphone.

Tell me again how I should come back when I can afford the Utopia… :rage:

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haha yea, I didn’t mean to push the TYGR in particular, was using it as an example of what I was looking for in a gaming headphone. To be fair, the SHP9500 is an excellent gaming headphone as well. Imaging is very good for the price and you don’t need a perfect frequency response for gaming. If I was on a budget, they would still be my go-to.

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That’s a pretty good comparison. I haven’t listened to the 6XX in while (sold mine a while ago) but things that stood out to me were: Vocals sounded wonderful, soundstage was OK, low end was decent, not something to satisfy the EDM, Hip Hop, or other bass heavy music lover. Really shined for me with a good ballad. I’ll caveat that I’ve never heard the 6XX on a tube amp which, to my understanding from others, changes everything :joy:. Maybe someday I’ll see if my buddy will let me borrow his to try with the Echo. I think the Elegia does bass better, especially if you get a good seal on the headphones, and has the typical Focal dynamic sound.

I can’t say that I used either one for gaming much.

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Bigshel I don’t really use the Elegia for gaming either. While they sound amazing sq wise the imaging for gaming doesn’t jump out at me with them.

First off I don’t use headsets for gaming but instead prefer having a separate headphone and mic setup. Sounds better and allows for greater flexibility. You can mix and match endlessly.

Currently I have the Hifiman Ananda running balanced off the Focal Arche dac/amp via toslink to pc. I play pc games only.

For the mic I have a basic Sennheiser 835 connected to the MOTU 2x2 audio interface which is connected to the pc via usb-c. Lots of players comment that I have a radio voice or that I should consider doing vo work. I don’t have that nice of a voice nor do I process so I guess it’s the equipment lol.

For context sake, I’ve previously used Logitech, Corsair and Sennheiser headsets and although they were convenient, their performance was just ok and comfort was so-so especially after several hours.

I used Senn 650’s for several years before moving up to the Ananda’s and can confirm that the 650’s perform well at their price. But upgrading to the planar magnetic Ananda provided a much more expansive, natural sound.

Final note is that sometimes you need closed back (I use Focal Stellias) but open backs usually offer much better imaging, like listening for footsteps or knowing whether you’re getting shot from your left or rear-left.


I’ve tried just about every headphone I’ve owned for gaming. I typically play FPS games and I like to have a balance of enjoyable but still competitive.

For a very affordable headphone, the porta pros with yaxi pads actually work well. Same with the KSC75.

For a closed back that doesn’t break the bank, I’d use the elegia. They have a nice ball of sound-stage with pretty good imaging. I was able to track footsteps really well.
Another closed back that’s fun, but not the most competitive would be the Fostex TR-X00 Ebony.

A open back that doesn’t break the bank is the dt1990. It’s really good as well, but I’d be limited to only using it for gaming, as it’s not an enjoyable music headphone for me.

On the more expensive side, but imo the best for FPS gaming is the hd800S. It’s stage and imaging just work for me. It sometimes feels like I’m cheating lol. Just really good at tracking and hearing/picking up on little details that you may not hear with other headphones.

The Verite works too and you can still be competitive with it but for competitive gaming I’d go hd800S.

Oh and I almost forgot about the Empyrean. It’s fun! The bass for explosions and gunfire is awesome, but that comes at a cost at times and you can miss some footsteps or other noises. This would be my pick for a single player game.

For a mic, I use the mod mic wireless. And I actually set it up as a desk mic (I’ll add pics soon). It’s kinda ridiculous but works lol. I like it because I don’t want any additional wires running across my desk. And there’s no way I’m sticking a magnet with adhesive on my higher end headphones lol. I don’t really talk too much when I game so it’s not a big deal to have to pull it out of my drawer and turn it on when I want to use push to talk. And when I’m using it, it’s placed right under my head, in front of my keyboard. Any time I’ve used it I’ve never received any complaints about key noise, etc. Anyways that’s my two cents haha.


Good stuff guys. I love this forum, so much diversity and openness. But without the drama in some.


My relatively simple gaming/conference setup, consisting of a Sennheiser HD660S with an Antlion ModMic 5 and an Antlion USB Sound card as the mic interface. The 660S is a fantastic pair of headphones for all-round purposes, and the ModMic turns it into a gaming headset that doesn’t leave anything more to be desired for me for (competitive) gaming.


Yes, the hd660S can definitely work. Forgot about them. With a little larger stage than the 650 and the improvement in imaging, it makes it an option for sure!


My favorite gaming audiophile setup would be the HD700 or HD800… I miss my HD700. For consoles gaming PC37X/8X are solid… I also use koss Porta pros for console gaming, as well as a set of Vokyl erupts. I also have to the LCD-GX and Mobius but find both best for single player or co-op gaming.

As of late though I just use my Verite closed or Stellia. VC is right there with HD800 for me plus more fun in single player games. Stellia is good for imaging but stage is not the best.


Do you guys recommend the DT1990 pros over the Sundara?

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