This thread will be for discussing everything gaming headphones, headsets, and related setups. I’ll do my best to consolidate a number of threads that have popped up on this subject in an effort to have it all in one place. If I’ve missed anything feel free to let me know.
I’ll start with Chrono’s informative Steelseries Arctis 7 review here:
Hey guys, I am curious what the gamers out there are using? I have my Focal elegia for music, my Sennheiser HD598 for videos, and just picked up a set of HyperX Cloud II for gaming. I know Sennheiser and drop just made a set that’s supposed to be really good too but they weren’t available at the moment. So what ya using?
Atticus fed by an Echo + Bifrost 2. Very nice for casual single player gaming. The sound stage is amazingly wide for a closed back, bass has nice macro dynamics, girthy lower mids, and a gentle treble. I was also pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the 6XX. Played through all of God of War on a PS4 Pro using them.
I’m not a gamer but my son is what I would call “elite” (he captained his high school Overwatch team and took them to the state finals, and was also offered scholarships at a few colleges). He likes his 6XX too, compared to the approx $100 gaming headsets he used in the past, from Razer, Turtle Beach, Steel Series and HyperX (looking at my Best Buy purchase history, LOL). Bear in mind he’s a teenager and doesn’t have a lot of experience with headphones, but boy does he complain when he doesn’t like something, and he’s done nothing but praise the 6XX.
6XX are a headphone I’d go crazy without. They’re so good at revealing the benefits of your gear. Every time I upgraded an amp or dac, they kept up. Half the price of the HD 650 and sound identical. A staple headphone I could not let go of even after getting the Elex, Clears, and Aeolus. They’re just all around super pleasant. Lemme know if you have any questions about them.
My preferred setup for gaming on the pc:
Output 1 = pc > adi2dac (default device) > phonitorX > hd800s
Output 2 = pc > gsp370 (default comms)
Input 1 = pc > elgato wave 3 (default device)
Input 2 = pc > gsp370 (default comms)
The gsp370 by sennheiser is such a convenience to use for gaming due to its insane battery life. I think its been two weeks since I last charged mine and its still sitting at over 80%, and thats me using it everyday. For long sessions, it has to be the hd800s for me due to its extreme comfort and preferable freq response for the games I play.
Focal has always had the technical capability of their products at the forefront of what you notice first listening to their headphones. They have impressively pristine dynamics usually doing a great job of not sounding congested. 6XX in contrast is very chill, ever so slightly lush, a bit forward in the mids, and a little elevated in mid bass. The consistent bottom end bloom is pleasing but not impactful enough to satisfy an EDM lover. It does have more weight and body than the 598 though. What people are so drawn to is the combination of this relaxing bass and intimate mids presentation always coming off, to me, as perfectly balanced from a music enjoyment perspective. It’s topped off well by a treble I’ve never heard come off as harsh even on brutally honest amps. At the same time it doesn’t sound drooped like some other warm headphones. Then you add tubes and I’m off to lala land. Hope this helps. There is another forum member who owns an Elegia. I’ll edit this comment once I remember him. Maybe he will share some better comparisons.
I have the hd660s and since it should sound close to the hd6xx, i can confirm that they sound good for games. The hd800s edges out for me because I like to listen music while I game. Its doable on the hd6xx, just that the hd800s manages to push the music further into the background more. But they are comparable (to me at least) in overall performance for gaming with music off.
I used to game on the lcdxc before I got the hd800s, that close back is decent too if you want to go down the audeze path to listen to music while gaming.
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.
Comfort was non-existent. Clamp too hard, pads too hard.
Detail was very lacking.
Low-end was overpowering. It’s fun on gunshots explosions etc, but for atmospheric sounds, not so much.
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.
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.