I have recently started getting into high-level open-back headphones. After trying the Philips X2HR for a while, I switched to the Sennheiser HD599. Paired with the HD599 I use the FiiO e10k headphone DAC/AMP. I have been looking at the recently released HD560s as a possible upgrade from the HD599, but I wanted to ask your advice on if this is the case or not.
My situation and requirements are the following:
- My price range is around 200 euro’s
- I’m looking for open-back headphones
- It needs to be purchaseable in the Netherlands. This in my experience eliminates shops like Drop.com because of import taxes and the like.
- I will be using the headphones:
- With my desktop PC in a home office
- Primarily for gaming (Witcher 3, Battlefield 4, Apex Legends, Cyberpunk 2077, Wolfenstein series)
- The secondary usage is listening to music. I like to listen to guitar music like Plini, Devin Townsend and John Mayer.
- Tertiary usage is for online calls and such.
- For now I do not want to upgrade my DAC/AMP, so my new headphones need to be able to be powered by the e10k. Ofcourse it would be ideal if the headphones would benefit from a better amp. I feel that my HD599 does not really benefit that strongly from having a dedicated DAC/AMP.
- The new headphones should provide a meaningful upgrade to the HD599.
- They do not need to have an attached boom-mic, I am running a separate USB microphone.
I have been looking at a few options, and have some thoughts off myself on them already.
I see them being compared to the HD600 range of headphones, which I feel are an upgrade to my HD599. The soundstage is supposedly quite wide, which is nice for gaming. Also, the bass extension is better than the HD600 range, again nice for gaming. In this review, DMS is extremely positive about this headphones. Other reviewers have been somewhat less glowing, but still very positive. In this review DMS explicitly mentions they are good for gaming, but that the PC38x is way better for gaming. The HD560s would in contrast be a good one-stop-shop for both gaming and music.
This seems to be universally seen as the best gaming oriented headset you can buy. Joshua Valour says in this review that the soundstage and sound siganture (little less treble, warmer mid range) of this headset compared to the HD560s is better suited for gaming. Although it seems that the performance is quite close. The biggest downside is that you can only buy it at drop.com, which is quite a hassle for me in Europe. Are there people who have experience with shipping drop.com to Europe, maybe even the Netherlands?
This headset is much more expensive than my budget, but I still wanted to include it as an option to save up for. I would then not buy a new headset yet, and continue to save up for this and a new amp (which I feel the sundara needs). I am curious how much of an upgrade this 350 euro headset would be over the HD560s/PC38x, for gaming and music. Would it make sense to stick to my HD599 a bit longer and get a more expensive headset like this? Are there other headsets you guys would recommend?
So what do you people think? How much of an improvement will the HD560s or PC38x offer over the HD599? Or should I hold out for something like the Sundara?