Suggestions needed for gaming headset.

IdiotInCharge

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They have / had? the HD700, and I've seen some recommend it over the HD800 with EQ, but it seems mostly forgotten and I haven't seen any real news on it.
 

MrGuvernment

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Get a ModMic and any Senn.'s - better quality than 99% of the "gaming" headsets out there..
 

tungt88

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They have / had? the HD700, and I've seen some recommend it over the HD800 with EQ, but it seems mostly forgotten and I haven't seen any real news on it.

Wasn't particularly popular (major treble issues), so was discontinued (since many folks would rather pay for a headphone that fits their needs "out of the box" rather than EQ it); with the drivers being slightly tweaked and then "reused" into the (much more successful) HD 660 (Sennheiser saw that their HD 6xx collaboration with Massdrop/Drop sold really well as "audiophilia" started taking hold, and made the decision to reuse the HD 700 drivers for those fans who wanted a "step up" from the HD 600/650/6xx). HD 700 is reportedly the most comfortable Sennheiser headphone out there, though.

Used HD 700s (amusingly enough) cost a ton more than they did 2-3 years back, when they were going for under $200 in near-mint condition -- to the point where buying a new HD 660 is cheaper than getting an old HD 700.
 

Mchart

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I have a LCD GX myself. The main reason I bought it was because it's actually good 'value' considering everything you're getting. For the most part it's a LCD-2, but you get the travel case ($150 value) and the boom-mic/cable ($60 value) for only $100 more than the LCD-2.

So you could just as easily buy any LCD and just buy the boom-mic Audeze cable as well. You don't have to buy the LCD-GX. This means you could turn a LCD-4, if you wanted to, into a headset.

You can always just get something like the HD-6XX or HE-400i and just slap a modmic on it. That's what I did before getting the LCD-GX.

The Audeze boom-mic works great, but you have to have something with the power to drive it properly. Same goes with the modmic. If you just plug it into a normal sound card/onboard input they just don't push enough power for these microphones to sound good. Of course, if you're buying a LCD or something like a 6xx/HE400i you really ought to have something like a Schiit Hel anyways.
 
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tungt88

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I have a LCD GX myself. The main reason I bought it was because it's actually good 'value' considering everything you're getting. For the most part it's a LCD-2, but you get the travel case ($150 value) and the boom-mic/cable ($60 value) for only $100 more than the LCD-2.

So you could just as easily buy any LCD and just buy the boom-mic Audeze cable as well. You don't have to buy the LCD-GX. This means you could turn a LCD-4, if you wanted to, into a headset.

You can always just get something like the HD-6XX or HE-400i and just slap a modmic on it. That's what I did before getting the LCD-GX.

The Audeze boom-mic works great, but you have to have something with the power to drive it properly. Same goes with the modmic. If you just plug it into a normal sound card/onboard input they just don't push enough power for these microphones to sound good. Of course, if you're buying a LCD or something like a 6xx/HE400i you really ought to have something like a Schiit Hel anyways.

My understanding is that the LCD-GX is much more like a "heavily revised" LCD-MX4 with a single-sided magnetic structure than a LCD-2 (or, for that matter, a LCD-2 Classic, which I used to own). The LCD-GX is on my short list to purchase, so I'm definitely curious as to how it will sound (metal751 had a lot of good things to say about it when he actually heard it @ CanJam -- to the point now where he actually bought one; previously, he dismissed it as Audeze making a cash grab on "gaming fools" with more money than sense).
 

Mchart

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Yes, when I said LCD-2 I was referring to 'classic' without the Phazer technology. Not the more expensive one with it.

I don't have LCD-2 'classic' to compare my GX to, but i'm pretty confident they likely are almost exactly the same. Could be wrong, but from everything I read I can't find anything objectively different besides the housing.

The only real difference is that the LCD-GX comes with a magnesium housing, versus the fiberglass/nylon housing that the LCD-2 comes in.

So all around, I believe the LCD-GX is a better 'deal' compared to the LCD-2 because you get the mic cable, travel case, and a bit better housing quality compared to the LCD-2.

That being said, you could save $100 and just get the LCD-2 and slap a modmic on it as well, or use a stand-alone mic.
 
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Archaea

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Game headsets stink. Even the Sennheiser Game Zero stinks. I returned it.

I have heard a lot of headphones — all the way up to the Sennheiser 800 a good friend uses. Denon, Sony, Grado, Zalman, Sennheiser, Panasonic, Bose, etc...

Get a Philips SHP9500 or SHP9500S (same thing different cord) $70 + a V-Moda Boom Pro mic $30. Done.

SHP9500. NSFW Language

SHP9500S (spoiler - it's the same thing as the SHP9500 with the S version having a different/shorter cord that you won't use anyway if you buy the Boom Pro Mic below)

VModa Boom Pro




Nothing can touch this combo for $100.

Certainly not my alternative combo of Sennheiser HDX-6XX (same as Sennheiser HD-650) for $200 and my Blue Yeti mic for $100 which I no longer use for gaming but am too lazy to sell.

You want an almost imperceptible uptick in quality? Get the Philips H2HR for twice the money — but as an owner of both — I’d say the SHP9500 is the much better value and the H2HR are not worth the price uptick. I have both and have A/Bed them several times back to back...I really enjoy both about equally.

My Sennheiser HDX6XX and HD595 never get used anymore. They were replaced by the Philips.
 
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tungt88

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Get a Philips SHP9500 or SHP9500S (same thing different cord) $70 + a V-Moda Boom Pro mic $30. Done.

I wouldn't recommend that combo for several reasons:

  • Z Reviews is basically an influencer/entertainer channel, just like Instagram influencing -- he talks some about cable/comfort (perfectly OK) but then rambles on for quite some time, never mentioning the fact that his playlist changes (so how can we even do a "decently" subjective analysis, track by track; you can't, since he's using different headphones on different tracks). Also, he doesn't seem to get much use out of his testing rig for measurements ... so take Z with a MOUNTAIN of salt re: sound quality (his hype of the Monolith M1060, amongst other infamous reviews, is hilarious, in retrospect). Seems like 98.7% of his reviews are positive, even overwhelmingly positive (so how can you compare, if everything is great, and even their price/performance are almost all great? simple -- you can't). Check out metal751, Joshua Valour, or DIY Audio Heaven for good headphone reviews (metal751 is "retired" from full-time reviewing, but is still active in the community). The "retired giant" of headphone reviews, is (of course) the great Tyll Hertsens.
  • 3-4 years ago, I would've recommended the SHP9500 + V-Moda BoomPro mic combo (as I used it myself, and even bought 2 SHP9500s + DAC/AMPs for my cousin and his fiance as wedding gifts 3 years ago), but right now, the $50-$300 headphone price range is really, really competitive -- to the point where there are already better (even much better) options to be had in that price range.
  • From all reports, the SHP9600 & the Fidelio X3 are due to come out later this year (Fidelio X3 page is already up on Philips' website) -- depending on how they sound, they may well obsolete the SHP9500/X3 in price/performance (Philips would be fools not to do this, especially in the light of serious competition).
  • As a result, both the SHP9500 & the X2 are no longer being manufactured and inventory is being cleared out (hence the big discounts on the 9500/X2 during Black Friday -- SHP9500 was going for $50, and X2 was going for just under $100 brand new, which would make it well worth it over the SHP9500 in price/performance/build quality). Now I see that the SHP9500 is $75 on Amazon, and X2 is $144 -- neither are worth it at those prices (most I'd even pay for a SHP9500 is $65, and $100 for the X2).
  • Both SHP9500 & X2 are open-back (as per OP's original desire for closed-back).
  • The headphone industry is shifting a lot, lot faster than the "gaming video card" industry -- no surprise, since there's a ton more competition there than in gaming GPUs (AMD, NVIDIA, maybe Intel in some years?). I seriously think that the HD600/650/6xx line will be replaced as "baseline headphones" for audiophiles within the next 5-10 years, given this rate (they are already too expensive for what they are asking). As I speak, the Hifiman Sundara (initial batch build quality issues aside) seems to be doing just that, and it's on my short list for purchase.
  • So, if OP wants to "future-proof" by spending a bit more cash on a good mid-fi headphone in the $300-$500 range, there's nothing wrong with that, IMHO ...
Here is the Philips Fidelio X3 page.

There's lots more I can say here, but I think that's enough :)
 

tungt88

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Yes, when I said LCD-2 I was referring to 'classic' without the Phazer technology. Not the more expensive one with it.

I don't have LCD-2 'classic' to compare my GX to, but i'm pretty confident they likely are almost exactly the same. Could be wrong, but from everything I read I can't find anything objectively different besides the housing.

The only real difference is that the LCD-GX comes with a magnesium housing, versus the fiberglass/nylon housing that the LCD-2 comes in.

So all around, I believe the LCD-GX is a better 'deal' compared to the LCD-2 because you get the mic cable, travel case, and a bit better housing quality compared to the LCD-2.

That being said, you could save $100 and just get the LCD-2 and slap a modmic on it as well, or use a stand-alone mic.

Heh, at the risk of sounding pendantic, the LCD-2 line is even more confusing than that:
  • Original LCD-2 (wooden "furniture" and all)
  • LCD-2 w/Fazor (commonly called LCD-2F by the community)
  • LCD-2 Classic (very similar to the original LCD-2, but I'm told there are a few firm & noticeable differences)
  • LCD-2 Closed-Back (exactly what you think it is, and very mixed reviews by the community)
Technically, there's even more LCD-2 variants than that, but those are the major categories, if you will.

I do agree that if the LCD-GX is a modified LCD-MX4, then it should be a deal over the LCD-2 w/a mic -- that's a really, really massive deal, as the LCD-MX4 is a $3k headphone, and would be "end-fi/summit-fi" for most folks.
 

Archaea

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I wouldn't recommend that combo for several reasons:

  • Z Reviews is basically an influencer/entertainer channel, just like Instagram influencing -- he talks some about cable/comfort (perfectly OK) but then rambles on for quite some time, never mentioning the fact that his playlist changes (so how can we even do a "decently" subjective analysis, track by track; you can't, since he's using different headphones on different tracks). Also, he doesn't seem to get much use out of his testing rig for measurements ... so take Z with a MOUNTAIN of salt re: sound quality (his hype of the Monolith M1060, amongst other infamous reviews, is hilarious, in retrospect). Seems like 98.7% of his reviews are positive, even overwhelmingly positive (so how can you compare, if everything is great, and even their price/performance are almost all great? simple -- you can't). Check out metal751, Joshua Valour, or DIY Audio Heaven for good headphone reviews (metal751 is "retired" from full-time reviewing, but is still active in the community). The "retired giant" of headphone reviews, is (of course) the great Tyll Hertsens.
  • 3-4 years ago, I would've recommended the SHP9500 + V-Moda BoomPro mic combo (as I used it myself, and even bought 2 SHP9500s + DAC/AMPs for my cousin and his fiance as wedding gifts 3 years ago), but right now, the $50-$300 headphone price range is really, really competitive -- to the point where there are already better (even much better) options to be had in that price range.
  • From all reports, the SHP9600 & the Fidelio X3 are due to come out later this year (Fidelio X3 page is already up on Philips' website) -- depending on how they sound, they may well obsolete the SHP9500/X3 in price/performance (Philips would be fools not to do this, especially in the light of serious competition).
  • As a result, both the SHP9500 & the X2 are no longer being manufactured and inventory is being cleared out (hence the big discounts on the 9500/X2 during Black Friday -- SHP9500 was going for $50, and X2 was going for just under $100 brand new, which would make it well worth it over the SHP9500 in price/performance/build quality). Now I see that the SHP9500 is $75 on Amazon, and X2 is $144 -- neither are worth it at those prices (most I'd even pay for a SHP9500 is $65, and $100 for the X2).
  • Both SHP9500 & X2 are open-back (as per OP's original desire for closed-back).
  • The headphone industry is shifting a lot, lot faster than the "gaming video card" industry -- no surprise, since there's a ton more competition there than in gaming GPUs (AMD, NVIDIA, maybe Intel in some years?). I seriously think that the HD600/650/6xx line will be replaced as "baseline headphones" for audiophiles within the next 5-10 years, given this rate (they are already too expensive for what they are asking). As I speak, the Hifiman Sundara (initial batch build quality issues aside) seems to be doing just that, and it's on my short list for purchase.
  • So, if OP wants to "future-proof" by spending a bit more cash on a good mid-fi headphone in the $300-$500 range, there's nothing wrong with that, IMHO ...
Here is the Philips Fidelio X3 page.

There's lots more I can say here, but I think that's enough :)

So your rebuttal is you don’t like Z, and theres lots of competition, and he wants closed back.

Only his preference for closed back conditions my recommendation. What is your specific recommendation? Surely its not for a unreleased, yet untested X3 or shp9600 after saying z reviews lack empirical data?

Z’s timestamp at 8:50 sums it up for me:
If you have $5000 to spend on headphones buy the SHP9500 first. You’ll still have $4930 to spend on headphones and you just may not need to spend it...

Timestamp 8:50

——
I’ve owned dozens of quality headphones since my college days 20 years ago. I need nothing more than the SHP9500 to be fully satisfied. I’ve had them for a couple years now I think. I’m still super impressed. You can spend more, but do you need to???

Related to the video card analogy — the SHP9500 is like a new 2080 Super for $60. If you want a 2080ti, you’ll have to spend $1K.

And even then would you say any headphone you tested is 30% better than the SHP9500? Thats a difficult claim. I could not. Not even from the multitude of headphones I tested at the Axpona headphone exhibit. The senn 800 my buddy has aren’t even 30% more enjoyable at 15x the price IMO.
 
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tungt88

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So your rebuttal is you don’t like Z (snip)

My rebuttal is, I am not fond of Z's review style, because of my reasons stated in my previous post. Apart from cable & comfort, he has no other real metrics that I can compare to (or repeat) -- that's not a review in my book. Fun side note: I used to really like Z, up until I started reading & digging around for more reviews/information about headphones ...

If you like the SHP9500, that's perfectly fine -- I just happen to think that there are other headphones out there that beat it in the price/performance category (especially over the last 3 years). We can agree to disagree.

As for headphone recommendations, I already provided several in previous posts on this thread.

I don't like to say stuff like "Headphone A is 30% better than Headphone B", simply because I've never heard of any respected reviewer (Tyll Hertsens, metal571, Joshua Valour, heck, even Steve Guttenberg) use such statements -- they give you preferences, and some of them will tell you what they think is good in a particular price category, and 1 on 1 comparisons (as always, taking into account what they prefer in a headphone). "30% more enjoyable" (or something along those lines) is something that will, by nature, differ from each person (b/c each person has different tastes/desires in what they want out of a headphone). Some will like more bass, others sub-bass, others will focus on detail, and so on ... don't think how much someone likes something has been determined by percentage yet.

Headphones do have objective measurements, and (ideally) we use those to help us make our (subjective) headphone choices -- it shouldn't be totally subjective, and that's where I disagree with Z.
 

Ripskin

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Looking at the Sennnheiser GSP 600 and the reviews say that things break on them and the ear pads come un-stitched.
https://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-GSP-600-Professional-Headset/dp/B078VM929R

I have the GSP 500's which are the open backed design. The cup pads are not leatherette but more plushie and not quite as soft from what I have seen but very comfortable and have been extremely solid. Though I am gentle I guess but I love this headset for the 250 I paid over a year and a half ago.

Though all of the grands I was cross shopping had a lot of positives I went with what was the most comfortable and best sounding for what I was paying
 

Ronco

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Big fan of the MMX300.

I had two of the originals which lasted for almost ten years (If I wanted to rebuild them completely - which is possible, since there are spares - I could, but let's face it, I'd had my money's worth). Looked around, but replaced with the V2's.

I did have an issue with the cable about four years in but it was repaired under warranty.

They're basically DT770 Pro's with one of the best headset mics on the market, a great combo IMO.
 

Mchart

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They're good, but the new one called the Tyger or whatever that is open back is better if you're in an environment without noise pollution issues. Closed back is fundamentally going to lack the sound stage.
 

IdiotInCharge

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They're good, but the new one called the Tyger or whatever that is open back is better if you're in an environment without noise pollution issues. Closed back is fundamentally going to lack the sound stage.
These just kind of look like a DT880-based version of the same thing; kind of wish Beyer would take that space by storm. At the very least, they can provide a better set with bass and soundstage at the same time, something Sennheiser seems incapable of doing... ;)
 

tungt88

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These just kind of look like a DT880-based version of the same thing; kind of wish Beyer would take that space by storm. At the very least, they can provide a better set with bass and soundstage at the same time, something Sennheiser seems incapable of doing... ;)

^^ This.
Sennheiser really blew it big with their recent GSP gaming headset line -- should've been a lot, lot better (especially given that their previous PC 360/Game One/PC 37x headsets were pretty decent) ...
Then again, this is the company that followed the (excellent) HD 800s with the (craptastic) HD 820 and the (pretty decent, if somewhat overpriced) HD 660s ...
Whoever makes the top decisions at Sennheiser re: headphones seems to be rather schizophrenic.

As for Beyerdynamic, their top-end stuff (T1, etc) needs some overhaul in light of serious competition from the likes of HiFiMan, Focal, Audeze, ZMF, and others -- I do like what they've started doing with their Amiron line, though (Amiron Home is a very nice headphone, but released 1-2 years too late and about $200 USD too expensive).
 

IdiotInCharge

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My 177X Go is the last Beyer I'm really interested in. I'd be interested in the HD660s if it were to hit US$200 -- and that's the last Sennheiser I'm interested in.

Honestly if it's open, it's competing with my Focal Elex, and well, that's rough competition. Would need to be lighter, bassier, more detailed and more open and not be less comfortable all at the same time. I'm not sure such headphones actually exist :).
 

tungt88

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My 177X Go is the last Beyer I'm really interested in. I'd be interested in the HD660s if it were to hit US$200 -- and that's the last Sennheiser I'm interested in.

Honestly if it's open, it's competing with my Focal Elex, and well, that's rough competition. Would need to be lighter, bassier, more detailed and more open and not be less comfortable all at the same time. I'm not sure such headphones actually exist :).

They probably do, from my understanding (some of Zack's offerings from ZMF -- like the Aeolus, etc.), but the cost would be prohibitive for most ($1200+) -- that's endgame/end-fi/final-fi. I do know there's some more high-end headphones due to come out over the next two years, but not much else.

It's actually getting to the point where there's like 20-30 different endgame headphones nowadays; and that's great! Definitely wasn't the case even 5-6 years ago.
 

tungt88

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They probably do, from my understanding (some of Zack's offerings from ZMF -- like the Aeolus, etc.), but the cost would be prohibitive for most ($1200+) -- that's endgame/end-fi/final-fi. I do know there's some more high-end headphones due to come out over the next two years, but not much else.

It's actually getting to the point where there's like 20-30 different endgame headphones nowadays; and that's great! Definitely wasn't the case even 5-6 years ago.

I mean, I ordered the Audeze LCD-GX last week and placed an order for the AKG N90Q late last night -- and that's about as far as I'm willing to go as of now. Not really willing to go down the electrostat route just yet due to "fragility" of most models (Stax, Koss) -- HiFiMan Jade seems ok in the build dept (but $1.7k is too rich for my blood right now).

I really, really wish Koss redid their KSP-95x in a much more sturdy model (both the headphone and the magnetizer) ... but I've heard that they're still recovering from near-bankruptcy (their VP of finance stole $34.3 million from the company over a 12-year period).
 

IdiotInCharge

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Shoot, I'd just like to see more 'mid-fi' competition. Think Sundara to LCD-2C range, more or less. That's the space that the traditional vendors appear to not be targeting for some reason.

And do let us know how the LCD-GX turn out for you! I have my wife's tuition to pay for, on the occasion that I would still prefer to wake up everyday with my manhood still attached... ;)
 

Ronco

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They're good, but the new one called the Tyger or whatever that is open back is better if you're in an environment without noise pollution issues. Closed back is fundamentally going to lack the sound stage.

Personally I found the lack of distractions a bigger factor than the soundstage helping (it's fine for gaming - I think the 'openness' aspect is overrated) - when I first got them I was gaming on/off on various phones - including HE/V90's, HD800's and T1Mk1 with antlions, mainly because I could. The MMX300 rapidly became my gotos though for the isolation and sound character for gaming - makes sense of course, the 770 Pro's are drum monitors.
 
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tungt88

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Shoot, I'd just like to see more 'mid-fi' competition. Think Sundara to LCD-2C range, more or less. That's the space that the traditional vendors appear to not be targeting for some reason.

And do let us know how the LCD-GX turn out for you! I have my wife's tuition to pay for, on the occasion that I would still prefer to wake up everyday with my manhood still attached... ;)

Audeze is backlogged with orders, so it looks like I may have to wait another 2-3 weeks for the LCD-GX to arrive -- but the AKG N90Q is scheduled to arrive this Thursday; should be fun :)

As for the second note: "Happy wife, happy life" :D
 

tungt88

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This thread's getting way off track, so I've started a more specific one here: New Thread

I'll make another thread to cover the Audeze LCD-GX as well (once it's in my hands).
 

capnstabn

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Two options for 'audiophile' headsets:

Beyerdynamic MMX-300:
https://north-america.beyerdynamic.com/mmx-300.html

Audeze LCD-GX:
https://www.audeze.com/products/lcd-gx

Be careful when looking up the price of the second one...

+1 on the MMX-300. I had the gen 1 for a long time and they have good imaging for a closed back. On the LCD-GX I am sure they are good, but that price point is kinda high. I actually have the mic/cable that I used an adapter to connect to my Ether Flows, and the mic is mediocre at that headsets price point. If you want something fully worth your 500 bucks I would go Rode Pod Mic, desk arm for mic, 100 dollar audio interface, with a decent set of cans. Sennheisers mentioned in the thread are good or BeyerDynamic 770,990, 880 depending on your taste.
 

capnstabn

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Honestly, after the HD600 pair I own -- which I ain't giving up! -- I'm not in a hurry to run up Sennheiser's chain. My Focal Elex really do what I want there if I want something a little more open, while retaining the low end that the HD800 just outright ignores. I'd likely push higher up Focal's range if not Audeze's or Hifiman's.

That's not to knock the HD800 for what they do well, and in that facet they really do stand alone, but it's not something that I'm honestly finding myself in need of ;).

Even with my closed DT177X GO set, I have no problem locating people. Those and the Elex live at my gaming desktop powered by the Topping DX7s, and while 'better' solutions have since been released, it's still honestly overkill for what I need too.

[I'd upgrade the Topping if they ever decided to allow the current line outputs to be run as preamps, as apparently almost no one has thought that might be useful!]

I recently got a pair of Beyerdynamic T1.2s which I have been extremely happy with. Like you said the HD800/HD800S probably have the best imaging/soundstage, but the 1.2s get really close without the brightness fatigue.
 

IdiotInCharge

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If you want something fully worth your 500 bucks I would go Rode Pod Mic, desk arm for mic, 100 dollar audio interface, with a decent set of cans.
Yeah... I almost pulled the trigger on a Motu M2 (better headphone output than most, and better than the Scarlett series by far), when it was briefly in stock yesterday. The Rode Pod Mic looks good; already have a mic arm and cans, of course :).
I recently got a pair of Beyerdynamic T1.2s which I have been extremely happy with. Like you said the HD800/HD800S probably have the best imaging/soundstage, but the 1.2s get really close without the brightness fatigue.
When the Beyer's are considered the 'less bright' alternative...
 

criccio

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Get a ModMic and any Senn.'s - better quality than 99% of the "gaming" headsets out there..

I was 100% this guy for a few years. ModMic + HD650's and my Magni/Modi for gaming. It just became too tiresome. The cable mess, the delicate microphone solution that gets knocked around.. Sure it sounded great but man, i'm so much happier that I just went to a USB Logitech Pro X headset for gaming and I leave the Senn's for music and movies.
 

IdiotInCharge

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I was 100% this guy for a few years. ModMic + HD650's and my Magni/Modi for gaming. It just became too tiresome. The cable mess, the delicate microphone solution that gets knocked around.. Sure it sounded great but man, i'm so much happier that I just went to a USB Logitech Pro X headset for gaming and I leave the Senn's for music and movies.
It's why I got an arm for my mic. Swing it over when needed, swing it out of the way when it's not.
 

tungt88

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Been using the LCD-GX for a few weeks now -- and it's wonderful ... (mic is still so-so, of course) :)
 

tungt88

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Messages
2,070
Philips SHP9600 update: now available on Aliexpress for a bit over $100 USD (will arrive a month from now, though). The Fidelio X3 is also supposedly on Aliexpress, but I wasn't able to find it (supposedly $300 USD).

SHP9600 unboxing: YouTube
 
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