FPS Gaming Headphones (without a mic)

Joined
Apr 4, 2018
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8
Yes you read that right, headphones not headset. (no mics) Any thoughts/opinions on what is great for FPS gaming? Yeah there are a lot of reviews and opinions in the world but genuinely curious what others have experienced. There are so many options with dynamic and planar magnetics.

YES I would also appreciate what DAC/amp/cables are used just for clarification if not stock.

I expect a lot of Sennheiser/beyerdynamic/Audeze/Audio-Technica/etc but am curious what people love.
 

GotNoRice

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Jul 11, 2001
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Yes you read that right, headphones not headset. (no mics)

Well I think you are very much on the right track, because most headsets are trash. You get a mediocre headphone bundled with a mediocre microphone and sold as a fancy "headset" when it makes much more sense just to get a good pair of headphones and a good standalone mic (or even just a webcam that has a mic).

With headphones you are going to largely have two trains of thought.

Headphones made with music in mind are either going to have a fairly flat frequency response, or a frequency response that is exaggerated in areas that people like for music (usually the bass).

But you also have headphones that are made primarily with broadcasting/studio/content creation in mind. Now beware, the word "Studio" has become such a marketing term that it's basically meaningless and no longer, in and of itself, implies anything just because it's on the side of the box.

With that in mind I would recommend checking out the Sony MDR-V6 (and the MDR-7506 which is virtually identical). These headphones have been an industry standard for professional applications since the 1980s. You see them everywhere. Broadcasters using them, musicians using them, you see them in old movies, you see them in new movies (even that podcast kid in the new ghostbusters was wearing a pair). One defining feature that these have is an exaggerated frequency response in the vocal region. This really helps for their intended usage. That should also assist in things like hearing footsteps or perhaps distant gunfire during competitive FPS gaming. I would NOT recommend them for music, unless you are willing to use considerable EQ to tone down that upper-midrange / lower treble spike, but for gaming this should be pure gold. I know that ~10 years ago you could get a pair of Sony MDR-V6 for ~$60, but in the Brandon economy that's probably more like $200 now. The MDR-7506 is basically identical, with some extra fluff like gold connectors and a slightly higher price. Good luck.
 
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Darunion

Supreme [H]ardness
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Oct 6, 2010
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I use a schiit hel for my dac/amp connected to beyerdynamics dt-880s and i have a modmic stuck to the side of them. Works great! And very comfortable.
 

TrunksZero

Limp Gawd
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Jul 15, 2021
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Personally love my DROP + Hifiman HE-5XX's at the moment for gaming. I use a Creative AE-5 to power them and the stock cable they came with.
 

MacLeod

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Jul 28, 2009
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Beyerdynamics DT770 80 ohm is my personal favorite of the 5 sets of cans I have. They have really good bass but it's not overwhelming and doesn't rattle your head like my Audiotechnica G1's. Super comfortable too.

For DAC I'm using the iFi ZenDac V2. It powers them fine but I would need a little more oomph for anything over 80 ohms.
 

Dreamerbydesign

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Feb 3, 2008
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Schiit Magni and Modi here with Hifiman HE400's and a modmic when needed. Super comfortable and very nice for spatial awareness.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
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8
Thank you for all the responses a lot of good info and insight into personal experiences. A good variety of options are definitely available and a little trial and error is likely needed. I'm pretty sure the general consensus is once you go with quality headphones you may not want to touch a headset again.

GotNoRice - you brought up some good points especially about music vs gaming frequency responses and how that might impact both experiences. I'll have to look at some Sony's for gaming and then maybe something with a little more V/U shape for fun music times.

Darunion - I've heard great things about Schiit, they make some quality stuff at a good price and are made in the USA. I've heard a lot of beyerdynamics too a lot of people love the DT series for gaming and music.

TrunksZero - In the time I've started getting into audio/headphone stuff many things have appeared on DROP that have received great reviews and are loved. (usually unique models at a decent price too) With the HE-5XX's being planar magnetics I'm sure they have a unique sound and that is something worth exploring. (would be fun to have a few pairs to swap around) I've always been a big sound card guy and have always had Sound Blaters's so it's cool hearing you are driving them with an AE-5 :D

MacLeod - I've heard so much praise about the Beyerdynamics DT770 too, I see they have a 250 ohm version which would be fun if enough power is thrown at them. Also heard a ton of great things about iFi products (ZenDac included and people having the Signature stack with the ZenAmp)

jmilcher - like Darunion mentioned Schiit seems like a great way into the quality world with a bunch of benefits. Magni/Modei (maybe even Loki for EQ) stacks look great and have a small footprint. Also read a bunch of great stuff on the HE400's and the planar magnetic technology with the sounds such a thing can produce.

There are so many options. A lot of opinions/schills with reviewers so always have to take things with a truckload of salt. I think for many (if possible) the solution is to have a budget and buy a few different things to try them out. If it isn't better or different enough than what is already had send it packing :D

I wish everyone reading this or on their journey to higher fidelity gaming/music finds their endgame without too much time/money hassle!
 

Mchart

Supreme [H]ardness
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Aug 7, 2004
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5,577
Just go with Hel. I highly doubt anyone could tell the difference between the Hel and a Modni&Magni stack.
 
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