Open back wireless headphones for gaming

zandor

2[H]4U
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Dec 14, 2002
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I'm looking for a pair of headphones for my dad for Christmas. Yep, he plays computer games at 68. Not the twitchy fast paced stuff but last time he mentioned a game he was playing Skyrim again. At any rate he likes the idea of a pair of wireless headphones just to get rid of the wire. The caveat is noise canceling is a big no-no and open back is strongly preferred. He wants them as leaky as possible so he can still hear mom. Also, he doesn't like in-ear headphones and doesn't need a microphone (meaning don't care if it has one or how well it works) since he only plays single player stuff.

The messy bit is the two open back wireless headphones I've come up with are the Grado GW100 V2 ($250) and the Sennheiser RS 175 ($200). I kind of like the idea of the Grados since they're bluetooth and can pair with multiple sources and he could use them to listen to music on his phone. The down side is they're bluetooth and as best I can tell only support aptX, AAC and something else and not aptX low latency or aptX adaptive so I'm worried about latency/lag with the sound. The Sennheiser set requires it's base station, so really it would only work with the computer, but wouldn't have latency problems.

Anyone have any suggestions? I'm particularly interested in any experiences with those Grados. I like the idea of getting him some good headphones that are good for more than just gaming and could work with his phone, and even if you're a bass head they'd be leaps and bounds better than the cheapies he's been using. Mostly I'm looking for either open back entry level audiophile type headphones with decent latency for gaming (think Skyrim, not CS on a 10gig lan) or a cheaper open backed option that would just be for gaming. If it matters his machine has an Intel AX200 wireless chipset with Bluetooth 5.1. Currently running Win10 but will presumably get upgraded to 11 eventually.
 

xgrifter

n00b
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Apr 2, 2014
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36
Besides the other sennheiser tv models and the grados are all that I know of for open back bluetooth/re headphones only thing I can suggest is the fiio Btr5 portable bluetooth reciever they have other models this lets you pick any cans and you just need a custom length cable
 

TrunksZero

Limp Gawd
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Jul 15, 2021
Messages
230
Hifiman Deva might be worth looking into.

Or maybe just look for Bluetooth cans known/confirmed to have aptX-LL?
 
Last edited:

zandor

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Dec 14, 2002
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3,847
Hifiman Deva might be worth looking into.

Or maybe just look for Bluetooth cans known/confirmed to have aptX-LL?
I've been looking, but it seems like they're mostly closed back. Open is kind of a must. I don't want mom killing dad. Ok, that won't actually happen, but when mom screams "Dave!" dad needs to be able to hear it or marital angst will result. Plus they live in a single family house and when dad's gaming he's the only one in the room unless mom is trying to get his attention, so "leaky" is good. Mom isn't going to hear the leakage from open backed Grados or Sennheisers when she's down on the first floor and dad is upstairs on the computer, and if she is upstairs while he's gaming she's probably playing with her Bernette B70 sewing machine. That thing is way louder than the leakage from a pair of Grados.

I poked a few of the HiFiMan models including the Deva, but they seem to do aptX and aptX-HD. I'm thinking you'd want aptX-Adaptive or preferably aptX-LL for gaming. So I'm back in the same spot I am with the Grados on those. Are they fast enough?
 

zandor

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Dec 14, 2002
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3,847
the problem is AFAIK Windows doesn't support aptX LL or HD (at least with teh built in A2DP drivers) ..it does support aptX but not LL or HD.

https://helgeklein.com/blog/bluetooth-audio-quality-aptx-windows-10/
Ugh. So even if I could find a set that did AptX LL it wouldn't work. This kind of crap is why I just stick to wired most of the time for stuff like this. Well, that and not needing to worry about batteries. I pretty much only do the wireless thing with my phone. I guess I'm leaning towards the Grados unless I find something else. If they're too laggy wireless they can still be plugged in, which basically turns them into normal wired headphones. You don't even need to turn them on to use them wired. The Sennheisers might sound nice but they're kind of overkill for gaming, and since they're chained to a base station they'd only ever get used at the computer. I'd get the Sennheisers if they could work with their base station and in Bluetooth mode. Or maybe I'll just say fuck it and get dad a Nikon DSLR lens instead. He's got a couple holes in his lens collection.
 

B00nie

[H]F Junkie
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Nov 1, 2012
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9,327
Ugh. So even if I could find a set that did AptX LL it wouldn't work. This kind of crap is why I just stick to wired most of the time for stuff like this. Well, that and not needing to worry about batteries. I pretty much only do the wireless thing with my phone. I guess I'm leaning towards the Grados unless I find something else. If they're too laggy wireless they can still be plugged in, which basically turns them into normal wired headphones. You don't even need to turn them on to use them wired. The Sennheisers might sound nice but they're kind of overkill for gaming, and since they're chained to a base station they'd only ever get used at the computer. I'd get the Sennheisers if they could work with their base station and in Bluetooth mode. Or maybe I'll just say fuck it and get dad a Nikon DSLR lens instead. He's got a couple holes in his lens collection.
Windows BT stack has always been gimped. I remember one summer when I played music in a hotel bar using my MBP and bt in their amp. The hotel owner asked me to set their Win7 laptop to do the same. I said no problem, get free drinks... a couple hours later I gave up when I googled that win7 BT doesn't support the required mode so even when it 'connects' no audio is available 😂
 

magnetik

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6,099
Stick them both in a discord chat and she can chime into his game directly? or something similar
 
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