Decent headphone suggestions?

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Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:57 am

So my second pair of Sennheisers died, less than two years into owning them, on both counts. I have found that these headphones are very poorly designed and the ear cushions crumble after a few months, as well as the sound quality going downhill after a while. The right jack on mine is broken where it plugs into the earpiece, and the cord is frayed where it connects to the plug. I take very good care of my stuff, so it's not me...Sennheiser wanted $35 to fix them, on both counts. This is completely unacceptable for what are supposed to be high end audio equipment. I will, needless to say, be using another manufacturer from now on. Any suggestions as to who else makes good gaming headphones? I'd like something comfortable, with nice crisp sound, reasonable bass, and possibly a boom mic if it can stay under $175 or so. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:18 am

Google the Grado SR 60i
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:21 pm

cphite wrote:Google the Grado SR 60i


These have great reviews, and look interesting and high quality however I am not a huge fan of foam ear covers...although I'd imagine them lasting longer than the crinkly stuff they usually use for this purpose, and I'm guessing easier to replace.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:29 pm

Which Sennheiser models did you have that broke?
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:36 pm

fent wrote:Which Sennheiser models did you have that broke?


My main gaming pair was these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826106324

Of which I bought a second pair for backup and travel. Both started getting crappy after just over a year or so.

And then I got a pair of these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826106234

These have worked well but are getting scratchy.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:46 pm

Either Beyerdynamic DT880 or AKG K701 should work for you. I picked up a pair of K701's after hearing a pair in our recording studio (they also have Grado RS-1) at work. The Grado broke after a few weeks of use, an earcup separated from the headband, but the K701's are still kicking.

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/akg-k-701-white.php

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/bey ... dt-880.php

Edit: I know you listed $175 as your budget, but I highly recommend stretching it for either of these phones. Get a cheap clip-on mic from Radio Shack.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:55 pm

Weird, I have a pair of Senn HD280's that I got in 2002 that have been absolutely hammered and still work fabulously.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:09 pm

These are just for gaming?
Have you looked into purpose-built ones like Corsair's new model (recently reviewed here) or Logitech's G9/G900?

They're not going to have the sound of a high-quality pair of cans, but (at least regarding the G9, which I have) they're still good, they have nice bass, quality mics, and are built like tanks.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:19 pm

SNM wrote:These are just for gaming?
Have you looked into purpose-built ones like Corsair's new model (recently reviewed here) or Logitech's G9/G900?

They're not going to have the sound of a high-quality pair of cans, but (at least regarding the G9, which I have) they're still good, they have nice bass, quality mics, and are built like tanks.


I was eyeing the Corsairs...I will check the review now...hadn't seen that before.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:29 pm

Every headphone will break eventually after a few years. Other makers are no different.
$175 budget is good enough for getting a decent headphone instead of fiddling with gaming headset contraptions
or consumer grade toys.
Some good names are Audiotechnica, Beyerdynamic, AKG, Grado, even try higher end Sennheisers.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:39 pm

I wouldn't even put a "purpose built" gaming headphone on my head. It's a headphone with a mic, just get a cheap clip on mic and get a quality headphone.

I also wouldn't get a headphone like the Beyerdynamic DT-880 or the AKG K701, both of which are going to require headphone amps. It's not that they'll just sound slightly worse, they'll sound A LOT worse.

Ideally I would point you towards a used Denon AH-D2000. Does well without a headphone amp but improves with one. Then there's the new Ah-D1100 which I haven't heard yet (I owned the AH-D1001 and currently own a pair of AH-D2000) but seems a bit over priced right now since it's brand new.

Then there's other Sennheiser options. I'm not sure why you've had issue with them breaking down. Sennheiser build quality is comparable to others. You might be putting more stress on the headphone than you think. Something around the $100 mark would be a good place to start. HeadRoom (headphone.com) has a nice selection with honest opinions. I wouldn't buy lower end headphones there unless you do a price match, but if you decide to go high end they're my favorite place to buy from.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:11 pm

Skrying wrote:I wouldn't even put a "purpose built" gaming headphone on my head. It's a headphone with a mic, just get a cheap clip on mic and get a quality headphone.

Because, while the sound quality won't be as good:
1) It's for gaming. Who cares? The music isn't that high-quality to begin with and the gun sounds are going to be better.
2) They give you better positional audio, which is good for shooter gaming.
3) They're built like a damn tank. Seriously. Braided cords, heavy-duty plastics and metal. I've done a lot of mean things to mine over the last year by mistake, and they just don't take damage. I've used high-quality audio equipment before (earbuds and headphones) and they just aren't going to compare in the durability department.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:22 pm

1. How is this a positive for a "gaming" headphone? So it's worse in terms of all audio quality. Of course I want to spend money on that...
2. No it doesn't. They're not doing anything fancy that a headphone with a good soundstage isn't going to do already.
3. A quality headphone is going to be built like a tank as well. My AH-D2000 are built like tanks as well.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:36 pm

Skrying wrote:3. A quality headphone is going to be built like a tank as well. My AH-D2000 are built like tanks as well.

Not necessarily, unless your definitions of "quality" and "built like a tank" encompass each other tautologically. You're not the first person to lose a pair of Sennheisers to long-term quality issues, nor the first person to buy another pair anyway. Ask any DJ or audio professional all the way back to the 70s.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:44 pm

SNM wrote:1) It's for gaming. Who cares? The music isn't that high-quality to begin with and the gun sounds are going to be better.
2) They give you better positional audio, which is good for shooter gaming.


Reliability characteristics aside, I'd like to point out:

1) Add bass. There you have your gaming headphones.
2) Not really, at least by definition alone. Some "gaming" headphones have more than two speakers which may increase positioning, but 99% of the time it's up to the soundcard to properly downmix 5.1/7.1 sound to two speakers.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:21 pm

morphine wrote:2) Not really, at least by definition alone. Some "gaming" headphones have more than two speakers which may increase positioning, but 99% of the time it's up to the soundcard to properly downmix 5.1/7.1 sound to two speakers.

Yep, my G9s have secondary speakers which it uses to provide more directional sound. It's not true 7.1, but it's a lot more than stereo.
I'm not sure what the Corsair models have.

I mean, I have a pair of ER6i's, which are $120 buds instead of $200 cans but still put out some pretty nice sound, and I've listened to nice cans. No way I prefer either for playing games when I've got my G9 headset, though.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:29 pm

I have a pair of Grado SR-80's that I got maybe 6-7 years ago. I abuse them a lot. They spend a lot of time in bags or on the floor, but they sound excellent every time. I'm always amazed when I listen to them. I had to replace the foam pads once when they got squashed , but the process took about 30 seconds. I don't mind the feel of the foam pads, but it's definitely different from the all-encompassing feel of some other headphones. User preference in that are, I guess. For build quality and sound quality, I love the Grados.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:53 pm

I've got a Sennheiser HD 430 headphone set that's 25 years old. I replaced the cord about 10 years ago and I replaced the foam pads for the second time a couple of years ago and they're still sounding good. Those and the Sony MDR-V6's are the most comfortable headphones that I've used. For the rare occasion that I use headphones for music listening at home, I've got some slightly newer (14 years old) Sennheiser HD 580 headphones. :lol:
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:36 am

I think I may give the Corsairs a try...I specifically want gaming oriented surround sound type headphones, I don't care about audiophile quality audio, but I do want it to be decent anyway, and also comfort is a big deal to me. I would actually give anyone a try except Sennheiser, they've had their fair chance, and failed. ;)
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:48 am

Beyerdynamic makes 32ohm versions. I have the DT880 32ohm cans and they sound great off my sound card without an amp or DAC. I compared them to my sound card alone and using the NuForce Icon uDAC and there was no difference. If you are set on a one solution I've never tried any except for super cheap Logitechs that can be had for 10 bucks :)
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:56 pm

I'm in the market as well for a gaming headset, i.e. decent enough sound + a microphone. My question about the Corsair HS1 headphones is whether or not they take advantage of your soundcard, or bypass it altogether, since they're a USB connection. If they bypass the soundcard, then it would automatically disqualify them in my eyes.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:00 pm

If you're using a USB port to connect the headphone then you're always going to be bypassing the sound card. The headphone includes its own DSP.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:43 pm

That's what I thought.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:11 pm

My sennheiser hd600s have been through probably 3+ years of abuse now and still going strong! You get what you pay for!
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:35 pm

Fragnificent wrote:I specifically want gaming oriented surround sound type headphones.
They're all gimmick. A good stereo headset will provide more accurate sound stage positioning.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:12 pm

Senn HD555's here: 3 years and no problems.

I've also used Grado SR-80s, but after half an hour on my head, it feels like there's a vice clamped on my ears. Was terribly uncomfortable, so I got the Senns instead.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:50 am

Little bit surprised re your poor experiences with Sennheisers. I've generally been happier with them (both in terms of fidelity and durability) than other brands I've tried (Sony, Koss, Logitech, few others I don't recall at the moment because it was a long time ago).
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:05 am

just brew it! wrote:Little bit surprised re your poor experiences with Sennheisers. I've generally been happier with them (both in terms of fidelity and durability) than other brands I've tried (Sony, Koss, Logitech, few others I don't recall at the moment because it was a long time ago).


Don't get me wrong, the audio quality on them when new was amazing, I'd never play games with speakers again after hearing sounds I never knew were playing. But, I mean, the build quality was definitely sub par. I'm hoping the Corsairs are decent...I'll order em up after next week's vacation.
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:44 pm

Why not get the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700? I have mine hooked up to an X-Fi Prelude, and am extremely satisfied with the results. Very crisp, detailed and clean sounding with a superb soundstage, comfortable enough to wear for hours and hours, no need for an amp, and all for under $100! No mic, but a lot of people pair these with the Zalman ZM-MIC1 clip-on mic.

HardOCP Review http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/06/ ... one_review

$87 at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Technica-ATH-AD70 ... 330&sr=8-1

$95 at Newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

Zalman Zm-Mic1 $15 at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Zalman-Microphone ... B00029MTMQ

Just keep in mind that these are HUGE. You won't be jogging down the street with these any time soon ;)
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Re: Decent headphone suggestions?

Postposted on Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:50 pm

The ATH-A700 is a awesome headphone in many regards. It's extremely detailed for it's price range. The only fault I have with it is the complete lack of bass. It's not that it's a flat response... it's a lack of response in that range. But if you're looking to pin point your enemy and don't listen to music that relies on bass it is a good option. I enjoyed the ATH-A700 while I owned it, but like most headphones I wanted to try another one quickly.
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