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AKG K702's instead of gaming headphones?

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by Robi, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Robi

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 14, 2007

    Posts: 2,975

    I'm currently looking for a replacement for my HyperX Cloud II's and unfortunately nothing is really jumping out up to a budget of around £150. I'm not overly concerned with RGB lights, wireless or even 7.1, I just went a set that are comfy with great sound and don't look horrendous. I then stumbled across the concept of using proper audiophile headphones with an attachable microphone, which offers far better sound at a similar or cheaper price point.

    For example - the AKG 702's are available for £109 and ModMic 4.0 for £30ish, which totals £140, or about the equivalent of something like the Sennheiser GAME ZERO. All of the reviews for the 702's are fantastic, whereas reviews for gaming headsets like the GAME ZERO are mixed.

    Gaming wise I've looked at:

    Sennheiser GAME ZERO
    SteelSeries Arctis 5/7
    Razer ManO'War 7.1 Wired
    HyperX Cloud Alpha (would prefer something a little different to my Cloud II's)
    Logitech G633

    I'll be using them for competitive games like CS:GO etc and music. Worth it or too much hassle?
     
  2. chroniclard

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Apr 23, 2014

    Posts: 8,954

    This is exactly what I have with a Asus Xonar U7 usb sound card, its pretty good setup for gaming. Though I find I have to boost the mixer levels on the Xonar to more volume.

    I mostly play PUBG and can hear things with pretty good clarity. I have not really used them for music.

    Just be wary of cable hell. :p
     
  3. Robi

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    Joined: Apr 14, 2007

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    It sounds like I need an amp or soundcard at the very least to drive the headphones? Will something like an Asus Xonar DGX 5.1 be sufficient?
     
  4. chroniclard

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Apr 23, 2014

    Posts: 8,954

    Yeah would have thought so. I only had on board sound so I got the Xonar.
     
  5. chroniclard

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Apr 23, 2014

    Posts: 8,954

    Some kind of headphone stand or hook also useful. :)
     
  6. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 10,245

    K702 or K712 make great headphones for gaming, but they do need a decent headphone amp though and the DGX is not really sufficient. It's got a headphone amp but it's a bit weedy. It's headphone amp is more a boost for easier to drive headphones.

    The K702 and other variants are inefficient headphones so need more power to get them to their potential.

    The U7 is likely not much better than the DGX, hence chroniclard saying he has to boost the mixer to get more volume. I'm sure the headphones could do better with a better amp.

    Soundblaster Z aside, there's almost nothing under £100 that will get the best out of the headphones, but even that is not ideal. I remember some guy on a different forum with the K702 and a SB Z, saying he found the sound from the headphones was flat, as in a bit lifeless. Wasn't until he replaced that with either a Soundblaster G5 or E5 (both of which have the same but much better headphone amp), that the headphones came to life. SoundblasterX AE-5 would be ideal (for an internal card), but is £120.

    Only other cheaper option would be to get a DAC/amp. FiiO E10K is around £60 and will do a good job, but you'd be sacrificing positional sound effects provided by Creative's SBX prostudio.
     
  7. Robi

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    Thanks for the above.

    I had a quick look at the FiiO E10K and I could probably snag it from eBay for around £25-30. Realistically would it be sufficient?

    If I need to spend £100 plus on an amp to get the best use out of the AKG's, I'll just stick with a GAME ZERO or something similar.
     
  8. V F

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 13, 2003

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    Location: UK

    This guy is funny. :D

     
  9. rids57

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 25, 2012

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    Location: Ankh Morpork

    The E10K can drive them just fine, it's a deceptively powerful little box and the bass boost comes in very handy when you want to get some grunt n thump. Only problem is that it's stereo only, so no virtual surround DSP.
     
  10. EsaT

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 4,373

    Location: Finland

    Bass neutral K702 would be perfect competitive gaming headphone.
    Above neutral bass always decreases distinguishing of details.
    (unless there are no low frequency sounds)

    ATH-AD500/700 would be in same class, though even more bassless. (as in no lower bass)
    And pretty much super sensitive to drive from source operating on half dead alkaline battery.
    As in 50mV voltage and 0,1mW for already past hearing safe 90dB SPL.
    https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AudioTechnicaATHAD700.pdf
    (AKGs require ~0,3V signal for same)
    Though as downside they would reveal any interference/circuitry noise extremely easily.

    There are no proper reviews of any gaming stuff.
    This is the only one I've seen with frequency response measurements:
    https://uk.hardware.info/reviews/60...gher-quality-testresults---frequency-response
    With biggest marketing hype brands, Asus, Corsair, Razer and SteelSeries have the worst frequency responses...

    Also rest of testing is equally useless.
    I've myself had chance to test those Turd Beach Z60's whose frequency response is only semi bad and those are total garbage for gaming.
    Just compared to lowly Superluxes...
    As I didn't want to waste time and make my braincells suicide from desperation of comparing to proper open headphones of actual audio makers.
    Difference would be like day and night.
    Migth as well put head into bucket full of water when listening music for same level badness as their gaming capability!
     
  11. Robi

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 14, 2007

    Posts: 2,975

    @EsaT After reading various forums and watching videos on YouTube, quite a few people mention the AKG K702 and FiiO E10K directly - what are your thoughts on this? I should be able to snag an E10K off eBay for next to nothing, which will ultimately bring the overall price of headset + mic + amp under £200. Seems like a no brainer really?
     
  12. rids57

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 25, 2012

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    Location: Ankh Morpork

    Oh and by the way, I have the K702 and an E10K :)
     
  13. chroniclard

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Apr 23, 2014

    Posts: 8,954

    I didn't do enough research when buying the Xonar usb to drive the 702's. :p

    However, with game mode/boosted equaliser its very loud and crystal clear still(to my uneducated ears).
     
  14. EsaT

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    Just don't think that FiiO is actual higher end product good for any headphone.
    7,4 marketing hype peak to peak volts makes only 2,6 actual volts.
    While average sound card gives out 2V to higher impedance loads.
    That's how easily fashion hype products get high end product status...

    You should look for steals like this:
    https://forums.overclockers.co.uk/posts/31862474

    Anywhile while enough for AKGs and certainly working for any stereo content problem for gaming is FiiO being dumb single purpose device.
    CS:GO has actual sound settings for also headphone output and would works with any sound card/DAC.
    But most games don't have any output settings and hence are unable to produce true headphone signal.
    Or if they assume Windows telling them to output two channels meaning headphones, resulting sound is likely weird with speakers:
    Because of sound behaving differently when listened from speakers than headphones.
    Vice versa speaker stereo mix doesn't even give proper left right immersion with headphones.

    With K702's capabilities it would be like having home theater with good acoustics and surround speaker set and then watching movies from VHS with stereo sound.
    So FiiO alone wouldn't do good for gaming.
    Windows 10 has Dolby Atmos for Headphones in store, which should work with any source capable to 5.1 output. (like older Dolby Headphone)
    Creative is also selling software set which should apparently work with any sound device recognized by Windows:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSBMrHfsXjE

    Fashion brand hype Razer Surround is plain mediocrity for gaming garbages incapable to anything better
     
  15. rids57

    Soldato

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    FiiO actually make some very high quality audio equipment, the E10K is a little gem and then there are their excellent DAPs, the X1ii, X3ii, X5ii and X7ii, plus their portable amps and DAC/amps are very well respected.
     
  16. V F

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 13, 2003

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    Location: UK

    You don't need virtual surround. Stereo has full directional awareness with the AKG's.
     
  17. Robi

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    Joined: Apr 14, 2007

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    Perfect - I think I'm gonna go with:

    AKG K702: £109
    ModMic 4.0 Muteless: £35
    FiiO E10K: £30-40

    Around £184 all in isn't bad considering the Sennheisers are around £160 right?

    The above connecting into MSI Z170A Carbon motherboard.

    Anything I'm missing?
     
  18. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 10,245

    I think esat forgets there isn't really anything that has a headphone amp good enough for the K702 and has SBX prostudio for under £100. Great if you can afford that as well as the headphones, but that isn't always possible. Further more, he goes on as if it's a must and gaming with just plain stereo is a bad thing. A fair few people prefer plain stereo and can't stand the whole sound processing involved.

    FiiO E10K is a good product and will do fine with the K702. Even if you get something later down the road from Creative that has SBX prostudio for positional sound, the E10K is a good inexpensive place to start; especially if you can bag one for half of the retail cost.

    Anyway; yes that's all you need; AKG K702, FiiO E10K and a Modmic. Personally, I'd take that combination every time over even Sennheiser's premium headsets. You've got the extra cable contend with, but a small price to pay in my opinion; and yes, the Sennheiser's are about £160.
     
  19. WhiteHartMart

    Associate

    Joined: Aug 1, 2011

    Posts: 80

    Location: Cornwall

    If you wanted one less cable - you can get the VModa Boom Pro Mic and a mini XLR to 3.5mm adaptor - I have this setup with some K712 Pros and it works really well. Will work out £10 or so more expensive though.
     
  20. Robi

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 14, 2007

    Posts: 2,975

    I'm slightly confused, the K702 and E10K won't offer positional/directional sound? The poster above states the opposite. This is a key factor as I mainly play CS:GO, PUBG, BF etc - I need to know where shots etc are coming from.

    After 10 minutes searching around it looks like the audio quality on the BoomPro is actually better than the ModMic and it comes with mute/volume controls. I would prefer to just have a single cable rather than two so it makes sense to go for the BoomPro, however I'm really struggling to find a mini male XLR to female 3.5mm adaptor anywhere? Unless I need something entirely different?