Best headphone for competitive games FPS 300-400€£

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Hi, I'm looking for upgrading my headphones.
Focusing only on gaming, mostly FPS like Call of Duty.
I'm currently with sennheiser 350se, conected to the mother board ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming and for positional audio is just OK.

After researching I would like to know if Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X still the best for this purpose without expending more than 500£.

I've recently tried beyerdynamic mmx300 (2nd) and it was disappointed, not proper accuracy, closed and I couldn't hear myself talking (noticed I was screaming to my friends).
Open back will do the job.

I don't want to use the headphones for movies or music, just games and focusing on FPS.
I play in a quiet environment.
I could buy a mic if the headphone recommended doesn't have it.

My budget is around 400£ total, headphones + DAC or soundcard if needed unless there is something worth to expend around 500£.

Is ATH-AD700X worth it after to many years or there are better options? Should I need a DAC or sound card if finally go with this headphone?

I really appreciate all feedback.
Thank you guys.
 
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Soldato
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Welcome to the forums :)

Get a sound card please.....i also have the 350se and when i upgraded motherboard i couldnt use my xfi pci card so used onboard for cod...it was awful...had a cheap soundcard and it was better but still rubbish compared to previous card....got the AE5 and all was good again....position audio as it should be.

Everyone will tell you that onboard audio is so much better these days and it is....but get a decent sound card please
 
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I have no clue about sound cards or DAC and witch one is better. I don't think I need something portable, because I use headphones to watch TV very little.

Should I get a good sound card and if the quality sound doesn't improve update the headphones?

Or get both at same time, Black Friday is coming and I kept some savings for the upgrade.
 
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The sennheiser hd600 is the other headphone I have in mind. I thought maybe the hd 650 or 660s, but I've read the hd600 are better for my purpose.
 
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After researching I would like to know if Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X still the best for this purpose without expending more than 500£.
AKG K702 would be other absolute top level choise with lower price in Europe.
And needing better quality headphone output being rather power hungry per dB...
Needs like 10 times more power than AD700X, which is ludicrously sensitive.
(and might give some sound by just touching ground contact with one hand and other contact with other hand)

Though depending on your head shape and size that AKG's "automatically" adjusting headband might not work that well for comfort.
(I own K702 and K712)
But not sure if Audio-Technica is better in that with another automatic headband.


Anyway both need binaural signal to give proper positioning:
We hear in 3D with two ears, because shape of the head causes direction dependant changes to signal received by both ears from sound source.
No matter how good, headphones can never create those cues.
Hence speaker stereo mix doesn't even give proper left-tight immersion with headphones.
But only very artificial "sound inside left or right ear, or in center of head":
https://youtu.be/Y6ROujJ8Ae8?t=48

Those binaural cues can be imitated mathematically and is known as HRTF.
Most sound cards have had some kind HRTF for dozen years, though with varying quality.
Also headphones need to have accurate reproduction to keep integrity of cues.
Same signal which gives besides directionality also feel of distances collapses to "head in bucket under water" immersion at worst.
(that "warm" sound of audiophiles is bad for accuracy)

Also because of physics, if your head shape differs more from average that decreases or breaks immersion of binaural sound.
And that's really one of the biggest factors

Here's same game of previous link, but with HRTF applied to test listen:
https://youtu.be/Y6ROujJ8Ae8?t=377

First minute or two of this is also excellent quick test for headphones with sounds at different directions and distances:
https://youtu.be/d1_20T8x_OI


For sound card Sound BlasterX G6 Creative is selling as B-stock for £70 is definite bang per buck choise.
It's basically external version of internal Sound Blaster AE-5, minus analog surround channel outputs and handles easily most headphones you could buy.



I have no clue about sound cards or DAC and witch one is better.
DAC is fashion name for selling less features/functionality than in sound cards.
Its acronym for Digital to Analog Converter.
And every single thing handling digital signal and giving out sound has one!
(C-cassette player was propably your last thing without one)

In addition sound cards have also opposite doing ADC for analog inputs.
Then there's that DSP aka Digital Signal Processing side.
And because of actual DAC component is unable to drive really any load, even line outs have some kind opamp as buffer and headphone outputs have headphone amplifier.
Though with as varying quality/capability as HRTFs.


closed best for competitive
Only in a noisy environment like LANs.
 
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Thank you so much for the replies. Is that software HRTF like Spatial sound Windows or similar? I didn't touch the audio settings more than activate spatial sound Windows or Dolby atmos, and settings in game.
Hence speaker stereo mix doesn't even give proper left-tight immersion with headphones.
But only very artificial "sound inside left or right ear, or in center of head":
https://youtu.be/Y6ROujJ8Ae8?t=48
SBX sounds a bit better but I don't know if it's because of my current headphones or bad accuracy creating the game because except the pipe whistling when he is moving around, rest sounds don't feel just right, sounds slightly better than hearing with speakers (focusing on positioning)

On the battlefield video sound more accurate, but I have to review it again because I can't decide which one is my favourite, because just sound different.
I activated sonar Windows and I can hear my friends kind of a metallic voice (sorry, English is not my first language and also because of my knowledge of sound is very low I don't know how to describe it properly) but the steps a bit better. Checked also the Dolby atmos program and wasn't better. Without any program, sounds plane, not too bad for anything else but bad for positioning.

What I have to bear in mind for that porpoise? An open back stereo sounds more appropriate instead of 5.1 /7.1 headphones, and yes, I could say my head is on a normal range. Is OHM something to be worried about or just for the sound card witch has to drive the headphones.
In this season with Covid is really hard to try more hardware before buying it and I'm afraid to fail again.
Thinking about the headphones we mentioned still having big variety of reviews been really good or awful.
In the meantime I think I'm going with the sound card to check if there is any improvement on my 8 years old 350se, and buy the headphones once I receive the sound card.
Is there any other model I can check for my purpose?
Thank you kindly
 
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K701/702/612

HD599/560S

DT770/990

Open is better, closed headphones you get too much internal cup reverb, some bypass This by having a better housing like the W1000X/1000z. DT770 are an exception here despite having some cup play they image really well.
 
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After a few reviews I'm very curious about k702, k612 and dt990. I think I finally go for k702 as Esat said.
Now in not sure about Sound BlasterX G6 or AE-5 or AE-5 plus to drive them.

Also, as a microphone, mod mic is alright or I should get a stand mic?

Thanks again.
 
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Soldato
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Thank you so much for the replies. Is that software HRTF like Spatial sound Windows or similar? I didn't touch the audio settings more than activate spatial sound Windows or Dolby atmos, and settings in game.
SBX sounds a bit better but I don't know if it's because of my current headphones
While trying to be HRTF, Windows Sonic for Headphones is typical garbage of Microsoft...
Who basically took PC game sounds back to pre-Y2K era by in practise killing hardware acceleration of sound processing in Vista.
Supposedly it has never worked properly in Windows and recordings of it definitely sound like dumb downmix.
But neither Xbox recordings sound much better.

Sennheiser doesn't really make closed design headphones. (except odd one or two)
So it wouldn't be any wonder if that closed 350SE headset lacks accuracy necessary for binaural sound...
Which has vastly tighter requirements than any stereo sound like music.


An open back stereo sounds more appropriate instead of 5.1 /7.1 headphones
Good stereo headphones from actual audio maker are only reasonable choise.

There are no 5.1/7.1 headphones which would be good to buy.
Pretty much all are gaming garbage.
Some are cheap stereo models with some cheap ass USB sound card dongle doing some Dolby Headphone etc processing.
And others claiming to be some "true 5.1/7.1" headphones with lots of drivers are marketing BS:
They'll certainly sound different and no doubt better than standard stereo sound.
But they can never create true binaural cues.
And those drivers are even cheaper and lower quality ones than in stereo headphones.
 
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After a few reviews I'm very curious about k702, k612 and dt990. I think I finally go for k702 as Esat said.
K702 is pretty much "god mode" for details like foot steps and such with binaural sound.
(really insane with Creative's older bass killing CMSS-3D HRTF)

But that's precisely because of very neutral and analytical aiming sound.
So don't expect fun/bass immersion from it without use of equalizer.
While its bass reaches actually pretty deep for open dynamic headphone, it "stays on back seat of the car" and you really have to listen for it.
 
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After a few reviews I'm very curious about k702, k612 and dt990. I think I finally go for k702 as Esat said.
Now in not sure about Sound BlasterX G6 or AE-5 or AE-5 plus to drive them.

Also, as a microphone, mod mic is alright or I should get a stand mic?

Thanks again.
What makes the K701/702 desirable is they're pretty linear up until the the treble then they spike, a dip in the presence giving them a sense of depth so there's nothing in the way of footsteps. If you want to listen to music with them though they seriously suck these days, gritty, sandpaper type sound at 2k and the whole treble with no bass boost to even things out. The DT990 would be better but the higher ohm variants as they have a slightly smoother sound. I used to prefer the AKG's but my 600ohm DT990 are what I use at the computer, they sound fun, spacious, pin point imaging for video games. I still say the K701/K702 is a clearer headphone in terms of lack of interference but when it comes to sound location, it's tough, the fact the DT990 can sound fun, engaging and impactful gives it more versatility over the K701/702.
 
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As others have said an external DAC is the way to go, a soundcard inside a computer is a bad idea to me as it will pick up noise from other components. I got the Soundblaster G6 and I'm really impressed with it, I compared in game to my modified Audiolab MDAC and I couldn't tell any difference.

I'm currently using Sennheiser GSP500 but I've ordered Sennheiser HD58X from Drop, they are well regarded and I'm hoping more comfortable, I have a Modmic for when they arrive.

Also open back is the choice unless you don't want to disturb other people around you, closed back will always sound more closed in.

With the G6 I run straight stereo mode, no processing or surround modes, I find it worse for positioning with the surround modes. The G6 also has side tone, so you can hear yourself through your own headphones, you can adjust the level to suit. This is a great feature imo and one I wouldn't want to be without again.
 
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Don't rule out Beyer TYGR 300. Seriously good cans for the money, I prefer them over K702. I currently use them paired with usb mod mic.

Curve ball for DAC, Lootoo Paw S1. USB C and can use it with phone / tablet as well. Really good sound for the money and has various eq modes (gaming, near field, far field, movies, headphones etc etc). Can run single ended and balanced.
 
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Well, finally arrived the sound card soubdblaster AE-5 plus and between dt990 and k702 I got the second choice. I thought I would never buy an AKG headphones but the reviews and impressions let me decided for them.
I just installed the sound card and I tried with my old headphones sennheiser pc350 se and OMG what a change, just for 5mins only a video, I didn't play or testing deeper but the improvement seems to be obvious. I've just finished my shift after 5 nights in a row and I'm too tired to keep testing but after a nap I'll go for it. Thanks for all the replies and I'll post my final impressions when I work with them deeper.
 

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Well, finally arrived the sound card soubdblaster AE-5 plus and between dt990 and k702 I got the second choice. I thought I would never buy an AKG headphones but the reviews and impressions let me decided for them.
I just installed the sound card and I tried with my old headphones sennheiser pc350 se and OMG what a change, just for 5mins only a video, I didn't play or testing deeper but the improvement seems to be obvious. I've just finished my shift after 5 nights in a row and I'm too tired to keep testing but after a nap I'll go for it. Thanks for all the replies and I'll post my final impressions when I work with them deeper.
yea I have the ae5 plus too it's good best in price bracket dac and amp and keeps my schiit magni amp in the drawer

don't forget to update the drivers firmwares all can be done in settings, I just use the mid level headphone amp setting
 
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Do you play warzone manny13 is so what settings do you use? Do you have spatial sound on?
 
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