High Quality Headset for Immersive Gaming

Associate
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26 Sep 2009
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Hi guys,

I'm in the market for a good pair of headphones for an immersive gaming experience. I play a lot of RPG's, FPS (non competitive) and I've just started Cyberpunk 2077.

I have no need for a MIC and as stated above I don't play competitive shooters. I'm just looking for sound quality. I currently have a pair of Arctis 7 wireless but if I'm being honest, I'm not that impressed. Budget isn't a factor.

I hope you guys can help me with this.
 
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Soldato
Joined
6 Jun 2008
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Finland
Do you have noisy or quiet environment?
If quiet, open design Beyerdynamic DT990 would give good balance between above neutral bass and details.
Studio use aimed less decorated Pro version is also really nicely priced.
(though 250 ohm impedance can be problem for some integrated sound cards)

For noisier room closed design DT770 would be good.
Beyerdynamic's replacement ear pads are also reasonably priced lowering long term cost from replacing worn out/dirty pads.


Though good headphones are just half the immersion, with other part being proper signal for headphones.
Because usual speaker stereo mix from games (without headphone mode) doesn't even give proper left-right directionality:

We hear in 3D with two ears, because shape of the head causes direction dependant changes to signal received from sound source by both ears.
And because of physics headphones can't ever create those binaural cues.
Including sound from left speaker reaching right ear and vice versa, which is needed for brain to position sounds outside head.
When played back directly into individual ear by headphones only immersion is very unnatural and annoying "inside left or right ear, or in center of head".

By modeling real world sound behaviour mathematically in signal good headphones can even give sense of distance besides full directionality.
Though of course if your head shape differs more from average that lowers accuracy of directionality or even breaks immersion completely.
Besides various sets of software most sound cards have long had algorithms for simulating binaural sound.
 
Associate
OP
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26 Sep 2009
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267
Thank you for the response. Those two headsets look brilliant so I'll be deciding between the two. I've ordered a Soundblaster G6 also to make use of them.
 
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Soldato
Joined
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I myself have DT990 Edition/Premium with same 250 ohm driver as in DT990 Pro and once tried it in basic motherboard with basic ALC892.
And to my surprise it could drive them well past safe for longer term listening volume.
(also didn't notice EMI, though that PC lacked dGPU and didn't try stressing CPU)

But at the same time I've read few inadequate volume complaints mostly with gaming hype Asus boards.
So who knows what marketroids making the decisions on hype boards do in implementation of Realteks.
Also have occasionally read about EMI complaints even in expensive boards with all the hype about how good its audio is.
And despite of higher impedance cans being less sensitive to most EMI some have had more EMI with DT990 than ~60 ohm Sennheisers.
So there just isn't 100% way to know quality of integrated.


But anything giving out analog signal from digital data has that D(igital to)A(nalog)C(onverter).
Including every single sound card, be it on motherboard, separate card in expansion slot, or dangling from end of USB cable.
And sound cards have also things like opposite doing ADCs for mic/line inputs, D(igital)S(ignal)P(rocessor) and HRTF algorithm for taking 5.1/7.1 surround sound from game and simulating binaural sound for headphones.

Sound BlasterX G6 Creative is selling as B-stock for £70 would easily handle DT990 and pretty much any headphone you could buy from shops.
Also HRTF algorithm is in better end for gaming.
Though if your head shape differs more from average, in addition to fixed average head shape HRTF Sound Blaster X3 has also "Super X-Fi", which customizes HRTF closer to your head shape based on images of your face and ears.
Audio hardware wise it's lower than SBX G6 with just mid level headphone amplifier.
 
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OP
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My G6 arrived but I could use some help with setting it up properly. Till my new headset arrives I'm using my Arctis 7.

Should I be using SBX? Direct Mode? Dolby Atmos? It's all a little confusing.
 
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Soldato
Joined
12 Jan 2009
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6,270
Its personal preference, I used SBX for years then came across Razer THX Spatial which for me is better than SBX for sound accuracy in FPS. Give them all a try, just make sure Windows has your sound set to stereo and not 5.1
 
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