AKG K712 Pro upgrade

I’m considering to upgrade my K712’s to something with better imaging. However I really like them, but I feel like I can’t really pinpoint where footsteps are coming from.

I’ve mainly been looking at the dt 1990 pro. Would that be a noticeable upgrade for mostly gaming and some music? Or should I look at something else?

I have a soundblaster ae-5 in my pc, would that be sufficient amp wise?

I’d encourage a bit of eq if you have an amp and dac for them… push up the upper mids and treble should help emphasize them. The k712 is the warmer more balanced one of those cans with k702 being the analytical brighter can. They do have some inaccuracies though.

I’d suggest trying an 880 before 1990 due to the treble… provided it doesn’t make you uncomfortable 1990 will definitely work it doesnt however have as much soundstage as the k7… if you want that big stage something like harmonicdyne zeus, hifiman sundara, or hifiman 400se. If laser imaging is the goal though 1990 will definitely perform… you can also just grab a tygr 300r which is more tolerable and performs very well while saving yourself money.

Cant personally speak on the unit, never tried

I’ve tried to eq them, but I still feel like they’re missing something. The large soundstage is nice, but it can almost be too wide and it feels almost distracting.

Right now they’re in for repair due to one of the plastic hinges broke. Got offered a replacement or my money back. Probably are going to get my money back because they just don’t feel premium or sturdy.

In the meantime I’ve been gaming on my old Sennheiser pc360 first gen and honestly I prefer them in FPS games. Feels much easier to pinpoint and hear footsteps with them over the K712.

I’m really looking for something that I’d never need to upgrade from and primarily something that gives me the best advantage in games.

Price wise I don’t want to cheap out. Looking at around $500. I can get the 1990 Pro for around $420 here. How’s the soundstage on those?

Also looked at the Sundaras previously, do they have better imaging than the K712?

AE-5 measurements:

DT1990 has 250 ohm impedance and 102 dB SPL/mW sensitivity. According to this, you should be ok for loudness; not sure about quality impact.

Sound blasters dont really have good sound quality regardless… gamer one and done solution better options for the audiophile just more pricey

Hmm what games are in question here?

In the case of akg they are pretty average since its mostly hard plastic… they are better built than say an audio technica air series or some cases of hifiman(despite being steel it’s very very cheap steel and things break easy on them). Depends on the games in question but sounds like you may want a sennheiser

Thats… not gonna lie a tough one lol. Theres always technically better but for gaming? I’d say… probably $600 is maximum endgame material less you want like focal or something which is a bit understandable

If your gonna go all in youd want to upgrade that amp and dac to a dedicated setup. Something that prioritizes your imaging and soundstage like jds atom as an entry level Donald dac would be a good pairing there since its imaging is strong. Keep in mind your amp/dac also governs technicalities not just the headphone itself. Especially in the case of soundblaster which in some cases are a bit distorted or muffled

As for the stafe on the 1990 it’s less than k7 but extremely controlled. The headphone was designed to be very analytical to tear apart bad tracks… imaging is exceptional and the stage while dampened like all beyers is still relatively big enough for any game less your craving that airy signature of which that would be more a t1 2nd gen or hifiman than the 1990. The 1990 is easily one of the end games of competitive gaming… (one of… not THE best. For the price of like $400 though it’s extremely hard to beat)

I know that the soundblaster isn’t good enough. I get quite a bit of interference with it. Though it’s what I can afford right now and as long as it can drive the headphones I decide to get properly I’m good with that for now.

The Atom is something I can get my hands on here in Sweden. I’m guessing the Atom+ is better than the old one? But the Donald dac isn’t available in Europe as far as I can see, so it will be very expensive to import it. Any other dac you recommend to pair with the Atom?

I mostly play Warzone right now. Sometimes Tarkov and PUBG also.

What’s the best options in Sennheisers lineup that can rival the 1990s?

At least the G6 (other external Blasters being more problematic, as in requiring you to double-amp via headphone socket) is capable of outputting its SBX magic via optical to a different DAC. That could be something to consider for the future, especially given the G6’s portability making it useful when you’re just travelling with your laptop, not intending to play any games but appreciating nicer sound from a bit more demanding headphones than one would normally plug directly into a laptop. That would be just about enough of a reason for me to buy one, if my finances weren’t stretched so thin (like any sole-prop, freelancing is an endless sinkhole for money).

Might be insufficient for beefier planars. Otherwise one of the most praised devices I’ve read about in my recent explorations.

By default 660s, but the 560s, while inferior overall, can have some advantages on it as in better stage and more neutral sound.

I’ve read 560s is exceptionally good for gaming. Better than the 1990s. But then again I’ve read the opposite. What worries me though with the 1990s is that the bass will be too much and overpower the faint footstep sounds. Also that you can’t hear footsteps from afar with them.

How about the 900 Pro X? Any experience with those?

Also how do you make the nice drop down quotes here?

Whatever good or bad things people say about a pair of headphones, you’re like to also find some others who say the exact opposite. I would try to find out if the people who are unhappy didn’t run into a faulty unit, weren’t running it from a mobo jack or something else that would explain their exceptionally bad experience.

In short, what good things I’ve read about with regard to the 560s specifically for gaming purposes come down to good imagining within its not huge but still good stage, plus very natural-sounding sound effects, so that people were catching themselves not being sure if the sound was coming from the movie or something was happening downstairs. That’s what’s tempting me to get a pair because I personally very much appreciate metal sounding like metal, wood sounding like wood and metal on wood sounding like metal on wood (etc. etc.). And they should be good all-rounders for a variety of different musical tracks. Listening to game soundracks would probably be like critical listening in a studio, for good or bad. But I really shouldn’t be saying more without having listened to them.

Re: 560s vs 1990s, Falenkor has owned both, so I’d ask him.

Nope. No experience with any headphones really, just a lot of reading trying to find something for me for applications very similar to yours. In my thread the good folks here, including Falenkor who’s helping you here, were patient and helpful beyond any measure. Plus, I did a lot of reading and watching. But no hands-on experience with anything.

Highlight the part of the text you want to quote, and the quote button will appear. :slight_smile: To break it up, use standard BB code — [ quote ] and [ / quote ] (no spaces).

Seems like the quoting won’t work on my phone. I get no options after highlighting.

I guess it’s true that everyone has a different opinion on what’s good or not, but it feels frustrating when you don’t have a place near you where you can try out different headphones.

Read through the thread with that MadEnvy wrote on Head-Fi and he seems to rate all Beyers rather low for gaming. Then again he rated my K712 highly and I don’t feel that I like them for FPS.

What did you decide on in the end? The 560s?

Sorry to hear that. If this helps any, typing [ quote ] and [ / quote ] (no spaces, of course) around quoted text will at least add basic quotes without marking the source.

Indeed. I felt the same way when I literally didn’t have the time to take a ride to the city for a listen for weeks on end. Still can’t, so much work. I can barely take a break to visit the forums. Otherwise it’s work and sleep, has been for more than a month now. Also felt quite bad about the prospect of going to a small, specialized owner-managed store to try them before buying them at a bargain online. Didn’t want to do that unless actually buying NIB from that individual shop.

There is a minority of people who don’t like them. There’s a prolific blogger who loves the K702 but says the K712 is too easy-going and relaxed for his taste, whereas he would prefer to stay focused and alert, and apparently the K702 do just that for him.

Nope. Got the Tygrs. I’ll probably get the 560s sooner or later when I find them at a bargain. I’ve seen used units at good prices.

Once you’re almost set on a particular pair of phones but would prefer overcommitting to them, I guess you can just buy them and return them if you don’t like them. If you’re prepared to keep them in the case you like them, I don’t see any harm in returning them in the case you actually don’t after all.

Do bear in mind I wasn’t focusing very hard on perfect accuracy for FPS, though. If I was, I’d be looking at either the Tygrs (which is what I got anyway) or the Audio-Technicas (AD700X, maybe AD500X; some people prefer the older AD700 for less bass and better build quality). It looks like there is a general consensus that they are the no. 1 for pinpointing people’s positions in FPS. Maybe buy a pair, try them, return them if you don’t like them?

Atom plus is indeed just the better one. Just get the respective atom dac or topping d10 since donald isn’t available

Shocked that your having trouble with the stage in those games granted warzone staging is total ass

If were going on strictly ability to place sounds? HD 660s hands down. That ones capability to image is definitely the king for 600 series… 6xx us good as well just differing signatures. However, 600 series is very intimately narrow on staging. This can be a plus or negative based on your capabilities as it will struggle at long range placements but be extremely good at close quarters to mid quarter engagement. If you want a step back cheaper option? Hd560s. More stage still good not as accurate

It has a good dac chip… just a meh amp… it’s nice though if you want the gamer options as you can upgrade the amp later

Atom? Insufficient? Yeaaaa no… all the entry levels recommended pack a lot of power. The atom can push sundara… less your talking above $650+ but at that point why your still using atom is beyond me… shooting your sound quality at that point

Extremely debatable.

1990 is bass neutral unless your using B pads. Not an issue

Gaming community on 560 is pretty much in agreement… things nasty for that price… I despise facing one much like I do beyer users.

The thing is that 560 is extremely neutral with a touch of brightness. It’s very very reference grade to the point of boredom. Not very flexible in terms of signature outside of eq either. For the price and performance? 560s is on the level of tygr 300r

However it boils to preference from there

I can do a quick thorough comparison later when I have some time… I’ll leave it in my mega thread for anybody that’s interested. 560s stays on the wall

Depends on the beyer and game… k712 also… I rate rather low personally. As someone who games in a very high rank/elo regularly those k712 will get me killed fairly easily so I find myself putting in alot more effort

K702 is definitely better

The ad700 ? Its decent. The main reason it gets so popular is you can find them for like $70 and they perform very well. Though they are built very cheap and later headphones replace them pretty quick. 700x has separation problems where the footsteps can get lossed in the mix same issue as pc38x but 700 is more severe the 900 pro also has this issue

How would the L30+E30 stack up against Atom+D10? The L30/E30 is a bit more expensive but can be powered through a wall outlet. The atom dac isn’t available in EU. Or maybe I can get away with the Topping DX3 Pro?

I also have a Yamaha rx-v673 with the headphone jack specced at
1 kHz, 50 mV, 8 Ω …100 mV/560 Ω
Would it get the most out of say the dt 1990 before I can afford a dedicated amp and dac?

In Tarkov and PUBG it’s not really the pinpointing that’s the issue. It’s more the distance where the footsteps becomes audible.
In Warzone however, I’m having a hard time figuring out where the sound is coming from with the k712. Especially if someone is above or below.

Maybe it’s good to clarify that I want something that’s really good for music also. Mainly listening to Hip Hop, EDM and dubstep.

I don’t think the Audio-Technica‘s will cut it for me. They seem very flimsy. Thanks for the suggestion though!

I will take a closer look at the HD 660s!

Decided to go with the DT 1990. Figured I might as well try, as we have a 14 days return policy here in Sweden, no questions asked.

E30 is just a direct upgrade to the D10 for a small increase in price, worth it imo.

as for the L30? Its stronger but marginally a bit more sterile/clinical. either one will work fine and they sound pretty similar. Both dacs are warmer leaning

would suggest asking some others on that in particular… but I think it should be fine… the DT 1990 is 250 ohms with a sensitivity of 102 decibel-per-miliwatt

Keep in mind, even tarkov will limit your capability of how far you can hear such a sound out like that… k712’s stage is quite large the only issue is they aren’t fully emphasized to place footsteps at the forefront of your sound and they have some imaging inaccuracies… if your having issues then you want a headphone that emphasizes those sounds more in terms of sound signature… Since you already grabbed the 1990, this is one that has it heavily emphasized though you will lose some stage its deadly accurate in competitive.

This sadly, is more than likely not the headphone and is more just warzone… warzone’s sound engine is just… to put it lightly incredibly bad… I play it myself and its just all over the place.

well if you like the 1990 and want a bit more bump… you can just pad swap them to either the B pads that come with them, equalize them, or pad swap to a thicker pad such as the dekoni suede which will make them sound darker and much warmer

they are, I am confused as to why some defend that build quality… I do like a lot of their headphones and respective signatures but I really don’t like their build quality… At least AKG doesn’t feel like its just going to snap on me suddenly. However, Audio Technicas later headphones at a higher price bracket are much sturdier so I honestly am not quite sure what they were going for there… perhaps weight was a concern

if your concerned with soundstage, I would advise perhaps skipping over this for the 560s instead

feel free to swing by and let me know what you think, its not for everyone and you may personally run into some issues you have or maybe youll just love it… its built ridiculously tanky, very comfortable, many many pad swaps, and has a very flexible signature all while providing exceptional performance in fps so most that do get it after I speak with them come back and tell me they either keep that one, the dt 880, or end up leaning towards the tygr 300r due to treble intolerances… with the off shoot of some people wanting a smaller more clearer stage(the dampening on the beyers creates a less clear overall soundstage despite being large) so they go with a sennheiser like the 560s… on rare chance some have gone to 660s even for tarkov but to each their own preference

The more I think about amp and dac I’m leaning more towards a combo unit. Mostly so I can move it between my PC and TV without much hassle.

Do you have any experience with combo units for say maximum of $300? There doesn’t seem to be many options out there sadly.

The two options that feels the most appealing is the dx3 pro plus and Fiio K5 pro.
Though if the iFi Audio ZEN DAC v2 had an optical connection I’d buy it I a heartbeat! The looks of it would be a perfect fit for the 1990s…

Haha, yeah. Warzone’s audio is something else. Especially now after the new update!

If I like them, But feel like the treble peak on the DTs is too much I’m probably going to try the passive filter for diyaudioheaven.

Dekonis would be nice, but would be very expensive to import. Ever tried brainwavz for your Beyers?

Will definitely update here when I’ve listened to them for a bit! Thanks for your help so far, really appreciate it!

hmm its been a bit since I used combo units… if were going by something competitive… I would say… Probably something like K5 pro over there from Fiio would be good depending on the headphone, I personally found a lot of enjoyment from Aune with the X1S nice steel block that one, and then you have topping… I am pretty sure Xduoo has some units somewhere in there too if you like tubes as well…

there are some others but yeah pretty much these are the choices… pretty sure mayflower would also be in there too alongside schiit hel. Granted out of all those I liked the Aune and K5 the most… but im more a fan of less analytics and measurements and more sound quality with a bit of color and tones of warmth

I haven’t touched it in some time… I heard things overall have gotten a little better cheater wise… but i haven’t checked anything at all including sound… last time I had the weird issue where a guy was to my left up in the rafters and it placed him forward directly above me… caused me to snap my aim up towards that area which got me killed in the end.

Theres a few things that can be done here. you can switch the pads, EQ them, use that passive filter, or get some of the tygr filter inserts and put them in place of the foam over the driver under the pads(gotta take the plastic ring off to do this it pops off but you need like a plastic spudge or something)

They have other stores that are in other countries which carry Dekoni… I would encourage looking around for them. I Have tried brainwavz but with pads you generally get what your paying for there… Brainwavz are built(Might get some hate for this comment) extremely cheap and I despise them with a passion lmao. I hate their sound, I hate the build quality, I like the price, the fabric used just feels bad to me personally However, if I was tight budget? sure why not… I have used brainwavz on things like the DT 177x GO even with the XL pads and it was alright.

If I were to find a eu retailer for the Dekonis, what pads would be optimal? I saw on another thread that you were using the Elite velour and I’m guessing you’re using the suede’s now? Are they the choice suede?

Depends on what I’m going for as I like most of them. Each pad changes the signature by a good amount you can see graphs of those changes on dekonis website for 1990.

For me personally? I like stock but if I wanted thicker comfort just stay velour as it keeps the stock sound well. The perforated are a little different but also keep stock well. Suedes are what I go to when I’m tired of the treble… depletes the treble big time and adds alot of warmth

I see, thanks for the explanation. Though I’m a bit confused regarding the charts on Dekonis website vs diyaudioheavens. They differ vastly on the Elite velours.

So, got them today and I’m happy to say that I’m overall very pleased. The treble is definitely there and caught me off guard right off the bat, but after a little while I don’t seem to notice it very much. So no problem there right now.

They are definitely a substantial upgrade from the K712 Pro, except soundstage and comfort. They are not uncomfortable by any means, but the k712 just vanishes from my head after a little while.

I have two small issues with them. My left ear touches the driver. Also they feel quite a bit warmer than I’m used to. But I’m hoping that a pad replacement will help with that.

Only tried warzone for a few matches but I must say that they really delivers! I feel like I can track enemies much better now than with the k712 and pc360.