AP2000Ti vs HD 800 S

I currently own HD 660 S and AD700x. I find the 660s to be way more comfortable and built more solid but are suited more towards immersive casual gaming and music whereas I find myself using the AD700x in games where sounds matter most because they allow me to pinpoint sounds more easily. I’m looking to upgrade to an endgame headphone. The headphone will be used 100% for gaming, music comes as an afterthought and will just be a bonus. Here’s where I come to the two headphones in the title, AP2000Ti and the HD 800s. I’ve seen lots of good things about the 800s for gaming and music alike but my one concern is that the lows might muddy up the important sounds in competitive games and would outweigh the accuracy and soundstage advantage it has over my current 700x. Next is the AP2000Ti which seems to be based around the 700x, 1000x, 2000x family etc but likely with different drivers, closed back, and with what appears to be a way better construction without the awful butterfly style head piece. I’m wondering if these would be on par or better than the 700x and even the 800s for my use case. At a much cheaper price i also noticed the WP900 but i’m unsure how any of the different Audio Technica headphones stack up against each other. I’m open to any other suggestions (T1,T5,K812,1990, to just name a few that I’ve seen thrown around)

I do not recommend jumping straight into the $1k region as for 100% gaming this is pointless. Most games cannot make use of aspects such as the entire massive soundstage the 800s provides. Your better off taking a step back. Grab the DT 1990 or T1 if you want the accurate bright advantage from Beyerdynamic.

not sure why this would be a concern. The HD800S is a bright tuned sennheiser headphone, they are known for neutrality as it is but in this case it’s a neutral bright

as shown the bass falls under their neutrality line so no, it will not be in the way.

no, the closed back series like this is more emphasized in the bass and has a different tuning. They are not the same family of headphone or same tuning of sorts. These have about the average size soundstage you will find in some open backs so nothing particularly special, imaging isn’t the sharpest, and the bass has rumble to the point it clouds footsteps. This is not a good option for competitives without quite a bit on equalizing and even then there would be better options.

if your looking for competitive it wouldn’t be audio technicas closed back series. In general closed backs have quite a bit on the bass due to the design and how sound works however in their case it’s more often than not too much on the rumble. I should note that the wp900 is more of a bass light bright headphone as well, just not the best on imaging…

Your beyers are probably your best bet, as they are pretty much at that spot where they can max out essentially any games capabilities outside of like… sound texturing and other casual ended sound details. Then again, when we play competitive were not listening for enjoyment were listening to compete no? Beyer has some amazing headphones for gamers… tygr 300r despite being $200 punches way the hell above pricepoint as it has a soundstage thats as long as a k7 series from akg but laser accurate imaging, DT 1990 should go without question on what it’s capable of, T1 over there is the relaxed alternative to the 1990 with a touch more bass but it doesn’t get in the way better mids too but demands a strong amp.

Something to consider though is I highly recommend against ever jumping straight to the highest tier of headphone, you need an amp and a dac that is going to back them up otherwise they will not sound how you want them to. These are going to really rack up that cost… something such as the HD800S for example is going to need an amp and dac around the $500+ or even higher range per unit(meaning $1000 setup + the headphone being over $1000 meaning an over $2000 setup).

Speaking from experience is that most of the time a lot of game engines just can’t use what the headphone is capable of… let’s take halo or call of duty ww2 for examples… Halo has an older engine always in it as such, while you may use the hd800S you will not be able to use even half of that soundstage width because the game engine just doesn’t allow it… otherwise you’d hear your target quite literally on the other side of the map in some cases like the map “Guardian” from halo 3. WW2 from Cod is an even worse example as the engine is so obnoxiously bad even the 58x jubilee pretty much tops it out and that’s rather average. Then you get games like escape from tarkov where there is a limitation but it’s on a huge scale… this particular game can use most of that soundstage but not all of it the T1 and 1990 push it about I want to say 95% and the hd800S is even bigger so it’s really not even necessary speaking from experience on that as I have sat with all 3. Granted I like the hd800s over the 1990 just in general but it’s also quite a bit more fatiguing and more of a one trick pony… meanwhile 1990 over there can actually change it’s signature to a pleasant degree by a wide assortment of pads and even become a dark bassy sounding headphone if you place the tygr/amiron wireless filters in it and some suedes on it.

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I appreciate you pointing out the many flaws of the Closed back Audio Technica headphones since I’ve only ever used the MSR7s and don’t have much experience with their other closed options. While gaming at the $1K+ point may be pointless because of limitations in some game and audio engines I’m simply looking for the best that I can get. That being audio performance on par with or better than the 700x with a better build quality and comfort (hence the 800s). If that happens to be at the $500 dollar price point great, but my point being that I’m willing to go up to roughly $1400 to the 800s and so price should not be a consideration just gaming performance. I also want to point out that while I don’t want musical performance to dictate recommendations I will be listening to music and I can and will appreciate the quality difference that you get from such headphones. I noticed you recommended trying the 1990s and the slightly different T1 much like I’ve seen recommended many times online but I wonder how they compare to the DT990 as I found them rather unpleasant and felt that I couldn’t hear as well as on my 700x. Maybe they just aren’t as good as the 1990 or possibly I didn’t give them enough of a chance after a week before returning them. I noticed you used Escape from Tarkov as an example and that’s the one game I’ve been playing that I feel sound matters most and the main game I’m playing at the moment. I can pick up subtle sounds such as a PMC slow walking, aiming down sights, switching fire modes or turning a laser on and off. Lastly while I know my audio setup isn’t the best I’m also not running onboard audio. I’m currently using a GOXLR for streaming but would definitely pick up an amp for anything harder to drive. I’m not sure how the DAC fairs in the GOXLR but I’m sure its more than adequate for gaming and could always be upgraded down the line if needed.

I would definitely take the msr7 over most of them honestly… msr7 are quite nice in my opinion. Granted yes the wp you mentioned can get up there… it’s mainly the imaging that’s the issue with that one as it’s not the best.

Really not hard to gain better build quality than the 700x considering it’s cheap thin plastic with that stupid 3d wing system. As far as audio performance? It’s recessed bassed with mids and highs forward with it’s next variations being brighter… essentially what the hd800S is tuned to be like. As for audio performance? Ad700X lacks in separation by a very large degree and can screw up placements… it’s soundstage may be large but imaging is only around average at best… DT 880, Tygr 300r, K702, 58x, among a lot of others can quite easily destroy it in sound audio qualities and build quality. Hell I would easily take the hifiman sundara over that any day of the week even for gaming granted it’s also cheap build quality qc issues and what not.

Please keep in mind there is no “best” there is no “end game” in audiophilia. Theres what you enjoy most and what fits you the best personally… it’s all preferences. If you search for the “best” you will jump down that rabbit hole and burn your wallet going nowhere. Audiophilia is more of a journey… it’s not a race to the bottom there are plenty here who are also competitive gamers who can attest that even just something as simple as the Sennheiser 58x or 6xx suits them perfectly fine despite the limitations of the soundstage. PC38x is another one people are gushing over… because it can max out more of the smaller fps games on soundstage and it has good imaging being at a cheap pricepoint.

Price should always be a consideration. Just because hd800s is more expensive doesn’t immediately make it better either. Price in this hobby means literally zero, there are plenty of headphones on the market that can best headphones hundreds in value above for pricepoint… You always want to save money, burning your wallet is not the smart way of doing things here and you will hate yourself later for it. You will be just fine in the $600 range. Your willing to jump to the $1400 for the hd800s but keep in mind you still need that amp and dac to back it up as I said…

HD800S has some of the “top” gaming performance yes, but it’s also shown signs of sibilance and some grainyness, it’s not the best in the lows where it’s the weakest they lack impact in my opinion and sound a bit hollowed. In terms of sound quality? Hifiman arya despite being cheaper build quality demolishes the HD800S. HD800S whole thing is that is has the largest soundstage on the market… not the best sound qualities.

Considering your only used to low-fi levels of headphones this should not even remotely be an issue for you. ad700x is like… I think a $70 headphone these days and msr7 is like $150. Jumping from that range to $1k your skipping over a ton of other potential headphones. Headphones are designed for music, this should not be an issue. Personally, I hate hd800S for music… it’s fatiguing… it can be slightly sibilant… it’s quite a bit uncomfortable for me personally, I hate the design, the price tag is too high in my opinion after sitting down with arya and focal clear among others. If I had to choose between hd800S or my T1 for audio? T1 easily… I can customize my T1… my T1 doesn’t demand a ridiculously high costing setup to sound it’s best… and it scales if I ever upgrade.

In competitive gaming your looking for a few things. 1. recessed or somewhere closer to neutral on the bass… it can be raised as long as there isn’t rumble… tygr 300r if you see it’s frequency that’s about the maximum before it’s too much. 2. mids aren’t particularly important but upper mids help with footstep placements and other fps sounds… having these raised does help but isn’t necessary just mainly for good sound quality. 3. Highs need to be raised for the most ideal placements… while yes you can use something like a dark nighthawk carbon it’s not as good as a brighter headphone as treble is the frequency that those sounds are located in. 4. Soundstage average for small fps large for just about any fps very large(1990, tygr, k7, etc levels) for maxing out the games 5. massive(hd800S and slightly below such as T1) unecessary and complete overkill but gives that more theater like vibe to the sound during music and casual play that can use the staging. 6. as accurate imaging as possible without this your going nowhere… this is your absolute mandatory aspect as it determines how accurately your sound is pinpointed in your game. 7. Separation this while not as mandatory if it’s lacking can screw up placements by not properly placing them for example if two people are shooting at each other at teh same time it can sound garbled or mixed together… this is very noticeably an issue in very large gun battles with a large amount of people

For starters, if your not using an amp and you tried the 990s this is probably your problem. AD700X can be ran ampless 990s not so much less you bought them in their low ohms which those are just awful and not recommended at all. 990 is a detail monster with very large staging and very accurate imaging… in terms of facing the 700x it should completely demolish it. However, they are so ridiculously sharp they pose sibilance issues… You will get these same potential issues with the HD800S mind you and at the same time 990 is V shaped… the bass is it’s issue as it has rumble while not the biggest deal breaker as the bass isn’t that much over the line it’s still noticeable and it has it’s mids recessed which could be a preference deal breaker if you like vocality. As for differences with the 1990? 1990 is a neutral bright headphone… it has it’s emphasis on it’s treble with mids and lows being very close to neutrality… it’s B pads make it more V signatured so not recommended for competitives on the B pads. Adding the filters to the 1990 reduces it’s 8k hz peak to more feasible listening levels but reduces some detail retrieval in the process not a deal breaker but it does make it more comfortable to listen to… 1990 is a good alternative to the 990 if you dislike that recession in the mids and you felt the bass was just too much as 1990 is like a happy middle ground… not as sharp treble, option to add bass, neutral mids. T1 on the other hand is demanding like the 990 can be… as it’s 600 ohms of impedance with bass increased around the inbetween point of 1990’s A and B pads, mids are increased and very present, and the treble while brighter than the 1990 is smoother so less potential sibilance… in terms of brightness levels? T1 is about the same as HD800S while also having a absolute huge soundstage, the biggest of all the beyers actually, due to it’s curved driver design. this may help

thats the HD800s vs T1.2(green). It stands to reason that these two can actually compete with one another considering their similarities

For future reference definitely mention escape from tarkov if your going to ask for advice on headphones… tarkov currently is the absolute most audio demanding fps on the market. Sound means everything in that game and without it your completely screwed. Definitely skip the audio technicas… your fine with the beyers… there isn’t another that comes to mind outside of HD800S that will suit that game. I have had to wrestle with that game when it comes to headphones as almost nothing properly fits it’s limitations. T1 does practically max it out as does the 1990 and they show extremely good results… I highly recommend them… HD800S will work just fine in that regard if you really feel you need it but I do not encourage it at all considering similarities of the T1.2 and the added costs of the amp dac to properly push the HD800S. Both need a good amp and dac to run.

you should considering ad700x isn’t bad honestly for such a cheap budget… but there is of course better. My only concern is that your not familiar with the brighter headphones outside of 990 which you mention you had some issues with. 990 is one of the brightest beyers though… it’s peaky as hell so you may be just fine with the others.

You should be able to just use the goxlr as a dac but to say for certain if this is what you use the 990 on… if the 990 was at 250 ohm or 600 ohm this is why you had bad results… the GOXLR cannot power the 990 at 250 ohm properly at all and you will get bad results from trying as such. You definitely need an amp.

If you were just trying to power the DT 990s I would just say grab a Liquid spark and call it a day with a cable to connect it to the goxlr… if your grabbing the DT 1990 or T1.2 grab the Schiit Asgard 3 this will fully allow you to use all that space the headphones offer as it has excellent spatial recreation and accuracy, step up from there would be RNHP but not needed in this case and I haven’t tested RNHP on t1.2 so can’t say for sure if that one will drive T1 properly. If going the HD800S you need an even better amp…asgard would still work but you definitely would need to consider upgrades, something like a Violectric would work fine but at that point you would want a better dac as well which just complicates things even further so I still recommend not going to HD800S less you want to torch your wallet

I’ve tried a lot of stuff, and the HD660 is my current #1 rec for people looking for an overall good sounding, comfortable FPS headphone(that’s relatively affordable). I felt they were slightly less accurate than Sundara, but both more accurate than the old AD700X/900X. Now, I’m pretty much in your position with what headphones to try next, that are serious-level for FPS. Obviously HD800/S is #1 on my list, and Focal Clear also highly interests me. Other than those 2, I’d try some general end-game headphone for music, like SR-009, Utopia, AD5000X, LCD-4. If you want to test an IEM out, I have been exceptionally pleased with how good the Shuoer Tape Pro sound in-game(for only $129), but they may not be comfortable.

Going in the opposite direction, I felt the 300 R have very good accuracy, “good” overall sound for $199. I still found them to be slightly bright and very dry, like their DT siblings, but hopefully the brightness will reduce as the pads wear in. I just can’t stand that typical DT sound, or how they fit and feel, so if you are a Beyer person, they are a good choice in the lower budget range.

To start off I’m going to try to format this better, I’m not used to this forum styleI so I apologize for the block of text before.

I agree, I really liked the MSR7s and I would say they were my first real dive into decent audio but didn’t find them very comfortable for long sessions.

This was the first thing I noticed when I initially got them after a ton of research on different guides and forums. It feels like a cheap turtle beach headset id be using on my Xbox 360 in 2007 and the comfort is just not there for me, I like some clamp and I don’t like the wings. Even the rubber band mod doesn’t help as much as I would hope.

While I’ve only tried the 58x from this list and can say that the build quality is higher I cant say that for strictly competitive gaming they were better than the 700x but I didn’t get to try them side by side so maybe I’m biased

I’m aware that price does equal performance, you pay for a name and that doesnt always equal better performance. In this case id like to argue that from what I’ve read and from reviews that I’ve personally watched it seems that many people believe this to be a good contender.

While this is good advice I’m the person to pay twice as much for a 3090 for a 5-10 fps improvement haha

I supposed you could call HD660s low-fi I would like to think its on the higher end of what people typically try before coming here demanding the best. I even had previously paired it with a Schiit Stack before getting into streaming and switching to the GOXLR. I didn’t want to spend too much time trying to find a way to preserve the capabilities of the GOXLR and keep the quality of the stack since for gaming its probably 90% of the way there. Either way I think you may have missed that I currently own them and only switched back to the 700x because its better for tarkov.

This is one of the only things you bring up that I don’t quite understand in the audio world as I’m still extremely new. I suppose its possible to drive a headphone at loud enough volume but not have enough power to “unlock” its full potential ? I for one play games and especially tarkov at a loud volume and found the DT990 reasonable but definitely not as loud as the easy to drive 700x. If you could expand upon this it would be great. For reference I had the 250 ohm version and I believe the GOXLR team stated they are able to push upwards of 70db but I didn’t test them myself when playing.

I will keep this in mind, as its been one of my primary games since I started playing in 2017. I also play some “smaller” games like call of duty but footsteps matter much less and my 660s handle it fine. So from here on out maybe you can help me recommend what you would think to be the best headphones for unlocking the potential in EFTs sound engine.

I found this to be the case and while I’m sure I could adapt the the sharp treble , I didn’t find myself able to pinpoint or locate sounds on the same level as the 700x. Maybe this has to do with a lack of amp like i stated above but I’m sure you can elaborate.

Ill be sure to look into an amp for any purchase.

While I find them to be a good “do it all” headphone I cant agree that they are more accurate than the 700x from personal experience. Maybe its the sound signature that affects how I’m locating sounds but in escape from tarkov and other open world or larger games I feel like I can get a more exact direction with them over the 660s.

I have done my fair research into IEMs and even watched many reviews by a guy on YouTube that specifically uses them for gaming but I cant get over the fact that they are 1. not comfortable for me 2. wont stay in my ears ever (I’ve had trouble with earbuds my whole life and just never liked using them.)

I’m specifically not looking for that type of sound. I don’t want a casual do it all immersive can. I want something that says non existent or neutral bass (who needs gunshots to sound realistic ?) and give me the high ends so I can hear sound ques and footsteps.

I didn’t mind the feel of them but I really do enjoy the Sennheiser shape after having my 660s for so long. I guess I cant really say much about sound since I don’t know if I was hearing them properly.

You can have that, fine. But then you have no bass to hear the guy who’s prone, crawling softly on the wooden floor in the building next to you. :wink: FULL frequency is very important in games, unless you only play one game that essentially has no low frequency sound effects. This is another drawback of the AD headphones.

Well for using the 700x exclusively on tarkov at the moment I can hear any sound I need even with its sound signature. So maybe saying non existent is a bit of a stretch but compared to my 660s guns go from sounding full to sounding suppressed lol.

Yeah, AD are a no-go for PUBG, at least. Can’t hear the crawling frequencies(and other, similar sounds) properly. AD do have a really engaging sound presentation that I still love, however. I just find them less accurate. :frowning:

I haven’t touched PUBG since its a pretty dead game so ill have to trust you on that one. I haven’t really played that regularly since it came out and I grinded it with my buddy Aculite. Back then I used my Astros and I believe he always used the m40x. We did well but I’m not sure how that audio engine works now.

4th most played game on Steam. I don’t see Tarkov in the top 100. Feels like the game has had a resurgence, with the last couple updates. I see old streamers playing it again, who stopped for a year or more.

You literally come across the same people every game because there is probably only 2-4 matches going on at any one time for the US. It might be bigger in china or other countries but not here. The amount of bots you come across to just fill the lobby is crazy. Some close friends exclusively play PUBG (im talking 3.5k hours and 5.5k hours) and they all agree the game is dead/bad. But you are open to your own opinion. You cant bring up steams top 100 btw because its not on steam. Just check twitch viewership 21.8k Tarkov vs 14.4k Pubg.

would not recommend 660s… they are awful for tarkov. Narrow soundstage.

IEM will create limitations… they will not have the soundstage your trying to obtain and have a limit on 360 degree field of sound.

to be fair, really not a bad can… it does just fine… just not a bright can does everything else in staging and imaging perfectly fine on tarkov.

mids and highs make up almost the entirety of the sound spectrum for fps sound placements with some slight alternatives in the low end depending on deep sounding floor boards and the like… bass is the last thing you need in competitives it does nothing but cloud things up.

ad are fine for pubg… I have used them myself, they just aren’t the greatest due to their own limitations as it’s not hard to best them. they are only decently better than the gaming headsets but in terms of like… pc38x it loses.

wut? pubg? dead? definitely not… that game is always populated.

tarkov is plenty populated its just its not on steam to my knowledge and it’s also still in a alpha/beta stage of development

sounds about right… games like cod and battlefield tend to be more populated… less you want to bring in like apex and fortnite…

Depends on the sounds used in the game. I can literally hear things with a Cloud 2 that I can’t hear with AD700X(I have made repeatable tests on this, to determine factuality, so it’s not a debatable thing), so knowing that, I personally wouldn’t use AD in PUBG. And especially with AD headphones, being very bright, you have to turn the volume down to account for that treble pain, so now your very little amount of bass is even harder to hear.

agree to disagree on that man, the sounds are universally, in every fps I played, located in the same regions excluding very specific aspects of sound which even if its located in the low end as long as your low frequency is around neutral it will show up fine, it’s only when it’s recessed that it becomes a bigger issue.

If you think the AD cause treble pain I cant imagine you using the 990s !


I mean, it’s just the peak causing that… 990s are far far brighter

I’ve sent back or sold every Beyer so far lol. But I keep my 700X and 900X.

So out of the recommendations you gave me (1990, T1.2, 880s) which would you think would go best with tarkov ? Also whats the difference between the T1.2 and .3 ? Lastly I like the look of the RNHP but you mentioned not knowing if it could handle the T1.2 so what would be the issue ? Power? Not sure if you just don’t have the time now but could you help explain the part about not powering the 990s like i explained above ? I felt like they were loud enough so I dont quite understand if maybe theres another part to properly powering them i dont get.