Beginner Looking for Headset/Speakers/Dac/AMP

Hi there. I’ve recently come into extra spending money and I am looking to get into the audiophile hobby. I’ve been trying to look through YouTube videos to find all the things put together but none cover all I want.

I’m looking for Headphones that are great for music and gaming. Something to wear while I’m in discord talking to my friends but still want to enjoy music or whatever game i’m playing. I was originally going to order the HD 6XXs.

On the otherside I want a speaker setup so when i want to play XBOX/PS/PC out loud. These are all going to be on my desk together (ikea Fredde). Have no idea where to start here as there seems to be tons of recommendations.

My budget is around $1300 for this all with a little wiggle room. Appreciate the help.

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welcome to HFG Prophetnoata!!!

well, the most praised headphones for gaming are the Beyer DT 880 600 ohm, but they are quite bright, which is why they are so good for gaming, you hear EVERYTHING, so you’ll want to get a warm DAC / Amp, so something like the Monolith Spark combo would be good. you’d still need a mic, and mod mic’s are popular for that purpose, but the USB one as there is no mic input on the Spark. Schiit Audio has some gaming focused DAC / Amp, but I don’t think they have enough power to drive the 880’s properly and I don’t recall anything about whether they are warm, neutral or on the cooler / analytical side.

for speakers, the powered Kanto YU6 would be perfect! or the YU Passive, but then you’d need an amp for them.


Not sure if you have spent some time reading through this forum, but there is heaps of information on a lot of great setup options.

You might want to check out this post. (update in progress) Falenkor's Competitive Headphone Write Up. Now with added Hardware explanations! - #670 by Falenkor

It’s geared towards competitive gaming, but there is so much good info on different headphones, and a lot of questions asked like yours that encompass music and gaming.

Some things you’ll want to consider is comfort (clamp force) and if your sensitive to bright sound signatures (treble).

I have the 58x’s running on a G6. I love them for music and for general gaming they are great. Super lightweight. It’s an entry level audiophile setup, but it has been great. With your budget you have quite a few options to choose from.

There are some very informative guys on here, like Falenkor, who will probably chime in and give you some solid options. Good luck!

ok hear me out. had really close to this setup (minus the headphones which are more recent) for a long time and it was phenomenal for the price.

DAC: Sabaj A20d $380
Amp: Burson Funk $450 has a day left on the auction and is a great price.
DDC: Douk U2 pro $67
Speakers: Neumi BS5 $110 great speakers for imaging and front ported for that extra chest punch, paired with a Burson Funk they’re actually incredibly capable for being so cheap. Good neutral sound, no piercing highs, decent bass.
Headphones: Hifiman Edition XS ~$450
Cables: HDMI (for i2s input) $15, 2x DAC to amp cables $15

This is slightly over budget but you could totally pull it into budget with a cheaper DAC (like the SMSL SU-6 $150) and not lose much but I’d recommend keeping the Douk U2 pro and use a coax cable to plug into the DAC instead of the HDMI cable and it would mean just getting some RCA cables to go from DAC to amp instead of the XLR to RCA cables and somewhere down the line I’d hard rec getting a pair of V6 vivid opamps for as cheap as you can and put them in the Funk, it really pulls the sound together.

All in that setup would kick serious amounts of ass.

this is… to say the least rather vague. :thinking: Few questions.

Do you have a mic? Do you need one in this budget? how much are you willing to spend on a mic? Condensor(very sensitive), Dynamic(better at blocking out sound but typically requires an audio interface), modmic attachable?

You mention gaming, what gaming? competitive? casual? both? what games fit your preference?

Music is mentioned, okay what genres? What instrumental frequencies catch your interest?

I don’t believe personally people can make a proper recommendation without really knowing what your looking for… otherwise you could end up with the wrong recommendation and buying something you do not enjoy.

useful for competitive… not so much casual orientation. I recommend differently for casual use

dunno bout most praised but they are extremely good… but does OP have treble intolerance?

the semi open back nature of the headphone alongside beyers natural heavy dampening cause a more intimate approach instead of an open 3d surrounding sound with the headphone. There is better alternatives but its one of beyers best well rounded headphones… only the soundstage is relatively lacking in my opinion.

this isn’t a bad idea for beyers as something like spark will roll the treble and warm up the headphones signature more… but I find it hard to make any recommendation unless we know what he prefers in terms of signature to begin with… for example… I myself actually get a headache from too much bass while I know others actually have extreme discomfort for slightly increased treble

if going modmic… go USB or Wireless… the 3.5mm is rather hot on the sensitivity and I highly do not recommend trying that.

Fulla? no, hel? maybe never tested that honestly but I wouldn’t think it’d have an issue… though for that price you can definitely just get a dedicated setup hell for like $300 you can buy a mint combo asgard 3 + modius off 3rd party.

as usual, I am around to answer questions if needed.

^ that, big time. Many a headphone where I enjoyed the sound but the comfort made me despise it. No point in a headphone if it makes you uncomfortable… comfort should come first and foremost

pretty much the gamer audiophile entry level right there… g6 powers up to 600 ohm beyers just fine once the software is set up and placed into full high gain… while 58x is warmer leaning yet very neutral and not offending in anyway as is customary of sennheisers outside of being mid forward(exception to like 560s over there which is brighter or like 558 which is bassier they all have some querk to put them apart) however, if soundstage is very important and needing a large expansive airy sound… then sennheiser really isn’t the choice here… since they are more intimate, more so than say the DT 880 recommended above in some cases

I guess to be more specific as I possibly can.

I play League, MMOs(Destiny 2, WoW, FF14), casual BRs and I want to delve into my Solo Player Backlog, which is half of the reason I wanted to delve into this.

I do have a Blue Yeti already.

I listen to a mix of Rock/Hip Hop/Alternative/Pop/R&B. (this is my daily playlist for a scan which is a mix of everything Spotify) My favorites in the instrumentals are things like Flower Dance by DJ Okawari or On Impulse by Animals as Leaders.

I had another conversation with someone in r/Audiophiles discord. They recommended I’m looking for something like the DT880s, HS400SE, Sundara(Or the Verum 1s if im willing to wait). They suggested the Magni/Modi 3 for dac/amp. Not sure if you can corroborate with the info i just gave.

On the speaker side they suggested the JBL 530s with sub and amp(they mentioned something about if i get a speaker amp with Headphone port i wouldn’t need a headphone amp?) for when I want to not wear the headphones.

Let me know if i missed anything or need to be more specific. Appreciate the help.

Alright so no mic is needed then.

So, any form of competitive really seems unnecessary in this case.

If that’s the case thats more in the mids and definitely the highs for that piano and rest of the tonality there… assuming your not a heavy bass fan then.

Depends on what your looking for but those would be a good fit yea, the only concern there is if your treble intolerant to them… they lean brighter. 880 will be definitely built sturdier than the hifiman and be cheaper while also having more bass tonality… 400SE is very good after a pad swap… sundara is gorgeous but has more recession in its bass… my main concern with hifiman is they tend to be defective out the gate or break rather easily. Verum over there is not only harder to obtain but its quite neutral… more of a timbre heavy headphone if natural-ism is your approach it would work. I would also throw sennheisers 560s in here since it will also fit your search… that and the Focal Elex

as for amps? magni modi would be fine less you really want to step it up… if this is just an entry setup then yeah thats fine… that or the JDS atom stack whichever you can find cheaper. I typically recommend searching used market on these since you can shave around $60 off the stack with the units being in mint condition

I will let the others help with speakers, as that is not particularly my strong suit.

Just really boils down to if you want entry level, mid fi, or hi fi in the end… though I encourage starting out small of course take it in steps.

Personally? in this case? id say the beyer since it has a more flexible signature… pad swapping a beyer flips its signature all over… and can also be tube amped… that or the sennheisers will work in this favor… they just aren’t as flexible as the beyers in terms of pads.

as for amps… for gaming explicitly there is little reason to jump to a very high price bracket… the returns become marginal past the $200 in many cases… though in music the changes are much more noticeable. id recommend as the other mentioned with magni and modi or jds as I mentioned… least till you get a general grasp of exactly what your looking for or what could potentially be improved… then take steps from there if you need to. The amps and dacs youll get recommended here will vary dramatically as there is a ton to pick from and many differing opinions more so when you start going up in price… however, if you don’t know essentially exactly what sound traits your searching for… such as more coloration, clarity, timbre, imaging, frequency, distortion, warmth, forward, roll off, spatial recreation, etc then it can become a major hassle… hence I say just start it slow.

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