Best FPS Gaming Headphones by price range; $500, $1000, $2000 and beyond

So I’ve seen a number of topic saying ultimate FPS gaming setup, but there was a budget. The guide that was posted tops out around $350. How about we cover the higher ranges of budgets starting with $500 to truly unlimited. Then others can find something targeted to their budget. Oh and maybe just focus on headsets.

For the unlimited range, maybe not focus on just the most expensive out there because of the cool factor, but because of its actual boost to winning. I’m saying this from personal experience. For those who saw my pre-DAC setup photo, you might know I built the worst RGB hell I’ve seen with 22 RGB fans, 4 RGB light strips… all water cooled with hard tubing (hard is better because…ego?), RGB components so long as they were also top of the line. And now I run with all RGB turned off except the RAM and keyboard, and only enable the RGB puke show when I have guests over who want to see my monster of a system.

So price ranges. From reading on here and elsewhere I’ve put what I think fits at each price range… be warned I have ZERO experience with any of these headphones. I do plan on buying gaming specific headphones too and am not sure how much to spend. I think the budge ranges are useful because what if the $1000-$2000 range has a headphone that costs $1200 while the best below $1000 is $900… maybe that $300 splurge is palatable for some. Or someone can focus on a particular used headphone for sale in their price range.

$200 - DT990

$200-$500 : DT1990 Pro

don’t use a guide when spending this much, as pointed out below

$500-$1000 : used Stax 3100 ($600-$700 on ebay)

$1000-$2000 : Audeze LCD-X ($1700)

$2000-unlimited : no clue

I’ll update this based on what is recommended.

Because most headsets are complete trash. Not worth mentioning 97% of them

Because theres zero reason to go past $500 for competitive as the returns are marginal for gaming due to poor sound engines in fps

Has a guide that already covers most of this just hasn’t been updated to due me being extremely busy

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Kinda agree with falenkor here, it’s really pushing it to spend over 500 on a pair of headphones for only competitive gaming, and even then you can get some excellent cans at 200-400 and call it good for only comp gaming. If it’s a more split mixed usage for music or other media, it’s reasonable to go higher, but for only gaming it really wouldn’t be something I would recommend dumping that much money into

Once you move up the ladder the source gear becomes very important and something to pay careful attention to if you plan to go past the 200 ish range for most headphones

I keep trying to explain this one to others… don’t get very far… like you cant just grab hd800s, clears, or t1 going through a spark and expect it to sound at its best… it just doesnt work. Hell I hated t1 till I went to LP

Alright you caught me, I would likely use them for a dual purpose like pleasure music listening too.

Realistically would it be better just to get say DT1990s for $500, then spend the rest of your budget, say 500 or if 1500 on a dedicated set of headphones for your other purpose? Or are there sets where that extra money would benefit you in gaming and do a great job elsewhere?

I only added that because I think once you figure out an idea of headphones you then start looking at what equipment is needed to run them. Plus it’s a more complex answer to look at dac, amp and headphones. Of course all of them do matter.

Totally, it’s a chain and any weakness in the chain affects everything below it. And even then, high quality components in that chain might not mesh well with other components in a way each person prefers.

I mean I guess it would all come down to your total budget, the type of music you listen to, how big of a priority gaming would be, and then personal sound preferences for the music you listen to for what you end up going with. Depending on the headphones either splitting for a separate gaming pair or one pair for both use cases could be viable

That’s true, but like it can substantially change the expected cost lol, let’s say you grab a focal clear, you will be wanting to spend an extra grand for the source gear to drive them well

Yep yep just because they are high quality components does not mean they have synergy with each other

Your guide is great BTW. Had I found this ages ago I would have saved myself 100+ hours of reading half assed answers.

I guess I posted this thread with trying to get an idea for headsets above $700 as that’s where Falenkor’s tops out.

I guess it’s too personalized of an answer to build a one size fits all response. I like those neat little answers, but it’s not that easy.

Exactly, and when you are planning to be dropping that kinda cash you really don’t want to be relying on a guide imo

I’m thinking I should change this topic to, why you shouldn’t depend on a simple guide to spending 1k+ for a gaming setup. Haha.

It’s just that when spending that much, you really want to know what you are looking for in the first place, and properly tailor the system to needs and wants. Also I wouldn’t really ever encourage someone to start off in the high end, it’s really better to start in the lower end of cans and try things out, and move up the ladder as you will learn much more that way and navigate things much more effectively, and also become a better listener as you move up as well, and realize what each step brings over the other and what value each step brings. Jumping right into the high end without having established preferences and no previous experience with the tier below just tends to be a bad move from what I tend to see

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That’s true. I would hope that people would have some experience before spending that much. I’ve certainly encountered a few people who jump in and spend 5k+ on their first purchase. In trying to find one of the dacs you recommended, I ran into more of them.

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Could’ve just asked lol. I have quite the many above that I can recommend. I kept it at a limit because of the marginal returns and source gear severely dragging that price up. I’ll chime back later if you still need help… looks like m0n has ya covered

I’ve seen people do that before but their setups they end up with are so mismatched or misplaced with they spent it’s not even funny lol

Wait which one was it?

Benchmark DAC2 HGC

I also ordered the balanced Drop Dac and SMSL SH9 for my wife’s computer. I was thinking of the SingXer to play with between our two computers. I also ran the spdif to the benchmark if she wants to use speakers when I’m not home.

Speaking of that thread one of the Focal Shape 50s will be showing up today. I can’t wait to compare it to the HS5s on which I’ve noticed a lot of muddled mids with certain songs. It just can’t keep up with a lot of the faster paced stuff (I think that’s what’s happening?)

One of the guys selling his Benchmark DAC3 (for $100 off msrp) has a Diana Phi and told me it’s best with a Schiit Mjolnir. That seemed like an odd combo.

O shit you are that same person lol, you didn’t have a profile picture at the time so I didn’t connect the dots lol

Will be very curious to see how thing go

Ehhhhhh that does not sound like a good setup to me, I would really really want a better amp in that case as that’s going to hold back the phi alot

Ha yeah I realized I should probably put something up.

Money doesn’t equate to sense, experience or intelligence. If he wasn’t selling the DAC3 for basically msrp I’d hope someone would get a deal on his gear as he sells it off, but I don’t think that’ll happen.

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It is funny. I used to have the t1.2nd gen with a LS and sdac. I felt it was not worth it when I have both the dt880 and dt990. Now that I upgrade to modius and A3, RNHP the difference between them is noticeable. Going from the t1.2nd to the others is like the resolution is cut in half LOL.

Going from 880 and 990 to the t1 on liquid plat is night and day to me

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@Falenkor @Alfredo3001 just curious what do you both think is the best Dac/Amp combo to use with Beyer headphones. I remember Fal saying the Element 2 that I have makes the headphones more bright/harsh cuz I was considering getting a Modius/Magnius combo to help calm the treble down a little. I imagine I’ll be getting the T1.2 at some point. Would you say that it’s a noticable difference between the two amps? Or aim for something different? Thanks