Best Gaming Headphones for Around $300 Budget

Hey, sorry for a post that is commonly asked; I can’t seem to find a post that fits my circumstances. I currently have an SMSL SP200 amp and an SMSL SU-8 DAC. The headphone I’m using is the Sennheiser HD 600s. I enjoy these headphones for movies and gaming. The problem is that my circumstances have changed, and I now prefer closed-back headphones primarily for gaming (for footsteps), not movies. I play a large variety of games, but I would like headphones that “shine” in CSGO and Escape from Tarkov; as the title says, I’m willing to spend around $300, maybe up to $400ish. I’m looking for the best soundstage and imaging for my price point (that are closed back). My gaming sessions can last up to seven hours without breaks, so it will be preferable if it is comfortable. I would also prefer a wired set of headphones that I could plug into my amp and DAC. Any recommendations are appreciated, and I will attempt to be active for the next couple day to answer questions.


Closed backs for tarkov? Yet with best soundstage and imaging topped off with a cheaper budget?

Only really one comes to mind honestly that performed well for me within that budget area… that was only Beyers 770 and in some cases that 700 new closed back… but the bass is a touch too much… if you can eq it back a bit(and are okay with doing that to begin with) I would just encourage that… I know many who play tarkov with the 770 and do exceptionally well. Not too many closed backs really have that “big” soundstage

trouble is though, your used to sennheisers which are heavily in the mids so that may be a deal breaker for you.

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First off, thanks for the reply. I already use 770s as a backup, but I don’t like them. Do you have other suggestions headphones-wise, and should I turn up my game and play with open back?

Thats unfortunate, what did you feel could be better on them?

Well, you said you now prefer closed backs which of course there is options just not very expansive stage options so to speak. Any reason why the preference towards closed?

I recently moved, and the environment is much louder.

Gotta say I am drawing a pretty good blank… but the two that are coming to mind at the moment are HIFIMAN HE-R7DX and Focal Elegia… which Focal is essentially just a cut above the sennheisers in most ways with elegia being their closed back. Those are both still more in the mids and highs like your 600s so you may appreciate them more. Outside of this to my memory you’d be still in a more narrow soundstage like the 600 you already have. Then again, perhaps someone else can offer insight into that as well for this price margin

Thank you for the response. Could I get your personal opinion on the Focal Elegia and if it may be able to become my daily driver.

One of my favorite headphones from them and can absolutely 100% become a daily driver, feel free to head over to its respective forum and ask others about it. It has a pretty cult like following. The imaging isn’t really “laser sharp” but it gets the job done with a good amount of stage. It’s extremely hard to really get a large stage out of a closed back to begin with however, Focal has an extremely dynamic rather energetic sound that is gorgeous in the mids and highs with a good bass tonality that tends not to really get in the way or bleed.

I think the biggest drawback are usually the pads for them since focal charges a lot… but I stopped using Sennheisers once I got my focals because I just found them to be far better especially in terms of closed backs. They are light on the head, but the clamp is a bit much if they are new… be warned you may need to stretch them over the course of a week or two to get them to lighten up as they clamp for monitoring uses…

heres a frequency response graph to help out with that one

mind you the elegia is at the max of your budget there… you may be able to find them cheaper if you dig around or 3rd party them. I have seen them go around $300-$350 at times in mint conditioning

How is the imagaing compared to the HD 660s?

I am still newer to the community, but to me, this looks like the highs are recessed; is this correct?

Is the forum also on HifiGuides?

Yep right there

its raised then dips back more towards neutral… it sounds brighter than a neutral sounding headphone like sennheisers

660s are ridiculously good at imaging qualities both are good but id say 660 wins there. Though a 660 is an open back if were talking open backs youd want to look at HD 560s as an alternative to the 600 since it has more stage, 660s for its imaging, or if focal… youd go from Elegia to the Elex