Best well rounded gaming headphones

They definitely never caused me fatigue… the DT series is incredibly comfortable I could wear them all day, and do happily as I am still borrowing the dt 1990 from a buddy. 58x definitely has more body and warmth while the 880 is brighter and has more treble while still catering towards a neutral style sound. I prefer the 58x for both cases generally but thats my personal preference as I like some body and warmth to my headphones when I am playing casually. 880 would cater more in the competitive range but still be okay for casual gaming. For the DT series I have gotten into a habit of telling people to see if you can’t trial them out before outright committing to the purchase, Especially in the case of the dt 990s. While I don’t think you will have an issue with the comfort. The sound is more of a personal preference and some people are treble intolerant

Also for the price range, what do you guys think of the hifiman he4xx headphones? Just for comparison sake, as I’ve seen them listed elsewhere as being good for gaming.

Based off this discussion, the Beyers sound like they might be the way to go. I do like a little warmth in sound though, but I’m sure messing with an EQ long enough I could probably accomplish that without taking away too much. With Fry’s Electronics basically being a shit show, I’m not sure where I could go to demo headphones these days.

Actually solid in both cases on that one, however they are power hungry and normally want for an amp to really bring them in to full potential much like the other hifis. I think the biggest issue is quality control for the hifiman product line, while I hear it has gotten better 3 different headphones in a row have broken on me in a short period of time. Needless to say though they are really good and are based off the 400i, just improved. I would ask @RiceGuru over there or @M0N who can explain more on the 4xx. To me 400i was a tad aggressive but I loved the Sundara which is a step above(can be bought for $250). I will say… if you go hifiman… and you can afford the Sundara? Get the Sundara. amazing all rounder.

1 Like

Anyway, so the topic got a tad side tracked. Let’s get back on track here.

58x Jubilee: like we said before this is a good pick and an all rounder. It’s warm colored and if anything either flat or balanced hard for me to tell. Due to how this headphone sounds it is actually good for a wide variety of music, casual gaming, and i’ll say moderately good in competitive. $150 price tag usually on massdrop but sometimes you can find it sold by other people for less. This headphone is based off the HD 580 there are some other alternatives like the HD598 and 599 along with others but from my personal experience I like the 58x a bit more for the recommendation board unless the person is out of country and can’t access massdrop. Does not need an amp at all but can make use of them which may alter the sound. Pads are velour and clamp force was hefty out of the box on these and definitely recommended stretched the metal band. Once you reduce the clamp force these are comfortable and provide a pretty good seal on the ears despite being shallower oval pads.

DT 880: I do have to put this on the list. Like stated before this is definitely a brighter headphone while it does cater towards neutral it still retains a V signature, meaning mids are recessed while the low and high are raised. Due to this signature it makes it strong inside of competitive and moderate in casual. This particular headphone requires an amp as ideally you want this at 600 ohm for the best sound. Regardless of my dislike for it, I cannot deny it being a good headphone it’s just not for me.

DT 770: now of the 3 in this series this is the closed back version with the 880 being semi open and 990 being fully open. I do really like this headphone however the sound signature, least to my ears, is different here and sound more like a U signature to me. This headphone just like the other 2 suffers from some sibilants in cases, the dreaded ssss sound from talking or otherwise is amplified,which can turn some people away and make things slightly uncomfortable. The sibilant issue as far as I am currently aware was tweaked and fixed in the more expensive models. The more expensive model for the 770 would be the 1770 however I firmly believe the massdrop version 177x is by far superior in every single way and doesn’t need an amp. Due to the closed back nature this headphone has a deeper more pleasant bass like you would expect from a closed back. Despite being a closed back this headphone still feels fairly open even in it’s sound and still retains some very nice comfort to it. Due to the closed back nature and extended bass this headphone has the least soundstage of the 3 yet is still good for both casual and competitive I would definitely say more so casual. Like mentioned in the others… recommended the highest ohm possible for purchase for the best sound and requires an amp

DT 990: This is probably one of the only headphones that I have a love and hate relationship with. Many complaints from people on this headphone due to the incredibly sharp treble and sibilant you can get off this one. This can be toned and smoothed by the 600 ohm variation and a liquid spark amp, alternative amps that can also fix this I am unaware of at this point in time. By far the best of the 3 for competitive but not so great in casual like I said previously. Low and High frequencies are boosted mids are recessed all of which are much more than the dt 880. This one I definitely recommend some form of test or make sure theres a proper return policy on… this is at least imo an acquired taste and takes some getting used to comfort is still incredible.

All DT series come with velour pads and similar comfort, 770 will have more clamp and stiffness due to being closed back and built for different purpose in studios. All 3 can be found used but more than likely in mint condition from $70 and up compared to their normal price of $130+. On the 600 ohm versions the “Edition” or in other cases its listed as “premium” was the version you would want to look at instead of the “pro” as only the higher version had the 600 ohm.

Tyger 300 R: this is another from beyerdynamic but is of a “gaming headphone” type so it’s not requiring an amp. I haven’t tried these myself. M0N can fill you in as he has a pair hes testing. From understanding these are like the dt 990 32 ohm but a different more pleasant sound to them, as the 32 ohm variation of the DT series sound bad.

Philips Fidelio x2hr: I wanted to put this on here due to just having a cheaper option as you can find these used for really cheap… this is actually a really nice “Fun” sounding deep bass headphone thats just all around pretty damn good. These don’t need an amp. Build quality is actually really nice on these and pretty comfortable. Detachable cable 10 feet and braided. V moda boom pro works on this headphone. though I had some weird artifacts in the mic so may either need tweaks to sound settings or just use a mod mic. Velour pads and big ones at that very soft. Don’t really get very warm on the ears perfectly manageable. Unlike the DT which can be analytic these are smooth and warm. Vocals have some sparkle and texture. Nothing to aggressive and is nice and fairly laid back. Sound stage is pretty spacey on these. Bass is toned low and deep and textured. Mids are recessed but nothing to overbearing. Gaming on these isn’t as good as the 58x as the high end isn’t as layered so competitive isn’t the greatest. However, the soundstage and overall energy that these bring is great for those really exciting soundtracks and open world type of games. To me personally? I really do think these can go head to head in some cases with the 58x and I really do like these more so since they are actually the same price. Bass here though I don’t think is as strong as the 770s can provide.

I would recommend the k702, k712, k7xx, ad700, ad900x, and ad1000x but they don’t have the greatest bass. I will say on these as special mentions is that the k7 series has extremely large sound stage as kind of a trade off and the ad series over there is bright and colorful I just wish it had more bass to it and of the 3 only the ad1000x I feel offered full seperation of sounds…

Hifiman 4xx: I can’t speak completely personal about this as I had the 400i but what I do know is this is the slightly altered version of that headset so I will speak on my experience with 400i. Open back Planars which if you know planars they bring a unique sound to them, faster with a kind of “slam” in their sound I would look into this yourself if you want to know a lot bout the difference. Ear cups are pretty big but I had the issue where my ears were too tall and rubbed across the top of cups here kind of rubbed on my ears probably wont do that to everyone though despite that… still comfortable. Pads are a hybrid with velour and leather and very little clamp force though fairly hefty though it sits pretty balanced from my experience. Open back here is REALLY open personally I feel sound leaks out of my sundaras or even the 400i I had more than my other headphones. Technically can be driven without an amp but should still have one imo. Sound wise… sparkle on the highs and pushed back, low end is definitely noticeable, and mid is feels more front and center but felt quite a bit aggressive to me outside of that the sound was layered really well like a more balanced sound. Definitely not analytical imo and more for immersion and enjoying the music. Gaming these are GREAT for immersion like… REALLY good as far as casual gaming these are fantastic. Competitive though… I can’t say as much while it does have good staging even wider than the 58x and imaging and you can definitely pin point sounds the issue here is the treble. It’s pushed in the back instead of being treble forward which makes this headphone warm and can cause some trouble in competitives

Hifiman Sundara: I am only listing this because I fully believe this is better than the 4xx but it comes with a price. Priced at $250 on and possibly obtainable cheaper from people(this is unrecommended due to hifimans issue with quality control and has a full 365 return policy). The impedance is low but these should have an amp much like the 4xx but can be used without one. Pads are improved here by using a new pad called “Pali Pad” I found these a hell of a lot more comfortable but still have the top of ear issue haha think these are like microsuede though. These feel MUCH more solid than the 400i but unfortunately doesnt have a rotational swivel on the cups. I do feel that a more manageable cable for these would be nice it kinda sproings all over lol. The sundara compared to the 400i takes a lot from the lows but lifts mids and highs with more detail and clean sound to it. sounds spacious like sitting in a theater. This headphone definitely has some brightness to it but not by any means to much. Around the same sound stage maybe a little better here as gaming in competitive I didn’t have much issue finding where sounds were. Foot steps are pretty easy on these despite the high still being pushed in the back. Casual wise? this gets my straight up approval and is an instant buy for the immersion these can provide and replaced my 58x in terms of casual playing. These are absolutely FANTASTIC for all rounder and definitely better imo than the 400i. Albeit more expensive. Note: while it requires an amp to really sound its best imo it doesn’t need a super powered up amp at most $100 amp is fine here and can fit really well. I would say an equalizer to emphasize the lows just a hair may be good for these and they are fun to tinker with as they respond really well to the eq. My literal only complaint on these before I upgraded was the fit on my ears and quality control. Overall your looking at around $350 maximum for this setup that includes the amp since you already own a modmic otherwise itd be right at $400 for everything if you include uni modmic.

Of course you can always go a gaming headset as I will put these in honorable mentions here: the steel series arctis pro + Gamedac and Hyperx Orbit are actually some of the most solid sounding gaming headsets I have ever tried and in some cases can out perform some headphones with surround sound, hi res, and built in equalizers of their own and studio style sound.

1 Like

that took some time! I can post upgrades to those that are listed as well. Amps recommended for the DT series are definitely the Magni 3+ for the 880 and 770 as considering what I know about them right now I feel they would fit well and for the 990 I definitely support the liquid spark in that case. these two amps also fit really well for the others listed. Edit: working on more headphones without amps now post.

1 Like

Gotcha gotcha. I guess they might be something to consider them. Because if I get them or the dt880s, I’ll need an amp.

Also saw the ATH-AD900x on Amazon for $145. I’ve seen reviews that they have good imaging and a wide soundstage. Not sure what you guys here think of them.

Check the special mentions I did mention the ad 900 there. to save you from skimming. they have coloration to them are a brighter headphone but a real wide soundstage and good imaging… ad700x was regarded as the cheap king in the gaming despite having weak bass and was highly regarded amongst even the dt 990 and 58x jubilee in competitives alongside the k702 but this also lacks bass

1 Like

Holy crap just saw the huge comment you made while I was typing that! I have so e reading to do! Thank you fir all of that Information!!

As far as without amps go I have mentioned a few that don’t need an amp. Others in your price range would be gaming headsets but, needless to say, I have an extensive knowledge in that area. Sound wise for gaming headsets outside the two I did say are the

Sennheiser Game one or pc37x massdrop same headphone just better,

Sennheiser Gsp 500 or GSP 670 both really good sound and very solid mics that come with them,

Astro A40 TR with mixamp 2.0 good but feels cheap capable of being open back or closed back strong contender due to options,

Beyerdynamic Custom studio originally I would say the custom one pro plus but due to the compression in the sound on that I have to recommend studio which may require an amp in the case of a weak motherboard or soundcard otherwise this does provide a nice studio sound with weak ohms despite not needing an amp and fits well with the modmic.

Corsair Virtuoso or Corsair HS50 these are solid but more of an acquired taste not the best but still very solid sound.

I will throw in the mmx from beyer but its over priced imo

and lastly I will say theres a new headset I am going to be testing myself called the JBL Quantum One which is in the same market price as orbit and steel series supposedly sporting more studio sound yet having a mic

There are others but I do not believe in gaming headsets they are worth it in this case.

Upgrades cause I feel like mentioning them!

DT 1990 pro: this is like taking a 990 and a 58x and mixing them together with a beautiful sound. Taking that V sharp and pressing it more towards a neutral or balanced yet bright sound this headphone is incredibly ideal in both casual and competitive and sounds absolutely incredible in imo any music I have thrown at it. Bass is deep clean and detailed, mids are brought back up and sound more balanced and still detailed, tones are great, sound stage is still just as wide as the 990s, imaging is still on point, treble was dialed back but still remains front faced and the lows still stand out with a very satisfying thump to them. These can actually be found sold by other people at the cheapest I have seen for $300 despite being price tagged at $600+. If there is any headphone I recommend for gaming it is DEFINITELY this one and theres only two I feel so far that I have tried is better for immersive gaming. Needs an amp

DT 177x on that note of better for immersive this is the massdrop version of the 1770 which is the next step from 770. This is the polar opposite of the dt 1990 focusing on fantastic immersion and even better bass but less sound stage while also being able to run on essentialy any platform unlike the the 1990. These are just as satisfying and still maintain that U sound but toned and dialed up to close to perfection. I found no sibilance on this and the treble is up there but just at that right spot where it isn’t too much. Lows are deep toned and textured and mids much like the 1990 are also brought up here with even more toning. It honestly feels like they make the 1990 and 177x more warm in comparison to their lesser alternatives. Found for $300-$400 these are great.

Beyerdynamic T1: I actually can’t comment on this one yet. I haven’t sat with it… but I would say it’s definitely a step up from the 880s from what I read.

Upgrade to 58x: personally I haven’t found one? some people swear by the next one though the 6xx but it has a smaller sound stage so maybe better for casual instead of competitive in that case…

also incase you were curious on the tygr 300 r you can find information here 🔶 Beyerdynamic TYGR 300 R I should also note the tyger 300 r CAN be bought seperate on its own but it has to be bought directly from beyerdynamic. It’s in the gaming headphones tab of their site

Hmm, I’ve had the opposite experience so far. The 177x was my first Beyer, and then I got the 1990s and was like wow, this is what the Beyer sound is all about. The 177x were kinda boring by comparison. More recently I got the 1770 Pros and pad swapped to leather and am completely loving them. I need to go back and do a pad swap on the 177x to see if that “fixes” them for me.

The easy driving and cheaper price are big plusses for 177x, but last I checked Amazon still had 1770 Pro for ~$415, which is only $35 more than Drop’s sale price on 177x, and totally worth it, IMO.

hmm, I cant really compare the 177x to the 1990s though man… Different signature and open vs closed. I will say that changing the pads imo fixes some things with the 177x like the perforated brainwavz perform well like z reviews mentions. I think the biggest issue I had when I sat down with teh 1770s is sibilance in some cases and in my copy I think may have been defective cause I had driver rattling.

I have not listened to the 1770 Pros or the 1990s, but the 177Xs for me have been a huge upgrade to my 770 Pros as I’m one of the people who deals with the sibilance issue the 770s can have, which I’ve heard is even worse / more aggressive in the 1770 Pros?

Anyway, I love the 177Xs and I’m using them basically as my all-around daily driver and that includes for gaming. When I’m looking for a more specific sound I switch them out.

I would say it’s sort of the same maybe stronger in the 1770 but my ears didn’t see much difference as far as sibilance between 770 and 1770 at least to my ears… it’s definitely harsh and is why I preferred the 177x. The 177x does seem to respond very well to certain ear cushion replacements too. I don’t personally use these anymore but I did for a while when I had them, friend sent me his copy to borrow. Now I use aeon open x for my immersion go-to and dt 1990 for other things like competitive gaming and certain music meanwhile if something benefits off of a low treble I switch to nighthawk carbon

1 Like

Not to derail the topic here, but how would you compare the sound signature of the 177X vs the 1990s?

thats a biiiig oof on the difference hahahaha. SO, I do see the 177x as a more of a U signature while still having some brightness and neutral or warmer sounds here and there the bass is hefty on the 177x but I find it incredibly immersive due to how detailed the low end is for some games. Meanwhile for competitive gaming there is no contest here as the dt 1990s wins hands down. They still maintain that massive sound stage which is where the 177x lacks while maintaining a good V signature so emphasis on lows and highs with treble still front faced mids were brought up a lot more too so it makes everything sound incredible and the seperation is 100% on point whereas the 177x while subtle every now and then it sounds a little off or melded in music or some sounds especially if its off in the distance. Literally comparing a U to a V whereas the U isn’t as severe and more laid back then the V, which I find brighter and sharper, yet both cater towards a warmer kind of neutral approach. Two sides of the coin. I personally think that both are completely incredible headphones and it boils completely down to how your ears hear them and what your preference is

1 Like

Yeah, definitely no rattling on mine–that sounds bad!

When I sat down with 1770s and default pads there was something in the mids I wasn’t thrilled with–just an odd tonal coloring that I could have overlooked for the price point, but I decided to see what a pad change would do. In short, it reigns in the treble and beefs up the bass. There is a slight “closed-in” flavor to it, but it’s less obvious to me than the mids problem I fixed.

Meanwhile, the bass is kicked up to near TH-X00 levels, except the mids are crisp and forward. It’s a fantastic signature that I’m liking a lot for high-energy music.

I played with it a little for immersive gaming and it has seemed pretty good. Was just about to dive into Alien Isolation on those cans to see how well they hold up.

1 Like

Yeah, one thing I keep hearing about the 1990s is how they are just about the best you can get for gaming and also as a studio headphone for monitoring/mixing music. I went with the 177X instead because I needed the closed-backs for work and also that reduction in treble. But I would like to own a pair one day!

The 177x has that issue in the mids its because its recessed though not as bad as a V signature. I do feel the pads definitely fix both headphones for the better… I personally loved the perf pads that were suggested to me for the 177x and felt they made them a hell of a lot better especially on the bass and mids whereas the highs felt a little cleaner. went well. @alphamarshan I will say this… 1990? I would be hard pressed to find a better gaming headphone that also doubles as a phenomenal sudio headphone like it does however, for casual gaming and immersion? Aeon for me wins hands down not the original aeon… Aeon open X from massdrop or the Aeon 2 supposedly but I have yet to try that variation these are a godsend to my ears for immersion takes everything I loved about the 177x that deep bass that lovely high and combines it with the effect of a sundara so it sounds more like a theater the highs are pushed back but raised to perfection and the mids are balanced with perfect detail while maintaining a very warm laid back signature and being a planar magnetic so you get that real nice quick beat from those planars. Edit: here comes ant. Choo choo


I think the Helios could make a good gaming headphone. especially with the treble and imaging/separation I heard someone compare it to the Beyer’s. But idk. i hesitate to recommend them

friggin knew you were about the bring up the helios! lmfao. Find me a pair for $100 I will buy them and give them a hell of a look over buddy. I want them but not for that price to risky since no returns. Big fan of the V signature and I want a more aggressive in your face V style headphone so its up my alley. Just not for those kinds of risks