So I’m in the market for new headphones and pretty quickly have discovered the a whole lot of things about audio, decided to make use of EU consumer rights (being able to return products within 14 days without a reason)/return policies, and here’s some criteria I’ve assembled:
- Up to 300€
- Primarily used for PC gaming (80%) and casual music listening.
- No dac/amp required
- Comfortable for multiple hours at a time (subjective obviously)
- Will last 5+ years
- Great imaging
- Not bright (I’m quite sensitive to treble apparently)
- Mic not necessary
I’m no audiophile so apologies if I misuse some terminology, but here’s my experience so far (prices are what I found or payed for them). I used to have the original HyperX Cloud, these were very comfortable, sounded okay but am looking for something nicer now.
After initially searching only for “gaming headsets” I ordered Steelseries Arctis Pro Wireless (300€), it had an awful continuous white noise, I wasn’t impressed with the sound and I didn’t find comfortable at all, instantly returned.
Still on the wireless train, I next tried the HyperX Cloud Orbit (220€) with the intention to order the Audeze Penrose(300€) if I enjoyed them. They sounded pretty awesome, but are quite heavy and found them uncomfortable after an hour of use.
From here I started doing more serious research, learning that wired is probably the way to go. I also decided to try some open-backs, I had only ever used closed-back, and thought with my loud PC I wouldn’t find them useable, but actually it’s not a problem at all.
So I currently have 3 headphones:
Beyerdynamic TYGR 300 R(135€): sound pretty good, although somehow I feel like it’s missing detail and occasionally certain voices are painful to listen to. I find the velour kind of irritating, and my ears don’t fit nicely in the pads (either my ears are inside and are touching the drivers, or I need to sit the back of the pads partially on my ears). Attached cable isn’t great and is a little too short for my liking.
Phillips Fidelio X2HR(110€): Sounds less clear than the TYGR, seems like a wider soundstage but that isn’t really important to me. Like the TYGR, I’m not a fan of the velour pads, but apart from that these are definitely the most comfortable headphones I’ve worn. They sit nicely around my ears, and the suspension headband is perfect.
Sivga Phoenix(265€): These sound incredible, I keep wanting to put them on because every time I’m amazed at the extra details I can hear. I can turn these up louder than the other 2 and not experience occasional painful trebles. The pads themselves are the softest and nicest I’ve tried, however they are a bit too thin and I end up with the same issue as the TYGR, where my ears are touching the drivers or I’m wearing them on my ear instead of around. I find myself adjusting these constantly.
All of them had great imaging and I had no problem locating footsteps in csgo/warzone, maybe the Phoenix was a little better because I could have them a touch louder.
So far the Sivga Phoenix are definitely my favourite, but with the thin pads they’re not quite perfect for me. I’ve heard that Sivga are going to bring out different pads for the Phoenix, if they are just as soft and just thicker these would be an absolute winner.
Does anybody have any further recommendations on headphones I should try, given my thoughts so far?