Yet another not so unique gaming-type question… More or less looking for people subjective bias in a couple of setup options, as I am not a technical listener by any stretch.
I am looking to amp-up the GSX 1000. I am aware that it’s not well regarded as far as DACs go, but the features it provides are valuable to me (on the fly EQ, real time mic monitoring, chat mix control on different chip, etc.). If it wasn’t for those features in such an easy to use and simple device, I would ditch it. But that convenience, comfort, and feature set make it difficult to walk away.
I do enjoy Sennheiser quality and sound. Had a pair of PC150s what, probably 15 years ago…? Competitive old school CS player back in the day. The Sennheiser name stayed with me for better or worse. 5 or so years ago, grabbed a pair of HD558. Was running those for a long while, thoroughly enjoy the Sennheiser “sound”.
Went a little wider, somewhat less warm. Grabbed the Philips SHP9500, love them for what they are. Just felt a little too “air-y” too me, although that’s part of the soundstage and imaging. Great all-purpose headphones, though. I can see why they’re recommended so often, especially in gaming.
Wanted to try something a little more “fun”. Went the Philips X2HR route, was not disappointed. Kept most of the soundstage present on the SHP9500 to me, but fuller mid presence and bass/sub-bass response in my eyes (ears?). Much warmer, more comfortable, more intimate, almost a semi-open/semi-closed feel? Favorite pair of headphones to date, but I haven’t put on the HD558 in a while.
Rabble rabble rabble
OK, the point. Amping the GSX 1000 (not double-amping, using line level out). Considering 2 amps at this point, unless someone has a better recommendation…
Monoprice Liquid Spark — from what I gather, smooth (as the name liquid might imply), might add a touch of warmth. Aesthetically OK (this matters too, unfortunately), build quality seems top notch in this price range as well.
Schiit Magni Heresy — measures better, probably super revealing for my tastes? Maybe a little cold or lean in comparison to the Liquid Spark? Aesthetically more appealing to the Liquid Spark in my opinion.
Honestly. Are these subjectives accurate? Or is this splitting hairs? Would untrained ears like mine even be able to tell the difference? Anything else anyone would add from their experience with either? Opinions on other amps that might pair well (I am aware of the JDS Atom, that is a no-go for me aesthetically speaking)?
Future headphone additions look like the Beyerdynamic DT 770 (80 ohm), AKG 7XX, and Sennheiser HD 58X.
Main use case is try hard casual gaming (way past my prime, but been on a serious Valorant kick… bringing me back to the old CS days) and music. If you can’t tell, I like to lean towards the more “fun” side of listening.
Thanks for reading my long winded post. I work nights, I’m delirious.