I am looking for headphones STRICTLY for gaming

After some research, I have ordered the Sennheiser HD700 and the Sennheiser GSX 1200 as the DAC/Amp

I am looking for the endgame setup for gaming (which is not in the HD800 range as that’s out of my budget), I can return my headphones if I can find better headphones for my needs.
I am looking for soundstage and imaging, I am going to be using these headphones 100% for gaming as I make money off of it competitively.

A couple of questions:

  • Which is better for gaming? Sennheiser HD700, Sennheiser HD660S, or the Beyerdynamic DT1990? (list other headphones that you think can compete)

  • What is the best amp+dac combo for gaming? Should I stick with my GSX 1200?

I already have a ModMic 5.0 to attach to the headphones.

Remember that I am going to be using these headphones strictly for gaming, and I am doing so because I make money off of it competitively so I feel it is a worthy investment.

What games are you currently playing at a competitive level?

For FPS I have always preferred a smaller soundstage with better, more immediate imaging. I have preferred In Ear Monitors for this reason rather than an open back headphone.

Are you considering changing the sound of game cues and accept the fact that out of game processing may not always work as expected?

For FPS, I would recommend adjusting the treble frequencies for sound cues like footsteps rather than adding soundstage or altering it as there is less consistency and you would need to relearn sound cues. Added soundstage usually comes at lower volumes where as an adjusted EQ can enhance what you already hear.

What is your current headphone or headset and what is your budget?

But to answer your question on HD 660S or DT 1990 Pro, both have a quick sounding response, accurate imaging, and soundstage. The DT 1990 Pro has wider soundstage than the HD 660S, but again due to having a wider soundstage I use my 1990’s for casual gaming. When I want to play competitive FPS, I still favor the intimate soundstage of my Westone UM Pro 30 IEMs.


I play Fortnite.
My current headset is the Logitech G933.

I have already ordered the HD700 and the GSX 1200 but haven’t used them yet.

What are your thoughts on the HD 700? And what has the best imaging out of the three headphones?

Ok, I am from an older time of gaming when competitive CS was a thing and before ‘GO’ was added to the end, so this should apply but might not translate exactly to the new looter-shooter FPS. I always wanted more treble for footsteps to figure if people were present and imaging to know where people were. Soundstage was not in my mind as I knew the game cues for distance and movement (e.g. the sound of a set smoke bouncing into place…I could tell you if it was good or not by sound), and crosshairs placement was a larger part of aiming. In a modern looter-shooter you may want soundstage to prioritize as these games require more raw aim with a lot of verticality. For a case like this, it will probably take time to relearn what thing sound like if you decide to go with an artificial soundstage enhancer.

So from what I can glean out from various reviews on the G933, it appears to be v-shaped (emphasized bass and treble). The HD 660S is going to sound more neutral with a flat frequency response. The HD 700, from the frequency response graphs, have a treble spike at 6.5k Hz (for reference most game have footsteps between 4k to 8k Hz) and less emphasized bass which may actually be appealing. The DT 1990 Pro is a neutral headphone with a treble bias (6k to 12k Hz) that can be modified with the ear pads to be more v-shaped or mid-forward.

For imaging, the HD 660S are probably the best, followed closely by the DT 1990 Pro, and last but also close to the rest the HD 700.

For soundstage, the HD 700 has a larger sound stage, then the DT 1990 Pro, and last the HD 660S is fairly controlled.

I think if you are looking for soundstage and some treble for footsteps, then the HD 700 might be a good choice for you. But, I’m not a fan of things like the GSX for extra soundstage. I think LinusTechTips did a thing on it once and came to the conclusion that it helped people not as familiar with the game cues. Also, HardwareCanucks explained that he felt it is a great thing for more casual game play due to being more immersive than as a tool for competitive gaming. My personal thoughts on it, try with just the headphones and adapt to them first because HD 700 is a good set of headphones which may do exactly what you are looking for already.

If you don’t need the GSX 1200, then spend less to get a Topping DX3 Pro DAC/AMP. I doubt anyone would try to swipe the Topping DX3 at a lan.

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Thank you for the detailed response.

Some more questions:

  • What do you think is more important for gaming? Imaging or soundstage? I am thinking of returning my HD 700 and getting DT1990 Pro as it seems like it has both good imaging and a good soundstage, or maybe the HD 660 S for its superior imaging that Zeos praises. What would you choose out of the 3 for a game like Fortnite?

  • If I don’t like the virtual surround sound in the GSX 1200, will the stereo mode it offers suffice?

Simulated surround sound be it DTS X or Dobly Atmos or the GSX do their best to accentuate and extrapolate stereo audio from a game unless it is coded as a feature in the game. It changes the sound to a great effect but towards immersion and I’d argue not necessarily towards accuracy and consistency in imaging. I say accentuate as from hearing game stereo input through most headphones, your brain does the mental calculations from the slight delays and different intensities between what the left and right ear hears to present a sound image in 3D space. The software solution outside of the game takes this information and transforms it to give the auditory illusions of a larger soundstage. To over simplify, the software needs to do a best guess for extrapolating position to make things closer be louder, things further to be quieter, and to do it properly (e.g. coded as part of the game that most add-ons cannot do perfectly) timings, phase, frequency, and decay of sound also should change. For example, if Dobly Atmos is part of the game, then I would say yes to trying it and seeing if there are positive results as it costs nothing to do so, but generally the 2.0 or headphone option in games is sufficient with a good imaging set of headphones.

I am strongly of the opinion that changing sound cues in a competitive game would hurt performance outside of equalizing or compressing the volume of specific sound cues like footsteps. To my mind, consistency is more important than immersion or the 2 percent exception case for competitive gaming.

I think imaging is more important for competitive gaming than soundstage. To that end, when I go into try-hard mode for competitive games, I go back to the small, intimate, immediate soundstage of my Westone UM Pro 30 IEMs because they have exception imaging. I can game competitively on the DT 1990 Pro that I use for everything else (mmo, music, movies, rts) as they have great imaging too, but I find the extra sound stage distracting. Perhaps this is because I am so used to a small sound stage, but I don’t think I could stare into a wall b side at mid facing tunnels on Dust 2 and determine upper or lower in the same way or as quickly.

For a choice between the three, I’d have to agree that the HD 660S probably has the better imaging, but I do not think any are night-and-day different from each other. As for what to choose for Fortnite, I am not sure since do not have much experience with that game.

And if anyone else wants to jump in to fill my gap of knowledge on what sounds and cues are important in that game that may make someone want a wider soundstage (as a lot of people on the forum tend to want to say is required), then we’d both appreciate it as I could just be a dinosaur giving outdated information for my favorite Doom clones.

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I appreciate the response. I just heard about the Audeze Mobius, are those good headphones for gaming? Or is the 660S better?

Zeos has done a review for this headset:

The measurements suggest more bass, a little less treble, and decent imaging without the software but not as good soundstage, or a potentially moving/drifting sound image with the extended soundstage. This being said, I am going by reviews and what Zeos mentioned rather than first hand experience.

For consistency in competitive gaming I’d say the HD 660S.

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Thank you.

Do you think it’d be a good idea for me to swap out my HD 700 for the HD 660 S primarily for gaming?

If you are used to a wider soundstage already as per the 7.1 option on your G933, then perhaps transitioning to the HD 700 might be the best thing for you. It will give you better imaging, detail, and separation though it may sound wider. For consistency, especially if you have used the G933 for a while, the HD 700 will probably feel like a substantial upgrade from your current gear.

This is really personal preference. Again, my gut reaction for what I would want in a headphone for competitive FPS would be a smaller soundstage with exact imaging, district separation of sound, and the ability to give minute detail.

I was able to find a list of top streamers to get a feel for what at least ten players like. From the selection, it seems split fifty-fifty for headphones vs headsets, large soundstage vs smaller soundstage, and wired vs wireless. All of the audio gear on this list does imaging at least well, but the HD 700 is the only extremely wide, expansive soundstage headphone of the ten and it still has better imaging than your current headphones. The HD 660 S has even better imaging but much less soundstage than most of the tens’ selection.

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Where did you get hd700?

Let’s disregard my G933, as I am fine with spending time getting used to a new sound signature.

One of the most crucial scenarios in Fortnite is when you’re in a building and you need to know which floor your opponents are moving on. I need to know if they’re above me or below me to make calculative decisions, this is simply impossible with my G933.
Do you think the HD 660s are better than the HD 700 for such cases as they have better imaging?

unfortunately no headphones are very good at protraying above or below . unless some sort of software is used

[quote=“RiceGuru, post:13, topic:2775, full:true”]
unfortunately no headphones are very good at protraying above or below . unless some sort of software is used
[/quote] This is kind of true, but enough time with a headphone you can start to tell.
I’ve used a few that were really good at telling me if they were above or below to pretty much exact positions, but most of them are out of the price range for most people.

What headphones were those?strong text

Currently, I’m testing out Meze Empyreans, so far they seem to work really well for above and below.
I was also testing out an HE1 in gaming, but that caused me to have a sensory overload in a lot of games so I put it on a back burner for the time being.

Honestly I can tell if someone is above or below me in siege purely off game sense. Yes it experience with the headphone but also the game.

Having good gear won’t make you good at the game. I wish more people would understand that. It isn’t all about what you use, its about how you use it


well i mean having good gear can bring out your potential for example if you are going from a 5 dollar mouse to something like a model o or a g403 that could significantly improve how you play but yes I agree it’s still up to you to be a good player

Yeah for sure, it’s just I see too many people blow their budget on the nicest mics, headphones, peripherals, and get an overkill PC, thinking that they now will be incredibly skilled at whatever they’re playing. It’s good to have good gear, but for me, I have to prove to myself that I would actually need it or benefit from it. I’d say that most people will play great with average gear, and won’t see a drastic benefit from going higher, unless it’s a big jump from lower tier hardware. TBH good monitors, mice, keyboards, and even PC’s have gotten so much better for cheaper, that you hit diminishing returns pretty quickly

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