New to the forums, but not new to the head-fi world. I have been using my Sundaras for about a year now which are paired with my Aune T1 Tube DAC/Amp. I use the Sundaras for everything; YT, Netflix, Spotify, Discord, and for gaming, specifically first person shooters like Warzone. I feel like they are not that good in pin-pointing direction in terms of footsteps/gun shots and have been looking at other alternatives. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to pick a headphone to try, despite spending the last two weeks watching videos and reading reviews. The headphones I was looking at are as follows: LCD-GX, LCD-X, Elex, 1990 Pro, TYGR 300R, Dan Clark Audio Aeon Open X, Ananda, and Edition XS.
I am sensitive to treble, but have no qualms with getting different pads/EQ/modding them to tame it. I was set on the 1990 Pro’s but am worried about diminished returns for competitive gaming at that price point when compared to the Sundara.
Can anyone who has listened to any of these headphones chime in with some feedback, please? Testing any of these in person is out of the question because no stores like that exist near me. I’m not looking for a headset since I use a Blue snowball mic and my budget is anywhere under $1200 USD
i mostly play overwatch, but also some apex and cod. here is my personal current ranking list for comp gaming of the headphones i own or owned recently:
Sennheiser HD560s: My Nr.1 pick for competitive gaming. Great imaging, decent soundstage, great tuning for fps, not too bright, not too bassy. Also lightweight, but a little bit clampy, it has the sennehiser clamp which i personally dont mind and if you have big ears they might touch the bumps on the driver baffle which could cause discomfort.
Tygr 300r: great imaging, wide soundstage, overall the most accurate depth perception (of any headphones i had) to my ears. the tuning is a bit more on the fun/boomy side, so if there is lot going on, it might become a bit too much, but overall its still great for competitive gaming. Also quite lightweight, but my ears touch the driver which isnt that comfortable for me personally.
DT1990 (analytic pads): basically the tygr 300r with better tuning for competitive gaming. depth perception sounds a tiny bit more accurate on the tygrs tho. its heavy and has a treble peak, which isnt the best for long term comfort. balanced pads werent that great for me, they add way too much midbass bloat.
pc38x: lots of controversy about it. some say its the best ever, some say its really bad. for me it performed great, its basically a darker sounding hd560s. also lightweight but not as comfy as the hd560s.
hifiman editon xs: really good for music and immersive gaming, not that great for competitive gaming. super wide soundstage, almost too wide, depth perception feels off. also the sub bass slams really hard, which can become distracting if there are are lot of bass heavy sounds (explosions) going on. also quite heavy, not that great for long term comfort.
dt880: worse than tygr and dt1990. decent tuning, decent soundstage, decent imaging, but seperation lacks a bit when a lot is going on. not as bad as the hd650, but not as good as a tygr or dt1990.
hd650, hd660s: very small soundstage, bad seperation when there is a lot going on. i love these headphones because of their comfort, but playing overwatch with them is impossible for me, because the game has so many sound effects going at the same time, which the hd660s/hd650 cant handle.
i had quite a few more, but i havent heard them in quite a while so i wont include them in my ranking.
I had the DT1990, I found them very uncomfortable and the treble taught me that I don’t like bright headphones. If you are sensitive to treble probably give them a pass.
For straight up imaging and separation my Austrian Audio x65 is hard to beat at the price. A lot of their headphones are for mixing work, so not really for pleasure listening but might work well for gaming. Comfort is pretty good with them. Also, the detail is insane enough that I can’t listen to many albums with them because they reveal mistakes in the mastering.
Your problem isn’t the Sundara… it’s the game. Switch to a headphone with a smaller stage and as accurate imaging as possible while maintaining good layering/separation.
1990 and tygr are fine, erase the rest. If your very sensitive… elex is going to hurt your ears due to its aggressive shouty nature… 1990 while sharp can be equalized and maintain it’s overall signature while still being extremely analytical. Tygr is going to be a hard step down vs the 1990 due to warzones annoyance in relying on all spectrums of the frequencies due to awful sound engineering and design(hence the garbled mess where the game just likes to break every now and then or the game just decides to tell you nah your not hearing this person) it is due to this I would sooner recommend the DT 880 over the tygr in that particular games case as it responds better with a more even signature overall.
I have been summoned. Shotgun response!
Best bang for your money is right here. Solid, no fall backs, strong in every single fps on the market excluding tarkov due to lacking soundstage but that’s fine since most gunfights in tarkov are close-mid quarters fights. It teeters on too bright, would recommend if going with this have a return policy. Much smaller stage compared to sundara, however very good imaging and tuning is extremely on point with a pleasant casual use on top of it. Comfort as @jurgupower mentions is… questionable I had that problem personally speaking… if you have issues with comfort consider a HD 598 or 58x Jubilee more specifically the 58x since it’s better in most respects… do -not- go with a 6-- series due to issues with 3 blob imaging and soundstage that is a bit too shallow overall while the 660s is better on imaging it is also darker making it harder to place sounds and it’s overly smooth nature does get a bit in the way at times
Wouldn’t recommend 38x to my worst enemy, less that enemy was a trash can
XS and other planars like it are relatively heavy, demand a lot of power, and just don’t typically suit this use case. Most of these are very good for jack of all trades or immersive casual use cases… especially in the case of that aeon you mentioned. Would not recommend whatsoever especially in warzones case seeing how many planars have a much larger soundstage especially with hifiman’s airy style house sound
As far as the recommendation of that Austrian headphone, I have not heard nor tried that brand so I cannot speak on that one personally. If comfort is a concern on the 1990s… change the pads… there is a huge plethora of changes that can be made to the 1990 while maintaining its capabilities and the treble is very easy to EQ back as most of it’s sibilance is found in it’s peaks which takes just some experimenting or by simply looking up someone who has measured the 1990 and toning down the respective frequencies.
As for this, it’s a starter level entry headphone that can be modified to hell and best when modified… however, in my opinion and from experience it will not outpace the sennheisers like 560s by any stretch of the imagination or the DT 880… if your budget goes over $150 your better off with another set of cans
Keep budget within $600… you don’t need more than this. Another thing I will mention is that your using a tube amp… consider getting a solid amp/dac… tubes tend to warm up the sound… warmth can cloud up placements within fps. If at all possible, provided you know what you want specifically try to shop third party mint condition through trusted sources to save money
Thank you all for the super detailed replies. I went ahead and bought the TYGR 300R which arrived today. I love them so far, just wish they had a stronger clamp. So far so good for gaming, and I think I like them more than my Sundara’s for music. I appreciate you all.
Changing the headband on the tygr 300r is really easy, all you need to do is order the metal head bow of the pro version version which has more clamping force. Idk where you living, but in germany it costs like 10€+delivery. Then all you need is a screwdriver, its quite easy to change the headband on the tygr.
Another option that might help is just to bend the headband. Besides the plastik parts on the side its all metal, it is also quite easy to bend, Dont worry, you cant really break anything, i have bent beyer headbands in all forms, it can take it, just bend in on the top and not on the plastik on the side. Maybe take the headcushion off so you can better see how your bending it. Maybe you can bend it in a way, that fits you better.