Looking for All Around Gaming


I am new to all this and a bit overwhelmed by all the options and reviews. I am looking to upgrade my PS4 Gold Wireless headphones.

Budget: I am looking to spend around $200 US on the headphones, and then another lump sum on the amp/dac if needed.
Use: I will use these for about 50% competitive gaming (COD, Rainbow Six, etc.) and about 50% other games (Civ VI, RDR2, Jedi Fallen Order) where I would like to be immersed in the music and the action of the game.
Features I Want: I want a good balance between good imaging and soundstage, as well as not sacrificing the bass too much. I have heard that a lot of these competitive gaming headphones sacrifice a lot of the bass. I want to find a nice balance between quality imaging and quality sound balance (To be clear, I am not looking for a booming bass. I am looking for a well balanced bass, mids, and trebles, even if I have to adjust EQs depending on the game I play). I am thinking open back, but if there is a nice pair of closed backs, please mention them.
What I am Looking At: Right now, the headphones I am looking at are the Philips SHP9500 and the Beyerdynamic DT 880 600 ohm. I do wonder about the bass quality on those though. I have heard they are great fro imaging, but are quite lacking in the bass. Also, are the 880s worth the massive price increase from the 9500?

Also, with whatever headphones you recommend, can you mention what amp/dac is needed or if it is just fine to plug in to my motherboard.

Thanks for your help!

The 880s and SHP9500s are great for competitive gaming, but they do lack in the bass a good bit (the 880s have more than the Philips). I’d check out the Beyerdynamic TYGRs. Mostly out of stock at this point, but if you’re patient (or you get lucky with a secondhand pair), they are probably my favorite “all around” gaming cans. They’re great for competitive, but also plenty fun. They’re also lower impedance, so an amp isn’t necessary (though an amp/dac can always help enhance the sound). Since you’re on PS4, I’d look into the Sound Blaster G6. I use it between my PS4 and PC, and it’s great. It’s VERY compatible with console, which is rare from other “gaming” amp/dacs. And with an optical connection (OG PS4 or PS4 Pro), you can use game/chat mix, which is always great for team play. If you don’t want to wait for something like the TYGRs, then I’d probably go for the 880s. You can also mod them to use a detachable cable so the V-Moda boompro mic is a great option for making it a headset.

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I now realize that I didn’t specify this, but I am looking for PC headphones, but I assume your recommendations still hold up. I do jot play PS4 much anymore and I am looking to use these headphones on pc. I will look at the TYGRs and the sound blaster g6. Another thing to consider is I do not play with friends a whole lot so a microphone or headset is not necessary.

Thanks for the clarifications. If a mic and console compatibility aren’t major concerns, then I’d just get a solid amp like the JDS Labs Atom or Schiit Magni Heresy/3+. The G6 will work on PC too just fine, and if you want something like simulated 7.1 or different sound profiles, it’d be a good choice. But I’d probably go for the others if those features aren’t anything you’re interested in. As for headphones, yeah, everything else I said wouldn’t change by emphasizing PC over console.

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For your needs while compared to the 880 and 9500s is narrower but it doe make up on how easy to drive how smooth it is and on the low end. The 58x. Will run just fine off of your mothboard and personally been using it a lot over my Beyers lately cause when broken in they get pretty damn comfy. Otherwise I would get tygrs if you can find them in stock

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okay so, As someone who has sat with both and still owns his 9500 I feel I can probably chime in here. DT 880 is fantastic for gaming. Though if you want bass? I would recommend switching to the shp9500. While you won’t have as much detail or resolution all that jazz the shp9500 is cheaper(it can be bought around $48 actually if you shop around) and can be fairly modified. It changes its sound very well upon pad swapping, can use a v-moda boom pro microphone plug in, doesn’t need an amp but can make good use of it(if you want bass and a cheap combo unit grab ifi zen dac on that one), can be made into a wireless headset through the use of a 3.5mm bluetooth dongle setup. If you get shp9500 grab modhouse adapters and some pads. Suede will somewhat balance out the sound bring in the treble but it will make it very very bassy. Velour will keep the traditional sound out of the gate and sound similar to a beyer like the 880s as its a neutral bright which keeps it great for competitive gaming as the soundstage will remain large and accurate(not as accurate as the 880 however) and at the same time you can experience a variety of different sounds through a simple change in the pads.

A fun alternative to the DT 880 is the Tygr 300r if you can get your hands on them. Not the best for competitive but fantastic all rounder. Another balanced sound all rounder would be sennheisers 500 series or if you play more narrow fps like cod, rainbow six, etc you can go with a 600 series.

Alternatives to the dt 880 would probably be more along the lines of the hifiman Sundara, which sounds better in my opinion, or the HarmonicDyne Helios

You can find a whole slew of headphones and guides and explainations over in my write up and may help explain a few things Falenkor's Competitive Headphone Write Up. Now with added Hardware explanations!

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