Looking for audio setup suggestions for fps gaming

Hi everyone,

I am new to PC gaming and looking for a proper set of headphones/headsets. I play escape from tarkov where footsteps are life or death and other tactical games primarily. I have some Sony Bluetooth headphones that i use for music but they just don’t cut it for games like tarkov.

So here I am, i am looking for;

-headphones/modmic pairing or headsets but must be wired
-good imaging/sound stage for competitive shooters but that can still be EQed for a more
cinematic experience for RTS/RPG games
-Closed back with good noise isolation
-My budget is about $200 CAD but i can push it up to low 300ish after tax max if needed
-Good directional audio for peak sound whoring
-detachable mic is a plus but not a requirement
-angled drivers if possible
-detachable cable
-Good build quality so it doesn’t break within a year

Some that I’ve been considering are;
-Steelseries Arctis Pro + GameDac
-Fostex T50RPMK3
-HyperX Cloud Alpha

I am leaning more towards the Arctis Pro but heard conflicting reports on it

Let me know what you guys think and if there are any other headphone/mod mic or headsets you can recommend.


Some conflicting issues here.

400i and the fostex are not closed back. 400i is open back and those fostex are semi open.

Unfortunately as it appears you do not have an amp this appears extremely limiting as far as budget is concerned. You’d potentially be stuck with gamer headsets less you have an amp to back up the headphone

Trying to achieve this in your budget is practically not existent, least not for something as demanding as tarkov.

Cant really say gaming headsets are going to last

None of these perform that well in tarkov. Especially not that fostex.

Its decent… depends on the game. Personally I really don’t think its worth its price whatsoever

I’m a bit conflicted on recommendations here… there are a few ampless options but they may not be obtainable or drivable.

I mean yah 300 doesnt leave much for a DAC but i dont have to get a DAC right away do i? i can buy one a month or two later cant i?

Is it really that bad? Because i see a lot of people praising it. Honestly dont need a super good sounding headphone for rich music just need one to hear game sounds like foot steps well.

There has to be some closed back headphone that are budget to mid range around my price point. I can live without a DAC for a little while and save that for a later purchase tbh. What would be a good price point to get a good entry - mid range audio setup for tarkov?

You can buy a dac amp later yea but your relying on whether or not your motherboard can handle the headphone and in some cases motherboards cant even handle 32 ohms.

The arctis isn’t terrible, but it’s not that great either. For headsets its alright between that, hyperx orbit, pc38x, and mh752 are all respectable enough. The problem is Tarkov really is that demanding for best results. It makes use of very large staging headphones and extremely accurate imaging for its placements and bad headphones really show how bad they are in this regard with the game.

Your best bet next to the headsets… probably the beyerdynamic dt 770 for closed back. Search the used markets for them as they have been around for a while and you can find them for like $100. I’d first recommend checking your motherboard and see how much it can power. The 770 can come in 16 ohms up to 250 with 250 having the best results. The alternative to 770s are the mmx300 gaming headset which personally I’d say are one of the best closed gaming headsets you can get next to orbit depending on driver preference. However they aren’t the easiest to power and the mmx is essentially a low ohm 770 with a mic so most likely you can get a 770 in low ohms plus modmic for cheaper.

770 does not have a detached cable nor curved drivers. If pad thickness is the concern for curved drivers you can get thicker pads for the headphone. As for the detachable cable, you can get this done through people who offer this as a mod service for like $70 you will have to buy the cable though

Let me think… you can get beyers or similar performance between $100-$200. The amp dac entry levels will be at maximum $200 but around I want to say $80-$120 minimum maybe less just depends on the unit(amps and dacs are more of an investment once you have them your good for many many years and may never need an upgrade less it breaks). Modmics range from $40-$120 depending on the model. All in all… realistically priced with the more ideal results your looking at around… $275. Not including any pads, cables, or modifications. Potentially a bit less however CAD will of course be a bit different


i looked into the DT 770s and found some beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250 ohm Limited Editions for a pretty good deal, its actually cheaper then the 80 ohm on amazon for some reason but i heard the 250 is less bass heavy which is good for fps either way. If i raised my budget for a dac/amp which would be a good entry level one for the 250ohm pair. I heard the FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier is a good budget option. Is it enough for 250amp though?

Been doing a bit of research and considering maybe looking at some open as I heard opens are better then closed for gaming but I’m concerned about sound bleed as my pc is quite loud.

unfortionately, no… it will drive them but not to their full extent… it’s because beyers use an older driver which requires more power… youll need something like a fiio k5 pro, ifi zen dac, soundblaster g6, soundblaster x3, etc

sound bleed? shouldn’t be an issue honestly… while yes you can hear outside them it’s not really that bad if you never used an open back I do recommend trying it… switch the 770 over to a dt 880 for an all rounder, 990 for fully open if your okay with a very sharp v signature headphone, or tygr 300r for a warm all rounder

What does using a slightly weaker amp look like? Does it effect audio quality or is it only max volume because i dont ever really blast my headphones. Those are all in the 200 range would anything a bit more budget like the FiiO K3 DAC/AMP or FiiO Q1 Mark II Native DSD be enough or those still not enough?

How much can you exactly hear with opens? I like not being able to hear my pc and be isolated from my environment i use a laptop so its pretty loud and i often have volume at about 50 or below with closed headphones. Maybe a semi-open would be a good middle ground, how much better are opens versus closed cans.

Honestly the dt 770 with a good dac are getting pretty expensive will they give a significant improvement over a gamer headsets like the arctis pro or Sennheiser gsp 600 in spatial sound and imaging for fps games given the price?
Also whats the difference between the dt 770 80ohm and 250ohm is their an audible difference in quality and sound stage/imaging? Could get away with a more budget dac if there is no difference

im not sure what a v signature sounds like is it good for my purpose (fps games)?

An amp without enough power for the headphone will not only sound quiet and can completely destroy the headphones signature…

I’d ask in the 770 thread for help with a cheap unit that can drive them to full there should be a few that are more budget friendly.

In game? Not much if anything at all… really depends how close stuff is. Its not that big of an issue to be quite honest. I would recommend trying one for yourself to be sure

Semi open are a happy middle ground. Open have more soundstage and generally better performance in fps through their more 3d sound placement around the head rather than focusing the sound into your ears.

The initial cost is expensive. Once you own a regular mic and an amp dac unit you can use practically any headphone for games provided the amps strong enough… yes the 770 is miles upon miles above the headsets… I’ve spent over 15 years in competitive as well as going to circuits and used to think the headsets were good… they really arent… the only nice thing is they are more budget friendly and are designed with comfort and weight in mind but they skip all sound quality… there is some special exceptions which are those I’ve listed earlier

Similar sound just 80 ohm is the bassier bit less treble in comparison… the higher ohms have a better tuning that’s usually more pleasant to listen to just more demanding however soundstage and imaging is the same across ohms to my ear

So when you look at a frequency response graph for a headphone the graph goes lows(bass) mids(vocals) and highs(treble). A V shape on a graph means the signature has amplified bass and treble but recessive vocals. Bass is something you don’t want a lot of in competitive… it’s okay to have some though… however treble is where roughly 90% of fps cue sounds are that and in the upper mids/lower treble… if this frequency is raised it makes things such as footsteps much more apparent over say… gunfire and explosions which are typically found in the lower frequencies. Make sense?

What is your opinion on the gaming branded DACs like soundblasterx g6 are they worth the money or are they a marketing gimmick like headsets. I like that it has up to 600ohm support for a good price if i upgrade down the line and that it has both mic and audio inputs. The other features like surround sound and scout mode could be useless. Would a more traditional dac like the fiio k5 be better?

What about what others hear? If i have a zalman or modmic wouldn’t those pickup noise coming out of the cans. A lav mic might be better due to how far they are from your head. I would like to try but the small AV stores are still closed in-person, only the big box stores like best buy are open and they dont really carry any audiophile wired headsets so my best bet is ordering online from somewhere that has a good return policy and listening to what people say online.

Do semi-opens fall on a spectrum with some being closer to open while others being closer to closed or are they always in middle between the two? Also how are dt lineups seen, is it 880 is better 770 and 990 better than 880 or are they all seen as equals in quality but just a different type of product? Because the pricing in canada is a bit weird, the 770/990 pro are more or less the same price around the $230 mark while the 880 pro is 100 dollars more for some reason. There is the 880 premium 250 ohm at $299 but not sure if there any sound differences between pro and premium version of the 880. Are there any other semi-opens that are worth looking at which are closer in price to the 770?

So a V shape would be best for games theoretically if you EQ the bass down? How does it compare to warm/mid-forward/bright for competitive fps? How important is the sound profile to begin with cant you just EQ to your desire or is there a limit to how much EQ can do?

How’s the comfort on the dt series I forgot to ask I have pretty large ears and comfort is arguably the most important

Thank you for taking time to answer these btw I’m so new to audio dont wanna mess anything up, appreciate the help

my opinion on the g6 and something like x3 are that they are fine for the money but not good on sound quality… they are made quite cheap and definitely are not the best option… however for a gamer who really doesn’t care for sound quality these are fine… the g6 and x3 can power 600 ohm beyers just fine… but some headphones like heavily demanding planars are far too much for such units. Other units such as k5 pro and ifi zen dac despite being same price have better sound quality… however, zen dac isn’t as strong as g6 less zen dac uses it’s balanced port which requires special cables on the headphone making it more expensive. surround sound is essentially just a form of dolby atmos which you can get for any unit and scout mode is just an EQ preset which just raises the treble and is completely useless. K5 pro is technically better yes. as far as “gaming” brand amps and dacs go… most of them are quite bad but the soundblasters are decent for the most part… however, I wouldn’t go to like mayflower or schiit hel as at that price point you can definitely get better alternatives for the money

only some headphones will cause a modmic or something to pick up its sound or if you have it blaringly loud to the point it can damage your ears… modmics are just fine for open backs and many use them without issue.

there are some that do seem more closed than others like the fostex T50rp which is actually semi open back then you have others like dt 880 which is a good mix between the two. Takes a bit of looking into or trying yourself… though this is a matter of preference

they are different from one another, there is no this is better than that as sound is on a person to person basis… 770 is beyers closed back… it is V shaped but designed with different use in mind, the pads are thicker, and it doesn’t come with a straight cable option unlike the other 2, 880 is the semi open back it has a midcentric bright signature able to come in 600 ohms and a straight cable while being a nice mix between isolation and open back, and 990 is the fully open back with a very sharp V signature and the lightest of the 3 it has the most breathability and generally the best comfort. As far as being an all rounder is concerned 880 would be most ideal but for competitive gaming 990 is in technicalities the superior headphone due to being fully open giving it naturally more soundstage, naturally better imaging, more treble emphasis so fps sounds are more forward, and gamers tend to prefer more comfort

there is zero sound differences between pro and premium… the differences are aesthetic, straight cable for premium and coiled cable with pro, clamp force is heavier on pro than premium, pro is designed for studio while premium is designed for regular home consumer, it’s just generally the better idea to go with premium(sometimes referred to as edition) for a gamer.

there isn’t many that come to mind to begin with… its a bit of a grey area and kinda niche being semi open… really there isn’t any that come to the performance of the 3 beyers that are semi open back that comes to mind… the 880 is a bit of a beast when it comes to how it performs mainly in its 600 ohm version… theres a reason people love it so much…

no, a mid centric bright headphone would be the most -ideal-. Upper mids and treble are what you want to look for… a headphone that places the mids and treble over the bass in other words… V shape works fine too however it’s just the mids are pushed back and bass is brought up.

warm is more than likely the last thing you want… theres only a very very select couple headphones that are of the warm signature that I can even think of recommending. Mid-forward are usually of the more balanced signature variety or tend to come with treble forward as well so these are fine, these would be like dt 880, akg k702, sennheisers, focals, and others.

Bright is the bare bones of what you want as this just implies the rest of the signature is neutral, less more midcentric which then the bass may be recessive, while the treble is raised

headphones can only be eq’d so far and EQ takes more power. a headphone represents sound in it’s own way and has its own sound with its own characteristics… EQ cannot change soundstage, imaging, and presentation or a headphone being of the more analytical side of things. For example, you wouldn’t get results of like a DT 1990 by using EQ on an lcd-2 to make it brighter. The sound will be different and the results won’t be the same. EQ can fix alot of problems… but it won’t fix everything.

Beyers use a very soft velour pad and depending on which beyer will determine the firmness of the foam used in the pad with of course closed back being the most firm for isolation purposes. The comfort is fine and in some cases may be some of the best due the beyers being of the lighter weight variety and very soft… however, of course other headphones may be more comfortable such as akg as those are quite light but the pads are larger. This is one of those you really need to sit down and try it to know for sure…

So two DACs ive narrowed down to atm are the g6 and k5 pro, for your everyday consumer so gaming and other media like movies/music which would you recommend. You aren’t losing much by not going the k5 since i wont be doing any studio stuff correct? How you feel about the lack of mic input on the k5 pro with the g6 you can run a 3.5mm jack mic through the dac which would be better then the onboard jack/usb slots. The lack of 7.1 i dont mind since you can get dolby surround to work on most headphones.

How is the 600 ohm version of the 880 like? It is the same price as the 250ohm version. What I’ve read is that the jump in quality from 250 to 600 isn’t as noticeable as 80 to 250 especially since for games which dont use audio files the same quality as studio recordings would. Would the 600 ohm 880 be a worthy upgrade if i can run it? Also would both the k5 and soundblaster g6 be able to run the 600ohm 880 or do i need an even stronger dac?

So for fps games the dt 880 signature would be best over the 770/990 right? What is more important signature or sound stage or imaging. Would the 880s mid centric signature push it ahead of the 990s V signature for games or is the soundstage the real deciding factor.

If i went with the 880 which is mid-centric and considered best ideal for gaming it wont compromise on the music/movie sound though correct. Mid-centric isn’t just good for fps gaming only?

What would your final recommendation be between the 3 DT headphones I’m leaning more towards either the 770 or 880 (and DAC but im thinking either k5 pro/soundblasterx g6 at this point), unless i can hear them instore sometime soon ill probably save an open back for later. Which would you recommend for mostly fps games but one that doesn’t comprise the sound of non fps and can still EQ for non-fps games/music?

K5 sounds better than g6 cleaner and smoother. Different amps, different sound

To be quite honest that mic input on g6 is trash… just a neat extra with voice morph software

Yea you can just pick up atmos.

Better bass extensions, better mids and are more present, more refined and smooth treble compared to 250 ohm which is peaky. Better detail retrieval, and much more scaling

Depends on the person, their equipment, and the source. To me… they sound very different even in games I would easily pick 600 ohm


Not sure for k5 will need someone who’s tested to verify that as I had 250 ohms only at the time I had the unit however g6 can and will power the 600 ohm beyers I have tested that to both t1 and 600 ohm beyers you just need to set it to high gain loud volume in its software

880 is the all rounder 990 is better but suffers from bass issues and potential treble issues depending on the person… this is why tygr exists.

Depends on the game… if large fps then soundstage will make 990 better if smaller fps then 880 is fine but 990 has sharper imaging

It’s quite comfortable for other uses and a simple pad swap can easily change its signature

I’d only say 770 if you need isolation as 880 990 and tygr are far superior. 880 for all rounder use case, 990 if your okay with a bit of too much bass but can tolerate high amounts of treble, tygr better for 990s imaging and soundstage but relaxed and is the other all rounder that can fit very well in casual settings

Eq friendly? 880 definitely