Looking for headphone replacement

Hey everyone

this post will most probably be controversial but here goes…

I used the Roccat kave 5.1 digital headset for around 6 years, and it was perfect, I am now looking for a replacement as the cable got screwed from the inside (thin wires, and there’s a failure point at the headset where the pressure cuts the cables with time)

anyway, even with buggy software drivers, that headset was insane for me, perfect audio imaging with the true 5.1 surround that was in it, nice punchy bass and rumble, the mids were ok, the treble was just good for me (I have this thing where treble gets painful after a while if I don’t hear enough bass)

but the time has come for the Kave to lie in a grave, as the cable was damaged, and the headset itself was starting to have issues, and I need a replacement

I got the Kave aimo… BIG mistake… shitty headphones and of course with 7.1 software imitation of surround the sound imaging is GARBAGE and it doesn’t switch to proper stereo mode, it just kills off the other channels and you’re literally left with a much lower volume and it’s just crap!

TL;DR: I need a good gaming headset with good bass and good for music, and also should have good sound imaging so I can pinpoint where my enemies are, I can’t find a good one for the life of me, having a good mic would be great

and I’m not using any DACs or AMPs, I just need a decent pair of headphones with a mic attached, doesn’t matter if it’s USB or 3.5 mm jack, I just need something that works for my daily use

I’m looking for my options within the 200-250 EUR mark, I can’t really go above that range

I’m looking at sennheisers right now, the options that I have are like the g4mer zero or maybe the gsp600? but I’ve heard they can sound like crap, and I’m not sure anymore, at this point I’m thinking maybe I should buy another Kave XTD

any help would be appreciated

I have the Kave 5.1 with the stupid “sound mixer”-thingy sitting boxed up under my desk to remind me of my past mistakes.

Three options:

If you went USB-mic (and maybe a cheap arm), the AKG K-361 or K-371 are options, maybe the Sony MDR-7510.

yea man, that’s the 1st version of it, the one I had was the digital (2nd version at that), along with the controller and the software, man that thing sounds a lot better once you dial it in with what you want, unfortunately you can’t do that with the analogue one, I feel for you :frowning_face:

anyway, I know Sony makes insanely nice headphones, I’ve always been a big fan, and yea in that case I’m going to have to get a USB desk mic, something decent, going to have to check it online

cheers man

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Right so, after reading this let’s start with microphones. Like suggested you can make use of a usb mic or an xlr + audio interface mic. These two would be essentially your typical streamer boom mic setups you see for gaming. For this method it’s worth looking more into a Dynamic mic then the regular condensors as Dynamic picks up less backround noise. XLR will give you the best mic quality of the two of these and usbs have a strange habit of breaking down.
Theres also the alternative of an attachable boom mic turning the headphone into a headset like mentioned above there is options like the V-moda, which is only usable by specific headphones, Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser, and Antlion Modmic. Personally, In this case I would say either V-Moda or Modmic is your best option whereas the v moda is cheaper but only if your headphone can support it meanwhile the mod mic can run you anywhere between $40-$120
Lastly, is just the regular headset option. No matter what in any shape or form the “gaming” headset genre doesn’t do very good in terms of sound quality and fidelity. There are a few very special exceptions which I will list outside of the Kave you mentioned but even they pale in some areas and are outclassed by a good setup for headphones.

Alright so, let’s start right off the bat here and say that without an amp/dac your options become fairly limited in this area and only a select few will be good especially in your price bracket. Let’s start with essentially the top 3 headsets I know.

Steel series Arctis Wireless / Arctis Pro+GameDac / Arctis 7: Solid especially the version with the gamedac and can push out not only surround sound but hi-res audio with the gamedac variation. Comes with an equalizer to customize sound and preset settings that are good for competitive and casual. Mic on these are of good quality not crystal clear but good enough. Usually $280 maximum but can be found otherwise on sale or used for a lot cheaper.

Hyperx Orbit / Audeze Mobius: These two headphones are essentially the same in almost every way outside of $100 difference and one being wired the other being wireless. Unlike steel series where you can customize the sound manually this just has built in presets that you can change from the ear cup i.e. footsteps, rpg, music, etc and the sound style being stereo, surround sound, hi- res. Mic is of a generally good quality and overall build quality is that of an audeze concerning the hyperx orbit. 3D software is a unique feature of these allowing for for a simulated 3d environmental sound, fun to play around with but I didn’t find myself using it too much. Microphone can be detached and the headphone has an extra 3.5mm port that allows access to V-Moda which is the better microphone in this case. Good sound for “gaming” genre and is one of the only planar gaming headsets on the market. Usually $300 but can be found used for much cheaper despite being mint condition.

Beyerdynamic MMX300: I don’t normally recommend this but this one is solid for the genre. Studio grade sound and comes with a studio grade mic. Good, just a bit expensive for what it is. Not much to comment on this one. Never bought it myself but still a strong contender.

Honorable mentions: Corsair Virtuoso/Corsair HS50, Sennheiser Game One/pc37x, and Sennheiser gsp 500/670

Headphones or Gaming Headphones

Tyger 300 r very strong contender here for those without an amp/dac. Needs a seperate mic. Good sound and reminiscent of the DT 990s which are a godsend for gaming competitively however, not as good as the dt 990s in their high ohm variation.

DT 880s/990s + MA400 amplifier + Modmic: Very strong basic setup. Amplifier is dirt cheap in this case around $40 whereas the headhones will run anywhere between $70-$190 and the modmic can run from $40-$120. Run the 250 ohm variation of these headphones in this setup. Probably one of the strongest contenders in this list. Both of these sound fairly thin with 990s sounding the most thin. In terms of competitive the 990s would be regarded as the best however, 880s is more well rounded for multiple applications. Both are good and in this case I would recommend first finding a way to audition these before fully commiting to their purchase.

Phillips Fidelio x2hr: I will place this only cause of its fun bass and overall general sound being good in gaming. Compatible with the V-moda these are a very cheap option just in general. Not particularly recommended from me but still a decent enough option.

58x Jubilee: not the widest sound stage but everything about these is really good inside of gaming. The beyerdynamics I listed above here would be stronger contenders but this is the All-Rounder so to speak and typically will sound a little better than a dt 880, the dt series tends to sound a little thing whereas 58x has more body and has a flat signture to it. Typically around $150 or so for this headphone and paired with a modmic.

Hifiman HE4xx: Planar magnetics and at this price point ones that are hard to beat. Use a modmic. Issue with hifiman is their quality control is pretty bad be wary of these. Really great headphones even for gaming are really solid here. Just keep an eye on issues with the headphone. These can be a little more power hungry and may need a consideration of a weak amp later on.

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Anything Massdrop is either buy used or out of budget in the EU.

While that is a nice to have, at 200€ budget for a setup of Mic, Interface and Headphone, a bit tight.

which is why most of my post focused on modmic which can be obtained for roughly $40 or so minimum and the headphones listed can be found all over the place in a slightly used condition for much lower than the price you will pay going straight from the store. There is a issue with other countries and massdrop which is unfortunate as the alternative is a much more expensive headphone… There are decent side grades to the 58x and he4xx but they come with a cost usually to the sound. Alternatives that are decent to the 58x are the HD 579, HD 598, and HD 599 though they do sound different and have different bass from one another. Meanwhile the alternative the the HE4xx would be the Hifiman 400i or 400s respectively as they were the previous versions before the massdrop version came out much like the 58x is based on the HD 580. All of these would be considered fairly solid but depend on a persons preference.