New Dumb Arse newbie trying to get started

OK, budget is around 800.00 and all i have is the PC, I play MMO, FPS, and like to listen to Music, so i was watching Zero’s videos, and he goes all over the place lol, so i thought i needed a DAC/AMP and a good set of headphones, with a micmod, also i hate headphones, i have big ears, and the cans never seem to be big enough, and the squeze on my head give me a head ache. i know you guys get hammered with these questions, so if there are more articules i need to go read, or more videos just link them, but i would like to have a good all around set that are great for the spatial awareness in FPS. all i ahve used to date are Razer as i did not know aby better

1 Like

Not sure how good they are for gaming but the Hifiman Ananda and Edition XX might be good for you. BIG cups. and light clamp. Do you know what sound you like? bass? treble? midrange?

i prefer mid, and bass, to much trouble for too long also give me a headache, but again that is on poor quality items, never had anything purpose built for it

okay so I have a general gist of what your looking for but I think the best question for you from me before I can recommend anything is if you are wanting a more strictly competitive style of sound headphone or something that is more of an all rounder, these will usually have more bass and other frequencies and won’t be as “ideal” for picking out fps sounds such as footsteps.

depending on the cost, maby buy 1 Dac/AMP and two headsets? one for general use and one for FPS? as i said newb but would that be the best way to go?

Well this would be up to you entirely. You can get an all rounder for just 1 size fits all use or 2 headphones one for strictly competitive and the other for mmos, music, etc.

Perhaps my write up page here in the competitive threads will help explain things a bit further… ?

here you will find guides toward the beginning as well as an explaination below those guides as to what type of sound signature you want ideally in an fps and why. You will also find amp recommendations in there and generally what I would consider best based on budgets with their explainations. Though in headphones higher price doesn’t particularly mean “better”. That write up is for “strictly” competitive headphones. All rounders there is a wide variety of recommendations that are based more on preference of the person

This makes me rather concerned as far as brighter headphones are concerned but there are some headphones with some subtle brightness that are still good for what you are looking for. Due to this trouble I would immediately rule out something like a DT 880 recommendation in your case as this is a much brighter sounding headphone and may cause issues… Though there are plenty others on that list.

ok so this is no longer recommended? Sennheiser GSX 1000 this is what i was trying to base the build off if but i dont see it in the list for DAC/AMP anymore

Definitely not. This dac/amp is very gaming inspired sure but it is very weak. It struggles to power even general 250 ohm headphones in some cases. It’s for very low requirement headphones and isn’t worth it honestly not when you can just buy something stronger like a Schiit Hel or Ifi Zen Dac and not only get a better sound but a stronger amp/dac

Heres some recommendations that are more well rounded.

Tygr 300r: Bassy, good clean mids, very slightly raised highs with some dark tones, Soundstage is very large, imaging is laser accurate, mixture of aggression and relaxed sounding, speaker like presentation. $200. Doesn’t need an amp but it helps

Aeons: Capable of changing its signatures through its tuning pads and responding best to a balanced amp of a higher tier this is a headphone with respectable bass good clarity on the mids and ever so slightly increased highs with a treble roll off. Great detail and extremely well rounded. Aeon Flow retuned can only be currently found on Dan Clarks website and Aeon Open X is the massdrop variation these are usually $500. Aeon 2 is outside your budget. Demands an amp

Sennheiser HD 558/559: Bassier well rounded balanced sound with a moderate soundstage. doesn’t need an amp and can make use of a 2.5mm boom mic attachment

Fideliox2Hr: Warm, smooth, bassy and the big bassier brother of the shp9500. Shares the detachable cable like mentioned in the guide. can be made wireless through a bluetooth 3.5mm dongle. can make use of the v-moda boom pro. Very well rounded warm headphone though bass can be seen as a bit muddy. amps not needed but in certain cases it may be… best to have one on this headphone

Shure 840: closed back… just straight up Neutral sounding headphone. amp not mandatory but will help

Akg k712/k7xx: unlike its brother the k702 this isn’t as analytical and has more of a bass presence to the sound will still sharing the huge soundstage and its inaccuracies. Better for all rounder use in comparison but still not very bass heavy. amps can help here

M40x: V signature with more neutral mids. Not bad. portable, using a 2.5mm detached cable, can be made wireless, can use a 2.5mm boom mic, demands a pad swap. Doesn’t need an amp.

These are to name a few… theres quite a lot that can be recommended

In terms of Vocals Sennheisers and Focals have some of the best vocals. T50RP modified is also a good one if you are okay with modding a headphone. Versions of sennheiser after the 58x Jubilee have a very small soundstage and aren’t ideal for competitive fps. Focal will require a strong amp as will the Fostex t50rp which can be turned into the argons

The other brand that is more well rounded for bass and mids are something like the Nighthawk Carbons these were discontinued but you can find them… they aren’t “Ideal” for competitive as their treble is dark but still good and the other would be the Audeze brand but these tend to be incredibly expensive and the only one I think in your budget would probably be El-8’s series or maybe LCD-1

Recommended amp setup would probably be Magni 3+ / Heresy + Topping D10 as a starting option. Liquid Spark if you are picking up a brighter headphone. Schiit hel for combo unit

thank you, i am reading all and looking up each item

I agree with this. I bought one of these since zeos raved about the surround effect of them. I definitely liked the effect for gaming, but I found it to be pretty weak as far as power output. I ended up returning it since mine was buggy anyways and I haven’t thought to buy another one. It powered my Audio techinica ad-900x at the time, but I can’t imagine it doing much more than that.

Personally I would only buy one used for real cheap(under $80). The schiit fulla and hel seem great to pair with a modmic or vmoda.

1 Like

I wouldn’t even touch that GSX 1000. That virtual surround stuff is generally garbage anyway and you can get that software for damn near free with Hesuvi or Dolby Atmos. They want $200+ for that amp/dac I can go grab a schiit Hel for that price which walks all over the GSX 1000. Better yet I can also go grab a Magni 3+ or Liquid Spark + Topping E30 and again that will demolish that little amp/dac. Definitely not worth it in my opinion even at $100 range cause then you have IFI Zen, SOundblaster x3 and G6, Schiit Fulla 3, and FX audio Dac X6 for even cheaper all of which are generally more powerful with fula and x6 being closer to the power output of the gsx 1000

1 Like

When I head gaming and that budget, I always think of this:

I use aeon2 closed for gaming often and they’re really good. This bundle seems like a pretty good deal to me and it covers all the needs


Oh, looks like they fixed the page… I asked them a couple weeks ago about that as originally it just said Aeon Flow not the RT variation. I mean it’s not bad particularly but your not saving a ton of money with that bundle and Modmic Uni is a mic that runs pretty “hot” too as far as a mic is concerned… not the best. Still a great setup bundle though.

1 Like

Yeah, it solves the problem in one go, which to me is often attractive. Also I feel like all mics below a certain point are not great and mod mic usually puts out the best in the price category. But it’s been a few years since I’ve used attachable mics so :man_shrugging:

If they would have put Modmic USB or Wireless in there that would have been a hell of a lot better. yeah though will agree very attractive bundle… I think dan clark realized his headphone was good for gamers too lol. That “Feels like a closed back sounds like an open back” is quite nice

brainwaves xxl pad swap. you will thank me later. i have huge ears. trust me those the pads you want on w/e phones you get.

Where is your store or affiliate link? How do you profit from my choice?

Would the sound blaster x7 fill the Dac/amp need?

TLDR : @David_Williams

If you have $800 and aren’t a bass fiend…

Enog 2 + Archel 2.5 Pro + Hifiman Sundara. Feel free to switch out Archel for Erish (which is better tbh, but costs a tiny bit more and you’ll need a balanced aftermarket cable).

I used that setup for a while, and it is fantastic for gaming and music.

edit : and cause I’ve been told headset mounted mics are all the rage, get a blue snowball and use push to talk if you aren’t a console gamer.

The Rest of my commentary :

Geshelli Labs Archel 2.5 Pro (or Erish) headphone amp is $200ish with cables. Geshelli Labs Enog 2 Pro DAC is about $200 with cables. Hifiman Sundara is about $350. Tack on $25-50 if you go Erish with a balanced cable (recommended). Total should be about $800 new.

I have owned all three boxes and loved each. I currently am selling my archel (and possibly enog together for $225), but the erish is my baby.

If it’s your first dac/amp combo I don’t need to go into the sound sig too much. Especially so since the Geshelli stack is particularly inoffensive, detailed, and musical. Just know that you will need an optical cable and/or a coax cable for the DAC (and ports on the mobo to receive them).

The Hifiman Sundara is a fantastic headphone for the price. Especially for games. Nice soundstage, great imaging, good separation, well balanced frequency response, good build quality, great comfort, the list goes on. Only downside is for those of us who have experienced better or ‘more natural’ sounding headphones find them boring now. However, to get that you’d probably have to spend a lot more on headphones, and since these will be the best pair of headphones you’ve ever owned you will not feel that anything is lacking.

Would I buy the sundaras again now that I own what I own? No. Do I know of better options for my specific preferences at the price? Yes. Is there a better all arounder headphone at the price? Probably not. Highly recommended as a beginner hifi headphone.

Hopefully that helps! Lemme know if you’re interested in the Geshelli boxes.


+1 on the Sundara. If you can catch the open box ones for $250 from they are a steal at that price!

As for dac/amp… maybe look into a B-stock JDS Element II for $350.

Very solid all around setup for a beginner.

1 Like