Purely competitive fps headphone

First, hello. I am very well aware there are similar threads in the past few months, I have read them and I hope this will be more specific.

Budget is 500€.

Will I listen to music on these? yes but consider I will be using this for gaming only.
I play to win, because winning is fun. So here is what I need from a headphone.

• good imaging(where sound is coming from?)
• good soundstage(how far sound is coming from?)
• good detail separation and clarity (i dont want to hear explosion but do want to know how many enemies are diddling behind this wall and what are they doing/stepping over, metal, wood, water, etc)
• comfort (dont get too do much gaming so when I do… its gonna be for 6+hours probably)
• build quality (lets say if I were to drop it and its dead, no good im clumsy.)- I actually could and would spend extra over budget here since all my wired headsets have retired due to me ripping the cable.

So I want to hear my enemies as soon as possible, as accurately as possible.
I do no care if the headphones replace footsteps with floppy penis sounds as long as I get to hear them faster and better than my opponents.
EDIT: also comfy and sturdy, want to buy it and own it for quite some time. Also just hit me, maybe im asking too much from this headset at this budget?

I had dt 770 250ohm that plugged into my mobo (alc898), founded fatiguing and felt like small sharp needles were piercing my ear. however sound quality was good.
Pretty much exclusively used gaming headsets. Just very recently I visited a friend and had well the dt 770 i mentioned that i returned, sound quality exceptional.

headphones ive seen recommended over and over.
•TYGR(other beyers as well, but that fatigue aaa)
•AKG K712, K702, K701, K612

I would also like to do minimal tweaking to the eq. I also just want to point out that deciding on a headphone has easily been the hardest hardware choice Ive had to make.

I would recommend to check out the Youtube Channels “Fresh Reviews” as well as “Gaming Audio Guide”, they have some really nice videos about that topic.

Me personally, I just switched from the DT1990 to the HD560s, because i feel like its much easier to locate sounds with them. A bonus is, that its much lighter and because of that more comfortable on long gaming sessions.

I also had the DT770, 880 and 990, i would place the 1990 over them and the HD560s over all the Beyers i had. I didnt have the Tygrs, but its basically a 990 driver in a DT880 case with some foam to improve the sound (dampen the treble). So i doubt, that it would perform better in competitive gaming besides having a less harsh sound signature.

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Welcome to the forum @hellbendert35 !

Firstly what is the source that you are going to be using to drive the headphones? Is it your motherboard? As that will likely hold back most headphones and possibly why your old dt770s sounded very harsh.

My top 3 suggestions would usually be dt880 (600ohm if you have a good amp), dt1990 and possibly the k712 as they have good soundstage and are well regarded for gaming headphones.

The others that you have mentioned are all good (although I personally hated the k702s and k612s I had due to comfort).

I will probably get a amp or dac/amp as well!

@Kron I have tried the dt770 on my motherboard and used a friends creative g6 external sound card for a few days. Sounded different but not better, i assumed it was due to the software the g6 came with.

are the akg’s sturdy? what exactly is lacking comfort wise?

The 250 Ohm of the DT770 is actually not easy to drive and need a lot of power, i wouldnt use these without an amplifier. The DT1990 is much easier to drive than a 250 Ohm DT770/880/990, even tho its also 250 Ohm. Reason for that is that sensitivity also matters a lot and the 1990 is just much more sensitive.

However, the DT770 will always be (same as the DT990) a very harsh sounding headphone, it just has a lot of treble. The DT1990 as well as the DT880 are better in that regard (the tygrs probably too), but still are treble heavy headphones.

Avoid motherboard audio, its just not good. A Creative G6 should be enough to drive them tho, just make sure that all the software “enhancements” are turned off, it actually makes them sound worse.

EDIT: How i said, i find the HD560s much better than Beyerdynamics, also the treble is not as sharp as with the beyers.


So far Ive talked to people on discords ltt an such, saw they said dt 770 is very easy to drive. ALso i did have turned everything off(digitally enhanced 7.1 on the g6, again @2 days).

also how come the hd 560s are better at gaming or so than higher version like hd660 or 600.

there is no benefit for gaming going higher than 560s, even if small?

Cool, I’d suggest looking a little higher than the G6, maybe something like a Zen dac or an Atom stack for example.

The AKGs feel pretty good in terms of build, they’re no Beyerdynamic but they aren’t bad IMO. The comfort problem on the two I had were that the pads were really hard out of the box and so were the headbands. The k712/7xx have different pads and headband so I think they may be better. I personally am very sensitive to hotspots on the top of my head so I only really get on with softer suspension strap headphones, its one of the reasons that I am way more into IEMs now.

so last 2 headsets were a Razer Kraken, I was reckless and broke the cable. Got really mad and 1 hour later bough a wireless Razer Nari essential. Now straight up Kraken was better sound quality and it was obvious.
Now i can definitely tell the imaging on this Nari is not bad by any means, i can tell where things are.
But the lack detail and sort of range, muddy or muffled.

As I mentioned I am willing to splurge a bit over what I would’ve bought 1 year ago, hence i want to hear with clarity and range whats happening around me in shooters(apex,warzone mostly).
For “detailed headphone” I assumed its the ability to separate different cues from each other, footsteps to the right, gunfire above, a door opening to the left, guy jumping behind me switching weapons like mad, or they could be in the same direction, as long as u can i guess effortlessly pick that up im good to go.
It really feels like somepeople that i play with do hear these cues more clearly and are not obscured by other ?frequencies?. Sort of like the game generates the sound but somewhere in between the game and my ear, information is lost and/or diminished to an extent that my ear/brain cant process/detect it.

Sidenote im kinda interested in the Sundara since its planar(new), is that any good, heard people talk about how easy planars are to damage.

Overall im not quite certaain what to expect from an openback but im definitely getting one.

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I have not tried the HD660, so all i say now is from people i heard talking about it: The HD660 are darker sounding with basically no soundstage, but with very good imaging. The HD560s has pretty big soundstage (at least bigger than the DT880 and DT1990) with a neutral/bright sound-signature and also very good imaging, which u want to have for competitive gaming. I know a lot of people say that soundstage doesnt matter and all that matters is, how good the imaging of a headphone is, but I find it way easier to locate the distance of a sound with a bigger soundstage.

I personally used the DT1990 for over one year now, i got them because people were claiming that it is one of the best headphones for competitive gaming. I think its very good, i for sure I notice an improvement over the DT770/880/990, but its also a very heavy headphone, which is not ideal for long gaming sessions. I just recently seen a video of the youtuber “Fresh Reviews” in which he claims that the HD560s is better than the DT1990, and for sure i thought: Yeah, he must be wrong, everyone says the DT1990 is one of the best. Since i wanted to get the HD560s for music anyway, because i heard a lot of positive reviews about it, i bought it and was seriously impressed. How i said, i have been using the DT1990 for over one year, so my brain basically has “burned in” the sound signature and usually it always takes time to adjust to a new headphone/sound siganture. Well, consider me suprised, after even one game with the HD560s it felt much easier to locate sounds. I basically was denying it and was like: yeah, impossible that a headphone i got for 150€ is better than my 400€ DT1990 which is praised by a lot of people. So I kept comparing with the Dt770, 880 as well as my daily driver the 1990 and always came to the same conclusion: I just think the HD560s are better.

With the DT1990 i often had the feeling, it overloaded my brain with absolutley useless information, which was more distracting than usefull. With the HD560s however, i feel like i get the right information at the right time and its also much easier to judge the distance of a sound source.

I cannot tell u if there are other headphones which are better for comp gaming, because i have not tried them. But i have had the HD599, Fidelio X2, DT770, DT880, DT990, DT1990, ATH-M50x as well as several gaming headsets, and out of them, i for sure think the HD560s is the best for competitive gaming. U can pair it with a 30€ sharkoon gaming DAC, which is more than good enough to drive it, and a 2,5mm Mic Cable form Amazon which fits the HD598 but als the HD560s and have a really good competitive gaming setup for under 200€.

The 250 Ohm DT770 are not easy to drive, i dont know who would argue otherwise. The 32 Ohm Version of the 770 is the easy to drive version.

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HE400se:) i think they work very well purely for gaming or the dt880s 600ohm version

I have watched Fresh Reviews competitive series for audio several times actually.

Im looking at it like this, i got @500 euro.(+whatever a ampdac would cost)

I need to buy myself the best edge in fps games(apex,warzone), most efficient audio setup within that price range. Think of it like, got the money, need to buy something, if any money remains it gets burned.

@Toni_Elex HE400se, wouldve bought it already if it wanst for that weak cable, looks like it can break easily, not sure tho.

you could get a cable from Login • Instagram tbh, relatively cheap and high quality for sure, plus the dude makes them by hand in italy

@Toni_Elex got it, will look into the cable at the very least. What about the Sundara, wouldnt it outperform the he400se?

Gaming wise not really both perform amazingly but solely for gaming i would choose the he400se because of its detail and imaging plus you can get another headphone for music that would be my choice

So there would be no difference for gaming for these 2 headsets?
im not doubting you, im just digging up a bit. To make sure we are on the same page roughtly speaking :smiley:

Not really, music wise yes but for gaming it’s really nothing noticeable from my personal experience:)

@Toni_Elex would you say better than the hd 560s? in terms of detail, soundstage and imaging? he400se

Have not tried 560s can’t tell, but from what people say they’re in the same ball park

I use DT1990s all day for meetings, and then all night for Valorant. So I can attest that they’re comfortable :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Specifically for gaming they’re excellent, the imaging, the positioning, the detail…all great. If you’re in the 500EUR budget range and looking for gaming cans I can’t recommend them enough.

EDIT: custom cable is recommended though, not because the stock one sounds bad but just because it’s kinda inconvenient/cheap. I use: https://oidiosound.co.uk

So this tracks pretty well actually. Most strictly competitive players (at the top levels anyhow) tend to do things like turn down detail settings as a sacrifice for better frame times (specifically more consistent frame times being more important than high frames per second). If you’ve ever seen the clay-dough images on a SC2 pro’s screen, and compared it to the beautiful higher detail images the audience gets to see, you’ll know what I mean.

Sound is probably not any different. Great sounding headphones that “put you in the game” and make for a fun, immersive experience probably do some things that are counterproductive to “strictly competitive” gameplay. I could well imagine that truly advantageous sound would likely not be very pleasant to the ears.

If you learn to use equalizer APO with reaper plugins, you could spend some time tweaking your EQ to emphasize frequency ranges that are prevalent to cues your specific game of choice uses. Things like gunfire, footsteps, breathing, reloading, gear swaps, etc. You could emphasize each of these things while pulling other sound bands down. The result would be initially a sound profile that is weird, distorted, and probably doesn’t help a lot. However, the brain grows accustomed to warped input pretty quickly, and after a couple of weeks practice, it would be like having super ears for radar. I assume that’s what you’re after.

Listening to music with the result would be a terrible experience, but it sure could help a gamer make best use of audio cues in a competitive environment.