I’m hoping I won’t be executed for asking about this headset here but I was wondering if anyone knew anything about the sound quality of these. I’m not a massive audiophile, I just have some money to burn and thought these could be a good option for gaming?
First, welcome to Hifiguides. Secondly, That depends. I can offer a lot of input here. My question is as you are not a massive audiophile. What is your budget? Does it have to be wireless? Would a headphone with an external mic i.e ModMic be suitable? What sound are you hoping to get out of your headset as you labelled it as competitive I would assume this is more in line with things like FPS. For example, some people like a more bass enhanced set for competitive to give them some more immersion and fun in game while others prefer things like footsteps and breathing sounds amplified so they can do better in game.
I own these and still keep them around for wireless use, although at this point they see very little use. Even before owning any audiophile equipment the arctis were my main headphones, however i literally never used them to listen to music and much preferred to just switch to speakers. From memory they were pretty lackluster for music and a noticeable downgrade to the sennheiser game ones I had been using previous to them. With all that said they are feature packed and very convenient so really depends on what you value
Well in general for a “Wireless Gaming Headset” they are definitely one of the best in class for the genre. Only two that beat it in my opinion were the Audeze Mobius but those were $400 and of course the GSP 670 from Sennheiser. Razers generally suck so I count those out and Corsair Virtuoso was an acquired taste. WIreless always have less sound quality than their wired counter parts. Much like headphones will have better quality than gaming headsets
Heya. I am not really a giant audiophile as i have not really experienced anything better than my current superlux hd668b which i have had for a while. I was looking for wireless as i have had my old headset with lapel mic attached to the headphone wire and i got fed up with it. Im looking to spend around £150 - £230 ($180-$270) cause id like to spend some more money if its worth it. Also yeah i was thinking about games like cs:go and rainbow six seige so competitive shooters but i also wanna be able to play some casual games for fun with “fun” audio. hopefully that will help you help me. thanks
Alright, well the issue with the steel series and gaming headsets in general is while they are efficient they all have a fairly bland sound theres no real character to them. No heavy bass or anything it’s usually a straight neutral with low requirements so they are compatible with consoles and low build materials so they can be mass produced. As far as steel series is concerned it shares this. In your price range though if your set on a “gamers headset” Steel series is solid as is the Hyperx Orbit. I won’t vouch for the wireless as I personally think it sounds horrible compared to the Arctis Pro + Gamedac or the Arctis 7 Wired. Your superlux will probably have a better sound in most cases from my experience most headphones outside of the “gamer” genre are better. If you are okay with going the gamer route than yeah go ahead and pick them up however, I will say make sure you have a return policy in case you find you don’t like them. I personally would recommend the 3 “Gamer” variety I listed as unlike most of the others with these they come with built in EQ settings allow you to actually get alot of different sound qualities and will allow you to custom tailor your sound. While it won’t be the best it’s definitely something. Arctis wireless can tailor your sound too but it just doesn’t sound as Good. The only gamer headphones outside of these that I would recommend looking into is the PC37x which is solid and like I mentioned earlier the gsp 670 from sennheiser is very solid for a gaming headset despite being wireless.
Outside of Gamer brand variety. In your price range would be the
phillips Fidelio x2 hr I dont particularly recommend this but its a good example for a starting all round headphone and this is compatible with v moda boom pro and other boom mics that plug into a 3.5mm jack,
Beyerdynamic Custom one pro plus this has probably the most customizable sound outside of not having an equalizer however one can be bought or if on pc downloaded that will go along pretty well with these. This particular headphone has the ability to change it’s bass, be an open back, a closed back, and has a mic that comes along with it while still maintaining that headphone style sound,
Sennheiser 58x Jubilee this is a product from a site called Massdrop and will normally run $150 and can be paired with a mod mic which will cost between $40-$120 depending on which version you want(3.5mm jack, usb, or wireless mic). To explain Mod Mics they use an adhesive to simply attach a microphone to any of your headphones/headsets and they work beautifully therefore eliminating your reasons to stick to “gamer” brand variety and with a mod mic you get cable clamps that you can use to simple clamp the cable into an all in one unit so its not in the way I have one myself. I recommended the 58x due to various reasons as it has some of the best sound for it’s price, its an open back, and it has fantastic imaging and sound that it allows you better pin point accuracy on where the sound is coming from which is beneficial in gaming, top that off with it has a more flat sound which caters to a very wide variety of music making it a fantastic all rounder. There is a few others I can recommend in the headphone brand variety but it may be best for you to stay in a low requirement all rounder category as other headphones are more catered towards different styles of sound. The 58x however while can get loud if you want it really loud you will need a cheap amp (these will run you $40 - $100) but really isnt mandatory
There is quite a few others that are actually headphones but can be catered towards a gamer but I have not had the pleasure to test them, really sit with them for a while, or they have a very different signature thats only good for certain things such as only gaming or only certain styles of music… Some that come to mind are Audio Technicas brand which some have mics and others are used among games like the ad700x and ad900x, Beyerdynamics brand 770,880,990, and the newest Tyger(I use the dt 990 personally), Sennheisers brand the GSP label is catered towards gamers while the HD is more headphones despite that some gamers rely on the 58x and 6xx as their go tos and cheap pricing while having fantastic sound, Hifiman this is a fairly more uncommon one but I see some using the He4xx, there a headset on here recommended a few times from Cooler Master known as the mh751, and lastly AKG k702, k712, and k7xx( did test these but I am not personally a Fan)
Wow! I appreciate the extremely detailed answer. Im going to go through and have a look at all those tomorrow but basically what youre saying is dont go for wireless as it hit sound quality hard. I’m not looking specifically for a “gaming headset” but i did like all the features that the arctis came with such as the wireless and Bluetooth as well as they very clean, minimalist design that it has. Do you think its possible to change the sound to a decent level for the arctis headset as i know it has an eq you can use but i dont know much about any of that eq stuff. thanks again
Decent? yes. Great? most definitely not. The equalizer will definitely cater to whatever sound you want to try as it’s just your run of the mill equalizer. The only stand out feature is the bass can get so hefty especially on the gamedac pro that it will cause the headset itself to vibrate from heavy bass.
If you want a comparison of the steels here ya go.
Steel Series Arctis Pro + Gamedac: this is by far the best sounding and comes with an equalizer and the ability to play Hi-Res audio and 7.1 virtual sound out of all of them this one has the best sound and the most customization from its equalizer… very minor changes alter the sound at a pretty wide margin. Designed for those who want the best sound and are more intune like an audiophile but of course it comes at a price. These are rated high even in charts for gaming because they can sometimes be on par with low grade audiophile headphones despite lacking a lot of characteristics.
Steel Series Arctis 7 Wireless and 9x: These are quite literally the exact same headphone except a few key differences. For starters 9x is quite a bit more expensive. The reason behind that and the difference between these two is that the 9x brings multi-platform support, a better mic, and a ever so slight difference in sound frequency which to a lot of people is not even noticeable. Everything else between these two is the exact same
Arctis Pro Wireless: these cannot output hi-res audio, they have a noticeable degrade in sound compared to pro gamedac, has the same sound quality as the arctis 7 and is almost identical in every way except a few key differences. Mic quality is better, arctis 7 plays in 20,000 hz while pro plays in 40,000 hz which means you will have a cleaner crisp sound and better bass. Despite this it’s one of the best “gamer” headsets thats wireless and has a small little console that goes with it that lets you control sound. If you can do away with Hi res audio and a small degrade is sound compared to the normal pro version then this is fine.
Arctis 7 wired: Same frequencies as pro outside of what the DAC will provide and instead of a DAC it uses its software for sound programming. These sound almost as good as the pro itself however if you can get the pro near the price of an arctis 7 its handsdown a good decision to go with the pro. The DAC is what pushes the pro over the edge allowing for the HI - RES audio quality other than that these two headsets are virtually one in the same outside a few very minor features
You’ll probably see the trend here… they are all practically the exact same headsets just each with very minor seperate features and very minor upgrades… outside of wired vs wireless and gamedac vs no gamedac there is very little differences here.
I suppose I will also put the Hyperx Orbit in this explaination. The orbit typically retails around the $300 range but as of late has been dropping and right now can be found around $200 - $300(new full price) range but they also go on sale quite often. This particular headphone is based off a $400 headphone from the very reputable brand known as Audeze. This “headset” is a bit of a monster in the gaming genre and comparing it to the arctis pro + Gamedac they are in the same field. The only difference here is that the orbit does not have an actual equalizer instead it has presets that are designed for gaming and music literally named, “foot steps, rpg, music, etc” and its other sound variations which are stereo surround sound and hi res all of which are built directly into the headset itself. The headset also has a built in amplifier inside of it to get the most of the sound and utilizes 100mm planar magnetic drivers which are unusual for a gaming headset. Planars are a driver that are fast and have a beaty type “slam” in their sound and typically are only found in headphones in the $300+ range(those that cost less then this aren’t usually all that great or have issues with quality control) however they are a specialty in brands like Audeze and Hifiman. All controls for the headset are controlled from the left ear cup from the mic, to the headphone volume, to the eq, to the sound style, to the mute. While this won’t get the, honestly hysterically, large bass that the arctis gamedac can dish out it still sounds absolutely beautiful for a gamers headset. The mic also has an additional option as if you do not like the mic it has an additional auxillary 3.5mm port that allows support for the crystal clear microphone known as the V-Moda Pro boom mic which I mentioned earlier in my posts. This headset and the arctis pro gamedac literally go head to head but I will say that due to the customization eq sound capability of the steel series I prefer it more however that isnt to say you couldnt get an equalizer for the orbit that just makes it cost more despite this being the more expensive option. The only other difference is that you get a unique feature called 3D mode this is just like it sounds… it emulates 3d sound as you turn your head left and right. therefore simulating a 3d environment in your sound while this is very niche and not particularly “useful” its still fun to tinker with the best use of this would be in the case of VR and this fully comes into play as the ORBIT S variation adds head tracking software to the 3d sound
To end this on a final note: I wanted to explain the equalizer a little bit since you say you didn’t understand it well as well as the benefit of Pad swaps since that is a thing too for these headsets. Starting out Pad swapping is simply removing the pads on the headphone and changing them to a different design, fabric, shape, and size. Doing this to any headphone will yield different results whether its comfort changes or completely different sounds coming from your headphones. There is quite a few pads for headphones even for the steel series and orbit that can be swapped to in the event that you do not like them for example IIRC the steel series actually has a really plush memory foam leather style replacement that is known to increase bass and comfort but slightly reduce sound staging. Normally you will find these replacements either from the dealer themselves or alternative brands like Dekoni or Brainwavs. In a rare case sometimes you will have other brands you make ear pads that will fit other brand of headphones this will require a bit of looking into and it completely revolves around preference of comfort and sound. In these cases it helps to also ask others who have been down that rabbit hole for pad swapping to explain what the pad will do based on experience and whether it fixes whatever issue you currently have with them. Myself personally never pad swapped the steel series I found them fine but I wouldn’t mind swapping them to the leathers for more comfort if I was presented the choice however, I switched to the audiophile headphone route.
Now onto the other subject, The equalizer on these headsets is pretty simple to understand and will come with plenty of presets to tinker with as well as the ability to make your own custom sound(only steel series comes with the ability to customize orbit only offers presets). The steel series responds very well to this as it’s a “neutral” headphone with a good ability to adjust to its eq. Meaning you could put the equalizer pegs in a V shape and it would become a neutral headphone with some V signature tones to it, it will be the same way with Flat, bass boosted, etc. The Steel series while a gaming headset much like the orbit over there is pretty adaptable and is why its considered the best in the line of gamer headsets outside of a very select few. My biggest complaint is it has the draw back of being a “gamer” headset which kills some quality it COULD have and the fact it’s a closed back headset which kills that natural airy 360 degree sound you get from a good open backed headphone. Nonetheless if your not interested in all the bells and whistles that come with audiophile setups the headsets listed in this forum post and the headphones I brought up are all damn fine without an amp and dac. Just make sure if you go the audiophile headphone route to keep an eye on the OHM or impedance. 32 ohm is like the max limit on gaming pc and consoles till you will need an amp and even then you have to crank the volume to maximum for average volume on a 32 ohm headphone in most cases(this also depends on other factors such as wattage but to save you from having to read a massive book explaination I will save you that and say the ones I listed in general cases are fine and if volume is an issue there quite a few very cheap amps that will fix that immediately for the ones listed.)
I hope this helped you out as when I started I definitely didn’t know any of this and it took a while haha. Feel free to respond on here if you have any other questions and do let us know what you decide to go with and how you like the product you decided to go with! Again, welcome to hifiguides, and Happy Gaming!
I’ve been trying to process all of what youve said and i have decided that the look is somewhat of a factor as well which is why i don’t think ill be going for the 58x. I have kinda narrowed down my options to the arctis pro gamedac, the hyperx cloud orbit (although this is stretching the budget a bit) and i was thinking about the beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO with a cable mic like the v-moda boom pro and wondered what your thoughts are on this. I imagine i would have to get an amp as well or something as it comes in 80, 250 and 32 ohm models and I’m not sure which would be best for my needs. I also think that the Philips Fidelio X2HR could be an option. What would you say about these? Thanks : )
Edit: i just found out that the v-moda boom pro and Philips Fidelio X2HR arent available on amazon in the uk at the minute so is there any other equivalent or even a better place to purchase this kind of gear from?
Edit 2: I have been looking into bayerdynamic more and really like their designs, i noticed they had a couple of “gaming headsets” such as the MMX 300 and these looked to me like a good package… what do you think?
V-moda mic is a replacement cable with in-line mic. The DT 770 doesn’t have a removable cable.
The higher the resistance / ohms the harder the headphones are to drive, will you be using just your PC onboard audio?
Antlion mics would work for any headset you’re looking at.
If you aren’t opposed to open headphones, the forum go-tos are the Beyerdynamic 880/990 600ohms but you could want a separate amp for such high impedance units and very possibly a DAC down the road if you’d exceed your buget with this. Search on the forums here for either of these models and you’ll find tons of recommendations on great pairings for DAC / Amps.
Personally I like the modular approach going this route and if you ever want to upgrade your mic to a Blue Yeti or something its not a huge investment to add the Antlion and remove later.
Alright, for starters I can understand aesthetic that’s perfectly fine and understandable. Arctis pro gamedac and orbit both are very solid choices but it looks like I will have to explain a bit concerning beyerdynamics brand.
Beyerdynamic 770 pro is extreme similar to that of the mmx 300. They are close to being the same headphone however I have not tested the mmx 300 only the 770. Generally speaking these two will come down to price point as they really are that similar. You can find a 770 in 16 ohm which will completely eliminate any need for an amp otherwise youd go with the 32 ohm which is the same impedance as the mmx 300. In this case the 770 can be found(if buying used compared to new) ranging from $60 up to $140 a mod mic will be $40-$120 so $260 at maximum. Meanwhile, the mmx 300 key difference is it has different side vents that are more in tune with a different beyer headphone this allows it to had a better bass response for its design. That isn’t to say that the beyer 770 is worse but they are pretty close to being even in this case. The issue with the mmx 300 is it is priced from $260-$300 which is a bit of a stretch and with the mmx 300 I would say it can benefit a bit more from changing the pads which makes them even more pricey.
If you want my opinion between the two, the 770 in this case would be the better option as it’s cheaper by a large margin for practically the same sound and you would be buying a modmic for it which opens a lot of doors to headphones for the best gaming experience. Beyerdynamics reasoning behind their absurd price tag is that the microphone on the mmx 300 is of “studio quality.”
Beyerdynamic has quite the few headphones that make it good for gaming. The MMX 300 is one of those. The others would be the DT 770(closed back headphone), DT 880(semi open headphone with a sound catering towards neutral), DT 990(V shaped headphone an acquired taste open back), and the Tygr 300r (open back gaming headphone and one I have on order right now to try myself).
Don’t go with the boom pro less it shares a 3.5 mm auxillary port. If your looking between fidelio x2hr and the 770 I will tell you 770 as I preferred it much more. If your looking between mmx 300 vs the 770 this boils down to pricing and personal preference but I will still say 770 due to the fact of getting someone out of the “gaming” headset variety. All the heaphones listed can be pad swapped for better comfort and I will note that 770 out of the box is quite stiff on its padding
Thanks again for the amazing response! If i were to go for a 770/880/990 setup with a mod mic of some sort what other things would you recommend to go with it? From what i understand i could get a 770 without an amp but the rest would need one to work properly. Also out of these three which would be best for picking out where certain noises were coming from ( e.g. footsteps in a competitive shooter.) If you could point me in the direction of some good replacement pads for them as well id appreciate that : )
Edit: i looked at the tygrs and it would be more difficult to get them as id have to order from beyerdynamic directly as i cant find them anywhere else in the uk and that could take some time with the epidemic going on!
In the case of foot steps I would definitely say the DT 990 would be best for that thanks to its much higher treble response and the fact it’s an open back. I don’t typically recommend replacing the pads on the DT series outside of the closed back 770 as from my experience so far it makes the sound worse. The 770 is great for better bass and isolation while still feeling very open despite being a closed back its a pretty solid choice. 880 would be middle ground but personally speaking I am not a fan as someone who plays competitive, these are decent for an all rounder but I feel there’s much better alternatives for an all rounder. As far as the dt 990s concerned this is an acquired taste in my opinion these are easily the best of the 3 for competitive fps however the trade off is it’s not an all rounder thanks to that high treble and thinning of the sound especially the recessed mid range it’s not the greatest on certain music while You can equalize it but doesn’t change the fact these are strictly competitive and certain genres… the 770s would be better for all around sound in comparison while the 990s would definitely best for strictly competitive shooters. I can’t particularly recommend the 990s due to their sound turning alot of people away outside of the fact of being absolutely fantastic for a shooter. A better alternative would be more neutral headphones with equivelant soundstage and imaging such as the AD700x, AD900x, AD1000x or the k702 and k712.these offer a neutral sound approach while still being just as good for footsteps and the like. Personally though I like my ad700x more than my k7s
Ok, so would you say that the 770s would be a much worse choice for a competitive shooter compared to the 990s or is the difference not huge? Also which of these would be good for gaming as well as listening to music? What would you recommend for resistance because I’m not really sure what the difference in resistance means for sound? Thanks
hmm, I wouldn’t say the different is “huge” more like the difference between a closed back and open back and I did have some higher treble on the 990s than I did the 770s while the 770s definitely had more bass… at the same time 990s had better imaging allowing me to place sound location easier. This completely boils down to preference, what you like, and what you are looking for as both are very good at what they do. They both are good at gaming and listening to music its just that the 990 turns people away due to its overall sound. The DT series at its core is more of an acquired taste excluding the 880s since they are more catered towrards a “neutral” v signature. In some cases people don’t like the v signature from the 990s and enjoy the 880s more while other people like the idea of a closed back with more bass so they go 770. I am a tad precoccupied here. Going to tag @M0N he can probably help you a lot more than I can from here on out for explaining sound, resistance, and other categories. Sound is pretty subjective as it is so also asking him to chime in here may help you out too
I mean I think the 770, 880, and 990 are great for both music and gaming, really boils down to preference and use case. IMO if you wanted the highest performance for gaming and something energetic but a tad much for some music, the 990 600 ohm is pretty great. If you wanted similar gaming performance but a bit more natural and neutral for music, the 880 600 ohm is my pick. If you wanted something v shaped with great subbass and isolation that still preforms pretty good for games (although I think the imaging and staging is a touch behind the 990 and 880), the 770 250 ohm is pretty solid
So with beyers, typically the higher impedance, the better, but this isn’t a general rule or anything, just something that is the case with some of the beyer models. That being said, you need a beefier amp to run them properly so keep that in mind
he doesn’t have an amp nor the funds to support an amp. He will have to stick to 32 ohms or less
In that case, I would say the tygr 300 r is pretty solid lol, been listening to it for a few days and it’s pretty sweet, would preform very well for gaming without an amp. I wouldn’t consider the other lower impedance beyers though, the 32 ohm versions of the 990/880/770 aren’t great imo
He lives in the UK so he wouldn’t be able to get them easily. hmm well the mmx 300 is like the 770 just expensive and catered to gaming he mentioned them but I figured dt 770 would be the cheaper alternative. i haven’t tested the 32 ohms myself
I would really consider the beyer copp or custom studio then imo, those preform well without an amp, and don’t have the issues that the regular 32 ohm beyers have
The mmx 300 is nice but imo overpriced for what it offers, but if you can find it for under 175 usd it would be a solid pick imo