Upgrade from AD700/K712 Pro for Competitive gaming?

My current setup is K712 Pro + AD700 with SB X7. I use K712 for everything other than competitive FPS.
I used to play CoD:Promod on competitive level and for that AD700 was absolutely beast. Now, I play Warzone and TDMs mostly and for that I still prefer AD700 over K712. I used to prefer SBX and CMSS-3D but now I generally use Redscape for VSS.

Right now I’m looking for something which would be a discernible upgrade to AD700, purely for competitive gaming, within $500-800.

I have followed the excellent guide by @Falenkor and Mad Lust Envy. From that, I have narrowed down the following Headphones: DT 1990, Ananda, T1.2, Shure 1840, Focal Elex. (Elex is sort of out my consideration because I need to import it.)

Which one of these can be a true upgrade for competitive gaming over AD700? I am only concerned about their performance in competitive FPS as I am pretty happy wth K712 for everything else.

Or is it that upgrading to a better DAC/AMP would be better purely for FPS gaming?

As someone who loves competitive OW and CSGO I gotta say I was blown away by my Sundara’s. Planars just have that something, everythign is fast, thight and snappy without losing the imaging you need for FPS.

Therefore I’ll toss a blind vote at the Sundara’s bigger bro, the Ananda!

1 Like

if its strictly an upgrade to the ad700x then you would be looking more towards the AD2000x or Sundaras(Ananda would work as well but Sundara is fine). I say these as they have a more similar signature to what your already used to just to a elevated degree…

does an excellent job, though only good for those who can tolerate its treble

mentioned above already on this.

Harder to find these days but this is what I personally rely on… its definitely not for everyone as the stage is quite large making it harder to use for the smaller fps… but still performs just as good as the 1990… with the 1990 edging out slightly due to its more intimate aggressive sound signature making things a bit easier to point out.

not a bad idea… another similar headphone to your AD but also extremely neutral in most cases. If I had to sit down and choose between this and your other options? This would probably be in last place as an option.

unfortunate… elex is extremely good…

as mentioned… sundara, ananda, arya, AD2000x

1 Like

your best bet is whatever @Falenkor recommends. One this is for sure though… the Shure 1840 outside of games… really doesn’t sound good. Cannot recommend. The elex is the opposite headphone to this its excellent with music and games. imagining is E X C E L L E N T.

If you can’t get your hands on one second hand my vote would go to T1.2 or the Sundara. I love the DT880 with a pad swap to Dekoni choice leathers [Specifically] but I don’t know if this would be a step up without an OTL tube amp or some serious amp. Without either of those it may be more of a side grade without enough amp.

1 Like

@Falenkor Thanks for the quick and detailed reply. I forgot to mention one thing. I tried out DT880 a few years ago from my buddy. Between that and AD700, I really had a hard time deciding which one to choose. But I really loved them as much as I like the AD700. Definitely more all-rounder than AD700.

Since I loved the DT880, can DT1990 be better for me than say a Sundara or Ananda? Actually, I can’t try them before buying, else I could have tested them both.

The DT 1990 while being capable. for listening outside of a video game its SO treble hot like after an hour stick a knife in your ear. Theres a reason it comes with 2 sets of pads. the engies now how hot they made the treble. Can’t personally recommend.

DT 880 IF you get the pads and IF you have the amp. Definitely handily beats the rest.

Though a new set of sundara’s has fixed its frontal imaging and rear imagine so its getting closer to Elex imaging and on the right chain sounds amazingly organic [I believe this is due to a change in the foam in the pads so they’re less dense and get closer to your ear.]

Ananda … for the price is hard to recommend I’d definitely recommend something like a HIFIMAN EDITION XX can be found used and price wise is more competitive and would be up there with the DT880. Depends if you can find it. I’m personally not a fan of the pads

1 Like

Depends on the person really… its hot yea but everyone reacts differently… to me personally it doesn’t bother me whatsoever outside of very particular songs but simply turning the volume down a bit fixes that for me personally.

The 1990 is a bit different in regards to the 880… its open back and brighter with a more neutral frequency while 880 is a bit more mid centric while being bright… I would say the 1990 is worth a shot as in gaming it will out perform the sundara and ananda… though for musical lovers the sundara and ananda may very well out perform the 1990 considering how analytical it is. If you can find a way to make use of some kind of return policy it wouldn’t hurt to test the 1990 to see what you think…

The issue of using the 1990 outside of gaming is known amongst people but this issue is easily resolved through pad swapping as a simple suede or leather depletes the 1990s treble.

I would wager it would be between a 1990, Sundara, or T1 2nd generation at that point…

1 Like

I guess I’ll bite the bullet and go for 1990. I used to have a really harsh EQ to help with the footsteps back in the day and I coped with it just fine! If 1990 is too fatiguing for me outside gaming, then I can fall back to K712 for that purpose since I’m quite satisfied with it.

Thanks, everyone for chipping in with your opinion.

1 Like

Agreed. As long as you have a second set of pads. I’d take a look at Dekoni choice suede on top of that as well.

1 Like