Upgrading my Gaming Audio Setup

Hi there,

I´m looking to improve my gaming/music audio setup and I would like some recommendations/opinions.

I Play Mostly FPS Games (CS, Valorant, COD, DOOM) but I also play other stuff (Hades, Asssassins Creed, Cyberpunk, Witcher, NFS, etc)
Music I mainly listen to Metal, Hardcore, Rock and occasionally some EDM.

Price Point around 350/400€ Max

Currently I’m using:

Headphones: HyperX Cloud Alpha (Without mic)
Microphone: Samson Q2U (USB Connected)
DAC: FiiO E10K

So, for Headphones I was thinking about getting the Sennheiser x Massdrop 58X Jubillee, the Sennheiser x Massdrop 6XX or the Beyerdynamic DT-880 Pro (250ohm).
I know it depends of the person and taste but all things considering, wich ones you guys think its best?And do you have any other recommendations?

For the DAC/AMP I was thinking about getting the iFi ZEN DAC. Is this DAC worth upgrading from my FiiO? Should I go for anything else?

I’d say skip 6xx if you plan to play any larger games due to narrow staging… 58x has a bigger stage and a bit more warmth which will fit in line with your music a bit more imo.

880s 250 are rather bright and bass neutral ifi zen dac can definitely bring the bass up… it’s a good headphone if you want alot of detail and clarity while being able to tolerate the treble

I’ll throw in the tygr 300r here as considering your music tastes i feel it would be a very good option as well…

Zen dac can drive all of these headphones and has a potential amp upgrade called zen can that can be plugged into zen dac for a full stack. Its quite nice if a warm sounding amp is what your after. For the money its not bad at all… granted not that large of an upgrade past fiio e10k outside of the power capabilities… e10k does struggle with 250 ohm headphones

Thanks for the help!
I’ve never heard about the tygr 300r i’ll go and give check.

Yeah i kinda put them on my list because I’ve seen a lot of people saying theyre super bright wich is excelent for FPS games like CS or Valorant.

I recently checked the DT 990 PRO 250ohm listed for 122 and the DT 880 but the 600ohm version for 190 @Amazon.es
Is the 990 PRO comparable to the 880 PRO? both 250ohm
Is the 600 ohm worth considering for the price?

You really think the ZEN DAC is not that much better than the e10k ? Considering it has and AMP?

Yes I saw the ZEN DAC CAN, that’s one of the reasons why I was opting for the ZEN DAC, for a future upgrade :wink:

One stupid question probably, can I use de e10k as a DAC only and buy the ZEN CAN to pair with?

990 is full open back with larger staging and better imaging however 990 is sharper on treble and is bassier due to its v shape signature. 600 ohms are better but need powerful amps to fully drive them much more than an e10k or zen dac.

Zen dac by itself is alright same with zen can as an amp however, they are balanced units. Most of their power and good sounding components are in that balanced port. You cannot just use a balanced port with a normal plug you need a special balanced cable and in the case of the dt series beyers they cannot run balanced with modding the wire which requires sodering.

If your going to grab a zen can I’d reccomend pairing to zen dac… e10k is decent but not that great in all retrospects… its weaker than entry levels and by sound quality as well. I do believe you should be able to use e10k as a dac though if you want to but you’d need cables to connect the two

So I should stay on the 250ohm. Since Im not aiming to go “all power” amp for now :sweat_smile:
I saw the TYGR 300R, seems very interesting cans but I cannot seem tho ship them to Portugal, only with that stupid amazon pack :unamused:

Oh I see, so if I go with the ZEN DAC i need to use a balanced cable through the balanced port to really make the best of it, which is easier to do with the HD58X because of the detachable cables.
Regarding the Beyers, using them through the normal port on, is that big of a difference, sound wise? I really dont have interest in "mods, even tho ir probably wouldn’t be a problem for me, but i kinda have that placebo effect after i mod something, like its not the same :rofl:

I got the ZEN DAC and the HD58x (Bal.) IMO its great for gaming and listening to music.
but i dont think you necessarily need a balanced cable for the HD58x although they definitely sound better with a bal. cable.

yeah tygrs are great, just unfortunately not accessible to everyone… don’t really need the 600 ohm beyers to be honest but they do sound better.

pretty much yeah, granted it’s not a really large different in sound qualities… it does sound better but not like some kind of night and day difference… however, there is a lot more power in those balanced ports than on the unbalanced.

not particularly, just some extra sound quality like clarity… tones of warmth stuff like that. Depends on the amp in question… but in zen dacs case the change isn’t that large outside of the power bonus.

Thank you :wink:

Got it. Thanks.

I´ve seen your Competitive Headphone post and I was wondering if the Magni/Modi3 or Heresy Combo as option, is it “better” then de iFi ones? It´s identical? The price is nearly the same in my case.
Pairing the Topping D10s or E30 with iFi ZEN CAN would be nice too?? Or with another

Bah… the more I think about the oprions, the more undecided i get :rofl:

magni and modi or heresy will be stronger and a better setup than the zen dac… in zen cans case you do lose the extra bass buttons and the xspace or whatever from zen can over there… however, you really don’t need to worry about balanced cables with those units and they are quite strong… enough to power 600 ohm beyers. bit different sounding not as warm and a bit more neutral with some colorations nonetheless very good. It would be a solid alternative if you want something without the need of balanced cables and don’t care for the extra buttons on the units

So if I go for the 58X Jubilee probably I should go for the ZEN DAC/CAN, if I go with the DT 990, I should probably go for the Magni/Modi3 or Heresy, right?

If 600 ohm 990 I’d say schiit or monoprice liquid spark if 250 ohm then run ifi as you can save money

so I ended up going with the DT990 PRO 250 ohm + iFi Zen Dac. For music, I’m enjoying a lot the headphones. I can really tell the difference from my Cloud Alphas. In gaming, specially in Valorant, I feel like they sound really low, is this normal? Is it because of being open and the bigger soundstage?
I use them with the high gain (power match) and the volume knob for 13/14 o’clock for music and they get loud pass that. For gaming same thing with the high gain and I set the volume knob to the max and they sound really low…

That is odd, perhaps an issue with the amp? I have the zen dac and the 990 edition 250 ohm and it powers them around the 2 oclock zone. Do you have the pc volume and game volume set to maximum?

I dont know actually…

Exactly, so do mine with music, but in game its maxed out and it sounds super low.

I do, everything is set to max with no effects on

if it powers them just fine with music but not the game, its definitely not the amp or the headphone… might be something to do with the game. Can’t really speak for valorant or Id go check…

Something you can do however, go grab peace apo(its free), download its driver onto the ifi zen(also btw do make sure zen dac over there is updated on firmware) which is easy to do, then just bump the preamp slider at the top it should boost your volume up higher to respectable levels without causing issue

a stage thats as big as 990 can also create a lower sound though btw… 990 being quite airy it definitely will sound different… but the volume itself shouldnt be low

Yes but the game its on max volume settings… Maybe I’m just too used to the Cloud Alphas? :roll_eyes:

I didn’t update my firmware, I don’t understand which one to get…

I just downloaded the latest driver.

I would think its just the most recent

it may be… im not sure how loud you are considering is “quiet” lol

Low its like I putting the volume knob at 9o clock with music :neutral_face: :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Might be a dumb question but is the game volume turned down in the windows volume mixer?

No, its on max. I already confirmed.

Already updated the firmware to the latest available. No difference.
Maybe this is really just my ears being accustomed to the Cloud Alphas “close” positioning. But it makes me prefer the Clouds for gaming :frowning: because it seems I listen to everything a lot better…

Originally the Preamp settings were @-6db, Ive set it to 10db and it works like a charm. Now the game is ok.

Is there a sweet spot in the preamp settings? or its just up to preference?
Should I tweak something else? Does this “change” the overall sound of the headphones in any way?