Want to get away from "Gaming" headsets!

I am having a hard time finding a headset I can use for all around use. I’m done with “gaming” headsets and want a headset to not only take with me but come back home an plug into the pc (possibly a DAC/AMP) and enjoy some music, games, and movies.

Currently what I have in my sights is a VModa Crossfade 2 Codex with a VModa BoomMic. But as a beginner I’m scared I won’t see much of a difference in music when spending a lot of money, nor having a good headset to enjoy music/atmosphere in games when I want or switching it to competitive. My budget would be around $400-$500.

I was recently told that I should get an m50x with a Scarlett Solo and an AT2020 XLR. But I have heard that m40x is better in that regard.

If I could get some suggestions on a beginner or good setup that would be awesome!


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The m40x are indeed better than the m50x unless you’re not sensitive to highs. Since you’re aiming to have headphones that can be portable wouldn’t look into headphones that are amp dependant. Options would be
Coolermaster mh751: it’s marketed a “gaming” headphone but it’s actually a pretty headphone for music as well since it’s a really good headphone with a mic (removable) slapped on it.
Meze 99 Noir : it’s great for music, games, and movies. Sound great plugged straight from your phone.
For an amp/dac the iFi Zen Dac would be a great option

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Vmodas are bassy headphones and will badly hurt your competitive game. Not bad for well rounded but if your looking for competitives? Look elsewhere.

scarlet solo is decent but awful for amping headphones(it struggles to power even a 58x jubilee which is barily above average for a pc motherboards onboard audio). M50x is also god awful in my opinion and you would be better off with an m40x but definitely swapping out the pads. The issue here though is again, you are faced with quite a bit of bass while you can make sure you pick pads that aren’t too overwhelming it could be an issue in competitives.

Where do you see it’s marketed as a headphone? It’s a gaming headset.

good for music, good for movies and things such as podcasts, good for casual gaming, awful for competitive gaming.

I would have to ask since you placed competitive which shooters you play? is this pc or console? Do you need closed back isolation or are you okay with an open backed headphone? does it need to be portable? Which microphone would you prefer i.e. modmic(attaches to your headphone), Lavalier(attaches to your shirt), boom pro/alternative(plugs into the headphone), or external(usually what you will see streamers use with a boom arm, pop filter, audio interface, etc). Lastly, you mention you want music and movies which is fine I assume your looking for a more all rounder headphone? In that case try to find a bass that is more neutral or slightly elevated. In this regard m40x is technically fine as long as you pick carefully on the pads. I did make a guide for those looking into more competitive headphones perhaps it will help you out? There are others out there of course I wrote it up as a general list of what would be considered some of the better headphones based on budget alongside some guides and explainations for a more ideal gamer setup.

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Right now I have been working with an Arctis 5, and I like the mic attatched to the headset but I am open into trying different types of mics. I am not that picky, just don’t have a lot of room on my desk or in my room, but I could make it work.

As far as games go, I am an on/off competitive gamer. I have played all sorts of games. COD MW, CSGO, EFT, Overwatch, R6, Hunt: Showdown. But I have been leaning more towards casual gaming. (Been playing a lot of FFXIV, Death Stranding, SoT, MHW, Payday 2, Minecraft, Breakpoint, Remnant, Just Shapes & Beats, Dying Light)

As far as closed back or open, I do prefer a closed cause I usually play when the fam is asleep but I hear open back steps up to a whole 'nother level. (I only could guess what it’s like from playing games with the speakers on my Valve Index) So I am willing to give them a shot if they are really that impressive for games and audio.

I don’t know if that helps much but those are what I have been playing and what I am used to.

Alright so other than maybe hunt most of your fps are rather narrow. Recommend you go for something around a middle level of soundstage then as it will help you place sounds better. Though always larger is good for placements.

If you want a comparison on how much an open back leaks. Turn up the volume on your closed back and remove it from your head really turn up the volume to where you can hear it… That’s around how loud the sound leaks(less you use like a hifiman cause they leak a ton of sound). Typically if you can shut a door or something or are across in another room open backs won’t cause too much of disturbance and they are indeed generally better due to the more 360 degree field of sound that appears as though it circles your head.

That’s fine then. You can pick up a Modmic for around… $50 - $120 depending on the version… Recommend you grab the USB or Wireless as the Uni runs incredibly hot from my experience and tends to be very sensitive in comparison(it picked up a lot of sound from the game coming from the headphones in many cases).

So, in terms of what you brought up still yeah, I would say youd be okay with a m40x if you swap the pads. theres plenty on the guide over there for recommendations. Outside of that… Tygr 300r, fidelio x2hr, dt 990/dt 770(open / closed and only if you are okay with bright treble), T50RP MK3(modders headphone can adapt sound based on pad swaps incurs further costs due to pads), meze would still technically be okay but its more narrow on the soundstage, pretty much any of the sennheisers 500 series or 600 series for you would be good if you prefer a more balanced sound. Maybe the mh751 still as its still a good one despite being a headset sounds like the takstar pro 82(but without the bass slider). In your price though for competitive while still being towards fun and closed back? Aeons and DT 177x go would be fantastic however aeons definitely demand an amp… 177x not so much as its portable

So on the topic of portability: I am one of those noobs and own an iPhone XR. Typically where my music is played when on the go. So I am assuming I would need to buy an audio jack to adjust for the headphones like the DT 177x GO. That’s why I kinda was leaning towards the VModa due to the bluetooth when needed but mostly plugged in when home. So they weren’t bad for well rounded pair of cans? Or they just a no go all together? I used to own a pair of true bloods (Been a couple years ago though so I may not remember clearly) and I was a fan of the bass when I was big into dubstep/EDM at the time. I just feel like there might be a better solution all together though…

The m40x is sounding a little more tempting just hearing it a lot, the looks of the meze 99 noirs just look clean and something I would probably enjoy taking places. the dt 177xgo is a pretty big jump for headphone but I could save up. If I was buying an amp/dac would the iFi Zen DAC still be a viable solution if going with either of these models?

From what it’s sounding like, I might need to buy two headsets. One for my PC (Main use) and the other for when I am on the go.

Sorry if it’s a struggle working with me, I do really appreciate it! It’s given me a lot to think about!

ah an iphone okay… I do believe iirc they have jack adapters that plug into your device seen as such here over on amazon https://www.amazon.com/iphone-xr-adapter/s?k=iphone+xr+adapter though I am unsure if they work for your device in particular.

well to be fair there are quite a few headphones that can be turned into a more wireless solution using a 3.5mm bluetooth dongle, usually these headphones will have a detachable 3.5mm cable like the vmoda such as the philips Fidelio x2hr / shp9500 or takstar pro82 iirc.

V moda are awful for competitive gaming but good for others. The reason is just that its far too bassy. Too much bass in competitive gets in the way of competitive footstep sounds, breathing, and other more subtle sounds. While you can of course equalize some headphones or change the pads to subvert this as an issue v moda in particular is a bit more on the finicky side from my experience with them.

m40x has a detachable 2.5mm cable and if I remember correctly theres a bluetooth dongle floating around for that one as well though again if i recall correctly it wasnt the most well received. Meze 99 are nice albeit more narrow soundstage and have some bass to them however, quite a luxuriously pretty headphone.

That’s usually the case for people especially when someone wants bass + competitive or on the go which is quite alright. I can’t so much help on the portability option. Though I suppose this would depend on your budget overall.

Ifi zen dac is pretty nice for a combo unit while also having the capability of utilizing a balanced port for more power and potentially better sound. They do offer a more “mobile” amp dac I believe it was called the Hip Dac? So may be worth looking into IFI stuff. They are pretty nice in my opinion. Edit: says the hip dac is compatible with iphones actually so this may help give you a proper access to the 177x GO or others.

After doing a bit of looking up of multiple headphones and getting multiple responses, sacrificing some functions, the HD6xx with a Modi/Magni 3 Schiit stack seems like a good beginner set for those that want good audio and gaming experience? Am I wrong?

I don’t think I will be going competitive anytime soon, and the open cans I hear is a popular in gaming for immersion. But with so many different opinions and options what are your guys thoughts on this little set up for someone who is just starting and not looking to spend a lot of money? (Possibly under $500-$600)

that should be fine for a starter setup, the 6xx is not the greatest in competitive but is perfectly fine for casual and immersive gaming and should be a great upgrade music wise. I still own my pair even after owning multiple kilobuck sets just because I love how they sound.

as for the modi/magni stack most people would probably tell you to steer clear of the modi for various personal preferences (compression, outdated, etc.). I don’t have any experience with Schiit gear myself so I can’t really speak to that. The Topping E30 is the go to REC in this price range over the modi though.

With that budget an alternate and higher performing setup could be a Schiit Modius + Asgard 3 and a DT880 600OHM, but would max your budget and might be a little overkill for a starter setup.

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Great suggestions! I’ll look them up! I am looking for a killer setup for being on the cheap so this helps a lot! I still have to worry about mic as I haven’t figured that out yet but I will look those up for sure! Thanks!!

I second @Xion post:

i didn´t hear any of them, but for a budget of 500$ Meze 99 Noir and iFi Zen are probably hard to beat.

as for microfone, i use the Auna MIC-900B USB german Amazon link…

i think any decent usb mic of that type is better than a boommic

but you´ll need a stand and a pop filter.

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Very true, right now it’s between that pair and the hd6xx with the Modi/Magni 3 Schiit stack. Very hard time deciding between the two. I like the looks of the Meze 99 Noir and the closed back. But also I am curious how they fair against open back and I like the looks of the Modi/Magni 3 Schiit stack. Very tough choices…

do you live alone? do you rather have a metal than a plastic hinge? if any is YES choose the Meze over the Sennheiser.

you mean the no to the alone? XD Yeah I don’t live alone. And metal has always been a nice touch over plastic.

Yeah… because open back headphones like the Sennheisers are emitting the sound to the outside. so if you are gaming, or listening to loud music, others will hear.

I have this problem with my Focal Elears… they are open as fuck. That´s why i look for closed ones currently. Especially for nighttime.

And plastic… well… i listen in bed too… and back in the day i had a pair of sennheisers 58something HDs and the Massdrop Hifiman´s LITERALLY broke on me… when one day the headphone snaps in ur face… so no more plastic for me. At least in stressed parts like the hinges. I have a big head.

Sounds like Meze 99 Noir then if I don’t want to go into competitive gaming. As far as dac/amps go. Would it be smarter to get a dac/amp combo that is “gaming” specific to allow a mic in or should I not worry about the mic in general?

i couldnt care less about a mic in on a dac tbh… as said before, for me at least, a stand mounted usb mic works best. the least hassle and by far the best soundquality for the price.

Dac/amps are still a problem… :laughing: So many options and now that I am getting the Meze 99 Noir, aesthetics are a big thing for me!

That and I am looking like I am waiting till November to get the Noir… :cold_sweat: I am pretty impatient when it comes to upgrading…

100$-ish DACs pretty much all sound the same. Just take the color you prefer or the specs you prefer (inputs, outputs, Khz shown or not etc).

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Dude for a first setup any of the $200 entry-level stacks would be great choices, JDS Labs Atom Amp + Atom DAC, Magni 3 + Modi, etc. For gaming the Beyerdynamic are hard to beat at this price range. 770, 880, 990 are all top-notch gaming cans. I would say 770 for more “fun” gaming and 880/990 for competitive. The Sennheisers (6XX, 58X) are good music listening headphones but I find them fairly lacking in gaming performance. They just lack the imaging and soundstage width for dimension and positioning.

Now for music, I think that will depend on how much treble you like. They can be fairly harsh if the music is recorded poorly. However, I still think the 880 and 990 sound fantastic when the music isn’t shit recording and mastering quality. I think the 770 80ohm version is a better choice for portable because the iPhone dongle cant really power the 250ohm versions of the 880 and 990. I’ve seen others mention the 177x GO and I would also recommend that. It’s going to have a less harsh signature than the lower end models, way easier to drive so more portable, closed-back for isolation, and a removable cable. It’s a lot more expensive but definitely worth considering.

The sound leak on the 880 and 990 is not actually that bad and if you’re in a room by yourself no one would be able to hear it.


Any $200 AMP+DAC stack ----> 6XX,58x great allrounders for music and ok for gaming.
Any $200 AMP+DAC stack ----> 990, good for music might be harsh, fantastic for gaming
Any $200 AMP+DAC stack ---->880, not as good at mainstream music because of less bass but amazing for orchestral and acoustic stuff, fantastic for gaming.
Any $200 AMP+DAC stack ---->770 80ohm, good for music, vocals will seem recessed comparatively, Bass + good soundstage for closed back makes for incredible singleplayer gaming experience.
Any $200 AMP+DAC stack ----> 177x, great allrounder for music, fantastic for gaming

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