I am trying to upgrade my sound systems from my current pair of headphones (HyperX Cloud II) as they’re starting to fall apart after almost 8 years. I am not sure what direction to go since I am planning on adding speakers to the setup later. I wanted to preface that I am a total noob at this and am simply trying to do the best I can researching before purchasing. My primary sources have been the forum, zeos,
I will spend the majority of the time gaming either on both headphones/speakers depending on the game but I love watching movies/youtube on my PC as well (using headphones 75% of the time bc GF). I only infrequently listen to music when there’s something I’m particularly excited for (probably around 10% of the use time). Because I am limited in desk space (which is where this will all reside) and since I want something easy to use that I can set and forget, I’m mainly looking for as few “boxes” on my desk as well (since I already know I will want to get an XLR interface for my microphone). In general I am thinking of trying to get a speaker amp that can run headphones too since I like the modularity of passive speakers, but am open to the idea of getting a dedicated headphone amp+dac combo with speaker outs to powered speakers. My current budget for headset+amp/dac is about ~$400 and I am happy to buy from Amazon, direct from retailer, etc and am also totally fine with secondhand. My thought process was around $250 for the headphones and $125 for the amp/dac would be a nice sweet spot. I listed potential speakers for future purchase as well but they are not a crucial part of the setup as I anticipate taking my time and getting them later.
I’m currently looking at:
Headphones: Beyerdynamic dt880 premium edition 250Ohm/Sennheiser HD6XX or 58X since I’ve heard the 6XX aren’t amazing for gaming/Hifiman HE4/5XX/TYGR 300R
SMSL AD18 (or Topping MX3 but sold out everywhere)
Fluance Signature passives or similar
My primary concern here is that the DT880s and HD6XX are quite difficult to run. Alternatively I would go for a combo headset amp/dac and use powered speakers since I don’t have any preference. For which I was looking at using the same headset and:
Refurbed Soundblaster G6/iFi Zen Dac (or a Schitt Fulla or something like that)
As for use case, I play a wide variety of games from competitive FPS to expansive games like Horizon Zero Dawn and would like a pair of cans that is suitable for that (I just tagged as competitive since I do both competitive and casual). I also love watching movies on my computer. For other audio stuff, I mostly end up listening to podcasts/youtube over music but that tends to make up a smaller portion of my use. I’d really appreciate any advice, links, etc.