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[Gaming Audio] Astro MixAmp presets + Best Audio Gear Guide + Headphone Reviews  (Read 228047 times)

Offline arkansasdave

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Alan, thanks very much for this. Good stuff. :D :D :D

Offline Bagura32rus

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advise the amplifier (dac) for playstation gold headphones (ps4)?

Offline lev33

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Can someone post a screenshot of the astro command center advanced equalizer settings that are good for Apex Legends?

Offline yilmazvolkan

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Thank you for sharing this great information.

Offline Dbizzle88

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Hi all, I'm looking for a very specific headphone for competitive Call of duty Modern Warfare Remastered (basically COD4) on the ps4

I am only interested in sound whoring - being able to identify enemy footsteps and the direction they are coming from with the most accuracy. Other details like an enemy reloading nearby is also useful, but the footsteps are most important for my needs

I already have headphones for music / movies, so the fun aspect of the headphone doesn't matter.

From my research, I think that a headphone with excellent imaging is what I'm after.

My budget for the headphones are 300$ and here are the ones I've identified

AKG K612: It seems these have better imaging that the K701/k702 and are quite highly recommended for sound whoring. These appear difficult to drive

AD700x: these are recommended as #1 in a lot of places, but I have read these have worst imaging but a larger soundstage. Maybe the large sound stage is not ideal for a game like cod 4?

Sennheiser HD58X: I saw these recommended earlier in the thread as best bang for buck

Beyerdynamic DT990

Sennheiser HD599

Fostex T50RP: seen a member of another forum raving about these. Semi closed, incredible imaging but small soundstage. Perhaps ideal for what I'm after? Very difficult to drive. Will need the pads modded.

I believe there are other factors that should be looked at such as treble, bass, etc that tends to have an impact on hearing footsteps, but I'm a big clueless on that

I'm sorry if there are any inaccuracies in what I've posted. I'm hoping someone more experienced could lead me in the right direction. I'm aware I may need a dac amp, and will address that once I've chosen the ideal headphone.

Summary: I'm looking for a headphone for sound whoring footsteps on cod mwr and will be using them only for this.

Thanks in advance :) !

Offline Dbizzle88

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Just to add more from my previous post above

Upon a bit of further research it appears what I'm looking for is:

Best possible imaging and separation
Decent soundstage but not HUGE
Not bass heavy (reduce explosions sounds)
Good mid / mid tones (for footsteps)
Good treble (for reload animations of nearby enemies, and some footeteps)
I've been reading that HD660s are basically the end game, but too expensive. The HD58X apparently sound almost the same and are much cheaper. Maybe that's #1 on my list, however as I'm based in UK, the shipping from USA is not ideal.

 

Hopefully some more experienced members may be able to recommend me some headphones. I hope I'm on the right track at least!
« Last Edit: 01:34 PM - 02/29/20 by Dbizzle88 »

Offline The prodigy

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Of the ones on the list I've tried the DT 990 and sennheiser 599's with a  Soundblaster G6 amp.
I'm a big fan of amazon because of there return policy on headphones.   You can try them for a while and send them back without any problems if you don't like them.
The 599's are the best for competitive gaming that I've tried.  And they don't require a high budget amp unlike the 58x's which will need a dac/amp combo that costs around 300$ to get them sounding like they should.

Offline Dbizzle88

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Thanks for your reply @the prodigy

I'm definitely leaning towards the hd599 for my purposes. It seems they have top notch positional accuracy and detail retrieval, while also having a good but smaller soundstage than the likes of akg701s etc (which from what I've been reading, the smaller soundstage combined with high imaging might be exactly what I'm after for a game like call of duty.

Online AMG

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Hello everybody!

Sorry I'm very backlogged on replies, however I have been reading attentively every each of your post. I appreciate your time spent sharing your experiences and comments enriching this thread.

ceebs, Himpy, Au1d Yin, R3MiX, WhiteHartMart, The prodigy

Thanks again guys!.

Which one is better to do buy a amplifier for my headphones  or buy SBX G6?
IMO an amplifier, next generation console are coming an independent/dedicated amplifier will work regardless, then you can pair it with a DAC like MixAmp or whatever later in the road.

Must say SBX G6 can be used as an independent amplifier, that's a lot of value. What doesn't convince me on this device is the DAC performance... makes sound stage sound narrower ("audio field of view is smaller" doesn't expand everything sounds closer than it is), is not bad at all, is way better than default audio, superior than MixAmp but I'm spoiled used to better DACs performance.

For $140 ish USD I think is the best value and my go-to recommendation over MixAmp, in essence the only plus of this device is to be able to mix Chat.

advise the amplifier (dac) for playstation gold headphones (ps4)?
Those are a decent entry level for audio but very restricted you can't use an external dac or amp, needless to say for that money you can do a lot better.

Like a Philips SHP9500 $60 that sounds like a $120+ headpone, - for real. Add v-moda boom mic and for only $88 you have a great headset superior to any "gaming" headset up to $150. No need for a DAC/Amp to sound great but when you get one will improve drastically.

Better build quality, comfort and you can use it as a regular headphone with your phone/tablet/PC/laptop

Thank you for sharing this great information.
No problem, my pleasure. ;)

Dbizzle88, I can see you have really researched and know very well what you want, that's great!

As you might know when you ask for imaging, soundstage takes a hit, and back-wise meaning is very hard for a driver to deliver accurate imaging and wide soundstage at the same time, that's alchemy, planars territory.

However, I must insist, when you are taking your gaming audio to the next level, is crucial to have a very good DAC/Amp first than nice accurate headphones.

Assuming you already have one; yes totally for the needs are you describing Sennheiser sound profile seems to suit better your needs, narrow focus sound-stage, great mid performance (sound-whoring) and above average imaging.

On these regard, HD598 Cs might worth to take a look because these have better imaging than HD599, but are closed back. Then if budget wasn't a restriction I will say the best you can get is HD58X Jubilee, are similar than HD660S... no, gaming wise HD660S will be indistinguishable from HD58X for most people, HD660S however represents the sound more accurately, meaning a violin sounds exaclty as a violin, but for gaming we don't care how a A-47 or laser gun soundsd in reality, right? HD660S is more for a gamer who wants a amazing headphone for gaming and music listening, specially vocals.

Now in the middle of the ground, another great option will be the Beyerdynamic DT990 Pros, these have better imaging than HD558X, HD600, HD58X Jubilee and very well tune for soundwhoring due its great midrange and lower treble performance.

So:
Best Value-------------------------Best Performance
HD598Cs - GSP 500/600 - DT990 Pro - HD59X.

For newcomers, sorry if all these sounds very complex, I'm working on a summary to put it on as simple as possible.

I have to set this straight though, we are not snob audiophiles, what we have in common is we are gamers first at all and we love sound, we know you can do better.

With a decent Audio Setup you will be able to do this:

 ;)

You don't need gimmick gaming headset, 7.1 surround sound, just a great stereo performance.

Is a great advantage, I know most of the fellas who had a very nice audio setup have had moments like that, knows how valuable is this weapon.

Offline Dbizzle88

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Dear alanmcgregor, thanks a lot for your detailed response. I had posted my query on multiple forums, but actually was really only waiting for your reply! Such amazing info posted here on this thread - top level audio advice relative to the type of game being played, priceless.

So I've more or less decided on the DT990 Pro (250 ohms). I have seen these recommended by so many people for what I'm after, I feel if I purchase these I simply can't go wrong. It should make it super effective to move around with dead silence, maintaining great positional awareness of enemies in my space on games such as Call of Duty MWR.

Regarding the dac amp situation. For ease of use but mainly price, I've decided to go for a dac amp combo and have narrowed it down to these two options:
1. SMSL M3
2. FX AUDIO DAC X6

Do you think both these two would be suitable to drive the DT990? I won't be needing the highest possible volume ofc, but being able to go slightly louder than the SMSL SD793-II was able to get my K612 would be ideal.

And finally, I have not seen you mention anything about the K612. In regards to hearing footsteps on games such as COD4, how do you feel the K612 holds up/where is it lacking? I had read that they have good imaging as well as realistic soundstage, and were generally being recommended to me ahead of the likes of K701/K702 and others in the similarly priced AKG range. However, I'm not sure about the finer elements such as treble, midtones, etc.

Best regards,
Dbizzle88

Online AMG

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Hi!, thanks for your confidence.

Well the main reason why DT990 Pro (250Ohms) are popular for sound whore gaming is because has a very decent mid-range and lower to mid treble. Sennheiser is the leader on mid-range performance and below average on treble.

Most games enemy and gunshots footsteps resides on mid-range only, but in some games low and mid treble also has situational footsteps tracks, as follows:

Fortnite, CoD, some enemies footsteps in a distance or in when they are walking upstairs from your position.
BF1, BFV t allies footsteps, but in a rain scenario enemies footsteps are highlighted.


Be aware bright headphones (high treble) can be a big annoyance for sensitive ears specially if you don't bare high notes, maybe you find some opinions that can be tiresome.

About the DAC/Amp, my recommendation is the FX AUDIO DAC X6, Spec wise delivers more power at 32 Ohmns, SMSL is very weak.

On the AKG K612, I haven't hear them so I can't make an opinion; however after seen its frequency response  it seems is a more afforable alternative to HD58X Jubilee... or at least is target towards it, however AKG headphones are more airy by design, this means you can hear your real-life surroundings and a more natural wide open audio sensation, this takes a hit on imaging, that's why most competitive headsets are closed-back to focus in the direction of the sound source (imaging) not much on how far are from your position (soundstage).

Now about midrange, and this is me guessing... midrange might sound pushed back on the AKG than Sennheisers.

Example, if you were hearing a singer, with sennheiser you hear it if he/she was 5 ft infront of the band, with AKG feels like the singer is a 1 ft if not mixed with the band.

If I'm sound whoring, my priority will be kill game music, lower or no chat audio and have very good mid-range.

You can't go wrong with all the headphones we have mention, but how you hears handle notes is something that you have to take into account.

:)

Offline lilnagle

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Anyone try the steelseries arctic pro + gameDAC? Runs about $250 Iíve read mostly great reviews....Iím on pc btw

Offline Dbizzle88

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 @alanmcgregor

Cheers again! So I've sent back the akg612 pro and ad700x.. I tested both out, the ad700x just didn't feel right, accurately locating positioning felt a bit off. I'm also not a fan of the design, despite using the rubber band mod. I couldn't properly test out the k612 as the amp didn't drive it loud enough, but even at max possible volume I found these better than the 700x for locating footsteps with more precision on modern Warfare remastered.

Regadless, I've decided to purchase both the dt990 and HD58X. I will test them both and use one for gaming with the other for entertainment. I'm in love with the design of the dt990 (minus the cable) and it seems I'd be a fool not to go for the HD58x, it seems these are some very high value headphones due to the lowish price vs audio quality.

 I've seen a few mods recommended here: https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/headphones/measurements/brands-s-se/hd58x-jubilee-massdrop/ that apparently get the 58x to sound almost identical to the hd660s. But I'll look more into this before jumping into modding. I imagine the sound will probably be fine without modding.

Its all rather exciting. A week ago I didn't know the first thing about audio/headphones, a week later it feels like I have made the right decision with these two new cans.

I will update this thread with my thoughts on both new headphones once I have them and the fx audio x6 dac amp.
« Last Edit: 10:16 AM - 03/02/20 by Dbizzle88 »

Offline Brianfps

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This is a very interesting thread. I have a question for alanmcgregor. Firstly thanks for all the great information here.

I'm currently looking for the ultimate headset for positional accuracy for call of duty games. I play a variety of cod games but mainly cod4 and some of the later releases

I'm willing to spend anywhere up to $500.

I can see that you strongly recommend the sennheiser hd660s.

I was just wondering which you feel would be the better option between the hd660s and the beyerdynamic dt1990 Pro?

I know that the jubilee version is available, but for simplicity I'm just looking to see the differences between the hd660s and the dt1990

These headphones would be for 100% competitive advantage for hearing vital sound cues (eg. Footsteps) on call of duty series games

Thanks in advance  :)

Online AMG

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Hi Brianfps  welcome to XIM community :)!

Sennheiser HD660S and Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro, even though are at the same price range IMO are unique on its own right; you can't wrong with either but is an investment for sure.

"For gaming", any audiophile headphones of these caliber(price range) or above, we are steeping over the line of "overdoing". Nothing wrong with that if you can afford it, go for it but don't expect what you are paying for...

About Headphone prizing:
A $200 headphone sounds 100% better than a $100?, -no but a good 70% for sure.
A $500 headphone sounds 100% better than an $250, -no maybe 40%.
$800 headphone doesn't sound 30% better than a $400 one. Diminish returns. At that prizing you are paying for exclusivity, handmade materials(bamboo, wood) or even experimental technology.

Sennheiser HD660S,  Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro and the Shure SRH1840 are professional headphones intended for music production and mixing, specially the last two, these means are very analytic, very accurate, clear and high fidelity (sound sounds like on real life), for music listening, movies, to get an exceptional audio quality experience that competes with a more expensive surround home theater, sure these price range is what you should looking for.

For Gaming:
Any of these had AMAZING imaging, you can know when a enemy is about to appear around a corner with precision, or if is behind you, or above you, under, if is at a 7 meters 2 o'clock, etc.

HD660S stands out for vocal mastering (vocal = mid-range = foot-steps) handles mid-range exceptionally. On gaming terms, you can hear clearly footsteps with both, but on the Sennheiser are very noticable. If the game is chaotic with a lot of explosions and ambient noise in the background on the HD660S you can definitely identify the enemy footsteps and teammates call-outs (mid-range), on the DT1990 Pro is a bit harder, footsteps kind sound mixed with the ambient.

However, if the game has a quiet ambient noise (like PUBG, Apex Legends, Squad) HD660S and DT1990 Pro are in a even field... and DT1990 Pro might and edge specially if the game audio mix in question had enemy footsteps also in the low and mid treble. Treble is substantially more present on the DT1990 Pro, this can be tiresome for long game sessions.

So I had both, and decided to keep the HD660S because is sound signature is more my liking, I can't hear treble dominant ("bright") headphones for too long, and this is my next-level headphones for a next-level audio listening

Introducing the Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro... these headphones had a great bass for open-back, similar mid-range and highlighted treble performance than DT1990 Pro, but it doesn't sound "as beautiful realistic representative as a real life" than the DT1990 Pro's", but for gaming in all honesty you don't need it, what we want is a radar, we want to hear every footsteps and its direction clearly DT990Pro for sure will deliver this performance, for a lower price. That's why is so popular between gamers/streamers.

Finding a right headphone is like finding a right mouse, you have to choose what ever is more comfortable for you and you hearing. But unlike mice, you can't have one headphone that does all, one that does great bass, other which mid-range is the best, and your bright headphone for treble heavy audio. In my case my DT990Pro are "my bright" headphones, my go-to for sound-whoring; but I can't use them for more than 2 hours, only for competitive of serious gaming... for enjoy casual gaming I prefer the signature of the ADG1X or HD660S.

My suggestion is, make sure you have a decent DAC/Amp, then start to look for headphones.

In short:
Assuming you can handle treble (high-notes)

For Call of Duty (which has footsteps on mid-range and treble), specifically for sound-whoring I will say DT990 Pro are definitely a top recommendation, no doubt.

My go-to for sound-whoring (footsteps detection)

Proof that I own both.

But based on my personal experience, the best so you can ear EVERYTHING will be Shure SHR1840, over the DT1990 Pro, those has very good mid-range closer to a Sennheiser, very noticeable treble but not too harsh like on DT1990 and DT990 Pro, and it has such a WIDE sound-stage that you feel you are playing on a cinema theater, is weak point is the bass, DT990Pro has better bass, but as you know when we are sound-whoring a recess bass will help to hear better the foot-steps.

That was lot, sorry but at the end you have to try it.