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Best headset for soundwhoring?  (Read 773 times)

Offline randomusername_LOL938338

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Best headset for soundwhoring?
« on: 04:05 PM - 10/10/19 »
looking for sound quality more importantly than price and comfort, anyone know any good ones lmk please

Offline GunzBlazed

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #1 on: 05:11 PM - 10/10/19 »
are you only looking for a gaming headset? or would you look into headphones as well?
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Offline ceebs

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #2 on: 01:43 AM - 10/11/19 »
You just want a pair with an open soundstage, and half decent DAC. I use the kit in my sig below, but there are loads of alternatives.

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Offline CAL50vengeance

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #3 on: 03:51 AM - 10/11/19 »
HyperX cloud alpha is really nice, they have released cloud alpha s if u like surround, I prefer stereo. But the alpha s have some wierd base boost button on the headset.. that can be nice, to choose if u want low or boosted base. The regular alpha sound great IMO but some reviews say it's too much base.

I've tried SteelSeries Arctic Pro with GameDac. Those are more expensive but sounds great!👍 Easy custom EQ on the fly with the Dac.
Not like AstroA50 where u have to unplug, plug in PC, unplug back to PS4/Xbox just to see if the EQ settings sounds ok.
 
Arctic Pro also got a wider range of hz you can customize. From 32hz to 16Khz. 10 spalts instead of 5 like the A50 and many others. Bonus if you use Arctic Pro on PC u can listen to High-res music. It doesn't work on consoles and even if it did I don't think it would make any huge difference when it comes to gaming. Btw they are both very comfortable. If u got huge dumbo ears lol HyperX revolver is better than alpha it has a surround version as well as standard.

Hope this was helpful.
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Offline alanmcgregor

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #4 on: 09:41 AM - 10/11/19 »
Budget?.

What type of player are you?
Fifty casual:
Want to enjoy your games sound effects(explosions, gunfire, ambient noises) while still hear footsteps clearly?

or

Nasty Tryhard:
Do you want insane footstep precision detection/location, enemy positioning on the battlefield like a sonar so people think you have a sixty sense or wall-hacks?, while the rest o for audio is... meh, there but... dull.

From the start, forget any headset made for a company that makes keyboards or has RGB and if you want the best sound whoring forget Surround.

Offline HansZimmer

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #5 on: 11:13 AM - 10/11/19 »
Easy, use audiophile headphones with an amp, like the Beyerdynamic DT990, am amp then a microphone of your choice

Any "gaming l33t haxx0r" hadphones are garbage next to those.

Offline Enrix

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #6 on: 11:47 AM - 10/11/19 »
From the start, forget any headset made for a company that makes keyboards or has RGB and if you want the best sound whoring forget Surround.
Hello, nice suggestion. I just read this post and I would like to learn more about all this, I don't know anything about sounds.
I did some quick google researches to learn more about what you guys said, but still I have a few questions: so basically sound whoring means using sound in the game to your advantage, right?
What are audiophile headphones? Just professional headphones or something?
What's the point of using a DAC?
Last question... why did you say "forgot about surround"? I thought surround was the best option.
Sorry for all the questions I just wish to learn something new xD
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Offline alanmcgregor

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #7 on: 12:15 PM - 10/11/19 »
I can elaborate something if you bear with the text.

Offline Enrix

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #8 on: 04:22 PM - 10/11/19 »
I can elaborate something if you bear with the text.
What do you mean? I just had a few questions...
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Offline alanmcgregor

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #9 on: 07:10 PM - 10/11/19 »
I mean sure, I can explain but is a lot to cover in a thread going to be as brief as possible :).

Quote from: Enrix
so basically sound whoring means using sound in the game to your advantage, right?
That's right, more specifically be able to hear footsteps, gunfire and locate enemy position precisely like:
"there is an enemy on top",
"behind me!",
"enemy inbound right at the corner, in 3, 2, 1... NOW!",
"two enemies: one in at 3:00 and other at 10:00, about 10 feet".

These "sounds" are mostly on the Mid-range of the Sound Spectrum and some in the Treble-range. The Bass-range is where explosions are.

When you are sound-whoring you want those mid-range and lower treble (footsteps, enemy sounds) to be very noticeable, and the bass inconspicuous almost absent.

Quote from: Enrix
What are audiophile headphones? Just professional headphones or something?
Exactly, professional headphones for audio creation and reproduction.

Just for reference, a level entry audiophile headphone from $80 it will reproduce the sounds better than most gaming headsets about $180 or above.

Now headphones has its own signature or characteristics to reproduce sounds.

Some headphones can have the following traits, it can be:
"punchy, warm" (bass heavy),
focus "on vocals" (mid-range) or
bright (high treble).

For sound whoring you need a headphone that is focused on vocals and bright, meaning excellent mid-range and clear treble.

However, specially with treble... if your ears can not handle sharp sounds, using a very sound whoring headphone might be very annoying or unbearable.

When using audiophile grade headphones, you might need an Amplifier, that is a device that delivers power to drivers (speakers inside of the cups) so these can reproduce sound as best as possible which is the best dynamic range performance (you can hear wide range of sounds cues and details at any given moment).

Quote from: Enrix
What's the point of using a DAC?
DAC, stands for Digital to Analog Converter, is the sound card what creates a digital signal (0101010) into analog signal (sound waves). All our audio devices has DACs like your phone, portable music players, tablets, consoles.

Some DACs are have "Coloration", this means that are not transparent, they add artificially bass or treble.

DAC's also incorporates: DSP (Digital Sound Processing) which are things like:
Bass boost,
Scout Mode or Sound Whoring Mode (kill bass, highlight mid-range and treble)
or Reverb aka Surround Sound.

DSP are artificial or fake, and you should avoid it.

The best setup for audio performance for sound whoring:
A DAC completely transparent sound with
a Headphone design with excellent mid-range and treble performance and detail,
powered by an also transparent amplifier.

Gaming headsets, relies too much on DSP to sound "better" than they really are. Because production wise, is way more cheap to manufacture a headphones with cheap speakers and improve them artificially with DSP, However manufacture high quality speakers are more expensive and those are the ones that came on audiophile headphones and doesn't need DSP

Quote from: Enrix
why did you say "forgot about surround"? I thought surround was the best option.
We all have that idea, and the gaming market have take advantage of it.

Yes on a cinemas or very expensive set of 8 speakers, works because those using many speakers and at different distances and tonalities... but for headphones is a different story.

Surround Sound on Headphones is simulated (DSP), but mostly what they do is to "expand" the sound sources, so you can hear sounds from the walls, not in your head. Similar to walking in to a hall and hear sound bouncing from the walls and by the same token, these reverb makes it difficult to precise where these sounds come from, you can hear them but... you can not say with accuracy, this sound is at my 2:00 and is about 4 feet from me.

So, Good Surround Sound is impossible? - No, but it must be record and mixed in a very special way and the Surround DSP processing on your headphones should match nicely with it.

Why you don't need Surround for sound whoring. Because you have the best sound processing device: your brain, and only with two channels(left and right ear) your brain can recreate a true 3D environment.

Don't believe it? watch this video with the cheapest headphones you can get: Virtual Barber Shop

As you can see hear, Stereo is more than enough and many games are recorded to improve stereo performance.

For Sound Whoring, we need to be able to distinguish where the sounds came from, and Stereo is more precise than Surround due other attributes of sound are more distinguishable, these are:

Separation: Stereo image, be able to distinguish left from right channel, and sounds characteristics.

Imaging: determines where, how far, and how wide each sound source is located on a stereo image, on simply words: you are in the center a clock, imaging is how accurately you can point each clock hand position, so you can say: "oh, there is an enemy on my 1:00", like slices of a pie. A headphone with bad imaging will have only left, top left, top, top right, right positions, a headphone with very good imaging will have every single degree.

Soundstage: determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious is, how expand or big the world sounds in your head. Bigger soundstage more immersive experience, less imagining accuracy though.

A visual analogy will be: Imaging and Soundstage is your "Field of View" how wide is your perspective of a landscape(soundstage) and how precisely you can locate each element/object on it (imaging).

Back to Sound Whoring, this is personal preference but generally you will want a medium soundstage with the best sound imaging possible on Stereo.

See? that was a lot of digest.
« Last Edit: 07:33 PM - 10/11/19 by alanmcgregor »

Offline alanmcgregor

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #10 on: 07:37 PM - 10/11/19 »
Years back in order to have Audiophile Headphones, you should spent above $400 for a decent DAC and other $600 for an amplifier.

Today, there are many Audiophile headphones are very efficient, meaning: doesn't need an amplifier to work properly. Can be powered by a console (usb dongle, controller) however it will sound better with amplification, and the good news you can have amplifiers from $70 - 100 that will powered any professional audiophile headphone.

So if I have to recommend the best bang per buck headphone for gaming, better than most gaming headset and if I could I will buy 12 and give it to my friends for gift will be, without of doubt:

Philips SPH9500 are audiophile grade headphones, excellent imaging, amazing soundstage for the price $75 usd, very good mid-range and treble, doesn't need an amp to work properly and work with consoles.

Most affordable top recommendation for sound-whoring:
Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro + JDS Atom Headphone amplifier

Get those headphones on sale, open box or used (you can change earpads and you are good)
« Last Edit: 09:28 PM - 10/11/19 by alanmcgregor »

Offline Holdmyjoint

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #11 on: 06:27 AM - 10/12/19 »
Will that sound whoring setup work well with the xbox one x aswell?
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Offline Enrix

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #12 on: 07:33 AM - 10/12/19 »
Thank you very much for the explanation! Let's say I am a "mix" of the 2 kind of players you listed...
I like to hear every kind of sound nicely, I don't want to focus on footsteps only, but at the same time I'm not a casual :D
So I learnt a few new things today, nice :)
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Offline alanmcgregor

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #13 on: 06:02 PM - 10/12/19 »
Will that sound whoring setup work well with the xbox one x aswell?
Yes for any gaming platform: PC, XB1, PS4, Switch

Thank you very much for the explanation! Let's say I am a "mix" of the 2 kind of players you listed...
I like to hear every kind of sound nicely, I don't want to focus on footsteps only, but at the same time I'm not a casual :D
So I learnt a few new things today, nice :)
Anytime! :)

I'm in the same boat. Well, let me tell you that using any decent audiophile headphone you will be able to hear footsteps, no matter what, because these type of headphones are meant for critical listening (hear vocals, and midtones and trebles always will be great delivery and distinctive.

Most gaming headsets on the other hand, are more bass focused because bass makes a headset sound "fun", vibration explosions, etc. Ironic right? for sound whoring are not the best.

There is another subject you must know, is very important:

Close back Headphones and Open Back Headphones

Video

For gaming, closed-back headphones are more convenient for competitive, specially if you are in an noisy environment the sound is very precise and you hear it in your head, very isolated. Bass is stronger on closed back by design because the sound can't escape.

Open-back on the other hand will give you the sensation that you are listening speakers -not in your head-, so you can hear your surroundings in real life, is a natural sound and it feels more immersive. Bass is weak on open back by design because sound leaks.

Most very high performance audiophile headphones are open-back.

None is better than the other, is personal taste or scenario. I have both, I do prefer open-back... but when I go full tryhard, or for late night gaming sessions and put my closed back (Sennheiser GSP600) on.

OK, now back to your question.

With headphones like the Philips SHP9500 that I recommend you can enjoy a wide range of sound, and very distinctive footsteps, bass will be weak yet present.

Unfortunately there is not a one headphone that fits all or will do all great.

It depends on your hearing capacity, and taste. I can say, hey go for the DT990 Pros but those maybe harm your eardrums, other person with different hearing might find them soft and nice. You need to try them.

However if you see closer the most popular ones, those might be very good for most people.

The Sennheisers HD600 are legendary, they have more than 20 years in the market and are the gold standard for some. One thing that they do that you don't see as great on other brands is how intimate reproduce vocals, in a song you can feel a singer sing to you like you are infront of him/her and the band is a few feets back and around. For gaming this good remember vocals = footsteps.

Some people prefer a different sound reproduction like a wide one, like been in the 5 row of a concert and the vocal is mixed with the band, yet present but not in your face... and that's what SHP9500 does, or AKG701 AKG7XX or Audio Technica AD700X.

Gaming Headsets that are not crap
There is a few gaming headsets that have Audiophile headphone lineage, maker took a very good entry level Audiophile headphone and put it a mic. This is the case of the Hyper X Cloud and Alphas which are from Takstar .
HyperX Clouds

Takstar Pro-80


Audio Technica took its ATH-AD900X headphones and put it a very high quality condenser mic creating the ATH-ADG1X

Beyerdynamic also has their ready to go true audiophile headphone with a mic, on the Beyerdynamic MX300.

Sennheiser did the same with its GSP line up, GSP300, GSP500, GSP600 all those had high grade cans and tuned with agreat mic.

Cooler Master also follow the idea of Hyper X and bring the MH752 and took a model from Takstar-82 and rebranded

Personally I love the ATH-ADG1X are open back, I can hear footsteps clearly and ping point its location accurately, bass is not weak is rumbling, treble gives nice vivid crisp sensation, rain sounds great, bullet shells, without hurting my eardrums.

The GSP-600 has amazing imaging very precise, but in general the headphone is very bright... treble is a bit exhausting

My best headphone is the HD660S I think... is the best headphone for gaming, is amazing FREAKING AMAZING  all the sounds are rich clear, soundtage delivery is outstanding it has weak bass but the vocals oh man the vocals... sounds spectacular, when listen music I can hear singers lips and saliva, for gaming the precision is better than ADG1X but HD660S cost 3 times more and is not that big difference.

As far I know, the Sennheiser Massdrop HD58X Jubilee are cheap version of the HD660X ($600 usd vs $180) that uses the same speakers and sounds very close. My recommendation will be get the Jubilees.

Those will be without a doubt the best recommendation, and it will change your gaming experience for sure. Like jumping from a 360p screen to 4K.

However you have to invest on an amplifier, that's a must, and a external microphone of course. The amplifier must be transparent as possible and if has a DAC also transparent will be great. The best DAC/Amp in the market with those characteristics is the Mayflower ARC ($250 usd) which is as clean as a professional studio DAC/amp that cost above $800. SoundBlasterX C6 is also a very good option is not as clean and detail as ARC but has many software options.

The headsets I mention above, those doesn't need an amplifier to deliver, have a nice microphone is the easier afforable way for high gaming quality.

But the HD58X + Amplifier + External mic will be far better and worthy.

« Last Edit: 06:09 PM - 10/12/19 by alanmcgregor »

Offline alanmcgregor

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Re: Best headset for soundwhoring?
« Reply #14 on: 06:03 PM - 10/12/19 »
Ops and I forgot.

No matter how good or expensive your audio setup is, if your friends in the voice chat keeps talking, screaming, ranting, all these performance will be negated by it hehehe so, take it into account ;)