[SOLVED] Looking for a good headset for gaming and electronic music under 200£

Flame1

Reputable
Aug 8, 2017
121
2
4,595
3
Im currently using the HyperX Cloud Alpha with HyperX AMP, I like this headset a lot but I also really like bass which they lack to me. I went across the bayerdynamic DT770 Pro headphones and been told that they sound better however I have also seen people saying that they sound exactly the same as the headset Im currently using.

Important points:
-I have an external mic so I do not need a headset with a mic.
-I like bass
-I mostly listen to electronic music.
-Ideally I do not want to spend more than 200£, but 300£ is my limit.
-I am a noob when it comes to audio.

Thanks in advance.
 
I get what you're saying, but then why are there headsets that cost hundreds? I always thought thats because they must sound really good to anyone, I know that a lot of them have features like wireless and sound isolation etc but some of them cost a LOT despite not having any of these fetures.
I’m no audio expert but my dad is and I grew up with studio grade audio equipment at home and it has left me fussy, I think this is because I have a high benchmark for comparison. I know I prefer a completely neutral sound. As an example I had read many glowing reviews of the Sony XM3’s and from the reviews you would pick them over the QC35’s. However when I tried them I immediately picked up on an over emphasised bass that I didn’t like. I personally prefer the QC35’s but a lot of people prefer the XM3’s. Although quality audio cost money just because a product has a higher price tag does not mean it’s higher quality or that you will like it. I had bought for me as a present a £300 pair of Razer Tiamat 7.1’s which were no better than a £60-80 headset. Having had many people go you must listen to this set of speakers/headphones as they are great 9 out of 10 times I am underwhelmed. I actually think a lot of people have only ever known simple headphones/speakers and when given a high quality system they don’t like it at first as their music doesn’t sound like it normally does. The extra detail often seems lost on them at first but give them 1/2 hr and then ask the to go back to their old setup and they usually hear the difference straight away.
 
Reactions: Flame1

Ziferous

Reputable
Feb 18, 2017
193
14
4,715
10
My recommendation is the Audio-Technica ATH M50x's (I have the Bluetooth version, which delivers audio quality indistinguishable to the wired version in my opinion). They have fantastic sound quality but some say they have a light or weak bass. If you do like strong bass, you can always go to control panel>hardware and sound>sound>playback (select the headphones)>properties>enhancements, From here, check the equalizer box on the list of enhancements and change the setting to bass. This will give your audio a huge bass boost, and in my opinion, give you a much more immersing and fuller audio experience. If you need me to explain in further detail I gladly will. Hope this helps.
 
Reactions: Flame1

Flame1

Reputable
Aug 8, 2017
121
2
4,595
3
My recommendation is the Audio-Technica ATH M50x's (I have the Bluetooth version, which delivers audio quality indistinguishable to the wired version in my opinion). They have fantastic sound quality but some say they have a light or weak bass. If you do like strong bass, you can always go to control panel>hardware and sound>sound>playback (select the headphones)>properties>enhancements, From here, check the equalizer box on the list of enhancements and change the setting to bass. This will give your audio a huge bass boost, and in my opinion, give you a much more immersing and fuller audio experience. If you need me to explain in further detail I gladly will. Hope this helps.
So I have done some research on the headset that you have recommended and here is what I found: https://medium.com/@Xander51/headphone-showdown-audio-technica-m50x-vs-everything-2464e5272ac0#:~:text=The Cloud Alpha has a,much wider than the M50X.
It says quote: "The Cloud Alpha has a cleaner, nicer sound than the M50X with less aggressiveness in its signature. The bass is nice and warm and present, without overwhelming the mids. The highs are clean without any grain. And the soundstage is much wider than the M50X. "

Im struggling really hard with this, its like one person says the headset is much better than the one Im currently using and then the other person says the complete opposite... I wish this wasn't so complicated.

I did also try to use the windows setting that you told me about but it resulted in the bass sounding quite artificial in my experience.
 

Flame1

Reputable
Aug 8, 2017
121
2
4,595
3
I know this doesn’t help but audio is so much personal choice you really need to try them. What one person finds excellent another finds average or poor.
I get what you're saying, but then why are there headsets that cost hundreds? I always thought thats because they must sound really good to anyone, I know that a lot of them have features like wireless and sound isolation etc but some of them cost a LOT despite not having any of these fetures.
 
I get what you're saying, but then why are there headsets that cost hundreds? I always thought thats because they must sound really good to anyone, I know that a lot of them have features like wireless and sound isolation etc but some of them cost a LOT despite not having any of these fetures.
I’m no audio expert but my dad is and I grew up with studio grade audio equipment at home and it has left me fussy, I think this is because I have a high benchmark for comparison. I know I prefer a completely neutral sound. As an example I had read many glowing reviews of the Sony XM3’s and from the reviews you would pick them over the QC35’s. However when I tried them I immediately picked up on an over emphasised bass that I didn’t like. I personally prefer the QC35’s but a lot of people prefer the XM3’s. Although quality audio cost money just because a product has a higher price tag does not mean it’s higher quality or that you will like it. I had bought for me as a present a £300 pair of Razer Tiamat 7.1’s which were no better than a £60-80 headset. Having had many people go you must listen to this set of speakers/headphones as they are great 9 out of 10 times I am underwhelmed. I actually think a lot of people have only ever known simple headphones/speakers and when given a high quality system they don’t like it at first as their music doesn’t sound like it normally does. The extra detail often seems lost on them at first but give them 1/2 hr and then ask the to go back to their old setup and they usually hear the difference straight away.
 
Reactions: Flame1

Flame1

Reputable
Aug 8, 2017
121
2
4,595
3
I’m no audio expert but my dad is and I grew up with studio grade audio equipment at home and it has left me fussy, I think this is because I have a high benchmark for comparison. I know I prefer a completely neutral sound. As an example I had read many glowing reviews of the Sony XM3’s and from the reviews you would pick them over the QC35’s. However when I tried them I immediately picked up on an over emphasised bass that I didn’t like. I personally prefer the QC35’s but a lot of people prefer the XM3’s. Although quality audio cost money just because a product has a higher price tag does not mean it’s higher quality or that you will like it. I had bought for me as a present a £300 pair of Razer Tiamat 7.1’s which were no better than a £60-80 headset. Having had many people go you must listen to this set of speakers/headphones as they are great 9 out of 10 times I am underwhelmed. I actually think a lot of people have only ever known simple headphones/speakers and when given a high quality system they don’t like it at first as their music doesn’t sound like it normally does. The extra detail often seems lost on them at first but give them 1/2 hr and then ask the to go back to their old setup and they usually hear the difference straight away.
Interesting, and here I was thinking that getting a better headset I currently have would be as simple as finding a headset that has higher specs acorss the board.. Now I think i'll just stay with this until it breaks, given how well they are build I assume it's gonna take years, I don't wanna throw 200£ on a headset that I might not even like the audio of.
 
Interesting, and here I was thinking that getting a better headset I currently have would be as simple as finding a headset that has higher specs acorss the board.. Now I think i'll just stay with this until it breaks, given how well they are build I assume it's gonna take years, I don't wanna throw 200£ on a headset that I might not even like the audio of.
I don't want to put you off, a better headset can really lift the enjoyment of what you are listening to. I just strongly recommend trying to find a way of testing them first or being prepared to send them back if disappointed.
 

anort3

Titan
Moderator
If you like electronica you'll like the DT770. Get the 80ohm version. It supposedly has the tamest treble and is easy to drive.

The M50X is extremely over rated. They're uncomfortable and the sound is very unbalanced. Peaky treble and bass that is bloomy and bleeds into the mids.

Not sure about availability and pricing but the Meze 99 Classic is also worth considering for that price range. As is the Philips Fidelio X2. The X2 is only $145 on Amazon making it one of the best values in the headphone world right now. But that's US. Neither need an amp.

An upgrade is the AKG K712 Pro. But it will need an amp of some type. The X2 is close though.
 
Reactions: Flame1

Flame1

Reputable
Aug 8, 2017
121
2
4,595
3
If you like electronica you'll like the DT770. Get the 80ohm version. It supposedly has the tamest treble and is easy to drive.

The M50X is extremely over rated. They're uncomfortable and the sound is very unbalanced. Peaky treble and bass that is bloomy and bleeds into the mids.

Not sure about availability and pricing but the Meze 99 Classic is also worth considering for that price range. As is the Philips Fidelio X2. The X2 is only $145 on Amazon making it one of the best values in the headphone world right now. But that's US. Neither need an amp.

An upgrade is the AKG K712 Pro. But it will need an amp of some type. The X2 is close though.
Thank you!

With the BayerDynamic DT770, do I go for the studio or the monitor 80ohm version?

Also I have looked at your other recommendations, and they seem to all be open-back, I've never used an open back headset before, is the sound leak bad? I have a condenser mic and Im afraid it will pick up the sound coming from my headset.
If it's not a big deal, than I think the Fidelio X2HR that you recommended are going to be my pick, I really hope my motherboards built-in sound card will be enough.

The prices in the UK are as follows:

Fidelio x2hr: £149.00
Bayerdynamic DT770 80ohm: £109 (Studio) £125 (monitor)
AKG K712 PRO: £210
Meze 99 Classics: £270
 

anort3

Titan
Moderator
I don't know the difference between all the mid-fi Beyerdynamic models. Pro, Studio etc. I'm sure comparisons exist though. The drivers and the sound are the same I think. It's only build that differs.

The X2's will leak a bit as will any open back headphones. They're extremely good for that price though. The original retail was $300 and they won awards for value even at full retail. There's an X3 coming soon so the price has dropped recently. They will run just fine off a phone or motherboard.

The K712 Pro is a step up in refinement to my ears. But you'd need a headphone amp. Or a motherboard with one integrated.
 
Reactions: Flame1

Flame1

Reputable
Aug 8, 2017
121
2
4,595
3
I don't know the difference between all the mid-fi Beyerdynamic models. Pro, Studio etc. I'm sure comparisons exist though. The drivers and the sound are the same I think. It's only build that differs.

The X2's will leak a bit as will any open back headphones. They're extremely good for that price though. The original retail was $300 and they won awards for value even at full retail. There's an X3 coming soon so the price has dropped recently. They will run just fine off a phone or motherboard.

The K712 Pro is a step up in refinement to my ears. But you'd need a headphone amp. Or a motherboard with one integrated.
Okay I might just go for the x2 for £150 then, the AKG K712Pro + Fiio E10K AMP Would cost me £260 which is a big price increase.
I hope they will put my HyperX Cloud Alphas to shame.
 

anort3

Titan
Moderator
If this is your motherboard is has an integrated amp. Better than the Fiio.


Asus does audio very well and has for years. I've had a Xonar Essence STX soundcard for almost 10 years and it's still very good.

X2 - Great bass and a wide, open soundstage. Build quality is excellent although they're a little heavy.

K712 Pro - Also great bass response with an even larger soundstage. The K712 has better 'air' in the treble. It's hard to explain other than as instrument separation. There's just a small level of extra refinement to my ear. They're also a bit lighter.

Truly either is a good choice. I only keep a headphone if I really like it and I kept both. :)
 
Reactions: Flame1

Flame1

Reputable
Aug 8, 2017
121
2
4,595
3
If this is your motherboard is has an integrated amp. Better than the Fiio.


Asus does audio very well and has for years. I've had a Xonar Essence STX soundcard for almost 10 years and it's still very good.

X2 - Great bass and a wide, open soundstage. Build quality is excellent although they're a little heavy.

K712 Pro - Also great bass response with an even larger soundstage. The K712 has better 'air' in the treble. It's hard to explain other than as instrument separation. There's just a small level of extra refinement to my ear. They're also a bit lighter.

Truly either is a good choice. I only keep a headphone if I really like it and I kept both. :)
I can't thank you enough for reaching out even after I marked an answer, I just ordered the Fidelio X2HR and they will be here in 3-4 days.
 
Reactions: anort3

Flame1

Reputable
Aug 8, 2017
121
2
4,595
3
Let me know how you like them. :)
So here are my thoughts:

First out of the box impressions
I took them out of the box, plugged them into the "line out" jack on the back of my motherboard and put them on my head, I am finding them slightly more comfortable than my hyperx alphas (my hyperx alphas have sheepskin leather memory foam ear pad replacements because i found the stock really uncomfortable despite what people always said in the reviews) so on that note, I would not change the stock ear pads on the x2hr because im finding them really comfortable so far.

Thoughts on the build quality
As for the build quality, I'd actually lean towars saying that the hyperx feel like they're built better, but that doesn't matter to me because as long as the headset doesn't instantly break when i accidently drop it from my desk it's built well enough.

First sound test
So then I went into windows sound settings and in the properties i changed the quality from default to 32 bit, 192000Hz which was the maximum available and opened up spotify to try out some songs, now this wasn't a "wow" or at least isn't YET, I do prefer how these sound over the alphas in music but it's not a huge jump that I expected. Anyways, then I booted up CS:GO and seriously, there I could definitely tell that Im able to pinpoint where the footsteps are coming from better than on the alphas.

Experiencing open-back
Another thing I noticed while playing is that I can hear myself pressing the keys on my keyboard a lot clearer (as well as every other sound in my room ofcourse) which isn't ideal but honestly I don't mind it because it doesn't get in the way of the in-game sound, and my keyboard does not have loud switches (Im using cherry mx speed low profile switches) Im really thankful I didn't get convinced to buy one of those clicky loud Cherry blue switches keyboards.

That's all I have to say so far, I like them and I will use them. I do have some questions though.

Was me setting the format to 32 bit 192000Hz a silly thing to do?

If yes what setting should I use?

Is there anything else I should do to increase the sound quality?

In games audio output configuration, should I use the surround sound settings (cs go has 5.1 surround sound and quad surround sound) or should I just stick to what I walways used which is Stereo?
 

anort3

Titan
Moderator
Was me setting the format to 32 bit 192000Hz a silly thing to do?
Yes. You want to match the source file. Mostly just set Windows to 16bit 44.1khz which is CD quality. If you use a high res streaming service like Tidal, Amazon or Qobuz they will have higher bit rate files up to 24bit 192khz ( very very few are that high ). If you set it higher than the source it will oversample.

Is there anything else I should do to increase the sound quality?
Give them a week or two of regular use. I've only experienced burn in being a thing on a few sets of headphones but the X2's noticeably improved in the treble after about a week of use.

When listening to music you don't want any surround or effects. See if there's a Hi-Fi mode or similar and use that for music. Use virtual surround for gaming ( if you like it ).

To improve sound quality improve the source. Try one of the above mentioned services. I've used Tidal for years and they always have free trials. The difference can be night and day. CD's ripped to lossless still sound slightly better but it's close.

Also I am not sure if it should be that way, but in sound playback settings this is what they are recognized as:
Looks right to me.
 
Reactions: Flame1

Flame1

Reputable
Aug 8, 2017
121
2
4,595
3
Yes. You want to match the source file. Mostly just set Windows to 16bit 44.1khz which is CD quality. If you use a high res streaming service like Tidal, Amazon or Qobuz they will have higher bit rate files up to 24bit 192khz ( very very few are that high ). If you set it higher than the source it will oversample.



Give them a week or two of regular use. I've only experienced burn in being a thing on a few sets of headphones but the X2's noticeably improved in the treble after about a week of use.

When listening to music you don't want any surround or effects. See if there's a Hi-Fi mode or similar and use that for music. Use virtual surround for gaming ( if you like it ).

To improve sound quality improve the source. Try one of the above mentioned services. I've used Tidal for years and they always have free trials. The difference can be night and day. CD's ripped to lossless still sound slightly better but it's close.



Looks right to me.
I assumed that if the audio is lower quality than the 192k i had it set to it would automatically adjust :/

So is 44.1khz cd a universal setting that I would get the best experience from when listening to spotify premium and gaming at the same time? Im sorry if that's not what you meant, I usually just put the things on the "highest" setting and think that it's the best option.
Also what is oversampling?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS