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Looking for an immersive pair of headphones


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Hey all,

 

I'm hoping to find a solid pair of headphones that would be best for immersion when gaming. I'm not exactly into multiplayer too much, so most of the time I find is spent on RPGs.

 

I've been considering the HD650s for a while, but I've noticed the HD700s on sale recently for $100 more. Is it worth the extra money?

 

Also, I'm using this with a computer that has a Maximus VII motherboard. While Realtek isn't phenomenal, would it have the power to bring out the best potential, of the headphones, or would I need an amp/soundcard?

 

Thanks for your thoughts!

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In terms of immersion, though not accuracy, I have found several AKG models to be above average. The AKG 240 isn't bad. Other models share a similar set of traits from AKG.

 

Now I haven't used the V-moda that dalethorn referenced. They should be good by all accounts.

 

Now about your other question. Get yourself a good amp, it will make a big difference. Even keeping your current phones and investing in an amp would probably net more benefit than a change of phones. A good amp is a primo requirement.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Immersive, v-moda M100. I've had the others, but I don't think they're particularly immersive.

 

Thanks for the recommmendation! I'll do I little more research on it soon. =)

 

In terms of immersion, though not accuracy, I have found several AKG models to be above average. The AKG 240 isn't bad. Other models share a similar set of traits from AKG.

 

Now I haven't used the V-moda that dalethorn referenced. They should be good by all accounts.

 

Now about your other question. Get yourself a good amp, it will make a big difference. Even keeping your current phones and investing in an amp would probably net more benefit than a change of phones. A good amp is a primo requirement.

 

I've done some reading on the AKGs, and Mass Drop does sells the K7XX often, but I've always been hesitant since I've read they take a bit of configuration to fit your settings.

 

Thinking back to Realtek, you've convinced me, I'll invest into an amp. =P Any recommendations you have in mind?

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I have quite a few nice pairs of headphones, but these days I find myself always reaching for my Bose QC20i.

Now before you react to the fact that they are a Bose product, hear me out:

 

First off, the QC20i is not some awful headphone with a U-shaped frequency response and bloated bass - it actually has quite a flat frequency response: Bose Quiet Comfort 20 Noise Canceling Earphone Measurements | InnerFidelity

 

They're very light, and comfortable to wear for hours and hours.

They are not in-ear monitors. They do not get inserted into the ear canal. (which I find uncomfortable)

The fit is more like earbuds, only the tips are silicon and they are a very snug fit that won't fall out.

 

The main reason I keep using them: the noise cancellation.

They do a decent amount of passive isolation by themselves, and the active noise cancellation cuts out just about any ambient noise.

You can't beat that for immersion.

 

Now ANC itself adds a bit of a hiss, though it's generally quieter than the environments I wear these in.

If you're in a perfectly silent room, you can wear regular closed or open-back headphones and get a much higher fidelity sound. But if there's any background noise, you would arguably be better off with ANC headphones.

I find myself able to listen to music at much lower volume levels than my regular headphones, since you can hear the softer details a lot clearer without any background noise, which is much better for your hearing.

 

The thing which always stands out to me - and what has me always reaching for them - is that even when I think things are relatively quiet, when I am finished and take off the headphones I am always surprised at how much background noise there can be that I just wasn't aware of.

The only time I find myself reaching for my big headphones now is late at night or very early in the morning when it's actually quiet.

 

 

They are certainly not perfect:

They are expensive and you can get higher fidelity headphones for the same money or less.

Having to charge them every couple of days is a nuisance, as is the battery/control box attached to the cord.

 

But I still highly recommend them, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another pair if these were lost or damaged.

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Thanks for the recommmendation! I'll do I little more research on it soon. =)

 

 

 

I've done some reading on the AKGs, and Mass Drop does sells the K7XX often, but I've always been hesitant since I've read they take a bit of configuration to fit your settings.

 

Thinking back to Realtek, you've convinced me, I'll invest into an amp. =P Any recommendations you have in mind?

 

No I am not in the best position to make suggestions on amps, dalethorn is a better person to ask on that. Even older Headroom amps are a worthwhile improvement (I have one I use sometimes). But there are too many available for me to know what to suggest as your best choice. I use some semi-pro recording interfaces for serious headphone listening, but just for playback you don't need all that. So maybe Dale or someone else will give you some good info for an amp.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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No I am not in the best position to make suggestions on amps, dalethorn is a better person to ask on that. Even older Headroom amps are a worthwhile improvement (I have one I use sometimes). But there are too many available for me to know what to suggest as your best choice. I use some semi-pro recording interfaces for serious headphone listening, but just for playback you don't need all that. So maybe Dale or someone else will give you some good info for an amp.

 

Once you get to the buy point for an amp, be sure to specify how it will be used and with what other devices or components. When I said 'immersive' for the M100, I meant really immersive, like you're not just hearing music, but you're immersed in it.

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Once you get to the buy point for an amp, be sure to specify how it will be used and with what other devices or components. When I said 'immersive' for the M100, I meant really immersive, like you're not just hearing music, but you're immersed in it.

 

Looks like the m-100s it is then! Have any recommendations on a amp to pair with them? =)

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Different amps, depending on the source (computer, music player etc.) and whether the amp has to output to anything except headphones.

 

Computer only likely. The usage is primarily gaming, some audio programs, and music of course. No other audio devices, other than a pair of speakers.

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Computer only likely. The usage is primarily gaming, some audio programs, and music of course. No other audio devices, other than a pair of speakers.

 

Best bet then is Microstreamer, Dragonfly v2, or Audioengine D3. They're small, run on USB power, have plenty of headroom for a M100, and will control the bass better than other amps.

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Compared to using most computers, true. But there may be other situations where the difference is more pronounced.

 

I used M-100's for a year with an E18 paired with my SGN3 & they sounded much better but that was because the DAC in the E18 is far superior to the junk in my phone. Comparing the E18 later to my ODAC/O2 showed very little difference either way, which is why I'm inclined to think the DAC played a bigger part than the amp. Amp's are never a bad thing though.

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I used M-100's for a year with an E18 paired with my SGN3 & they sounded much better but that was because the DAC in the E18 is far superior to the junk in my phone. Comparing the E18 later to my ODAC/O2 showed very little difference either way, which is why I'm inclined to think the DAC played a bigger part than the amp. Amp's are never a bad thing though.

 

Indeed - the DAC undoubtedly made the bigger difference.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Thanks for your input Dale and solrighal. In that case, I'll likely fiddle with the headphones and decide about getting an amp later on. From what I've been reading the Dragonfly looks promising. I may use the headphones with my phone, but that's a rarity at best. =P

 

Spend the $200 to get a Schiit Modi2 and a Schiit Magni 2. It'll drive headphones like HD650's nicely (for the money) and you should be happy with it. Much more so than you will be with your integrated Realtek junker. Regardless of what the PC plebs may say, integrated is crap. A lot of computer nerds these days think that ALC 1150 sounds good but that's only because they haven't heard a decent DAC.

 

The Dragonfly is good but it won't give you the quality of headphone amplification that you'll get from the schiit modi/magni combo.

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