Gaming/Computer Headphones?

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dethwing6

Guest
I'm new to headphones, but there was a thread on gaming forum I frequent suggesting that equally priced headphones are much better than speakers. Wanting to be rid of the hassle of 5.1 surround sound and the hissing white noise, I was interested. Since it's tax return time, I'm looking to purchase a Sennheiser HD-595. It will mostly be used for gaming and listening to music on the computer. I have a few question for those who use headphones in those situations:

1. Did you use 5.1 systems before? Do you miss it(the surround sound)? Do you miss the thumping feel from a powerful subwoofer?

2. Is it hard to hear other things happening outside the headphones? I'm going to have trouble convincing my other half to let me buy these if I can't hear anything going on. Like a phone call.

3. Can you wear the headphones all day?


Thanks for any response.
 

fish99

Active Member
There is another option. Go with quality stereo speakers. Have a look at something like Roland DM10 monitors, which have amp/digital receiver built in. They're much smaller than hi-fi bookshelf speakers. Having said that, I've never used them. Another option would be hi-fi mini monitors (as long as they're shielded) and some sort of amp or mini amp.

Not saying HD595 aren't a good option though. For music they will be superb, even connected to a PC soundcard, which obviously won't get the best out of them. They should sound excellent for games too. Sennheiser phones have plenty of bass usually, but no, you won't get that 'thump' your sub does. As for 3d sound, the X-Fi is supposed to do a very nice 3d sound spatializer effect on stereo headphones. Whatever you do, don't get 5.1 headphones (Medusa, Zalman types) though, they're terrible.

HD595s are open back, but you'll still have some trouble hearing other things. A ringing telephone is pretty loud though. Comfort wise you should have no problems, but headphones are more tiring to listen to than speakers.
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
dethwing6 said:
I'm new to headphones, but there was a thread on gaming forum I frequent suggesting that equally priced headphones are much better than speakers. Wanting to be rid of the hassle of 5.1 surround sound and the hissing white noise, I was interested. Since it's tax return time, I'm looking to purchase a Sennheiser HD-595. It will mostly be used for gaming and listening to music on the computer. I have a few question for those who use headphones in those situations:

1. Did you use 5.1 systems before? Do you miss it(the surround sound)? Do you miss the thumping feel from a powerful subwoofer?

2. Is it hard to hear other things happening outside the headphones? I'm going to have trouble convincing my other half to let me buy these if I can't hear anything going on. Like a phone call.

3. Can you wear the headphones all day?


Thanks for any response.
You can get moderately convincing 5.1 over headphones under certain circumstances, but it can be expensive. If you're listening on a PC then using a Creative X-Fi card and its CMSS system would be a possibility. It's never going to match the soundstaging you get on a 5.1 speaker system, but it's a lot better than plain over-headphones stereo.

Headphones obviously can't reproduce the feeling of a subwoofer hitting you in the gut, but a good set of headphones will go very deep indeed in terms of reproducing bass. Not just deeper than stereo speakers, but deeper than many dedicated subwoofers. The Sennheiser HD650, for example, has a stated response range of 10Hz-39.5kHz. Granted, I think that's +/- 10dB rather than the +/- 3 or +/- 6 that's usually quoted for speakers. But they certainly have a strong response down to 15 or 16Hz, and there aren't many cheap subwoofers that will go that low. They may not make you feel it in your gut but they can certainly make your teeth rattle.

How easy or hard it is to hear what's going on around you depends on the design of the 'phones. "Open back" models are fairly transparent - you would have no problem hearing a phone ringing or hearing someone talking to you. On the other hand, someone else in the room can quite easily hear what you're listening to, and, if there is a lot of ambient noise, you can't block it out. "Closed back" models have rather more isolation, and certain "in-ear" models very successfully block out sound.

Most high-end 'phones are open-back, so that shouldn't be a problem.

I think you'll find it difficult to find a pair of 'phones that are comfortable enough to wear all day, though. For a couple of hours, yes, but not all day.
 
G

Gullanian

Guest
I could wear the HD590's all YEAR! Those phones are so bloody comfy it's unbelievable.
 

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