Thinking of getting a headset or headphones? Check Here first

Jay on F1

Well-known Member
A GUIDE TO HEADSETS, HEADPHONES AND YOUR OPTIONS

This resource is designed to be starting point and lists most of the options available if your looking to buy a headset or headphones for gaming. This is by no means a definitive list, but gives you an idea of what's out there and what different solutions cost. This resource was created to help first time buyers or those looking to upgrade, and to save the same questions and answers being asked in the ‘decent headphones for the 360' thread. Please continue to ask specific questions there once you've read up on a solution that interests you.

Please Note – The list of retailers isn't extensive and the products listed here are available from other retailers. Prices may vary also and were correct when this reasource was created.

Also, there is no opinion expressed in this resource. I have simply provided the facts with regards to each solution.



WHATS FEATURED

ONE BOX SOLUTION HEADSETS

Turtle Beach X1
Turtle Beach X11 (newer version of X1)
Turtle Beach X31
Turtle Beach X41
Tritton AX 720
Tritton AX PRO
Sharkoon X Tactic V3
Astro a30 Headset and mix amp
Astro a40 headset and mix amp

ASTRO MIX AMP

JVC (VICTOR) SU DH1 (alternative to mix amp)

SEPERATE HEADPHONES/HEADSETS

Turtle Beach HPX-1
Sennheiser PC360
Sennheiser HD515 G4ME
Sennheiser HD555
Sennheiser HD595
Sennheiser HD600
Sennheiser HD650
Audio Technica AD700
Audio Technica AD900
Audio Technica A700 (closed headphones - see glossary)
Audio Technica A900 (closed headphones - see glossary)
Denon AH-D2000 (closed headphones - see glossary)
AKG K701
Beyerdynamic DT880 (2005)

USEFUL INFO

Headphone Glossary (popular terms and what you should be looking for explained)
Labtec Boom Mic mod details
X1 Talkback puck
Radioshack Gold Plated 2.5 mm coupler (for extension of x1 puck cable)
Sumnique 2 pin 500mA USB UK wall plug (alternative to power mix amp)
Headphone burn-in

COMING SOON

Comparison spreadsheets. Comparing the features of the one box solutions featured, comparing the specifications of the headphones featured and comparing the astro mix amp and the JVC (Victor) SU DH1

I'll get around to doing this - promise!



ONE BOX SOLUTIONS - HEADSETS


Turtle Beach Ear Force X1 Headset
Price - £34.95 - £74.99

Product Website
Turtle Beach - Xbox 360 Gaming Headset - Ear Force X1

Retailers

Lime
LIME | Ear Force X1 Xbox360 Headphones | Headsets From Turtlebeach

SVP
Turtle Beach Ear Force X1 Headset - SVP

Game
Ear Force X1 Headphones - Xbox 360 - GAME.co.uk

Gamestation
Gamestation.co.uk - Buy video games, consoles and accessories, new and pre-owned with free UK delivery


Description
The Turtle Beach X1 is a headset meaning you wear a pair of headphones with a microphone attached. This allows you to chat in game and to hear what other players are saying, as well as hearing the game audio at the same time.

The X1 headset outputs stereo sound to the wearer.

What is stereo sound?
Stereo sound is sound divided across two channels (recorded on two separate sources) then the recorded sounds are mixed so that some elements are channelled to the left and others to the right. Basically speaking you'll be able to hear the direction of sound coming from your left and your right in games. This is particular useful for first person shooters where your trying to get a bead on your enemies location.


Features
  • Hear xbox live chat as well as game volume
  • Improved bass and general amplification of game sound
  • Separate controls for game and chat volume
  • Also compatible with PC
  • Powered by the usb port on your 360


Turtle Beach X1 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

Sdb123, The Hotspur, Dmaidmen, hot-fuzz, deftones, shrimp3r, joelk2



Turtle Beach X11 Stereo Headset
Price £54.99

Product Website
http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/efx1/home.aspx

Retailers

LIME
http://www.limexb360.co.uk/product/Turtle_Beach_Earforce_X11_TB-EF-X11 (ETA 14th May 2010)

Description

See Turtle Beach X1 above

If you're wondering what improvements have been made in the Ear Force X11, here's a summary of how it compares to its predecessor, the Ear Force X1:


Microphone Monitor

Ear Force X1 - None

Ear Force X11 - Active

The microphone monitor lets you hear your voice in the headset, so you'll only scream when you want to.


Acoustically Tuned Ear Cups

Ear Force X1 - Standard

Ear Force X11 - Enhanced

The ear cups, speakers and ear cushions on the X11 are acoustically tuned for optimum fidelity. That means you'll hear crisper highs and deeper lows for an improved gaming experience.


Ear Cup Padding

Earforce X1 - Vinyl

Earforce X11 - Fabric Mesh

Fabric mesh ear cushions provide better ventilation to the ears for increased comfort over long gaming sessions.


Ear Cup Size

Earforce X1 - Standard

Earforce X11 - Oversized

The X11 ear cups are larger so they sit around your ears, rather than on top of your ears. This makes them more comfortable for long gaming sessions.


Color Scheme

Earforce X1 - White/Grey

Earforce X11 - White/Black

The new black and white color scheme matches our latest X31 and X41 models, making the X11 an integral part of our new XBOX® headset family.


Talkback Cable

Earforce X1 - Puck-Style Cable

Earforce X11 - Straight Cable

The new X11 talkback cable is more durable and works with the Microsoft® Racing Wheel and Chat Pad.


Chat Volume

Earforce X1 - Puck Cable

Earforce X11 - Amplifier

The chat volume control is located on the amplifier unit so it's easier to balance game and chat volumes by placing them right next to each other.



Turtle Beach Earforce X31 Wireless headset
Price £ 79.99 - £139.99

Product Website
Turtle Beach - NEW Wireless Xbox 360 Gaming Headset - Ear Force X31

Retailers

LIME
Turtle Beach Ear Force X31 Headset | LimeXB360

PLAY
Play.com (UK) : Turtle Beach Wireless Headset Ear Force X31 : Xbox 360 - Free Delivery

AMAZON
Turtle Beach Wireless Headset Ear Force X31 (Xbox 360): Amazon.co.uk: PC & Video Games

Description
New Features over the Turtle Beach X3 include: the ability to power by USB, Digital Rf Signal Technology (wireless) and improved ear cushion design.
The Ear Force X31 provides the listener with stereo sound (see x1 description) over an RF wireless connection whilst incorporating xbox live chat.

Features
  • Digital RF wireless technology provides CD-quality game sound and crystal-clear reception
  • Hear XBOX LIVE chat plus stereo game sound
  • Expander creates a wider stereo panorama
  • Bass boost adds sonic realism
  • Chat Boost dynamic talkback feature lets you hear chat even when the game gets louder
  • Independent controls for game audio and chat volumes
  • Eliminates game sounds picked up by chat mic
  • Mic monitoring allows you to hear what you're saying


Turtle Beach X3/X31 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

Dmaidmen, Yemeth



Turtle Beach X41 Wireless Surround Sound headset
Price £144.99 - £154.99

Product Website
Turtle Beach - NEW Xbox 360 Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset - Ear Force X41

Retailers

LIME
Turtle Beach Ear Force X41 Wireless Headset | LimeXB360

AMAZON
Turtle Beach Wireless Headset Ear Force X41 (Xbox 360): Amazon.co.uk: PC & Video Games

GAMEPLAY
Turtle Beach Ear Force X41 Wireless Gaming Headset for Xbox 360 (Xbox 360) at Gameplay - FREE UK Delivery


Description
The Ear Force X41 is Turtle Beaches top-of-the-line XBOX 360 headset. It features 7.1 channel Dolby surround sound, XBOX LIVE chat functionality and a digital RF wireless connection for clear game audio. The x41 aims to Combine comfort with a 360 degree sound field and enhanced online communication.

Taken from Turtle beaches website “Playing your favourite XBOX game with the Ear Force X41 is like having a “secret weapon” in your arsenal. You'll get a competitive advantage by hearing sound cues that you can't hear with speakers, such as the soft footsteps of an enemy sneaking up behind you, or the click of a loading weapon far in front of you. By hearing sounds others can't—and by knowing where they're coming from—you'll react faster and take them out before they take you out.


Features
  • Dolby Digital 7.1 Surround Sound
  • Dolby Pro Logic IIx reproduces full-range special effects in the surround channels and enhances stereo sound
  • Digital RF wireless technology provides CD-quality game sound and clear reception
  • Chat Boost dynamic talkback expander automatically increases incoming chat volume during loud game sequences
  • Eliminates game sounds picked up by chat mic
  • Independent controls for game audio and chat volumes
  • Mic Monitor mixes your voice into the headphones so you can hear what you're saying
  • Hear XBOX LIVE chat plus game sound
  • Bass boost adds sonic realism
  • Digital input for highest XBOX sound quality, plus analog input for TV and other audio sources


Turtle Beach X4/X41 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

Sdb123, The Hotspur, Lee AVF, Munkey Boy, mcnoiserdc



Tritton AX720 Surround Sound Headset
Price £107.28

Product Website
TRITTON Technologies Inc. :: AX 720

Retailers

LIME
Tritton Technologies Tritton AX 720 Dolby Digital Gaming Audio System - TAX720

Description
Specifically designed for the XBox and PS3 systems, the AX 720 delivers precision audio and voice communication. The AX 720 Utilizes Dolby Digital and Dolby Headphone technology, however the AX720 is a 2-Channel headset that includes Dolby Digital decoder to create a 3D audio environment. Precision balanced 40mm drivers provide bass and clear highs to the sound. You can chat online with your teammates on the XBox, PS3, or PC using the detachable microphone. The convenient inline audio controller features independent voice and game volume controls so that you can clearly hear your teammates during those crucial gaming moments. A breakaway cable design will allow you to connect optional cables to your MP3 player or even an iPhone.

Features
  • Digital Optical Connection
  • Dolby® Digital / Pro Logic® II / Dolby® Headphone
  • Inline Audio Controller with Independent Chat Volume Control
  • Voice Compatible with XBox Live
  • USB Microphone for Playstation Network /PC/Mac
  • Removable And Replaceable Ear Pads and Headrail Pad
  • Removable Microphone

Trittion AX720 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

Mr Yakimoto



Tritton AX Pro Surround Sound Headset
Price £143.03 - £174.99

Product Website
TRITTON Technologies Inc. :: AX Pro


Retailers

LIME
LIME | Tritton AX PRO Headphones | Headsets

IHEADPHONES
Tritton AX Pro Xtreme | SALE Now On!

Description
The AX PRO is considered the flagship of Trittons gaming headset line. Features include Hear Everything Technology, digital 5.1 surround sound, simplified microphone connection for XBOX Live, and a USB port for microphone connection to a PS3 or computer. The inline audio controller also includes advanced features such as, individual sound field controls, master volume mute, microphone mute control, and backlighting for low light conditions. Precision audio drivers ensure optimum sound quality from low to high frequencies. The AX PRO is a licensed Dolby Digital and Prologic II certified product designed for gaming.

Features
  • Digital Optic/Coaxial interface
  • Digital / Dolby Prologic II
  • True 5.1 Surround Sound
  • Advanced Inline Audio Controller
  • 8 Individual Speakers (4 in each ear cup)
  • Removable Microphone
  • Voice Compatible with Xbox Live
  • USB Microphone for PS3/PC/Mac Headphone
  • Back Light Inline Audio Controller
  • Master Volume Control & Mute
  • Microphone Mute
  • Individual Sound Field Control
  • Independent chat volume control



SHARKOON X TACTIC V3 Surround Sound Headset
Price £112.36 - £122.60

Product Website
SHARKOON Technologies GmbH

Retailers

AMAZON
Sharkoon Digital Headset: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo

SCAN
Scan.co.uk: 4044951008681 - Sharkoon X-TATIC v3 5.1 Dolby Digital® Headphones & mic, PC/XBOX/PS3 + Control Box (*USB Mic PS3/PC)

LIME
LIME | Sharkoon X-TATIC v3 5.1 Dolby Digital Headphones


Description
The Sharkoon X Tactic V3 headset features four speakers per earpiece and volume controls built into the cable. Through the included Sound Control Unit, the X-Tatic Digital can connect to the optical output of the PS2, PS3, Xbox and Xbox 360. As well as a PC, DVD player or other HiFi device. The Sound Control Unit outputs analog Dolby Digital and Dolby®ProLogic® signals, and supports a second X-Tatic headset.

The V3 version has a newly developed microphone, allowing the chat functions of the PS3 and the Xbox 360 to be supported. The ergonomic construction of the headset includes soft ear pieces and a plush headband, making the headset comfortable to wear even for long sessions.

Features
  • 5.1 channel headset
  • 8 speakers (4 in each earpiece)
  • Digital, in-line volume control
  • High end amplifier
  • Independent, illuminated volume adjustment for each channel and master volume
  • Detachable microphone with QuickOn connection

Features (SCU) Sound Control unit:
  • Supports Dolby® Digital 2.0, Dolby® Digital 5.1 and Dolby® Pro Logic®
  • Supports the chat function of PS3®, Xbox® and Xbox® 360
  • Dynamic Range Control

Specifications
  • Digital optical input (S/PDIF)
  • 2 analogue audio outputs for the X-Tatic headset
  • 3 analogue 3.5 mm audio outputs (front, rear, center / subwoofer)
  • 1 microphone connector for PS3 (USB A -> USB B)
  • 1 power connector
  • Dimensions: 15 x 122 x 56 mm (H x L x W)
  • Weight: 110 g

Sharkoon X Tatic users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

The Swill, RottenFox, mcnoiserdc



Astro A30 Audio System Headset and Mix Amp
Price £179.95

Product Website
http://www.astrogaming.co.uk/products.asp?id=2746

Retailers

LIME
http://www.limexb360.co.uk/product/A30_Audio_System_Headset_and_Mix_Amp_A30ASB

ASTRO GAMING
http://www.astrogaming.co.uk/products.asp?id=2746

Description

The A30 Audio System couples the LAN functionality and Dolby Headphone technology of the Astro MixAmp with the cross-gaming versatility of the A30 Headset. While tournament-ready in its own right, the A30 really shines as a multi-media headset across a variety of gaming devices. Essentially Astro are aiming this package at people who want a headset to use on the go with portable misic devices, but who also want the ability to use the same headset along with the mix amp for gaming.

Features

* Astro MixAmp for Xbox360 & PS3 compatibility, featuring Dolby Digital, Dolby PLIIx, Dolby Headphone, voice/game balance & daisy-chain connections for LAN setup.

* Frequency response boosted at lower & upper ends for richer bass and piercing highs - more traditional audio tuning.

* Supra-aural, "on-ear" cushion design.

* Closed-back construction enhances a deep bass response and passively isolates listener from external sounds.

* Left side boom mic only, removable. Additional in-line mic embedded in Quick Disconnect connector.

* Patent-pending A30 Speaker Tag system for customization and personalization.

* Astro Quick Disconnect ("QD") cabling system with three QD cables - Console (1.5 meters), PC (1.5 meters) and Mobile One-Click PickUp (0.5 meters)



Astro A40 Audio System Headset and Mix Amp
Price £199.95

Product Website
Audio Systems - A40 Audio System | Astro Gaming

Retailers

LIME
LIME | A40 Audio System Headset and Mix Amp

ASTRO GAMING
Audio Systems - A40 Audio System | Astro Gaming

Description
The Astro A40 Audio System combines crystal-clear voice communication with pinpoint-accurate 5.1 Dolby Digital and Dolby Headphone surround utilizing a user-configurable headset.

In addition to the A40 Headset's removable speaker tags (which are high-quality collectibles in their own right), you'll find a completely user-configurable microphone boom. It attaches to either side or removes completely for solo gaming and music sessions.

The A40 Audio System includes the external A40 MixAmp, providing Xbox and Xbox 360 users with combined voice and game sound, ideal for tournament play and discrete "midnight gaming" sessions. A discrete game/voice balance control enables you to find the ideal in-game setting.

PC Gamers benefit as well, by offloading surround decoding and voice communication duties to the A40 system. Combine multiple A40 MixAmps and you'll be provided a private, hands-free, full-duplex voice communication channel that's much higher-quality than VoIP systems, with zero network and system lag.

Every A40 MixAmp is daisy-chainable, and each comes complete with everything you need to connect the built-in voice communication feature of multiple MixAmps. PLEASE NOTE you'll need to order a separate optical cable because this isn't supplied. These are readily available and can be purchased in many different lengths.

The A40 Headset comes with a quick-disconnect cable and multiple ends: an A40 MixAmp cable (also compatible with portable audio players), and a standard dual-jack PC connector with in-line volume and mute control.

Inject your games with your own soundtrack. Connect your mp3 player through the mixer itself with the included cable. Free up valuable system resources, and put your music within arm's reach.

The Astro package is a fantastic one box solution and comes in high quality professional packaging. As stated, you get everything you'll need except an optical cable. Rounding off the package is a quality travel case that stores your headphones and mix amp.


Astro A40 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

Jamienufc, UselessLuke, hot-fuzz, tom nook



ASTRO MIX AMP


Astro Mix Amp (headphones/headset must be purchased separately)
Price £99.95

Product Website
MixAmp - A40 MixAmp | Astro Gaming

Retailers

LIME
Astro Gaming Astro Mix Amp - ASMA

ASTRO GAMING
MixAmp - A40 MixAmp | Astro Gaming

Description
This is the same mix amp featured with the a40 headset above, the difference here is that you're purchasing the mix amp separately to be used with a different set of headphones or a headset. (any with a 3.5 mm standard connector).

The Astro A40 MixAmp combines crystal-clear voice communication with pinpoint-accurate 5.1 Dolby Digital and Dolby Headphone surround. High-power, audiophile-grade amplification completes this portable, powerhouse package. PLEASE NOTE It's the mix amp that gives you the Dolby Surround you hear. The effect is either enhanced or not by the headphones you listen through.

The external A40 MixAmp provides users with combined voice and game sound - ideal for tournament play and discrete "midnight gaming" sessions.

PC gamers benefit by offloading surround decoding and voice communication duties to the A40 system. Combined with other A40 MixAmps it provides a private, hands-free, full-duplex voice communication channel - much higher-quality than VoIP systems, with zero network lag.

The A40 MixAmp is daisy-chainable out of the box, and comes complete with everything you need to connect the built-in voice communication feature of multiple MixAmps.

Inject your games with your own soundtrack. Connect your mp3 player through the mixer itself. Free up valuable system resources, and put your music within arm's reach.

PLEASE NOTE There is now a 2010 astro audio system/mix amp released in the UK. The mix amp features ps3 voice compatibility out of the box and features face lift versions of the A40 headphones and mix amp. The 2.0 version isn't technically different to the solution described here and if ps3 compatibility is a concern you can purchase the ps3 mic adaptor from lime for the old version.

LIME | PS3 Mic Adaptor


Astro Mix Amp users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

Sdb123, shark17, The Hotspur, Jamienufc, Shrimp3r, UselessLuke, hot-fuzz, tom nook, Bonessi, lunch box, davidrvieira



JVC (VICTOR) SU DH1 (alternative to mix amp)

JVC (Victor) SU DH1

PRICE

£69.60 - £79.56 plus possible import charge.

PRODUCT WEBSITE

Surround Sound Headphone Adaptor - SU-DH1

RETAILERS

BLUETIN

Shop selling Victor-JVC SU-DH1 Surround Sound Portable Headphone Amplifier

AUDIO CUBES

AudioCubes.com - JVC SU-DH1 Surround Headphone Adapter - SU-DH1 -

(There are also auctions on ebay, but be aware due to this product being import only there is a chance you could be met with customs charges, so please bear this in mind when your costing against other options)

Features

The SU-DH1 is a portable surround sound headphone adaptor. It features Dolby headphone technology to provide 5.1ch surround sound through any set of headphones. It comes with an analog input cord that can be stored into the unit, and also has an optical digital mini jack. Ideal to use with laptop computer, portable DVD player, handheld video viewer, and portable game systems or other portable music/video products. Also it can be used to enjoy the in-flight movie with surround sound. Carrying pouch, airplane plug adaptor, and two AA batteries come provided in the package.

*PLEASE NOTE*
There are two versions of this product. The Victor branded unit comes with a power adapter, whilst the JVC branded unit does not. Both run on batteries, and a power adapter can be brought separately. However, the SU DH1 is known for going though batteries very quickly so to purchasing the Victor unit should be a consideration.

*PLEASE NOTE*
Whilst this product is similar to the astro mix amp i.e. in providing dolby headphone surround through standard stereo headphones, it does not handle voice communications. The benefit of the SU DH1 is that it offers a variety of sound formats, but if communicating over xbox live whilst gaming is a priority to you then you should consider the astro mix amp or another solution. The only way to feature voice comms whilst gaming is to use something like the official 360 headset underneath your headphones.

Specifications

Input terminal:
-Optical digital mini-jack x1
-Audio input cord/code: 10cm (phi 3.5mm gold plated stereo mini-plug)
Headphone output terminal: Stereo mini-jack x1
Playable formats:
-Dolby digital, Dolby professional logic II
-DTS (DTS-ES 6.1ch), MPEG-2 AAC and PCM (Fs=44.1kHz and 48kHz)
Surround Sound functions:
-Dolby headphone (DH 1/DH 2/DH 3)
-Dolby professional logic II (AUTO/MOVIE/MUSIC)
Power source:
-2 single type 3 dry cell batteries
-Private AC adapter "AA-D1" (separately if Victor unit not purchased)
Electric battery duration:
-10 hours (alkaline dry cell)
-2.5 hours (dry battery)
External size: W8.2 x H2.6 x D8.6 cm
Weight: 99g


Connecting and using the optical out on the Xbox 360.

The SU DH1 uses a mini-optical connector, so you will need a standard optical lead with a mini adapter to connect the lead to the JVC. (like in the link)

Digital Toslink TO Digital 3.5mm JACK Plug Adaptor: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo

Alternatively you could connect an optical lead with one end terminated with a mini-toslink connector.

Once connected, the signal from the Xbox 360 auto-detects as Dolby Digital and then you select whether you want Dolby Headphone mode A (simulate small recording studio), B (simulate typical room) or C (simulate outdoor area).




HEADSETS/HEADPHONES (recommended for use with the astro mix amp or JVC (VICTOR SU DH1.)


Turtle Beach HPX-1 Headset

Price £66.40

Product Website
Ear Force HPX - Professional Gaming Headset - Xbox 360 and PC

Retailers

LIME
Ear Force HPX-1 Headset & Cable for Astro | LimeXB360

Description
This is a headset so features a mic for xbox live chat.
Please note: This headset must be used with an Astro A40 Mixamp for compatibility with the Xbox® 360. If purchased through Lime, you'll be supplied with the cable you need to connect the HPX to your mixamp.
The Ear Force HPX headset have a total of 8 speakers (four in each ear cup). A pair of 40mm front and surround speakers in each ear can be reconfigured to deliver realistic surround sound in 5.1 channel mode or dynamically improved high-fidelity sound in stereo mode. In 5.1 channel mode, the sub-woofer delivers deep, rich bass for impactful surround sound effects, while the center speakers reproduce center channel sounds, such as the voice track on DVD movies and PC games. The quick disconnect jack lets you easily reconfigure the headphones.


Turtle Beach HPX-1 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

The Hotspur, sdb123, hot-fuzz, jamienufc



Sennheiser PC360 G4ME Headset

Price £159.99

Product Website
http://www.sennheiser.co.uk/uk/home_en.nsf/root/private_headphones_gaming-line

Retailers

Overclockers
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=SP-047-SN&utm_source=froogle

Description

"Developed with the top eSport team mTw, the PC 360 is a new flagship for pro gaming. It has an open design that makes sure you keep a cool head – and delivers a natural listening experience so you can stay in touch with your surroundings. Thanks to the ultracomfortable ear cups, pro microphone and quick-access controls, it's also the only headset you'll ever
need for music, videos and skyping.

Professional gaming with a cool head - the open design lets air in and delivers a natural listening experience;Sennheiser sound – excellent hi-fi sound and acoustics from your games, music, movies and internet calls;Noise canceling clarity – the microphone reduces ambient noise for crystal-clear conversations;All-in-one headset – when you want to enjoy movies or music, just move the microphone out of your way;Practical microphone mute – automatically mute the microphone by raising the boom." (taken from Sennheiser.com)

Specification

- Cable length: 3m / 9.8ft
- Connector sockets: 2 x 3.5mm for desktop/laptop
- Weight: 300g
-
Frequency response:15–28,000Hz
- Sound pressure level: 112dB
- Microphone:
Frequency response: 50–16,000Hz
- Pick-up pattern: Noise canceling

Features

 Professional gaming with a cool head – the open design lets
air in and delivers a natural listening experience

 Sennheiser sound – excellent hi-fi sound and acoustics from
your games, music, movies and internet calls

 Noise canceling clarity – the microphone reduces ambient
noise for crystal-clear conversations

 All-in-one headset – when you want to enjoy movies or
music, just move the microphone out of your way

 Practical microphone mute – automatically mute the
microphone by raising the boom

 Ultra comfortable – XXL velvet ear pads and a cushioned
headband keep you going

 Intuitive design – the volume control is integrated in the
right ear cup

 Freedom of movement – there's only one cable, so you can
turn your head without getting in a tangle

 Peace of mind – thanks to the 2-year international warranty

Please note - This headset is comparable in terms of sound quality to the Sennheiser HD 595s, but with the added bonus of an attached boom mic.

PC360 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

The Hotspur, Nuggsy



Sennheiser HD 515 G4ME Headphones
PRICE £89.99

PRODUCT WESITE
http://www.sennheiser.co.uk/uk/home_en.nsf/root/private_headphones_gaming-line_502423

RETAILERS

IHEADPHONES
http://www.iheadphones.co.uk/headphones/23841/Sennheiser+HD515+Gaming+G4ME.htm

DESCRIPTION
The HD 515 is an open, dynamic stereo headphone that features Sennheiser's E.A.R technology. (The HD515-G4ME delivers a significant advantage over the competition by using Eargonomic Acoustic Refinement (E.A.R.) to Channel Audio directly into the ear.) The DuoFol diaphragms feature an exceptionally quick response/rest time, allowing you to hear significantly more detail too.

FEATURES
• Eargonomic acoustic refinement (E.A.R.) enables ideal sound channelling for a new kind of listening experience
• Advanced Duofol diaphragm technology for incredible realism
• Highly optimized, field-strengthened neodymium ferrous magnet systems
• Outstanding wearing comfort for long listening sessions
• Longevity through exchangeable components (ear pads, cable, headband)
• Lightweight aluminium voice coils for high efficiency and excellent dynamics
• Soft stockinet, crackle-free ear pads even enclose spectacle frames without loss of comfort
• Well-balanced bass reproduction below the human audibility threshold (15Hz)
• Includes carrying case and 1/8" Adapter



Sennheiser HD 555
PRICE £ 67.95 - £78.91

PRODUCT WEBSITE
http://www.sennheiser.co.uk/uk/home_en.nsf/root/private_headphones_audiophile-headphones_005342

RETAILERS

LOW PRICE MEMORY
http://www.lowpricememory.co.uk/sennheiser-HD-555-headphones.html

AMAZON
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sennheiser-HD555-Open-Headphone/dp/B0001FTVDQ

DESCRIPTION
The HD 555 open, dynamic stereo headphones feature a special internal surround reflector. It generates an extended, spatial sound field, making this model the ideal headphones for home cinema as well as music. Many innovative features such as E.A.R. technology and optimised Duofol diaphragms deliver a whole new level of audio reproduction.

FEATURES
Enjoy music in a completely new way: "Eargonomic acoustic refinement" (E.A.R.) design channels the audio signal directly into your ears
Advanced Duofol diaphragm technology almost eliminates standing waves inside the capsule
Optimized neodymium ferrous magnet systems
Outstanding wearing comfort for long listening sessions
Long life due to easily replaceable parts
Lightweight aluminium voice coils for high efficiency and excellent dynamics
Extremely comfortable velour ear pads
Surround reflector for an extremely spatial sound reproduction
Pack Includes
Adaptor to 3.5mm jack

Sennheiser HD595 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

The Bass



Sennheiser HD595
Price £122.87 - £129.99

Product Website
Sennheiser UK - HD 595

Retailers

AMAZON
Sennheiser HD595 Open Headphone 50 ohms: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo

IHEADPHONES
Sennheiser HD595 | SALE Now On!

Description
The open, dynamic HD 595s open up a new dimension in headphone sound and comfort. Sennheiser's most advanced driver technology is used here, combining exceptional clarity with outstanding musicality. The unique E.A.R. design channels music directly into the user's ears, creating a new kind of listening experience. The HD 595s come with a clever headphone bracket that easily attaches to a table or shelf, making sure that the headphones are always at hand.

Features
  • Enjoy music in a completely new way: “Eargonomic acoustic refinement” (E.A.R.) design channels the audio signal directly into your ears
  • Advanced Duofol diaphragm technology almost eliminates standing waves inside the capsule
  • Optimized neodymium ferrous magnet systems
  • Outstanding wearing comfort for long listening sessions
  • Long life due to easily replaceable parts
  • Lightweight aluminium voice coils for high efficiency and excellent dynamics
  • Extremely comfortable velour ear pads
  • Special diaphragm geometry reduces intermodulation distortion
  • Highly constant, compressed cellulose fleece reduces total harmonic distortion
  • Headphone holder included – easily attached to a table or shelf

Box Contents
  • HD 595 headphones
  • Adaptor to 3.5mm jack
  • Headphone holder

Technical Data
  • Nominal impedance 50 Ohm
  • Contact pressure 3.5 N
  • Weight w/o cable 270 g
  • Jack plug 6.3 mm stereo (3.5 mm Adapter)
  • Transducer principle (Headphones) offen, dynamisch
  • Ear coupling ohrumschliessend
  • Cable length 3 m
  • Frequency response (headphones) 12 - 38500 Hz
  • Sound pressure level (SPL) 104 dB (bei 1 kHz und 1 Veff)
  • THD, total harmonic distortion < 0.1 %


Sennheiser HD595 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

The Hotspur, thesilverfox, lunch box, jamienufc, sdb123



Sennheiser HD600
PRICE £199.99 - £231.28

PRODUCT WEBSITE
http://www.sennheiser.co.uk/uk/home_en.nsf/root/private_headphones_audiophile-headphones_004465

RETAILERS

PLAY
http://www.play.com/Electronics/Electronics/4-/589758/Sennheiser-HD-600-Open-Headphones/Product.html?&_$ja=tsid:11518%7Ccc:%7Cprd:589758%7Ccat:Hi

AMAZON
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sennheiser-HD-600-Monitoring-Headphones/dp/B00004SY4H

DV247
http://www.dv247.com/headphones/sen...arde-audiophile-open-dynamic-headphones--7294

DESCRIPTION
The HD 600 Avantgarde are audiophile-quality, open dynamic hi-fi/professional stereo headphones. The advanced diaphragm design eliminates standing waves in the diaphragm material. The HD 600 can be connected directly to hi-fi systems of the highest quality, in particular DAT, DVD, MD and CD players. These headphones are an ideal choice for the professional recording engineer recording classical music, but also lend themselves to gaming when connected to an amp.

FEATURES
&#8226; Sophisticated design, elegantly finished in black and grey
&#8226; High-quality, open metal mesh earpiece covers for an extremely transparent sound
&#8226; Computer-optimised magnet systems minimise harmonic and intermodulation distortion
&#8226; Extremely lightweight aluminium voice coils ensure excellent transient response
&#8226; Neodymium ferrous magnet systems for optimum sensitivity and a wide dynamic range
&#8226; Exceptionally natural, spatial and accurate sound
&#8226; Detachable OFC copper cable, Kevlar-reinforced, with very low handling noise
&#8226; 2-year guarantee

INCLUDED
&#8226; 1 adaptor to ¼&#8221; (6.3 mm) stereo jack plug


Sennheiser HD600 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

Sdb123, jamienufc



Sennheiser HD650
PRICE £244.38 - £259.99

PLEASE NOTE &#8211; Whilst these are excellent headphones, there are questions regarding the astro mix amp's ability to drive these headphones properly on its own. Please consult the &#8216;decent gaming headphones' thread for discussion on this topic if you are unsure.

PRODUCT WEBSITE
http://www.sennheiser.co.uk/uk/home_en.nsf/root/private_headphones_audiophile-headphones_009969

RETAILERS

SCAN
http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductID=358849&source=froogle

AMAZON
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sennheiser-HD-650-Reference-Headphone/dp/B00018MSNI

PLAY
http://www.play.com/Electronics/Electronics/4-/608456/Sennheiser-HD-650-Open-Headphones/Product.html?&_$ja=tsid:11518%7Ccc:%7Cprd:608456%7Ccat:Hi

DESCRIPTION
The audiophile HD 650 is the ultimate in open, dynamic headphone design. Developed from the award-winning HD 600, the HD 650s feature improved materials for even better sound reproduction. They captivate the listener with their expressiveness and emotion while maintaining absolute precision and lifelike reproduction. Enjoy sound in perfection!

FEATURES
&#8226; Systems with narrow tolerances (± 1 dB), hand-picked in pairs
&#8226; Highly optimised magnet systems for minimum harmonic and intermodulation distortion
&#8226; High-quality titanium/silver finish
&#8226; A specially developed damping element, made from fine acoustic metal mesh, ensures a precise damping over the entire diaphragm surface, highly constant in all climates.
&#8226; Specially modulated connecting cable (detachable) made from highly conductive OFC copper, Kevlar-reinforced, with very low handling noise, i.e. low structure-borne sound sensitivity
&#8226; Extremely lightweight aluminium voice coils ensure excellent transient response
&#8226; Gold plated ¼&#8221; jack plug with adaptor lead to 3.5 mm jack plug
&#8226; 2-year warranty


Sennheiser HD650 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

Sdb123, Bonessi



Audio Technica AD700 Headphones
Price £99.99

Product Website
Audio-Technica - Products - Headphones - Hi-Fi - ATH-AD700

Retailers

IHEADPHONES
Audio Technica ATH-AD700 Open-Air Dynamic Headphones | SALE Now On!

Description
These are headphones so don't come with a supplied mic. A simple modification to these headphones can be made using Velcro to attach a boom mic. Details of this can be found at the end of this resource..
With a lightweight honeycomb aluminum casing and magnesium frame structure, these open-air headphones produce no sense of pressure on the ears, offering a completely natural listening experience. Self-adjusting wing support automatically adjusts to your head size for easy-wearing listening comfort. A straight cord at the left earpiece terminates to a mini plug with a 3.5mm connector.

Features
  • Air Dynamic (open) headphones for natural and high quality sounds with deep resonating bass and vocal projection
  • Full open-air type headphones produce no sense of pressure on the ears, resulting in a completely natural sensation
  • Lightweight honeycomb aluminum casing and magnesium frame structure
  • Large-aperture 53 mm drivers with neodymium magnet systems and CCAW voice coils for superior sound reproduction
  • Self-adjusting 3D Wing Support Housing provides comfortable support for a more enjoyable listening experience
  • High-quality hybrid PCOCC and titanium alloy cord
  • Extremely comfortable velvet ear-fitting pads
  • Gold-plated stereo 1/8" (3.5 mm) connector with 1/4" (6.3 mm) adapter


AD700 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

Shark17, hot-fuzz, Jamienufc, tom nook, Bonessi, sunshinewelly



Audio Technica AD900 Headphones
Price £199.99

Retailers

IHEADPHONES
Audio Technica ATH-AD900 Open-Air Dynamic Headphones | SALE Now On!

Description
Audio-Technica's ATH-AD900 Air Dynamic headphones give you high quality sounds with deep balanced bass. With unique self-adjusting bearing armband (world's first) with newly developed 3D "wing support" which allows comfortable and enjoyable listening experience. Features a large 53mm aperture driver made with bobbin winding CCAW voice coil for superior sound reproduction. Designed with light weight aluminum honeycomb casing with a total comfort around your ears.

Features
  • Type: Open-Air Dynamic
  • Driver Unit: 53mm, CCAW voice coil
  • Magnet: Neodymium
  • Frequency response: 5-35,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 35&#937;
  • Max. Input Power: 700mW
  • Output overpressure value: 100dB/mW (JEITA)
  • Plug: Mini/Standard Gold plated 2 Way
  • Cord length: Elastomer/OFC/3.0m
  • Net weight (without cord): 250g
  • Detachable phone plug


AD900 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

Sdb123, The Hotspur, Jamienufc, Bonessi, sunshinewelly, davidrvieira



Audio Technica A700 Closed Dynamic Headphones
PRICE £149.95 - £192.28

PRODUCT WEBSITE
http://eu.audio-technica.com/en/products/product.asp?catID=5&subID=37&prodID=169

RETAILERS

AUDIO AFFAIR
http://audioaffair.co.uk/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=2684&md=9d2786c6b54c206eae12fbc4be516996

HIFI BITZ
http://www.hifibitz.co.uk/product.asp?id=6977

HIFI HEADPHONES
http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/audiotechnica-atha700-closed-back-hifi-headphones-prodid-216.html

DESCRIPTION
Audio-Technica's ATH-A700 closed-back dynamic headphones deliver audiophile-quality acoustic performance with full, rich balanced bass. The headphones feature proprietary large-aperture 53 mm drivers with neodymium magnet systems and CCAW voice coils. Equipped with Audio-Technica's innovative self-adjusting wing support mechanism, the headphones offer long hours of remarkably comfortable listening.

FEATURES
&#8226; Audiophile-quality headphones with metallic finish
&#8226; Closed-back Double Air Damping System for deep bass reproduction
&#8226; Propriety large-aperture 53 mm drivers with neodymium magnet systems and CCAW voice coils for superior sound reproduction
&#8226; Self-adjusting 3D Wing Support Housing provides comfortable support for a more enjoyable listening experience
&#8226; OFC (oxygen-free copper) cloth-wrapped cable
&#8226; Ear pads featuring Audio-Technica's ultra-comfortable total ear fitting design
&#8226; Gold-plated stereo 1/8" (3.5 mm) connector with 1/4" (6.3 mm) adapter

SPECIFICATION
Driver Diameter: 53 mm
- Magnet: Neodymium
- Frequency Response: 5 - 35,000 Hz
- Maximum Input: 500 mW
- Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW at - kHz
- Impedance: 64 ohms
- Weight: 290 g
- Cable: 3.0 - cloth sheath (OFC)
- Connector: 1/8" (3.5 mm) mini stereo, gold-plated



Audio Technica A900 Closed Dynamic Headphones
PRICE £199.99 - £249

PRODUCT WEBSITE
http://www.atheadphones.com/products_product.aspx?ProductId=156

RETAILERS

IHEADPHONES
http://www.iheadphones.co.uk/headphones/22772/Audio+Technica+ATH-A900+Art+Headphones.htm

AMAZON
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Audio-Technica-A900-AUDIO-TECHNICA-ATH-A900-Headphones/dp/B0006VT1TY

DESCRIPTION
Audio-Technica A900 closed back headphones feature a Double Air Damping System (D.A.D.S), first developed for the legendary Audio-Technica Limited Edition W2002 Wooden Headphones. This system creates a deep resonating bass reproduction and the vocal projection is stunning.
Audio-Technica's A900 headphones are designed with a unique patented vibration-proof 3D Wing Support Housing to give comfortable support and an outstanding listening experience.

FEATURES
&#61607; Type: Closed-back Dynamic
&#61607; Driver Unit: 53mm
&#61607; Magnet: Neodymium
&#61607; Frequency response: 5-40,000 Hz
&#61607; Impedence: 40 ohms
&#61607; Max. Input Power: 2,000mW
&#61607; Sensitivity: 101dB
&#61607; Plug: Gold-plated stereo mini plug
&#61607; Cord length: 3.0m (Wrapping / Hi-OFC)
&#61607; Weight: 350g
&#61607; Accessories: Detachable phone plug (stereo standard plug)


A900 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

The Hotspur



Denon AH-D2000 Closed Headphone
Price £229.99

Product Website
http://www.denon.co.uk/site/frames_main.php?main=prod&ver=1&MID=3&sub=2&action=detail&Pid=315

Retailers

Iheadphone
http://www.iheadphones.co.uk/headphones/23734/Denon+AH-D2000.htm

PeterTyson
http://www.petertyson.co.uk/ebuttonz/ebz_product_pages/denon_ahd2000.shtml

Description

The headphone housing used in the AH-D2000 to produce high quality sound is made of materials yielding exceptional acoustic characteristics ensuring faithful reproduction of the original sound. Compound metal is used to increase density, making the sound more stable and clear.
Micro-fibre material has been used to form the diaphragm so that it faithfully reproduces the sonic details and delicate reverberations that occur in concert halls. The size of micro-fibre is approx. 1/100 of natural cellulose used in ordinary diaphragms, and its density increases transmission rates.
Optimum acoustic characteristics are achieved by adjusting the sound pressure balance in front of and behind the diaphragm with the acoustic optimizer design. To provide a sonically clean performance, a balance of low to mid range frequencies is critical and dynamic clear bass is a must; the acoustic optimizer delivers both.

The cable used with the AH-D2000 is made of high purity 99.9% 7N OFC cable and employs an aluminium connector cover and a cloth mesh jacket. High-quality cables of equal length for the L/R channels are used to maintain optimum sound quality and performance.
Additionally the Denon AH-D2000 headphones use a light-weight magnesium frame. This frame lets listeners enjoy maximum comfort during extended listening sessions.

Features/Specification

* Materials with superior acoustic characteristics have been used for the headphone's housing to ensure faithful reproduction of the original sound.
* Microfiber has been used to form the diaphragm so that it faithfully reproduces the sonic details and delicate reverberations that occur in concert halls.
* Optimum acoustics characteristics are achieved by adjusting the sound pressure balance in front of and behind the diaphragm.
* High-quality cables of equal length for the L/R channels are used to maintain optimum sound quality. These are OFC cables enclosed in a cloth mesh jacket.
* Light-weight magnesium frame lets listeners enjoy maximum comfort during extended listening sessions.
* Type, Dynamic type
* Drive units, 50 mm Neodymium magnet
* Input impedance, 25 ohms
* Sensitivity, 106 dB/mW
* Maximum input, 1,800 mW
* Playback frequencies, 5 - 45,000 Hz
* Weight, 350 g (not including cable)
* Cable length, 3.0 m OFC cable
* Plug, 3.5 mm gold-plated stereo mini plug
* Accessories, 6.3 mm Stereo plug / Operating instructions

AH-D2000 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

Tom Nook



AKG K701 Open Dynamic Headphones
PRICE £199.99 - £236.13

PRODUCT WEBSITE
http://www.akg.com/personal/K_701,pcatid,4,pid,1,_psmand,1.html

RETAILERS

IHEADPHONES
http://www.iheadphones.co.uk/headphones/23551/AKG+K701+White.htm

AMAZON
http://www.amazon.co.uk/AKG-K-701/dp/B000EBBJ6Y

DESCRIPTION
AKG is the first manufacturer in the world to use revolutionary flat-wire technology in headphones, namely, the K 701. The result is a truly dramatic sound that places every musician at their correct location with pinpoint accuracy. This kind of agility, spaciousness, brilliant highs, and velvety, punchy bass is simply miraculous. These superlative open-back dynamic headphones provide an outstandingly accurate sound and excellent imaging.

FEATURES
&#8226; Revolutionary flat-wire voice coil technology
&#8226; Patented AKG Varimotion ultra-precision two-layer diaphragm
&#8226; Self-adjusting cushioned genuine-leather headband
&#8226; Bi-wiring, high-performance cable with 1/4" jack plug
&#8226; Comfortable, specially shaped "3D-Form" ear pads
&#8226; Complete with stylish storage cradle
&#8226; Individually tested and numbered

SPECIFICATION
&#8226; Type - Open-back, dynamic headphones
&#8226; Efficiency - 105 dB/V
&#8226; Frequency range - 10 Hz to 39.8 kHz
&#8226; Rated impedance - 62 ohms
&#8226; THD - <1%
&#8226; Max. input power - 200 mW
&#8226; Cable - bi-wiring, single-sided, 99.99% oxygen-free cable, 3m (10 ft.)
&#8226; Connector - gold plated stereo mini jack
&#8226; Adapter - gold plated mini to 1/4" screw-on adapter jack
&#8226; Weight (without cable) - 235g


AKG K701 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

Sdb123



Beyerdynamic DT 880 250 Ohm Semi-Open Stereo Headphones
Price £210.33 - £232.51
If you decide to use these headphones it's the 2005 250 ohm version you should be looking for. Please don't confuse these with the pro version.


Product Website
Headphones
(link also describes difference between the pro and 2005 editions)

Retailers

DV247
Beyerdynamic DT 880 250 Ohm Semi-Open Stereo Headphones | DV247

AMAZON
Beyerdynamic DT 880 Premium Edition Hifi Headphone: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo

Description
The Beyerdynamic DT 880 Semi-Open Dynamic Headphones combines the strengths of open and closed studio headphones. The improved systems of the Beyerdynamic DT880 now offer a high quality headphone with excellent analytical properties. The DT 880 reproduces an amazing sound spectrum, with clean, clear detail from the deepest bass to the highest highs. The highs are crystal-clear without being unpleasant, impressive even at low levels. The neutral balanced mids are analytical and strong, without being predominant.

The Beyerdynamic DT880's bass is voluminous without being too obtrusive. The single-sided cable, the soft ear pads and the padded headband makes the DT 880 extra-comfortable for extended listening sessions. The Beyerdynamic DT 880 is still manufactured in Germany, providing an excellent quality.

Features
  • Semi-open back design
  • Gold-plated 1/8" mini stereo jack plug (3.5 mm) and 1/4" adapter (6.35 mm)
  • 3m straight cable
  • Nominal impedance: 250 Ohm
  • Rugged headband construction
  • Soft headband pad
  • Innovative bass reflex system
  • Single-sided cable


Beyerdynamic DT880 users who are happy to answer directed questions in the thread and PMs.

Shark17, The Hotspur, Jamienufc, sunshinewelly




OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION



HEADPHONE GLOSSARY

This section includes an explanation of some of the terms that are important when considering to buy some stereo headphones for gaming. Strictly speaking none of the headphones featured in the sticky (except the a40s and hpx1) were designed primarily for gaming, however by design they lend themselves very well to it. Here are some of the terminology you need to be aware of.

TYPES OF HEADPHONE


Earcup Headphones

&#8220;Earcup or on-ear headphones rest on the exterior of the ear and were the earliest headphone form designed.&#8221;

Circumaural Headphones

&#8220;Circumaural headphones (sometimes called full size headphones) have circular or ellipsoid earpads that completely surround the ears. Because these headphones completely surround the ear, circumaural headphones can be designed to fully seal against the head to keep out external noise. Because the earpads must enclose the ear, circumaural headphones are often larger in size and tend to weigh more, making them somewhat less portable, but their size also allows for a larger driver.&#8221;
This type of headphone is commonly used in recording studios, by audio enthusiasts, or by people who must be able to comfortably wear headphones continuously for many hours.


Open Headphones vs Closed Headphones


OPEN HEADPHONES

Open headphones, sometimes marketed as &#8220;open air&#8221; headphones, have an open grille on the back of the earcup, exposing the driver to the outside and allowing sound waves to propagate away from the ear freely. This backing type does not isolate the listener from outside sounds; in addition, sound through open headphones can be heard by others in the vicinity of the user. They usually have less distortion due to the lack of earcup resonance.

CLOSED HEADPHONES

Closed headphones have a sealed backing, which attenuates sound waves propagating away from the ear. As a result, listeners away from the headphones cannot hear the produced sound easily. In addition, sound from outside is attenuated by the sealed backing, providing a level of isolation to the listener. A sealed chamber is often claimed to have the negative effect of distorting sound in certain frequencies due to resonances within the earcup housing, however, bass frequencies are stronger in a sealed chamber headphone design.


What's important to me if I wish to use stereo headphones for gaming?


SOUNDSTAGE

Soundstage is the field in which the music/sound is playing, in terms of depth and width. A headphone with no soundstage will sound as if everything is inside your head.

Using the example of a band, a good or a large soundstage is the ability of the headphone to project the location of each instrument in the band. If you hear headphones with a good soundstage the instruments will actually sound like they are a few feet away from you. Basically a good soundstage will not sound like a mash of sounds blended together, instead sound will have depth and separation.

Headphones with good and a large soundstage lend themselves very well to gaming. They separate the game play sound and give the user the ability to hear the direction and proximity of enemies or events both on and off screen. Whilst this is very useful for multiplayer games like MW2 and other FPS's due to the user being able to hear the direction of gunfire or the ability to hear off screen footsteps, it also helps to create immersion for the user and makes any gaming experience better and more enjoyable.


SPECIFICATIONS


PLEASE NOTE &#8211; If headphone specifications aren't listed for the headphones your looking at, please consult the supplied product website link.

Good quality headphones will list the "specifications," which attempt to describe in technical terms how a pair of headphones will sound. Equipment specifications are sometimes overstated, but in the case of headphones, they may be entirely misleading. It bears repeating that because headphones operate so close to the ears, the sound of a pair of headphones can depend on the shape of the listener's head and ears. Headphones with "good" specs may not sound good, and those with "bad" specs may not sound bad. Specification is completely subjective and should only be used as a guide, whats more important is how the headphones sound to you, not whats written on the side of a box. Despite this here are some commonly used terms you should be aware of.


FREQUENCY RESPONSE

Frequency response is the range of frequencies that the headphones can reproduce effectively. The audible bandwidth is 20 Hz - 20,000 Hz (or 20kHz). Outside that range, sounds are not audible to most human ears. Beware, claims of a measured "flat" frequency response (sometimes listed as 20Hz to 20kHz +/- 3dB). A headphone with a true flat response will sound terrible, because what the ears perceive as a "flat" response actually has many peaks and valleys due to interaction of the sound with the listener's head before it reaches the ears. Instead, headphones are often equalized to sound flat.


DIFFUSE FIELD EQUALIZATION

There are two types of built-in headphone equalization that attempt to "flatten" the perceived frequency response: free-field and diffuse-field. Free-field EQ assumes that the listener is in front of a sound source in a listening environment without echos, such as the wide outdoors. Diffuse-field EQ substitutes a room with reflecting walls and can be more natural sounding than free-field EQ. Because diffuse-field EQ is based on an "average" head/ear shape and room model, it may not appeal to all listeners or sound natural with all recordings. A binaural recording may or may not benefit from diffuse-field EQ, depending on how the recording was made, so be sure compare models with and without DF EQ. Headphone manufacturers are increasingly standardising on DF equalization.


DISTORTION

Distortion is how accurately the headphones reproduce sounds and is given in a percentage of signal distorted. Lower is better - 1% distortion or less (at maximum power). Tests have shown that 1% distortion is at the threshold of audibility. Headphones have less distortion at loud levels than speakers.


SENSITIVITY (Loudness)

This is a measure of headphone efficiency in dBs SPL per milliwatt of input. A low number means that the headphones need more power to sound as loud as those which have a higher sensitivity. Headphones for portables need to be fairly sensitive because of the lower power output of portable stereos. Modern dynamic headphones have sensitivity ratings of 90 dB or more. When shopping for portable headphones, look for a sensitivity rating of 100 dB or greater.


IMPEDANCE

Impedance is a measure of headphone load on an amplifier and is stated in ohms. Both consumer and professional headphones generally have impedances of less than 100 ohms. There are professional models rated at 200 ohms or more (Beyer DT880, Senn Hd650 etc). Users need to be aware that very high impedance phones may require more power. What this means is the higher impedance level of a headphone the more power or amplification the headphone will need to sound correctly. Without headphones may sound quiet at full volume or even sound muddy. Headphones with high impedance levels may require more than the astro mix amp to drive them satisfactorily and if you are unsure you should consult the &#8216;decent headphones for the 360' thread.


OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

The two basic criteria for evaluating headphones are sound quality and comfort.


SOUND QUALITY

Headphones should be evaluated the same way that speakers are. By listening to them. How headphones sound is MUCH more important than what the technical specifications claim. Unlike loudspeakers, headphones feed sound directly into the ears - without the acoustic shaping of normal hearing that occurs when sound waves interact with the listener's head before reaching the eardrums. Because the shape of the listener's head and ears has an effect on perceived sound, a pair of headphones may sound different to different people. Like I said before you should take recommendations for specific brands or models only as a starting point. The best way to find the right headphones for you is to demo them.

Look for:
&#8226; clear sound, no distortion
&#8226; deep, clear, controlled bass (bass heavy headphones will drown out other sound detail i.e. you wont be able to hear off screen footsteps as easy)
&#8226; smooth, even frequency response - no tinny or bright highs &#8211; natural sounding explosions and gunfire.
&#8226; If wireless or cordless, there should be little or no hiss coming from the headphone. Check at higher volumes to be sure.

Feel and Fit

Sound is important, but so is fit and comfort. Headphones have to be comfortable because typically when wearing them for gaming you'll be wearing them for long periods of time. Headphones should neither pinch nor be so loose that they slip off your head easily.

Look for:
&#8226; comfort - any discomfort will feel worse the longer the headphones are worn.
&#8226; with in-ear types, how snug is the fit?
&#8226; adjustability - can the headband and earcups be positioned to suit the wearer. For example, sound professionals sometimes wear headphones with one earcup off during mixing or monitoring sessions. Pivoted earcups are especially easy to position this way.
&#8226; cord style and length - cords that are split wired into each earcup (Y-shaped) are slightly less convenient than cords that enter the headphone from one side. The average length is 6-10 feet. Sound professionals will want long cords for good mobility between instruments and the mixing board.


Finally, durability should be a consideration

Durability

This factor is most important when the headphones are transported. Will you be taking you headphones to LAN events or round to friends houses? Headphones that are touched by many hands or tossed around in transit are likely to be damaged. Cords (especially thin cords) that are stepped on or yanked too often become intermittent. Headbands break and earcups come off. Professional/audiophile equipment must be solidly built to withstand such abuse. Look for headphones with modular construction for easy repair and replacement of parts. An included case is beneficial too.


Please consult the headphone wiki for more in depth explanations on terminology.

Headphones - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Labtec Boom Mic Mod suitable for most of the headphones featured in this sticky.

To perform this mod you'll need&#8230;

  • Labtec LVA-7330 Microphone
  • Velcro tape or pads

The labtec boom mic isn't available in the UK. I and many others have purchased one through this seller on ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Kopfmicro-Lab...DE_Technik_Computerzubehör_Multimedia&afsrc=1

Instructions on how to perform this simple mod can be found here:
http://www.avforums.com/forums/10930258-post563.html



The X1 talkback puck
When using the mix amp with headphones sometimes your voice volume can sound quiet. Obviously you can set the balance more towards &#8216;game' but this can impact on your overall sound. To combat this you can try the following&#8230;

1) Set voice output to 'speakers and headset' in the menu on the 360. To get there press your guide button and scroll across to the right untill you hit sound. This setting helps because it makes voice output louder. I can vouch for this, and personally mute my tv whenever using my headphones.
or

2) Purchase the Turtle beach x1 talkback puck from Gameshark spares.
GameShark® Store - Turtle Beach
(there are also auctions on ebay if not in stock)

This device plugs into your controller and your mixamp and gives you more control over voice comm volume.

By doing the above I've had no problems with voice comms whilst using the a40s, ad700s, ad900s and dt880s and the mixamp. I set my master volume to around 2 o clock and this is plenty loud enough for gaming and have the voice balance set over to game at around 9 o clock and this provides the right balance to me. Obviously everyone will be different, but hopefully this will give you a starting point.



Radioshack 2.5mm Coupler
The Radioshack Gold Plated 2.5 mm coupler is a great item for extending the length of the x1 talkback puck lead.

RadioShack :: Radioshack Gold Plated 2.5 mm coupler




Sumnique 2 pin 500mA USB UK wall plug
If powering your mixamp isn't suitable using the supplied usb cable then you can plug the usb cable into something like the Sumnique 2 pin 500mA USB UK wall plug, and plug this directly into an available socket that's close by.

Sumnique WHITE 3 PIN 500mA USB UK wall plug AC Power: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo




Headphone Burn in

Please see the below link for a good FAQ regarding burning in headphones.
Headphone 'Burn In' FAQ - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio



This is by no means a complete resource and can be added to/improved on. Please contact me regarding additions you'd like to see.


Jamie


Please follow the below link to 'the decent headphones for the 360' for discussion on this topic
http://www.avforums.com/forums/xbox-360/1231878-decent-headphones-xbox-360-part-6-a.html
 
Last edited:

liam_abrown

Standard Member
Hi, i am not sure if it is worth adding this to the above.
Speed-Link - Xbox 360 Live Headset Adapter: Amazon.co.uk: PC & Video Games

This device lets you plug in PC headsets to your 360 controller. I am not sure if you get all the games sound through them though or just chat.

If you plug the 3.5mm mic in then others can hear you, if you then add the stereo jack you can hear them but not game sound. To get game sound and mic sound you need to plug mic into pad using the speedlink adapter and then run a RCA left/right audio from the Xbox to RCA left/right audio to 3.5mm jack followed by a 3.5mm coupler. Once that's done you pree the X guide button on your pad, preferences and change the chat to play through tele or both.

Warning to all though doing this will mean your voice chat will be extremely quite and you will barely hear communication during games!
 

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