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Thread: Headphones Are Like Sim Racing Wheels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    509

    Default Headphones Are Like Sim Racing Wheels

    Headphones are exactly like sim racing wheels in a sense that you really have no idea what you're buying until you have it in your hands.

    So you read forums and try to get every piece of info you can before spending what could be a serious amount of money. I have headphones on my head a lot and was just generally sick of listening to below par sound from cheaper headphones. I have nice speakers and every time I put my phones on it was a big step down. I spent a good amount of money but use my heaphones more than my speakers these days so don't judge. To me it was well worth it. Anyways, I thought I would put everything you need to know right here on this page so if anyone is wishing they has better sounding phones they could just look here and know everything they need.

    Ohm rating: The higher the rating the tighter they're gonna sound but they're much harder to drive and require more amplification. Recording engineers use 600 ohm phones. Most people have 32 ohm phones because they're easy to drive. The difference between the same phones at a different ohm rating is profound (my phones can be bought in 32, 250, and 600 ohm as can many others). This link explains it well. See how wide and loose the peaks are at the low ohm rating? A Comparison of Beyerdynamic DT 880 32 ohm, DT 880 250 ohm, and DT 880 600 ohm Headphones Page 2 | InnerFidelity

    A Soundblaster Z card will drive 250 ohm ok but personally I wanted more. Creative says their cards will drive 600 ohm phones, don't believe them. They'll play but not very loud at all.

    Headphone Amps: Adding just an amp to your existing headphones will improve the sound in almost every case. It's cleaner power than what is available on any motherboard or sound card. For PC use there's only a couple you need to consider. The Fiio Eok9 http://www.amazon.com/E09K-Output-De.../dp/B008J26ZL4 or one of the Schiit amps (Schiit is made 100% in America and it's pronounced Sh*t) Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA. Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA. . The Vali is what I bought, it's a tube amp and is well know for it's great sound at in incredible price. The Magni is more powerful than the Vali and even less money but it's solid state, no tubes. Using one of these amps even with onboard audio will sound much better, even if you have a gaming board with better onboard sound. Portable amps can be used but they take batteries and are generally less friendly to use on a PC as they're made more for something like an iPhone.

    DAC: Want killer sound, better than even an add on sound card and don't care about surround (they don't make a surround one)?? Get a USB DAC such as Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA. . Just plug it in and select it as your sound card. Beautiful sound will follow. Just a couple years ago the quality of USB DACs wasn't that great. Now we have awesome sounding ones in the $80 - $100 range. Interesting fact: Putting a Schitt DAC and amp together is called a Schiit stack

    Open, Closed, Semi-Open: This refers to the type of cup that holds the speaker. Most people are familiar with closed back headphones which are sealed on the back. These have the best bass but the worst soundstage. Open back headphones have the least bass but have the biggest soundstage. I shouldn't really say they have the least bass. The best way to explain it would be to say that with open back headphones you can hear the bass but not feel it. If you want cans that will shake off your head look elsewhere. They also aren't sealing IN or out any sound and background sounds such as a louder fan will be heard and people around you in the same room will be listening to your music almost as loud as you :P. But the soundstage is amazing. Close your eyes and your AT the concert. The sound is huge. In FPS games you can tell how far away sounds are. The surround effects coming from just 2 speakers, to me at least, is amazing. I can tell the difference between my left front and left rear wheel making noise.

    There's very few semi-open cans out there but that's what mine are. The soundstage isn't that much smaller but they're bass heavy with a good amp. Perfect for the House/Techno/Drum&Bass I'm usually pumping. They actually sound even better when I'm listening to classic rock and pump Godsmack better than my normal speakers. I originally bought Astro A40's which are full open but took them back. Sounded nice, had a great soundstage but no bass. All my other cans were closed that I've owned.

    In the end I bought Beyerdynamic DT880 250 ohm cans with a Schiit Vali tube amp and a Soundblaster Z card. I got the card refurbished with a warranty from ebay. The Beyers I got on Ebay. And the Amp from the HeadFi forums Head-Fi.org - Headphone forums and reviews for audiophiles dirt cheap. The software that comes with the soundcard makes doing everything easy. The EQ with saveable profiles, mic options (noise supression), and ease of switching from my cans to my speakers without unplugging makes the card worth it imho. Also...I've read a million times that with the current level of onboard sound chips that a sound card is not needed. Simply not true. It will not boost your framerates because all current sound cards unload to your main processor BUT the quality is in another league.

    Oh and as I've posted here before...you can turn any headphones into a headset with the removable mod mic. It's held on with a magnet and pops right off when you're not using it. AntLion Audio

    You can get $99 phones and a modmic for $47 shipped that will just blow away any $150 headset. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dj5G0isn9Y

    $2000 computer and $45 headphones? Cmon guys get with it!!
    Last edited by Sonny Prince; 07-10-2015 at 06:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Portsmouth, VA
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    6,855

    Default

    So now you tell me...I've been buying shit (logitech) for years, when I should have been buying Schiit.

  3. Default

    I'm running a FiiO DAC, FiiO E09k Amp and Sennhesier PC-350e headset but every now and then i think about getting a better set of headphones and something like the AntLion mic

    Now you have me looking at the 600ohm Beyerdynamic DT880 haha

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    509

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ignition22 View Post
    I'm running a FiiO DAC, FiiO E09k Amp and Sennhesier PC-350e headset but every now and then i think about getting a better set of headphones and something like the AntLion mic

    Now you have me looking at the 600ohm Beyerdynamic DT880 haha
    I sold my video card on ebay (gtx760 Hawk for 150+8 shipping haha suckeerrrrr) and was waiting for my paypal money to buy the mic. It got ordered 2 days ago, I got the unidirectional mic with noise cancelling. I'll let ya know how good it is. Or you could come to an iRacing practice and hear for yourself Right now I'm using the beamforming mic that came with my soundcard.

  5. Default

    Hi guys,

    I am keen on getting a good pair of headphones but I can't seem to settle on a choice between open back and closed back headphones. I am also aware of the fact that wired and wireless offer different quality. I have been reading https://supergamereviews.com/gaming-...less-vs-wired/ but still I haven't made up m y mind. Any advice from a gamer's perspective? I play action games

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    It's a very subjective decision. Open headphones don't seal off noise from the outside and can be heard by people nearby. They sound more like listening to speakers and can be more comfortable. Closed seal off most noise around you but don't have the "natural" sound of speakers.

    For music I prefer speakers; for games I prefer closed headphones. I like giving up some naturalness for immersion. Only one of the closed headphones I've ever used caused any discomfort and it was very minor only after hours of playing. Currently I'm using a Logitech G533 wireless that I really like. Good luck.
    blue skies, jerry

    ------------------
    Pass carefully - Driver chews tobacco

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jham View Post
    It's a very subjective decision. Open headphones don't seal off noise from the outside and can be heard by people nearby. They sound more like listening to speakers and can be more comfortable. Closed seal off most noise around you but don't have the "natural" sound of speakers.

    For music I prefer speakers; for games I prefer closed headphones. I like giving up some naturalness for immersion. Only one of the closed headphones I've ever used caused any discomfort and it was very minor only after hours of playing. Currently I'm using a Logitech G533 wireless that I really like. Good luck.
    Thanks....but what do you do regarding sweating. I am going for closed but I need to find a way to manage sweating....

  8. #8

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    Here's my 2 cents...

    I used Turtle Beach X12s for a long time as they used to cost a whopping $40-50, were USB powered with great bass adjustability, and seemed proficient for gaming headphones. Then I got a Creative Sound Blaster Omni USB sound card with a high performance headphone amplifier and integrated beam forming microphone input and it absolutely ruined anything I'd used previously https://www.amazon.com/Creative-Perf...d+blaster+omni .

    After reading this thread, I took my Sennheiser HD598s and hooked them up to the Omni. The result? INCREDIBLE AUDIO https://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-HD...70_&dpSrc=srch

    Having used/trusted Sennheiser for years and having experimented with a trusty Fiio E10K USB DAC/headphone amp for gaming, I feel that the Omni was a lot more balanced for sim racing and sounded superb with music as well. The 598s are available used for around $100 now if you are lucky as the model I got is no longer in production sadly (note that you can get leather earpads aftermarket like I did to avoid issues with the velour and sweat).

    However, if you want to be like me and get possibly the ultimate pair of headphones, wait patiently for the next drop at Massdrop for the Sennheiser HD6XXs which are essentially upgraded HD650s. The HD650s usually run about $350 or so, but the 6XXs are $200(!) https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-sennheiser-hd6xx . People have been eating these up like crazy and the reviews have been phenomenal, so if you want the best of the best, save up for an Omni and 6XXs (which you can also get leather earpads for if you look for HD650 model ones). Mine should hopefully be shipping this Friday instead of the end of August which is phenomenal turnaround from Sennheiser and Massdrop
    Last edited by Marc Cohn; 06-11-2018 at 12:26 PM.

  9. #9

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    Surround sound for me, with the 12 inch subwoofer. Nothing like hearing what wheel is locking up!

    -See You On Track!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeatCAN View Post
    Surround sound for me, with the 12 inch subwoofer. Nothing like hearing what wheel is locking up!
    I have surround also. Unfortunately I don't have a sound proof room. The lady of the house said it was either headphones or go play outside. My headphones do an OK surround imitation.
    blue skies, jerry

    ------------------
    Pass carefully - Driver chews tobacco

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