Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Sound quality comparison between gaming and audiophile headphones

Go to solution Solved by LIGISTX,
23 minutes ago, RuslanZab said:

Right now I have HyperX Cloud Alpha S and looking to buy some audiophile grade headphones.

Aside from the difference in open vs closed back headphones, how does the sound quality compare between my headphone and, for example, HD 6XX? Is it worth upgrading? Additionally, how would the quality compare for these headphones if I also bought a good AMP and DAC combination?

It’s a completely different experience. It’s almost not even comparable. 
 

6xx’s are an end game headphone, with proper source and when driven well, they are some of the best sounding headphones in existence; they scale incredibly well with good amp and dacs.

 

The schiit stack is a fantastic amp and dac setup, 200 bucks and it’s 90% as good as much more expensive options. And they “pair” well with 6xx’s as the amp has loads of power which the 6xx’s need. 

Right now I have HyperX Cloud Alpha S and looking to buy some audiophile grade headphones.

Aside from the difference in open vs closed back headphones, how does the sound quality compare between my headphone and, for example, HD 6XX? Is it worth upgrading? Additionally, how would the quality compare for these headphones if I also bought a good AMP and DAC combination?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much its sounds werid at first than you get used to it.

For DAC's its bassicly replacing MOBO audio.

Amp's is to power headphone cause a desktop is looking for low power.

HD6xx are 300ohms and need a amp.

Everyone, Creator初音ミク Hatsune Miku Google commercial.

 

 

Cameras main canon xti Secondary Panasonic GX85 spare Samsung ST68 and nikion s4000

 

Pc

Spoiler

Dell prebuilt - i5-6400- 20GB ram -500gb HDD dvd 

 

HP compaq 8300 prebuilt - Intel i5-3470 - 8GB ram - 500GB HDD - bluray drive

 

old windows 7 gaming desktop - Intel i5 2400 - lenovo CIH61M V:1.0 - 4GB ram - 1TB HDD - dual DVD roms 

 

main laptop acer e5 15 - Intel i3 7th gen - 16GB ram - 1TB HDD - dvd drive                                                                     

 

school laptop lenovo 300e chromebook 2nd gen - Intel celeron - 4GB ram - 32GB SSD 

#Muricaparrotgang                                                                                   

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, RuslanZab said:

Right now I have HyperX Cloud Alpha S and looking to buy some audiophile grade headphones.

Aside from the difference in open vs closed back headphones, how does the sound quality compare between my headphone and, for example, HD 6XX? Is it worth upgrading? Additionally, how would the quality compare for these headphones if I also bought a good AMP and DAC combination?

It’s a completely different experience. It’s almost not even comparable. 
 

6xx’s are an end game headphone, with proper source and when driven well, they are some of the best sounding headphones in existence; they scale incredibly well with good amp and dacs.

 

The schiit stack is a fantastic amp and dac setup, 200 bucks and it’s 90% as good as much more expensive options. And they “pair” well with 6xx’s as the amp has loads of power which the 6xx’s need. 

Rig: i7 10700k @ 5.1Ghz, 4.8 Ring - - Z490 Vision G - - EVGA RTX 2080 XC Ultra @ 2025Mhz - - 4x8GB Vengeance Pro 3000Mhz 15-17-17-34 @ 3500MHz 16-19-19-38 - - Samsung 950 Pro 512 NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Samsung 830 Pro 256 RAID 0 Lightroom + Photo work - - WD Blue 1 TB SSD for Games - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - EK Supremacy Evo - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK Full Cover GPU Block - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - Steel Series QcK XXL

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: ESXi 6.5 - - 250 GB SSD for VM's/ESXi boot - - FreeNAS - - HPE Proliant ML10 Gen 9 backbone - - i3 6100 - - 28 GB ECC - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - 10TB WD Red for expendable data - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander

 

White Lightning (original full watercooled build) - Homelab / Media Server - The Blue Beast (my car and other expensive hobby...) - iPhone Xs - 2018 MacBook Air

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, RuslanZab said:

Right now I have HyperX Cloud Alpha S and looking to buy some audiophile grade headphones.

Aside from the difference in open vs closed back headphones, how does the sound quality compare between my headphone and, for example, HD 6XX? Is it worth upgrading? Additionally, how would the quality compare for these headphones if I also bought a good AMP and DAC combination?

Gaming headphones are more for looks, audiophile grade is for the audio quality.

Depending on your motherboard you might not have a need for a DAC, some motherboards have very ok built in headphone amps.

 

30 minutes ago, sub68 said:

Pretty much its sounds werid at first than you get used to it.

For DAC's its bassicly replacing MOBO audio.

Amp's is to power headphone cause a desktop is looking for low power.

HD6xx are 300ohms and need a amp.

Its not complete nor correct info here. Let me add/append.

 

Lets skip the first sentence i dont know what you mean.
DAC is Digital to Analogue convertor, it makes the bits ( ones and zero's) into sound. Your onboard audio also has DACs for the same reason.

 

Headphones have a higher impedance then line-level equipment most of the time.
Most input for PC speakers and most amps are around 100 Ohms. Better headphones can get up to 600 Ohm or more.
That does put more strain on the amplifier circuits, thus they need to be better. Else there will be no power/volume.

 

300 Ohms is a nice medium, you could try without an amp and see how far you come.

But if you really have to crank the volume (not to far tho, dont wanna overpower it) to even hear something, you DO need that amp. 😉

When i ask for more specs, don't expect me to know the answer!
I'm just helping YOU to help YOURSELF!
(The more info you give the easier it is for others to help you out!)

Not willing to capitulate to the ignorance of the masses!

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, HanZie82 said:

Its not complete nor correct info here. Let me add/append.

Yes, I know I am not good at describing things

Everyone, Creator初音ミク Hatsune Miku Google commercial.

 

 

Cameras main canon xti Secondary Panasonic GX85 spare Samsung ST68 and nikion s4000

 

Pc

Spoiler

Dell prebuilt - i5-6400- 20GB ram -500gb HDD dvd 

 

HP compaq 8300 prebuilt - Intel i5-3470 - 8GB ram - 500GB HDD - bluray drive

 

old windows 7 gaming desktop - Intel i5 2400 - lenovo CIH61M V:1.0 - 4GB ram - 1TB HDD - dual DVD roms 

 

main laptop acer e5 15 - Intel i3 7th gen - 16GB ram - 1TB HDD - dvd drive                                                                     

 

school laptop lenovo 300e chromebook 2nd gen - Intel celeron - 4GB ram - 32GB SSD 

#Muricaparrotgang                                                                                   

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, sub68 said:

Yes, I know I am not good at describing things

Its ok 🙂
I added a little bit, hope you agree/like it.

When i ask for more specs, don't expect me to know the answer!
I'm just helping YOU to help YOURSELF!
(The more info you give the easier it is for others to help you out!)

Not willing to capitulate to the ignorance of the masses!

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, HanZie82 said:

Its ok 🙂
I added a little bit, hope you agree/like it.

I agree with it.

Everyone, Creator初音ミク Hatsune Miku Google commercial.

 

 

Cameras main canon xti Secondary Panasonic GX85 spare Samsung ST68 and nikion s4000

 

Pc

Spoiler

Dell prebuilt - i5-6400- 20GB ram -500gb HDD dvd 

 

HP compaq 8300 prebuilt - Intel i5-3470 - 8GB ram - 500GB HDD - bluray drive

 

old windows 7 gaming desktop - Intel i5 2400 - lenovo CIH61M V:1.0 - 4GB ram - 1TB HDD - dual DVD roms 

 

main laptop acer e5 15 - Intel i3 7th gen - 16GB ram - 1TB HDD - dvd drive                                                                     

 

school laptop lenovo 300e chromebook 2nd gen - Intel celeron - 4GB ram - 32GB SSD 

#Muricaparrotgang                                                                                   

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, LIGISTX said:

It’s a completely different experience. It’s almost not even comparable. 
 

6xx’s are an end game headphone, with proper source and when driven well, they are some of the best sounding headphones in existence; they scale incredibly well with good amp and dacs.

An incredibly subjective statement with a lot of hyperboles here in my opinion. 6xx simply does not stack up to something like susvara in almost any circumstance, regardless of power or your subjective preferences. Of course, to some, say susvara, are beyond endgame. While it's all about perspective, I don't particularly like how this is voiced.

Quote

The schiit stack is a fantastic amp and dac setup, 200 bucks and it’s 90% as good as much more expensive options. And they “pair” well with 6xx’s as the amp has loads of power which the 6xx’s need. 

1. That '90%' is a totally arbitrary figure. While I get your meaning, introducing this type of misconception really isn't going to help OP in the future. Stuff like this (and things you said above) had me in audio hell for a little while...

2. 6xx are at 103dB/1Vrms, which is in the upper 90s of decibels per miliwatt of power. Voltage requirements are high but are not obscenely high, you should be able to drive this headphone alright off of a normal source. You do not need magni levels of power for this headphone, the power supplied by say, the ifi zendac should be good enough for the hd6xx in most to all cases. 

9 hours ago, HanZie82 said:

Gaming headphones are more for looks, audiophile grade is for the audio quality.

More addendums! The majority of gaming headphones use cheap drivers and focus on aesthetics, branding, game integration, marketing, ect. instead of the sound of the headphones. You don't have much or any of those with "audiophile" headphones, but they do exist in some cases. People in the hobby usually care far more about the sound of the products than they own than the normal consumer, thus companies producing products for "audiophiles" will focus far more heavily on the sound of their product, most generally. 

Quote

Depending on your motherboard you might not have a need for a DAC, some motherboards have very ok built in headphone amps.

Generally not a great idea to drive this stuff on onboard audio, but yeah, It should work well enough if you have the right stuff, which isn't all that common, especially with older or budget motherboards. 

Quote

DAC is Digital to Analogue convertor, it makes the bits ( ones and zero's) into sound. Your onboard audio also has DACs for the same reason.

DACS receive digital signals in the form of bits, and converts them into signals that the headphones can actually use. Basically All (at least, consumer) devices with physical audio outputs will have inbuilt dacs, however if you use an external DAC, the source you usually choose will just skip the onboard dac and go straight to the external. There are a quite a few possible benefits to be had with external amplifiers and DACs, usually because those inbuilt to source devices are constrained by sheer size, power consumption, and monetary constraints, just to name a few.

 

Quote

Most input for PC speakers and most amps are around 100 Ohms. Better headphones can get up to 600 Ohm or more.
That does put more strain on the amplifier circuits, thus they need to be better. Else there will be no power/volume.

Not necessarily, ohmage does not always mean too much, if you have a very sensitive headphone, ohmage doesn't matter very much. For example, if you have a headphone with a ohmage of 600, and a sensitivity of 110dB/mW, you really don't need to care very much.

Quote

300 Ohms is a nice medium, you could try without an amp and see how far you come.

But if you really have to crank the volume (not to far tho, dont wanna overpower it) to even hear something, you DO need that amp

Like mentioned above this doesn't necessarily apply, but with 6xx it somewhat does. It isn't particularly sensitive, but you will be able to get away plugging it into say, your computer, however most of the time don't expect it to get very loud, or play very well.

I am NOT a professional and a lot of the time what I'm saying is based on limited knowledge and experience. I'm going to be incorrect at times. 
My build:
CPU: 10700k Oc'd to 5.0 ghz                            GPU: RTX 3070 ventus 2x
Motherboard: Asus z490-v                                Cooler: Deepcool castle ex 120mm
Ram: Team tforce delta 32gb 3200mhz cl16     Case: Phanteks p418r (p360a ripoff) 
PSU: Apevia Prestige 800w

Notes:
Spoiler

To me the 10700k seems pretty underrated. It's a very solid cpu. at 5.0ghz it draws 175-185w under full load. the Asus z490-v is a sh*t teir motherboard, I wouldn't recommend it for anything past a 10600k for light oc's only. Tforce ram is pretty but cpu cooler clearance can be an issue on them, so beware. the RTX 3070 is obviously a great card, but the ventus 2x is just horrible. Don't buy it, not now, not ever. It's flimsy af, you can't increase the stock power limit, the cooler is worse than the one on the 3070FE. If it's a choice between this and nothing, choose nothing. The deepcool castle ex 120mm isn't really on sale outside of prebuilts, but it's a nice pretty cooler, gets my 10700k up to 96c after a prime95 cpu test for 15 minutes. The p418r is basically what it looks like. P360a, slap a few cyberpowerpc logos on it, and you're golden. The Apevia Prestige 800w is bad, but not terrible. Runs respectably quiet and isn't a bomb. More than a lot of PSU's in prebuilts can claim.

Motherboard Tier List                   How many watts do I need?
Best B550 Motherboards             Best Intel Z490 Motherboards

PC Troubleshooting                      You don't need a big PSU

PSU Tier List                                Common pc building mistakes 
PC BUILD Guide! (POV)              How to Overclock your CPU 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, RuslanZab said:

Right now I have HyperX Cloud Alpha S and looking to buy some audiophile grade headphones.

Well, this hobby is extremely subjective. There are things about the cloud alpha s that you may prefer. Is there a reason in particular you're looking to upgrade (if you are), or are you just curious? Are you specifically concerned with a specific feature, such as soundstage or imaging?

Quote

Aside from the difference in open vs closed back headphones, how does the sound quality compare between my headphone and, for example, HD 6XX? Is it worth upgrading? Additionally, how would the quality compare for these headphones if I also bought a good AMP and DAC combination?

Well, it was quite an experience in my opinion, when I transitioned from a standard consumer headphone to a nice open-back. To be frank, I was a little disappointed at first, but in my experience, after a while I started to slowly appreciate my new cans more and more. Trying out my old headphones and comparing them to my new headphones is something I did as well, now I absolutely hear a massive difference between them, and I appreciate my headphones far mroe now. Like with a lot of things, your mileage may vary. So to answer your question, in my experience a good pair of audiophile cans may not seem too impressive at first, but in reality will be a massive step up. However, this WILL depend on what you care about, how good your hearings is (so to speak), what headphones in particular you choose, and what you listen to. 

 

Moving on to an AMP/DAC: Well, Again it'll all depend on you, the gear you select, what you're looking for/what you care about, your hearing, and what you listen to. In my experience, a similar thing to the headphones occurred. Even with a fairly easy-t-drive headphone (The hifiman ananda, which can comfortably run of of say, a phone) benefited Hugely, even from a fairly modest upgrade (from onboard audio to the ifi zendac). Most headphones will experience different changes depending on the amps/dacs they're paired with, and some will benefit more than others. 


Now moving on to rambling about 6xx in particular.

Spoiler

Again, please note that this is my opinion, and mine alone. This is just my angle, and shouldn't be seen as facts. This obviously applies to everybody expressing your opinion., but not everybody is going to make this distinguishment, which could be confusing if they try to voice their thoughts about a product as being objective. In other words, your mileage may vary to mine or anybody elses, don't take what anybody says as fact. 

My experience with the sennhesier hd6xx has been fairly negative. For one I beileve it sounds grainy in the midrange and bloated in the bass, and lacks much definition. I don't like it much, and have other recommendations over it. You may still like it, however. Moving to something that's less about my preferences and something that is more "universally reconized," so to speaker, this headphone does not have a very wide soundstage, and to most the soundstage is within your head. What that means is that the presentation will likely lack a feeling of (at least accurate) distance, which can be a very real issue, especially if you play say, FPS games, or you want to feel totally immersed within a scene inside a game or in a song. 

 

In my opinion, the hd6xx isn't a great buy and I'd consider trying out other headphones (at least first) or other headphones alognside it. As long as you live in the US, I can basically guarantee companies such as beyerdyanmic, sennhesier, and drop all will allow for you to return products within a 30-day period of ordering or receiving a product so long as you haven't damaged it. Use this to your advantage if possible, and say, try two or three headphones and keep the one you like the most out of the group, just to make sure you're getting a product you like, as well as the best product (for you) out of a pool of other possibly choices. Alternatives for the hd6xx include the hd58x (You can power this off of most normal devices, still benefits from a little power but doesn't need something like a magni), the he5xx (needs some power though, I would recommend at least a magni), the hifiman he400se (or he400i2020 if you can get your hands on it, they take some power but don't neccesairly need a magni), and the sennhesier hd560s( You can power this basically off of anything). 

I am NOT a professional and a lot of the time what I'm saying is based on limited knowledge and experience. I'm going to be incorrect at times. 
My build:
CPU: 10700k Oc'd to 5.0 ghz                            GPU: RTX 3070 ventus 2x
Motherboard: Asus z490-v                                Cooler: Deepcool castle ex 120mm
Ram: Team tforce delta 32gb 3200mhz cl16     Case: Phanteks p418r (p360a ripoff) 
PSU: Apevia Prestige 800w

Notes:
Spoiler

To me the 10700k seems pretty underrated. It's a very solid cpu. at 5.0ghz it draws 175-185w under full load. the Asus z490-v is a sh*t teir motherboard, I wouldn't recommend it for anything past a 10600k for light oc's only. Tforce ram is pretty but cpu cooler clearance can be an issue on them, so beware. the RTX 3070 is obviously a great card, but the ventus 2x is just horrible. Don't buy it, not now, not ever. It's flimsy af, you can't increase the stock power limit, the cooler is worse than the one on the 3070FE. If it's a choice between this and nothing, choose nothing. The deepcool castle ex 120mm isn't really on sale outside of prebuilts, but it's a nice pretty cooler, gets my 10700k up to 96c after a prime95 cpu test for 15 minutes. The p418r is basically what it looks like. P360a, slap a few cyberpowerpc logos on it, and you're golden. The Apevia Prestige 800w is bad, but not terrible. Runs respectably quiet and isn't a bomb. More than a lot of PSU's in prebuilts can claim.

Motherboard Tier List                   How many watts do I need?
Best B550 Motherboards             Best Intel Z490 Motherboards

PC Troubleshooting                      You don't need a big PSU

PSU Tier List                                Common pc building mistakes 
PC BUILD Guide! (POV)              How to Overclock your CPU 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Brok3n But who cares? said:

An incredibly subjective statement with a lot of hyperboles here in my opinion. 6xx simply does not stack up to something like susvara in almost any circumstance, regardless of power or your subjective preferences. Of course, to some, say susvara, are beyond endgame. While it's all about perspective, I don't particularly like how this is voiced.

It is extremely subjective, but its still a valid statement. To my ear, with proper source and proper amp and dac, the 6xx is my favorite of the Sennheiser line. Although, I guess in my defense, I have only used HD6xx, HD700, and HD800s. Of the 3, and 6xx is my preferred headphones, and as I stated, it scales the best of all of them. It does "fine" with low end gear, and only gets better and better with higher quality hardware powering it. It is a fantastic first headphone purchase because it will grow with you as you go down the rabbit hole better than any other headphone... in my opinion. These were tested back to back with a Schiit bifrost into an amp that isn't made currently, buts its an ampsandsound unit that was built for ZMF, most closely a ZMF pendant. We also had on hand some Fostex, Sony, honestly I forget the rest. My friend and I have a solid assortment and we got them all together and gave them all a listen trying to find out own favorite flavors. My favorite cans was a pair of ZMF Eikons that have a very similar sound signature to my Fostex, but just do everything better and cleaner. Eikons are my all time favorite, and through my multibit Lyr 3, my Fostex TR-X00's are my second favorite, but honestly through the byfrost and ZMF amp, the 6xx's were better for me. They picked up a bunch of lows which I like (and why I like the Eikons and TR-X00's), but were just super clean; totally different experience then through my Lyr 3 which is no slouch....

 

2 hours ago, Brok3n But who cares? said:

1. That '90%' is a totally arbitrary figure. While I get your meaning, introducing this type of misconception really isn't going to help OP in the future. Stuff like this (and things you said above) had me in audio hell for a little while...

2. 6xx are at 103dB/1Vrms, which is in the upper 90s of decibels per miliwatt of power. Voltage requirements are high but are not obscenely high, you should be able to drive this headphone alright off of a normal source. You do not need magni levels of power for this headphone, the power supplied by say, the ifi zendac should be good enough for the hd6xx in most to all cases. 

90% is arbitrary, sound experience is arbitrary. Its near impossible to convey "sound preference" information to another person. You just have to make due with the words we all can understand. 90% is definitely subjective, but I would rate normal headphones powered by a mobo as a meh experience, and compared to what I have tried.... I give my fostex or 6xx's with my Lyr 3 about a 85%, Eikon's with my Lyr a 90%, Eikons with the better amp and DAC a 95%, and 95% for my unknown. This will certainly shift once I experience better, but that doesn't change that I think 6xx's powered by the schiit stack is about 90% as good as 6xx's powered by my lyr 3. Its subjective, thus arbitrary. I am not sure why this put you in audio hell, but this is a fantastic setup, and the 6xx's will scale with you as you buy new gear, so I don't understand whats bad about this recommendation.

 

You can power 6xx's off normal source, but you just don't get the punch or the clarity. You "can" run them off a macbook or an iphone, but its a vastly different experience then one with proper power behind it.

 

I am surprised by your 6xx experience - it is not mine at all. When properly driven it has an amazing soundstage, only beaten by the 800s imo. The 800s is just much to intense up top for me; they are incredibly accurate with an amazing soundstage, but they are fatiguing to me. If you want to know exactly how something should sound, 800s's are the best I have personally heard, but that, imo, isn't better... subjective preference. But that said, I do find 6xx to have a good soundstage with my Lyr 3, I just find they lack a bit of low end that I get with my TR-X00's, some songs I like with one, some with the other. No one headphone is the be all end all.

 

Lots of folks use 6xx's as their end game cans, and lots don't.... but they certainly are nothing to scoff at. 

 

Certainly not saying I have a lot of headphone experience, but based on the experience I do have I do think the Schiit stack is a fantastic starting point for DAC and AMP, and the 6xx's will scale with you forever. I would like to replace my Fostex with the Eikons, but honestly I have not found a pair of headphones that would replace my 6xx's...

image.thumb.png.1fc8e37c069cb78095f3845603c9525a.png

Rig: i7 10700k @ 5.1Ghz, 4.8 Ring - - Z490 Vision G - - EVGA RTX 2080 XC Ultra @ 2025Mhz - - 4x8GB Vengeance Pro 3000Mhz 15-17-17-34 @ 3500MHz 16-19-19-38 - - Samsung 950 Pro 512 NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Samsung 830 Pro 256 RAID 0 Lightroom + Photo work - - WD Blue 1 TB SSD for Games - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - EK Supremacy Evo - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK Full Cover GPU Block - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - Steel Series QcK XXL

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: ESXi 6.5 - - 250 GB SSD for VM's/ESXi boot - - FreeNAS - - HPE Proliant ML10 Gen 9 backbone - - i3 6100 - - 28 GB ECC - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - 10TB WD Red for expendable data - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander

 

White Lightning (original full watercooled build) - Homelab / Media Server - The Blue Beast (my car and other expensive hobby...) - iPhone Xs - 2018 MacBook Air

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×