Need help with new audio gaming setup budget is $1,000-$1,500.

Hey guys. I'm looking to throw away my "gaming headset" they're arctis pro wireless and upgrade to "real" headphones. I'm very disappointed in them for reading all the reviews, can't pinpoint enemy footsteps for anything. I actually, thought i was upgrading my ATH-AG1x but not even close. So, my budget is anywhere from $1000-$1500 (for everything) (headphones) (dac) (amp) (mic) (etc) Mainly will be used for gaming, fortnite is the only game i really play and surfing the web, occasionally listening to music. I have my own house my pc setup is inside my office, so open back are okay, I don't need to have headphones with a mic. thanks in advance everyone!

Jan 10, 2019
With a budget like that, I'd recommend putting half of your budget down on the headphones, and a quarter each towards your DAC and amp, with the spare change going over towards the mic. The reason why the majority of your budget goes towards the headphones is that the transducer in your setup single-handedly makes the largest difference in sound quality. This is followed by the amp, then the DAC. That being said, don't underestimate the performance of some budget-oriented components. The Cavalli Liquid Spark is inexpensive at $100, but is in my opinion one of the best, musical amps out there (and has the flexibility to do pretty much anything, except power the HE-6). Schiit Magni 3 is also a good choice. Nothing wrong with saving a few bucks. If you really want me to give a single recommendation, a Grace SDAC paired with a Schiit Wyrd ($180 + tax) as a DAC, etiehr the Schiit Magni 3 ($100 + tax) or Cavalli Liquid Carbon X ($300 + tax) for an amp, and then headphones of your choice after. This setup is relatively modest, but offers serious performance-per-dollar that can't really be beat unless you're willing to spend a lot more. As far as headphones go, since I'm not sure where your preferences lie I'd advise you to go read reviews and go to a local hifi store (if possible) and audition gear. You might surprise yourself with what you like. I would make a recommendation based on what I like, but my tastes are, well, my own and might not be to your liking. Note: I recommend the Magni 3 over the Liquid Spark in this case because I feel the Magni 3 has a better sense of space in the treble, which is important in games for things like footsteps. Honestly both amps are really good and you can't go wrong with either. Liquid Carbon X is a very solid option and IMHO better than both of the other amps, but requires use of the balanced-out in order to not sound like a**. Best of luck in your search, and let me know if you have any other questions.