Xbox atmos headphones for movies.
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I need help finding a pair of new headphones. My budget is let's say 200-800 usd. The main thing I will use them for is watching movies and very casual console gaming. I mainly will be using them through an Xbox one x controller with Dolby atmos mode. I have no issue with picking up an amp to go from either the controller to an amp or directly to the Xbox via Fishkill out. I don't mind sound leak from an open back set so long as I can listen at a volume that someone talking in a movie would match a realistic volume, and not wake up my todler in the room nextdoor. My main desire is to find a set of cans that will have enough bass for movies and play nice with Xbox atmos surround effects. I did mention casual gaming but having a Mic is not something I really care about. Right now I'm using a pair of beats studio 2's and I can't find the words to explain how much I hate them, so please help me constructive suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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jaxtrauma
754
Jun 4, 2020
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Dolby offers an 'Atmos' driver for some HPs, but again, its software. The closest I've found to positional audio in gaming headsets is in the Razer Kraken V2 7.1 (a good software solution & anc on the mic). The Dolby license was $14.95, I think and the Kraken goes for $100. I've tried both and the razer option was more accurately positional to my ear. I could easily tell when somebody was walking (or running!) up behind me. When not doing multi-player I just use the FOCAL Clear, cuz I like good sq. Try the atmos for hp, it may improve your movies.
(Edited)
Jun 4, 2020
Soniku
9
Jun 3, 2020
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Xbox One's Atmos feature is a software implementation. Atmos utilizes sound at a vertical location, which implies either actual speakers mounted above you, those speakers simulated by having some floor speakers fire upwards and bounce off a ceiling, or the use of a software algorithm that simulates that kind of setup within headphones. As someone else said here, you can't get "true" Atmos from headphones, so it kind of doesn't matter what headphones you use. The algorithm modulates the timing of sounds in order to trick your brain into hearing directional cues the best it can. My opinion/preference regarding a headphone is simply find something comfortable and breathable, both for heat dissipation as well as more natural sound - but one that doesn't lose out on bass too much in the process of being open. You can compensate with volume, or a standalone-something for EQ if necessary. As an Xbox One X user, I'll add this - the controller is not a great source for sound, as I've noticed hiss/distortion. Using a PowerA Wired controller removed the hiss, at least. Add that to the fact that the simulated surround methods (any protocol) ends up losing clarity due to how the channels are all mashed together, trying to do the job of many, discrete speakers: headphone surround is more of a half-decent workaround than a best case scenario. I'd imagine if you get too good of a headphone, the lacking source will become that much more noticeable. I prefer using my Harmon Kardon AVR 110 (old AVR my dad let me have) for cleaner, more accurate stereo when I can do isolated headphone time. I've found that a lesser simulated surround via headphones is just not as enjoyable as waiting to use my 5.1 setup for movies, and stereo for everything else. Also, our toddler is a sound sleeper/on a different floor - John Wick 3 at a high volume was a very good experience after bed time. I'm currently using an AKG K240S (foam & dampeners removed), and am thinking I want an HiFiMan HE-4XX, as from what I'm reading, I'll get more natural bass (absolutely anemic on my current set, especially after modding), but retaining and improving on the clarity that I'm looking for, all without investing too much. I've read good things about their Sundara set, but that's already out of my price range. Also, I'm curious to see what the "planar" sound is - I'm just starting to dabble, honestly. One more thing: for gaming, I've noticed increased input lag when using anything other than stereo (Atmos seems introduce less lag than Windows Sonic, but it still feels like it's doing something) - which makes sense, as the CPU has to spend more cycles processing the sound. My decade-old PC saw severe lag when turning on HRTF 3D audio in games that had that, too. I'm severely against input lag while gaming - even casually. I strongly feel that we, as an industry and community, grew up on near-zero lag experiences, and now we're being thrust into very disassociated interactions that simply don't live up to what our brains expect and crave. My TV only introduces 12.9ms of lag, but I've found myself moving the Xbox to the room with my CRT monitor and playing on that when I can because it feels so much better. With all of that said, stereo and HDMI also lags less in terms of sound production, so I don't like using my controller for audio at all anymore. Actually, my receiver doesn't even have HDMI, so Optical is my only option - and that's noticeably slower than audio directly from the TV, so, I'm coming away from that, too, somewhat. It's a mess and I'll never be happy. XD I wonder of my watching experience would be better with faster audio, too...
Jun 3, 2020
dcha12
353
Jun 3, 2020
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What you're looking for simply doesn't exist. Also, throw the surround stuff out the window with headphones; headphones just don't do soundstage (to get the experience you're looking for, you'd need a Raal SR1a with a sub, but that also will wake up the toddler probably, not to mention crazy expensive). I suggest getting a Dan Clark Aeon 2, your choice of open or closed, and a Schiit Magni 3+. It's slightly over your budget in total, but will fulfill the bass wants. If that's too much still, try finding a used Hifiman HE-560 (I actually have one on sale; if interested give me your HF handle and we'll talk).
Jun 3, 2020
WallyShadow
2
Jun 2, 2020
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I don’t think you can do true atmos from a set of cans on Xbox. I haven’t found any headphones that can produce a convincing surround simulation. I would tell you to look at the K7xx. Read or watch a couple of reviews. I use them in my home theatre setup when I don’t want to disturb others. They are easy to power (no amp needed) and have a wide soundstage. They come standard with a long cord as well. They are much more neutral sounding than beats, but they aren’t flat. Fun listen, very easy to wear for long periods. They are below your budget.
Jun 2, 2020
Mynameismikeymike
2
Jun 3, 2020
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Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to keep an eye out for when they are back in stock and pick them up as a second pair. I've been also going back and forth between getting the dt 177x go or maybe the Dolby Dimensions. As a noob to the higher end headphone community the dt's seem like they might be a good fit for me needs especially for bass heavy action movies, but what's your thoughts? The Dolby cans seem like they would play best with xboxs atmos for head phones feature and there are some good YouTube reviews on them, just but they are mostly tech reviewers not audiophile people and that makes me wonder if they are somewhat of a gimmick...
Jun 3, 2020
WallyShadow
2
Jun 4, 2020
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I can tell you that I really like the meze noir from MD. It’s my second favorite for movies. It has more of the sound signature you are looking for. It’s a closed back, though so the soundstage will seem a bit narrower. But a big bonus is that you can get great sound without amp. Open back, check out the HE4xx. Those are planars and have great bass slam. However you will have to power those with an amp. They sound sooo much better with power. when I got started getting a bit more serious about my listening, especially for my home theater, I realized that speaker placement has the biggest impact to the sound. I share that thought because no matter which headphones you purchase, the headphone experience will not come close to a proper atmos 7.2 or 11.2 speaker setup. I mean. Not even close. I don’t think you will ever prefer the headphones. That being said, you want something that sounds substantial, and not like the earbuds that come with your phone. To my ear, no amount of dsp on a headphone will make it sound “surround” or even Atmos like. I decided I would rather have 4-5 $189-$250 headphones and experience them to find out where they shine. I have dynamic drivers, and planar drivers. I have open backs and closed. I have a super power hungry pair, and a no amp needed pair. I really enjoy hearing the differences. But that’s just me. You have a little one, and just want to be able to grab a bit of a movie or show each night. That’s why I’m thinking the Meze would be good for you. It would be a simple solution. If you have a dac/amp to plug between your headphones and the Xbox, consider the he4xx. I have a feeling you might really enjoy the planar sound.
Jun 4, 2020