Gaming Audiophile Headphones (Suggestions?)

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(I have a pair of HD58X on order from Mass Drop , but instantly having buyers remorse after seeing reviews, did I choose right or wrong?) USE: Gaming/Music
  1. Gaming
  2. FPS
  3. Immersive Titles
  4. MMO's
  1. Music ( all over the place but currently listening to )
  2. Tool
  3. The Weeknd
  4. Zepplin/Floyd
  5. Elton John
  6. Rush

TRIED HEADPHONES: 

Sony 1000's, DT990SE , K712PRO , HE400i (Tried a lot of gaming headsets but I want audiophile quality so I did not list them)
  1. I thought the only 2 that sounded close to my Focal Listen Wireless Headphones were the K712s and the Sony 1000s.
  2. The K712 to loose on my head so it was a no go
  3. Sony was so close to the Focal's didn't seem like an upgrade


ISSUE:
  1. Inner Ear pain from the Focals for gaming I am assuming the long use and them being closed back are causing my ears to become very painful, NOT outside but inside my ear canal itself. I feel like its causing me to get headaches as well.
  2. I can't find a pair of headphones that is like the Focal that may be better for longer use and provide the same sound quality
  3. Primarily for gaming, music is secondary.
  4. Wondering if perhaps the above mentioned OPEN BACKs are better and I just need to pull the trigger and get used to a different sound for comfort?


PRICE:  I would like to stay under $250 if possible I know the Focals are expensive but I got them as a gift from a Tattoo Client when I tattooed them. AMP:  My PC does have an AMP that I can push most of all headphones (AE-5 SoundBlaster) If you need more information to help suggest some new cans let me know! Thanks in advance to anyone that takes the time to respond and help! ~Black
(Edited)
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Evshrug
2257
Jun 13, 2020
Hullo there Black! Your choice is your own, but honestly I think the HD 58X should be a decent fit for your criteria. Did you receive them yet? I experience the same pains as you, from time to time. Impacted Cerumen is a thing, and it seems I need to flush out a gob every few years, but on the average day to day that kind of inner ear fatigue is what I usually feel with a headphone featuring just a bit too much high mids/treble. My ear canals are on the smaller side, which actually causes some higher frequencies to resonate and seem louder (while a normal, larger ear canal would experience this resonance at a frequency similar to a high pitched human shout), so YMMV... or maybe you have a similar experience as me. Headphones with elevated upper mids and lower treble quickly fatigue and make my ear canals feel sore, even if I recently cleaned my ears. With that explained, consider the HD 600 vs HD 650. Using diffuse field measurements, the HD 600 was essentially tuned to sound neutral before it enters your ears, and it was created primarily for professionals and audio mixing engineers. However, it wasn’t comfortable to listen to for hours and hours... the treble would cause fatigue. So, Sennheiser carefully tweaked the sound to be essentially the same but with a bit less lower treble energy. The difference was close enough that our amazing brains will quickly adapt and we will still perceive a “flat” response that the pros could still reliably use to judge their masters, and yet be able to use for a full 9-5 shift (at safe listening volumes!). That headphone was the HD 6XX, née HD 650. The HD 58X isn’t quite as high performing as the other two, but it has a very similar tuning in the highs as the HD 650 (a bit more sub bass extension, doesn’t quite achieve critical dampening like the other two, but it’s still quite good), so it should be a bit easier on your ears than the AKG K7XX (née K712) or especially DT990 which are measurably known for more energy in the upper mids (the main treble spike isn’t even the most fatiguing part, for me). Now, for gaming, the K712 honestly provides a bigger soundstage due to its frequency tuning, and the angled drivers in the PC37X, Q701/K702 (because pads), HD 700, and HD 800 play a part in interacting with your outer ears and giving your brain a better sense of imaging “where” something is in 3D space, but the HD 58X is detailed enough that it can help you play competitively, while also having nice “body” and natural midrange tone to get an immersive feeling in game. A DSP that creates virtual surround sound works wonders for adding dimensionality to games, and I’ve long been an advocate of using them! If you want to learn more about DSPs, virtual surround, and binaural audio, check out my “journal” blog on Head-Fi: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/evshrugs-if-i-knew-then-what-i-know-now-discussion-journal.646786/
SirBlacklist
6
Jun 13, 2020
In your personal opinion , you would recommend the 6XX I am guessing? I just reread your post and it seems you may like them a little bit more? I am not stuck with any headphone at the moment and always open to suggestions. I am more of an clarity / detail (imaging is super important) person because of my play style I guess. Like I mentioned in the key post I am way more gamer then I am music enthusiast. Destiny is just a great looking and sounding game that you can hop in and out of very easy if you need to and I am almost wowed by the environments. Valorant is fun in its own right but not the fun you would have in Destiny. I feel like the current game modes make the game feel more serious and on edge because it’s so competitive.
Evshrug
2257
Jun 13, 2020
Eeeeh... I tend to stay away from outright recommendations, partially because I actually consult for different headphone companies and recommending one would be a conflict of interest, but also because I have always believed that people have different priorities and I’ve learned that people perceive things differently anyway. So, technically, the HD 6XX driver is better than the HD 58X’s in a number of performance metrics including resolution, but you might like the sound of the HD 58X Jubilee better, and without desktop amplifiers the HD 58X is easier to drive well. When it comes to imaging and discerning where a sound is coming from, there isn’t much difference between the HD 58X and the HD 6XX. Now, an angled driver will provide better imaging that feels more “speaker like.” On this website, the PC37X has an angled driver, and in addition to more “instinctively natural” imaging it also has the sense of a bigger soundstage due to it’s tuning with mildly recessed upper mids that sound a touch more distant, which also might help reduce your listening fatigue. However, the trade off is that the sound is tuned more “home theater speaker” while the HD 58X is more “music studio speaker” tuned (and the HD 6XX even moreso), so it has more bass and a little more “body” that makes it sound a little less clear and revealing than the HD 58X (and HD 6XX). I wrote the first PC37X review on this site, and I still have it and use it with my iPad for PUBG, but I’ve largely replaced the HD 58X Jubilee with more expensive stuff. I have a coat “tree” festooned with a bunch of headphones, but I’m “exploring” more than most people need to. The Jubilee is a good mix that fits a lot of your stated criteria, and seems to be a marked improvement for you that you’re enjoying, so it seems like a good fit.
FelixZ
7
Jun 10, 2020
First and foremost, it sounds like your ear canals are impacted (impacted cerumen). It might do you some good to have your doctor take a look, or buy a DIY kit from your local pharmacy if that's not an option. I had the exact same issue that you're describing, and it turned out that ear wax and West Texas dirt was a bad combination for me. Q-tips will just push the blockage further in. I would also recommend open backed cans, as I think they're less fatiguing over longer periods of time
SirBlacklist
6
Jun 10, 2020
They did run a bunch of tests after removing and said my hearing was off the charts. I think I may have buildup again and didn’t even think that could be the culprit. I just ordered the Elephant Ear Washing Kit and a liquid drop from amazon!
FelixZ
7
Jun 10, 2020
Glad to hear that you tested out alright. Hopefully, that kit'll fix you up! I've heard a lot of good things about the HD58Xs, hopefully you'll enjoy them
NeenerMan
231
Jun 6, 2020
Step one is get a real amp, and a DAC. You're asking for cake while eating the metaphorical cake. I'd say go something open back Beyerdynamic for the sound stage and musically sufficient low end while not losing too much sub bass but Beyerdynamic lost my trust after I got sent cans with one driver with twice the resistance as the other. If you dare, DT990Pro and DT880Pro are usually around $150-200 on Amazon but, also can't trust Amazon anymore. Everything is Chinesium clones of something. From my understanding of the HD58X, they're a musical can. Warm, comfortable vocals, a real in-between of beloved HD558 and the HD600. I've been steady of the HD598Cs though...
SirBlacklist
6
Jun 6, 2020
I already purchased the 990's and returned them instantly , I mentioned that above. Sound quality was awful, I do not get the hype on them, my Focal Listen's blew them out of the water in every aspect and then some (Except the comfort, which Ill deal with pain over sacrificing sound quality like that.) If DT990's and the like are all the industry has for quality I guess I am out of luck then. I am eyeing up swapping out my AE-5 for external eventually. Thanks for the reply/feedback. ~Black
(Edited)
Evshrug
2257
Jun 13, 2020
I had a Sound Blaster Z for awhile, Creative makes good stuff (except I’ve found most of their products to have a signature with extra emphasis on the highs, in my Z, Omni, G5, and X7). You might be good if you start just by getting an external amp and using the AE-5 as a DAC for awhile. But for now, the HD 58X Jubilee should be a good fit, the AE-5 is certainly powerful enough.