Headphone recommendations?

I have heard those Sennheiser 599s, and they are very good. They are meant for music listening primarily, but should sound great for gaming too.

You should keep the difference between open- and closed-back headphones in mind. Open-back headphones will let you hear other sounds in the room much better, and people in the room will be able to hear what you are listening to. Closed-back headphones should be better for privacy and not disturbing people. The two types also sound somewhat different but Sennheiser makes great models of both types.

The most unpredictable thing and one of the most important things in choosing headphones is how they fit you personally — do the cups have room for your ears, do they seal well against your head, does the band clamp too tight, do your ears get hot, etc. If you have a Best Buy or Guitar Center (etc.) around with a headphone listening station, I recommend you try on models there. Doing do has saved me from buying headphones that worked much better for other people than for me.

I forgot to mention I got the Sennheiser HD 560s. I’m happy with them so far. They aren’t the night and day change over the HyperX Cloud 2s I was hoping for, but they do sound a bit clearer, and I do prefer the open back to the closed back because where I play is usually pretty quiet and I like to hear when someone calls me from another room. Also, the sound positioning in games seems a little better with them too.

I know this thread is mostly about high-end headphones, but if you’ve been holding out picking up AirPods, Best Buy is offering a pretty sweet deal, as long as you’re in the Apple ecosystem and haven’t yet subscribed to some of their services but want to.

tl;dr is all AirPods are on sale, and come with 6 months of Apple Music and Apple News, and 3 months of Apple TV+ free, but only for new subscribers.

Nooooooo @robc04 you didn’t switch to the more reasonably priced Philips SHP9500!

I…didn’t. It seemed like the Sennheisers were preferred a bit more in general and has a good reputation as a brand. I mostly wanted to stay under $200 and I did that with some wiggle room. besides, you never responded whether the Philips were your favorite under $200 :-)

Anyone looking for something in the bang-for-the-buck department might want to check out the Samson SR850s. I ran across them in the review below first, then checked a few more reviews - and then bought a piece a while ago. They really deliver given the price. Open-back and thus not really suited for office environments and the like though due to the bleed.

I recently picked these up and have been very pleased with them so far.


I have a set of Sennheiser HD6XX open-back headphones that sound amazing. But I find I never use them, because I’m usually trying to shut out the Kanye and other heavy beat stuff my kid is playing, so I use my closed-back Momentum 3s.

So if anyone’s looking for awesome open-back Sennheisers, I could be talked into parting with them at a significant discount. :)

How different is the sound on those to the Momentum set? I have Momentums that I quite like and I’m curious, though honestly I don’t think I have much of a use case for open-backs either.

My (adult) kid, who appreciates the “gamer aesthetic,” wound up snagging the Creative Labs SX-FI AIR and finds the sound to be an upgrade over his old Logitech 933s but advised the initial setup was finicky (involves an app to map your ear) and he can’t figure out how to save equalizer settings between restarts (although they’re very easy and fast to fiddle with).

He also stated the app really does make a significant difference for those wondering if it’s a pure gimmick. As someone who barely notices case fans blowing full speed, I suspect I’m not the target audience for any kind of high fidelity sound, lol.

You would hear this Macbook trying to achieve exit velocity running Python test suites.

The sound is a noticeably more detailed, but I’m also going through a Schitt amp when using them, vs a direct connect or Bluetooth with the Momentums. Using the HD 6XXs to listen to Pink Floyd albums downloaded from HDTracks is a pretty awesome experience. Kind of amazing to hear how much more depth there is to those than when I first listened to the LPs on my department store turntable as a teenager. :)

The open backs also make them more comfortable to wear for extended periods. Seems ears appreciate ventilation.

I reviewed those for Tom’s Hardware this summer and really liked them. I’m still using them as my daily drivers on my gaming PC. Really nice, though the microSD slot is kind of pointless.

That’s awesome! They’re also on sale for $120 and I’ve been low-key contemplating getting something to replace my old Corsair Void Pro set.

Side note - I unwittingly passed along your review to my kid while he was making decisions, lol

Any recommendations for <$100 bluetooth headphones or earbuds for use with TV viewing? I sometimes watch louder stuff at night when others are asleep, and realized the other day my TV (Sony A80J) supports bluetooth audio. I have a pair of Aukey EP-B40 earbuds (bluetooth with a wire connecting the earbuds) that I use for just about everything else, but I’d prefer something dedicated for the TV so I don’t end up pairing to the TV accidentally when others are watching or dealing with turning bluetooth off on my phone every time I want to use with the TV. I’d pick up another pair of the Aukey’s, but they don’t seem to make them any more and all the newer stuff seems to be the AirPod style earbuds which I don’t really care for.

I don’t need noise cancelling if that makes a difference.

Bluetooth is basically always going to sound mediocre at best anyway, so it’s really more about getting the best build quality for your price there. Me, I’d probably just buy whatever Shenzen Special and replace as needed.

Check out Cleer Audio Roam headphones. They sound way better than they should considering they cost $50.

I wanted to buy a headset, to play some coop games like Helldivers or Darktide.
Alas, as I don’t plan to use them regularly, I wanted something decent… but cheap-ish.

So after looking a fair bit, I decided to buy an EPOS H6Pro. In lots of places they put it as a decent midrange, with 8/10 scores in general tech sites (although lower scores in more specialized places). But hey, it was 100€.

Mind you, while researching for headsets, I feel on a rabbit hole and the Audeze Maxwell felt tempting. Except… you know 400€! Way expensive, but I could always use them as my main device…

Well, I have the Epos now, and I don’t really like how they sound. Too bassy for my tastes (where I prefer neutral/bright sound), which sounds cool for explosions, but I think it’s dumb when it sounds bassy to when reloading a weapon or normal background sounds or even when watching a normal youtube video.
And even worse, they sound a fair bit… muddled? drowned? A trip on reddit showed I wasn’t being crazy.

This also showed me how useless are most youtube reviews, where no one commented this.

I made sure there was no ‘sound enhancement’ in Windows while testing them, and I both tested them with the mobo sound and a separate mini DAC I have (Fiio k3). To compare, I have some old Seinhesser 598cs, an even older pair of Genius speakers (which believe it or not sound pretty solid), and a TWS Lypertek Tevi which I got them because I saw them recommended in an audiophile forum as cheap but still sounding way above their price range (and imo they have a nice detailed sound, above the 598cs).

In any case, I decided to buy another headset, this time a more expensive one, and I will return later the Epos. Lots of options, both wired and wireless:

The ASTRO Gaming A50 is very well reviewed, but it’s 270€.
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless has a great review in rtings.com, and it was 229€. I almost buy them, but they get a low score in the ‘build’ category, and it seems there are a few Reddit pages full of people who had the plastic crack on them, so many that it seems a very possible design fault. So I decided not to risk it.
An option I saw recommended was the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS for 220€, but wired.
The ASTRO Gaming A40 TR 4th gen was even more attractive… because the price, 160€, while maintaining a very similar sound to the A50. I almost buy them, but at that point I was looking so many headsets that I decided to wait until finishing the research.
Hell, I found some returned/refurbished Audeze Maxwell (but with full 3 year warranty) for 330€ in a germany shop. I decided what the hell and bought them… but I wanted to buy them with a special Visa I had from my job and it rejected it because it was outside my country lol.
Finally I saw the Corsair VIRTUOSO PRO for just 130€, I said again to myself I’m not going to use them daily, and it’s the one I bought it. On Monday I will get them, and compare them face to face against the Epos.

I guess I will write here how they are!

Not really a recommendation, more a tip, but I recently bought the Sony XM5s when they went on sale. I’m generally happy with them, though I would much prefer physical buttons. But what none of the reviews I read mentioned (and have since learned is a common complaint), is that the earpads leave very little room between your ear and the drivers. In fact, my right ear was basically always touching the drivers, which really reduced the comfort. I have since replaced the pads with stiffer third party variants which has helped, but apparently there’s a limit to how thick they can make them because it messes with the sensors. Really dumb design if you ask me.

Still using my Philips Audio SHP9500 all these years later.

Amazon still sells them for $80.

My post from back in 2021:

I have a set of unopened Audeze Maxwells sitting there for over a year since I don’t currently have a gaming PC.