Adventures in headphones, part 1…

So I needed a new pair of headphones for my gaming system, since now that I’m in a shared household with my girl it was becoming increasingly necessary to isolate the sound of my gaming from the rest of the world.  I spent a little while doing some research, as I’m prone to do before a big purchase, and found that there are some great sites out there for information, but often they are pretty skewed by people that are into the higher end audiophile kind of stuff.

Don’t get me wrong… I love that kind of shit.  I just didn’t want to have to buy a separate desktop amplifier to get the best out of my games.  Finding something that would be powerful and responsive enough, but also wouldn’t break the bank really put some limiters on what I would end up getting.

Ultimately, I settled on the Sennheiser HD558‘s.


The main reasons that I went with these was twofold…

  1. I was looking for something that would provide me with amazing sound for games.  Not just for mid’s and high’s, but also needed to have some fairly decent lower end response; sub 30Hz, sub 20Hz preferred.
  2. They could be powered by a newer sound card effectively without having to buy a desktop amp.

Of the field of contenders, I kept coming back to the Sennheisers.  Also, after finding out how easy it is to modify them to sound like the HD598‘s, they were pretty much a shoe in at that point.  I had also looked at the Beyerdynamic’s and Audio Technica’s that are in the same price range and just wasn’t impressed.

After having them for about a month now, I can honestly say that they are the best headphones I’ve ever owned.  I did the foam mod immediately after getting them, not really caring to compare between the two.  They are exclusively being used to play games and listen to a small amount of music… a 90/10 mix.

Love ’em.

I may, after having read a ton of post and reviews of some of the higher end cans, end up trading up in a year or 2, depending on how long these last.  I ended up having to buy the new Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD sound card to fully support these 50 ohm headphones since it has an integrated amp on the card.  With this new card, I can maybe look at getting some of the nicer 300 ohm stuff later on.