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Best Audiophile Headphones for Gaming – Buyer’s Guide

Best Audiophile Headphones for Gaming -Having headphones with great audio quality can boost your gaming experience,whether you are an avid or light gamer.

However, with the market saturated with audio devices, finding a headset that works for you or meets your expectations requires some research.

Fortunately, we have done the legwork for you and compiled a list of some of the best audiophile headphones for gaming.

The headphone options vary in price, design, and sound quality. However, these headphones are for people who prioritize audio quality when selecting a pair of headphones.

Top pick

Philips SHP9500

  • Frequency response 12-35 000Hz
  • Long cable for indoor use
  • 50mm (2’’) neodymium drivers
  • Durable steel headband
  • Breathable ear cushions

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With so many features put into one audiophile headphones for gaming, it is easy to see why this is our top pick. With all the things that this product does, the only thing that it can’t do is purchase itself for you.

Audiophile Headphones for Gaming Comparison Chart

ImageProductPrice

Philips SHP9500

Philips SHP9500

  • Frequency range: 12 - 35,000 Hz
  • Connectivity3.5mm (1/8") jack
  • Sensitivity: 101 dB
  • Weight: 10.6 oz (300 g)
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Beyerdynamic Dt 990 Pro

Beyerdynamic Dt 990 Pro
  • Frequency range: 5 - 35,000 Hz
  • Connectivity3,5mm (1/8") jack & 6,35mm adapter (1/4")
  • Sensitivity: 96 dB
  • Weight: 8,8 oz (250 g)
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Philips Fidelio X2HR (2)

Philips Fidelio X2HR

  • Frequency range: 5 - 40,000 Hz
  • Connectivity3,5mm (1/8") jack & 6,35mm adapter (1/4")
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB
  • Weight: 14,1 oz (400 g)
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Audio-Technica ATH-AD700XAudio-Technica ATH-AD700X
  • Frequency range: 5 - 30,000 Hz
  • Connectivity3,5mm (1/8") jack & 6,35mm adapter (1/4")
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB
  • Weight: 1 lbs (454 g)
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JBL QUANTUM 100

JBL Quantum 100

  • Frequency range: 20 - 20,000 Hz
  • Connectivity3,5mm (1/8") jack
  • Sensitivity: 42 dB
  • Weight: 7,76 oz (220 g)
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5 Best Audiophile Headphones for Gaming (as of May, 2021):

1. Philips SHP9500 Audiophile Headphones for Gaming Review

Philips SHP9500 Review

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Initially, the Philips Audio SHP9500 Headphones used to cost a lot more than they do now. The reduced cost may have nothing to do with the performance or the design of the headphones.

The good thing is that it makes it possible for people looking for quality headphones to afford these.

The SHP9500 headphones have a simple over-ear design. They are extremely lightweight and super comfortable.

Both the ear cups and the inner part of the headband have foam padding for comfort.

Philips SHP9500 Review, Pros and Cons

The headband is made of metal with a plastic covering, which gives it a robust and solid feel. But the plastic housing is not very strong, therefore, avoid overstretching of the headbands to avoid breakage.

Some users have complained that the headphones are too light, and that they don’t have enough tension,so they tend to slip around the head.

But some users have not experienced this problem, so it’s hard to say whether this is due to the design of the headphones or due to something else.

The other thing is that the exterior parts of the cups have the left and right designations printed on them. Some people may not like that, but if you don’t care much about design when it comes to headphones, it should not be an issue.

Philips SHP9500 - left and right designations-

This is an open-back headset, which means that sound will get in and out of your headset. Talking about sound, these headphones have remarkable audio quality.

Some users say they have owned headphones that are way more expensive, but they didn’t sound nearly as good as the Philips SHP9500 headphones.

With that being said, some users claim that the headphones are overhyped because they have a grainy treble. However, you can remedy this using a parametric equalizer.

All in all, for the price they cost, these headphones are great. They are extremely comfortable, they have a detachable cable and they deliver great sound.

Main Features

  • Frequency response 12-35 000Hz
  • Breathable ear cushions
  • Long cable for indoor use
  • Open-back, over-ear headphones
  • 50mm (2’’) neodymium drivers
  • Durable steel headband
  • Comfortable headband cushion
  • Magnet type: neodymium
  • Gold-plated finishing of connector
  • Sensitivity 101 dB
PROS:
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Light clamp force
  • Breathable pads
  • Good build quality
  • Excellent sound
  • Affordable
  • Detachable 1.5m (59”) cable
  • Inbuilt 3.5mm (0,13”) jack for adding a mic or switching sources

CONS:
  • The treble in the 4k to 6kHz is grainy

2. Beyerdynamic Dt 990 Pro Audiophile Headphones for Gaming Review

Beyerdynamic Dt 990 Pro Review

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The Beyerdynamic DT 990 over-ear headphones are becoming increasingly popular in the gaming market. These headphones are much more expensive than the Philips SHP9500 and they come in two versions: The 80 ohms and the 250 ohms.

But let’s first talk about the design. The Beyerdynamic headphones are pretty sleek looking.

They have a beautiful black color with a white grill inside, which the brand is known for. So when you wear these headphones, gamers will know you are wearing quality headphones.

The ear cups have an oval shape, and a silver velour padding for comfort. Surprisingly, the cups don’t get hot when you game for long, which is a huge plus.

They have a nice clamping force that keeps them in place. The headphones will stay in place, even if you move around.

The top part of the headband has faux leather covering, which you can replace once it wears out. But be careful when removing the covering to avoid pulling the wires coming down from the headband to the ear cuff accidentally.

Beyerdynamic Dt 990 Pro Review, Pros and Cons

The one thing most users don’t like about the headphones is that the cable is not detachable.

To gamers, it is a crime for a good pair of headphones that don’t have a detachable cable. But every pair of headphones does have its flaws.

When it comes to sound, the Beyerdynamic headphones are outstanding. They have a wide and detailed frequency range.

You can notice and tell the different tones from a track. The sounds are bright and natural.

You don’t need to amp lows, mids, or highs. If you amp the highs, they become too sharp, which can be piercing.

The bass sound is not as boomy as Bose or Sony, but it is well-balanced. Plus, at high volumes, it does not warp.

If you are wondering what’s the difference between the 80 ohms version and the 250 ohms version, the 80 ohms does not need an amplifier but the 250 ohms does.

Some users say that the 250 ohms version has better audio quality than the 80 ohms. But when you get down to it, deciding which one to buy is going to depend on your needs and budget.

Overall, the Beyerdynamic headphones offer excellent audio quality. This combined with the comfortable ear cups and headband make these headphones enjoyable to wear and use.

Main Features

  • Mini-jack plug (3.5mm) and 1/4″ adapter (6.35mm)
  • Available in 2 impedances
  • Replaceable velour ear pads
  • Transparent, spacious, strong bass
  • Handcrafted in Germany
  • Open-back model
  • Durable and robust workmanship
  • 3-dimensional sound reproduction
  • High wearing comfort
  • Proffesional usage
PROS:
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Beautiful design
  • Robust and solid construction
  • Ideal for studio applications

CONS:
  • Expensive
  • Some users have complained that the treble is a bit harsh

3. Philips Fidelio X2HR Audiophile Headphones for Gaming Review

Philips Fidelio X2HR Review

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The Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR might be in the same price range as the Beyerdynamic DT 990, but with one key difference: The X2HR has more bass than the DT 990, which makes it great for gaming and listening to music.

Other than that, the X2HR performs as well as the Beyerdynamic DT 990. But it also has the same treble issue as the DT 990 and the Philips SHP 9500.

That said, the Fidelio headphones are big and heavy. If you have a small head, these would not be an ideal for you.

But don’t be fooled by the size and weight of these headphones, they are extremely sturdy and durable.

The headband is made of two steel tubes covered in leather. Inside the headband, there is an adjustable hammock, which has a breathable mesh pad for comfort.

The ear cups are made of plastic and have an aluminum wire mesh on the outer part. The interior parts of the ear cups have memory foam cushions that are replaceable.

Philips Fidelio X2HR Review, Pros and Cons

The headphones don’t clamp too tight around the ears. The weight is surprisingly well-balanced.

But despite this, some users have complained that the headphones are too heavy for extended use.

As for the sound, it is clear and authentic. The bass is boomy, detailed, and crisp.

The sub-bass is also great. The treble is slightly harsh, but not too bad for your ears to take.

The highs, mids, and lows are well-balanced. The imaging is not accurate, but it is decent.

Overall, these are great headphones. They might be a bit too heavy and bulky for some users, but the audio quality is excellent.

Main Features

  • Lightweight self-adjustable hammock with 3D mesh
  • High definition neodymium drivers with LMC diaphragm
  • Memory foam ear-pads with breathable velour
  • Acoustic open-back architecture
  • Oxygen-free cable
  • Frequency range: 5 – 40,000 Hz
  • Double layered ear-shells with pre-tilted speaker plates
  • Distortion: < 0.1% THD
  • Genuine leather outer headband
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB @ 1 mW
PROS:
  • Solid construction
  • Comes with a cable management clip
  • Great sound quality
  • Good bass
  • 50 ohms impedance
  • Comfortable
  • Handles directional sounds well

CONS:
  • Treble is slightly high
  • Bulky and heavy
  • Expensive

4. Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X Review

Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X Review

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The Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 headphones have gained a lot of traction in the gaming world and for good reasons. The headphones are lightweight and aesthetically pleasing.

The aluminum honeycomb ear cups with large cushions are made for comfort and durability. The ear cups are massive, but the open headband 3D design allows your head to breathe.

Plus, it eliminates any sense of pressure on the ears allowing you to game for an extended period.

The only problem with the headband is that it’s pretty loose. If you move around a lot or if you move vigorously, the headphones might fall off.

The audio quality is not bad if you don’t mind headphones that don’t have much bass. Some gamers prefer bass-heavy headphones. It is a matter of personal preference.

Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X Review, Pros and Cons

But besides that, the directional audio is well-balanced. You can almost hear every single sound.

However, since they are back-open headphones, they don’t isolate sound very well.

These headphones create a large sound stage, which means that the sound is directed outwards and not isolated into your ears. But this also eliminates the need for surround sound.

The treble is good. The mids and highs are clear and crisp. You can hear and even pinpoint where each sound is coming from.

But if you are playing in a noisy room, these headphones would not be the best to use since the sounds will seep into your experience. These headphones are also not for budget-conscious buyers as they are quite expensive.

Main Features

  • Bobbin-wound CCAW voice coils
  • Lightweight aluminum honeycomb
  • Gold-plated stereo 1/8″ (3.5 mm) connector with 1/4″ (6.3 mm)
  • Highly conductive OFC single- sided cord
  • Full open-air type
  • Self-adjusting 3D wing support
  • Flexible raised-fabric earpads
  • Clear treble and midrange
  • Total ear-fit design minimizing pressure
  • Elastic TPE sheath preventing tangles
PROS:
  • Open-air design to eliminate pressure on the ears
  • Adjustable headband
  • Large and comfortable honeycomb earcups
  • Durable construction
  • Clear and detailed vocals
  • Treble is smooth
  • Quality audio

CONS:
  • The cable is too long
  • They don’t have much bass
  • Pricey

5. JBL Quantum 100 Review

JBL QUANTUM 100 Review

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If you are looking for a cheap headset for gaming, then try the JBL Quantum headphones. But a quick reminder – you get what you pay for.

So if audio quality is of utmost importance to you when choosing headphones, you should probably avoid these and buy a more expensive pair.

With that in mind, the JBL Quantum headphones are not too shabby when it comes to performance and design. Like some of the headphones in this list, these also come with a cushioned headband and memory foam ear cups to provide you with adequate comfort during extended use.

JBL QUANTUM 100 Review, Pros and Cons

The sound is clear, but the surround sound is not so great. The noise cancellation feature is excellent as it helps eliminate ambient sound, giving you more sound clarity.

Another great feature you sometimes don’t find in more expensive headphones is the detachable boom mic. The fact that the headphones come with a mic is a bonus point.

The mic is decent, although it is not outstanding.

The JBL headphones are compatible with PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PC, and more. For gamers who use different gaming consoles, this is a huge advantage.

These headphones are ideal for newbies or gamers who are simply looking for an above-average sound and a mic. But if you choose to upgrade, there are other JBL models that have better sound quality, however, they may cost a little more than the JBL Quantum100 model.

Main Features

  • Volume control
  • Multi-platform compatability across PC, Console & Mobile
  • Echo cancelling technology
  • PU leather ear cushions
  • Memory-foam comfort
  • Lightweight headband
  • Detachable boom microphone
  • Cable length – 1.2m (47”)
  • Impedency 32 ohm
  • Microphone mute feature
PROS:
  • Solid construction
  • Comfortable
  • Clear sound
  • Come with a detachable boom mic
  • Compatible with PC, mobile, and a large variety of gaming consoles
  • Noise cancellation feature
  • Extremely affordable
  • Ideal for newbies

CONS:
  • The surround sound is not great
  • There is not much base
  • Directional sound is bad

Buyer’s Guide

If you have ever bought a pair of headphones before either for gaming or for listening to music, there are some distinct features that you look for.

But for someone who has never bought a pair of headphones before, choosing the most appropriate ones that meet their needs and are within their budget can be a challenge.

Choosing headphones for gaming

So if you are new to headphones, here is what you need to look for when you go out shopping for a pair:

Build Quality

It is easy to get carried away by how a set of headphones look. But looks can be deceiving.

Even if you are on a tight budget, steer away from headphones that are made entirely of plastic, or some other poor quality materials. It doesn’t matter how cheap a pair of headsets is, it does not make any economic sense to buy something that has a short life span.

The other thing is the build. Headsets have inbuilt components like audio drivers and it is hard to tell if they are of high quality, of course, unless you test the headphones.

Cheap headphones

But you can check the quality of features, such as the headband, ear cups, and connectors. If these parts appear flimsy or poorly constructed, that should tell you that even the inbuilt components are no better.

Headphones with good build quality can last you for a long time and save you a ton of money. You are better off saving some extra cash to buy an expensive pair of headphones that you can rely on for a longer time.

Sound Quality

Sound quality can make a real difference when gaming. Nothing is more exciting than when you can hear sounds like your enemy’s footsteps, explosions, and gunfire.

Being able to hear all these sounds, truly takes your gaming experience to a whole new level.

Headphones differ in sound quality and this has to do more with the engineering than the design.

All headphones have audio drivers built into the ear cups that allow you to hear sounds from different directions.

If you want to hear where the sound of gunfire is coming from, you need headphones that have surround sound. The other alternative is stereo game sound.

You can choose to go with either. It is a personal choice.

Headphones for games similar to Call of Duty

But if you play a lot of games similar to Call of Duty, you need headphones with surround sound to have a truly enjoyable gaming experience. Also, for such games, consider getting headphones with a lot of bass.

Comfort

A decent pair of quality headphones should be comfortable and should not be obtrusive. They should also be lightweight and durable.

Comfortable headphones can help prevent headaches, earaches, and neck pain when playing for a prolonged time. One key factor that contributes to this comfort is the material used for the headphones.

The materials used for the ear cups and headband are the most important. High- quality headphones should have a padded headband and cushioned ear cups.

Headphones with leather ear cups

Some headphones have leather ear cups, which are the most comfortable. But your ears are bound to sweat when you use the headphones for a prolonged time.

Memory foam ear cups are also comfortable and best of all, they allow airflow.

When it comes to the headband, it should sit comfortably on your head. You should not feel like your head is being squashed as that can make extended use difficult.

Padded headbands are the most comfortable.

It is not advisable to buy headphones that don’t have padding as they can be extremely uncomfortable. Also, stay away from headbands that are plastic as they are just as uncomfortable.

Also, if you wear eyeglasses, consider that when choosing headphones. Some brands have headphones that are designed for people who wear eyeglasses.

Headphones for people who wear eyeglasses

Weight

You don’t want to get headphones that are too heavy as that can cause comfort-related issues. Buy lightweight headphones that are also durable.

Compatibility

Before you buy headphones, consider the device you are using to play your games.

If you use an Xbox or other gaming console, you need to ensure that you buy headphones that are compatible with these consoles. The same goes for a PC or Smartphone.

Headphones for gaming

Some headphones are compatible with all devices. But they are more expensive than headphones that are compatible with only one device.

Connection Type

You need to take into account the connection type of the headset, depending on the device you use. The connection types available are 3.5 mm (0,13”), Bluetooth, wireless USB, and wired USB.

For gamers who use PS4, connectivity problems are not an issue, but for Xbox gamers and PC gamers, connectivity can get tricky. You need to check what headphones are compatible with Xbox.

Headphones for PS4

The newer models have a jack for headphones with 3.5mm connectivity. However, older models require a 3.5mm (0,13”) adapter.

There are headphones that are specifically designed for PCs, but you need to install additional drivers to be able to access certain features, such as surround sound.

In short, make sure to get headphones that can connect to your device. Otherwise, you could end up with a great pair of headphones that you cannot use.

Open or Closed Headphones

Closed headphones are designed to keep your ears isolated from ambient sound. So if you are playing in a noisy room, it’s best to use closed headphones, to avoid getting distracted.

This way, if there are other gamers around you, they won’t get distracted by the sounds coming from your game.

People-Playing-Game-Console

The other advantage of using closed headphones is that you can hear every sound clearly. This gives you an added advantage over your competition.

Open headphones don’t isolate your ears from ambient noise, but they deliver more natural sound. This is due to the perforated ear cups.

Another advantage of using open headphones is that they don’t put pressure on your ears.

This makes them extremely comfortable to use for a prolonged time. And they are best used in an environment that is not noisy.

Headphones for gaming 1

Microphone specifications

A quality headset should have a decent microphone. Make sure it has a good mic, even if it is cheap.

A built-in mic helps you to communicate with other players. And some headsets even have a noise-cancellation feature that allows other players to hear you clearly when you speak.

So if you plan on using your headphones to communicate with other players, get a pair that has a detachable microphone.

Headphones with built-in mic

Price

Headphones vary in price. Those that have advanced features are more expensive. But you can get a decent pair of headphones without needing to spend too much money.

With that being said, stay away from cheap headphones. You would rather save up and buy quality headphones.

Prioritize durability, sound quality, and comfortability more than price, when buying headphones.

Conclusion

Having quality headphones can change the way you play your game, whether you are an avid gamer or a person who enjoys gaming once in a while, they can give you a better advantage over other players, and they can boost your gaming experience.

It is quite a task finding the right headphones, but it all depends on what type of features you need. Headphones with basic features are less expensive than those with advanced features.

The goal is to get headphones that meet your needs. If you need to spend extra money to get an expensive headset, do it, because at the end of the day, it will be to your advantage.

Best Audiophile Headphones for Gaming(1)

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