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Gamer Recommendations for Earbuds/IEMs?

Last response: in Video Games
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May 23, 2012 7:10:30 PM

My Situation
I have a big head (in terms of size). Let me just start off with that. As a result, I have no interested in headsets or closed acoustic headphones. With the summer months coming, they just build up too much heat for me. Another issue is fitment. Whether it's the size of the ear cups or how it rests on your head, I can never find a good balance for the sake of comfort.

Plus, I hate the sound of "creaking" of the plastic parts of headphones when you move around. Even though I'll still love my Sennheiser HD280s for DJing and everyday listening, I'm hoping there's a viable option out there. Great quality for the price.

My Setup
Via optical cable, I have a HTPC (AsRock Extreme3 Gen3 Z68 onboard audio with latest drivers installed for Realtek ALC892) connected to a Denon AVR591 receiver through which I plug in my HD280s for late night gaming. As far as I know, I don't think I need a fancy sound card with headphone amplifier such as the HT Omega Claro series I've been pondering. When I'm not using the headphones, I am annoying the neighbors with my Polk Audio speakers (mix of LSi and RTi) and SV subwoofer. I only share these details to see if anyone sees a flaw or potential improvement in what I have. I can share the rest of the detail of my PC if needed.

In the past, I've done all my gaming on consoles and laptops. My current PC is my first true gaming PC, so I don't have any experience with other sound cards, gaming headsets or anything else as a basis for comparison.

What I want to spend my money on...
Before I start scouring my local Best Buy, Frys and Guitar Center, does anyone have recommendations for the purposes of PC gaming? If they exist, I'm hoping to find something that comes close (or better) to the sound quality I've grown accustomed to with my HD280s. Most earbud reviews I read so far are geared towards active lifestyles or those walking about the city. My budget is flexible so long as I see the price is justifiable. This excludes earbuds intended for sound engineers, musicians and other professions as those tend not to be the best for gaming anyways.

Once I do find/buy a great pair of earbuds, I'll then begin my search for a decent clip-on mic for chatting on Vent. It's not high on my priority list at this point.

Best solution

May 23, 2012 8:25:18 PM
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Hi, one thing I'm sortof confused about if you already have the headphones that you like (HD280) then what's wrong with using them?

I'm by not means an expert on the field nor am I an audiophile but if you have a set of headphones that you already have, you like them, you're used to them, I don't see any reason to be getting something else. Especially considering from what you describe your current set up is pretty advanced.

afaik, as far as your aural perception is concerned, a stereo headset works just fine in terms of generating accurate sound (say counter strike source - it's a simple sound engine yet it works fantastically with stereo headsets as much as others claim it to work with surround speaker set ups). I guess what I'm trying to say here is, just because you want "gaming" headphones don't go looking for some red herring, sound is sound regardless of whether it's gaming, music, vent/skype or pc speaker beep, there's no hidden mystic properties that make something superb for gaming and absolutely trash for music. (unless of course you got some personal preferences for what sound profile you're looking for in certain applications, then all cards to you)

So, with that said, and if you're just looking for a pair of ear buds, I myself was looking for some not that long ago. My reason is similar to yours, I hate headphones that sit on my head, it's beyond me why put so much weight on your ears when there's such simple thing as ear buds available. Anyway, I did some looking about and settled on getting a pair of YUIN earbudds.

http://www.yuin-acoustic.com/product/?id=3 -- I found good reviews on them and it might even been that people on here recommended them to me, or some other board. The only problem is for the life of me I cannot recall which model it was, I know for sure it's the Pk-series, but I cannot recall if it's 1, 2 or 3. If I remember I'll check tonight when I get home. My opinion of them so far is they are definitely better quality than the generic $10 sony earphones I've been using for years, but I don't really have anything else to compare them against.

Alright, that's all I wanted to say, hopefully this will be helpful in some way.

Edit: checked online by the price, mine are YUIN Pk2.
May 23, 2012 9:52:15 PM

Before, I could wear them for hours at a time (for most types of activity). As I got older, heavy closed ear headphones became somewhat of a burden for longer gaming sessions. It's a combination of the size, weight and heat buildup (during summer).

I also wear eyeglasses. Since I get so fidgety after some time, my glasses will shift each time I adjust/move my headphones for the sake of comfort.

Earbuds seem more appealing as they won't get in the way of my glasses and aren't as heavy as over-the-ear headphones.
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May 23, 2012 10:10:50 PM

Ah alright, so same reasons as for me pretty much. Well, my offer still stands for the YUIN ear buds
May 24, 2012 12:18:07 AM

I checked them out and now trying to weigh the benefits between the PK1 and PK2. P2s would be nice in case I ever want to use them with portable devices as well, but I already have a set for that. But PK1 will probably suit me best--and I already have other types of earbuds for diff uses.

On Amazon, a good share of reviews say they sound great, but are feel/built cheap hehe. Do you feel the same? This makes me lean closer towards the PK2 if they aren't going to last as long.
May 24, 2012 12:18:24 AM

Best answer selected by BlueberryCake.
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