Ok, I may be wrong in some aspects, but bear with me. From personal experience with gaming headsets such as turtle beach, and other on store trial products, as well as audiophile grade headphones that I’ve experienced, I did somewhat draw conclusive evidence, with help from my favorite tech Youtuber, Linus Tech Tips. If you are into computers, anything related to tech such as laptops, custom PCs, monitors, PC components and reviews for those kinds of things, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of them. I swear that team is legitimately almost working non-stop releasing videos like no tomorrow. And for me, most of them are pretty interesting. I’m in general a tech person who is interested in not only Audiophile stuff, but that is not the focus of this website/blog. However, it brings tears of joy to my eyes when these tech reviewers and enthusiasts at least are aware of the presence of Audiophiles and appreciate the potential and experience when they get the chance to hear it. As such, is Linus, the forefront person at Linus Tech Tips youtube channel. He can appreciate these things. I mean, he did cry while listening to ABYSS AB-1266 Phi TC with all the gear provided. Just because I want to support them, the link to that youtube video is here.
Before we go back to the topic at hand, I want to do some customary disclaimers. I’m definitely not an expert on this topic, and definitely take everything said with my perspective, which may or may not apply to yours, or anyone else’s case. But most definitely, this is definitely a subjective opinion, with objective reasoning applied. Now, if you will, please entertain yourself with my objective reasoning to why I think the best gaming headsets are truly just audiophile headphones.
So, with the principals of sound, which are caused by vibrations of the woofer or a diaphram, digital data is converted to analog (electrical) signals which then determine the vibrations of a woofer that is determined by a diaphram which is a series of electromagnets that cause vibrations in the air through a woofer. That is just to put it simply. There are many other components that make up how a speaker sounds, such as transistors and other specific electrical components. Although theory might state otherwise, reality does not completely follow theory, which is why theories are not laws. Each electrical component make their own distinct characteristic sound with their quality, which the late Ken Ishiwata (1947-2019) discovered recreating his own Marantz Model 7C Preamplifier.
As such, that is why you are paying high monetary price for the sound. Simply because the best components are contribute to the best sound, and that is not easily recreated. As an audiophile, you should know that coming here right? As such, simply put, I believe even with software gimmicks, you cannot get great sound and spatial feeling and awareness in a song without the best components to bind it all together. And that is what is offered with some of these “gaming headsets”. If you want proof, look no further than the “super-scientific” tests that were done with the friends over at Linus Tech Tips, in their video titled, “Are Surround Gaming Headphones BS?“. In summary, and all seriousness in their testing, the audiophile grade headphones provide the best spacial and surround awareness in a gaming environment. Personally, I did hypothesize that the audiophile headphones would win, and that was because of the reason that I believed audiophile grade headphones are simply of better quality based on my personal experiences with gaming headsets in-store and my own “audiophile” headphones. Gaming headsets that I’ve tried simply felt light, which is good for long periods of wear, the construction is generally plastic, the aesthetics bear not much purpose except for style, and the demos didn’t really provide and let me easily tell where enemies are. The soundstage imaging so to say. I felt like I knew better where the stage, and enemies would be with my own headphones. And that video further proved my own hypothesis.
However, gaming headsets can be called as such because of a couple obvious differences in purpose and features. They are generally, as I’ve seen, more focused on aesthetics, the microphone feature, and long-term wear comfort. The main physical difference is the microphone integration on the so called gaming headsets. However, I would also prove otherwise that the microphone aren’t that much better than if it was done with an integrated mic on the in-wire clicker thing on one such audiophile grade headphones (my V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless). I must confess however, I’ve never tried anything much else except for the microphones on the clicker on the cable to my headphones and the microphones on the headphones themselves in my wireless V-Moda Crossfade Wireless 2 (I must mention that V-Moda does offer the BoomPro Microphone which offer a close representation of gaming headset microphones but integrated to a cable, that I do not have). In this case, I would like to forgo much conclusive evidence, and leave that to the discretion of the viewers to decide my personal belief, which I will only take somewhat into account because of my inexperience.
To further explain what I have done in terms of gaming with headsets/headphones, I’ve personally had the PS4 since it was launched in 2013. I had bought the console about a month after it was released, as the Xbox 360 that I had before (and owned for only about a year or so), was experiencing trouble that the techs over at Microsoft couldn’t find despite being sent to them multiple times. As such, I’ve gaming quite often on the headset with friends and the integrated mic so as not to bother my parents. It was then that I’ve had this belief, since what I experienced was as far as I know, great enough.
***Sidenote: This was written in 2019 (I forgot when exactly) before I had gotten the HD6XX. That’s why it wasn’t mentioned. Just had a good enough picture to use as a the feature image. What I had written I looked over and decided it was actually pretty good without much edits, so I decided to keep what I had already written and just go with everything, except for some grammar correction after proofreading.***