January 28, 2022
Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming

🥇 [Top 10] Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming Reviews in 2020

It’s no longer a secret: headphones offer you a much better sound quality compared to headsets.

But the question is: which ones are good for what? Our Overear headphones comparison helps and saves you annoying rum searching and reading long test articles.

So if you ‘re looking for the best headphones for undisturbed gaming , then you’ve come to the right place. You don’t yet know exactly which construction you want or are you short of money?

No problem, we have a selection for every budget and explain the most important specifications that you must pay attention to when buying good headphones. We have targeted both a range of on-ear and over -ear headphones, and we also have open and closed versions in our headphone comparison.

You have no idea what we’re talking about? No problem, because in our purchase advice we explain the advantages and disadvantages of the individual specifications in great detail. Have fun with our current headphone comparison!

The Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming

This is how our headphones comparison works: Below you will find all headphones that appear in our comparison clearly listed with the most important information. Below we have taken a closer look at each headphone individually for you, so we will give you a short individual review of the respective model.

We have divided our headphones comparison into 3 price categories: Cheap headphones (up to a maximum of a little more than 50 $), the middle class (up to max. 160 $) and the premium class with everything over 150 $. We have tried to sort the list below from cheap to more expensive as best we can. After the individual reviews, you will find our purchase advice & the guide, in which we clarify all important questions about gaming headphones. But now have fun browsing!

Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming under $ 50

It doesn’t always have to be the luxury version, sometimes cheaper models also offer an excellent price / performance ratio. It is also worth taking a look at the entry-level class in the audiophile drug, because this sector also offers both closed and half-open headphones in a wide variety of designs and objectives. Whether bass-heavy monster, balanced sound artist or portable all-rounder, here we want to present some interesting headphones for gaming that are available for comparatively little money.

Samson SR850: Top gaming headphones for beginners

q? encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B002LBSEQS&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format= SL650 &tag=homearama 20ir?t=homearama 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B002LBSEQS

  • Construction: semi-open
  • Headquarters: Overar
  • Weight: 273g
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity (SPL): 98 dB
  • Driver: Dynamic 50mm
  • Foldable: No

The Samson SR850 are semi-open headphones with large velor ear cushions, a thin headband and excellent sound quality for this price. They sit pretty tight on the head, unfortunately the cable cannot be removed and the sound signature is pleasantly neutral. The main disadvantages are the somewhat inferior workmanship, the tight-fitting ear cushions and the non-adjustable headband. For the price, that’s complaining at a high level. If you can live with it, the Samson SR850 will give you great affordable gaming headphones!

The Samson SR850 are great for beginners who want to try out headphones while gaming. Especially useful for hobby DJs or studio work. Purchase recommendation for everyone who would like to test gaming headphones as an alternative!

Superlux HD681: Best headphones for listening to music

q? encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B002GHIPYI&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format= SL650 &tag=homearama 20ir?t=homearama 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B002GHIPYI

  • Construction: semi-open
  • Headquarters: Overar
  • Weight: 276g
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity (SPL): 99.04 dB
  • Driver: Dynamic 50mm
  • Foldable: No

One can argue about the design of the Superlux HD681, but less about the audiophile quality, because the Taiwanese manufacturer Superlux has produced a really fine piece of hardware at a low price with its HD681. With an impedance of just 32 ohms, the HD681 can also be conveniently operated with a smartphone and the partially open design isolates the sound well enough to have fun with it on the go.

The stable, but getting used to processing of the case with similarities to the AKG K240 MKII already leads to speculation on the excellent sound of the HD681, which offers a warmly tuned sound with rich bass and clean mids. The 50mm transducers play dynamically and powerfully, making it fun to gamble with the HD681. Only the highs are sometimes exaggerated and, like the somewhat cheap-looking padding of the ear cups and the non-replaceable cable, are clear minus points.

The performance offered is unbeatable for the price and those who can live with the design get excellent semi-open headphones and an entry-level drug into the HIFI area. The solid workmanship of the headphones ensures that you can enjoy the Superlux HD 681 for a long time.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x: Great entry-level model for gamers with a DJ attitude

q? encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B00HVLUQW8&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format= SL650 &tag=homearama 20ir?t=homearama 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00HVLUQW8

  • Design: Closed
  • Seat: Over Ear
  • Weight: 265g
  • Impedance: 47 ohms
  • Sensitivity (SPL): 98 dB
  • Driver: Dynamic 40mm
  • Foldable: Partly

The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x are budget studio headphones that offer you precise, neutral sound. They are designed for recordings in a recording studio and, with their solid construction, shield your ears from ambient noise as far as possible. Therefore, of course, they are also ideal for gaming!

The M30X offers a surprisingly high fidelity for their price range but have a poor soundstage because of the closed construction. These headphones only provide passive isolation. High tones are well isolated, unfortunately, the M30X is not sufficient for noisy environments such as trains or on planes. You have no sound loss, but the M30X is still not recommended for quiet offices.

MIDDLE CLASS: Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming under $ 150

Anyone who likes it a bit finer than the entry-level class, often listens to high-resolution music and generally attaches great importance to quality without wanting to burn a hole in their wallet will find what they are looking for with the mid-range headphones. There is clean quality at a fair price and a great price-performance ratio

AKG K 240: The classic

q? encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B0001ARCFA&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format= SL650 &tag=homearama 20ir?t=homearama 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0001ARCFA

  • Type: Partially open
  • Seat: Over Ear
  • Weight: 284g
  • Impedance: 53.95 ohms
  • Sensitivity (SPL): 90.46 dB
  • Driver: Dynamic 30mm
  • Foldable: No.

The name AKG should be familiar to most and the K240 should also be no stranger to many, because these headphones have been on the market for what feels like forever. Since its introduction, it has been improved again and again and brought to the market as a new version, and you can tell it is technical maturity and many years of fine-tuning in every fiber.

The Varimotion 30mm sound transducers play precisely and powerfully and are simply fun to listen to. The crisp basic setting of the K240 is responsible for the fact that the fine highs and details are quickly diverted to the dynamic play with well-resolved mids and lows. The powerful coordination is fun when playing and dynamically transports what is happening on the screen to the ear, but the AKG K240 with its 55 ohms is also recommended for listening to music on the move, if the design is not off-putting.

After all, the futuristic-looking headphones are not for everyone, but they comfortably surround the ears with their thick cushions and insulate well despite the semi-open design. The slim design with the two flexible metal brackets and the metal applications on the outside of the sound transducer look pleasantly retro and can withstand a lot. The classic from AKG is not a regular guest in many studios for nothing, but it should also spread more and more among gamers with the offered qualities.

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro: studio headphones in the middle price segment

q? encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B0011UB9CQ&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format= SL650 &tag=homearama 20ir?t=homearama 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0011UB9CQ

  • Design: Open
  • Seat: Over Ear
  • Weight: 360 g
  • Impedance: 250 ohms
  • Sensitivity (SPL): 96 dB
  • Driver: Dynamic
  • Foldable: No.

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PROs are a blast for their price: The parts are extremely comfortable, have a great sound and a nice long cable. The huge, open ear cups give you a very haunting soundstage and they also look cool. The sound profile of the DT 990s is very neutral and unfortunately only the bass is a bit weak. But if you’re looking for clear, clean sound, you’ve come to the right place. Warning: These things knock you out with 250 ohms, so think about an amplifier before buying!

If you’re looking for headphones for at home, the DT 990 PROs are the right choice for you. At the price point, you should use them not only to gamble but also to listen to music or watch films.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x: Extremely flexible headphones

q? encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B00HVLUR86&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format= SL650 &tag=homearama 20ir?t=homearama 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00HVLUR86

  • Design: Closed
  • Seat: Over Ear
  • Weight: 340g
  • Impedance: 38 ohms
  • Sensitivity (SPL): 99 dB
  • Driver: Dynamic 45mm
  • Foldable: yes

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are studio headphones with an excellent V-shaped sound character: both bass and treble are emphasized, with the middle tones being reproduced solidly. The two large ear cushions ensure excellent noise absorption, the processing of the hard plastic is very robust and resistant. The M50X are convincing in terms of sound across the board: You get a balanced audio reproduction with the right amount of bass, without distortion.

They may seem a bit bright to some, but the high quality sound should appeal to fans of any genre. Very high quality headphones with outstanding sound that are also suitable for everyday use on the go. I’ve been using it for months at home while gaming and I’m completely satisfied! Clear recommendation from us, best to buy in an Amazon sale! Oh yes: they can also be folded together.


The upper class is something for real enthusiasts: Whether high-resolution headphones with high demands on the sound card like the Sennheiser HD600, flexible solutions like the Beyerdynamic Custom Studio or handcrafted quality like the Audio-Technica ATH-A1000Z, individualists will find what they need here.

Sennheiser HD599: Almost like cheating in FPS games

q? encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B01L1IICR2&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format= SL650 &tag=homearama 20ir?t=homearama 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B01L1IICR2

  • Design: Open
  • Seat: Over Ear
  • Weight: 250g
  • Impedance: 50 ohms
  • Sensitivity (SPL): 10 6 dB
  • Driver: Dynamic
  • Foldable: No

The Sennheiser HD500 series is almost legendary. Here you get open headphones that combine sound quality, comfort, aesthetics and high-quality workmanship. Such a sound quality combined with high quality materials will be difficult to find in this price range. The sound of the HD599 has more details and a higher resolution than older models.

We recommend these headphones to anyone looking for extremely comfortable headphones with precise sound quality and a wide variety of sounds. The open design is of course not suitable for commuters or for listening to music outside the home, otherwise you will have problems with other people ;-). All in all: pure sound paired with a noble look and good workmanship. That’s why they are among the best over-ear headphones for gaming!

beyerdynamic Amiron home: Headphones with a pleasant sound after work

q? encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B01LZQ8N6E&ServiceVersion=20070822&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&Format= SL650 &tag=homearama 20ir?t=homearama 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B01LZQ8N6E

  • Design: Open
  • Seat: Over-Ear
  • Weight: 340g
  • Impedance: 250 ohms
  • Sensitivity (SPL): 102dB
  • Driver: Dynamic
  • Foldable: No.

The Amiron Home was designed to give you the ultimate sound experience for your home, whether you are listening to music or watching a movie. The Amiron are definitely among the headphones with the highest level of comfort and the best fit in their class. They really bring you a perfect sound quality and processing quality as well as the selected materials are sensational.

In general, the sound of the Amiron is very pleasant (it won’t be “stressful” for your ears in the long run!), With no tones being exaggerated. Especially the mids come into their own, the basses are sufficiently full, you should only consider purchasing an amplifier or DAC for perfect highs. But you can also get along well without an amplifier, as long as your mainboard or sound card supports 250 ohms.

Admittedly, due to their open design, these headphones are not suitable for people who want to take their headphones with them when they are on the go. For everyone else, the Amiron are world class. For the price, in addition to gaming, you should also listen to music or watch films more often, as they are otherwise a bit too expensive. Perfect after-work headphones for gamers who also listen to music!


Here we explain all the important technical terms and special features that you should pay attention to before buying headphones for gaming. You will also find information on the advantages and disadvantages of the construction methods, important information on the subject of impedance and valuable tips on “Do I need an amplifier for my headphones”. When you’re through here, no more questions should be left unanswered.

Headphone designs explained: which ones are suitable for gaming?

Anyone who has ever looked around the audio department of one of the well-known technology markets will have noticed that there are significant differences between the headphones on offer in terms of design and size. It is not just a matter of taste which type of headphones you get, there are tangible differences between the individual types.

Below you will find the various popular types of headphones. There are basically three form factors: over-ear , on-ear and in-ear , with each design having its own advantages and disadvantages.


The largest headphones among the three types completely surround the ear, usually have soft padding and by far the best sound. But they are also quite heavy and the most expensive of the form factors. Nevertheless: If you want the best possible sound, you can’t ignore the Overear headphones and none of the other headphones pull you into the game like a well-isolated Overear.


These headphones sit on the ears like the Overear headphones, with “On-Ear” really on the ears means. Although you get a little more of your surroundings, the constant pressure on your ears is usually uncomfortable in the long run. In addition, the sound doesn’t sound as full as with over-ear headphones. However, the weight is lower and on-ears are a bit smaller, which makes them more portable.

Such headphones are especially worthwhile if you are on the road a lot, still want good sound and still have to be able to hear something of the environment, for example in traffic. For gamers who use the headphones primarily on the PC, this type of construction is therefore not ideal, as potential is wasted here. However, if you want to switch between smartphone and PC, you should take a look at the on-ear headphones.


Dhe in-ear headphones have long been the state of the art when it comes to MP3 players or smartphones: light, small and decent sound for on the go. However, if you play or work with such headphones all day, you will find the constant wearing in the ear uncomfortable and the sound cannot be compared with the other two due to the design.

However, more and more in-ear headphones are coming onto the market that have several sound transducers installed on each side and hardly have to hide behind the larger competitors. The smaller transducers also mean a lower electrical resistance, so that the models can be operated without an amplifier. The focus on mobile use remains with the most modern in-ear variant, The in-ear headphones are also very suitable for occasional use on the PC. Many pro gamers usually use in-ears in combination with over-ears.

In summary, it can be said that over-ear headphones are particularly suitable for gaming , which on the one hand shield you well from the environment and on the other hand offer the best, defined sound (keyword: sound quality).

On-ear headphones are intended for jogging and are especially recommended for people who wear glasses ! Unfortunately, it is just as uncomfortable to wear in the long run as in-ear headphones.

The above-mentioned categories are further subdivided into the category of open and closed construction methods, which of course also has a significant effect on the sound. The open design is mainly offered for over-ear headphones, while on-ear headphones are more semi-open or closed.

Open or closed headphones: which is better for gaming?

You can easily tell whether you have closed back or open back headphones in front of you by whether the back of the headphones is completely closed or permeable. The difference from the sound is, however, much more pronounced, so that the choice has to be considered very carefully for this aspect:

Open back or open headphones:

These headphones do not have a closed back, but rather leave the back of the ear cups relatively open. The sound can spread unhindered here and the sound transducer can work with the circulating air, which significantly improves the sound spectrum, but you can also clearly hear what is happening around you. External noises penetrate your ear more easily and can be quite annoying with maximum concentration.

Your fellow human beings can also clearly hear what you are hearing on your headphones and thus hear both the agreement on Teamspeak and the embarrassing Justin Bieber track. This is absolutely no disadvantage for gaming at home in your room, but open headphones are not recommended for enjoying music in the subway or playing in the living room in front of the family.

If you have the free choice and want to use the headphones almost exclusively at home in your own room, you should opt for the open design, which, thanks to the airy and spatial sound, can represent a game world much better than a closed design. The closed construction, on the other hand, has more “bangs” and so not only the action fan should try a representative of the two variants, because this is also about the subjective impression of what you like!

Closed back or closed headphones:

The closed headphones isolate the user much better from the ambient noise, but the sound also has major problems leaving the headphones and this leads to resonances, which makes the acoustic impression not quite as open and airy as with open headphones.

Here the perceived acoustic field around you is much smaller than with open headphones and the sound seems to originate more “in” your head than around you, but the bass in interaction with the resonances in the closed room is much more powerful and fuller.

Wireless headphones :

With the advancement of wireless standards such as Bluetooth aptX, the use of wireless headphones has also spread.

Not only has the sound improved significantly compared to earlier models, the ability to move around your own apartment almost without restriction and listen to music via Bluetooth has become firmly established in recent years due to the increased transmission power.

Most wireless headphones also offer the option of connecting them by cable and thus making them independent of the battery when you don’t need the freedom of wireless headphones. Nevertheless, wireless headphones currently rank behind the wired models in terms of pure sound quality, which can also benefit from amplifiers.

Since you usually sit at the PC while gaming, there is actually no reason to accept the additional weight of the batteries and the poorer sound quality and you should resort to a wired variant.

What does THD mean and why is there no frequency information in your headphones comparison?

Information on THD

The term THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) refers to the (unwanted) distortion that occurs when the signal is converted into sound in the headphones. In other words: How faithful is the end result of the signal that was sent to the headphones. The THD is another promotional ploy that manufacturers rarely mention these days.

Modern headphones have THD values, which makes it the ordinary people impossible to notice a difference between the two signals, for values of 0.1% are absolutely no longer a rarity. Nobody will even notice the difference of 0.3% and 0.1%, which is why many manufacturers no longer advertise this value at all: The difference in the decimal point is so small and negligible that it is simply no longer a sales argument.
We have therefore also deleted this value from our data sheet.

Our opinion on frequency information

Various manufacturers like to advertise with abnormally high frequency ranges 20 Hz – 100 kHz or High Resolution Audio, but this is primarily just a marketing ploy. No normal person perceives the spectrum beyond 20 kHz or below 20 Hz. In addition, the digital source must first be able to reproduce such a spectrum, so the benefit of high-resolution audio clearly depends on the quality of the medium. We therefore consider this value to be useless and do not include it in our headphone guide.

Impedance & SPL: Why the ohm value is the most important criterion for headphones

Impedance means nothing more than electrical resistance and is measured in ohms (Ω). In the context of headphones, the ohm value tells you how much juice you need to get your headphones at a decent volume. Basically, the higher the ohm value of the headphones, the more juice the headphones need.

Next, the value tells you how accurately and precisely can sound headphones, because the resistance is evidence of the electrical components used. If, for example, your smartphone, mainboard or MP3 player does not have enough power for the selected headphones, they will sound too quiet or you have a distorted sound.

A high resistance, which is specified in ohms, usually means an exact and sound reproduction of the medium, while headphones with a low ohm number can be prone to distortion. That is not to say that there are no headphones with excellent sound quality and low ohms, but there are significantly fewer bad-sounding headphones with high ohms than the other way around.

Nevertheless, you should take a look at the built-in motherboard before buying an Ohm-Monster to avoid disappointment. Gigabyte advertises, for example, that the high-quality amplifiers on their motherboards can handle 600 ohms, and each of the relevant sound cards still has significant reserves here.

So that you know from which ohm values ​​you need an amplifier, you can simply follow our mini-instructions here:

  • 32 ohms and 99 dB / mW or more: You don’t need an amplifier: These headphones can easily be used with battery-operated mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) and your desktop PC.
  • Can be used with a high-quality desktop computer, laptop, or portable smart device: 32-80 ohms and 96 dB / mW or more. In the case of end devices with inferior quality, it can be difficult to achieve comfortable listening levels with soft music.
  • 32-80 ohms and less than 96 dB / mW: You should invest in a good headphone amplifier. A low level of efficiency and a low impedance means that headphones consume above-average power.
  • 80-300 + ohms and less than 99dB / mW: You definitely need a headphone amplifier, otherwise nothing works here.

The sensitivity of your headphones (specified in our headphone comparison in SPL – Sound Pressure Level ) is less important than the impedance, but still worth a look. The higher the SPL value (or efficiency, sound pressure level, sensitivity or sound pressure), the louder the headphones can play per milliwatt. Usually the sensitivity is given in decibels (Db).

The lower the sound pressure level, i.e. the specified Db number, the more power the headphones need to play loudly. So orientation: A value of 86 dB is seen as relatively low, while 110 dB is more likely to be classified as high .

This is where the impedance comes into play again: If your motherboard has enough power for the impedance of your headphones, you don’t have to worry about the volume in the form of the SPL. Only those who like to listen with their ears to the speakers in the disco need an extra high level of sensitivity.

Unfortunately, there is no uniform standard for calculating and specifying sensitivity and every manufacturer measures it differently. Therefore, the SPL value is not a good reference point for assessing the quality of headphones.

What is the difference between sound isolation and active sound cancellation?

The aim of every headphone is to isolate you from your environment and to leave you alone with your desired sound. Now there is no measurable standard for isolation from the environment, after all, every head and ear is shaped differently, but at least every design can be roughly classified according to its isolation:

I n ear headphones completely close the ear canal and thus have the best isolation, but also well padded
Over-ear headphones block the sound from the outside very well because they completely enclose the ear.
Open Back: If you have open back headphones, of course, the isolation will suffer from the open design and the noises from the outside will reach your ears much more easily. On-ear headphones have the worst isolation, as they simply sit on the auricle and therefore cannot completely enclose or close the ear, but they also make orientation in traffic safer and easier for intended mobile use.

Passive noise canceling is nothing else than the described sound isolation and the word itself is just a marketing trick , which fortunately is becoming increasingly rare. The above-mentioned sound insulation is always done passively, i.e. through the insulation of the material used, while sound suppression takes place actively, through so-called noise canceling.

Are noise-canceling headphones worthwhile for gaming?

Noise-canceling headphones, on the other hand, have an active filter that suppresses ambient noise even further and thus ensures absolute silence in your ear. For this purpose, specially installed microphones in the headphones pick up the noises and the volume from outside and the sound transducer then generates an inverted counter-noise, which practically neutralizes the volume of the environment. The result is a significantly reduced volume from the outside that is priceless, especially in noisy surroundings.

However, this type of active noise reduction needs energy and i st while gambling at home hardly necessary here provides the passive damping by well-insulated headphones already more than enough rest. In addition, the fun costs a significant surcharge, especially if it is supposed to work properly and is a waste of money for gamers on the home PC.

What types of transducers are there in headphones?

There are various technical procedures for operating the headphones, and we want to explain some of them to you so that you can at least hear about them.

The driver / sound transducer sits on the left and right in your headphones and is responsible for converting the incoming electrical voltage into vibrations and thus into sound. Everyone has visually seen the circular panes before, but ideally the user should only be able to see the back with the open construction.

The size of the sound transducer or driver units is less relevant than the material used or the type of driver, so that “bigger” is hardly synonymous with “better” here. A larger transducer can simply develop more power, but this is by no means too beneficial for the sound like high-quality materials or sophisticated mechanics. A large-sized transducer conjures up a powerful bass to the ear, but often has problems with clean highs, as the membrane can deform too quickly. Exceptions confirm the rule here too.

Dynamic Drivers / Dynamic Sound Transducers. The most widespread and cheapest way to put the sound on your ear. A coil made of extremely thin wire is vibrated by a magnet. which in turn generates sound. A wide variety of materials can be used for the coil and the membrane and the results can be worlds apart, although the type of drive is selve. This method is also used by high-end headphones such as the Focal Utopia and is therefore not an exclusion criterion for outstanding sound despite the cheap and simple design

Planar Magnetic or also called Orthodynamics sound transducer: These models move the entire membrane of the headphones instead of just a small coil, which requires a stronger magnet, but also guarantees better sound. For a larger magnet, however, you also need more power and thus quickly your own amplifier for the headphones. Headphones with orthodynamic transducers usually cost a little more than the Dynamic Driver headphone designs, with the transition in quality and price between the models being fluid

Planar Magnetic or also called Orthodynamics sound transducer: These models move the entire membrane of the headphones instead of just a small coil, which requires a stronger magnet, but also guarantees better sound. For a larger magnet, however, you also need more power and thus quickly your own amplifier for the headphones. Headphones with orthodynamic transducers usually cost a little more than the Dynamic Driver headphone designs, with the transition in quality and price between the models being fluid

Balanced Armature Drivers. These transducers are mostly built into in-ear headphones and represent a special solution for the small dimensions in in-ear headphones. Instead of only having one transducer on each side, the in-ear headphones now usually have several transducers in a row to achieve a rich sound. Since in-ear headphones are not suitable for continuous gaming, there are no such transducer designs in our lists

Do I need an amplifier or DAC for my headphones?

As long as the headphones can be operated without an amplifier, the answer is first of all: No. Because then the internal combination of DAC and amplifier on your motherboard is sufficient, even if the quality can perhaps be increased.

In fact, every headphone benefits from being connected to a sound card or external DAC / amplifier, but you don’t necessarily have to invest in this extra edition, especially if you are “just” playing.

Most motherboards can easily handle headphones up to 250 ohms and manufacturers such as Gigabyte even advertise that they use amplifiers that can handle up to 600 ohms. In addition, the onboard solutions have improved significantly in recent years, especially in the higher price ranges, and are less and less inferior to sound cards.

Our thoughts on external amplifiers

If you are looking for an external amplifier for your headphones, you can first contact the manufacturer of the headphones and see whether they offer a suitable amplifier. Such models are mostly adapted to each other and play well together.

Otherwise, you should make sure that the amplifier or sound card has at least one eighth of the power of the ohm resistance of the headphones, all common sound cards that significantly enhance the sound of the games come into question here. As an example, you can take the Beyerdynamics Cutsom Studio, which comes with an impedance of a good 80 ohms. The amplifier or the sound card should therefore bring at least 10MW of power.

As the name suggests, a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) converts a digital signal into an analog signal, which then has to be amplified by an amplifier so that it can be used for analog loudspeakers at all. Here, too, music lovers in particular benefit from such a technology, converting the digital signal from the PC into an analog one, then upgrading it via an external amplifier and then sending it to the headphones, is clear overkill and the internally installed DAC / amplifier combinations are on the motherboard or the sound card are more than sufficient.

The E5 from Creative, for example, is more of an external sound card than just a combined DAC / AMP, and the question arises: Why not use the internal version of the sound card right away?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *