How to Pick Your Headphones

Headphones are part of any gamer’s arsenal and need to be chosen wisely. With this guide, gamers will hopefully get more of an idea about what to look for.

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The general rule of thumb with headphones is that you normally get what you pay for. The more expensive sets will be made with higher quality materials and will probably provide the user with better sound due to better engineering.

Form

Headphones come in a number of different styles that are going to fit your ears and sound differently when you wear them. The first thing you should narrow down, when deciding on a pair of headphones is which form factor you want. You’ll want to make this decision based not only on where you’ll be using them, but what type of audio you’ll be listening to.

Frequency

The average human can hear at a range of between 20Hz to 20,000Hz, so anything in that range when looking at headphones should be adequate. Generally, gamers tend to have slightly more tuned hearing and reaction time which warrants higher Hz monitors or headphones.

Most consumer headphones are ‘sweetened’ in some way, this implies that they are either Free Field (FF) or Defined Field (DF). The first simulates an open listening environment without reflection, and the latter simulates an enclosed listening environment such as a room. For critical listening such as gaming, you don’t want any sweetening at all, but rather a flat frequency response that lets you compare and set levels precisely.

SennHeiser Headphones

Impedance

The impedance of the headphones is measured in Ohms and should best be matched with the audio equipment you are using. Think of it in this way: your sound card will want to play something at a certain level and if your headphones have low impedance, you will need to turn the sound up in order to carry the sound signal through.

This will mean that you generally lose some of the sound quality as the device is turned up. Pretty much any aftermarket sound card can make a big difference when changing the impedance setting on the card and using it in conjunction with a high quality set of headphones.

Durability

You want your headphones to last. Unfortunately, durability often equates with heavier weight. Light headphones can be sat on or snapped in half more easily. You just have to be careful with them and put them in a protective case when they’re not on your head. If you are thinking about buying higher-priced headphones, find out if replacement parts are available. It’s a lot cheaper to replace a cable or the ear pads than to replace an entire set.

Razer Headphones

Comfort and Feel

Nobody can tell you what headphones are the “best” in terms of comfort. You need to test the headphones out for yourself to see how they feel. You also need to make sure that they can go loud enough for you and that you’re happy with their aesthetic.

Some of the more popular brands of headphones tend to be Sennheiser, SteelSeries, Logitech, and Razer. Sennheiser in particular are known for their superb build quality, but come at a hefty price.

SteelSeries and Razer are certainly more gamer oriented and appeal to the moderately priced market while Logitech tends to offer equal bang for your buck.

For more information check out these Telkom Gaming reviews.

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