$140 To spend on audio

I've been saving up to buy a decent pair of headphones for gaming and listening to music.  I personally care more about listening to music than using them for gaming but I do game regularly.  I want the best audio experience for my price range and I am willing to spend a couple more or less dollars.  I'm not sure if I should get a pair of good headphones, cheaper headphones and a DAC, or something else.  I don't know very much about audio and I don't know what I should buy.  I'm open to any suggestions in or around my price range and I could save up a little more money but not like $200 or more.  Also I have allocated some money for a new mouse so any extra money would go towards that, but I already have a gaming mouse that I'm fine with using and all I really want extra with that is at least two side buttons, whereas with audio I would like the best possible experience I could.  This is my first post so sorry if I make any mistakes, thanks for reading.

For that kind of money id recommend you to only buy a set of headphones so you can get some quality ones, the difference a DAC would make is miniscule anyways.

If you stick with proper audio companies like Beyerdynamic or Audio Technika youll usually get the quality youve paid for, you should make sure what features you are looking for though.

Some things that differentiate headphones:

Open or closed design: Open headphones only have a mesh or something alike instead of a sealed backside: pros are usually better/more natural sound quality and partially better directional awareness in games, cons are usually weaker bass and virtually no sound isolation either way. If you want to use your headphones on the go, in noisy environments or are paranoid about people hearing what you listen to you should buy closed headphones.

Impedance: The more Ohm the headphones are rated at the more powerfull the audio source has to be. If you want to use your headphones with a phone/mp3 player you should look for headphones around the 32 ohm range or they might not be loud enough.

Portability/Design: Some headphones can be folded up for easy transportation, other designs may be a bit bulky to carry around or not durable enough for that.

Cables: Should the cable be coiled, straight, short, long? Some headphones offer removable cables

Earpads: usually velour or plastic leather. Personally I find velour earpads more comfortable, pleather tends to crack after a while. Real leather earpads are a bit rare.

Sound: Different headphones sound....different, not better or worse. Some headphones are better suited for specific genres, although any regular quality headphone should give you a good  experience.....

Some suggestions:

Portable: http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M50x-Professional-Headphones/dp/B00HVLUR86

non X version without detachable cables is cheaper


non Portable: 



Thanks for replying,  that's a lot of useful information.  I'll certainly consider those.  Thanks for explaining those properties and features because of heard of those before and not really know what most of them meant.


Well, I know you're looking for headphones, but I only listen to music aloud. So, I would recommend the Swan M10 set or the AV40s. What kind of music do you listen to?

I listen to classic rock; 60's - 70's stuff.  I also listen to classical and pop on occasion.  I'm planning on making a media center itx setup so I'll keep those in mind for that.  Also gaming with a headset or headphones gets old, but my monitors speakers suck, so I'll keep those in mind for a little while down the road when I have some more money to spend.  I also spend a lot of time watching videos on youtube and movies so headphones aren't too optimal for that.  I'm now starting to realize how often I'm involved with audio so I'm realizing that my current setup (monitor speakers or apple headphones) feels very lacking.


If you ever have the extra money to spend, I'd recommend one of the higher valued Swan speaker sets. However, for the $100-$150 range, the M10 set is a good choice. 

+1 for the Audio Technica HTH-M50x. I have the older model, and if the sound quality is the same, they're very good for both listening to music and gaming. Cautionary tail however, the earcups has issues with the faux leather cracking. Not too big of a problem, you can always get replacements, but worth considering.