The more I read the more confused I get... One thing is for sure, I am sick of over paying for mediocre sounding headsets with a mic. I definitely want an open headset and am currently stuck between the Audio Technica AD900x's for $150 which I can get right away or AKG K7XX on massdrop for $199 which wont ship for a month. :-(
I am running a GIGABYTE G1 Gaming GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 motherboard which comes with a Creative Sound Core3D Quad-Core Audio Processor and Gigabyte amp-up audio. Would this handle the AKG's without issue or should I consider getting a DAC with this headset?
As far as my audio preferences, I do appreciate clear bass but do not care for it to have a very strong kick. I really prefer clarity and balance between high's mids and lows. I primarily listen to rock/metal and rarely listen to rap or techno so really deep bass is not necessary which is what has landed me on these two so far.
I am open to other suggestions, however as I would consider this my first proper headphone purchase I am trying to stay under 250 for the cans alone. If I need a DAC that is something else I will do further research for and purchase separately.
A DAC is just a digital to analogue converter - your pc does this and you dont need an external one. The AKG's and the ATH's have an impedence lower than what your board can output so you dont need an amp either.
Yes an expensive DAC may give getter sound quality Yes an amp may colour the sound and/or make it louder but you DO NOT need either with what you are talking about.
I love AKG but ATH are also excellent. Go with whichever you like they are both good cans, but I personally find AKG to be more comfortable especially if you are gaming for long sessions.
I can't give you a 100% answer as you didn't list what games you play as sound engines differ from game to game.
I use the ATH M40x with a Focusrite Scarlet. It has a flat freq so you will get balance and clarity. My audio setup costs around $190 (before shipping). Don't let the price drive you away (It's $90) as it's an incredible sounding headphone. I use these headphones for everything I do/play. I mainly play CSGO but I also play game like Europa Universalis, Total war series, MMO's, really all games.
I haven't tried any headphones above this price tag so I might have the same expertise or experience as a gamer audiophile.
I'm currently playing The Division, CSGO and Path of Exile. Taking a break from MMO's but may get back into them with Camelot Unchained.
I was interested in the DT 990 pros but steered away because of all the comments that they were very treble heavy and the shallowed ear cups are a concern. The price at 145 may bring them back into the picture. Would my board be enough or is an amp needed?
The K7XX was based off the later releases of the K702 65th Anniversary Edition. I have the 65th, and it is an excellent sounding and fitting pair of headphones. They're great for both gaming and music.
Mad Lust Envy has a great guide on gaming headphones. It might point you in the right direction.