Looking for immersive gameplay headphones

Budget: $120
Preferred Type: Circumaural
Preferred Balance: Balanced
Previous Headphones: ATH-M50s
Preferred Music: Soundtracks, Orchestral, Bluegrass, Pop, Rock

Like the Title says I want something that is great for immersive gameplay, something that will really put me in the experience (figuratively, actually). A friend of mine gave me some recommendations, and recommended an amp as well. Isolation is not important. Something that's good for my preferred music would be nice, but that does not take priority over how good they are for immersive gameplay.

My friend recommended the Audio Technica ATH-AD700X, Sennheiser HD 558, Grado Prestige Series SR80e, Superflux HD 681, and Takstar HI 2050.

I know that in the Kill Your Headset video Logan and Tyler did they recommended the ATH-AD500X, and said that it's not that different from the 700X. Is this true? I'm also very heavily leaning toward the 500X because it's starting at $75 on Amazon. 

The Superlux HD 668B might work for you. I like them quite a bit. I have never used any other decent headset so I cannot compare them to the ones you have listed. I hope someone can give you a better answer!

I have a ATH-AD 500X and you won't be disappointed. Particularly for classical music and immersive gaming. Once you play CS:GO with any of Audio Technica's open sound stage headphones you will never be able to go back. 


The only headphone experience with personally from your list is ATH-AD500X. The only other decent headphones I currently own is HiFiMAN's HE-400 rev.2, and between the two I'd go for ATH-AD500X as an all around daily driver. 


  • Better bass response, and smoother highs.
  • Light, and therefore comfortable. The clamp force can be tuned by bending the both ends of the metal rod frame ever so lightly. 
  • Lighter construction and traditional drivers means durability against drops.
  • No EQ needed.
  • Much more affordable.
  • Mids are good on both headphones.



  • Less bass compare to above ^ (but still present and tight), too much on the treble (causes sibilance). 
  • Heavy but still comfortable. The clamp force is strong but can be tuned by bending the metal headband until desired force is reached. 
  • Heavy construction and planar magnets means fragile against drops.
  • I had to equalize the sibilance out by lowering 16k range to -10dB. (Some people at certain age won't hear this, but I do at age 23).
  • Still expensive for an entry level planar magnetic headphone, I would recommend a 2nd at Ebay to get a better deal (which is what I did).
  • Mids are good on both headphones.


For Music:

  • Both are fantastic, although if you lean more towards warmer side (bass) then ATH-AD500X wins out. 


For Movies/Games:

  • In 5.1 Digital Plus, I'd say this is where the planar manget's strong suits are.
  • There's better separation of details (rain drops between surfaces, foot steps, etc...).
  • ATH-AD500X can dish out those details too, just not as bright. The only details ATH-AD500X is better at are the lows (thunder, rumble, etc...).
  • But, both do a great job of sound stage.