When searching for the best quality, most immersive gaming experience, the headphones that are used are of utmost importance. Headphones make all the difference for gaming, and choosing the right set can be a challenge. For this reason, many gamers may consider using studio headphones, but are studio headphones good for gaming?
Most studio headphones are not ideal for gaming. Studio headphones have a flat frequency response, ideal for audio mixing and recording. Gaming headphones are optimized for gaming, having boosted bass, tweaked treble, and virtual surround sound, which is better for an immersive gaming experience.
On the quest for finding the perfect set of headphones for gaming, the search can feel endless, and the sheer number of options available can be daunting. Are studio headphones good for gaming, or should gamers stick to gaming headphones? Lets’ find out!
Are Studio Headphones Good For Gaming?
Every gamer wants the best possible audio quality from their headphones to maximize their gaming experience. Studio headphones are widely regarded as having excellent audio quality, but are they good for gaming?
The truth is, studio headphones may not be as good for gaming as one might imagine, despite the fact that they have excellent audio quality and impressive frequency response.
Studio headphones are designed and optimized for recording and mixing, focusing specifically on instruments and voices, and are meant to offer the most un-influential soundstage to make it possible to draw the best mix out of a recording.
This makes studio headphones very impressive on paper, and they do sound great when used for their intended purpose, but they may not be the best headphones to use for gaming.
Gaming headphones are built with a different set of requirements in mind. The audio in video games is not the same as raw studio recording tracks, and therefore requires a different type of headphone speaker to sound good.
Video game audio is optimized for dramatic effect, making large sounds like gunshots and explosion sound as impactful as possible, and also for clear dialogue and the ability to pinpoint a location by sound.
This is an entirely different set of requirements than those of a set of studio headphones.
For these reasons, studio headphones do not make the best gaming headphones. It is better to invest in a good quality set of gaming headphones if that is the express purpose you are buying the headphones for.
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How Do Studio Headphones Compare To Gaming Headphones?
When comparing the differences between gaming headphones and studio headphones, there are some important figures to consider. These figures provide us with a more tangible comparison of these two different types of headphones.
Let’s begin by comparing some figures:
High-end studio headphones have a frequency response of around 4Hz – 40kHz. This means that studio headphones are able to emit frequencies lower and higher than can be perceived by the human ear, which means that they are able to produce a very high-quality and broad soundstage.
Gaming headphones of a similar quality only have a frequency response of around 12Hz – 28kHz. This gives gaming headsets a very narrow soundstage and limits their depth of quality on both high and low-end frequencies.
The truth is, these are the only figures that really make a difference when comparing these two types of headphones. The other qualities of headphones, such as impedance, are all roughly the same for both types of headphones.
The frequency response figures tell a bit of a story. This tells us that studio headphones are designed for producing the widest range of audio possible, allowing the listener to analyze every aspect of the audio they are hearing in as flat a space as possible.
It also tells us that gaming headphones are designed to be far less versatile, but they are much more focused on a specific frequency band that makes them the best at what they do.
This is important when comparing studio and gaming headphones because the overall quality and audio output of these two different types of headphones may be vastly different, but it is for a good reason.
Gaming headphones are designed to be good for gaming. This is the reason for the narrow soundstage. The frequency response of gaming headphones is optimized for video game audio, pinpointing locations based on sound, high sensitivity within a specific spectrum while still having an overall good quality audio output.
Studio headphones are not meant for this but are rather meant for precise and clear audio with a frequency response that is as flat as possible. This is ideal for mixing but falls short for gaming audio.
Gaming headphones also have features that studio headphones are not equipped with, such as virtual surround sound that enables the listener to follow directional audio cues when gaming.
The gaming headphones that are equipped with this feature make following directional audio ques possible on consoles when it is usually reserved for PC gaming.
At the end of it all, gaming headphones and studio headphones are not truly comparable, as they are designed for vastly different purposes.
If they were to be directly compared on paper, studio headphones would win every time, but when used for actual gaming, the gaming headphones are far superior for gaming sound.
Check out this popular YouTube video that compares gaming and studio headphones.
Why Use Studio Headphones Rather Than Gaming Headphones?
While it is true that gaming headphones are better suited for gaming than studio headphones are, there are still some reasons to choose studio headphones rather than the gaming variety.
The advantages of using studio headphones over gaming headphones are:
Versatility – studio headphones are incredibly versatile and offer a great listening experience across most platforms, while gaming headphones are only good for gaming.
Audio Quality – While gaming headphones are the best for gaming, studio headphones will still offer a smoother, more defines, more dynamic audio experience regardless of the audio source.
Variety – studio headphones have been around for far longer than gaming headsets, and so there is a much wider variety of studio headphones available, and they come in a much wider price range as well. You are likely to get more for your money with studio headphones.
All things considered, it is best to use gaming headphones for gaming, but studio headphones can be used if you would rather have a more versatile and dynamic set of headphones.
Gaming headphones are ideal for gaming, but studio headphones can be used for games as well, and they are better suited for other functions than gaming headphones are.
When deciding between gaming headphones and studio headphones, make the decision based on whether or not you will use the headphones for only gaming or not. If so, then gaming headphones are the way to go. If not, then studio headphones may suit you better!
If you have ever wanted to know what calibrated studio headphones are, I have written an article on this subject. You can read it here.