If you are wanting to achieve the most immersive gaming experience possible, then the sound is of critical importance. The right pair of headphones can make for a total difference in gaming. Choosing the right pair of headphones can be a challenge.
That is no surprise considering the fact that there are in-ear headphones, over-the-ear headphones, gaming headphones, studio headphones, and many more varieties. So, choosing the right set for your use-case can be somewhat of a challenge.
While studio headphones provide the most accurate frequency response and clearest audio performance, they are made for music and music production. Gaming headphones, on the other hand, are made to increase the bass and include a microphone among other gaming-centric addons. For this reason, purpose-built gaming headphones are better for gaming than studio headphones.
Many gamers end up using studio headphones rather than gaming headphones. So, if you are wondering, ‘Are studio headphones good for gaming?’, then you are in the right place. In this article, we will go over the most important aspects of gaming sound, and we will show you how to find the best gaming headphones.
Newsflash: Studio Headphones Are Made For Studios
The reason why most studio headphones are not ideally suited for gaming is because they are specifically engineered to have as flat and as perfect of a frequency response as possible. This, of course, is ideal for recording and mixing audio.
That’s because in the studio, you need to hear every little thing on the track and you don’t want the headphones you are using to enhance (or damage) any of what’s going on.
Gaming headphones, on the other hand, are optimized for gaming. So they have boosted bass, tweaks to its tweeters, and things like virtual surround sound and RGB lighting.
There is a massive variety of headphones out there, so, looking for the perfect set of headphones for gaming can feel like a never-ending search. The big question here is, ‘Are studio headphones good for gaming, or should gaming headphones be used instead?’
How Do Studio Headphones Compare To Gaming Headphones?
There are several different aspects to consider when comparing studio headphones with gaming headphones.
Studio headphones generally have a flat frequency response at frequencies between 4Hz – 40kHz. Humans can only hear sounds between 20hz and 20khz, so that means that studio headphones are able to produce sounds that are both lower and higher than the human audible spectrum.
So, that means that studio headphones are able to deliver an extremely high quality and vast soundstage.
This May Not Be The Best Thing For A Gamer, Though
Gaming headphones, on the other hand, are built to a similar level of quality, but generally only have a flat frequency response between 12Hz and 28kHz. So, the sound stage provided by gaming headphones are much more narrow, so it limits the depth of quality across all frequency ranges.
Other factors that determine a pair of headphone’s qualities such as impedance, driver quality, and overall build quality are generally the same for both studio headphones and gaming headphones. This is because both types of headphones are produced for a high-end market.
Why Are Gaming Headphones Better?
Gaming headphones have a more narrow frequency response because they are designed for a more narrow use-case. This is because the best gaming headphones have a focus on the specific frequency bands that are used in gaming.
This is in contrast to studio headphones that have to cover such a large portion of the spectrum as to be able to reproduce literally any sound.
Studio headphones are designed for totally precise and clear audio with a frequency response that is as flat as possible. This means that studio headphones specifically do not enhance any portion of the audio. So, you will never find studio headphones with anything like ‘bass boost’ or ‘virtual surround sound.’
Those features are very important to gamers, which is why gaming headphones are usually equipped with such things.
Virtual surround sound would absolutely destroy a pair of headphones’s ability to be used to mix a studio recording, but gaming headphones that make use of virtual surround sound make following directional audio ques possible without having a very expensive, multi-speaker gaming audio setup.
Things Are Not Always As They Seem
If you were to directly compare the headphones on paper, studio headphones would win each and every time. When it comes down to practical usage, however, gaming-specific headphones provide a far superior gaming experience than studio headphones.
Advantages Of Using Studio Headphones For Gaming
While it is true that gaming headphones are better suited for gaming than studio headphones, there may be some circumstances in which studio headphones would make more sense to a gamer than a pair of purpose-built gaming headphones.
Studio headphones are known to be incredibly versatile and offer a fantastic listening experience across many platforms and use-cases while gaming headphones are only optimized for gaming.
Gaming headphones are the best for gaming, but studio headphones will still offer a smoother, more refined, and much more dynamic gaming experience compared to a set of normal headphones.
Studio headphones have been designed and manufactured for much longer than dedicated gaming headsets. So, for that reason, there is much more variety that can be found in studio headphones compared to gaming models.
Also, some entry-level studio headphones come in at generally far lower price-point than even the cheapest pair of gaming headphones. So when it comes to getting the most for your money, the best option can sometimes be to go with a pair of studio headphones.
Also, you may want to use your headphones for multiple applications. After all, it would be pretty annoying to have to always switch between your studio and gaming headphones. So, for people that only do light gaming and use their headphones for other things the majority of the time, a pair of studio headphones would be ideal for gaming.
So, Are Studio Headphones Good For Gaming Or Not?
The goal for every gamer is to obtain the best possible audio quality. This increases immersiveness and maximizes the overall gaming experience. Studio headphones have the best audio reproduction quality out there, but are they best gaming or should we leave that to gaming headphones?
It really depends on the user’s preferences, but studio headphones may not be as ideal for gaming as you might expect. While studio headphones are optimized for recording and mixing and to have a perfectly flat response, most of them focus on the tones produced by instruments and the human voices.
Studio headphones are specifically designed to have the least influential soundstage. This is great for a studio environment as it makes it much easier to get the best mix possible out of a given recording.
Specs And Frequency Response Are Not The Most Important Aspects For Gamers
So, while studio headphones are impressive on paper, and sound fantastic when being used for their intended purpose, they are not necessarily the best gaming headphones.
Gaming headphones are designed with a particular set of requirements in mind. It’s important to remember that the audio in video games is not anything like raw studio recording tracks.
Games Are Not Necessarily Designed To Have Realistic Sound
The sound in video games is optimized to have the most dramatic effect possible. There are lots of big sounds like explosions and gunshots, and those sounds are engineered to make the biggest impact that they can.
As you can see, the requirements for gaming are very different from that of the professional recording studio.
Another important thing to consider is the fact that gaming headphones often include a built-in microphone. On the other hand, the designers of studio headphones expect their headphones to be paired with a separate, studio microphone.
So, even though studio headphones technically have the best sound quality, they do not necessarily make for the best gaming headphones.
When looking for the perfect pair of gaming headphones, there are a lot of options out there. Some of those options are not even in the gaming category.
It’s true that studio headphones are going to provide the most accurate frequency response and best overall audio performance, they are simply not optimized for gaming. Gaming headphones are made to increase the level of immersion while providing high quality audio with added bass. Also, gaming headphones often include a microphone, which is critical for today’s gaming.
So, if you are a hardcore gamer, you may want to stick with a pair of gaming headphones rather than trying to fill that need with a pair of studio headphones.
This is because gaming headphones are specifically designed for the types of sounds that games produce and the critical inclusion of a microphone makes using studio headphones for games only a good option for a small minority of gamers.
We hope this article helped you determine the best choice to make when it comes to buying headphones for gaming. Thanks for reading!