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post #1 of 74 Old 01-02-2017, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi end headphones

So i am looking for a pair of hi end headphones.....

So far, my candidates are..... in no particular order.....

Sennheiser HD800 S

Fostex TH900

Audeze LCD-XC

Beyerdynamic T1

Focal Elear

HiFiman HE6

Many, if not all of these are hard to audition.....

Looking for input on any of these from those with experience.....

It will be paired with a nice headphone amp, type unknown as of now....

Thanks for any opinions....

Shelly
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post #2 of 74 Old 01-03-2017, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly40 View Post
So i am looking for a pair of hi end headphones.....

So far, my candidates are..... in no particular order.....

Sennheiser HD800 S

Fostex TH900

Audeze LCD-XC

Beyerdynamic T1

Focal Elear

HiFiman HE6

Many, if not all of these are hard to audition.....

Looking for input on any of these from those with experience.....

It will be paired with a nice headphone amp, type unknown as of now....

Thanks for any opinions....

Shelly
What kind of music do you listen to and do you have a preferred sound signature?
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post #3 of 74 Old 01-03-2017, 11:19 AM
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In addition to the questions goldark asked, how will they be used and in what kind of environment? You have a mix of open back and closed options listed so some may be more appropriate than others depending on the situation.
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post #4 of 74 Old 01-03-2017, 11:28 AM
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I own a pair of beyerdynamic and sennheiser hd600. The beyerdynamic arent comfortable for long periods, the senn can wear all day.

Power: Marantz sr7008, NAD C 275Bee x 2, Video: Oppo 103, Samsung 75un6300
Speakers: Focal aria 948, Focal cc900, Klipsch synergy KSF 10.5 Subs: Rythmik FV25HP, Rythmik FV15HP
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post #5 of 74 Old 01-03-2017, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Mostly I listen to rock and jazz.....
So Dave Koz..... to Rush......and a little classical occasionally......no hip hop....no rap....no electronica....

Like it more on the airy side.....so I guess closed is not the way to go...

So let's eliminate the Fostex TH900....and the Audeze.....LCD XC......

I guess we should add the Audeze LCD 3. or LCD 2

I think the frontrunner.. at this point is HD800.....
Have never read anything bad about them......

Shelly
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post #6 of 74 Old 01-03-2017, 02:56 PM
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I own both the HD800 (non-S) and T1 headphones. I've listened to both the Audeze thrown into the mix. Glad you dropped the Fostex - perhaps the most beautiful headphones made, but very bass heavy and not a good match for the type of music to which you listen. No experience with the HiFiMan (only listened to the HE-500).

The HD800 meets your requirement for an airy quality with excellent detail and are outstanding for both classical and jazz (I actually prefer the non-S version for this application). As torii said, these are very comfortable for long listening sessions. Amp matching is very important with these to tame the highs. I use mine with either a Dragon Inspire IHA-1 or Woo Audio WA22 with NOS tubes which are both fantastic matches.

The T1 does not have as wide of a sound stage as the HD800, but is a better all-arounder (when listening to rock) since the bass is deeper and more controlled. They have a more compact design than most of the others on your list and are fairly comfortable. They also come with a nice carry case if you want to travel with them.

Both the HD800 and T1 sound better to me with balanced cables vs SE.

The LCD-3 is awesome and does everything well, but also a bit heavy. They are definitely worth the premium over the LCD-2 but be sure you have a beefy amp to drive them. If you are trying to stay in the LCD-2 price range, I would be tempted to try the Elear. I have not heard them yet but, based on everything I've heard, I plan on finding a pair to demo soon.

These are just my experiences and YMMV, but hope it helps.
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post #7 of 74 Old 01-03-2017, 07:19 PM
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You might also want to consider one of the three Oppo PM1, PM2 and PM 3 headphones. I have the "cheapie" PM3 and it is great, played through the Oppo HA-2 DAC. (sometimes daydream about auditioning the Oppo PM-1). Also consider the Oppo HA-1 for a non-portable headphone DAC/amp.

The PM-3 is closed, around ear design - very comfortable even over long listening times. Very detailed and clear - I have become more aware of some minor instrumental details on some titles over and above my experience through my full sound system.

The top-of-the-line PM-1 is open-backed, and got rave reviews all round for sound quality, build quality, presentation (comes in a polished wooden box with separate quality carry case)

Last edited by madaudio; 01-03-2017 at 07:38 PM.
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post #8 of 74 Old 01-04-2017, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions....

I will look into the Oppo headphones.....

I just need to buy from a place with a good return policy.... in case I don't like what I get.....

As far as an amp.... I am looking at the Bryston HPA1....or the Oppo HA1

Shelly
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post #9 of 74 Old 01-04-2017, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly40 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions....

I will look into the Oppo headphones.....

I just need to buy from a place with a good return policy.... in case I don't like what I get.....

As far as an amp.... I am looking at the Bryston HPA1....or the Oppo HA1

Shelly
If you buy the Oppo gear from Oppo, I believe that in the States at least, Oppo has a one of the best return policies in the business. Ring or email them to confirm.
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post #10 of 74 Old 01-04-2017, 07:02 PM
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See if there happens to be a Head-Fi meetup in Florida that you can attend: http://www.head-fi.org/f/24/local-re...-get-togethers. Their GTG's are a great way to get hear a lot of headphones.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #11 of 74 Old 01-06-2017, 02:58 PM
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so are the oppo great head phones? Do they have bass?
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post #12 of 74 Old 01-08-2017, 01:24 AM
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post #13 of 74 Old 01-08-2017, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by kutlow77 View Post
so are the oppo great head phones? Do they have bass?
Out of all the headphones you listed, they probably are the warmest overall tonally. So they definitely *have* bass. Also planar magnetic headphones tend to have more bass extension overall in general.
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post #14 of 74 Old 01-08-2017, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input......

I think I have narrowed it down to the Audeze LCD 3, the Sennheiser HD800 S, or the Oppo PM1

All of these seem to be very highly regarded......


As far as an amp....

Looking at the

Bryston HPA1

Oppo HA1

Simaudio 430HAD

Will most likely get one of those 3 options......

Shelly
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post #15 of 74 Old 01-08-2017, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly40 View Post
Thanks for all the input......

I think I have narrowed it down to the Audeze LCD 3, the Sennheiser HD800 S, or the Oppo PM1

All of these seem to be very highly regarded......


As far as an amp....

Looking at the

Bryston HPA1

Oppo HA1

Simaudio 430HAD

Will most likely get one of those 3 options......

Shelly
LCD-3s are *quite* heavy it's worth noting at 543g, whereas the PM-1s are 395g and the Sennheiser HD800S are 330g.

Planars do tend to be quite heavy as the magnet structure tends to alot a lot of weight, and the LCD-3 is probably too heavy for most people. I believe anything about 400g isn't suitable for extended listening sessions for most people.

The PM-1s are *extremely* rolled off, they basically have almost negligible response above 10K, so that's worth noting if you love treble. If you are looking for a similar sound signature to the PM-1, you could look at the Focal Elear, although it's a bit heavy at 450g it has much better treble response/airy highs. If you do get the Elears, it's pretty much a must to replace the stock 15 foot cable which weighs an obscene 190g and really drags your head down. Like the PM-1s, the Elears have a very small soundstage but the image is very precise. The Elears do have a upper mid dip of 3-4db around 4-6KHz that needs to be EQed, although if you can get your hands on a pair of Focal Utopia earpads it completely fixes the issue. Sadly the Utopia earpads are rumored to cost between $400-600 a pair when available, so EQ might be the cheaper option for you.

The HD800S is pretty much the complete opposite, very extended highs, the largest soundstage of any production headphones, to the point of sounding slightly diffuse, but considered the kings of classical music.

It is worth noting a modded HD800 (with the Super Dupont and Anax mods) is considered a superior headphone over the HD800S because it has a much cleaner bass response than the HD800S. If you are willing to get your hands dirty and mod your headphones, you can save some money and come out with a better headphone at the same time.

Last edited by astrallite; 01-08-2017 at 07:27 PM.
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post #16 of 74 Old 01-08-2017, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly40 View Post
Thanks for all the input......

I think I have narrowed it down to the Audeze LCD 3, the Sennheiser HD800 S, or the Oppo PM1

All of these seem to be very highly regarded......


As far as an amp....

Looking at the

Bryston HPA1

Oppo HA1

Simaudio 430HAD

Will most likely get one of those 3 options......

Shelly
Well, cool man.

But, having got this far, please be sure to get back here after you have made your purchase, and let us all know!!!

Have you actually auditioned any of these choices yet?? If yes, reaction? If no, make every effort to try before you buy. Getting suggestions and reading reviews and evaluations are a good starting guide, but the final test is trying out the choices. Of course sometimes first impressions may not be the best, so as you say, good return policies are also important.
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post #17 of 74 Old 01-08-2017, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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All I have been able to listen to locally is some lower model Audeze, and Sennheiser......the EL8, and don't remember which Sennheiser it was......it was in a Magnolia.....

I haven't come across a dealer that has the higher end stuff on display to audition.....

If the PM 1 are really as rolled off as you say, they probably aren't for me.....

At this point, I guess I am leaning toward the Audeze brand...LCD3, or possibly LCD2

Shelly
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post #18 of 74 Old 01-08-2017, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelly40 View Post
If the PM 1 are really as rolled off as you say, they probably aren't for me.....

At this point, I guess I am leaning toward the Audeze brand...LCD3, or possibly LCD2

Shelly
Check out this review:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content...DYKb41oGrjt.97

Particularly the final paragraph where he makes his judgement re LCD 2 vs Oppo PM-1. I suspect Astralite might disagree with this judgement

This shows above all how subjective the choice of the "best" headphone can be. Why it is so important to personally trial each prospective set of cans.

If you cannot find a dealer near you who display the high-end range, start searching for nearby user groups. Or dealers who truly do have a genuine "no questions asked" return policy.
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post #19 of 74 Old 01-08-2017, 10:51 PM
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At the LCD-3 price point you might consider the Hifiman Edition X or you might even get a good sale price (1500-1600) on a HE1000 (v1).
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post #20 of 74 Old 01-08-2017, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madaudio View Post
Check out this review:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content...DYKb41oGrjt.97

Particularly the final paragraph where he makes his judgement re LCD 2 vs Oppo PM-1. I suspect Astralite might disagree with this judgement

This shows above all how subjective the choice of the "best" headphone can be. Why it is so important to personally trial each prospective set of cans.

If you cannot find a dealer near you who display the high-end range, start searching for nearby user groups. Or dealers who truly do have a genuine "no questions asked" return policy.
I like the Oppo PM-1 and my views on it pretty much are in line with Tyll's. It's got a nice dark, smooth sound. The problem is it's just lacks the treble air to excel at classical/orchestral/instrumental music, if these genres are important to you. The LCD-3 is a little better in this regard in that it has okay treble extension but some audible upper mid dips as well, but it's just too damn heavy for me (I never owned them, only demoed them for about 40 mins at a store). I never heard the LCD-2s so nothing for me to disagree with.
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post #21 of 74 Old 01-09-2017, 12:01 PM
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No need to go further than Sennheiser HD 600. Despite its relatively low price, it is the practical neutrality king of the headphone world. Ergonomical and fully user self-serviceable like Volkswagen. Paying more yields just... different ways coloring, stupidly expensive headphones: dubious quality 10 lbs weighting planar magnetostats etc hype-BS.

Invest rest of budget to no coloring amplifier (Zout = 0 ohm) and high quality crossfeed-solution.



HD 600´s only real weakness, its somehow attenuated reproduction from upper bass downwards, can be cured by EQ. After that it literally mops floor on each and every, new or old, even multi-$$$$ -phone on market.

The ReferenceHeiser´s bass straightening to ki-ki-kickass condition by Equalizer APO:

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post #22 of 74 Old 01-09-2017, 01:26 PM
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^^^

is that your Equalizer APO chart?

just wondering how the measurement was made?

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post #23 of 74 Old 01-09-2017, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by markrubin View Post
^^^

is that your Equalizer APO chart?

just wondering how the measurement was made?
Yes, that is setting of Equalizer APO for my Sennheiser HD 600. It´s not measurement, though, but the Equalizer APO´s own filter planning-graph i.e. its´s simulation how it bends (equalizes) response with those filters currently set. In my case there is only one filter applied, that -4dB@70Hz 24dB/oct -steepness cutting in high-shelf filter, and the graph represents effect of it.
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post #24 of 74 Old 01-09-2017, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Listened to the Beyerdynamic T1 today......the 2nd generation model.....

I liked them..... could definitely live with them.......
especially at about 1/2 the price of the Audeze LCD3......

Gonna give it another week or 2, and see what else I can audition ....

Then decide what I'm gonna get......

Shelly
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post #25 of 74 Old 01-09-2017, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeterSapiens View Post
No need to go further than Sennheiser HD 600. Despite its relatively low price, it is the practical neutrality king of the headphone world. Ergonomical and fully user self-serviceable like Volkswagen. Paying more yields just... different ways coloring, stupidly expensive headphones: dubious quality 10 lbs weighting planar magnetostats etc hype-BS.

Invest rest of budget to no coloring amplifier (Zout = 0 ohm) and high quality crossfeed-solution.



HD 600´s only real weakness, its somehow attenuated reproduction from upper bass downwards, can be cured by EQ. After that it literally mops floor on each and every, new or old, even multi-$$$$ -phone on market.

The ReferenceHeiser´s bass straightening to ki-ki-kickass condition by Equalizer APO:

It is worth noting that some people do value technicalities above neutrality. I've heard a similar argument that a completely neutral speaker, say the Ascend CBM-170SE is the end-game for some. The problem is there are some technicalities in the audio which some people chase after that goes above pure neutrality, which is why people will upgrade to higher end models which may be less technically neutral (in Ascend's example, the Sierra 1 and 2 are less neutral than the 170SE). The most common attribute for example which summit fi headphone owners chase is speed. This is primarily determined by the transducer material's speed of sound, although magnet structure and coil structure are also important.

This is why speaker manufacturers build high end speakers with beryllium, diamond, or ribbon drivers for example, where the primary transducer material's speed of sound can approach 20,000m/s, versus 5,000m/s for a typical aluminum driver. That same sensation headphone owners will chase after with high end electrostatics or nano-film planars, or a beryllium domed driver like the Focal Utopia. Again, many don't and are perfectly satisfied with an HD600/650, just like there are many Ascend 170SE owners who happily consider that their end-game.

It's worth mentioning, I think, that neutrality isn't considered anywhere near end game for loudspeakers, so logically some headphone enthusiasts are likely to have the same feelings for their headphones.

Last edited by astrallite; 01-09-2017 at 10:35 PM.
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post #26 of 74 Old 01-10-2017, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite View Post
It is worth noting that some people do value technicalities above neutrality. I've heard a similar argument that a completely neutral speaker, say the Ascend CBM-170SE is the end-game for some. The problem is there are some technicalities in the audio which some people chase after that goes above pure neutrality, which is why people will upgrade to higher end models which may be less technically neutral (in Ascend's example, the Sierra 1 and 2 are less neutral than the 170SE). The most common attribute for example which summit fi headphone owners chase is speed. This is primarily determined by the transducer material's speed of sound, although magnet structure and coil structure are also important.

This is why speaker manufacturers build high end speakers with beryllium, diamond, or ribbon drivers for example, where the primary transducer material's speed of sound can approach 20,000m/s, versus 5,000m/s for a typical aluminum driver. That same sensation headphone owners will chase after with high end electrostatics or nano-film planars, or a beryllium domed driver like the Focal Utopia. Again, many don't and are perfectly satisfied with an HD600/650, just like there are many Ascend 170SE owners who happily consider that their end-game.

It's worth mentioning, I think, that neutrality isn't considered anywhere near end game for loudspeakers, so logically some headphone enthusiasts are likely to have the same feelings for their headphones.
Headphone is peace of cake to make "perfect" compared to loudpeaker. Loudspeaker has much more differing and complex environmental variables to counter i.e. carry out its task:

-listening distance. Can vary, say, from 0,5 m to 10 m. Yields hugely differing electroacoustical requirements for apt loudspeaker.

and

-listening ROOM reflectivity properties and their effect/requirements/co-effiency with listening distance (telephone directory -thick catalogue of complex properties)


Headphone´s coupling parameters to physical listening environment are most set: listening distance is always constant and there is never "room" to deal with. Only environmental variable of headphones is mechanical sitting on listeners skull. Which is not a problem on well engineered, highly ergonomic & adjustable headphone, like Sennheiser HD 600, if the user even remotely resembles human being (homo sapiens, with two ears, one each side of head).
Listeners personal sound perversions or hearing damages cannot be generally taken consideration. Because perversions i.e. preferences are always self learned, and as such can be learned away too. Hearing damages can well be treated by EQ.


Neutrality of audio gear of this class means as unaltered electricity to SPL -conversion as possible. In which better than Sennheiser HD 600 (bass corrected) I haven´t yet heard. And yes. NEUTRALITY REALLY IS TOP-1 quality of audio gear. Period. Un-neutral peace of ****s i.e. balance-handicapped insults of headphone are markets full. Who states otherwise, should go back to pre-school of audiophiles learning the basics of trade.


P.S. The speed of sound (in medium suitable for that little hobby of ours) is about 340 m/s... "20,000m/s speed of sound", "nano-film planar" etc. über-BS -prone individuals returning address should be Audiophile Pre-Scool, basic training.
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post #27 of 74 Old 01-10-2017, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite View Post
It is worth noting that some people do value technicalities above neutrality. I've heard a similar argument that a completely neutral speaker, say the Ascend CBM-170SE is the end-game for some. The problem is there are some technicalities in the audio which some people chase after that goes above pure neutrality, which is why people will upgrade to higher end models which may be less technically neutral (in Ascend's example, the Sierra 1 and 2 are less neutral than the 170SE). The most common attribute for example which summit fi headphone owners chase is speed. This is primarily determined by the transducer material's speed of sound, although magnet structure and coil structure are also important.

This is why speaker manufacturers build high end speakers with beryllium, diamond, or ribbon drivers for example, where the primary transducer material's speed of sound can approach 20,000m/s, versus 5,000m/s for a typical aluminum driver. That same sensation headphone owners will chase after with high end electrostatics or nano-film planars, or a beryllium domed driver like the Focal Utopia. Again, many don't and are perfectly satisfied with an HD600/650, just like there are many Ascend 170SE owners who happily consider that their end-game.

It's worth mentioning, I think, that neutrality isn't considered anywhere near end game for loudspeakers, so logically some headphone enthusiasts are likely to have the same feelings for their headphones.
Good post. I was just wondering where the sentiment that the 170SE is more neutral than the Sierra 1/2 comes from - the measurements especially for the Sierra 2 show this to be a very neutral speaker.
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post #28 of 74 Old 01-10-2017, 09:24 AM
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Hi,

That's a nice list of headphones. I've heard the HD800S and own the LCD-XC. I also have a pair of HE-1000, and LCD-X. Out of the headphones I listed, I'd rank them as HE-1000 >> LCD-X > LCD-XC. I've heard the HD800S but not for long enough to rank them.

One thing to find out is what sound signature you like. Are you very sensitive to sounds being bright? Or upset if there's a lack of bass?

Another thing to think of is the chain you're going to run. I'm extremely happy with my HE-1000 when using them with a Naim DAC V1 and the Bryston BHA-1. If I use a Chord Hugo with them, they seem too bright to me, though. (and these are very forgiving headphones). The Chord Hugo, however, is perfect with the LCD-X.

The HE-6 that you list is well regarded as a great headphone, but it needs a lot of power. Many will say it needs a speaker amp.

My suggestion for you is to find a HE-1000v1. Barring that, the HD800S or the LCD-X depending on which sound signature you like the most. I have no experience with the Elear, but it's often compared to the HD800S and LCD-X.

Why'd you list the LCD-XC but not the LCD-X? I use the XC's for work. I tried the Ether Flow C's but sent them back because they're too bright. I guess I have some sensitivity to headphones being bright.
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post #29 of 74 Old 01-10-2017, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess the LCD X belongs as a possibility too......

The HE6 I will probably eliminate due to the power needs.....

The HE1000..... that's kind of above my budget.....maybe used it would be within it......

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post #30 of 74 Old 01-10-2017, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeterSapiens View Post

P.S. The speed of sound (in medium suitable for that little hobby of ours) is about 340 m/s... "20,000m/s speed of sound", "nano-film planar" etc. über-BS -prone individuals returning address should be Audiophile Pre-Scool, basic training.
Sure, propagation is limited once it hits the air, but the faster the speed of sound of a driver, the quicker the decay time, increasing the sensation of speed, in addition it pushes the resonant frequencies up higher, which means the less deformation of the driver during playback, meaning more precise imaging.

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Last edited by astrallite; 01-10-2017 at 06:25 PM.
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