Originally Posted by John_M
The lack of decoding capabilities is a "drawback" in the sense that it potentially adds $500 - $1,200 to the sale price. However, my humble PS4 can decode DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD and output LPCM 7.1, so this isn't an issue for me.
Another question - are there any other headphones, apart from the recommended Stax ones, which are thought to work well with the Realiser? Maybe the AKG K701/ K702/ Q701 range?
I'll be honest about what my issue is here - I am horribly superficial and find the Stax SRS-2170 to be extremely ugly. :)
I have listened to the Realiser on lots of different headphones and DAC's and amps.
Here's an incomplete list:
Stax 2170 system
Stax 407 w/ Stax 323A
Stax 009 w/ Vostok Sound amp/DAC
Stax 009 w/ Cavalli Liquid Lightning
Audeze LCD 3, 2, XC, X w/ Cavalli Liquid Gold and Vostok Sound amp
Senn HD800 w/ Cavalli LAu, Schiit Vali
Koss ESP-950 with E-90 amp and Vostok Sound amp
AKG 701 w/ Carver amp
Koss Porta Pro direct from Realiser
Monoprice 8323 direct and with Vali
Noble IEM's: N6
Noble CIEM: K10
Apple Ear Pods
I am sure there are more, I can't seem to think of them all at the moment.
OK, after all that, and my preference for Stax or electrostats, I have to say that I agree. The Stax 009 with a high end amp is, in my opinion, the best sound. But I admittedly have a bias towards the Stax sound even without the Realiser. The realiser really works best with something that has a lot of high end detail and speed.
But that's not to say that none of the other headphones work. In fact I am surprised how well the localization of the sound source works. Even the in-ears and the Apple Ear Pods work.
If you happen to prefer a darker more subdued high end in headphones, that may not be the best for the Realiser.
With regard to your question about AKG's. The 701's were OK. They do have a lot of detail for a dynamic headphone, as do the HD800's. But to me they don't have that ultra detailed, smooth sound of the Stax.
For watching action movies, I think the Stax lack some low end punch and power. I think the Audeze's handle that better, but I find them to be too uncomfortable to sit through a whole movie with my big head.