- I don't have a set budget on this purchase. Maybe $800-1000? My priority is my happiness and I'm willing to spend a decent amount to get there.
- These will be strictly for home use and never taken outside. The majority of the time will be spent in a seat, on a couch, or laying down and just listening to music. I envision a small percentage will be spent on watching movies as well.
- I have no isolation needs what so ever. They can be wide open and I prefer them to be.
- I know people hate hearing this answer, but my musical tastes are all over the place. Format can be MP3, AAC, FLAC, and AppleLossless. Bit rates for the lossy format are generally 320kbps, but there is probably a small portion of my library that can dip down to 192kbps.
- The major source will be an Apple Macbook Pro, but it may every once in a while come from a higher end Pioneer receiver (can't recall the model at this time). I have not decided on an amp yet, but I will be sure it pairs well with the cans that I choose. No budget has been set yet, but I anticipate $300-600.
- I am looking for a neutral signature with quality sound throughout all frequencies. I love crisp detail in the highs and quick/punchy lows. The soundstage sound be expansive to help pinpoint the detail. If I could compare it to something everyone has heard, think of an uber AD700 with a little more punchy bass.
Done a fair amount of research this week and based on that, my original criteria above, and your recommendations, I've put together an initial list of cans to check out with comments or concerns. It's listed from least interested to most interested.
- HD 650: Looks like they are the exact opposites of what I'm looking for. Very warm. Very slow. Very dark treble. I want to try them for that comparison.
- HD 600: Maybe a little closer to neutral than the HD 650. We'll see.
- LCD2: This was the first on my list for a while, but it's getting pushed back because I'm reading it's fairly warm with a fairly recessed treble.
- HE-5LE: The price is right, but I'm reading a lot of very wild treble. As it is discontinued, it's going to be difficult to demo and/or purchase them.
- HE-6: They read like they'd be something I'd really really like, but I'm concerned out possibly being too bright. The big thing that's pushing me away from this is the cost and extreme amount of amping they need.
- HD 700: Don't know much about these and it looks like it's going to be hard to demo and/or purchase them as they are discontinued.
- HD 800: Everything I've read about these make me excited. Looks to be very detailed, analytical, and with a very wide soundstage. Like the HE-6, the only thing swaying me away from them is the price.
- T1 Tesla: Love the DT880, but haven't heard the 600ohm version of it. I'm very concerned about the T1 being worth the the $1050 difference between the two.
- HE-500: From everything I've read, these are number one on my list. Sounds like they're a slightly more efficient HE-6 with much tighter treble compared to the HE-5 and HE-5LE. The price point is also very very attractive.
The two brightest cans on your list are the HD 800 and T1.
The DT 880 600 Ohm and the T1 have similar sound signatures. So it is more than reasonable to compare them. Whether the T1's are worth the price difference goes into the same mystery box of the whether the LCD-3 is worth the even great spread above the LCD-2. The answer: your money, your ears, your choice. The objective answer for people who don't populate forums like this: hell no! They are not 2 or 3 x as good or even anywhere near that.
Finally--the HE-500 or a $599 closeout on the HE-5LE are your best buys in audiophile land. Absent another closeout level deal, nothing is in the ball park with those values.