But the HE-6 is nearly twice as much as the HE-500. Yet you made the comparison all the same. So, by what you said, price shouldn’t be the differentiator in “flagship”. But if you acknowledge the Stax is better than the HE-500 then you have to acknowledge that power-draw isn’t, either. It must be down to sound in which case I don’t think anyone has been saying that, properly driven, the HE-6 isn’t as good as the HE-500. I would be very surprised that was the case given, as I mentioned just moments ago, that it costs nearly double.
I bought an after-market cable:
1. To have more than one in case something happened to my primary cable.
2. To see if a new cable could easily be moved, coiled and bent without feeling like I should be using pliers.
3. To see if I could eliminate the loud banging that would be audible in the headphone every time the cable hit anything.
4. To see if I could tell the audible difference between cables.
5. To get something that I thought visually looked nicer than the stock cable.
The result being that I now have two cables in case one breaks, my primary cable is significantly more flexible with no noise from hitting things, and that I can’t tell a major difference between cables. It also happens to look a lot nicer on my desk. So, in the end, I got a mid-range cable (it cost me around $200, I wouldn’t call it top-end) that drastically improved the ergonomics of my headphones but not necessarily the auditory characteristics, which I am satisfied with. Or, at least, what little change I could perceive I put down as much to imagination as actual audible difference.
Maybe I could have gotten some of that with a $5 cable sleeve, but the cable would still be horribly stiff and I’d still be wondering if I had ears good enough to tell one cable form another.