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post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I was wondering what people recommend my path should be in the world of head fi. I recently got some HE400s and reckon they are ace. However, as seems quite common, I am already thinking what next!


I only have an E17 portable amp at the moment so the logical thing to do would be to upgrade that. It seems the Asgard or the Lyr would seem to fit the bill for the HE400s? Getting an amp seems a bit boring though?!


Then there is the option of new cans. Before I got the HE400s I spent a lot of time deliberating over the HD650s, so I still want to experience these cans, I reckon I would like them. Then there are other ‘mid-fi’ options like the DT880 or the K/Q701s, maybe though just for curiosity sake. Or do I save up and go for something the the LCD2s or the HD800s?


Whatever I decide to do it won’t be for a few months as I need to save up, but it’s still nice to think.

post #2 of 6

If it were me just starting into hi-fi and wanting something absolutely worth while I would go for a pair of Late 2012 LCD-3 headphones pairing them up with the Ultra Desktop Amp from Headroom.  That combo should knock your socks clean off.


I have been down the mid-fi alley many of times and saving up for something outstanding will almost always be your best option.

post #3 of 6

Upgrade your source first. My order of operation goes DAC-> Headphone-> Amp. There's no point in getting a good headphone and amp without a good source. You can have a good source and a good DAC, but that works very well with an underperforming headphone. I suggest something like the Bifrost if you want an above average DAC or something like the JDS ODAC if you want a good enough DAC. IMO, the E17 is an okay DAC at best. Nothing really special about it.

post #4 of 6

Get used to the HE400 for awhile, or you won't notice the difference when you upgrade the surrounding equipment. Then, invest in a good DAC and good source material (FLAC files and a bitperfect player setup, or just a good CD or analog system). Afterwards I think you'd be disappointed by some aspects of a dynamic after owning an ortho, so once you're used to your great HE400 setup I'd go 'stat and get an ESP950, which sounds similar-ish to the HE400 but is still a significant upgrade. After all that, who knows...

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies.


Its weird because I would have put a DAC as the last piece of the jigsaw (headphone-amp-source-DAC), just goes to show how much I know!


Reckon I will focus on that side of things. I actually got a £260 tax rebate yesterday so thats a good start in my savings...

post #6 of 6

Some people at Headroom have noticed that using the Velour pads on the HE-300 / HE-400 headphones drastically improves upon the sound quality.  You may want to check into this as it would be a simply and relatively inexpensive way to get more out of the HE-400 you currently use.

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