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Searching for end-game headphones

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

It's been a while since the last time I started a thread asking for advice here. A bit of background: A year ago I bought the K701's and absolutely loved them. But considering all the crap they get around here I assumed there must be something better- so I sold them.


Half a dozen headphones later, including the SRH1840, K702/65 Anniversary, HD700, and HE500, I'm on the verge of going back to the K701's. It's not that they were all bad, but for one or more reasons I prefer the K701.


The HE500 was the best-sounding of them all, but they were just too heavy. I didn't really notice while wearing them, but after a week I had developed neck pains. The HD700s were super comfy and I loved the warm low-end, but the treble was too fatiguing. The Annies were my favorite, but I realized I missed the spaciousness of the K701's and I wasn't really all that impressed by the improved bass response. Finally, the SRH1840s sounded too laid-back for me to enjoy, and I felt it was technically inferior to each of the other three.


Basically, I'm looking for three things when it comes to SQ: detail, neutrality, and soundstage. Bass is a non-issue as long as it doesn't muddy the sound. Just as important as SQ is comfort- as I wear them for 4+ hours at a time.


My budget is $500-$1500 - but cheaper the better, ofc. I honestly hate the rule of diminishing returns which is why I've avoided the classic $1K flagships thus far. But since I've become so picky I may have to resort to them.


Currently looking at (in order of interest):

SA5000 - don't know all too much about this headphone, but I'm curious


HD800 - Afraid it's too amp dependent- I only have a budget amp, the M-Stage.

T1 - Afraid of the peaky treble issues as I'm not fond of sibilance (the reason I sold the HD700)



Looking forward to the suggestions.


Thanks for reading!

Edited by viralcow - 8/6/13 at 1:34pm
post #2 of 5
You could look into some new or classic Stax Lambdas, with a nice (used) electrostatic amp to drive them. That will fit into your budget with some room.
Edited by Tus-Chan - 8/6/13 at 2:41pm
post #3 of 5

I very much like the SA5000, but I'm willing to bet that they are too bright for you.


The HD 800 might be as well.  You better try before you buy.  I agree that it is not a good coupling with the M Stage, which I hear as a bright amp.  I like it much better with the darkish LCD 2.


The Q 701 might be both your best choice and value--at least in the U.S.

post #4 of 5



Get the K701 again. You clearly liked it and didn't like the other alternatives.


Cheaper. And simple.


Otherwise, the only thing I can think of that would satisfy your needs and still best the K701 would be the HD800. The hype around it being so amp dependent is a bunch of mulling over tiny, tiny details. There's just as much hype around the k701 being super amp picky. Don't get too caught up in the reading. We squabble over the things that make up the sand particle, not just the sand particle itself--that's too whole, and obvious.


Very best,

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

... Looks like it's the K701 for me then, folks. I think I should demo the HD800 before I buy (I live near NYC so it's pretty easy to find a demo).



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