Audeze Sine Competitors
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CaptCanuck

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Longtime listener, first time caller. :)

I’m in the market for a set of closed over/on-ear cans (prefer over for comfort) with a budget maxing out at $500. I’m primarily looking for clarity, speed, and comfort for long listening sessions. My music tastes range from jazz to pop to rock to a capaella to electronic to drum’n’bass. I’m an amateur musician so I’m looking for a faithful presentation (minimal/no color) but enjoy a strong bass presentation both in attack and sub-bass. These will be used almost exclusively in an open office, so transportability isn’t critical but good sealing is. I’ll be listening primarily to streams from Apple Music or Spotify, and am piping through an Objective2+ODAC.

So far, based on perusing reviews and recommendations on this forum and elsewhere on the Interwebs, I just bought and auditioned both an Oppo PM3 and an Audeze Sine. Of the two I prefer the clarity and presentation of the Sine, but it’s definitely not as comfortable as I’d like (certainly not as comfy as the PM3). I find the Sines to be super clear, have a flat response, and have excellent sub-bass presence but lacking a bit in bass attack. It was a close race between the two but I’ll be selling the PM3 shortly.

I feel pretty good about the Sine and would be happy to keep it, but, given the coin I’m dropping, I’d like to be certain that I’m getting the best cans I can afford since I’ll likely be keeping these as my primary phones for 10+ years. Hence this post!

Any suggestions for anything else that could compete with the Sine and I should audition?

The other cans that were on my shortlist (again, based on online reviews and not hearing them for myself):
PSB M4U1
B&O H6 or H7
Sony WH1000XM2
Audio Technica M50x
Focal Listen
Focal Listen Pro
KEF M500
NAD HP50
 
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bcaulf17

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That’s a pretty solid list and was similar to mine when shopping for new headphones. Out of the ones I had on my list the H6 (Gen 2) seemed the closest to what I was looking for. I too needed a closed back. I like the H6, I went to their store to try it and was so impressed at the time I left the store with it that day. I replaced my M50x with them and find them to be much better. They fit your description well; clear, quick and comfy.
 
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Mhog55

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Yeah, my list looked similar as well. After a lot of auditioning and returns, I as well went with the B&O H6. Also the 1 more triple driver over ear silver edition. I think they both can not only hang, but shine. Plus you would save yourself some coin. Read some reviews when you can, or audition if possible.
 
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CaptCanuck

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Just went to listen to the H6 this morning, but the B&O shop said the H6 & H7 have been discontinued (although I can obviously still buy them from Amazon or elsewhere) and replaced by the H9i. Listened to the H9i, instead and was quite impressed.

Any thoughts on the comparison between the H6 and H9i? Wireless and ANC are nice to have but not required so really I’m curious about the sound between the two.
 
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serman005

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Have not heard the H9i--sorry. I would add to the previous 1More TDOE suggestion. It really is terrific.
 
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CaptCanuck

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Bought a pair of H9i’s and compared with the Sine... for what it’s worth I preferred the Sine. I found the ear pressure, due apparently to both the ANC and something about the bass, uncomfortable. The bass was definitely present on the H9i but it didn’t have much more slam than the Sine. The Sines have a wider soundstage and a more engaging sound. I found the H9i sound with the ANC turned off to be quite hollow and weird sounding. Unfortunately, I also heard, on a couple tracks, the high end distortion that some have complained about. Finally, the separation was a bit better on the Sine.

Don’t get me wrong, the H9i is a nice pair of headphones... definitely comfy... but the Sine wins this one on one comparison. It does make me wonder how the H6 would fair, with a wired connection and no ANC.
 
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