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Best high end closed back headphone for 600USD second hand

  1. JvH26
    I am looking for a real good closed back headphone in addition to my HD800. The closed back I would use out and about and to listen to certain music that doesn't sound good on the HD800. Some bands I like but don't listen to too often, for example Boston and the Red Hot Chili Peppers don't sound good on the HD800. Also genres like hiphop and rap don't sound good at all on the HD800, I don't really listen to hiphop but I like to be able to.

    The headphones may have some punch but I'd like them to be at least fairly neutral and not too overbassed.

    A headphone I am thinking about is the Audeze EL-8 closed back, this because I have owned a EL-8 open back before and I like the sound signature. Another headphone I might be interested in is the MrSpeakers Aeon Flow closed back, although it is slightly more than I want to spend. My budget is about 600USD and I want to buy a pair second hand.

    Another option might be another open back headphone next to my HD 800 that fulfills my wishes and something like an Audio Technica M50x for out and about.

    My question is if there are any other headphones that I should consider. Thanks!
  2. Renato Fury
  3. JvH26
    Which Model are those? And how do those compare to other headphones, for example the EL8 or Aeon Flow I mentioned?
  4. onevstheworld
    Those are Massdrop x Fostex TH X00 ebony, and I would not recommend them for your stated use and preference.
    • Semi-open.
    • Heavy bass, not neutral.
    • Long 3m non-removable cable.
    • Earcups are lacquered wood... not sure how durable the are for outside use (i.e. chipping and changes in temperature and humidity)

    On the same note, the AFC isn't really designed as a mobile HP either. As you say it's at the limit of your budget, you'll need to factor in the cost of a custom cable since the standard one is very long and heavy (hangs around ankle height). Also, you'll need a good amp... listening to it (as well as the AFO) straight out of a phone was decidedly "meh".

    Have you considered Oppo PM-3? Campfire Cascade is an interesting new option that I've not yet demoed... may be out of budget though.
  5. Old Dirty Puppy
    I've have a pair of Aeon closed backs and I had a pair of EL-8 Titanium. Out of the two headphones I prefer the Aeons. The Aeons have a more neutral sound that I enjoy more. The Aeons are also far more comfortable. The EL-8 like most of Audeze headphones are heavy. I remember after wearing them for long sessions my neck would start to cramp. Also I wasn't a big fan of the EL-8 cable. Audeze used their own special connectors on the EL-8. So third-party cables or the ability to make your own is limited. Mrspeakers headphones also uses custom connectors but at least you can buy them for cheap on their website. The one thing that I really enjoyed about the EL-8 over the Aeons is it's ability to sound isolate. The EL-8 leak almost no sound at high volumes and once the music starts playing you won't be able to hear the world around you. Another thing that the EL-8 has over the Aeons is better portability. The EL-8 can lay flat and they are easier to transport in their case. If you are willingly to spend the money the Aeons are a better pick in my opinion over the EL-8. I don't want to self advertise in this thread but I have a pair of Aeon closed backs for sale in the for sale section. if you are willing to buy used you can save a lot of money on the EL-8. I have seen them for sale as low as 300 USD. One more thing I have seen others suggest the Massdrop TH X00. Personally I think the EL-8 is a much better headphone over the TH X00. The EL-8 has a better balance and cleaner bass that can hit just as deep. Also the EL-8 is easier to drive. I also don't like that the TH X00 has a non-removable cable.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  6. JvH26
    Thanks for mentioning that the Fostex would probably not be for me! I also didn't like the non removable cable. The Oppo PM3 I once considered years ago, before I considered myself an audiophile. Never heard it. I'll take a look at the Oppo and the Campfire Cascade!
  7. JvH26
    Thanks for your very helpful comment! I used to own the EL8 open back and the with the weight I didn't have a problem personally. Have you ever heard the open back and could you compare the closed back version? The Aeon Flow Closed is an interesting option. I briefly listened to the open back version and did like it, though it was too short to be technical about it. I think both the EL8 and Aeon are nice options, but I am not sure if the Aeon are worth it considering the price difference second hand. I have to mention I will be looking to buy a pair in a few weeks, as I have to sell a pair of HD800s since I have two at the moment.

    Thanks a lot, very helpful!
  8. Old Dirty Puppy
    Unfortunately I have only listened to the EL-8 open back once and for a short period of time. I remember enjoying them but I can not compare to the closed backs.
  9. ostewart
    This user (Renato fury) frequently recommends models, yet has never heard them and has no intention of ever buying any of them..
  10. JvH26
    Aah okay, good to know thanks! Funny enough I had been looking into those headphones just because they were in my budget and I don't have too much experience with closed backs, I understand out of other replies that the Fostex probably don't fit what I am looking for. Thanks to everyone with their great recommendations!

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