Does a "End Game" $900 - $1800 Headphone.......exist?
Nov 27, 2020 at 3:47 PM Post #16 of 31

432789

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Used/ Older headphone models are the real way to get great sound at a fair price. all these new headphones are all just hype hype hype. every new headphone is hyped to be the latest and greatest just to get the sales going. You should try to eq older headphones. they will sound just as good if not better than the new ones. because that's all they do these days, just change the sound signature slightly, but the driver THD is the same if not worst than yesteryears models. Companies have become aggressively sales oriented. and sadly hype sells more than quality.

Just like the reviewers themselves. No one is grounded anymore.
 
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Nov 27, 2020 at 4:47 PM Post #17 of 31

ThanatosVI

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The Arya fits the bill imo.
By far the best in that price category.

Below 1k I really love the LCD-2C and the Edition X V2.

However if someone intends to go up to 2k, my personal recommendation is to Invest another 200 and get an used Empyrean. Nothing beats that for me ... at any price
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 6:42 PM Post #18 of 31

FullBright1

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I currently own or have owned various headphones in the $1,000 to $4,000 range; while I don't believe in "end game" as I enjoy trying new things wayyy too much lol, the closest to end game and the one headphone I couldn't see living without at this point is the Audio-Technica ADX5000. Paired with a good tube amp (really couldn't get this headphone to be great with any SS options I've tried), its been unbeatable for me. The comfort level, the superior technicalities and the natural tonality has been second-to-none.

Another good option in that $1,500 price tag is the ZMF Auteur (also paired with a nice tube amp).

Yes.
As im Treble sensitive, i'd definitely want to play the AT ADX5000 with a Tube.

Thx.
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 6:44 PM Post #19 of 31

FullBright1

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You reviewed the Radiance, I think I saw in it's thread. Do you consider a closed back headphones? Because Denon AH-D9200 have a lot of very happy users here in the forum... even some of them consider as an end-game. I'm going to try them (I hope) very soon...

I love Headphones.... and have looked for the best Closed Back for years.
Thank you for the reference, i will investigate the Denon's.
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 6:48 PM Post #20 of 31

FullBright1

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I've heard quite a few headphones, albeit not the latest batch. I'm treble sensitive as well and to me, the "end game" is a "musical headphone". What I mean by that is a headphone that I could listen to for hours, without getting fatigued, while enjoying every second of it. The Sennheiser Orpheus was the most musical and magical headphone to me. I haven't heard the HE-1, but based on the reviews, it sounds like it would sound a lot like the Orpheus. However, $50k for a headphone is a non-starter. So, given what I've heard and my preferences, I haven't really found a better headphone than the Senn HD580/600. I can listen to them forever, without getting fatigued. I enjoy the experience immensely. Whereas I've heard other headphones that do certain things differently and sometimes better, I've never found a headphone that I would enjoy listening to more than the HD580/600 (aside from the Orpheus and likely the HE-1). So, to me, that's the end game and it's the end game that doesn't break the bank.


The HD600.....is forever, a sonic Jewel.
They were the 1st set of next level Headphones i purchased, and that was years ago.
I used them till they literally were in pieces, but still they played on.
Its interesting that you came by to talk to me about them, because i was thinking about them today, and decided to order a New Set.
My ears have head miles and miles of headphones at this point, so, it'll be interesting to hear the HD600s again, as it'll be sort of like the first time, all over again.

-Thx
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 6:55 PM Post #21 of 31

FullBright1

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I really like the Verite a lot. It gives Utopia but with a much smoother upper mids and treble. I agree with you, however, that it is not neutral. I do like the “flavor” though.

The Auteur is supposed to be the most neutral ZMF, while still being musical, but also with an excellent bass response with both quantity and sub bass extension. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard the Auteur yet. I ordered one about 4 months ago and it is supposed to be shipped out by the end of next week. So I will give a full review once I get it in my hands.

The Auteur is often described as a Sennheiser HD600 on steroids, with just better everything, especially soundstage and bass extension. So if that’s the case, it will be my endgame headphone.

If the Auteur doesn’t check all of my boxes, I’m going to rebuy the Verite Open and call it a day.

P.S. I owned the LSA HP-1 for a few weeks and sent it back. It gives excellent details and separation, but there was some glare in the upper mids/lower treble that bothered me, and the earpads are a little small. If it weren’t for the brightness/grain, it would be an excellent headphone for its cost.


Thank you for the info.

I think you will be happy with the Auteur. Its a lovely gear, and its not going to disappoint you.
Its the ZMF house-sound, turned "Reference Neutral"......so, that hybrid is going to make you smile.
As you know, Zack can't resist adding a little more bass. :)
I do recall that the Verite Perforated Lambskin Pads, are the way to go, if you want to really get all the "neutrality" delivered from those ZMF's.
I tried a few sets, and those gave the best balanced neutrality, to my ears.
 
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Nov 27, 2020 at 7:02 PM Post #22 of 31

FullBright1

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Yes and no. The Susvara, with the right musical pairing, exhibits some of the best sound I’ve ever heard. It sounds natural, super detailed, holographic in soundstage, and with extreme instrument separation. But, to my ears, it possesses the same weakness as almost all Hifiman headphones (except the Edition X V2). It sounds brittle, harsh, and bright with any recording that’s even remotely subpar or poorly mixed/mastered. I find most Hifiman headphones just too unforgiving, and the Susvara was no exception. In addition to that, it is also extremely difficult to drive, and it isn’t winning any prizes for build quality in spite of its cost.

Im in total agreement with you about Hifiman Gear.
I buy almost all Fang's gear, but ive only loved the EditionV2 and the LCD-X, tho the Arya,.... its a bit harsh in that same area as you are describing yet, is for me a keeper.
Most listeners will enjoy it.
I wont use it as much as others, but, i think its well executed Fang-Phones.

The way you are describing the Susvara, is exactly as Z Reviews describes the Stellia. "its great if you can finally find the one amp that makes it sound great".
 
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Nov 27, 2020 at 7:33 PM Post #23 of 31

Hifiearspeakers

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Im in total agreement with you about Hifiman Gear.
I buy almost all Fang's gear, but ive only loved the EditionV2 and the LCD-X, tho the Arya,.... its a bit harsh in that same area as you are describing yet, is for me a keeper.
Most listeners will enjoy it.
I wont use it as much as others, but, i think its well executed Fang-Phones.

The way you are describing the Susvara, is exactly as Z Reviews describes the Stellia. "its great if you can finally find the one amp that makes it sound great".

I wanted the Arya to be a keeper. I’ve bought and sold it twice. When given plenty of power, it does soundstage in a way that is almost trippy. It can be wide and tall and the music can come at you in diverse ways. That part of the Arya is just so addictive. But the tuning ruined it for me, twice. I just can’t call it a day with a headphone that accentuates sibilance. I just don’t know why Fang can’t make an Edition X V3 that has the staging and detail of the Arya, but with the upper mid and treble tuning of the Edition X V2. That would be endgame worthy in my opinion.
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 7:39 PM Post #24 of 31

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I could see myself keeping my HE6se for as long as they last. I had an older pair previously, and got the newest set last year for a great Black Friday deal ($699). Their V2 is available now (with an updated headband) for same price, which seems to me the best headphone you can get at that price, as long as you have a husky enough amp. I may have liked the sound of my LCD2.2 slightly more, but had comfort issues -- the weight gave me headaches.

I also used Denon AH-D2000 for a whole decade, but since I work at home I don't really need closed anymore, so I gave them to a friend. That said, I am enjoying the ZMF Verite C, but imagine I will sell those eventually to try something else.
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 7:48 PM Post #25 of 31

Hi-Fi EDU

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I've learned that headphone "endgame" to me is achieved when you're fortunate enough to find a pair of headphones that you'd literally change nothing about. As someone alluded to earlier in the thread, that constant urge to replace fades away and what remains is consistent musical/sonic enjoyment.

For me that happened with the Nighthawks (EOL), even if I've heard higher-priced cans that may be objectively better. Those were always less than $900 however.
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 7:52 PM Post #26 of 31

FullBright1

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I wanted the Arya to be a keeper. I’ve bought and sold it twice. When given plenty of power, it does soundstage in a way that is almost trippy. It can be wide and tall and the music can come at you in diverse ways. That part of the Arya is just so addictive. But the tuning ruined it for me, twice. I just can’t call it a day with a headphone that accentuates sibilance. I just don’t know why Fang can’t make an Edition X V3 that has the staging and detail of the Arya, but with the upper mid and treble tuning of the Edition X V2. That would be endgame worthy in my opinion.

Hahah.
I totally understand your POV regarding buying the Arya 2x.
The sibilance seems to be a deal breaker for a person who is ultra-deep, regarding our "hobby".
If U are, however, living in that $499 - $1999 ballpark, then the Arya, is going to be just fine..
You and i have the same issue....We have heard the best, and that leave a mark..
 
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Nov 27, 2020 at 7:57 PM Post #28 of 31

FullBright1

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I could see myself keeping my HE6se for as long as they last. I had an older pair previously, and got the newest set last year for a great Black Friday deal ($699). Their V2 is available now (with an updated headband) for same price, which seems to me the best headphone you can get at that price, as long as you have a husky enough amp. I may have liked the sound of my LCD2.2 slightly more, but had comfort issues -- the weight gave me headaches.

I also used Denon AH-D2000 for a whole decade, but since I work at home I don't really need closed anymore, so I gave them to a friend. That said, I am enjoying the ZMF Verite C, but imagine I will sell those eventually to try something else.

We buy, we sell, we enjoy.
Thank you for your information.
I'll check out the HE6se.
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 8:02 PM Post #29 of 31

FullBright1

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I've learned that headphone "endgame" to me is achieved when you're fortunate enough to find a pair of headphones that you'd literally change nothing about. As someone alluded to earlier in the thread, that constant urge to replace fades away and what remains is consistent musical/sonic enjoyment.

For me that happened with the Nighthawks (EOL), even if I've heard higher-priced cans that may be objectively better. Those were always less than $900 however.

Yes, i understand.
I dont deal with charts, or deal with graphs, and i've never EQ'd a headphone.
Not once.
I had an argument here, 2 yrs ago with Mr Aeon, because of the insert pads.
And of course i understand that tweeking is a joy....sure.
I tweek Guitars, but i only listen to headphones....
For me, i want the headphone to sound great, plugged in...only.
I give them time, and if they are not going to change, develop, i just put them in the box and take them out on occasion, or i put them on the Market.
 
Nov 27, 2020 at 8:04 PM Post #30 of 31

augustr

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I don't think price is the determinant factor, but rather what you want out of a headphone. I love my Utopia to death, friends liked other pairs better, like HEK, or Verité's, I'll probably keep my HD800 for a long time still... and these are all on very different price points.

IMHO, used HD800 is a bargain nowadays, considering how capable they are and how well they respond to EQ. Same goes for Ananda's, and if you're into more intimate, a tad warmer sound, the Elex/Elear is a really worthwhile pair, fighting above their weight class. Just set your priorities straight and look for a set to stisfy them.
 

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