Headphones for metal music - ultimate solution

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by levap, Apr 21, 2014.
  1. s2kPanda
    Yeah lol was a bad joke. Clears are superior in every aspect, but to say FAR superior is an overstatement. He seems too worried about the speed of the headphones.
  2. Nyerk
    Sadly not an option that is viable for me, testing all these headphones that is. That's why I try get some advice from people who have tried different headphones ;O
    Not sure I'm Too worried about the speed, it's just something that interest me when it comes to planars, and I was hoping Clear was close to them in terms of speed. It is one aspect that my HD650 is, in my opinion, lacking after all.

    But I do appreciate every input I've gotten, even if I have "turned down" some suggestions based on different aspects. I do still think it's between the AFO vs. Clear, as they seem to have some of the technical aspects I'm looking for, as well as a similar sound signature that I already know that I like.
  3. Johnny1982xyz
    You said you were looking for punch :)

    I listened to the heX ... For heavy metal music the d7200 for me is superior... Unfortunatly i haven't been able to listen to any Focal ...

    I also have the he6 ... Fast as lightining... But with less punch than the denon ... I alternate them ...
  4. shuto77
    I'm trying to decide which headphone I'm getting next. I picked up a Jotunheim again to pair with my iDSD Black Label, because I wanted a good amp, but I didn't want to spend tons more. I think the iDSD's DAC will warm up the Jot a bit, so the sound should be neutral-ish.

    I also have reasons to not buy each of these in parenthesis.

    I'm thinking about:
    • Atticus (I hear both ZMF headphones sound better with tubes)
    • Eikon (see above; also, more than I want to spend)
    • Clear (sound like something I'd like, but more than I want to spend)
    • Auteur (see note above)
    • Aeon Open (I hear this one isn't super resolving. Is that just relative to $1500+ headphones?
    • Aeon Closed (I'm worried this might be too bright in this chain)
    • Elear (I'm thinking they'll sound good in my chain, and they're going for $500-$550 used now, but I know some people have complained their mids are wonky, which is a huge problem)
    • Elex (I'm going to grab a pair of these for sure on the classifieds, but that won't be for a while)
    What other ones should I be looking at?
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  5. Pharmaboy
    If you want a headphone w/punch, I can suggest 2. Honestly know little about metal--but very familiar w/these 2 closed-back HPs:
    • E-Mu Teak (just sold mine). Put these on the right amp and they'll dent your skull. The bass is really fine. A little v-shaped, but not nearly as bad as many closed designs. Mids are ok, not bad; soundstaging is ok, not bad; upper midrange & treble (w/the right amp) have that "hurts so good" quality that's really hard to find. People talk about the Teaks having an organic, relaxed quality overlaying the basic dynamic/jumpy TX-00/Fostex sound. That's exactly what I heard.
      • Massdrop flooded the market w/Teaks for the past year. I'll bet there are several F.S., here & elsewhere. Expect to pay ~$400 (+/- $25)
      • Comfort (of earpads) is the achilles heel of this design...but can be dealt with to large degree (check E-Mu Teak thread for specifics)
    • ZMF Ori: Speaking of planar designs, IMO this is a pretty amazing design--it has center-of-the-earth bass & hits like a sandbag on the head, but also has spacious, refined soundstage and top to bottom impact+subtlety. No idea how these would sound on metal, but they knock me silly on everything else, including reggae and well-recorded studio pop (lots of punch). These cost more...expect to pay $600-$725, depending on woods.
    I've also heard the ZMF Eikon extensively on many different kinds of music. It's easily the best all-round headphone I've heard. Bass & soundstaging are kind of amazing; midrange is spectacular. These are expensive, even used--but endgame. No idea if they rock metal, but I'd bet the rent they do.
  6. shuto77
    Thanks for the response!

    I was thinking of picking up those as well. I've been through a lot of headphones over the last two years. I had an E-MU Teak, ZMF ORI cherry and a ZMF ORI blackwood last year. They were all very nice headphones. The Oris were actually really nice with the Jot, as they balanced each other out. The Ori blackwood, in particular, was very nice; it seemed a little faster and kicked a little harder than the cherry wood.

    Someone just let go of a Teak on the classified with extras on Friday. I almost pulled the trigger on it, but hesitated.

    Considering how often I go through headphones, the Ori is probably a good idea, since there are fewer of them, and I can always sell it if I want to change it up again.
  7. JuanCamiloso
    The Elear were very nice. Yes, upper mids are a little bit absent, but the sound is quite fun. I really enjoyed the Elears until the left driver died....

    Now I have the Aeon Closed. I am pairing them with a Mimby/NFB1AMP and a NFB11.28 and they actually sound very nice. Very neutral sound, good soundstage, for being closed, and I don't have problems with the treble. They include two foam pieces that are used precisely to reduce the treble and increase the bass a little bit.
  8. shuto77
    Glad you're enjoying the Aeons. I should have mentioned that I did own those as well, when I had my Liquid Carbon and Lake People Rs06 dac. That was a warm setup, so the headphones sounded great. This setup isn't as warm, so I'm not sure if it will pair as well.

    I'm not familiar with your amp? Does it color the sound any?
  9. JuanCamiloso
    I w
    I would say that the NFB1AMP is neutral. That is why I got it instead of the Jot. It is an amazing amp, the only downside is that it is BIG.
  10. Mcgeggy
    I’m currently using iPhone 6s (128gb) as my dap. I like it because I can switch easily from Pandora to my music library, plus still have access to calls/texts. I also have a Sony A17 and Fiio E12a Monte Blanc. For some reason I don’t like what this combo does to metal. I do like ip6s into E12a and into DT 770 Pro (32 ohm). I also ordered DT 770 Pro 80 ohm to compare and see which I like better. Will probably order the M&O HP-2 clone later this week.

    I wonder if I should get rid of the Sony A17 and Fiio E12a and start over. Was looking at the IFI Nano Idsd LE ($129) or maybe the Oppo HA-2SE, but that is more than double the $. These supposedly would work with ip6s and I wouldn’t be double amping.

    I really only listen to hard industrial / death and other style metal at gym doing cardio machines, lol. Having the right audio equipment and sound makes me look forward to the workout, and instead of it being tedious and hard, I am energized and enjoy it, if that makes sense. Do you think the above Dac/amps would be a nice step forward? Especially if in the future I want to delve into more high end headphones or iems?
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  11. Hansotek
    FWIW, Auteur sounds good with everything I’ve paired it with, solid state or tube.

    ÆON Flow Open is as resolving as the closed version. $1,500 flagship-level cans (Ether, Auteur, HD800, Clear) all have a little more detail and better depth layering. AFO also scales up a little with a better cable, although the DUMMER cable is better than most stock cables.

    Elear is a little step down from ÆON, IMO. Once you get into the $500-$600 range it becomes a compelling value, but I’m not really into it at any price. I’ve heard Elex isn’t markedly better. YMMV, obviously.

    Clear is a much different story. As all-rounders go, it is one of the best. Just really good at everything in the time I spent with it. But I understand if that’s out of budget.

    I don’t know, just my two cents on it.
    shuto77 likes this.
  12. shuto77
    Do you prefer the Ether Open (non-Flow) to the AFO as all-rounder? (I'm listening to orchestral, hip-hop and gaming more.) I've seen nice deals on the Ether Open in the Classifieds.
  13. Hansotek
    Tough call. I’d probably take the Ether Open for it’s edge in depth and resolution.
  14. ibage
    Okay, been a while since Ive been aroubd head-fi, but its tax season and Im looking for endgame. Im looking for good mids, and an airy soundstage. Looking to keep it around 1k and not much more than that. I have the HD600, 650, and with the 700. Im looking for a smooth sound like the 600, but the soundstage and bass of the 700.

    Currently ,I use the Xonar essence STX going into a Valhalla 2. Im thinking of the Elears, Atticus, or Aeons. Any advice?
  15. Hansotek
    Atticus has the best mids and biggest stage of those mentioned. It sounds like a perfect fit to me.

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