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Headphones recommendations for Audioquest Dragonfly Red

  1. Andrewteee
    After a very long hiatus of chasing the hifi tail I'm back into looking for a new headphone system or two. My first order of business is to find a simple system with relatively high audio quality for listening at the office.

    Since I will almost exclusively be listening to streaming via Tidal and Bandcamp (and perhaps Qobuz when it's available in the US) it makes the most sense to use my iPhone as the source (via cell, not wifi - I don't want to stream on our Guest network). I have an Audioquest Dragonfly Red that I plan to use. Ideally, I'd like to find a pair of IEMs that work well with the Red - any recommendations?

    I'm also open to full size headphones - however, I use a pair of Sony WH1000XM3 noise cancelling headphones for the bus commute, so I'm already carrying a pair of full size headphones in my backpack. The Sony's are fantastic for their purpose, but I'm sure I can improve on their sound quality in other contexts.

    Given my goal, and since it's been a while, I'm open to hearing of other options too, like DAPs, which I don't have experience with. I have a ton of music at home on an iMac, but I don't really carry audio files around anymore given the streaming options available today. Or recommendations for anything else that might pair with the iPhone as source, other than the Dragonfly Red (too bad I can't receive MQA streams over mobile).

    I'll also be looking for a system at home, where I'll up the "high end audio" ante. I'm looking at the Grace Design M900 as DAC/headphone amp since I'm familiar with Grace from many years ago. I still have a couple of headphones lying around, but I'll likely see what's new today. I may need closed back headphones so I can listen in bed at night.

    Thanks for any recommendations or guidance as I begin the journey anew into the rabbit hole of higher end audio.
  2. buke9
  3. Andrewteee
    Ah, that question... up to say $500, give or take. For the headphones specific to the question. But again, I'm in the discovery phase so all information irrespective of price is useful.
  4. buke9
    Most people get a headphone or earphone and find a amp that works with them and not the other way around but no matter. The Dragonfly Red will run most of my headphones and iems and haven’t found any I dislike it with.
    Not a big Iem guy but do like them but tend to listen to more over ears than in ears. I don’t have a bunch of experience with the mid tier iems as I tend to gravitate to the TOTL ones when at CanJams or other shows and the lower tier that I use at work as I work construction and can’t see myself taking $500 iems that could end up under the track of a bulldozer.
  5. SoundDouble
    There are so many options. I would suggest looking at theheadphonelist yearly iem list. And go from there. There's also a good list on here in the iem section.

    Does it need to be noise isolating, and what kind of sound signature do you like?
  6. Andrewteee
    I'll keep researching. Headphones are common around our small office and I feel comfortable having nice ones around. In terms of the Red, just starting with what I have for now. One thing I tried was using the Sony's "wired" directly to the Red/iPhone/Tidal and that worked well. I'm sure I could improve on it, but until then it works fine.

    Thanks for the input.
  7. SoundDouble
    A couple things i noticed using the dfr. I wouldn't worry much about sensitivity and resistance of the iem. It can handle most with a quiet background and good volume. Also, at least to my ears the dfr doesn't sound too wide soundstage wise. So my radius for example isn't a wide iem. This combo for me works good with the height and depth.

    If you get an iem that focuses on wide soundstage you might lose some with the combo.

    My 2cents

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