Heavy Metal cans recommendation
Apr 2, 2018 at 12:33 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1


New Head-Fier
Apr 2, 2018
Greetings, Head-fiers,

First of all, a little bit of introduction is due. I've been lurking this forum for a long time and it has grown into my first-stop resource for most of my audio-related questions. I would like to express my gratitude for all the useful information you (the whole community) are ever collecting and compiling and the time you dedicate to introducing the incessant stream of foreigners into the realm of audio.

Unfortunately my country of origin (and place of residence for the time being) does not provide for a favourable position towards exploring and even experimenting in this field. Alas, Bulgaria is not quite economically strong, (outside of a very strict neighbouring region), therefore I am somewhat limited in my options. Nonetheless, this has taught me how to rely almost solely on my imagination and what might possibly be described as analytical interpretation of the otherwise fuzzy lingo used in putting sound characteristics to words.

TL;DR: Hey guys, long-time lurker from a poor country saying Hi and thanks for keeping this community blooming!

Four years ago I bought a pair of HD650s. This was my first step into middle-/semi high-end audio and boy, was I enjoying it. In fact, I still am.
I drive them from an Aune T1 DAC (with a tube I don't know the model of but I picked it from ~30 which my father - a HAM radio amateur - gave me to test) and I've dedicated a total of exactly a lot of time in converting my audio collection into high(er) quality. I've also used a good amp to drive the cans properly for a while, but that was on lend and good things come to an end.
I am perfectly content with what my combo offers when listening to nearly all my music, but as is human nature, now I want more. And this brings us to the point.

I like/want:
  • Bass, as long as it does not muffle the mid range.
  • I do not mind neither ...er, big... nor tight punchy bass.
  • I cherish the characteristics of the upper treble in the HD650s.
I dislike/do not want:
  • I am quite sensitive to low treble (even tone it down on an already dark pair)
  • I strongly dislike receded mid-range, especially receded low mids.
I do not care about:
  • I do not care for weight, portability, connectors, cable length.
  • I am tolerant to stronger clamping force
  • I am open to modding, if need be.
I care for overall comfort in extended sessions.

With this in mind, I am now looking for a pair to listen to metal with. Mostly thrash, heavy and black, occasionally death and doom, very little power, I hope you get the picture.
What I am looking for is a strong and more forward, engaging sound instead of the laid back but nevertheless still powerful presentation of the Senns.

My budget is ...as little as possible. I would like to stay under 500€ final price. I do not mind buying used, as long as it is from a community member.
I've spent a few hours in research here and so far I've formed the following opinions:
  1. Grado SR225i - I feel like these won't shine above my current headphones in terms of sound. Earpads would most likely have to be replaced.
    I might have the option to demo them in a shop.
  2. HiFiMan HE-400i - I see a lot of appreciation for them, especially from the people who haven't grown to Grado sound. They look comfortable. I am a bit worried if they might sound a bit laid back.
    Unfortunately I will not be able to demo them.
  3. Audeze LCD2C - These would be my go-to option if I were to stretch my budget to the maximum. Have strong doubts the Aune will be a) able to provide sufficient power and preserve dynamics, and b) not overly darken the already rolled back highs thus toning down the ...impact of the overall sound. A possible workaround would be running the Aune into my old Yamaha A-720 which would power the headphones.
    Unfortunately I will not be able to demo them.
Now, there is one more important aspect which I haven't mentioned - sound stage.
I do not care too much about sound stage as I already have it in the HD650s. This opens up the options for closed-back headphones. I've read about a few such models, but I cannot properly imagine the characteristic of the sound. If you recommend any such headphones, I'll research and see if I can test them somewhere.

Last, I would like to apologize for this wall of text and thank you in advance for your time regardless if you skimmed through or read it in its entirety!
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