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My headphone journey is coming to a near end (for now)....

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  1. CyberAthlete
    For many years I have been waiting for a Unicorn headphone that will be the end all of them all. It would be nice to have a single headphone that weighs like a feather but has an open can sound and low end of a closed can. Also having the largest sound stage and best tonal balance of any headphone ever built. Super detailed and super fun to listen too. After demoing many headphones I decided to narrow down to a couple of headphones that as a collective can be called the Unicorn collection. A collection where the sum of the headphones is greater than the parts alone.

    I am also looking to start a new family in the near future and I need to pull myself away from the headphone and audio game which sucks up a lot of time and money. Including my other hobbies (home theater, music room, video gaming, action figure statue collection).

    Here is how I chose the headphones I have decided to spend the rest, or most of my life with, and if time permits again will look into others down the line. I will continue to lurk but I am now going to hold onto the ones I have and swear off spending another $ in this hobby/passion for the foreseeable future.

    As I am getting older, comfort is becoming a higher priority in everything in life. Shoes, clothes, car, chairs, sofas....I don't mind spending extra to get more comfort out of things I use every day. Same goes for headphones, if they're not light and comfortable, I don't care how good the sound, if I can't wear them for 2-3 hours straight and not have to be reminded of the weight hanging on my head and straining my neck, can't use them.

    For amps, I wasn't too concerned with super high resolving, detailed and high end, I wanted to buy an amp per headphone
    1) not having to constantly plug/unplug headphones and over time wear out the connection
    2) pair each headphone to an amp that made the best pairing

    Here are the amps and headphones I purchased and have committed too:

    1) Sennheiser HD 800S + Woo Audio WA7 2nd Gen w/ Tube PSU
    These headphones are awesome for instrumentals, orchestra, jazz, acoustic, video games and movies. Sure they may get analytical but I don't focus on that part, and just enjoy listening to them, but boy do they sound amazing for all of the above mentioned. And the only reason I say analytical because I was so focused on that part when I first got these and demoing dozens of songs through them. But when you're not focusing on that part, they sound just fine.

    2) Focal Clear (have to rebuy after seller's remorse of selling mine very recently) + Schiit Lyr 3 (own this already)
    What can I say. One of the best tonal balances of any headphone I have heard. Fun to listen to, an extremely pleasant experience. Great for almost all genres. Pop, acoustic, rock and more. Only negative I can think of is that you can't crank them too loud or they will distort. It's by design. But that's ok.

    3) Sony MDR-Z7 + Sony PHA-3 (using balanced connection)
    For the bass. It may not be fast or sub-bass may not hit as hard as some others, but it's fun, and when connected through the balanced connection to the PHA-3 this takes on an entirely new and better personality. I didn't think balanced would make that much of a difference but on these it did. This headphone covers EDM, Rap, Hip-Hop, Rock, all the bass belong to this headphone. You get the point.

    4) Beyerdynamic T5P Gen 2 + Teac HA-P50SE (Red)
    For my laptop when I am working on it or traveling for gigs. I took a chance with this pairing, seeing that Teac used Beyerdynamic's T5P/T1P in their marketing images with the Teac HA-P50SE, there must've been a reason and they were right. The first time I hooked them both up, put on a Coldplay track and I was all smiles. That is the headphone test for me, if it puts a smile on my face from the moment it plays, I know I should buy it. I know this one is special. The only other headphone to do that was the Focal Clear.

    5) V-Moda Crossfade Wireless 2 (for use with mobile or in place of MDR-Z7 for same genres)
    Least comfortable of the ones I own since they clamp harder but I got XL padding which works fine. They're still fine comfort wise, just not as the ones above. All about the bass and wirelessness. I love how it sounds, does its job very well. Plays all genres nicely and a lot of fun with rock, edm, hip-hop, trance.

    6) Sony WH-1000XM2
    Strictly for air/train travel

    So basically this is the A-Team for me. Most importantly I am happy, and with the set I have here, I am no longer in FOMO. I am enjoying my music, movies and gaming immensely. They work as a collective, all playing a supporting role, lending their strengths when I need them.

    I do have a bunch of in-ears as well but hardly use them now. I won't get rid of them since you never know when I may just want to pop one in, but they are there. And loved all the same.
  2. serman005
    Well, if that's your 'final' collection, it seems you're in pretty good shape. Good luck to you and all the best!!
  3. CyberAthlete
    Thank you! Yes this is my final selection at least for the next 6-7 years. Saving for a bigger house, new car, addition to the family, upgrade business cameras and equipment....lots and lots of other priorities. I sat down and did the math of how much I've spent on headphones in the last 7 years, and that number caught me off guard. It's pretty ridiculous :) But thank you.
  4. wink
    WHAT.......??????? no electrostatics...? BIG mistake.....
    Amish and CyberAthlete like this.
  5. CyberAthlete
    They're a little heavy from the ones I've tried. You have any suggestions?
  6. wink
    Start with one from the Lambda series - and enjoy the journey.......:ksc75smile:
  7. serman005
    You might also check out the Koss... Pretty darn good value and can sometimes find used, even. But then again, I shouldn't be telling you this. You have made a pledge to halt all purchases. Sorry. Temptation abounds... :)
  8. wuwhere Contributor
    Start at the top and don't look back.
    CyberAthlete likes this.
  9. wink
    CyberAthlete likes this.
  10. CyberAthlete
    Hahaha! I was at Axpona this Friday and man the temptations...especially after visiting Schiit and Woo Audio. I knew it was a bad idea.
  11. wink
    George Taylor likes this.
  12. wink
  13. wuwhere Contributor
  14. wink
    ...and so is paperwork......
  15. wuwhere Contributor
    I bought a couple of these so I can start.

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