Planars: Ok, I finally get it.
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bzippy

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I have been a dedicated dynamic driver guy since I started this hobby nearly 8 years ago, and never considered planars. I listened to an expensive set one time a few years back (Mr. Speakers I think?) but wasn't really impressed -- too smooth, too big, too heavy. I was on a quest for as much detail and realism as possible. But once I achieved the near pinnacle of detail & tonal balance last year (in the form of the Focal Clear), something in me changed and I started to wonder whether I might be ready to give the cozy clarity of planars another try -- a real try this time -- just for a change of scenery. So I took a (small) gamble and got a set of Monoprice M1060C a few weeks ago and to put it simply: my whole headphone perspective has been turned on end. I just love this sound and can't stop listening to these things! I don't know whether it's the planar sound in general that I'm digging so much, or the M1060C in particular. But knowing these are far from high end, I can't help but wonder about what delights await a tier or two up. (The reviews of the Audeze LCD-2C (Classic) really got my attention, for example.)

Anyway, I highly recommend anyone who's been curious about planars to consider giving the M1060C a try. (I mean they're just $250 for Tyll's sake!)
 
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Yeah, this hobby is a pain in the wallet...
Personally I never left the mid-fi, Just couldn't justify it. The most expensive thing I have is HA-1. Replaced by RME ADI 2 Dac. RME really surprised me with this thing, which I got for various reasons and I ended up loving it for very different reasons.
I got Philips Fidelio X2 years ago and really dumped it soon into a box of lost hopes and dreams. Went on to get various other headphones. I felt like and still do feel like LCD2C is a good place to be. Until RME showed up, Don't get me wrong RME + LCD2C, beautiful combination. But then I decided to do and experiment, Pulled out all my headphones and just listened to them all for a week... During that week, I may have hurt my ears with that idea... I cut my hair, my headphones felt uncomfortable... It was a bad season and was not feeling that well... Tired of work... I just wanted to go home and relax... Every time I sat down, without fail, I just ended up reaching for the X2. Albeit they feel a bit odd at first, they end up the most comfortable. And with RME showing all the good in X2, I am happy.

Well either way, X2's didn't pair well with what I had, so I couldn't enjoy them as good as they were. So this hobby can also trick you sometimes. I like X2's cause they are comfortable for me and the bass is good even on low volume and they don't annoy me otherwise. Something like LCD2C, technically better, but requires a lot more power, often with an increase of volume to get the best out of. While the X2's are effortless, albeit if you pair them with something they don't like, they sound like ass.

With planars you always have to consider the weight, You can get used to it, but you will never forget it. And in the end, I just ended up missing that low end rumble of a dynamic driver.

Good luck in your Journey! We all need it. ^^
 
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Try the new MrSpeakers/Dan Clark Audio planars, like the Aeon 2 and Ether 2, they're some of the lightest and most comfortable planars you'll find. I was like you and never considered planars, but since trying them I've never gone back to dynamic drivers. I'm currently enjoying the Aeon 2 Opens.
 
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I was open to planar headphones since I had planar speakers off/on for decades. I have 5 planars and 1 dynamic now. Have sold 5 planars the past 2 years too - they are not all perfect. But in the here and now i get more of what I'm looking for in planars per $ than any other technology.

Used gets you a lot of places: The best used planar you can get under $450 is the HFM HE-500. The LCD-2 series is great if you like dominating bass, and very relaxed upper mids and and a dropping treble over 10k. They seal on your head in a way others don't. I found that uncomfortable. The LCD-4 is a masterpiece - good luck finding one under $1800. An LCD-2 might go as low as $600.

Sometimes you can score with a HFM-560 (under $375), Ananda ($600ish), HEX v2 ($650 (needs EQ IMO). For super cheap fun can - try MD-4XX, msybr $100. but its not a ref can. Alara high 200's, very nice bass and mids, highs very reticent however).

For more $ - like $1-1.2k you can look at the HFM HE-6SE. Arya (tough to find used).

MrSpeakers are very good, and hold value used. The 1.1 is somewhere between fun and serious. The E2 the current high end is 2k or a few over, many say too dark, I say, very accurate acoustic setting. Super comfy.

Used are probably in a tailspin price wise, order 'em and leave them in the box for a week. My 4 best cans cost me ($712, $699, $375, $315) = $2101.00. Original list: $4850. It's either that or demo at a shop w/ many examples - but when you are done, they'll be expecting the full price be paid for your choice. I bought a few turds unheard (names not released to prevent nuclear war), that's the bad side of avoiding dealers.
 
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I got a set of he-4xx two weeks ago. Haven’t touched any of my other stuff since. I think I’m a planar convert. I just love the sound so much! Can’t describe what exactly it is that sounds better, it just does...
 
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I got a set of he-4xx two weeks ago. Haven’t touched any of my other stuff since. I think I’m a planar convert. I just love the sound so much! Can’t describe what exactly it is that sounds better, it just does...
I really liked them at first too, more than my HD-600's for everything but classical and some audiophile stuff. Eventually my opinions changed as I got exposed to more stuff (pretty much all at higher prices). So, if you're an audiophile with audio nervosa, you'll depose them fairly quickly. But if you are just a music lover, I say walk away from reviews and critical guys like me, and save money and time and enjoy the heck out of them!
 
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I really liked them at first too, more than my HD-600's for everything but classical and some audiophile stuff. Eventually my opinions changed as I got exposed to more stuff (pretty much all at higher prices). So, if you're an audiophile with audio nervosa, you'll depose them fairly quickly. But if you are just a music lover, I say walk away from reviews and critical guys like me, and save money and time and enjoy the heck out of them!
I am just a music lover! I have always taken reviews with a grain of salt. I use them for basic knowledge, to get a sense of the item. But I always have to see for myself. I have a hearing impairment, so what I think sounds good is entirely singular to me. Having said all that, I love these cans and don’t have any plans to continue the hunt for bigger and better, at least for now...🤣
 
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The high prices, weight, bulkiness, and uninspiring frequency response have made it fairly easy to resist the allure of planars so far. If a few more mfrs get into the game though, then who knows... Some of us have been sayin that since the tech first appeared though in Audeze and HFM HPs, and nuthin really ever seems to change about these headphones.
 
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(I mean they're just $250 for Tyll's sake!)
I'm open to what yer selling, bzippy. But $250 is still alot of bread for some of us. Esp. on a relatively untried budget brand. And esp. now, when unemployment is approaching or exceeding Depression era levels.

This is not a good time to be making risky investments imo.
 
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I don't know whether it's the planar sound in general that I'm digging so much, or the M1060C in particular. But knowing these are far from high end, I can't help but wonder about what delights await a tier or two up. (The reviews of the Audeze LCD-2C (Classic) really got my attention, for example.)
Ah, another planer convert! The imaging is what i think you might be liking about your cans. That's the calling card of that technology. I have been using nothing but planer loudspeakers (with a little electro-static mixed in) for over 30 years. Vocalists in that mid-range are incredible. Like they are life size and you can almost see them performing. Even after all this time, when i take off a dynamic driver HP and put on a planer, the difference still grabs my attention immediately. No question you can drop a lot of coin (HifiMan, Audeze, etc), But just getting into that technology is great. Enjoy.......
 
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bzippy

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Ah, another planer convert! The imaging is what i think you might be liking about your cans. That's the calling card of that technology. I have been using nothing but planer loudspeakers (with a little electro-static mixed in) for over 30 years. Vocalists in that mid-range are incredible. Like they are life size and you can almost see them performing. Even after all this time, when i take off a dynamic driver HP and put on a planer, the difference still grabs my attention immediately. No question you can drop a lot of coin (HifiMan, Audeze, etc), But just getting into that technology is great. Enjoy.......
Thanks. Yeah, there's defintiely something interesting & special there that even my best set (Focal Clear) and my all around favorite (HD 600) cannot satisfy if I'm in that mood. I agree it may be something about imaging, or maybe clarity. I dunno. It's gonna take a lot more shootouts and back & forth testing before I start to understand it. This is gonna be fun. :)
 
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bzippy

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I'm open to what yer selling, bzippy. But $250 is still alot of bread for some of us. Esp. on a relatively untried budget brand. And esp. now, when unemployment is approaching or exceeding Depression era levels.

This is not a good time to be making risky investments imo.
You're right of course. And I'm sorry if I offended anyone suffering in this historically difficult & shitee time. It's not smart, I acknowledge. The again, if I'm ever in a spot where $250 means the difference between survival and ruin, then all is lost anyway.

Anyway I guess I have climbed a little too far up the gear expense ladder in recent years and have started to lose perspective a little. Also, I think I had it in my mind that it just wasn't possible to get this technology so affordably. Like I said, I haven't paid planars much attention before. That's mostly what was behind my comment.

All that said, late last night (my weakest time) I caved and pulled the trigger on a set of LCD2C off the Audeze website. It was stupid and I can't afford them. But I just have to hear them and with no stores being open now . . . anyway, I can always return them if they don't blow my mind (yeah right). Assuming I do keep them, look for a good handful of listings by me in the classifieds, because I'm really serious when I say I can't afford these.

On that note, anyone else notice that there's something especially comforting about buying gear during this dark time? I feel a little out of control and compulsive I must admit. Oh well, I'm sure my bottom line will set me right soon enough (by way of next month's CC bill). :sweat:
 
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Just wonderin why more HP mfrs haven't dipped their toes in this pond yet.

Planars have been around several years now. So it's no longer a nascent technology. If it's really so great, why aren't other mfrs taking advantage of it?
 
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Just wonderin why more HP mfrs haven't dipped their toes in this pond yet.

Planars have been around several years now. So it's no longer a nascent technology. If it's really so great, why aren't other mfrs taking advantage of it?
Maybe they cause more complexity that creates most cost for mass production. They would need a special team of engineers that are knowledgeable in planar magnetics that's capable of designing the drivers.

A Fostex planar I've seen was a really simple one that wasn't all that great, but probably easier to produce high volumes. Fang from Hifiman has shown us how thin of materials he can make for his diaphragms, and production of those types of components are probably more time consuming that churning out bunch of dynamic drivers. Planars typically come in low impedance, and for awhile headphones were high impedance due to amps outputting high impedance. It wasn't uncommon to see 300 ohm drivers back in the days until we start to get dedicated headphone amps and portable amps.

It's not like planars are generally superior to dynamic drivers. Dynamic drivers have their strengths compared to planars. Probably sourcing dynamic drivers for headphones are easier. You can get a bunch mass produced in cheap labor countries. I also think that Hifiman and Audeze were appearing as the high-end headphone market was gaining popularity. So my guess is that for awhile there wasn't a market for a smaller specialized headphone producer of a particular technology until the higher-end headphone market was large enough.
 
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It's not like planars are generally superior to dynamic drivers. Dynamic drivers have their strengths compared to planars.
and indeed, THAT is the problem....since no HP technology is perfect for every source component and music selection, you need several to cover all the bases! Both a good and bad problem to have........I stopped at two full size cans, and I am really trying to hold the line but it's really hard...
 
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