Keeping the content (mostly) on the SR1a's: - First, I would have no issues whatsoever with throwing the SR1a's around in exactly the way I would throw around the V6's. That's a testament to Raal's build quality more than anything else. They are every bit of a professional-grade tool as an AT5047 or a Solaris DAC, and I would have zero issues treating it as such. The build quality might not be as refined as, say, Focal, but they are exceedingly robust and durable. - Second, I am not trying to manipulate anyone. If you genuinely believe that "the V6 is all anyone needs for resolution" then power to you. But I - and I suspect most audiophiles - will disagree strongly with that point. And not only do the SR1a's go above and beyond in impulse response, as Alex points out, they excels at an objective level of presentation of information which is entirely orthogonal to the quality of the impulse response. And that is what, I would argue, makes these headphones truly great for professional production. You can't disentangle the appeal of these cans from the fact that they present great information - although I do agree that relative to contemporary flagships, the response speed is the main attraction. - Third, while quite impressive and certainly competitive with contemporary offerings, the Orpheus HE90 is deeply overrated - I've had more than one discussion with people who flatly refuse to believe that the HE90's are anything less than God's gift to head-fi enthusiasts. Sennheiser isn't magic. They don't have engineers that are magically better than anyone else. They don't own the no-compromise audio market. And they work with the same constraints of power, control, materials as any other headphone brand. I will tell you, as a matter of fact, that if you put the SR1a's (or the Abyss Phi's or the Susvara, the bar isn't that high) onto one of the stronger speaker amp offerings, you have a system that is objectively more impressive than the HE90 in most, if not all aspects of sound reproduction. And not only do you not need $10k for the setup, you'll actually get a warranty on both the cans and the amp. Ditto for the R10's, but I wouldn't even call those competitive with modern closed-backs such as the Ether C Flow. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Sony engineers and I personally own the XJE-MH2, which is a tribute to Sony audio design more than anything, and I can only imagine how impressive the R10 would have been in 1989. But the world has moved on, and you may as well do the same. - Finally, while I have not tried the HE1's, I have recently shared my SR1a's with a few people who have. The consensus seems to be that, if you put them onto a world-class speaker amp, the SR1a's are, at the very least, extremely competitive with the HE1 if not outright besting it on technical grounds. It would not be surprising that you can only push the electrostat design so far in terms of bass extension and bass control - and I did find the Shangri-La's bass not particularly competitive with top planars. The main difference between the SR1a's and something like the Abyss Phi is that the former scales up better with summit-fi 2-channel gear and is capable of fighting summit-fi electrostats on treble speed and treble extension. If I ever get a chance to demo the HE1's, I'll write up a comparison between it and the SR1a's on the DMA400/DMC 30SV, which is the strongest system, if judging on technical merits, that I have ever tried the SR1a's on. One thing I want to point out is that in the 25 or so years since the HE90's, IEMs have experienced massive innovation not only in terms of methods of using drivers but also the drivers themselves. A UE7 or ES3 from 2006 shares little in common with a modern 3BA design such as the UM Mirage or the JH Diana. The drivers themselves are smaller, more efficient, and better matched. Flagship IEM's are incomparably better than they were 10,15 years ago not only because of driver count inflation but also because it's easier than ever to design hybrids, incorporate exotic driver technology such as piezoelectrics and open BA's, and utilize difference shell materials as an integral part of the tuning. If you handed me a pair of U18t's in 2005 I would have been absolutely floored by how good they are. They would have sounded like they came straight out of a science fiction novel. Why would the same evolutionary process elude big cans? If you handed me a pair of Mysphere 3.2's in 2005, my reaction would not be materially different from the U18t scenario. Just because BA's have existed for nearly 40 years now doesn't mean that BA's from 2005 are the same as BA's from 2019. It's not that people never tried to build planars before the HE5 and HE6 - but they really weren't very good. It has been more than a decade since Hifiman started to seriously invest in planar tech, and If we applied your argument in a literal sense, Alex would not be able to improve on the SR1a's in a decade either, because at that point aluminum ribbons would literally be "old tech" for headphones. Anyways, I find it curious that you would exclude the possibility that cans are getting better in terms of resolution while acknowledging that the SR1a's are indeed better at resolution than just about every pair of cans out there. It's like saying that only an EV can have more ponies under the hood than any gasoline car. It's just a really weird argument.