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The Triad of TOTL Headphones. Which ones and Why?

  1. mlavin
    I currently have the Focal Utopia and the Sony MDR-Z1R and am curious as many of you have much more user knowledge as to highly acclaimed HP. I’m looking for totl to fill that gap for a warm, musical , enjoyable vs analytic. So will be interested what you each thinks should fill the third slot of TOTL HP. As a community of audio enthusiasts, I greatly appreciate all the time and effort everyone puts in to help beginners learn and enjoy. In many cases that is not how things work, so kudos to all who help. Again Thanks in advance for any help and advice you can offer.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  2. Monsterzero
    STAX 009+BHSE

    End of discussion.
    mlavin likes this.
  3. mlavin
    From what I have read from all here, they would be an excellent option! Living in the Midwest my opportunity to listen to these type of HP are going to be slim and none. Are these of that type where you just can’t go wrong and will enjoy for the quality and difference in presentation? I am not unwilling to just go for it. Thanks for the info!

  4. Monsterzero
    Well,thats a hard question to answer.Its hard for most of us to hear that combo without owning it.Personally Ive only heard it at meets and CanJams.

    I actually prefer the 007 over the 009,as the 007 is warmer sounding,which is my personal preference.So depending upon if you prefer a more relaxed warmer sound over a crystal clear window into the music would decide if the 009 or 007 is for you.

    Also keep in mind that the STAX require a different type of amp than other headphones,and while you can certainly find cheaper amps than the BHSE,i personally find the BHSE to be a necessary evil for either STAX HP.Its that good.

    IMHO the 007/009+BHSE is the absolute summit of this hobby if youre not counting the absurdly priced Sennheiser HE-1 or HiFiman Shangri-La,both of which I refuse to listen to.
  5. AudioThief
    Very few people prefer Shangri-La/HE-1 over 009/007 with TOTL third party amplifier @Monsterzero

    To OP, I would recommend 009 or 007 as well. I believe that while getting a BHSE or Mjolnir Carbon would be optimal sound wise, it is not a must in any sense. I think reading up on amp pairings with 007 or 009 headphones and then making an educated purchase based on that will surely leave you very satisfied.
  6. mlavin

    Thank you for taking the time to further the amp needs of the Stax HP. Time and time again I hear how amazing they sound. So all of what you said boils down that I will love it but it needs support from an amazing amp to reach potential. I guess I will need to locate a place to listen to them. I also want to repeat that I also want he warmer signature for enjoyment. My work day provides plenty of opportunities for my OCD to express itself and want music to allow the spin down for the day! Thanks for info and if anything else comes to mind please let me know as I really am grateful for you time and wisdom

  7. mlavin

    Thank you for reinforcing the 007 or009. I will go look at requirements of each. I have currently 2 paths to use them. The first is MacBook Pro to Hugo2. The second is the Gungir multibit and the Molinjor 2. So this hobby for me is to de stress after a day and just enjoy high quality music. So with this info I really need to listen myself is what I am hearing. Please feel free to offer any advice and critique of anything. The only other things not directly related but I do have the LS 50 wireless for my room and Sonos for TV surround sound. Again Thank You for your time, thought and effort!


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