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Brian Hall

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You should want something that will play as loud as you want with little if any distortion, is close to Harman and Eq-able to whatever FR you prefer, is comfortable to wear, is consistent from unit to unit, is reliable and durable, and also something when you wear it that will not make you look like this:


View attachment 355976

That set looks like it would at least provide a bit of head protection from falling objects.
 

AryaStealth

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aeon open x with EQ
I have a pair. Its frequence response even worse than MM-100's, and no amount of EQ can help to fix it, no matter what Harman Score was measured on a dummy head.
Sundara is uncomfortable and lacks resolution, basically sounds like a dynamic headphone. There is a reason why it is cheaper than other Hifiman products. The same goes for Audeze MM-100 - it will not sound as LCD-5 when both EQed to Harman over-ear target.
 

nerdemoji

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I have a pair. Its frequence response even worse than MM-100's, and no amount of EQ can help to fix it, no matter what Harman Score was measured on a dummy head.
Sundara is uncomfortable and lacks resolution, basically sounds like a dynamic headphone. There is a reason why it is cheaper than other Hifiman products. The same goes for Audeze MM-100 - it will not sound as LCD-5 when both EQed to Harman over-ear target.
If this is your outlook, nobody can help you
 

vlad335

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Received a pair of Hifiman 6se refurbs for $470 today and they are outstanding. $509 on the website and $39 discount with a coupon code.


They need a bit of power and EQ but with both they are the best I have ever heard. I think there is something to be said for headphones with extremely low distortion and using EQ.
 

Thermionicon

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Very very good out of the box without any EQ and great with Oratory EQ as well (if you like Harman bass boost). Especially if you listen to vocals/classical music. Current price for new pair is $759 if you buy online at Hifiman store.
Audeze MM-100 - not worth $400. If its price was $100 then it would make a great buy just to feel the difference between a dynamic driver and a planar one.
Looking at the specs it looks like the Maxwell without the built in power amp etc-- I bought a set of Maxwells to have my A&K SR25 drive-- meh, Sundara is better for the money, I'd skip MM-100
 

Saturn94

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A year ago I bought the Drop + Dan Clark Audio Aeon X Closed and a JDS Atom+ amp. I’m still thrilled with this combo!
 

LearningToSmile

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The only headphone I'm personally interested in that price range is the upcoming Drop + Grell OAE1 since they're at least attempting to do something interesting that might not be possible to replicate with EQ. Should be around $500, and coming "soon"(rumor has it preorders at the end of this month and measurements should also be available at the time).
Still waiting for well built, no compromise, Harman tuned $500 headphone, but instead we get countless variations of the same flat-ish bass tuning we have available in dozens of models already. Maybe one day the headphone industry will catch up to the variety and affordability of the IEM scene.
 

ColdCloudU

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Not that many headphones that are better than the 560S at any price if you ask me. :)
Hello.
I've owned the 560S for over 7 months (based on a review on audiosciencereview and bought them) and listened to them for several hours every day (with arturia minifuse 1). For its ~$150 in Europe or the US, this is fantastic sound. A couple of weeks ago I bought myself HD660S2 and now I will never go back to cheaper headphones no matter how praised they are. The difference in price is huge, these are different classes of devices and cannot be equated with each other. I'm an ordinary person without musical education or music production skills - but even for me the difference is very significant. When I compared them directly, I was surprised how I thought the sound of the 560S was so pure, but now, in comparison with the HD660S2, their frequency response (560S) seemed to be drawn by a 3-year-old child, and there is a small layer of cotton wool between the emitter and my ears).
I'm not sure if moving to the next level (another 2-3 times higher price) is worth the increase in quality that will be obtained. I think the next level is around the Audeze MM-500 (maybe 820S or 800S2?), but can the average person appreciate their sound quality? This is already an ultra professional technique (or you have very large pockets)
I use HD660S2 with Topping DX5. I'm sure that the DX3 is absolutely suitable as an amplifier and I wanted it, but I didn't want to use a Jack->mini jack adapter

Sennheiser HD650.
The only reason I didn't choose the HD650 is because these headphones were created using technology that is 15 years old. (Partly for this reason I ignored the HD660S, as well as the minimal price difference with the S2 version + slightly increased bass on the S2 - this is very, very cool for open-back headphones). That's why I chose the HD660S2, because logically: today it's like the HD650 in 2009, which will be recommended even in 15 years
P.S. I listen to both models (listened) with the original oratory1990 equalizer
P.S.2 Pay attention to the weight. When I listen to 560S/660S2 - they are weightless and 3-4-5 hours without a break is not a problem for them. But when I put my Focal Bathys on, I want to take them off after 30 minutes because of their weight. So Senheisers are very good only because of their light weight (almost half the weight of other models) and convenience
P.S.3 I listen to all genres of music (except for extremes: super hard rock or tech house consisting of 2 sounds for all 6 minutes of the track)

I hope I was useful to you. I will be happy to answer additional questions. PM questions
 
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nerdemoji

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I will never go back to cheaper headphones no matter how praised they are. The difference in price is huge, these are different classes of devices and cannot be equated with each other. I'm an ordinary person without musical education or music production skills - but even for me the difference is very significant. When I compared them directly, I was surprised how I thought the sound of the 560S was so pure, but now, in comparison with the HD660S2, their frequency response (560S) seemed to be drawn by a 3-year-old child, and there is a small layer of cotton wool between the emitter and my ears).
Price is very very loosely correlated with sound quality.
The only reason I didn't choose the HD650 is because these headphones were created using technology that is 15 years old. (Partly for this reason I ignored the HD660S, as well as the minimal price difference with the S2 version + slightly increased bass on the S2 - this is very, very cool for open-back headphones). That's why I chose the HD660S2, because logically: today it's like the HD650 in 2009, which will be recommended even in 15 years
Newer headphones don’t always mean they are better
 

IXOYE

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Jan 22, 2023
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To all that listen to classic rock and metal I really recommend Beyerdynamic 1770 Pro with Oratory EQ, out of the box they sound like crap, but with Oratory EQ they really shine and are incredibly lovely for that type of music
 

spamilton

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I agree with the HD650. It's the only "mid-fi" headphone I've held on to for the past 10+ years, though I'm much more into the sound of planars now. The Arya Stealth is still on sale for $760. That's an amazing value imo. I paid full price for the original Aryas.
 

7jm

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For 20 years or so the hd650 has been my good headphone, about 2 years ago I picked up a mint Sundara in a charity shop for €150, I really liked the Sundara with eq but still hold onto the senns as they're like a favourite pair of slippers, but ones that you can replace parts on!
I can't see the hifiman phones lasting 20 years.
 

kemmler3D

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I have the Focal Elex which I got for $500 secondhand. They have quite low distortion and so they take EQ pretty easily. Don't take a diesel generator to drive either. I like my Audeze LCD-XC better, but they're nice cans.
 

paudio

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The pair of headphones that gets the most used here is the most comfortable. They're Koss KPH40 (Drop has these on for $29) with stock or Yaxi pads. If I need isolation I reach for Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2 Noire or Austrian Audio Hi-X60. Huge difference in price between the Koss and either of my closed backs. Another one I like is Sennheiser PX100-II but you are looking at the used market for those. Personally I've not liked the comfort of any circumaural Sennheiser can except maybe the HD800S.

Everything else is kept inside their case and only taken out if I need isolation. If not I'm using the KPH40 and somehow I always enjoy it. So if anything I guess I have downgraded?
 
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johny_2000

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Newer headphones don’t always mean they are better
And I've found that in most cases they are simply made cheaper than their predecessor. Over the past few weeks I've compared a few headphones to my old dog HD650 and quickly noticed that they all lack quality in materials and accessories. I decided to replace the ear pads and headband pads on my headphones and keep them with me a little longer.
 

johny_2000

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If you EQ, get a Drop HD 8XX. You can make it sound exactly as an 800s and get rid of the strange stock tuning. I bought one in mint condition for 650 USD and it's great.
They were all sold out with an unknown ETA. I think Drop is currently out of stock of most of the audiophile's favorite headphones, with the exception of the 6XX.
 

johny_2000

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I have the Focal Elex which I got for $500 secondhand. They have quite low distortion and so they take EQ pretty easily. Don't take a diesel generator to drive either. I like my Audeze LCD-XC better, but they're nice cans.
I found them on sale yesterday for $399 new. But I still passed by because there is an opinion about their metallic sound, the sudden death of the drivers and the lack of earpads in the whole world. It feels like both Drop and Focal have given up on this model and are selling off the last remaining stock from their warehouses.
 
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