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Choosing a closed back headphone (+poll)

Help me choose :) ?


  • Total voters
    61

Noodles

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I finally stumbled upon a fairly well tuned Hifiman Arya Stealth and i think i am set for open back for the near future.
Not quite satisfied with my current choice of closed backs (need to have one otherwise wife complains) and will probably be expanding my collection...
I've narrowed down my choices to these 4:

Audeze LCD-XC 2021 version
DCA Aeon 2 Noire
Sony MDR-Z1R
Sennheiser HD820

I am a music whore, but i am mostly fond of string instruments and electronic music. I play games on the regular and huge soundstage is not a must but is appreciated but fairly precise spatial queues are needed (good instrument placement as they say).
I do not EQ often but i can if its a horrible stock experience.
Got all the amps and dacs i would ever need so sources aren't an issue.

Gathering some poll data and welcome feedback on the choices.
 
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solderdude

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As you live in the Netherlands you should visit Ears Unlimited in Delft. (parking is well... a challenge)

Aside from the Sony you can take your time and fully explore the other mentioned headphones and a LOT of others for hours.
 
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Noodles

Noodles

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As you live in the Netherlands you should visit Ears Unlimited in Delft. (parking is well... a challenge)

Aside from the Sony you can take your time and fully explore the other mentioned headphones and a LOT of others for hours.
I shall, problem is as with all listening auditions i cannot test on my equipment and also the gaming side will be missing as well.
Hence the gathering of feedback :)
 

solderdude

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I would not worry about equipment. You can take along your own music.

Gaming is something you cannot test there.
 

Malaj

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I would not worry about equipment. You can take along your own music.

Gaming is something you cannot test there.
Headphones that excels for music excel for gaming there is no difference. If it can do classical it can do gaming is my experience.

I had much more luck with the ether c Flow versus the noire. Noire was just to claustrophobic and felt overdamped. Very very serious though. Ether c Flow still closed of course but just open things up just enough to not cause stress and feels more dynamic.

Comfort is great but then my lcd 2 gave me a work out for my neck muscles some years back in time.
 
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Noodles

Noodles

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Headphones that excels for music excel for gaming there is no difference. If it can do classical it can do gaming is my experience.

I had much more luck with the ether c Flow versus the noire. Noire was just to claustrophobic and felt overdamped. Very very serious though. Ether c Flow still closed of course but just open things up just enough to not cause stress and feels more dynamic.

Comfort is great but then my lcd 2 gave me a work out for my neck muscles some years back in time.
The XC is excellent for gaming (and classical :)), just too heavy for daily use ... i returned it.
 

mrbungle

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I like my EQ’ed DT770 Pros as companion to my Aryas, but these days I tend to go more often to IEMs when I can’t use open backs. Just throwing that out as alternative I would also consider before pulling the trigger on a $1500+ closed back. (Edit: missed the gaming part. Not a gamer myself and no idea how people like IEMs for that purpose).
 
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Snoopy

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I got the Aeon 2 Noire recently and they sound really good. I use them for my ps5 as well.

Really beautiful for music like Neil young, Meiko Kaji , Grace Maya, the more recent releases of nick cave (like ghostseen). John Lennon and Johnny cash

But for more bass heavy music and rock/Metall I prefer my Focal elegia
 

watchnerd

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I like my EQ’ed DT770 Pros as companion to my Aryas, but these days I tend to go more often to IEMs when I can’t use open backs. Just throwing that out as alternative I would also consider before pulling the trigger on a $1500+ closed back. (Edit: missed the gaming part. Not a gamer myself and no idea how people like IEMs for that purpose).


Beyer DT 770 Pro 250 ohm, properly EQed, are a steal at $135
 
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Noodles

Noodles

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I’m still on the hunt for a closed back… tried the noire and the aeon x closed and they do sound quite nice indeed. They are heavily dampened however and it detracts a bit from certain music that has reverb/echo and also they are weird sounding in games sometimes.
This is mostly due to the decay being cut short … but of course that can also be a selling point.
After my vacation have to go check out the newly released Meze Liric and possibly the 820, although the weird stories around the 820 specifically do not give me confidence in them.
All in all if all fails I might just get a DT700 pro x and call it a day.
 

Graph Feppar

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None of these measure very good. Audio Quest NightOwl has lowest distortion dynamic driver of any full size headphone, its the same 50mm bio cellulose driver like closed Fostex TH900 or semi open iBasso SR1.
 

Snoopy

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I’m still on the hunt for a closed back… tried the noire and the aeon x closed and they do sound quite nice indeed. They are heavily dampened however and it detracts a bit from certain music that has reverb/echo and also they are weird sounding in games sometimes.
This is mostly due to the decay being cut short … but of course that can also be a selling point.
After my vacation have to go check out the newly released Meze Liric and possibly the 820, although the weird stories around the 820 specifically do not give me confidence in them.
All in all if all fails I might just get a DT700 pro x and call it a day.


I got the Noire since a while and funny enough I really like them with ps5 open world games. Same for TV shows and movies.

For music it's a mixed back for me.. everything that's more jazz and Americana? (Johnny Cash), Neil young, female Vocals I really like the noire.

But for the stuff that's more rock/pop and fun I prefer my Focal Elegia.

But at the moment I don't feel like upgrading anymore.

I feel like if I really wanted another noticeable improvement I would have to look at the top tier monsters for 3-4k $£€.
 

Firefly00

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None of these measure very good. Audio Quest NightOwl has lowest distortion dynamic driver of any full size headphone, its the same 50mm bio cellulose driver like closed Fostex TH900 or semi open iBasso SR1.
Aeon Noire measures almost exactly on harman target, if the other DCA planars are anything to go by, it has basically no distortion.
 

watchnerd

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Aeon Noire measures almost exactly on harman target, if the other DCA planars are anything to go by, it has basically no distortion.

I thought I would enjoy ultra low distortion more than I do.

Not closed back, but even with EQ, I find myself reaching for my Senn HD6XX more often, and wearing longer, than my HE6SE.
 

Jimbob54

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Headphones that excels for music excel for gaming there is no difference. If it can do classical it can do gaming is my experience.

I had much more luck with the ether c Flow versus the noire. Noire was just to claustrophobic and felt overdamped. Very very serious though. Ether c Flow still closed of course but just open things up just enough to not cause stress and feels more dynamic.

Comfort is great but then my lcd 2 gave me a work out for my neck muscles some years back in time.
Get the Drop Ether CX. Bargain even with import taxes.
 
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Noodles

Noodles

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Get the Drop Ether CX. Bargain even with import taxes.
I have very bad experience with DCA ... i've had 4 of their headphones and only the most recent Aeon 2 did not have a significant channel imbalance. I guess their recent production runs have been better, but i am always weary...
 

pk500

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I got the Aeon 2 Noire recently and they sound really good. I use them for my ps5 as well.

Really beautiful for music like Neil young, Meiko Kaji , Grace Maya, the more recent releases of nick cave (like ghostseen). John Lennon and Johnny cash

But for more bass heavy music and rock/Metall I prefer my Focal elegia
Funny, it's the opposite for me. My Elegia are fantastic for strings, acoustic, mellow rock, classical, alt-country, bluegrass, Americana and not so hot for hard rock despite the nice bass punch of the Elegia.
 
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