• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Headphone advice, accurate Cans needed

Thomas savage

Power hungry desperado
The Watchman
Patreon Donor
Feb 24, 2016
uk, taunton
Now that I think about it,
$80 ??? Why the hell you all of a sudden getting so cheap?
There for a freind, he asked my advice ( fool:D) and I said I'd ask some guys who really know.
, I also thought it's something we don't really talk about so took the opportunity to start a thread. He wanted accurate Cans.


Major Contributor
Jan 12, 2017
I have been fortunate to have three of the older versions. I owned some of the 1980's vintage Stax Lamda Pro earspeakers. I had the adapter and drove them with whatever power amp was on hand. They were nice, open, detailed and fast sounding yet I didn't consider them more revealing than my electrostatic loudspeakers. Simply didn't use them enough so sold them. Had some of the SR80 electrets from Stax. Similar sound for less money and bulk. Still power amplifier driven.

I also happened upon some of the original Koss ESP9 electrostats. Driven by an amplifier too. These had a smooth warm sound which I preferred for most music actually. Still I didn't keep them as you are stuck in your listening room connected to a power amp so why not listen to speakers.

So for real portable on the move use I settled on some Nakamichi SP7's for about a decade. Then had a fling with Grado SR60, SR80 and briefly SR225s. They seemed good yet always ended up being fatiguing to me. Too hot in the upper mids and hard sounding. Then some Beyer DT880's which I still like. Most recently some Sony 7510s.

So none of this tells you much about current planars. I think I would view them much like the old Stax. While they might not need 150 watts to drive them, they almost surely need some headphone amp that isn't exactly truly portable. So again if I have to carry around an amp it will end up used mostly at home, and I have speakers I enjoy more.
So a used stax can might seem like a worthwhile investment... My headphone listening is mainly for listening in the salon late at night when neighbors (or the girlfriend) don't want to be disturbed. In fact, I think that if one combines a SOTA headphone with a HRTF-thingy like this one, it might beat out most domestic hifi systems. Still comes at a hefty price, though.
Last edited:

March Audio

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Mar 1, 2016
Perth Western Australia
Any love for planar or electrostatic headphones here on the forum?

They are laughably far out of Thomas' (and my) budget, of course, but I recently had the chance to audition the Hifiman Edition X V2. I kinda thought planar headphones was a gimmick and audiophile bling. But that's the first headphones I've ever heard which I truly loved, and which I can envision listening to for hours on end. Very resolving and completely non-fatiguing.

I have no idea whether one can find cheaper used headphones using a similar design. Perhaps.
Yep, I have Oppo PM1. Whilst the top end could be a bit brighter whats there is crystal clear. They are the only cans that managed to move me off my HD650s. I also have a pair of PM3s for the office. Again excellent clarity. I wanted to audition Audeze, but they aren't available around here. BTW I have no idea what the fuss is about the HD800s. Cant stand them bright yuck blah.

My PM1s go very well with my Mojo dac.
Top Bottom