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Search for perfectionism: Upgrade audio gear chain

a problem is the Tidal exlusive mode to support the full mqa decoding. This could not work here, I will check if the MQA Decoder in may NAD CS1 works i could use this
If you're adamant that you need to change your source gear to get better sound, at least don't get hung up on MQA support as the thing that won't let you pick the gear you want based on other criteria. MQA is not lossless, but that's the minimum it should be when it calls itself "master quality". Tidal are not delivering what they promised with MQA, and that makes it a scam.

As for EQ, if you really want to get serious about it, forget Oratory, forget the Harman Target, you are not a population-average dummy head with microphones in your standardized ear canals, you are a unique human being with your own personal HRTF. :) (See my signature.)
And one thing which is understandable but a problem is the Tidal exlusive mode to support the full mqa decoding. This could not work here, I will check if the MQA Decoder in may NAD CS1 works i could use this and as example the EQ in the RME instead the Software eq on windows.

R.I.P. MQA 2014-2023:
Hyped product thanks to uneducated, uncritical advocates & captured press.
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I think you've achieved your search for perfectionism. :facepalm:
First of all this should not a debat over MQA. I know that is not loseless it is dead and Tidal will come back to the light of way named flac. But currently there are some songs i like on tidal which sounds better if i use the exlcusive mode and the the mqa variante. So and i don`t want exclude theme. Tidal has a problem which version they stream and i send a support request some time ago. It seems to be that there algorithm prefer mqa variants over flac if you have a mqa decoder in your signal chain in comparison that both (flac and mqa) have the same values (khz and bit). I hope they change it but i live know and not in the future so my decision based on the state today.

The secound one is that i don`t want use a pc in my audio chain that is my preference and other people have other preferences that is okay. So if i see in further tests that an eq brings the efford i will look into if i could integrate these experience with hardware.

Currently i use APO to find out how i can use an eq for my hearing experiences and the current resuts are more frustating as happy but @abm0 have right i must find it out.
First of all this should not a debat over MQA.
No, yeah, I just reacted to the most striking thing I saw on the topic since others had already answered your main issue correctly: considering the gear you already have, what you can improve are #1 your headphones, #2 your frequency tuning via EQ.

For #1 I can recommend the same thing I did where after the DT880 I upgraded to an entry-level HiFiMan planar magnetic which was the HE-400i, and got an impressive difference in terms of better imaging, suddenly a depth-axis existing for the soundstage, and better behavior when EQ-ing the bass up (the DT880 didn't give me adequate bass no matter how I tried to push it). Today you could make this transition for even less money as the HE-400SE exists.

But if perfectionism means you're willing to spend substantial amounts and jump straight to what you find recommended as "endgame" gear that could be good enough for the rest of your life, I would have to mention the cheap (depending on second-hand offers) electrostatic system Massdrop x Koss ESP/95X as the best I've heard and my current critical-listening set, or if you don't want to deal with the special energizer I've heard people comparing its capabilities to the likes of the HiFiMan Edition XS, Ananda Stealth or Arya (old or Stealth). In any case, if you like a big soundstage, I absolutely recommend going for tall oval earcups and moving away from circular cups.

For EQ, again if this all means you're willing to spend money for better sound, I don't understand why you're so hung up on the idea of free EQ on PC. You can get 60-band parametric EQ in Neutron Player on Android for only 10 USD or so, and do all the frequency response fine-tuning you could possibly want. The only solution more fine-grained than that would be a convolver, which you can find in Rootless JamesDSP for free (but might not work well with all sound player apps, and requires way more work to create and update tunings).

More software recommendations here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...dows-linux-macos-ios-ipados-and-android.18450
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Hello @abm0 thanks for clarifying. I will look into the Hifiman HE400se thanks for the tip.

I don't understand why you're so hung up on the idea of free EQ on PC.

I am not really depend on it it is only a way of trying how it is transform my expectation of hearing. Until i start this thread i had no contact with the idea of using an eq. But i will look into the link tip to find alternative software.

I know perfectionism is very subjectiv to my expectation of hearing. But adjust lit screws should be possible in the signal chain
So many songs later.. I compared my Beyerdynamic DT880 Black Edition with the Hifiman HE400SE and Hifiman Sundara. And wow the soundstage in comparison is amazing with the Hifimans. I like it so much. In my subjective opinion the positioning of instruments (in live concerts) is with the HE400SE a little bit easier in comparison to the Sundara. But the Sundara soundstage is (compare to DT) amazing.


I will send back both hifiman`s and it hurts because the wearing comfort is horrible. With my DTs i can hear hours of music but with the hifeman HE400SE the preasure on my head is for me to high. With the sundara its a little bit better but far far way to the comfort of the dt. The wearing comfort was also the point to decide switching from DT 770 Pro to the 880 Editions.

Maybe some of you have a alternative tip for an headphone in the price range.

After more test i switch some of the components in my current chain.


I`ve decided to change from my Topping DX5 Pro to the RME Adi 2 DAC FS. Differences are huge enough in with default settings and i will experiment with the eq.


Also i move up from the Beyerdynamic DT 880 Black Editions to the Audio Technic R70X. That have a huge impact of hearing.


Much more better sound by default


My NAD CS 1 stream cannot defolde the whole mqa signal so i`ve got not the "whole" experience from this case but i hope Tidal will implement the feature of prefer FLAC over MQA to have the choice.

Thanks for all tips here
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