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Tin Man

Musical Headphone Recommendations under $1500

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Hey Folks

I'm after recommendations for an end game set of headphones as my musical needs/preferences have taken a turn since I've moved onto "Tidal" with a premium subscription.

It's introduced me to so many new artists that I can listen to in MQA, which has been refreshing to say the least.

I have accumulated a few cans over the years, but have decided to sell them all and put the money towards a single pair that I can run on both my amps.

 

My current music storage is my phone (with USB type C connection) and I'm selling all my DAP's in the near future.

The amps I am keeping are my beloved Chord Mojo for portable and Darkvoice 366se for home use.

Now I want a pair of cans that can run on both amps initially. I don't see myself ever replacing the Mojo unless it dies on me. However the Darkvoice 366se's might go one day.

 

For portable I now use my phone + Mojo + Bluetooth AptX adapter (giving me MQA streaming). I use a pair of sabbat e12 ultras (for wireless) and Etymotic ERX4R's/ Blon 03's/ Tin P1's for cabled

I'm selling my LCD2's (too heavy), Beyerdynamic T90's (too bright) and HiFiMan 4XX's (meh sounding), buy I'm keeping my pair of Sennhieser HD650's

Also getting rid of my FiiO X3ii's, FiiO M6's, FiiO X5iii's and FiiO A5 amp.

With the pooled $$$ from their sale, I wish to get a pair of "Musical Headphones" that I can use at home with the Darkvoice  366se (which at this stage is staying for the foreseeable future).

If  or when I replace it, I'll probably get something that has balanced inputs.

 

So please recommend some headphones Open or Closed that could run on my Darkvoice 366se's AND Mojo, which I'll also use at home on the odd occasion. 

I listen to Vocal/Uplifting Trance, Classical/Jazz/Blues, Post Modern Jukebox, Moby and just about anything well recorded.

I don't wish to be analytical with my taste anymore as much as just wanting to "enjoy the music" in my Jason Recliner (I'm 57 years old)

I enjoy soundstage, separation and imaging the most

Happy to buy used, but prices for headphones appear to be at an all time low for TOTL headphones. 

Sorry for the long post!

 

Cans I've researched, but not auditioned are as follows:

Sony MDR Z1R

Beyerdynamics T1 Gen2

Focal Clear

Fostex TH900 Mk2

Mr Speakers Aeon Flow 2

 

 

Edited by Tin Man

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I would get the Beyerdynamic Amiron Home (the best Beyer in my opinion). Very musical, an even sound similar to the Senny 600 series but better soundstage and detail, with a clear yet refined treble. Incredibly underrated gem.

 

 

 

Edited by was_a

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There are Fostex TH900 Mk2 in classifieds. I like that closed design, 

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Based purely on shop audition, I'm a +1 for the Fostex TH900 as my end game.

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Z1R is quite warm. Not sure it's a stand alone end game.

 

Clear is punchy and dynamic, closer to the mark.

 

T1 is a solid nuetral choice.

 

TH900 is very V shaped. Might get sick of that.

 

Also look at maybe an Autuer or Aeolus. 

 

Edit: Oh. And HD800 with the mod or HD800S. 

Edited by Bengineer

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Super hard question. Headphones are so personal like speakers. I agree with was_a though, you really need two pairs as there really isn't a single pair that will suit your music tastes. Not sure how much you want to spend on two pairs but these would be good to audition as an all round headphone that does most things very well. For Jazz and vocals I used to really enjoy these which just had so much space to the sound and great separation of instruments. Maybe something like these if in your budget might wow you. Then again they may be too detailed, try to audition.

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Thanks for the responses.

I'm not really a fan of on ear heaphones, so the Grado's are out.

Remember I'm still keeping my HD650's which are basically my beater headphones and my usual go-to cans.

Any love for the Dan Clark Audi0 (Mr Speakers) Aeon Flow 2 or is it too early for reviews?

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6 hours ago, blakey72 said:

Super hard question. Headphones are so personal like speakers. I agree with was_a though, you really need two pairs as there really isn't a single pair that will suit your music tastes. Not sure how much you want to spend on two pairs but these would be good to audition as an all round headphone that does most things very well. For Jazz and vocals I used to really enjoy these which just had so much space to the sound and great separation of instruments. Maybe something like these if in your budget might wow you. Then again they may be too detailed, try to audition.

You certainly like your AKG's blakey

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46 minutes ago, Tin Man said:

Thanks for the responses.

I'm not really a fan of on ear heaphones, so the Grado's are out.

Remember I'm still keeping my HD650's which are basically my beater headphones and my usual go-to cans.

Any love for the Dan Clark Audi0 (Mr Speakers) Aeon Flow 2 or is it too early for reviews?

Based on your preference Grado GS1000, GS1000e and GS2000e are probably worth considering. They are  over the ear headphones and are great for jazz and classical.

The GS1000 can be have for pretty cheap second hand and is probably the pick of the bunch price vs quality wise if you can find a pair.

For the price you are thinking, a cheap second hand Stax setup might also be worth a look. A 353X with some Lambdas? I quite like the Lambda Nova Signature, but they are quite rare.

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Aeon 2 is getting good reviews. A step up from Aeon 1. I think at $1200 they probably about right. Touch pricey at the moment.

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13 hours ago, Tin Man said:

You certainly like your AKG's blakey

Well yeah I thought they were great for delicate stuff. The 701's and 702's were well known for their spaciousness. I found the bigger Grado's which have a different cup to the cheaper ones were quite comfortable and have a great sound. Some people just hate them though for sound and comfort so yeah. I don't have AKG's anymore though am thinking about getting another pair. I've got Ultrasone, Grado, Focal and Audiofly at the moment. Don't like the Focal, like the Ultra and Audiofly and love the Grado.

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On 31/01/2020 at 10:39 PM, Tin Man said:

So please recommend some headphones Open

Hi @Tin Man

 

I have my Focal Elex up for sale.

 

Very similar sound signature to Focal Clear in my opinion (I have Utopia also).

 

My Chord Mojo easily drives the Focal Elex (and entire Focal range in my opinion).

 

https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/301123-fs-massdrop-x-focal-elex-headphones-plus-focal-hard-travel-case-and-spare-earpads/

 

Cheers, Sean

 

Edited by rand129678
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Focal Clear is a major step up on HD650. Haven't compared with Elex

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How about $219.00 dollars - Beyerdynamic DT770 80 Ohm. Don't go tumbling down the rabbit hole. I got a pair of these recently and they have most definitely made me question the need for spending excessive amounts for musical enjoyment. They are a perfect match for my preferred sound signature.

 

They are the studio legends for a reason.

Edited by oldf%$ker

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I own both the Fostex TH 900mk2 and Dan Clark Audio (previous Mrspeakers) Aeon 2 closed and love them to bits. The TH900 gives you a fun and energetic sound signature with a wide soundstage while the A2C is (I feel) more tonally correct. Both are fantastic in the bass region but in different ways, the TH900 has the quantity (strong punchy dynamic bass) while the A2C has the quality (well controlled and clean). Bonus points to the A2C as it can fold up into a really small package for transport.

 

Another option I think you should also consider is the Hifiman Ananda. I think its pretty well-rounded, easy to drive (it sounds great from the mojo!) and thoroughly enjoyable for the price it is asking for.

Edited by Sound_Trooper

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if you enjoy the HD 650 I would defiantely check out the 660s, once they burn in and the pads soften they really get rid of that veil that hides detail. You enjoy soudnstage and imaging well these things significantly improve those aspects. The sound is a little more snappy and less warm than the 650 tho. It pairs great with the mojo too.

I would also encourage you to check out:
top recomendation Aeon 2 open back (even the aeon 1): It is just an amazing all-rounder that is very very hard to fault in any capacity. 
Hifiman Ananda (not sure if you will give these enough juice to shine from a mojo..)
Hifiman sundara ( step up in terms of scale and sounstage width than the 660s, places less focus on the vocals and mids and gets you to step back and view all the other instruments and pieces going on)


 

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Audio Technica - M50x - cheaper than the above but excellent sounding cans for the $.

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Focal Clear are on sale at Addicted to Audio for $1399. No association / linkage - just a happy consumer. The staff in Kew were great to deal with.

 

At 450g there aren’t light, but despite an iffy neck I have had no problems wearing them for 2-3 hour sessions.

 

I have no experience with the OP’s amps, but after 50+ hours of run time the Clears appear well partnered with Asgard 3.

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The Elear at 499 is the real bargain!

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On 22/03/2020 at 4:39 PM, Bengineer said:

The Elear at 499 is the real bargain!

Mine should arrive in the next day or two, really looking forward to them. Just couldn't resist at that price.

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Hi Tin Man, how are you going with your decision?

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