4xx upgrade under $1000usd

I’ve been enjoying my 4xx powered by the ifi xdsd. But I’m getting ready for an upgrade! My budget this time around will be anything under $1000usd.

In your opinion, are there any headphones under $1000usd that would be a significant upgrade?

I will be continuing to use the xdsd, unless there is a portable dac/amp solution that may be better.


1 Like

What do you like to listen to, and what elements of the 4xx would you like to improve upon?

1 Like

Well…I’m hesitant to answer this question because I’m still in the discovery phase. The 4xx was my first hifi set. But I enjoy the soundstage and bass extension. However, I played around with the eq a lot. In the end, my favorite sound was a parametric eq modeled on the harmen target and measured by oratory 1990. I didn’t enjoy the 4xx with no eq as I found the low end inexistant and the highs too sharp for my young ears. I do enjoy keeping plenty of detail though, but the 4xx I found to be shouty especially with rock.

It’s probably worth noting that I listen to every genre. So something versatile that can handle electronic, hip-hop, and more intimate stuff like folk and classical would be ideal.

I’d recommend something like a Focal Elex seeing as it’s coming up to sale time.

Amazing value.

Extremely dynamic really fun bass it SLAMS

Warm very tastefully done

Mid range magic it’s forward but not shouty


Soundstage is I’d say perfect not too exaggerated and great for songs that play with placement of instruments… and a bit of verticality

Treble can be harsh on the wrong amp that amp you’ve got will most likely be fine though. With a smooth amp it really helps

And on sale is $550 - $500 really nice.

In every way an excellent upgrade choice for a 4XX.

If you wanted to stay planar LCD2C

1 Like

Thanks for the detailed advice! Already got the elex on my short list. Looks like a good choice.

1 Like

I just bought a pair of Hifiman Ananda. Decent deal at 700USD

1 Like

Thanks, I’ll check them out