Beginner looking for loud headphones without compromises

I’m looking for headphones that have “concert sound.” I want the bass to hit like 12" subs or better, and the mids and highs to sound great. I’m not that concerned with imaging and soundstage, although I can appreciate it.

I listen to EDM almost exclusively and need headphones that can produce skull shaking bass. But not have terrible mids and/or highs.

I previously was using the Sennheiser HD8 DJs, which have great bass. Couldn’t ask for more. But the mids are absolute sh*t. It sounds like you’re listening with a glass to your ear against a door. Really muffled or subdued sounding. I’ve tried EQ’ing but it didn’t really help. I powered them with a Schiit Magni 3 (2019 version?).

I’m now using Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pros, with SMSL THX 888 amp. The clarity, mids, highs, are great. I EQ’d the treble at 8.5K down to -5 dB, as that seems to be the cause of their brightness. It’s accurate sounding, pleasant… But the bass doesn’t have enough “oomf” to it. Especially the low end. It’s like listening to a really good ported 6" desktop speaker, it can get close to reproducing the low end but it can’t do it with AUTHORITY like a 12" or 15" sub can do.

I also really need it to get obnoxiously loud without distorting or clipping. The DT 1990 Pros start to distort at high volumes, there’s a blurriness to the music, I can’t quite describe it. Almost like an echo.

I should probably also mention that I have a Koss KPH30i. It’s similar to the DT 1990 Pros but with less bass, and more detail in the upper midrange. They also start to clip at high volumes.

My Sennheiser HD8 DJs never clipped or distorted at high volumes, or at least not in a way that I found noticeable. That’s what I’m looking for, I want that obnoxiously loud, deep bass, but not have to compromise on great midrange and treble (vocals, instruments).


Maybe look at some of the Fostex sets Like the Purplehearts and Ebony’s they deliver bass bang for buck


I looked at the Ebony, since it’s more neutral without the “V” shape sound of the others. My HD8 DJs are very V shaped, so I definitely don’t want that.

From the reviews, especially one calling it “king of bass,” I think I would really love them. Unfortunately they’re still out of stock on drop.

You might wanna try the Harmonicdyne Helios 180$. Has very nice low end and can get very loud. its a dynamic driver headphone. U shaped. very good treble also and high detail. not a lot of soundstage but has a big open sound

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Other than that i think you can get very loud with planars without distortion.But if you want crazy bass the Fostex Purple Hearts have the most bass i hear. but you’ll have to find them used

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This is what is needed. Big driver size for driver sized authority and sound.
No tiny headphone can do it. Honestly.

Have you looked at the campfire audio Cascades? It’s known for its bass

No headphone is ever going to feel like a big sub.
There are plenty with a lot of Bass, but that won’t have the visceral feel.
How much are you looking to spend.


V shape doesn’t necessarily translate to bad mids, it just means they are recessed in comparison to the rest of the range and the recession can vary from just a little to waaay far back. Imo the x00s do have a recession but still maintain a good level of detail and clarity and if you want huge bass quantity you will probably have a hard time finding that on a neutral tuning. It’s also my understanding they are discontinued by drop/fostex so regardless of which model you’re looking for you’re better off looking used or through a reseller. If you’re interested in the ebony you may also consider the emu-teaks which are very similarly tuned


Have you heard the Floyd Rose FR-52? One review of the Cascades said the Floyd Rose was the same bass and about the same sound quality but more comfortable and a LOT cheaper.

Money is not so much an issue as is the need to get something that sounds the best. E.g. if an Audeze LCD-X for $1700 provides loud and powerful low end bass and overall great sound quality, I’d buy that.

If that’s the case, the final d8000 pro is great for very high volume listening, and has great bass that hasn’t distorted from my experience. Haven’t read the thread fully yet so lemme do that real quick. Also you want to consider amp pairing so you don’t handicap your headphones. If you wanted to spend a bit less on the amp to offset the cost of the headphones, the violectric v281 is a powerhouse that preforms very well and would also add a bit of sweetness to the sound as well. If you can spend more on the amp try and go for something like a cavalli liquid gold or find a niimbus us4+, solid picks imo. For a dac for that setup, you want something very authoritative and also very impactful for the low end, I would look into something like a berkely alpha series 2 as your dac

Even at this range here will be compromises that you can’t really avoid, you kinda have to judge what compromises you want to make

Being more serious here, the x00 purpleheart is a good pick and imo if you pair it with like an asgard 3 it would be very solid sounding for sure, with great impact and extension that can really slam. You would just have to look on the used market.

A planar is a safe pick because of their reduced distortion at higher volumes, so that would be a good idea to think about imo. Perhaps see if you can find a deal on a lcd 2 classic, that might be something you enjoy imo, although a bit darker in the treble but still prominent enough imo. The lcd x isn’t a bad choice, used you can find them in the 900 range for the creator package, so perhaps that also might be something to consider, although it’s not the most prominent in the bass range compared to the lcd 2 classic


“Beginner looking for loud headphones without compromise”…so it’s a D8000 pro or LCD-X :headphones: :dash: ?


The review of the Final D8000 Pro edition said the low end was sacrificed a little to provide more midrange compared to the Final D8000. So I’d prefer the latter.

The d8000 is more midrange focused, and the d8000 pro is more v shaped in comparison from my experience, and the way it handles higher volume is more satisfactory on the pro imo. The pro had the subbass and treble a tad more elevated than the 8000 imo also a bit more intimate and aggressive than the tad wider and more relaxed 8000 imo. The bass on the 8000 pro is very linear where on the 8000 it tends to have a bit of a bass hump and then roll off a tad. Also the 8000 pro has better bass impact and slam than the 8000 from my experience

Also one of the reasons why I mentioned the violectric v281 was that it adds a bit more into the lower midrange where the 8000 pro takes a dip in, and also a bit of extra warmth overall. It also has the power and control to really make it deliver. The berkeley dac give it the detail and a pretty accurate sound that is pretty neutral, and would really have synergy with the amp

Again though this would be very overkill for a setup like this

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I’ve watched a lot of reviews from Zeos and he mentioned that planars are hard to drive, yet I’m looking at the impedance and it’s very low, like 20 ohms? Wouldn’t that make just about any amp drive them well? My SMSL THX 888 would be putting around 5W x2 into 20 ohm headphones.

And this is a little off topic but what can I expect from a DAC upgrade, as I’m only using a “studio quality” DAC from my PC’s motherboard? (I think the DAC was something like “AKG…” I spent hours trying to find the specs but only found one site mention it in passing, and then I forgot the details)

I was originally looking at the Aune X8 “Magic” DAC since Zeos praised it so much.

So it’s not only the impedance, it’s also the sensitivity of the headphones as well. The d8000 pro is 60 ohms impedance iirc with 98 mw sensitivity, which is decently efficient, but giving it a stronger amp gives more control over the headphone and also allows you to push it harder without strain in your case. You also don’t only buy an amp for power, also sound quality as a higher end amp will increase the performance of the headphones overall

So it would power the 8000 pro just fine, but imo it wouldn’t sound ideal, the thx amps tend to fall apart with higher end headphones and you really hear the flaws of that amp

So for the most part, you will get a cleaner signal with more gain, elevated technicalities overall, and also a more even response with more consistent signature throughout the range, and reduced harshness or brittleness.

So it’s a solid dac, but it’s in a weird place price range. If you are curious on a bit more detailed thoughts, I gave some in the aune x8 thread. I personally think there is a bit of a performance gap between around 200-700 for dacs where you are better off grabbing one of the excellent dacs in the 100 range like the topping e30 or the earmen donald dac, and then saving up until you can get into stuff like the bifrost 2, soekris 1421, etc. You also want to make sure the rest of your headphones and amps are up to snuff before going for a higher end dac


Also, before you go this route (this is really too overkill imo), perhaps consider this setup: Grab an asgard 3 amp and a topping e30 dac, then try out your 1990 and see if it still needs eq (also what pads are you using on the 1990?), and then see if you can find a good price on an x00 purpleheart imo


Also if you wanted the closest to a sub in a headphone, the haptic monitoring solution might be a good choice

If he wants a speaker like presentation with bass would the Hifiman Edition X Or the MAssdrop Edition XX be a good idea? with its large drivers and warmth?

I wouldn’t say those are speaker like, but they are larger and impactful. That being said, the larger hifiman drivers have issues with very high volumes as they tend to have compression issues at high spl