Best 'fun' headphones to upgrade from M50x w/ No Amp/Dac?

Yo folks, slightly new to the audiophile hobby but I have done SO MUCH researching on different headphones to get a good upgrade from my M50x’s.

I find that the soundstage is a little too small and the sound is kind of boring to jam to music to. Currently, I’m not using an AMP/DAC (never used one before) and i’m just using my computer audio jack and I know I should at least invest in either of those for a more comfortable experience. I also do own the Focal Elex but yet again I have no DAC/AMP to pair it with. I’ve listened to the Elex by itself on my computer audiojack and obviously the soundstage and bass is good, however, I can’t help but notice I get some sort of fatigue listening to them (Could be an EQ thing, I haven’t messed with EQ for either headphone, if there are any EQ recommendations for elex i’ll take em).

So my point is: I’d like another headphone to upgrade from the M50x with a DAC/AMP combo, that’s not too neutral/boring but not overly muddy like the M50x. The price range for both the headphones and the AMP/DAC would preferably be around 600$ total, and i’d like to pair the amp/dac not only with the recommended headphones but also my Focal Elex. If there are headphones that are considered more “fun” to listen to (Looking at the sony MDR z7 and Fostex TR-X00, Any Hifiman stuff, and generally Planar Magnetic Headphones) than that would be appreciated.

Just lookin for recommendations to a noob.

maybe Laudeze LCD 1’s could be a good start…

Well, what do you listen to and what do you want to get out of this newer pair? Also what dac amp are you thinking about?

I think if he finds the sound boring of the m50x, he might find the lcd 1 a bit too boring tbh

… what is boring exactly with the m50x?

I currently listen to mostly electronic, however I somewhat often listen to orchestral types of music. I’m looking to get better soundstage and a less boring tone than the M50x’s. Elexes do good but i’m lookin for another pair for flavor in my headphones. As for DAC/AMp’s, i’m not too well versed. Im not certain if the anything the Schiit series has to offer is worth buying. I might spend 100$ max on DACs/AMPs.

And yes, I find the M50x’s ultimately boring and they underwhelm me with dissapointment because it feels like there is no color, power, or depth in soundstage to them. Even elex does WAY better with bass, which was the job of the M50x it seems (as well as being semi-neutral) ofc. I just want more of a thrill listening to music rather than accuracy.

If you wanted an exciting planar, perhaps what about a hifiman edition xx? I think you might really enjoy that

For dac amp, I would recommend bumping your budget by 50 bucks and picking up a fiio k5 pro

I’d have to look into it. I hear a lot of good for Hifiman products. I hear they require no DAC/AMP? Or should I purchase one?

sendy aiva or blon B20 could be a choice too from what people say. or argons

at this level of gear they would definitely benefit from one

Yeah, I would really suggest an amp with any planar

Any well rounded DAC/AMP combo you can recommend, I could easily stretch the price range. Is Schiit Fulla 2 not that good?

Ehhh those are good and exciting but I feel like the elex actually might be too similar. The xx would be pretty different

I mean the fiio k5 pro comes to mind for great bang for buck

@Kui_The_Panda the fulla is pretty bad I would aim for at least a stack but the k5 pro should be adequte

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Curious. How similar is the elex to the Sendy Aiva/Blon B20? And what makes the Hifiman Edition XX different?

So the sendy would be more aggressive imo, and have a recessed mid-range, but the thing is, alot of people I know that have both use the elex the majority of the time tbh, just something I have observed. Both are detail heavy but the elex has more detail and is more refined imo (and personally I find the elex more enjoyable)

Sounds like the Hifiman Edition XX will be a nice spice then. What’s the sound signature and all that like with the XX?

The Elex is really hard to beat as a headphone. and it shouldn’t be fatiguing. I suggest you get a DAC/amp first, and listen to Elex on that, and make sure you even need another headphone.

I often hear recommended the JDS Labs atom amplifier and a topping d10. together about a hundred and sixty bucks.

It could be your sound card is colored with treble which could be making the elex fatiguing

So the xx is a massdrop product as well. It is a bit of a darker signature, but is still detailed with great bass and a good midrange. It has great impact and has a almost wall of sound presentation because of the diver size. It can go very wide or be intimate at times, with good placement in stage. It just has a very interesting sound that most headphones can’t replicate