Ok so Stax is ridiculous. Not gonna buy those, far to expensive. Monoprice tried to bring out one but failed. The Koss ones have been out forever, would think theres been advancements since those came out, including the Drop ones. So who’s got the latest and greatest cool cheap awesome electrostatic headphone? Is one coming out soon?
IMO, still the Koss 95x. It’s really the benchmark imo for a estat under 1k.
Ok so i just bought the Koss 95x, Zeos has a coupon on his youtube channel under the community section for 100$ off the 500$ price. Thanks Zeos! But ive been watching his Electrostatic reviews and reading web reviews all day about Electrostatic headphones. Zeos Says the Stax L700 is endgame and praised it to the heavens. says if he had to pick just one headphone it would be this. It costs 1400$ not counting the amp. I want it so bad, but my life would explode.
The problem with the estats in the headphone market is fewer people know about them or care. One reason for this i think is the cost of the headphone and the amp to power them. they require special amps. they usually cost the same or more than the headphone itself. why? idk. this combination makes for a very expensive proposition indeed.
So it seems this segment of the headphone market is dominated by Stax. They have the best it seems but unfortunately their price reflects that
Zeos seems to like the L700 best. Apparently the L300 anniversary edition is the same as the L700. The L500 is the same as the L300 just better built. they also have their 007 and 009 headphones which for some reason is not considered better than the L700. And of course their amps are crazy expensive.
Other companies who are trying to crack this market is Koss, Mr Speakers, Monoprice, Hifiman and King Sound. Am i missing anybody?
Koss only has one estat headphone that Zeos says is great, the 950 or drops 95x. This is the only estat they have come out with. This is what i bought but it doesnt come close to the L700.
Monoprice tried with theirs but it’s mediocre and the charger lacks enough power, giving them low volume. Also they didnt bother to make them compatible to the common Stax type charger amplifiers.
King Sound made a bad first step with the H-03 which Zeos hated. But seems to have made a comeback with their KS-H2,KS-H3 and KS-H4 which are well reviewed. but its hard to find these for sale anywhere. ive seen the h3 and h4 on sale for about 700$ and 800$ on ebay, i dont know how much the amp costs, probs around 1000$ this is still too expensive.
Hifiman came out with the Jade estat headphone. Its about Headphone: $1399, amp $1599 crazy expensive so who cares? Valour gave it a negative review anyway.
MrSpeakers came out with the Voce (pronounced Vo-che) Its gotten good reviews but its a insane 4000$ And i dont know how it stacks up to the L700. Zeos has yet to review it. seems very few people have reviewed it.
So we still need a electrostatic savior. like a Drop Blon B20 or Sendy Aiva for estats. Something that can come close to the L700 yet costs a decent uninflated price with a decent priced amp. We could have had one with Monoprice but they droped the ball. Maybe Koss will rise up to the challange. Maybe a company we haven’t even heard of yet.
isn’t that the 95x? sure it’s not as good but its a cheaper estat. but I would be surprised if they weren’t working on cheap estats cheap IEM estats are coming lout like the shuoer tape. maybe monolith could come out with something. but estats seem to be a lot more complicated because ot only do you have to design headphones you need a amp with that a well.
well Zeos calls the 95x a entry level estat. i believe theres lots of room for improvement. with modern technology and with all we know about electrostatic by now, we are due for the great cheap estat which we haven’t gotten yet. I would pay up to 600$ for it.
I’m pretty excited for the kaldas research conquest RR1, I haven’t personally heard it but from the onions of people who have they bat well above their msrp, even if we factor in their energiser needs.
I also just bought the Koss 95x using Zeos’ coupon. I said I was done with headphone purchases for the year, but 20% off is tough to pass up. I too have had my eye on the Stax L700. Headphones.com has them for $1250 and sells the SRM-353x amp for $975. I don’t know much about the amp itself, but it’s cheaper than the iFi iESL I had been looking at. The L700s are cheaper than buying from Stax directly too. I think the problem is that audiophile headphones are a niche interest to begin with, and estats are even more rare. I have friends who own $300 headphones that don’t even know estats exist.
As much as people complain about them, I think Drop is doing an incredible job at putting this hobby out in a somewhat mainstream fashion. They have sold a fair amount of 95x since they launched them, and maybe that’s enough to inspire them to expand their estat offerings. Maybe other manufacturers see that there is a market for them too. Outside of that though, because of the special amp requirement, I think this will always be an extremely niche corner of an already niche market. If the consensus is that Stax does it best, I’d be surprised to see others go out of their way to make them affordable. If anything, I can see them selling more expensive versions like Hifiman and Mr Speakers.
ooo! those look very interesting! i guess they arent available for sale yet. but the price they say is 500$ i wonder how much the amp will cost
they don’t come with one, third party is the only option afaik
Just doing a quick search on the Stax 353 amp and I’m mostly seeing positive reviews. I don’t see too many 252s for sale, but reviews of North American units seem to say that they have a lot of problems. The mini SRM-D10 unit looks cool for $899, but if I go the Stax route I don’t see the need for a portable sized unit. I’m going to keep an eye out for the Kaldas. Hopefully they turn out as good as the prototypes look
The Sonoma M1 is an estat I recently bought and is excellent. Really great stuff
I was looking at the m1s and aperio estats and the only thing that gives me pause is its proprietary connectors (which seems different for each headphone model) which limits the Energizers I can use with it
That’s true but there is some pretty cool dsp tech in that energizer, and tbh it’s probably the best match for it anyway
nah you’d want to stick with the energiser, they’re not normal bias, and dsped
(so they won’t work with stax energisers, or anything else for that matter)
Pretty much yeah. Very happy with it already, don’t think I want to go through the hassle of recreating the dsp on another amp lol (along with modding the cable)
I do wonder if you can use the m1 on the aperio amp
Hmmm, you would need that cable with the aperio, and I would assume it would use similar connections, but idk. I also don’t know if they sell the system without the headphones lol
probably not, the dsp is most likely specific too, oh well
Most likely so. It has to be a fairly complicated dsp as well, as it sounds really great and honestly at first listen I probably wouldn’t know there was dsp correction going on. I can typically pick out when something has some processing going on unless its pretty good processing
Yeah It’s just I’m planning a custom estat rig with a power amplifier, Ifi pro iesl and a schiit freya + for optional toobiness and volume control. And with adapters I can conceivably run any five or 6 pin estat with that.