Does this seem like a good upgrade?

Started with AKG 550 closed headphones - stolen
Now using Fidelio X2HR open
used both of these with just an android phone
I prefer the open sound of the Fidelios though i did like the AKGs when i had them.

After a lot of video and forum reading I’m planning on getting
Hifiman Sundara
Ifi hip-dac
and balanced cables from periapt. These 3 items are pretty much the top of my budget does it seem like a good upgrade. i also put in an offer on a pair of Hifman anadas but probably won’t be able to get them for what i offered. If i did get anadas do you think the ifi hip-dac would power them sufiently?

I mostly listen to 80’s,90’s alt, britpop, indie
Thanks, for any help or suggestions

The Sundara’s are a great headphone. I didnt really like the Ananda found it a little too bright with midrange too recessed. I’d try the Massdrop edition XX instead. Pretty sure the hipdac can power all these headphones.

Welcome to Hifiguides,

You should be fine for Sundara or the Ananda. Neither are particularly demanding they just require a decent amp to drive them. As far as upgrade? The fidelios have a better bass and wide sound to them in comparison to the Sundara. Sundara is much brighter because fidelio is a warm headphone and it’s very smooth. You will be trading that really deep bass for a higher treble and high frequency and a well balanced and detailed mid frequency these are really neutral bright. As for the Ananda these are like the Sundara but a little brighter and much more open sound. bass is more prominent here though and detail seems to be across the board better and smoother. However, like Ant said… they are brighter and the mids are definitely recessed instead making this a V signature isntead of a Neutral Bright like the sundara. Edition XX is like the Sundara as it caters more to a Neutral Bright but same design as the ananda. Upgrade in this case would be more subjective and depend entirely on whether you like a bright signature.

Thank you, for the replies very helpful. I think I’ll just go with the Sundaras as this setup is already way more than i have ever spent on headphones equipment.

I decided to dive instead of jump and just ordered the Ananda. Got them for 600 no tax or shipping open box direct from hifiman. i already received my hip-dac which is working great smaller than i thought it would be. Ordered a set of balanced cables from heart cables.

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Ah, the ananda. That’s a good one. bit of a headsup though if you think its a bit too bright, and hifiman will offer a return, you can switch over to the edition xx which is the same headphone just a bit different on the tuning

I received my Anandas today. Not sure but they sound like they are slightly off balance to the left side. I’m going to have a few people listen to them before i contact customer support. It might just be i’ve heard so much about QC im imagining things. Overall i like them but not a lot more than my fidelios these may be ones i end up selling down the road. the X2HR seem to have a much wider soundstage. I do need to burn the new headphones in which getting started on tonight. So far the brightness hasnt been a big issue i listened to some tori amos and liz phair and i did turn the volume down slightly. What do you think the best headphone for detail and soundstage in the 600 or less category would be?

hmm… if were talking open backs for good detail and large soundstage… Probably DT 1990 or Focal Elex. I would like to say Sennheiser but the always never seem to have that very large soundstage from the ones I have tried but 660 s is really good. Oh, and the Koss 95x would probably fit there too

Thanks if i sell the Anandas i think I will try either the Elex or Koss 95x. I worry about the DT 1990 being too bright and i heard you have to mod them to run them balanced. Thanks again for all of your help really appreciated!

Elex is very good, and very open, but not a very expansive soundstage, IMO. Something like the K712 might give more of the soundstage, but detail may be somewhat lacking relatively speaking, and bass will be on the light side, I believe.

Yeah, those are bass light and despite the very large soundstage it provides it isn’t very accurate.

I’m not sure I would consider the 95X to have a very large sound stage, but they do represent space very well. With those headphones, I feel I can “hear the space” more than any other headphone I’ve tried. I’m not sure if that makes sense… They are a great headphone though, very easy to listen to.

I definitely want to get a pair of the Koss 95x even if I do keep the Anandas. I’m liking the Anandas more as i spend more time with them. I think i just got spoiled only spending 100 dollars on the fidelios. I also have discovered i have a pretty small head. I have the adjustment all the way down. Do you think getting a headband wrap around the leather would help them sit a little higher . They feel comfortable it just seems like the just be slightly elevated by maybe .25 inch to an .5 inch on my ears

Is this still an issue? You can do a couple this to make sure, switch L and R channels and if it is still on the L side it is probably the headphone. If it is now the R channel, it is probably the amp.

Also can try running mono (change settings in your computer I think) and see if the sound is dead center or still towards the left

I had a couple people listen and they thought they sounded center. I also tried The Beatles in Mono box set and that sounds good. I am using USB Player on android and also tried sending the balance to all left and all right and each sounded the same in volume. When i first tried them i thought instead of the vocal being dead center to me it sounded maybe an inch off dead center if that makes any sense at all. No one else seems to hear this so maybe its just me. i will try the cable swap and see if it changes anything

The thing with the x2s is that they are wider than most headphones on the market. They may not have the technical capabilites or soundstage depth details of higher end headphones but will almost always sound wider. They are a great buy at 100-150 imo and the only issue I ever had with them was siblance on S and T sounds.

It’s too bad phillips never pursued the higher end market. I wonder what their sound engineers could have produced at the 500-1000 dollar range.

they might be working towards it at some point. X3 and shp9600 should be out soon and are more expensive models.