Hi everyone, so I’m fed up with messing around with different headphones and gear and I’m looking to go complete endgame and just set and forget for good. Willing to spend up to 3k AUD maximum. So uber high-end headphones like the Abyss 1266, Susvara, LCD-4z, Utopia etc. are just out of the question. Still, have to pay the bills……
I currently have a Fostex TH-600, Focal Elegia, Burson Fun amp and an SMSL SU-8 V2 DAC. I recently bought the Focal Elegia, but I have found that I prefer the sound of the 600 overall. But both are still missing… something.
I am thinking of selling almost all my audio gear and buying the RME ADI-2 DAC which from what I’ve been reading, seems to be the best “value” overall high-end DAC/amp on the market.
Now, headphones. I mainly listen to metal, rock and hardcore music. But I will very occasionally venture outside these genres as well. Sound signature wise I want excellent bass quantity and quality with plenty of slam, impact and weight. Of course, excellent, meaty and forward mids and clear/crisp but non-sibilant or fatiguing highs. I would consider bass the most important end of the frequency range. I can deal with imperfect mids and treble somewhat, but bass-lacking headphones are a complete no-go.
I basically want an improved Fostex TH series sound, but with better, more forward mids and non-sibilant treble. If that exists. I have heard the Fostex 610 and the 900 and very much liked both. But the 900 just needs more forward mids and to tame that sibilant treble! If they did that, it would be perfection.
I have heard the Audeze LCD-X and LCD-2 and didn’t really like them as they sounded somewhat muddy/fuzzy compared to the clarity of the Focal and Hifiman. But haven’t heard any of the higher-end models, or any of the closed-backs. So I won’t go as far as to dismiss the whole line completely, based on my limited experience with those two.
The best headphone I have ever heard is the Focal Stellia, even better than the Hifiman Susvara (which I have also heard), but I felt its price was ridiculous (just like the Susvara) in comparison to the similar sounding and much less expensive Clear and even the Elegia.
Headphones I have been looking into or considered:
· Meze Empyrean
· Mr Speakers Ether C/Flow Closed
· Focal Clear
· Hifiman Arya or Ananda (heard the Ananda and liked it, but went with the Elegia instead because I thought it sounded clearer and more forward, but in practice, is lacking in bass quantity and impact somewhat and is quite fatiguing for long listening and unforgiving of bad material (a bit of buyers remorse perhaps?))
· Hifiman HE-6se?
· Fostex 909?
· LCD-3 Fazor or XC?
· Sony Z1R?
· Denon D7200
· Beyerdynamic T1, T5p, Amiron, 1770, 1990
· One of the ZMFs?
· Campfire Audio Cascade
· Sennheiser 820, 800s, or 660s
Any thoughts and opinions would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.