First HiFi Headphone Upgrade/Review

Yo, so I’ve been running a Scarlett Solo (3rd gen) and an Atom Amp+ for a few years now with my Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pros (250 Omhs, with oratory EQ) and decided it was time to upgrade.I’ve had the Beyers for at least 4 years now, so I ordered quite a few headphones to compare and see which one is worth upgrading to.

The candidates:

  • DT 1990 Pro, Auto-eq
  • HD600 (2020) for 300 Euros, Auto-eq
  • HiFiman Edition XS (428 Euros), Auto-eq
  • Audeze LCD-2C (829 Euros) metal571 with Reveal
  • Focal Elear with Dakoni Elex Pads (600 Euros total), should arrive tomorrow
  • Meze 109 Pro (still waiting for delivery) found them on sale (new) for 670 Euros.

To be honest, the Edition XS sounds amazing, but the build quality and QC concerns are holding me back from purchasing them (would appreciate any long-term review). Wide soundstage, very clear, bassy enough. But the build is just ugh, creaking sounds aren’t rare either which just makes it feel even cheaper. Especially when you compare it to the LCD2C, which is literally twice the price. IMO those two are kind of comparable.The LCD2Cs have a really warm, even more bassy, and relaxed sound (ofc. crazy build quality and extremely comfortable for me), just not really sure it’s worth double the asking price. The DT1990 I had for one day, and just returned them right after, because for 500 euros I was expecting to be blown away when compared to my old cans, but it just wasn’t there. Also, high mids were really piercing my skull (kind of hurt actually).
The HD600s are very nice, and neutral, there’s enough bass, although not nearly as much as the LCD2C, and the clamp force on my jaw is quite strong but I’m sure it will wear down over time. Compared to the other headphones they sound clinical. String instruments sound amazing on them, but the soundstage of the XS and LCD2C is superior. To add to that, the XS immerses me waaay more than the HD600, they just sound amazing(XS).
Buut the HD600s have an amazing build and are cheaper than both the LCD2C and XS… so yeah.

This is just an early draft of my review. I’ll let you know as soon as the other 2 headphones arrive and I’ve tested them. I’m still thinking about upgrading my Dac/Amp combo to maybe something balanced or a tube amp if I decide to keep the Elears (with Elex pads). I’d appreciate some input on that. Uhh yeah, that’s that, feel free to leave some comments and your experiences with these headphones, I’d love to hear what you think and appreciate advice.

Just a detail to add: I listen to all types of music. Jazz, Pop, Rap, Indie stuff, Metal, and Orchestra if I’m feeling fanceh, and I also game, but all of the headphones I tried so far are good for gaming, so not concerned with that aspect.

I own the XS, i dont personally dont have issues with mine (own it for a year and half) but i dont daily drive it. Ya the build kinda sucks, looked into maybe switching it out for a Sundara like headband but without an actual tutorial its too much of risk on a headphone i like and at this price range.

One thing to note, i dont know the Scarlett Solo, but the XS like most of Hifiman’s planars like clean and powerful amps

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