Gear you began to dislike with time

Don’t remember what brought this to mind, but i had a thought recently while i was on vacation. Basically it was about how much i dislike the Focal Elegia sound-wise. I used to love them, felt they were as close as you get to a closed back elex, more mature sound sig and something that i generally preferred over the elex. The focal elegia seemingly was everything that i liked, punchy, fast, neutral bright, great timbre, detail etc etc. It’s true that it’s a very good technical headphone but with time the tonal balance in particular stood out in a very very bad light. I remember listening to Stella Jang in particular and just being completely unable to get into her voice, i love her voice but the headphone was doing something that i didn’t like to it. The vocals were too bright, and almost inlated sounding. Like the vocals sounded too fake, too clean. And after that i kept on listening to it and it irritated me. The tonal balance was just off, and then with even more time i came up with a very subjective opinion on the headphone. I felt it lacked soul. I would hear tons of my gear, and it all had soul, some more than other but the elegia had zero of it. It was lifeless after that to me, which was interesting since originally i loved it. Felt like it wasn’t missing anything tbh and it was only with time that i realized that something extremely important was missing from it.

I would be curious to hear from you guys about similiar stories, where you had gear that after time passed you began to really dislike for one reason or another.


The first one that comes to mind is the Beyer T5p.2’s. I Loved them at first, but within a month or two I couldn’t listen to them without massive EQ’ing. They are the reason I bought the Schiit Loki.

From Love to Hate.

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This was the Topping L30 for me. It started out fun, clear, clean, and lots of power. But over time it became starell and lifeless to my ear. It wasn’t fun at all, making cans like the SR80e sound dead. When I picked up an Asgard3 it was a hands down upgrade!

[postscript] The L30 went into the box of outcasts, waiting to be sold. On a whim I hooked it up with another outcast, the Dragonfly Red. (I like the sound of the Red, but it’s not as easy to use as the btr5, so it fell into disuse.). The colored sound of the Red through the L30 brought it back to life. This combo is now on cubicle duty at work (for the few days I’m in the office).


Klipsch R15 geat near the wall not great 4ft from the wall.

Mine is definitely the Tin T4 and Shuoer Tape. When I first got them I really liked them and was using IEMs on campus all the time. Then I had a semester where I only had one course on campus so I started using them less and started using my fullsize headphones more. After that I just couldn’t stand them, particularly the extremely scooped lower half of the mids.

It really is interesting how just a bit of context can change your opinion on something so much.

THX 789. Bought it as an upgrade to my JDS Element, which was my first proper DAC/Amp. The power, the measurements, the nice look, the universal worshipping, it was hard to resist. Sounded noticeably different from my Element. Leaner, brighter, more punishing. “But that’s how it’s supposed to sound, so it’s not the amp’s fault!” :clown_face: So yeah, I fooled myself. And once I started auditioning amps and DACs, bringing my 789 and SDAC-B with me as my reference, I was confronted with an unexpected reality; The measurements didn’t make any sense whatsoever relative to what I was hearing. And I found out that tube amps are totally my thing. Lesson learned.

Sennheiser HD660S. This was my first open-back headphone purchase, which after trying a bunch of different options suited my preferences the most. Even more so than the 600/650. I’ve definitely gotten a lot of enjoyment out of them, and they were kinda my <$500 benchmark. But since I got a very nice OTL tube amp, a Feliks Audio Euforia, I wanted to try a 300 ohm Senn again out of pure curiosity. So I decided on one I hadn’t heard before, the HD580 Precision. I figured it’d be a nice complement to my 660S. But that didn’t end up being the case, because since I got the 580, the 660S hasn’t seen much use anymore. The 580 turned out to be the HD6x0 that matches my preferences the closest, while also being quite a bit more resolving than the 660S.


I had the same experience with an SMSL SP200 amp.


Likewise, the more I used it the more annoyed I was. Volume knob not giving any gain past 3 o’clock. Lots of noise on high gain etc. Definitely not the statistical dream that the reviews made it out to be. Now I’ve still got it around and I’m using it at my laptop setup, but if I were to make the purchase today I would have picked something completely different.

I’ll give it one thing and it’s that it powers my t60rp well, but so does my other gear and it sounds way better on it.

Other gear I’ve grown to dislike were my Shouer Tape Pro, it was just too much of an oddity and didn’t really do anything unique compared to similar priced IEM’s. Luckily a friend of mine found more use and love for them than I ever did, win-win.

To be somewhat of a contrarian, gear that you’ve come to like more over time, or have your opinion drastically change. The Fostex t60rp. Initially I loved the detail retrieval and the nice bass response. But the more I used them, they just kind of fell out of favour, they sounded harsh on some music and they were nigh unbearable on my Hiby R5 when playing loudly, the comfort was also kind of lousy long term.

I ended up just having them sit on my shelf for months at a time, sometimes to consider selling them, sometimes taking them out for a spin on some tracks or just refreshing my memory of them. However, around the time I reviewed the Focal Celestee, I came to use them quite a lot beforehand and tried to get a good assesment of them before going for a Modhouse conversion to the Argons. Then I got the ZMF Oval Suede’s. Oh boy, I think I love these headphones almost more than all my others right now, I immediately ordered a new headband for it too just to get rid of that thick monstrosity of a leather strap it has. Looking forward to see how they grow on me further!