Got 600$ for my one and only. Help!

I listen to a lot of U2, Simple Minds, Radiohead, New Wave ect. I would like headphones that don’t have sibilance. Would prefer flat, but im open. Sound quality is the only thing important to me. This is purely for listening pleasure, I’m not doing any work with them.

I’m very close to buying the Sendy Aiva or Neumann NDH20 as per Zeos recommendation. Which one would you buy?

but I’m also interested in what else is out there. Does anyone have any better recommendations? What about these Phantoms ive been heating about? Koss ESP/95X? Maybe even a Focal Elear? woo!

I have the Schiit DAC and amp Modi and Magni. Just ordered the THX amp. Would also like to get into tube amps. Does Neumanns have a balanced cable? Will the THX amp sound good without them? Do Sendys sound good on a tube? Thanks.

The 99 classics are definitely not flat, but I’m sure you already know that lol.

The Shure SRH1540 very flat, but not super enjoyable and kinda boring.

The NDH20 is a great option for what you are aiming for. Perhaps also consider the dt1990 as well if you want something like a studio oriented headphone (but perhaps slightly sibilant to a few).

The 95x can be strange regarding timbre and may sound a bit wonky on some tracks, so take that into consideration

1990 is a little sharp though definitely a great detailed headphone and not 990 sharp but many treble sensitive people claim a lot of sibilance when using them

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Also yes most of them will sound great on the thx.

The ndh20 does not have a balanced cable and would have to be modded in order to support balanced.

The sendy aivas would be fine on a hybrid tube amp, but using planars with a true tube amp can shift the frequency response and effect the sound too much where it could sound worse

The darkvoice 336se or the little dot mk2 are great tube amps to experiment with

What headphones do you already have? I wouldn’t worry too much about using the balanced output of the 789. I recently got mine, and so far I’m not sold on the idea that it improves things like sound stage even when your not power limited. But perhaps my hearing isn’t the best.

It depends on the headphones weather an amp can make a noticable difference (if we’re talkin solid state) in soundstage and imaging. For some it’s really minute, where for other headphones it might actually be noticable. Most decent amps can accurately recreate soundstage and imaging already, so that also kind of adds to the subtleness of an upgrade as well. Tube amps are a different topic though.

I started with GRADO SR225e. then moved on to HD600, then HD650 and finally the Hifiman Sundara’s. The Sundara’s where the best of them but i hated the sibilance they had. So i sent them back to amazon. i’m left with some superlux headphones lol. which i bought out of curiosity.

So ive been searching and going more and more expensive with headphones lol. it seems every time i up the ante i get better and better sound.

Maybe look into a edition xx or a used focal elex at that price range. Both should be a pretty good upgrade over the sundaras.

The Sundara’s have a treble peak, but I don’t think sibilant is an appropriate description. I will only use mine with EQ because I found that the peak gave it an unnatural sound that was particularly noticeable with acoustic guitar.
Anyway, if you want a somewhat relaxed treble, you may want to avoid the Aiva’s. The treble on it is not as prominent as the Sundara, but some people still find it excessive. The NDH20 is great if you want the noise isolation.

Like Towa says, the edition XX is another option. Regarding the Elex, I felt it was a pretty small upgrade in sound quality over the HD6XX and 600. The biggest improvement was in the low end performance.

I think that difference would be attributable to additional power headroom. Have you listened to any particular headphones where you felt going balanced did make a noticeable difference?

So far, I’m going to exclude stuff I’ve heard and focus on what I’ve owned or own, because this is too minute for memory. Going specifically balanced with the original he6, he560, Arya, and the abyss improved the stage for me. While this could be because of the increased power on my GS-X Mk2, I think it was because of the quality of the amp itself, because when trying my setup on an audio gd nfb 1, it didn’t do much, but going back to the gs-x, it did noticably improve. Hifiman stuff thrives on great amplification, and the abyss to a lesser extent as well. Most other headphones I have did not change that much to point out (the fad Sonorous VI did some weird stuff on balanced but idk why so I’m going to ignore that)

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You owned the HE6? Out of curiosity, why did you give it up?

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Because I was stupid and wanted a change of pace atm. One of the many things I regret selling

I too feel I might regret sending back the Sundaras. they were really nice. and yeah on certain recording they were sibilant as hell. maybe some sibilance wears off with breaking in? which is one of the reasons why I got Nueman’s, should be arriving today. going with Zeos recommendation.

Do you guys think that HiFiman prices are much too high? It seems lately the elevated prices of audiophile headphones are dropping. as newer companies come out and technology advances cheaper headphones are made available. Are the overpricing companies hopefully taking a hit and learning their lesson?

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Yeah some of Hifiman’s more expensive stuff is overpriced. But most companies have some overpriced stuff in their lineup. There’s been a ton innovation in the sub $600 market in recent years. So there’s plenty of great options there. But I’m still hoping for a $1000-$1500 pair to come out that’s completely end game worthy.

Ug, as sort of an update, I’m going to get the he6se because I just realized how much I actually enjoyed my he6 when I had it. Will report back to see if it sounds similar to the he6

Hopefully this will be it in that regard for hifiman products

I would be interested to hear your thoughts about the HE6se. To my understanding, it uses the same driver. If I owned a headphone amp that could drive it well, it’d be on my short list of high end options.

Well I’ll be using it with a parasound halo A 21+, so we’ll see how that pans out lol. Will also be trying it out on the headamp too

Well, got it in and it sounds like my old he6 is back. Still as hungry as ever. Pretty much all I have to say since I really don’t do reviews or impressions. Definitely worthwhile if you are willing to invest in a nice speaker amp lol