Got that itch: moving up from my DT880s to...?

I’ve got that itch y’all know so well. I’d like to move up from my DT880s to at least an A-tier set of cans. I think I can talk myself into spending a little bit over $1k. On my list:

Focal Elex
Focal Clear (can be had for $1k)
LCD-X (also can be had for only just a bit over $1k, and I want the recent revision)

What else? DT1990? I think my DT880s are a touch too bright and fear the DT1990s would have the same result. Androids?

Ps. I listen mostly to classical. Via an Asgard 3 with on-board DC. Source is Tidal.

As far as I know, the most direct upgrade from the 880 would be a Beyer T1 2nd gen. I don’t own one myself, but try searching around through the forum posts for opinions on it. (It’s often referred to as a “T1.2” in terms of searching.)


Thank you for reminding me about the Gen 2. The Gen 1 did not seen to be a good option. Though I’m not necessarily looking for more of the same but better.

Depends on what you would define as better. What are you looking to improve or keep

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Before upgrading it change the pass to Dekoni choice suedes. They really transform the headphone. Very rich sounds amazing. Worth the money.

The elex is an excellent step up for the money its a lot of value for sure. Its an easy choice

Don’t get the DT 1990.


I mean, if we’re going /that/ route, another “before you upgrade” suggestion would be to buy some tubes! I personally own a Quicksilver, but I know a lot of people here also really like the DT880 on the Bottlehead Crack + Speedball, which is more “tube-y” sounding and a lot cheaper if you’re handy with soldering (though the price is much closer if you also pay someone to build it for you).

Nope. I simply don’t have the space for more than one amp, and am reluctant to invest in a replacement. I see my Asgard 3 as all the amp I need.

Why not the DT1990? I’m guessing bc of the treble.

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1990 is indeed brighter than the 880 so if you have issues with 880s treble 1990 isn’t the better choice. Mind you there are ways to dial back the treble through pad swaps, filters, eq, etc. I’d say more than likely the elex would be the right course. If you can audition the clear thatd be a good spot as well.

T1 2nd gen is more of an upgrade to 880 but it’s still quite bright


Yeah it’s because of that treble. I never found a pad that could quell it enough it ended up being front dampening but then it was loss of detail.

It’s one of the strategies used in tuning the DT880 that foam disk under the pad. Somehow they didn’t get too much detail loss. German magic I suppose

Elex or Clear. Especially when the elex is on sale if you’ve got a smooth amp man oh man. The price to perf ratio is off the charts. Seeing as sale time is coming up in the next 2 months they’ll be on sale for $550.

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How come no one talks about the HD560S? Some of the reviews make it out to be a half-step above the 600/650 and a bit closer to the DT880, though less bright.

Uh, HD800…?
I love my HD660 as a general phone, though you could get even better treble realism, extension, tone, out of a Sundara or something higher up(depending on how good your DAC and amp are) (but I don’t like Sundara much as a general phone).

You’re gonna be strangling the fidelity of what these nicer phones can do, with the Asgard onboard DAC :confused: It’s a great amp, tho

Yeah, sooner or later I’ll get a Modius or something comparable for a stack. I just love having only the one box on my desk.

it gets brought up for sure… though its super reference and a bit on the boring side if you ask me. Sennheiser is never good at low end so it still shines in the mids and highs… the highs are raised a bit on that one and the soundstage is nice as its larger than the 600 series… though still rather small. Though the topic here is moving up from my dt 880s… of which… the 560s is absolutely not an upgrade past an 880

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True. Though I realize now I miss my hd600s.