Headphone Upgrade - Sub 500ish

So I’ve been debating if/ what I’m going to get as a more intermediate/higher end headphone. My current setup is topping e30, liquid spark, and sennheiser hd 558. I use a pair of hyperx cloud alphas when I need isolation.

Looking for something more competitive end (but want fun too) as I play quite a lot of BR/FPS games.

Have the opportunity to buy(canadian$ amounts):

Audeze el-8c for $400 used
Sundara for $499 new
DT 880 600 ohm for $300

I’ll take recommendations on anything else that is comparative price/comp/fun wise. I’m not against stretching the budget slightly higher but don’t want to get too crazy(though I can easily afford it if something is off the chart good but not too far out there price wise).

Thanks in advance,

Edit to this… was looking at wrong beyers. DT 880 Premium 600 ohm are $450 new.

DT 990 Premium 600 ohm are $275.

K712 Pro are $550 new
AD 1000x are $400 new

990 is still good. That in canadian dollars is really price I assume.

so I’m a big fan of the 880 600 ohm and think they are great for music and comp gaming, and i would think it pairs very well with the e30 spark stack. However that price is not too good imo. Not sure about CAN but in the US they regularly go for 180 USD and below used, and I think are 220 USD new

Ya all the prices I posted are on canadian funds. Kinda figured that 880 price was a bit out there… think it’s the streamer inflation rating lol

Can also look at Fostex T50RPMK3 for $200. Assume it’s just version 3 of the T50RP.

You can find a better deal on the Sundara’s if you wait a bit. I found an open box pair for $379.00 a few months ago. I would think $400.00 to $450.00 is gettable, if you can wait.

The DT880 600 Ohms are pretty much unavailable in Canada right now. There was one company on Amazon.ca that was gouging for $450.00. List is $299.00. Will hopefully be back in stock in September. I am hoping to pick up a set to try on my amps.

Don’t know anything about Audeze.

Have you thought about HD58X’s? About $300.00ish landed from Drop. I really enjoyed them as an all rounder.

This hobby costs a lot more in Canada! :laughing:

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What doesn’t cost more in the great white north

It’s a trade off, but I’m okay with it.

Born and raised so yes…

Ya I’ve looked into the 58x is mostly just shopping the available things verses what they cost in Canada.

Ya I will say that the price on the DT 880s in canada is all over the map. Really gotta keep an eye on the price and snag them on a low if you are interested. They are now back around the 325 range from 450.

Just as an update, there is a guy on CAM selling Sundara’s for $480.00, out of Quebec. Maybe throw an offer of $450.00, shipped and see what he says?
I got a Great deal at $379.00, but with tax I paid about $440.00, landed.

Just food for thought.

audezes are generally not good for competitive as they have dark treble usually(granted not all of them). In my opinion I would recommend skipping that one.

Not as much “fun” sound but fantastic for gaming in competitive. Leaks a ton of sound and the company has some quality control issues. May not be the best if you prefer more bass to your sound but still has enough to be decent in the low end. Not the greatest in build quality but sound incredible.

I actually prefer sundara over these for sound… I felt they lacked a fullness and body overall to them. However, they are absolutely amazing. Built like a tank, extremely soft and comfortable, can be modded balanced, pair well with tube amps to bring up the low end, still pairs well to equalizers, and maintain a relatively large soundstage.

Both of these have relatively recessed bass frequencies if your looking for fun I would recommend you steer clear here. Also, please keep in mind akg for some reason has ludicrous pricing on their k712 and k702 as you can find them around $100 or so.

Since you have the amp to back this one up, liquid spark, and dial in the treble this could be fantastic for you. As long as you can stand the treble sharpness this is literally one of my favorites. Very bassy though, it can be equalized, and if you prefer vocality this may not be the best option as the mids are definitely recessed. Step up from here and the 880s would be most likely the 1990 for you less you wanted a more relaxed sound and somewhat like an hd800 sound in which then it would be the T1 gen 2.

Sennheisers would be your most well rounded headphones here if you want something for just generally all purpose. Snag something in the 500 series or 600 series and your good to go. Doesn’t really have to be the massdrop variations they just tend to save on money. You can still grab a HD 598, HD 600, HD 650, or HD 660 S and be just fine. Though upon going into the 58x - 600 series you could balance those too so an amp upgrade may be feasible for some subjectively better sound.

I’ll take your word on the no go for the audeze. Recent find is some hd 650s for $350 CAD

Also could get ad900x for $215 CAD. Thought I’d note as well my “fun” for listening isn’t really bass heavy. Even with EQ I think I typically tone down the bass.

Fairly solid enough for use in competitives. Sennheisers tend to be fairly balanced out in signature. Though the 600 series has the more narrow soundstage.

Much to be desired on build quality, and the 3d wing system and headband may provide you with some discomfort, brighter than the ad700x and still lacks proper seperation of sound. Wasn’t until ad1000x that most of the more sound issues were better. All three models have recessed bass with mids and highs being forward. I would typically recommend the akg k612/k702/k712/k7xx over them due to better soundstage, similar signature, better build quality, and being flexible enough to be pad swapped/modified to bring out more on the sound with the issue being minor misplacements in the imaging. Granted akg has some stupid pricepoints so youd have to dig around.

Thx for the quick info. Just so much to weed through before pulling the trigger on something. The daily changes on the 880 prices are nutty…