Headphones that everyone should experience

Looking to make a big jump. Going from m40x and k712 to a ZMF. Was wondering about headphones inbetween that maybe I could be missing out on? Special ones that are awesome but not like ZMF. I know how much people praise ZMF but if I make that big of a leap, is there anything I could be missing out on? Or is just the fun of the hobby? Haha

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maybe most (?) of the headphones worth trying out are in that range you are skipping out on. You would probably be better off taking a smaller jump especially depending on what dac/amp you have.

dt1990, sundara, ananda, lcd2c… there are a ton of stuff to help you figure out what you like before getting an ZMF (although you would probably be happy with the ZMF as well)

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Right on, I had planned to go to a couple of hifi events in other cities but the rona ruined that. The k712 and m40x are the only high end headphones ive listened too haha

I dont think the m40x serve a good representation of what high end headphones can do, but idk I havent tried one. K712 is a superior headphone from what I understand but…
Is it enough of a base for you to know what kind of sound signature you want? Warm? Bright? V? Neutral? Do you want wide and spacious? Dynamic and exciting? Laid back and relaxing? Smooth?

I can definitely say that if I spent a grand on a headphone before trying some stuff versus if I spent a grand now, I would pick pretty different headphones because I have a better understanding of what I enjoy.

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I guess I told you what not to do, but not what to do.

If you have no idea what you like but really have no problem spending some $$, get 2-3 very different headphones in the 300-500 category and go from there. Sell off the ones you dont like as much to fund your upgrade after that (which might end up being the ZMF anyhow)


Good points. I don’t like brightness. I like warm neutral, dynamic, spacious and wide. I like bass to be really there but i don’t need it to shake me haha, I like mid clarity for vocals and not too sharp trebel. I have n atom amp and darkvoice

could be a good place to start looking if you do the 2-3 thing

but elex or an audeze could be good for you (if you want to take a smaller jump) although neither would be good on the darkvoice.
Someone else might be able to confirm or offer better suggestions.

Also, if you do get a zmf level can, dont use the atom and get a dac

EDIT, i see you have a dac now

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Dont even know if I have something that could resemble what high end headphones can do, let alone tried one out. The Argons have flitted in and out of my list of what I would like to get, but it usually is a debate between the 20s and the 50s I would have modded. The 1990, 58X/6XX (I tend to lean towards the former over the latter), Sundaras have all hit my list. The ESP/95X is there mainly cause I wanna know what Estats are like.

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At different price points, I have Really enjoyed:

  1. HD58X’s. Great sound, cheap and some nice kick.

  2. HiFiman Sundara’s. A great, somewhat affordable planar. Makes me want to climb the planar tree.

  3. Focal Elex. Pretty damn close to perfect, for me.

  4. Grado. They are a love it or hate it brand. You can find cheap ones in many stores to try out and see if you like the sound. The higher end ones do sound better, if you like the sound. I went from SR325e’s to GH2’s.


You should not miss out on the Helios by Harmonicdyne. Excellent detail, U shape, open, lively big sound. its cheap too 180$

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Nothing against Ant, but from what I have heard, the overall community is not as impressed by the Helios as he is. It is great he loves them, but I wouldn’t (and I don’t think most others would) recommend them unless they actually seem to match YOUR preferences and goals rather than our own.

EDIT: go with what you like or the staples (6xx, 660s, Elex, LCD2C, Sundara, dt1990, TR-X00) if you are unsure

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To be fair he does “hype” them…but he also explains what he likes about their sonic presentation so no dissing or hating here…each to our own?


No I agree, maybe I came off wrong. I meant that for someone that has not experienced many headphones and does not know exactly what they want, I think it is best to steer them towards headphones that are widely considered great value and benchmarks for their price.

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“Headphones that everyone should experience”…gonna push this and add an iem :open_mouth::japanese_goblin::fire: …Andro’s are defo worth a listen…jogs on an goes back to Kate Bush on my Andr…lol

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So what you listen to will probably change the selection a bit but my personal approach was to try as much as i could at or below the 300ish price before I started to climb up the ladder of more expensive gear and had at least some idea of what i liked best.

6XX - this one is pretty genre dependent imo. very well liked and respected, if you like acoustic or vocal music i think it’s a great choice. For me personally i tend to listen to more modern stuff and I feel it’s really not the best for that

Sundara - imo a value king at 350 really enjoyable neutralish headphone and also a good place to start if you’re interested in a planar

880 600 ohm - Good intro to the beyer sound, can be found well under 200 usually. Big soundstage, great imaging, excellent technicalities for it’s price point. I actually love this headphone and it pushed me to upgrade to a dt1990. It is in my personal opinion the best value under 200 but might not be for you if you’re sensitive to treble. Would pair well with both your darkvoice and el amp

X00/emu teak - If you’re interested in bassy closed back biodynamic

Those are just a few I’ve tried there’s many more worth hearing. To answer your question more directly would you be missing out upgrading from k712 to a zmf? in my opinion yes, ZMF makes excellent headphones but there is so much variety in hifi you will be hard pressed to find a headphone that does it all and even within the zmf line there is a pretty decent variety in terms of sound.


Imma have to suggest the koss triforce mainly to highlight what can be had for a small amount of money


Are you talking about the KSC75, Porta Pro, and KPH30i?


Yep, I’m just gonna start coining that term


I just get no respect, /sigh

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Sorry if I came off disrespectful, was not my intention :worried:

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