Help me end my Hi-fi hell

TLDR; Looking for the perfect all-rounder (if it exists) that can compliment: Hip-hop, EDM, Indie Rock,
Gaming wise im getting past my competitive days and im leaning towards more AAA single player titles, but I do go back to apex etc. occasionaly.

Budget: $1600 USD

Headphone wise im leaning towards the Clear MG paired with an Element III. If I could get the T1.2 I would, and maybe compliment it with a LCD-2C, but it’s extremely hard to find one in Australia. the Clear MG has peaked my interests and ticks my boxes, but there is so much conflicting opinions on it’s imaging capibilities.

Tygr>DT1990>T1.2>Sold Everything>Came Back to PC gaming> PC38X>Sennheiser 6XX>LCD-GX>177X GO>HD800S

Life Story:
Basically I started at Tygr and a Soundblater AE-9, found out how wonderful real headphones were. Got a T1.2, and back then they felt boring. Now im aware that my amplifier was no where near quality enough to give them what they needed. I Hit a mid life crisis and sold all my toys, then came back. I worked my way up to the highly talked about HD800S and…Hated them. Paired with a JDS Element III I find them completely distant and they remove any sort of immersion or fun from music and gaming. I really thought I would of had a sense of WOW from the much talked about soundstage in competitive but it really didnt affect my enjoyment at all, then the loose fit is just horrible. I loved my 177X for music but found them so uncomfortable, I absolutely HATE headphones with shallow cups and my ears touch the drums. (I have small ears). The first time you hear the bass slap on an LCD is very remarkable, But the GX fell flat within a month due to its low dynamic range. music was boring and flat.

I’m aware I should have different headphones for different genre’s, But with the ammount of free time I get these days I’d like to be able to just sit back with one pair and not fuss about it.


I know that others will give you their recommendations, which are most likely some more popular choices such as Focals. However, since you do mention immersion and also mentioned how you are looking for comfort, give the iBasso SR2 a look. If you have a chance, try them out.

I have no clue how the SR2 sounds with the Element III though, so I cannot comment about how well it will pair.

Edit: To help others help you, it would mean a lot if you specified your budget.

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Thanks for the advice! has been added.

Interesting pick! No where to audtion them in Aus, but it looks like I can get them with Prime shipping/returns from the US. I’ll watch some reviews.

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You should also consider reading the Head-Fi thread, where the majority of us, owners, have come together and shared our impressions:

If I’m not mistaken, there wasn’t a lot of video coverage of these.

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If possible take a look at the Fostex TH9XX series since you mentioned HipHop and EDM. Most v-shaped to least: TH900 (red,green,black) > TH909 >TH900 Limited Ed. (white,blue,purple).


Do you still have the 177x? They’re kinda the closest I’ve had to a jack of all trades with dekoni jerzee pads, I know you’re looking for higher end stuff but you should try pad swapping if you still have them.

since you have comfort as an issue I’ll throw up a couple recs
AKG K702 (with sub bass mod)
Harmonicdyne Zeus
pad swapped Fostex TR-X00’s
imo against Clear MG, good for gaming but meh for music

I wish. I sold them on my way up to the HD800S, I did have the Dekoni elite velour pads with them. They were a dream comfort wise, but bloated the bass and they became… wet sounding.

I actually owned a pair of AKG712 in my early stages and they have the exact problem as the HD800S. The zero clamp force just irritates me. I was very interested in the HD zeus’s, though they seem hard to get in Australia. I can either get them on Amazon US for a bloated price of$700-$800, Or go through Ali express and possible fakes.

lame I really wanted to try the velours, the jerzee ones clear up the sound and reduce a bit the bass but make it punchier imo, hard to explain, I love them.

i really like these in 110mm on my 177x. they breathe a bit and help with the bass bloat but don’t lose that punch and ease just a bit of the treble. they also still isolate surprisingly well, but nowhere near stock leathers level. they also noticeably increase soundstage width and depth to a pretty amazing level for a closed back.

yeh I actually have the 100mm ones, and the 105mm on the mail rn cause the 100 ones fit a little bit too snug lol, they’re pretty close to the jerzee ones but I still find the midrange a bit better with the jerzees I think the perforated ones have a biiit more bass tho, at least in 100mm…

I should post something about pads on the actual 177x thread cause I’ve tried a bunch by now, but yeh I keep going back to the jerzees, they get really scratchy if you have stubble tho, but they also never ever get hot so that’s nice.

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yeah, the 105s were just a little too small for my ears and i think something about the extra padding material of the 110 doesn’t seem like it compresses as much with the weight distributed more on the extra padding area which i think is partially why it widens the stage as much as it does.

have you looked to see if Linsoul or Hifigo will ship to Australia?

If I was to pick one headphone for all of what you want I’d go for a Hifiman Arya, with the caveat that you 100% NEED a powerful amp for them.
Im using them with a G111 at the moment that just gets there, but everything else I have to try power them with and they just don’t sound as good, the low end is weak and that in turn excentuates the high end.

Clear MG will nearly power off anything, but sounds especially fantastic with an RNHP.
Imaging is great on the MG, but the soundstage is a bit smaller than say 1990’s. They are really perfect headphones for monitoring & mixing. Compared to Beyer’s they will sound dull aswell, but once you get used to it they are fantastic.

I have currently Arya (V2) , Clear MG & LCD-XC ('21) and have had 1990’s and a the other popular ones in that price range.

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That was my go to choice at the beginning, but I find the Arya is always at the bottom of people’s list when it comes to gaming immersion. I’m going to go try the Arya tonight, I have concerns about the build quality and comfort. I have an JDS element III so surely that will be efficient enough?

From the options on here, the MG’s soundstage was a tiny bit larger then the 1990’s so that interesting to hear.

An ex.demo T1.2 has popped up at a local store for about $800 AUD which has peaked my interest. After all your help I’m leaning towards getting these and maybe picking up an LCD-2C? I’d like a planar to compliment the T1.2


I’ll quickly chime in and say the Clear MG do sound fantastic albeit closer circumference in soundstage. If you are after something that can punch and slam then look no further than Focal.

I also own the Arya SE and can also agree they are very good! Now the SE do require some power but I don’t think anything too crazy. They are said to be more efficient than previous variations of the Arya. Still, more power never hurts.
My only thing holding me back from calling them an all-rounder is just that they don’t punch/slam quite like I would want. Now, the stage is good and imaging is fantastic just like the Focal. Also, very very comfy to me. They are light weight and float on my head.

Immersion wise for the Arya I have to disagree there. I fully enjoyed the immersion factor when I used them during gaming. Sure they won’t rumble as much but they extend and have that planar bass which is so nice.

Probably not helping you enough here but just giving you my thoughts!

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Definitely helping! Just not any closer to making a decision. My biggest worry about the Arya is the the comfort (long earcups/small head) and build quality. It just doesn’t look or feel like a $2000 AUD headphone. My Element III should be plenty for them.

I’m going to go audition both today and see how I feel. I could also get the T1.2’s and a focal celestee to satisfy my needs. So many decisions.

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I run my Arya V2 off an Atom amp and I never make it past 1 o’clock on low gain; Element III should be just fine.

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I have no idea on the currency conversion, but the Arya SE are on sale right now. So at least there is that. Good luck and listen to your own ears and not our ramble :wink: