Looking for advice on next pair of headphones

Hi guys,

I am looking for a new pair of open back headphones to complement (replace ?) my HD 600, so I appreciate any suggestions. (~$600 budget)

What I expect to improve over the HD 600 is a better bass extension, a little more body (warmth?), bigger and spacious sound stage, slightly less forward, clearer but with the same amount of treble as I am quite sensitive to treble and IMHO an over accentuated treble negatively affects the timber.

In my search for this I tried the HD 660S and while it offer some of my desired advantages, its rolled off highs was a deal breaker for me, even if I got those at a great price.

I tried the DT 880 600 ohms, and while I liked it smoothness and open stage however their over accentuated treble peaks was just to much for me.

Currently I am aiming to the ATH r70x as based on some reviews and from its frequency response seems a good option.

Another one I am eying is the same DT 880 premium edition but its 250 ohm version as based on this review, seems to offer less treble and its frequency response is quite similar to the HD 800S (keeping all distances) so this intrigues me.

My current gear is an Ares II DAC feeding a RNHP / Gilmore Lite MK2.

Thanks in advance!

While only owning it’s little brother the Sundara and havign heard it’s bigger sister the Arya, I would strongly reccomend looking into the Hifiman Ananda.

They’re currently (and usually) $699 on Hifiman’s official webstore. They’re absolute fucking babes as far as I can read. With a less strong but more clear and defined bass compared to the Sundara. All three (Sundara, Ananda and Arya) are excellent for soundstage and imaging and I don’t think you’ll be dissapointed in any of them. Of course the Arya is better and of course the Sundara is your price-point sweetheart.

But with your budget. The Ananda sounds like a beatiful headphone to compliment, not replace, the 600.

I would say the Focal Elex would be right up your alley. Nice big open stage, great bass and running off my singxer the highs definitely don’t sound overbearing. If you are looking for planars, the Amanda’s that were suggested would probably work great as well.


Agreed. If you’re in the US the Elex is a great idea. I just didn’t think about it since I’m in Europe :stuck_out_tongue:

Elex is probably the best dynamic for the price.
Ananda probably the best planar.

Close in quality, both excellent soundstagers and good defined bass. Just a different dynamic due to the driverdifference.

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Hi, thank you for your suggestions!

I considered the Elex but since not in USA and while I can import those I scared about the many quality issue reports so I rather not hehe.

About the Ananda, actually those looks really nice and definitely will check it out the only issue I noctice on those is that 8k peak. Would Ananda offer more body than Sundara?

always find it interesting to see what people go with nonetheless, I will throw in a recommendation for you here since you really enjoyed the sennheiser perhaps look into focals like the elex. it does have some treble presence but may be in line with what your looking for. As an owner of r70x thats a flip of a coin but you may like that one as well

Hifiman doesn’t really have good bass tones so I can’t really recommend those… if you can’t get elex you could always snag elear and throw clear pads on it… gets it remarkably close to the elex signature.

Stay away from Beyers because of your stated treble proclivities. I can find you a review that suggests properly powered the 600 ohm is a more mellow treble than the 250 ohm variant. If you’re stating treble sensitivity, these little baby steps within Beyer are not worth exploring.

Elex makes a lot of sense as many mentioned. I would not exclude Hifiman. The bass extension on Sundara/Ananda are in-line with what you’re seeking, I think. Also, very responsive to EQ, which has not been mentioned, but given a lot of what you’ve said - I would consider if you aren’t using.

What are you using for signal/power?

I think as much as I would like to get an Elex, since I need to import those I prefer stay away, as even here there’s a lot of guys getting quality issues with drop, now add not being in the us :roll_eyes:

Yes, unfortunately Elear are out of my current budget.

That’s a good advice, after all I tried 600 ohm version and not really liked its sound signature.

Well honestly I prefer no depend on EQ even if that reduces my options as I like just plug and play.

Ares II Dac feeding RNHP and / or Gilmore Lite MKII

ATM I am leaning to order Sundara and ATH r70x and see how compares vs HD 600 on my setup however I open to other alternatives :smiley:

Seems good. Very different fit/weight and driver type. Will be interested to see how this plays out. Enjoy!

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Thank you all for your help and suggestions, I ended up ordering the ATH r70x and the Sundara to try them both, hope I keep one of those, if no the Ananda will follow :smiley:


Personally I enjoy the Harman Target EQ from oratory1990, I boost the 105 Freq more as well, but I really like bass.

Problem is the added price often drives them out of their otherwise interesting price brakcet.
For me, the Elex would be… 989$ for me, including shipping and taxes and all that.

It’s a great value at 700… But is it at 1000?

I got mine for the “low” sale price of $600.00. Landed in Canada, they were well over $1,000.00 in Canadian money. Very expensive at the time, to me, but I have no regrets. Awesome headphones and half the price of Clears.

I’m talking $1000 US by the time they get here in Europe (could’ve said 843,21 euros but nobody on the forum knows what a euro is haha).

1255 CAD for you canadians.

That is pricey! What would Clears cost you? I assume you could buy those locally?

Yup. I could get them for around 1100 euro/1300 USD/ 1637 CAD

Not planning on though :stuck_out_tongue: I was just making a point that the Elex (and other drops) are great value only when you don’t have to add 25-35% in taxes. and over $100 in shipping

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Geography rules. :grin:
I can get Elex’s almost $300.00 cheaper than you and you can get Clears almost $300.00
cheaper than me.

Us Canadians do whine about extra fees/taxes, but Europe has it rougher for a lot of products and poor Australia…

RIP Australia

Europe only relly has it with american products… Which I know you guys believe is superior to anything else :wink:

but we got amazing german engineering without extra taxes!!

I am very partial to several German products in my collection. Any preference for American goods is related to ease of access and a common language.

But I have wandered too far from OP’s subject matter now. My apologies!

Yep, I am in the same situation as others, importing it to Mexico will be around $1000 USD and honestly at that price range I better get the Ananda for about $800 USD on local Amazon as most HiFiMAN products are at really good local prices.