Looking for headphones with great depth, need your help

Hi, guys

I need a drop of your audiophile experience and wisdom. I’m rather new to the hobby, but I’ve already played with different amps, dacs, and headphones, and realized that I prefer headphones with depth for any kind of task, but none of my headphones are perfect, so I’m looking for upgrades

I love my HD Zeus on my SW51 tube amp with slow bassy tubes. With these tubes and heavy EQ I was able to fix most of their shortcomings without introducing new ones (they have quite a few in their stock tuning), but upper mids are still a bit shouty and timbre is bad, acoustic instruments sound off, just as female vocals. And that combined is the biggest part of my music library, unfortunately. I use the Zeus for bassy soundtracks, for HQ synth music and for immersive gaming. Imaging, transient speed, stage width and depth is just superb, but separation is mediocre. I consider them endgame tier for immersive gaming, basically won’t upgrade them as gaming cans until they die, or RAAL becomes more mature and more affordable. So, I’d love to upgrade to headphones with at least the same level of depth and stage size as the Zeus, but with better timbre, better separation and less piercing highs, preferably under $800, if possible. I would have bought Elex long ago, if it didn’t have horrible QC issues, which I consider absolutely inappropriate at their price, even Sundara shouldn’t have any QC issues at their price

I love my tin T2s for classical music, their timbre is so natural, yet not boring at all, and I don’t even like IEMs in general. They also have decent depth, but their bass is a joke, and both - resolution and speed are mediocre at best. I also consider them sibilant AF, even after EQ, and horrible for vocals, as a consequence. I would love to upgrade to an open back headphones with that kind of timbre and better technicalities

I recently grabbed TYGR 300Rs for single player gaming because quite a lot of folks on reddit said that they image better than the Zeus himself, even on this forum Falenkor said that they image better, and he was quite convincing. After that, I just couldn’t resist and then, well… In my most precise-staging chain, with sound blaster G6 as a Dac and with my tube amp, Zeus significantly outclasses TYGRs in terms of positional imaging, depth, and creates way more organic and immersive soundstage, so it’s not even close in my opinion, although TYGRs have great separation. Maybe Falenkor’s chain fits TYGRs better or maybe he considered the advantage in separation being part of better imaging for immersive gaming. While I was quite disappointed in TYGRs for immersive gaming, I loved their separation and how well they absorb flavor of different tubes. I find their timbre very natural and life-like, while extremely sterile at the same time. And, unfortunately, I was unable to find appropriate tubes for synergy with them, so I’ll probably sell them soon. I love mid-forward presentation, and they are way too v-shaped and painful for me, even on the smoothest dac and smoothest tubes that I have. I’ve tried to EQ their treble peaks multiple times, but timbre was lost every single time, so I just gave up. I didn’t like their bass, it’s not as controlled and exciting as on the Zeus and not as diffused and relaxing as on Kph30i, for me their bass sounds like vintage speakers with bad distortion. But what I really hate about them is that they have no depth, even on tubes with the biggest 3D effect. Anyway, I would love to have this kind of natural sounding separation in one of my next headphones

But what I find the most disturbing is the fact that for most of my music I still prefer the cheapest chain that I have: Zen Dac V2 (GTO) > Kph30i. Vintage-style synth music sounds especially amazing on this setup. I can think of a long list of small shortcomings that these cans have, but it doesn’t matter. They give me the biggest amount of joy with most of my tracks and have great immersive depth and layering. I really hope Koss will step into the mid-fi market and will just violently kill current competition there. At this point, pretty much everybody told me to buy HD 6xx as an upgrade. I don’t know, maybe something’s wrong with me, and I definitely don’t want to offend anyone here, but I wasn’t impressed with HD 650 at all, especially compared to Kph30is or T2s. I have to admit that I didn’t try them on my new gear that is much better than what I had back then. And I also didn’t try them on any colorful tubes, so maybe that’s why they sounded so natural but sterile. I loved them for rock music, but that’s it. Their bass wasn’t good enough for pop music on my setup. Also, I was surprised recently when I learned that HD 6xx sounds a bit different from HD 650, and I loved the difference, so I’ll probably give in and will probably give 6xx a chance

I recently grabbed the topping A90, so I’m interested in experiencing the world of mid-tier planars as well. Any help is welcome and sorry for the long post :slightly_smiling_face:

I’d go with the Arya V3 / Stealth. Over your budget but def. worth it. It has the depth you’re looking for. Maybe it could sound wider and lacks the Stax speed (i’d need more time with it to come to a conclusion on its shortcomings) but it’s my fav. HP at its price thus far. I’d buy it but I’m gonna have to upgrade from my Topping A50 first.

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Thanks, I’ve ordered new edition xs yesterday, because people say it’s better than arya and it’s one third of the price