Looking for new headphone recommendations 200-500

Hello all! I’m new here (and new to headphones in general), and was hoping for some help.
My HE400i kinda fell apart, so I’ve been looking for a replacement (and upgrade?) for it.
I really liked the HE400i, though I liked it even more when I slightly lowered the treble through a virtual EQ.
I love detail, critically listening to my music is one of my favorite things to do. Being able to hear as much detail as possible in all ranges is probably the most important thing for me. I enjoy a variety of genres, always trying new ones as well.
I use a Magni/Modi setup, don’t know if they’re that powerful.
Through my very limited research, I’ve seen good things about the Sundara (though Hifiman build/driver quality may be an issue), the Audeze LCD-1, the Sennheiser 600/6xx/660, and the Blon B20.
So out of those, and any other headphones I may not know about, what would you guys recommend?
Thanks in advanced!

PS, I’m completely fine with used headphones, if that changes anything up

The sundara is great but it is brighter which you may or may not prefer, but it does have a fair bit more detail. I don’t really think the build quality issues are super present, and if they are the sundara has a pretty great warranty

The audeze lcd 1 would most likely be up your alley, but they might be an issue with those with large ears, but defently seem pretty great for the price and imo would be a good alternative to the sundara

So the 660 and 6xx would be a warmer sound with a bit rolled off highs (the 660 is the more extended and exciting headphone with great imaging and are pretty easy to drive, where the 6xx or 600 is more neutral with better detail imo but also is fairly dependent on the quality of an amp)

The B20 would be a more exciting headphone then the sundara, but imo not as detailed in the midrange

You could also possibly find a used focal elex in that price range and it would have excellent detail and would be something to look into for sure

Thanks for the reply!
Do you think the 6xx/600 wouldn’t do well with my current amp?

It would be just fine imo, but I do think they could get better with a higher quality amp. They are just a fair bit more picky then some of the other aforementioned options. But physical power wise there really shouldn’t be an issue

Just know that the 6xx would have a more relaxed and laid back sound compared to the 400i

Mon, would you agree with the often repeated assertion that the HD6xx are the best bang-for-buck headphones?

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Well I wouldn’t say that they are the best bang for the buck, but they are pretty dang good for 200 usd if you know what sound you like and if you have a competent amp. I personally think the 58x has better bang for buck now because of the lower price, more exciting signature, and that they aren’t really amp picky. Personally I would say the best bang for buck headphones (if you could call them that) would be the koss ksc75, but again the best bang for buck for someone might not be the best to someone else, as imo I would consider bang for buck applying to a type of sound and build, rather then headphones overall


If you like bass and are not apposed to buying $60 ZMF Ori lambskin pads to swap, the TR-X00 PH is still available for a little bit. The highs are never harsh or “too much” in my opinion and the bass is great, especially after the Ori pad swap since it reduces the little midbass bloat I found they had. The mids may be scooped out to some but I rarely if ever find them lacking.

But M0N knows better than I do so you should probably listen to them.


Nah, that’s a great rec, don’t let something I say prevent you from saying something lol. It’s something to look into if you like great dynamic bass, an in your face sound, and a v shaped signatures. The pads can help with controlling the bass and making them a bit wider

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Also the DT1990 would be something to check out as well, as that’s something pretty neutral but bright that would bring out a ton of detail

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Thanks for your recommendations, both of you. Would the Mahogany version of the TR-X00 be any better/worse? I do see that it is a bit cheaper so if I were to get one, I’d probably go for the mahogany.
I’d also love to try out the DT1990, just a bit over my budget from what I’ve seen though, maybe not looking hard enough. Is the DT1990 hard to drive?

So the mahogany has a more even sound compared to the ph, but the ebony is better in the more refined sound. The mahogany is in-between the purple heart and the ebony imo, if you judge by refinedness imo

The 1990 is great and could be driven by your stack no problem

I think all the headphones mentioned will be just fine on your stack

I have a similar situation so I’m going to repost here as well:

Trying to decide if I should get the M570 or the HD650 to be my first legit headphone. (I have really outgrown my Sennheiser momentum 2.0 for in home listening.) I’ve been researching and diving deep for a few weeks now, and already own a Fiio M6 DAP. I have nothing against getting a small amp to match if if I need to. It seems to me that the HD650 is a long time staple in the community and with DMS having described the Focal Elex as a better 650 it causes me to think I would like it since the way Zeos describes the Elex is exactly what I’m looking for, HOWEVER then there’s the Sendy Aiva ark which seems to be the headphone equilivant to what’s going on with IEMs - a sound that you would have to pay a lot more for in the past is now available for cheap…

But is the aiva, blon, m570 better than the HD650 for what I want? Are the Planars just hype while the Sennheiser is tried and true?

Again this would be my first real headphone. Anyone with experience with both could help a ton. My priorities are realistic soundstage (like how Zeos describes the Elex) detail, the mids for classical strings for example and enough bass punch for rap/edm.

The audeze lcd 1 might really be up your alley imo. I would say its going to be more detailed then the 650 with better extension and bass and highs. It just will do better for a wider genre of music imo


Would that also apply to rock stuff? (Metallica, Pink Floyd)

Wondering why you suggest these in particular over the “sendy arks” or the 650s.

So the sendys (and others) are pretty great, but don’t really have that great of mids as most of their magic is in the treble, and it wouldn’t be as good for something like rock, acoustic, or other midrange heavy music. The 6xx or lcd 1 would be better in that regard, but the lcd would deliver a more satisfactory sound with more genres then the 6xx imo

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Wow thanks a lot! Those haven’t even come onto my radar yet and all I’ve done for the past week is research headphones!

Obviously I’m looking at price too, which is why I’m not just getting the Elex. I’m going to go research this now.

Btw which of these has the biggest soundstage? (I freaked out once when I listened to some HD800s so I know I’m a fan of a bigger soundstage. It was Adele who I don’t even like that much but the experience was like I was at her concert which changed the game.)

I mean the hd800s has a massive soundstage, but I wouldn’t say its natural lol. I think if you were going for pure width, something like the beyerdynamic dt880 pro or the modhouse argons would do the job, but I would personally still prefer the lcd 1 for what it can offer besides just soundstage. The elex’s have a pretty good soundstage and can also be intimate, but that might be more then you are looking to spend

Also the LCD-1’s just came out, so it would make sense they weren’t really on your radar

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That being said, how IS the soundstage on the LCD 1? Specifically compared to the Elex or really any of the other ones that have come up.

Well I would say its more intimate, but it’s not a bad thing at all. I would say it’s actually somewhat close to the elex but the elex has a wider range

I actually just read through the LCD 1 thread and am wondering if you ever got to try out your friend’s pair. I’m sure I’m not the only one waiting to see what feedback you’ve got there.