Looking for recommendation on which to buy

Hey everyone! I’m finally looking to get another pair of Headphones after having sold my STAX L700Mk2. Long story short got rid of them due to the fragility and having my original pair failing after only a month of owning them ( Thankfully they were fully replaced ) I’ve watched many reviews and have narrowed down to four options.

To give some context for my current situation I am spending my budget on the headphones solely and will work in getting a DAC/AMP Later on so if you’d like to recommend some budget friendly options of those I am fully open to that!

The following are the headphones I’m very much interested in getting. LCD-X 2021, LCD-XC 2021, Focal Clear MG and the Focal Radiance. My music taste is fairly versatile though I will note that I mostly now-a-days listen to primarily the hip hop genre, I also game daily so imaging/sound stage to me is very important.

Talking more on as to why I have two open backs and closed backs in my list is that simply all options seem to fill the area I’m looking for, and I wouldn’t be opposed to either option. Yes I can sometimes have a loud environment with family running around so closed back could help there but truly this is something I am not worried about AS much. it’s just something to consider ¯_(ツ)_/¯

One last concern I’d like to voice with my current picks is weight and comfort. Both LCD choices seem to have me slightly on edge as I am worried I might get fatigued quickly wearing a heavy headphone. I’ve no reference for the “heaviest” headphone I’ve worn but I assume I’d adjust after some time with either. Well that’s all I’ve to say if you have any questions I’ll be sure to answer back ASAP! Thank you!

all those headphones will need an amp to sound good. you can get away without a DAC, but an amp is necessary. the amp should be of equivalent quality as well…so you may want to step back, consider an amp like the Asgard 3 and then reevaluate the headphones you’re interested in.

Hi thank you for the reply, I appreciate the concern. I currently have in house a THX AAA 789. This is not mine to keep however as it’s a family members. I was looking to purchase myself one in the following month or so.

Again I do appreciate the heads up, though I’m more concerned about buying a pair of headphones now and build up my own stack without having to borrow others in the near future.

Yes, the Audeze and the weight are one thing.
Some have problems with it, some don’t.
I personally don’t have any problems with it and can wear it for hours.

The only thing that helps is to try it out and decide.
What helps is to put the headphones on and to stretch your back and lean your head backwards so that it is supported.
This relieves the head and back when listening for longer periods.

Alternatively, you can get the Dan Clark Aeon 2 or the R/T in open and closed versions.
But you need a good amplifier that can handle 13 ohms.
Since you don’t have anything yet, pay a little attention.
It would also be important for the Lcd X.

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the problem is they will sound like shyte if the audio chain isn’t up to snuff, especially planars. a PC / laptop / phone / tablet don’t have the power to drive them.

the one you’re borrowing will suffice for now tho :slight_smile:

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Thank you for the reply! Do you believe the Monolith 124459 would be a good AIO solution if I decided to purchase the LCD-X?

where do u live?

U.S Arizona

I am personally not a Thx fan.
Among other things, because I don’t like the sound and it is presented in a strange way.

If you are looking for an all-in-one solution, the Singxer Sda 2c or Questyle cma400i would not be wrong.
They both have enough power to drive planar headphones for the money and a very good sound.
The Singxer is a bit more musical and relaxed than the Questyle.

Otherwise this one would be good
As a dac you can be more flexible.
Whether you add a Topping E30 or Schiit Bitfrost would be entirely your decision.
Or the Singxer Sa 1 with a Dac pairing of your choice is also very good if you don’t want a hybrid amplifier.


You came to ask about 'phones, and so that’s all I will try to address. Not that I am any kind of expert, but I do have fairly decent pattern recognition skills.

I was very recently asking for recommendations in which comfort was of pretty primary concern. One of the names that came pretty quickly to the surface in most of the advice I got was Focal. Now, the Elgias I am looking at aren’t on the scale of the Clear MG or Radiance, but the builds look very similar, and I would wager these two are also probably pretty well regarded in the comfort category. Personally, I really like the look of the Radiance HP, but we don’t buy cans to look at them :wink:

What I am reading in this community seems to me to indicate that there does seem to be a pretty prevailing wind backing the old adage “you get what you pay for”, so I would expect the more expensive model to sound better, following that pattern and the things I’ve read here in relation to that basic principal.

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The 788 will drive them just fine. I had one and just recently sold it. I find my JDS EL2 stack does better with staging but DIRAC is a filter that works great on the 788, bass drops a lot though. So what I’m getting at is 788 is good but the EL DAC has the same chipset and implements it better. So if you don’t need all the features there’s better for the money. Take a look at the ifi Neo for a great AIO.

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Thanks again everyone for chiming in to the thread! Some great choices you’ve noted Deleeh! I’ve bookmarked them for future reference.

Dzaw, I agree completely the Focal’s to my eyes are eye candy like artwork :heart_eyes: also look like they’d be very comfortable but I know that can be deceiving as I’ve own headphones in the past that look good but don’t “fit?” well. I am glad to hear others have pointed you in their direction definitely a sigh of relief in that regard :slight_smile:

Etroze86, thanks for the recommendations I’ve also bookmarked for future reference. I’ve actually not heard of the iFi NEO will definitely check it out!

PS: Not sure if there is a better way to tag names of people so forgive my ignorance when it comes to forums hope this was readable

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just us the @ and the name you want with no space after the @. the names should show up highlighted/bolded @Escus

Agreed thx stuff sounds flat to me. Sounds very weird compared to other amps

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I know its not on the list. But if you need closed and need to get away with something can be driven with no amp or dac and scales the focal elegia right now is between $400-$500 can be driven off a phone and is excellent.

Soundstage, pinpoint imaging, laid back and very technically capable headphone. Easy pick


Elegia was their prior $900+/- model, and filled the same slot as their new Celestee, which is basically the replacement for it/ upgraded version. They were aiming to fill a slot as basically a closed back Clear. While the reviews do say that it /isn’t/ a closed back clear (sound profile wise) that gives you an idea of where it sat in the product stack.

There’s a fairly decent amount of new, unsold units still at retailers, but this model was officially discontinued last year. Thus, the new old stock is getting sold off at discount.

At $400-$500, Elegia is positioned to be the bargain of the decade, being literally 50% off for a $900 pair of cans, but both Clear and Radiance are positioned above it in their product lineup, and should (in theory) sound a little better.


I agree it is the bargain of the decade its insane the value and the performance and scales.

Build is excellent and weight wise is way lighter than the LCD’s hope this helps @Escus

This helps a lot! Can’t thank you all enough really appreciate the help and pointing me in the right direction!