Looking for widest soundstage and depth under 150$

Hello everyone, i’m new to this forum / community, before everything thanks for helping me out. Long story short, i have around ~150$ (Rp.1.5M in idr currency) and looking forward for a new can for my lonely birthday soon (yay :tada:) but i digress. Aaanyway, I’m still in college and in mid-end semester (very busy), so part time job is no go for me. But, i can save up around ~2 months, increasing the budget to 200$. i"ll make this post as easy to read as possible. Why soundstage and depth? Well, i’ve heard friend’s 50k-ish USD car audio, and it is WIDE and have very long(?) depth, i want to experience a bite from it. And yes, i did research and in the end got overwhelmed :smiling_face_with_tear:

My current setup:

  • Samson SR850 (okay ish soundstage, great imaging, not so great depth, HARSH)
  • ibasso DC02 (Sounds clean for a used Rp.530k (~53$) DAC, also the DAC i mentioned below)
  • some random generic 384khz dac (sounds decent for what it is, actually a bit louder than the ibasso)
    i know this is not a iem forum but here it is:
  • KZ ZSN PRO X (meh, a bit harsh, okay ish imaging)
  • Nakamichi MV500 (Very flat and balanced, good imaging and better-ish soundstage than the KZ, being an iem it doesn’t have good depth)
  • the rest is fun impulse buying stuff


  • 150$ is kinda the limit (without saving up), and i’m open to used stuff (some GREAT deals, some usually only 10-20% less than new in my market, welcome to Indonesian pricing).
  • My DAC ([email protected] ohms, yikes) isn’t the most powerful, high impedance or low sensitivity is kinda not an option for me. Only has 3.5mm jack.

What i listen to

  • Orchestras (1st priority)
  • Live stages (2nd)
  • Acoustic songs
  • Vocals with not much instruments
  • Classics
  • Chinese / Japanese instrumentals

What i want

  • Open backs
  • Soundstage and DEPTH
  • Good Imaging if possible
  • Detail is a bonus :slight_smile:
  • Harshness / not balanced is okay, i can tune it with EQ…
  • comfort is last priority, just want it to sound good and WIDE

What i consider

  • AKG K702 chinese made, found it brand new no box for ~125 USD (found in a forum somewhere that it is wide but not detailed, some said its mediocre get the sennys instead)
  • Hifiman HE400 SE used ~150 USD (only hear great things about it, some said its stage is wide, some said its okay)
  • Philips SHP9500 old stock or used ~140 USD (got some info that it is wide, but others gave conflicting answers, some said the bass sounds like sh–)
  • Fidelio X2 used, only one on list ~140USD (got info it is wide but not accurate, some said it is harsh AF)
  • New DAC maybe? Those Topping DX3+ is mouth watering
  • Hifiman Sundaras, until christmas saving up project maybe?

I condensed as much info as i can, i’m open to new options or more expensive headphones, i’m open to iem options too… Again, thanks everyone for the help and this awesome community!

PS: My English suck, apologies.

1 Like

First off, welcome to HFG! Don’t worry about your English. You did just fine and most of us native English speakers aren’t as good at it as we should be anyways. :wink:

From your list of considerations, I would probably stay away from the K702s and most Hifiman headphones until you have something with a little more power than your current setup as the K702s (I’m an AKG fan and these are one of my favs) and the HE400is/Sundaras take some decent muscle from an amp to fill out and open up. Without that power they tend to sound harsh, bass light, lack details, and, most importantly for you, they’ll sound closed in with smaller staging. That said, the Fidelio X2s and the SHP9500s are actually two pretty good headphones. If you like a warmer sound with more bass, somewhat recessed mids, and a smooth somewhat conservative treble then the X2s might be a great match and they do have a reasonably wide stage with some decent depth to it, especially given the price range they’re in. I only know the SHP9500s by reputation so I will leave others to comment more specifically on their capabilities, but they seem to be quite well liked by many.

Buying a new DAC might open up more options for headphones in the future, but I would only do that if you’re content with your current headphone and IEM lineup. If not, buying a pair of headphones that better suits your uses and preferences would be my recommendation. There’s also nothing wrong with saving up a bit as you wait and see what deals and opportunities come your way, but I’ll leave it up to you to decided what’s best to do there.

Anyways, I hope that was at least somewhat helpful and I hope you stick around and have some fun here. Feel free to ask any questions you might have and I’ll do my best to help. Just keep in mind, I have a pretty busy and often unpredictable schedule so just be patient if you don’t hear right back from me. I try to swing through once a day or so and I will get back to you as soon as I can. :metal::sunglasses:


Thank you sm for the reply! And yes, it is very helpful, gave me a lot of insights. :upside_down_face:

I think i’ll stick with your 2nd last advice, saving up to get a good amp DAC combo first, so i can enjoy my future K702 later. I’m honestly surprised that even K702s can sound closed in / narrow with mediocre power. For now, i’m happy with what i have right now, my setup sounds way better than overpriced shit brands or wireless junks anyway (self comfort much lmao :laughing:). Currently saving up for Topping DX3 Pro+, [email protected] ohms and low distortion looks great. My current headphone and IEMs too could sound better with this ample power and MILES better DAC.

Again, thank you so much JAnonymous5150! I’ll definitely stick around here, awesome community.

1 Like