Looking to compliment 177X

Hey yall,

I’m looking for a pair of cans to compliment my 177X, which i currently use as my bass cannons for stuff like alternative rap, various electronic music and some metal. They can get a bit intense however when I just want to chill out or listen to some less angry genres of metal, I’m also a fan of instrumental folk music with a focus on ambience.

I currently have a HarmonicDyne Zeus, which are alright, but I feel they don’t quite fill the niche I’m looking for. I may be looking through rose tinted glasses, but I really miss the sound stage of my old DT990s that got me hooked on this hobby. I do not particularly miss the sibilant highs tho.

I’m running a Balanced Grace SDAC to a THX AAA 789

What I’m looking for is:
Wide sound stage
Instrument separation
“Laid-back” profile with a focus on mid range for guitars and vocals
Planar magnetic, to further separate them from my 177X
Price range: up to 800$

I’ve considered the LCD Classics, but I thought I’d post here and see if anyone has better suggestions. Thanks in advance!

Hifiman Ananda might be worth taking a look at for a mid range focused planar with a pretty big soundstage. They seem to do that pretty darn well and they have a pretty smooth, laid back vibe while still being pretty detailed as you’d expect for a planar.

Sundara maybe (I’m waiting for a stealth announcement lol)

Do the stealth magnets make much of a difference, compared to the non-stealth versions?

Depends on who you ask. I have only ever heard the stealth version of the Anandas. I have heard the Arya stealths back to back with the Arya V2 and the biggest difference to me was the V2s had less brightness in the upper treble and the upper mids were less forward so I actually preferred the V2s to the Stealths. How that translates to the Anandas or other models I’m not sure. I do know that I found the Ananda stealth version to be a pleasant listen.

I found a retailer that is running a 10% sale on the Edition XS, and after watching Josh and Z’s rather glowing reviews I decided to give em a try. Prices are somewhat strange in Norway, the Sundara is 450$ after norwegian taxes, while I was able to get the XS for 530$.


I’m not a big fan of the Sundaras as they sound a bit too bright and sometimes metallic to me. I haven’t heard the XS, but from reviews and descriptions, they sound like they’d be much more my speed. Congrats on the new headphones! I hope you dig em.:beers::tada::sunglasses:

Make sure you come back and tell us how they work out for you.

Yeah I’m excited to give em a good try. Got a 14-day return window which I hope I wont have to use :sweat_smile:
And yeah, the supposedly wider sound stage and more low-end is what made me pull the trigger. Although i despise the design, I much prefer circular cups, and the silver grills give em an outdated or cheap feel. If I decide to keep em I will probably end up removing the grills and painting them black.

Edit: just got a mail from the retailer saying they didn’t have them in stock and they didn’t know when they’d get a new shipment, but I could get their exhibit-model for 490$. Which is an absolute steal. I guess this purchase was meant to be!

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XS headband is a dealbreaker for some (comfort is pretty bad) imo vs Sundara downgrade in build/comfort small upgrade in sound but YMMV

I have heard some people say that about the headband, but I didn’t find it uncomfortable at all. I only wore it for maybe 30 min, but it seemed fine and was easy to get a good fit on. As with anything in audio, it’s definitely a YMMV situation. When it comes to the sound versus Sundara, I have to disagree with a small caveat. I only listened briefly (that’s the caveat), but if what I heard was an accurate representation of the sound then I would consider it a decent step above the Sundaras which I gave to my fiance because of their unnatural brightness and this metallic sheen they often added to upper range sounds. I wasn’t a big fan of the Sundaras, but because of how brief my encounter with the XS was, I don’t go around recommending them because I don’t have a totally solid understanding of how they work for me.

To @Paishou , it sounds like you got a good deal. Demo or floor models are a great way to get an awesome deal on gear. The Audeze MM-500s I own were a demon model in a hifi shoo I visit in Texas occasionally on my travels and I got them for about $600 off the regular price when the MM-500s had only been out for a few months and they came with some extra cables and such. It sounds like you’re in some fun!

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So I just got the EDXS today, and my god these things are nuts. It’s been a very long time since a pair of headphones made me physically gasp. Quick and dirty first impressions:

Build: feels sturdy enough, I was pleasantly surprised when I got them in hand. I expected worse after reading a few reviews. The plastic cups do detract quite a bit from the otherwise overall premium feel. The grills are metal, which surprised me as well, since the cups are plastic.

Comfort: I’ve been wearing them for about an hour straight and I sense no hot spots yet. The band is mega plush and soft, so I don’t expect any problems. As for fit, i read that they were very large, but i actually had to adjust the band by 1 click. Guess my mug is size chonk. The cups are massive and very deep, my ears do not touch the pads or drivers anywhere. I did start to notice the weight after editing photos for about 30 minutes, looking from one monitor to the other. They are open, way more transparent than my Zeus, which at least muffles ambience a little bit.

Highs: They are teetering on the edge of sibilant to me, which I don’t mind as long as they stay right on the edge, it adds a hint of spice to certain tracks. Crisper than a sun-dried rice cake, tingles and chimes in many of Koan Sound’s tracks gave me shivers.

Mids: Very clear, slightly forward. For some reason it lends itself much better to male vocals than female. Sleep Token and Joji is intimate and front-and-center. While Spiritbox, Jinjer and Amaranthe sounds slightly more thin and and takes a step back. Higher frequency screaming like Will Ramos from Lorna shore tends to blend in with the guitars rather than float on top, which may confirm that these cans can be quite revealing when it comes to mastering.

Bass: I did not expect much after owning a HE4XX, and oh boy was I wrong. The sub bass on these cans is insane. It reaches deeper than anything I’ve tried before, and keeps the speed and clarity all the way down. It may not have as much bass as my DT177X, but the quality is absolutely unrivaled.

The sound stage is very wide. Listening to some Norse folk with stormy ambience made me check if I had forgotten to close my window. It also has a surprising vertical scale, probably due to the size of the drives.

I am in love, and I am certainly not returning these any time soon.

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