Need advice for 1000$ + Headphones

I have the Sendy Aiva’s and the Focal Elex. I’m now thinking of my next headphones to aim for. Zeos mentions the ZMF headphones. But he also said the Stax L700’s where greatness. I’m also thinking of the Ether C flows. Fostex high ends and the Audeze LCD’s.

I hate Dark or Warm headphones. I lean more towards Treble and Clarity. I love detail. Dont care about build or anything but sound. I listen to U2, Simple Minds, Radiohead. Duran, Tears for Fears, Pixies, Smiths and the like.

I mean, some estats might be up your alley imo, as you also seem to like a more intimate close to your head sound. Regarding the lcd line, the LCD X could be something you like as well, but I don’t think it would be as detailed as something like the l700’s. Regarding the Ether C flows, they do provide lots of detail, but are somewhat compressed sounding, and that might bother some who value more dynamics

Also have you ever considered an HD800s? Could be pretty interesting for you

I think the ADX5000 could also be another interesting option for you as well

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How much does timbre and tone matter to you? As that might change whether you would want to pursue estats

How would you define Timbre? Ive done some research on it but theres not much out there. also dynamic range.

So mainly I use the term timbre to describe how realistic something actually sounds to real life. If a horn sound like it would in real life, it has a somewhat natural timbre. Stax have a sound that some like but some don’t, as it almost sounds artificial or like a bit greater then real life sound

Having unrealistic timbre doesn’t make a headphone bad, but some may enjoy it while some may not

If you treasure treble and clarity, have you ever tried the Beyerdynamic T5p.2’s?

They certainly are crystal clear. And are in no way warm.

Shane D

Thanks but no thanks Shane. I already got 700$ headphones. I want ridiculously expensive headphones over 1000$ only

I don’t know if your wallet would think the same lol (it could, who knows)

I keep forgetting everything is much cheaper in the US.

Happy hunting!

Shane D

I own the Aivas and Elex and love both. I have the Ether CX from Massdrop and they are super comfortable, but maybe one of my bigger purchase regrets. If the compression is the issue as M0N says, I guess that explains it, but they just seem lifeless to me. The build quality and comfort are incredible. but I find them to sound like very ordinary headphones, which I didn’t expect for $900. I bought the Koss 95x from Massdrop and really enjoy the sound, and I’m now looking at Stax L700s as my next purchase as a result. If you LOVE the Elex, the Focal Clear are my 2nd favorite headphone and to my ears do everything the Elex does a little better. Not sure if you want two headphones by the same manufacturer, but if you don’t mind they are fantastic

How would you compare the Elex’s vs the E95X?
Right now I can get a used set of Elex’s for the sale price of the Koss Electrostats.


Shane D

The clear is great, but imo if you have the elex and are looking for something different, the clear is harder to justify.

Also yeah I have a C Flow 1.1 and the build and comfort is awesome, but the compression is the let down tho imo. But the new Aeon 2 looks pretty great if they fix the compression

i have the Koss 95x and i think the Elex are way better. Get the Elex if you can. But remember the M570 exist and are only 300$

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its ok, im gonna sell my house. but i still got my car to live in. as long as i have my 1000$+ headphones everything’s alright!

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On build quality alone I would pick the Elex, but I would try to listen to them first if you have the ability. I’d be wary of a used Elex since it seems like the negative reviews I’ve seen indicate QC issues that they may be trying to pass off on an unsuspecting buyer in the used market. At the very least, make sure you can return for a refund if you have any issues. My first pair were great for a week, and the right driver gave out when I was listening and actually made my eardrum hurt for about 48 hours. That’s not common from what I’ve seen, but I feel I should mention it. I’ve had zero issues with my replacement pair, and enjoy them enough that I purchased the Clears and I would consider the Utopias and Stellias because I like them so much.

The Koss feel like a toy on the other hand, but the sound quality is amazing. Some people seem to have issues with noise, but I haven’t had that problem. For my money the Elex feel like higher quality, but your experience may differ.

I always see open-box sales on the Aeons. I think they look great, so if they iron out the sound on the v2s, I may consider it. It’s nice to see they are close to the v1 price point, but that makes me think that that sound will be similar. I would love to see him collaborate with Audeze. A combo of his build/weight reduction quality with their sound signature would maybe be my perfect headphone

Pretty much agree with that, I think the elex are higher preforming for the price (for Shane at least)

Regarding the clear and Utopia, I spend a week with most of the focal lineup and actually came out preferring the clear over the Utopia because of the tuning, and they are actually somewhat close technicality wise imo. The stellias have a much more fun tuning but personally I prefer the elegia

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I didn’t like the sound of the original aeon, but they were built really well and the comfort was excellent, so if he is able to fix the compression, a more portable aeon is a win in my book

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I feel like that once you pass the $1000-$1500 mark, there are a lot of factors aside from just sound quality that factor into the decision. I just ordered the limited edition ZMF Blackwood Aeolus and the Stax L700-two completely different headphones. The ZMF line is, to me, tube-focused and aesthetically motivated. The Stax are detail on a different plane than just about everything else, but build quality is not for everyone. Spending $1k+ doesn’t mean that you are getting double of what you would get from a great $500 headphone, and in many cases a lot of people will prefer their $500 cans. I wish I was the type of person who enjoyed a specific sound signature, but I like warm and bright equally depending on the situation. I just got my Argons after ordering them in June and they are definitely less capable than my Empyreans, but holy crap that bass slam makes my ears dance

I don’t have the ability to hear either first. I have been interested in the Elex for several months. However, I do currently own 5 amps and 6 pairs of headphones. I can maybe get an approximation of the Elex’s with all my combinations. However, apparently nothing in my whole collection can come close to the sound of an Electrostatic, according to online discussion.

As far as quality goes, while the Elex might have the occasional issue, even the fans admit that there are Lots of Electrostatic problems. That is why they have a lifetime warranty, I think.

No warranty on used Focal, but life on new E95X’s.

Mmmmmm he says over and over…

Shane D