I have loved music all of the 55 years of my life. In my opinion, there is no better way to manipulate your mood than music.
Mid November of 2020 I decided I needed to replace my trusty Sennheiser PC 350’s. I had used them for 10 years and wanted to upgrade. I first started looking at the newer Sennheiser gaming head sets as I game from time to time. I started looking at a lot of You Tube video’s, and the HD58x kept popping up, so I ordered them. I had read or watched that they really benefited from a dac and or amp. So, I ordered the Fiio K5 Pro and I was happy until I started doing more research. I started to hear about the THX AAA 789, so I ordered it, than I wanted to go balanced. So next came the Drop Grace balanced dac. While I was waiting on there arrival, I bought a HD660s off Ebay for $250 new. So I am now using the 660s with the 789 and I really like it but.
What would be the next progression from here? I kinda have my eye on the Hifiman Sundara.
Thank you for letting me explain my journey so far.
People on here are very helpful but it would help us help you if you told us what you were looking for in your next headphone what would you like to try, what you would like to improve on your other headphones, etc.
Thank you for your reply. I have been listening to Sennheiser’s for over 10 years. I guess what I’m looking for is something different, but still sounds quality good.
If you want to step up, I don’t really know, but my guess would be something from Focal. Mid-forward goodness for vocals and instruments, and the Focal slam and dynamics is an experience.
But I would say personally, stay low a little longer and try different things. Maybe look for a planar, like the Sundara, or a Beyer for a change of sound. Maybe the Grados, as people say they’re an acquired taste. Experiment with more amps, get a Tube like the Liquid Platinum or the Bottlehead stuff. Or even a class A Asgard, which is the champion of this forum.
The rabbit hole is more fun when you spin on your descent, not when you just go straight down.
I would say at this point you have so many different options there is no definitive next step.
imo listen to what you currently have and try to decide what it is you like/ what you’d want different. For me personally I took the route of getting a solid source chain, trying many different headphones, picking what i liked best, and then got an amp and dac that complemented them.
With that being said I would consider the sundara a step up from the 660s but it’s also very different. It’s brighter, more neutral, and has a planar bass quality which is quite fast and punchy. In comparison the 660s is a bit warmer and more intimate. Many people consider the focal elex the next step up to the 600 family. I don’t personally feel their signature is 1 for 1 but I can understand why people make the comparison as the elex is a bit mid forward, but is also a big jump in detail and overall performance.
I would say try the beyerdynamics DT770 250ohm, Grado SR80e, and the Schiit Asgard 3.
The bayers are a fairly cheep but very good V-shaped sound with great bass extension and very bright treble. They will be an experiment to see if you like any of those three things.
The Grados are a brighter mid forward sound with about the same if not slightly less bass than your senns. You’ll either hate them, be unimpressed, or absolutely love them. Everyone should try a Grado just to see. It seem like if you like them, you LOVE them.
I should mention both of these can be pad swapped fairly easily and take rather well to various pads ,or at least the sound changes with most pad swapps.
The Asgard I recommend because it is a slightly smoother and warmer amp than the THX. It can power most things easily and sounds great. by most people experience on this forum, it’s not a downgrade to the THX either, so if you like it it can stick around for even higher tier headphones. It will also go great with something like the sundara since it pairs well with planars.
P.S. don’t be too quick to write something off if you don’t like it on the THX. Many people on this forum will tell you THX is not all it’s hyped up to be and can make some really good headphones sound really bad (hence the Asgard rec).
Edit: I should clarify that I’m recommending you don’t “upgrade” just yet because I started with the HD58X and now I barley use them. I really liked them and still do, but other sound signatures/characteristics ended up fitting my preference better, and I only found that out by experimenting in the sub $200 range for a little while.
Thank you for all the replies!
The Grado’s are cheap enough to give a try. I think I’ll give the Sundara’s a try after that while I save up for the Elex. The Asgard is pretty much a no go at this point as I am pretty committed to balanced, and so far I am very happy with the THX. I am interested in Joshua Valour Tube pre amp addition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0lTGip-qQc&t=277s Oh, edited to add. I already have the response for my wife when she askes why I need so many headphones