Open back around $500

I’ve read through other similar posts that unfortunately seemed to have fizzled out or didn’t quick come to definitive resolution. So here’s where I’m at…

I’ve found that without venturing to the 1990 or up to the Elex or even higher that the sweet spot seems to be around $350 to $400, atleast what I’ve collected. I think… I’ve narrowed it down to the B20 or the Sundara. Phantom is out due to build quality. Feel free to mention an additional contender.

Thanks for the help.

Sendy Aiva? That would be my pick. Really enjoy my pair, and the build quality is excellent and very attractive as well. You might want to look at the new monoprice stuff (1070, 1570) as well as the LCD-1. I’ve heard great things about the Sundara too, might actually be my next purchase…

Well, what music do you listen to? And what type of sound do you prefer?

Echoing what @M0N said, it all depends on a few things. What is your budget? What music do you listen to? And more importantly than the music, what sound signature are you wanting? Warm? V-Shaped? Bassy? Detailed? Neutral? Do you want narrow or wide soundstage?

The sendy aiva is in your budget currently as it’s on sale.

$500 is the cap but I’d like to find that lower priced model on this range that competes at that price or above. I’m really liking the idea of nabbing an Avia clone, that both Z and Bad Guy raved about, for $350 and spend the difference elsewhere (cables?). Z described them as “wide” and between the aggressiveness of the Avias and the relaxed of the Sundara. The B20 seem right up my ally. You can obviously see which way I’m leaning but I can appreciate a counter. The 1070 do look appealing for $50 more but does anyone have experience with these?

Note: I mostly game but I do enjoy 70s rock, metal, and hip hop (but couldn’t care less about big bass).

I think that if you enjoy a more even and refined sound (albeit a tad on the bright side), the sundara is your pick. I think if you like treble detail and don’t mind having a bit less prominent and detailed midrange the b20 or sendy is for you. Personally I would end up going with the sundara, but it depends on the person (obviously)

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Would you choose them over the 4xx ($130 v $350)??

Hmm if I could only have one than I would end up choosing the sundara. But if I had my choice of other hifiman I would actually go with the he560v1 (but I wouldn’t recommend looking into that lol). Also the hifiman edition xx from massdrop is on sale for 500 right now if you wanted to look into something different

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I personally have my eyes on AQ Nighthawk Carbons. Just trying to find them on /AVExchange or on sale one day.

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They are a pretty interesting headphone, but are hit or miss for most people lol. They typically sell for like 200-150. On amazon for 250 which is pretty good since they used to be 700 (well the original nighthawks were)

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aiva or the sundara for imaging? and is the difference really that apparent?

Hmmm, I think they are on a similar tier of imaging performance

are they both a good amount less than the 880s? or just fine for pin point positioning?

As in the imaging compared to the 880? I think they are actually somewhat close as well but for the left to right the 880 still might be a bit more accurate, but I would definitely take the sundara over the 880 imo

You should really go for the Elex. Its 600$ now and theres a big difference between 300$-400$ headphones and the Elex tier. and the imaging is fantastic. and the elex punches way above its price

If it’s in the budget then yeah I agree for sure

I’ve been regretting returning the deal i got on the sundara’s lol. reviews have kept hitting since then that have really helped with comparing them to other units and getting people’s opinions of those with much more experience.

i have the 880s but just looking for something that i could swap them out with every now and then but not lose a ton of the imaging.

i’m not quite to the point of spending $600 on the elex but i’m sure that’ll come in time.

been holding out for the avia to hit Drop for potentially a steal but again i keep getting pulled back to the sundara.

Then I think the sundara might be what you are looking for, it’s priced very well and offers great performance for the price, I would say that makes the most sense in your case if you don’t want to take the jump to the elex

I’m in the same boat as OP and between the Sundara’s and Koss ESP/95X. They are both hitting upper limit on my price and I know I’d have to get an amp eventually for the sundara’s and qc is hit or miss. Koss comes with lifetime warrenty which is nice. Any thoughts on which is a better desk headphone? I have a M570 right now that I plan on returning because of the weight, outside of that I’m new to hi-fi.