Recommendation for: Movies, Metal, and Bowie

Tl;dr: AD700X are too much high not enough low, Zeus is a bit too dark (no burn-in maybe 10hr of actual use), and I like the sound the ThieAudio Legacy 3’s. Looking for something to watch movies, listen to metal (The Darkness, Iron Maiden, Nightwish, Kamelot, etc.), and of course David Bowie. Have a turntable and would love to appreciate Gorillaz and the hypnotic base to go with it.
Budget for now ~$500 can work towards ~$700+ if the HD6XX guide me towards a sound I like.

computer >optical> Topping D70 >(balanced)> Singxer SA-1
can test/use Schiit Heresy as alternate class-D amp

I currently have the Audio-Technica Air ATH-AD700X as my daily driver. To be blunt, it’s awful. They do great for imaging and were fun for FPS; alas, I don’t play games anymore and alternatively partake in movies/music. They give me headaches, originally it was listening fatigue but now with all the movies it’s worse. I’m using the rubberband “mod” because they were too loose on my tiny noggin, which may attribute to the headaches, but the highs seem to be a bit much and the bass non-existent. My partner has the HarmonicDyne Zeus, positively gorgeous and highly recommend, and these are a little more my direction but it seems a bit too dark for me. They are certainly fun and I enjoy them more than my others, but certainly miss the openness of the AD700X. Albeit I haven’t spent much time with them since the cable is short and they are used most of the time by my partner.

I have a pair of ThieAudio Legacy 3’s and have the treble notch engaged and they are fantastic, haven’t tried watching movies with them but they sound great.

Movies/anime are a big focus right now, but music much like listed above is mostly what I’ll be listening to. I have Sennheiser 6XX on the way and I imagine they will alleviate many of the issues I am experiencing with the Audio-Technica’s but have no way to test any real hardware even outside of COVID times. I was looking at the Aeon DCA X, but they seem to have issues with multiple instruments and some important vocals for metal.

I hate to be that guy on here, and this is not the “end” recommendation, but…
Have you tried Koss KPH30i? Just seems like a low-rent signature fit.

I have not, and understand they scale well with equipment. They just don’t look comfortable nor the enclosure for realistic bass and imaging. I also do not like on-ears.

i think you will be super happy with the 6xx having come from a 700x that you have figured you don’t like, the 6xx should be much more forgiving and balanced, i’m just going off what i’ve heard in my 58x which should be similar to the sound of the 6xx.

if it doesn’t jam with you see if Drop has a 30 day free return as some shops have, not sure if they do

I’m fairly certain Drop does not have a return policy, and I don’t really have an issue with keeping the 6XX as it can be used for other things when I obtain another set of headphones.

I also do not like on-ears either and find KPH30i to be uncomfortable.
I always add Yaxi’s.
However, for not eternal sittings, I do not mind their feel at all - much more comfy than many other on-ears.
A very pleasant, versatile little set.

What about the 8XX which just dropped, or the Elex which seem to be making a big splash? My concern with the Sennheiser’s is the “narrow stage.” I also have the power and always liked the idea of planar in the form of LCD-2C.

I don’t like anything touching my ears if at all possible. For my 700X I purchased new pads because the inside kept touching my ears and I couldn’t stand it.

The 8xx you won’t get for quite awhile still, but you don’t need to have any soundstage concerns. (Maybe you were talking about the 6xx in terms of the narrow staging).

Have you peered into the world of Fostex?

I was referring to the 6XX, correct. As for Fostex I have looked a bit and there seems to be a lot to offer, and they’re fairly budget friendly. I imagine you’re talking about the T60RP, unmodded is the big question though haha. Trying them unmodded is probably best to find what direction to go with from there. I know Modhouse is always behind in production and was considering just ordering from there until I saw the backlog.

I have spent some more time with the Zeus, and the shift from the 700X I believe was the soundstage. The intimacy of the Zeus is fantastic especially with the other genres I typically listen to. What I was wanting and missing in the 700X is all there. The Zeus creamy and powerful yet comforting and caressing with each carefully placed note upon your delicate ears. The pads are lovely and super comfortable as well. I’m liking it a lot more; however, these are my partners and now I need to find a pair for myself. So on that note what is a good similar alternative. Maybe something a bit more delicate than these? I love the POWER and the impact is great. Will definitely keep these in the repertoire.

Seems I might be leaning towards something akin to the Focal Clear MG which will require a bit of saving, but ultimately no matter in terms of obtaining the sound I’m looking for.

I feel like you’re in the world of Nighthawks and modded Fostex. And GL2000 if there weren’t question marks. Sivga Phoenix at the lower-side.

What concern is there regarding the GL2000 over the Nighthawks/Fostex (modded)? My concern with the Nighthawk is the suspension mount with the rubber deteriorating or breaking.

There is still an on-going discussion about potential variances in the Gold Planar GL2000 that have been highly discussed on this forum.

The Nighthawks are a used-only proposition adding difficulty in obtaining.

The Fostex, you’re potentially waiting if you’re looking for Argon (though plenty of other variants exist) - or you could do things DIY/start stock and go from there. These veer a little bit more V-shaped than just warm from what I understand, but there’s lots to play with and the initial buy-in doesn’t have to cost much.

The stock option (Fostex) and working from there to see what I’m looking for is certainly something I wouldn’t mind. I’ll look into the GL2000 issues further, but for some reason planar/electrostatic seem quite appealing in the levels of accuracy and response to me.

Yeah, good luck! Big pad comfort, soundstage and warm signature seem like priorities I would target.