Rounding out my collection (with a planar)?

I’m thinking about getting another headphone to round out my collection.

I’m curious to try a planar again after having a somewhat disappointing experience with the Sundara. Going from memory, I think the main issue was mainly with higher frequencies of percussion sounding plasticky, but I know audio memory is unreliable. I don’t think I need as much bass as that the advice given in that thread: I’m quite happy with the bass on the Elegia and Hemp; possibly the slam compensates for the quantity a bit (also, mid-bass occurs more in my library than sub-bass)
I think I don’t mind an elevated treble as long as it’s consistent—the FD5 seems a bit peaky and gets to me in certain songs if I turn it up just a little too much, at least on my desk setup.

I sometimes see deals on Aeon 2 (all versions, usually Open though), LCD-X, LCD-2C and occasionally the Hifiman Ananda and Arya.

The Aeon 2 Closed is the one that I’ve read the most on, but apparently it does not do so well busier sections of music, which is a concern for my library. It’s a shame because the combination of comfort, transportability would be nice to have (when travel re-starts). If the Noire is better for busier passages, I’d be more interested, although I’m less likely to find a deal on that. The signature of the Noire also might be more appealing as I do like the V shape of the FD5 and might be able to tame the treble with the tuning pads.

The LCD-X seems like it would give me a very different signature, but the inconsistency between batches and possible need to EQ put me off a bit. Return policy would be key here. It was compared to an Elegia, which I definitely do like, so that is actually promising. Possibly a good way to explore the Audeze house sound?

The Hifimans seem to be compared strangely. It seems like the Ananda is tonally more similar to my current set of headphones, but many people say the Arya is way better technically, especially at separating instruments, which is definitely interesting. Harder to find a good deal on, though.

I’m open to other alternatives, ideally planar at around €1k available and returnable in Europe. Will also consider other open-backs.

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Planars are kinda rough, most need some EQ to get to their true potential, batch to batch variance is a pain, they can’t run on tubes unless it’s a hybrid, and often you’ll need to try multiple Amps till you get the right one.

A second hand LCD2 [Fazor] with EQ would be the value and technical pick.

HE6SE is incredible. When the Adorama $699 sale is on its a no brainer

How was the lcd2 fazor for you? I have only heard a pre fazor and i loved it.

Its def a good deal at $700, but having heard 3 revisions of the he6 , the adorama was by far the least pleasing. Build and sound. However, with a nice power amp, the energy from that thing was really nice, but something about the og versions just sounded better. What did you run yours on?

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LCD2F is incredible, I got to borrow one for 3 months and didn’t want to let it go.

If you loved the the LCD2C there’s no reason to really go with much else to be honest. It’s a bit tighter bass. I’d say it’s a tad less than the 2C but the mid range and less treble weirdness are worth it.

Overall its the Planar.

Otherwise I really enjoyed the Verum 1 for that type of sound. But it doesn’t have as much bass texture for sure

It’s somewhat ironic that the first deal I saw after posting this thread was for an Arya, which I was expecting to be the hardest to find and the least suitable for me. It really opened my eyes, particularly to the importance of good treble. I mentioned some other things in the Arya thread:

In general, even though it’s more of a generalist than I thought, it’s still a bit too specialist to have as my highest-end headphone.

I’m on the fence about hunting for a used HeKv2, as I wonder if the small reduction in the treble will make it more suitable for parts of my library where I find the Arya a tiny bit “piercing”. I also occasionally found the mid bass a little lacking and the HeKv2 looks like it has a bit more there.

At the moment, I’m leaning towards trying other headphones on the list. I’ll see what LCD deals come up after the Arya return is processed, and add the 2F to that list. The other headphones don’t seem to fit the criteria I mentioned already, unfortunately. I think I’ll put the Aeon 2 idea on hold for now as the Arya showed me that I really need an open headphone in my collection.

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arya a specialised headphone? thats different, interesting… why do you think that?

also interesting is how you imply the arya as being occasionally peaky, thats really interesting, i’m not trying to devalue any of what your experience here has been i just think it’s interesting in how we hear things differently, chain could be a factor too in this instance possibly idk

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arya a specialised headphone?

Hmm, I’m not sure “specialised” was the right term, now that you mention it. I think there are two things going on: the lack of forgiveness this has for bad recordings and whatever it is that it’s lacking around the mid-bass sometimes.

I’d rather say that I wouldn’t have the Arya as my only headphone. I’m just extending that logic to mean that it shouldn’t be the most expensive, either. Maybe that makes more sense?

I think the perception of peakiness comes more from certain recordings. Anything recorded well does sound amazing.

how we hear things differently

The Arya did tell me that I’m not as treble-sensitive as I thought! I actually listen a bit louder than normal with it, because with decent recordings it has a lot of magic. The peakiness could also be a bias, since Crinacle mentioned the Arya being peaky compared to the HeKv2, but I had already been listening for a few days before I read that. I think my ears are very different from his, but that statement stuck with me.

chain could be a factor

I hope that this is unlikely. The dac2541 and V281 are both items that I really want to keep!

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ah yes i see what you mean now. well i really hope you can find what you are looking for, we just gotta keep going until we find what suits us the most! you were mentioning audeze so i assume thats next for you. i also saw you mentioned portability which the aeon are great for, the build is insane

but what is mid-bass??

It’s a fun journey, for sure! In other fields, I usually try to get the “best” and forget about it, but audio is pretty different. It’s taking me a while to get my head around it

Yeah, definitely Audeze, it’s just such a mess with so many different models and revisions. I’m gonna leave the Aeon for now. I’m almost certainly going to get one once travelling and office work resume though, just for comfort.

I might be completely wrong, but I’m thinking of the bass guitar and kick drums (although on some recordings the kick drum definitely goes lower). Both important to a mostly-metalhead like me.

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