Sibilance Sensativity

I am wondering if anyone else here has found themselves sibilant sensitive.

What have you done/looked for to alleviate this in your current set up? How have you adjusted your buying options to fit your needs?

My current budget is 3000$ +/- 500$ Headphones + DAC/AMP

I absolutely loved the HD 660s sound and what it gave to me but found myself wanting more. As soon as i turned them up to a respectfully high volume the sibilance was killing me.

The Nighthawk Carbons were the same. At normal levels i had no real issues but it was still apparent. As soon as i turned them up to feel that thump my head wanted to implode.

All tested on Q5s THX AAA+BTR5+Laptop+Phone

I was planning on getting the ZMF Verite because they seemed to be the best of both worlds. but…

My current projected purchasing path is ZMF Aeolus LTD + iFi Micro iDSD BL + HML Tuba.

Music preference - I am into everything but… death metal/headbanging/screamo/country

I prefer/LOVE female vocalists “males are good too” and i also listen to chillstep/EDM/60’s/70’s/80’s and of course alternative 90’s. “I’ll be 30 in September”

I personally think you have little to no chance of sibilance or harshness with the tuba and aeolus setup imo, but of course there is more out there

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I have an aeolus paired with the tuba. The aeolus with the stock aeolus pads paired with the tuba should be what you’re looking for. Sounds like you’d love it. You could try the universe suede pads, but you might find it sibilant then.

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Sibilance on the nighthawks and 660s? Damn, i must really be going deaf and losing my upper frequency range. They tweet but i don’t find them sibilant at all, quite contrary very enjoyable upper end, and I cranked the hell out of them a few weeks ago. I must go back and play some actual music through them again sometime soon, you have me thinking how different we really all hear things. :thinking:

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The only other thing i have used are the usual gaming headsets. Most recent being the Plantronics RIG 800LX. This will be a wild card i have an almost 30+ year old pair of Phillips SBC3370 headphones my father had given me from his old system back in Europe. I put these into the Q5s+BTR5 crank em to max and notice little to no sibilance. Now they are an over the ear and vintage pair of headphones but i feel the drivers shaking against my year pushing air.

Do you mean as in options for this particular sound signature?

How do you like your D50? I was also looking into the D90/Enog2 Paired with the RNHP balanced. But then we are talking about 1000$ and the probability of sibilance again.

To be completely honest i am going to get my hearing checked and see a specialist. I have been to neurologists as well. Getting into higher end audio has made me deeply question previous experiences. Not to bore you or sob story but i was born with cataracts and had them removed at 6 months old, Then i was diagnosed with glaucoma at the age of 18. I am almost 99% sure i have a sensory processing disorder and tinnitus caused by Hyperacusis. They did find a lesion in my frontal lobe a few years back. I have exhibited these symptoms for as long as i can remember but no one has taken them seriously. I will be blind with in the next 5-10 years that is a fact. Glaucoma is a degenerative neurological disease. I lose on average 5-10% of my peripheral vision yearly. I have 65% nerve damage in both eyes. Right eye is at 45% and the left is at 60% peripheral vision left.

Getting into true HiFi was something i wanted to experience. I live my life with no compromises and no regrets because at the end of the day we might only have one go at it. I am just attempting to find what fits best for my particular needs vicariously through your experiences and opinions.

Thank you for your feedback and input.


Have you measured just how loud you are listening when the sibilance bothers you, there are free phone apps that would be close enough.
The louder you listen the more prominant high frequencies will become.
There are also a lot of poorer quality recordings, especially older stuff, that will exhibit sibilance on almost anything you play them through. You can resort to EQ to reduce the impact.


I like it. It’s a good dac. I don’t know about how much better the d90 would be over it in terms of a perceivable sound difference. Still looking at possible upgrades from it. As far as I know there is a slight difference between rca and xlr on the rnhp, but not so much that it really matters unless you really want to go balanced. The tuba is rca only, so in my case, balanced matters less to me. I would definitely focus on purchases in the order of headphones > amps > dacs. The rnhp should be less harsh than some other amps, especially thx.

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I will find find an app or a program to figure this out. The tracks are either coming from TIDAL or Amazon Music HD through BT LDAC from my note 10+. The laptop supports 24/192 and then i have also used the Q5s and BTR5 through USB. As for when he sibilance happens on the Q5s i comfortably listened to both headphones at 9-12 o’clock at the loudest i would like. sibilance was almost non existent but it was there " i am not misconstruing the real sound with sibilance". I could max them out on balanced but then with the HD660s it started distorting a smidge and sibilance was just unbearable. “also that is probably way to fucking high.” As for the BTR5 anything over 45 on high gain would just “screeeeeech” into my ears.