What are your favorite treble focused headphones/ iem’s/ clip-on’s etc…
Grado. If you want treble, most Grado or Beyerdynamic headphones will suit you well.
Sure seems like Grado is a dirty word in many audiophile forums, which surprises me. I bought my first Grado, the 325x, this spring and love it. GREAT with rock. Superb tuning out of the box, regardless of what the squiggly lines say. No need for EQ.
Yes, Grados look like WW II radio operator headsets, and on-ear fit is not for everyone. But I really dig the sound of my 325x, which admittedly is one of the Grados with the most bass. The sound is almost V-shaped.
For comparison, I also own and enjoy the LCD-X 2021 and HD 6XX with ZMF pads.
Personally at the moment my go to treble focused stuff (either focused in prominence or in treble engagement or uniqueness, or both)
- shangri la sr (most immediately impressive sounding treble I’ve heard, most technical, most capable, most lively sounding, although I hesitate to call it the most organic)
- potentially mysphere (extremely organic treble and feeling overall, although not treble focused really, but extremely good treble nonetheless)
- stax 009s (extremely technical and fast treble without feeling harsh or grating, although dryer than I normally like for a treble focus, excellent extension)
- focal utopia (pretty engaging treble energy and emphasis, not the most even, the treble liveliness combined with the presentation really pulls this through more though, not as organic treble, interestingly smooth for it’s prominence)
- audio technica adx5000 (very crafted treble response that while not neutral and a bit brighter leaning is very sweet and pleasing response, would consider it a focus enough to be included)
- potentially hd800s (while I think it’s a bit much at times the treble on it really is impressive in presentation and technicalities for the range, just lacking a bit of something that would make it feel organic to me personally) also would give the nod to grado (although more of an acquired taste in treble and highly dependent on the model imo, my favorite likely would be the ps2000e)
- sony mdr7506 (one of those with a very distinctive and unique treble that’s hard to really find at it’s price point)
- rhapsodio infinity mk2 (not bright but tons of air and liveliness without being harsh, extremely technical but very fun treble)
- final a8000 (more traditionally bright, but sweeter and very technical, although can get a bit hot and sometimes overfocused),
- elysian annihilator (very aggressive, very fast, very direct, can get harsh treble wise and perhaps lacking a bit refinement but the name really lives up here, in a good way at least lol)
- hyla sarda (also pretty airy and energetic without feeling like it gets hot or overdone)
- perhaps sony mdr-ex1000 (treble is genuinely a bit peaky and can sound a bit jarring, but I think that’s one of the aspects that makes it special combined with it’s presentation where I actually do enjoy it a fair bit because of the treble despite being uneven and hotter leaning)
- potentially inear promission x (I hesitate to say it’s treble focused, but it’s just extremely refined and even sounding treble without sounding like that’s it’s main focus, if you know what I mean)
- and for clip ons absolutely the ksc 75 without a doubt
Source gear I’d really have to think about and that gets too dependent on a lot of the things lol. There’s other good treble focused gear that I’ve heard that did really well in treble but didn’t like much else, but wouldn’t include those since I think it would be hard to call them a favorite if I didn’t enjoy listening to them overall in the end. Also some older ones I really liked but would need to revisit to really say lol (like the t1 gen 1 or some of the older audio technica)