So, thanks to you guys, I bought few years ago my first “audiophile” headphone, my Audioquest Nighthawks Carbon.
It’s few years I’m using them as my daily driver, and I love them!
I also bought a Xduoo XD05 Bal (Because I can’t have a desk amp since I’m always on the move) and now I love them even more. I always use them with the suede pads, I prefer the way them sound.
But now I would really like to gift me a new pair of headphone.
I did a lot of research but I’m not sure an open headphone that can sound like these.
Anybody has a suggestion?
I would like a similiar sounding headphone that has to be open or semi open.
We can go up with the budget, as much as 1k or 1.5k.
I play a lot of EDM music and drum n bass.
Maybe ZMF? I found them but I’m not sure how would them compare.
New pair of headphone
Budget 1k to 1.5k
Open or Semiopen
I play a lot of EDM
Wide soundstage and great imaging is appreciated
I’m sorry to say this but there are very few headphones that sound like the Nighthawk’s. Off the top of my head the fostex’s use the same style if driver but they aren’t open back. The next headphone that I own that get used as much as my Nighthawks would be my LCDXs.
Hhhhmmmm for dynamic drivers maybe try the focal elex. For a planar the fostex trp60/Argon’s or and Audeze LCD2 might give you a flavor that you’re looking for.
I was looking for Focal as well, but somebody say that them sounds too mid forward.
In my mind Clear MG could have been an option.
My friend as Audeze LCD2 and I love them too, but i’ts not the same experience as my Audioquest
Check out the LCD-X, older than 2021 versions.
There’s no headphone that sounds exactly like the Nighthawk.
I got it but… All open headphone usually sounds so thin for me and the music I listen to, some open headphone with real bass and slam would be already nice for me. For example, when I listened to my friend’s LCD2, some tracks didn’t slam as much as them did on my audioquest. I already have a closed headphone that got plenty of bass, but I would like something open to listen to edm. Is LCD-X better than LCD2 in that area?
Haven’t heard the LCD2. Maybe also look into Campfire Cascade, ZMF (Atticus I think), Denon/Fostex line for bass impact. Not sure if those would be an upgrade though.
Edit: Eikon and Z1R could be suitable as well.
As the Atticus are described on their website seems really tempting for my tastes, also I’ve seen the graph response and it seems convincing as well, my only concern is that them seems almost closed back. Tomorrow I’ll look at some reviews. Thanks.
(Also I had Denon headphone in the past and is a no for me, and also them are closed)
If anyone has any further suggestion I’ll gladly hear that out.
You won’t have huge slam with open backs without a little eq help. When I’m in a bass mood I run my LCDX from a Singxer SA1 feed by a lokius Eq and I can make the slam hard. IIRC the LCD2 take eq just as well. I also have LCD2CBs that will shake on my head, like my Nighthawks do, when eq is applied. There really isn’t much out there that I would call an upgrade for the Hawks if we are talking about bass.
I’m not looking for the same headphone, but something that would be considered an update of them keeping in mind bass and soundstage.
I mean, if there is a closed back headphone, that usually have more bass, that has at least a decent soundstage, that could be the deal even if it’s closed.
Your LCD2 closed back how perform with soundstage?
Also, could anybody compare Atticus and Aeolus against Nighthawks?
Because If Atticus (or Eikon) (closed) has a decent soundstage, that could be the deal too, since reading from the reviews and even the manufactur description seems a pretty warm headphone.
Or vice versa if the Aeolus (or even Auteur) (open back) have at least a sound that could be considered warm, them could be the deal as well.
Same thing with Focal.
Maybe you could find some used fostex 909 those should be semi open and have a hard slam only the treble could be a bit much for you coming from night hawks
For a closed back the LCD2CB has actually a very large sound stage. I’d place it easily a foot outside of my head in all directions. It won’t be like the speaker presentation like the NHs but it’s pretty darn good. The other HPs that I have that have a bigger soundstage are my Blons and staxs. Those will make it seem like sounds are coming from other parts of the room but are very bass light in comparison.
The LCD2CB will also be a little more in your face than the NHs but not so much as Blons, staxs, hifiman or focal. They can be really smooth and relaxing when you want them to be.
I wish I had experience with ZMF but just never pulled the trigger on them since I like planars more than dynamic drivers.
Oh another fun closed back is the sivga sv021. They aren’t as articulate as the NH but are really really enjoyable for watching movies/tv with. They can dig deep and are relatively inexpensive.
How would you directly compare LCD2cb vs NH? Or even LCD2 if you have tried? Because this weekend I’m gonna hang out with my friend and I’,m gonna take a further listen into LCD2 open back
The LCD2CB is more articulate than the NH. To my ears instruments are more separated and bass is very clear. It won’t seem like it has the slam that the NH does but it definitely digs deep. I’ll do some listening tonight and see if I notice anything else that stands out.
Unfortunately I don’t have the LCD2 because I have the 2CB and LCDX.
Hope this helps a little while I gather some more thoughts.
Ok did some listening using my ifi xcan bt to Spotify. NH, as dark as they are, you make out cymbals better. The CBs are way more mid forward so voices and drums are more forward. Think of it as a curtain in front of the singer with the NH. Then with the CB the curtain moves to the cymbals on the drum set. CBs are definitely more in your face while the NH is more laid back. Sound stage and bass is great on both, but it is a little bigger on the CB.
Ok big difference is comfort, while I can wear both pairs all day the NH is lighter and will be more comfortable for the masses. Again I don’t have an issue wearing either all day.
Hopefully this articulated the difference a little better.
Wow thanks mate for your time!
So even tho CB are more articulate and have more instrument separation, them are a little “recessed” on highs? That could be great, so they don’t suffer any sibilance? Because I don’t like sparkling highs.
And you are telling me the soundstage is wider on them? Also, what about imaging (for gaming, for example)?
As you described them to me, CB might sound good with EDM (I listen to a lot of DnB, and my Spotify wrapped confirms it ahah).
Maybe the slam on mid-bass (fattened syntheziser zone) might be lighter, I guess, since it’s planar vs dynamic. Just a guess, if you can confirm it or not would be great:)
And last thing, voices. Wich one performs better, to you, in male category and female category.
All these answers might give me a solid picture of them.
Edit: My friend is letting me borrow him LCD2 openback this weekend, I’m gonna make a long listening session to get a clear idea how LCD drivers might sound in a closed back headphone too.
To me they do not get sibilant but I run them on pretty warm sounding amplifiers.
Imagining is decent, I rarely ever game and I’ve only used the CB a couple of times for that so I couldn’t really give you an accurate answer with that.
Mid bass actually sounds bigger so I think the slam will be there. Skrillex is the closest thing I have to edm that I can use confidently to judge at aspect.
Voices I think male are more pronounced but I really don’t find female lacking either. I listen to mostly hard rock but I also listen to some Stevie nix when the mood hits and I don’t find her voice ever gets lost.
Hopefully this makes sense. I find my CB is my best do everything great but not perfect headphone. Like if I want to get analytical I use my staxs, if I want analytical with bass I use my LCDX and when I sit and jam I grab my CB.
Let us know what you think of the LCD2!
I just got a pair of Euclid iems in so my brain is burnt into those right now and it took a bit longer to answer this for you.
Just throwing in the Beyerdynamic T1 3rd gen in here. It seems to be a very controversial headphone because of its tuning. I dont want to discuss this fact here. I bought them recently and have a few days of listening now and im pretty sure i will keep them. The bass on these headphones is addicting…slams way more than an lcd2c for example. They have some thick subbass capabilitys to them. In other forums its often said that they need a bit of time to “click” on (brain burn in/ adjusting to their signature) and i would say so aswell. I often saw the nighthawks mentioned as somewhat similar to the T1.3 - some say the T1.3 could be seen as some sort of successor to the nighthawks. I own the T1.2, the Focal Clear, Koss ESP950 and had nighthawks, lcd2c and a few others before. I think the T1.3 have the most and biggest bass of them all. The Clears have good bass aswell, you can feel it in a way…but their signature is way more neutral and a little lifeless in comparison to the T1.3. I listen mostly to electronic music aswell - Jungle, DnB, Tekno and stuff are my most listened genres overall. I think the Beyerdynamics suit very well for these types of music.
Imo the soundstage and imgaing is very good too. Detail is at least the same as my T1.2 just not so much in your face.
If you want to analyze music its probably not the most suited, but for pure enjoyment and fun, i think its excellent.
My upgrade from the NHCs were KSC75s on a headband. Grabbing a few pairs for keepers and getting out of the black hole like a boss.
Could you please tell me the main differences between T1.3 and Clear?
Because after your post I searched the T1.3 and then seems a pretty controversial headphone, but Nighthawks were as well, and I still liked them, so maybe these could fit me.
I’m still doing researches, but Clear, T1.3 and LCD2 CB are definetly on my list, I’m still waiting to hear my friend’s LCD2 but I had a lot of work in these days, not much free time.
Thanks for your time and suggestions.
@Etroze86 I really appreciated your post.
I’ve t1 3rd gen for a while now, fabulous build, comfort and I love the warm signature with good detail and separation of instruments. I have an adi-2 dac amp and with the ability to EQ to harman etc its a keeper for me. Anything else would need to be a clear audible step change. I’m tempted by 800s for classical music as a complementary pair but would like to audition many more cans before committing.