Upgrading from AD700X

In the market for an upgrade from my AD700Xs. Could use some advice on picking a new set of cans.

As much as I love my current AD700Xs and would love to move up to the AD1000X or AD2000X there’s a pretty large price differential moving up to them. The AD900Xs probably would be slightly better but more of the same and I’d like a bit more of an upgrade than what I assume the AD900Xs would provide.

I’m looking for another light open back thats comfortable for hours of wear, preferably without replacing the stock pads. I’m very much a one-set-does-all sort of person, I use my AD700Xs for everything from gaming, to movies, to music, and the replacement will take on all of those duties. I’d like something that provides more detail and remains anywhere from neutral to favoring highs/mids. Bass is not a priority. Most of my music focuses on vocals, guitar, and other strings.

I have a XENYX 1204USB that runs my mic and headphone setup at my desk currently, although I plan to upgrade to something like a Topping DX7 Pro sometime next year.

The only other headphones I have experience with:
A pair of Beyer Dynamic DT880 Pro 600ohms that broke in my first few months of owning them. I enjoyed their sound but they made my ears too warm wearing them for extended periods.

I tried the Sennheiser HD 598 Cs. I hated them. Actively hated. Uncomfortable, sound was trailing behind what my AD700Xs offered, and have pretty much turned me off Sennheiser altogether.

Looking to spend sub 500$ on something that is preferably Newegg or Amazon available.

I’ve so far considered the AKG K712 Pros, the DT 1990 Pros, and the HiFiMan Sundaras.

Would appreciate any and all info on what might suit me, happy to provide details on anything that might help narrow my choices down.

hmm, I would skip the 900x it’s barily better than the 700 and does not fix the seperation issues… that would be found at 1000x for the better seperation and overall sound quality.

As for alternatives… neutral would be something like sennheiser… so HD560S which is neutral bright, 58x Jubilee which is very balanced with some slight warmth and the respective step ups in the HD 600 range which are nice but require much more power and become more of a narrow soundstage.

As for favoring mids and highs, the alternative of the AD700X is the AKG k series so something such as… I would say K702 over there which is also on the brighter side essentially has the same style of signature with k712 being the more balanced warmer approach. K701, q701, k702, k712, and k7xx respectively are all different but they generally follow the same suit of mids and highs being a priority instead of bass. Takes but a quick google search on their signatures to see differences between them… in some cases not a big different in others big changes such as k702 vs k712

You also have Beyerdynamic’s DT 880 which would be the only one I recommend from beyer in your music preference here considering it’s more mid and high focused instead of lows I see you mention trying them, the beyers should not have much of a heat issue so this is rather surprising considering they are quite breathable… still I feel the need to leave it on the recommendation list in case you feel you would want to try them again…

this is another very good headphone for your preferences and one of the better options in my opinion. The Sundara is great for mids and highs while not focusing as much on the lows… it’s a planar though so it demands power to sound good. You have to be wary of the company unfortunately as they have big QC problems, other than that this headphone sounds gorgeous with a lot of detail and texture… speed in the bass with the planar slam and a very airy sound.

I would argue that the T1.2 may be better in mid tonality than the 1990 but both are alright… 1990 is the more aggressive analytical headphone in that it will rip apart any music you listen with and pick out flaws meanwhile T1.2 has a seperate signature(more in the bass but still good on mids and highs) and is the more relaxed listening approach. Both of these require an amplifier especially in the case of the T1


Falenkor has more experience than I do for sure lol. Personally I went from AD900x -> ESP/95X, and I’m very happy with my decision.

Soundwise, a definite upgrade in a lot of regards. The 95X does not sound as airy, has worse dynamics, and less bass impact, but bass quantity and extension, imaging, seperation, and resolution are definitely better. I like that it is pretty mid-centric in tonality. IMO could use a bit more treble overall, but resolution and detail retieval is so good that it doesn’t sound recessed despite not being “sparkly.” It takes EQ very well, so that option is always available. Though my family don’t care for my hobby (rather they wonder why I have so many headphones), they all can tell the 95X sounds “better” than my AD900x.

Ear cups are very spacious, and there is barely any clamp. Headband, though cheap-feeling, is very well padded. In terms of mass, I’d say it’s about the same weight or lighter than my AD900x. Only issue I would say is your ears will touch the crinkly foam that covers the drivers. It’s quite noisy if you shift around, but not uncomfortable.

If you use AD700x as an all-purpose can, I think the 95X could suit you well. Only issues being QC and the general hassle and quirks of powering on/off, discharging after use, keeping it dust free, dual volume control, etc. I just use cheap Koss for moving around and low-quality audio, but the 95X is my desk-headphones for everything else.

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experience? sort of, still new to the hobby… But I have a massive budget and connections to the point I can throw myself at pretty much any piece of hardware in the hobby except those at $2k+. I wish I could get a bit better on sound descriptions though… it’s still all rather confusing to me so I try not to get too involved in the description as I appear to confuse some people lmao.

As for the esp 95x I forgot about that one, I haven’t bothered with electrostatics(I really should but the thought of an energizer specifically for a type of headphones throws me off plus they damn sure aren’t cheap). You’d definitely have more experience on that

pretty sure those are bigger than the aeons, which means there huge lol

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Haha ear cups are maaaaasssive. I have average ears, and no touch at all, besides the foam.

STAX or something like Nectars would be nice to have, but all too expensive. Considering the 95X is $500, still $390 on sale right now, it’s pretty much a no brainer for “small-budget” people who are even remotely interested in electrostatic drivers.

IMO the 95X is analagous to an Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA Quadrifoglio. Expensive, but not prohibitively so like supercars. Performs very well for its price-bracket and is much more exotic to own than a German or Japanese performance sedan (think dynamic or planar). Has… issues. Not for everyone, but those who can forgive its faults seem to really really like the car.

Going more off topic, but I really like Koss because their stuff is equal parts the worst and best possible in audio. The severe flaws in a lot of their designs are annoying, but I like the… excitement lol. Tonally, I haven’t found one that I dislike. Even the Pro4AA. From a two-day impression, I find it has a lot of major problems, but there also is a lot of good, at least to me.


Firstly ef AT for changing soundsig EVERY headphone.
Ok now that is out of the way;

My rec for a direct AD700X upgrade would be the A1000Z, has very similar soundsig to AD700X while having much improved microdetail. Air/imaging isnt affected at all even though its a closed back although the soundstage is slightly smaller but shouldnt affect your enjoyment as its still a very wide soundstage.

AD1000X is more or less a monitoring flat sig but without the subbass. If you are looking at AD1000X I would recomend SRH1840 as the soundsig is practically identical but SRH1840 has better extension and imaging at the expense of soundstage. The only reason to get AD1000X is for the feeling of wideness imo.

AD2000X I personally like alot but wouldnt be my first rec for someone upgrading from the AD700X as it has significantly more bass and is more suited for edm/basser songs. That being said if you want that snappier bass AD2000X is a good choice but you do lose some of that vocal magic coloration with the thicker vocals.Also AD2000X has upper treble roll off which you might or might not want. Anyways it will sound darker coming from the AD700X.

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