Upgrading from Fidelios X2HR

Hello beautiful people!

I just joined the hifi-guides community so please be gentle if my post is in the wrong category or lacking some cruscial information. owo

I am looking for some advice for my next upgrade.
Currently, I am running the Fidelios X2HR with a FiiO K5 pro. It’s my daily driver and I have been really happy with it (especially the headphones) for the last couple of years.
However I’m starting to wish for something a little… well just more.

I have a 500$ (or rather 500€) budget for just the headphones.
I’ve had both open and closed cans. I am slightly leaning towards open once again, however I just miss me a good ol sub base and that pressure in my brain type of sound.
I game a lot and primarily listen to Hip Hop, rap, rock and r’n’b (Kendrick Lamar meets Disturbed meets Jorja Smith).

So far I’ve looked into the DT 1990, the Sundaras and the HD660s.
Out of those the beyer seem like the most suiting, since the 660s just seem to specific (tonaly) for me.
But do they have that oomph in the lower end?

Anyways, I am open for any and all recommendations (not just between those 3).



With $500 budget and looking for bass, you might find a used Campfire Audio Cascade. I haven’t heard them myself, but it is a common rec from people here I trust for basshead fun. Also, some of the Fostex/Denon/Emu variants van be had for that budget and are also common recs (again, unfortunately haven’t heard any). I do have, and recommend if you can find them in good shape, the Nighthawk Carbon. They’re discontinued, but can be found used pretty often well within your budget

As far as I’m aware a direct upgrade from the Fidelio X2HR is not that easy to find.
Giving the 1990Pro & the Sundaras a shot sounds like a good idea tho.
Even if you miss some low end on the Sundaras, you might be surprised by the planar soundquality.
I felt like the beyerdynamic have that oomph
I have the X2HR at home & listened to the 1990Pro at work (not mine tho)

If you can stretch your budget, you can get a refurbished Elex from Drop for around $600 shipped. You can probably get them cheaper from Ebay, but some Elexes have driver issues. I’m currently waiting for a replacement pair to be sent to me from Drop (left driver failed). The Elex has the bass emphasis they X2’s have, but better. Same with the mids and treble. It’s really great when it works. But I wouldn’t bother with a pair unless it came with a warranty.

Thank you for your recommendations!

I dream of the Fostex 909s frequently, however that’s probaby endgame for me… Thank you for pointing me towards the TH610 (seem to be the only ones which might drop into my price range).
I’ve listened to the T60RP and I really really loved them, however for me they didn’t seem like enough of jump to be honest.
Currently watching Z talk about the Audio Cascades =)

Thanks for your input!
Now that oomph is really important to me for my buying decision.
Clarity+soundstage with a lower end oomph is what i am looking for. You think the dt1990s are enough of a step up for that price tag?

I have been looking everywhere…
It seems like Elex just do not exist within the EU.

I did not compare them directly head to head & suggest listening to the 1990Pro yourself.
That’s almost impossible in our current situation, but something I’d do if I was to spend more than 300$.
All this is just so so subjective. Some people like the highs of the DT1990 way better than X2HR, others think it’s more peaky. Technically the beyerdynamic headphone is better in almost every way tho.

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Ah, yeah I wouldn’t recommend the Elex for folks outside of the US. They are only available from Drop.com or second hand (wouldn’t recommend the latter given personal experience with QC issues with my Elex).

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aldarein has this right. On the one hand, the Elex is a different league altogether from the X2HR. I really like both headphones so long as the iteration of each one is good (if both channels work, and are balanced, that is). BUT Elex is a world apart. Except… famously thin and fragile voice coil. It’s an expensive headphone to just stop working at random. i bought mine used, and have been super happy with it. I am still scared about my lack of warranty though.

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