Want to buy 3 headphones that compliment each other. HELP ME B4 I LOSE MY MIND

Bear in mind that where I live (not Europe or North America) it’s pretty difficult to try and get these kind of headphones so in my next trip to the US I plan to buy 3 different kind of headphones within the 200-700 price range each (though only one can be above 350). My initial idea was to buy very contrasting headphones so they could fulfill different needs. However, since I’m struggling so much to decide I could buy only one ridiculously expensive headphone instead if it’s really worth it.
What are my needs?
1- I want to have “great sounding” headphones for listening sessions at night in a quiet room. These sessions could get quite long sometimes (though I’d say 3 hours at most), so comfort is important.
2- I don’t plan to work or mix music with these, so I’m not lookig for very analytical headphones (that’s why I’m not considering the DT 1990). I just want to enjoy music.
3- Headphones MUST be very good / excellent at delivering the sound of “a classical / acoustic guitar + vocals”. A good part of my favorite music is just that. For example: Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, Leonard Cohen, Joanna Newsom (yes, she doesn’t play guitar but it’s almost the same), Sibylle Baier, Johnny Cash, The Tallest Man on Earth and the list goes on.
4- Other genres that I listen to are alternative rock and “indie” music (indie-rock, indie-folk, indie-pop, folk-rock), post-rock (I’m curious how headphones with great soundtage make bands like Sigur Ros sound) and dream pop (again, I’d like to have headphones with great vocals just to listen to Mazzy Star’s voice). Then I could listen to pretty much everything, depending on the day. For example, right now I’m listening to some trip-hop and ambient music, though they aren’t my favorite genres ever.
5- I don’t listen to (overly) commercial music. I don’t like much EDM, hip hop, rap, “commercial pop” (if it makes any sense), or heavy metal.
6- A big part of the music I listen to was recorded during the years 1960-2000.
7- I only own the Sony Xm3 right now. They are quite terrible for the music that I listen to, but the ANC and LDAC are great.

These are the options I’m considering right now:
HEADPHONE #1. ARGON MK3. Well, every reviewer and every owner seems to love them so I haven’t had much doubts about these headphones so far. They could be my choice for a bassy closed back headphone that’s also great for casual immersive gaming and movies. Since they are power hungry, I’m going to get the Emotiva Basx A-100, which will also be the amp for all my headphones (I cannot spend more money on a second amp). I’m aware that the Argon Mk3 may not be the best headphone for my specific needs, but I think they could perform very well where the other two don’t. Being a closed back, I won’t bother anyone and I won’t hear the fans of my computer. In other words: since I’m getting these, the other two headphones don’t have to have an outstanding bass response and I don’t care if they are good for gaming/movies. They are also unique because of having good soundstage despite being a bassy closed-back headphone.
HEADPHONE #2. SENNHEISER HD 6xx (OR SUNDARA).The 6xx may be my first choice. The price is great, everyone loves them and they seem to be perfect for my needs (comfortable, not fatiguing, could wear them for hours without much trouble and apparently they’re great for acoustic music, strings and vocals because of their mids). However, : 1) my initial idea was to buy one planar (though I could give up this idea if it isn’t worth it) and I may get the focal Elex (which also isn’t a planar) as my third headphone; 2) The Focal Elex is advertised as “the super hd 650” and while I know some people don’t agree with that statement there must be a reason for it and I noticed that the frequency response in the mids is fairly similar. In other words: Is the 6xx worth it if I also buy the Focal Elex?; 3) For the last few years, famous reviewers have at least implied that the Sundara is “better”. I take this with a grain of salt and I’m worried that the Sundara may be very analytical for me and not cater to my needs as well as the 6xx.
HEADPHONE #3. FOCAL ELEX OR HIFIMAN ANANDA. This has been an extremely tough choice for me. At first I really wanted the Ananda. But the more I do research on them the more unsure I am. Reviewers are quite divisive about them: some absolutely adore them and others say there are better options and don’t even consider them in tier lists. Even among people that liked them (including the reviewers that adored them) they usually complain about the dynamics. Others say they’re lifeless, boring, cold, with good frequency response but lacking musicality. I’m not sure how well they perform for my musical tastes. I’ve noticed there aren’t many headphones in the 500-800 price range. The Elex, on the other hand, are great according to 99,99% of reviewers but they could get very loud or harsh because of its dynamics: I wouldn’t like turning down the volume a lot because of drums hitting too hard. Both are a bit bright, so they could compliment great with the 6xx and the mk3. I just don’t know, there aren’t many comparison between these two online.

What do you think of my choices? What do you think it would be best for me? Should I get one expensive headphone instead? Do you recommend any other headphones? I know very few headphones in the 500-800 price range to be honest.

everyone hesitating coz this is so freaking specific and everyones taste is so different haha

I’d do this: AKG K371 (closed back, good subbass, you won’t bother peeps and cool for commuting), Fiio FD5 (to have an amazing IEM), Focal Elex (to have a reason to not use anything else :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

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I do know that you’d only get one of the Hifiman, so that simplifies that.
And I think almost everybody needs the 600-series Senns at some point.
You also have a number of intimate, vocal driven artists on here that it pulls off amazingly well.
It would give you a good partner for tubing, should you ever go down that path.

When you’re diving into a number of relatively high-end cans at once, I think you can focus on their strengths — rather than obsess on their weaknesses. You won’t necessarily be looking for an all-arounder, rather you’re utilizing your roster to their best placement. So, I’d focus on application rather than “better”.

I’m not sure that I’m excited about the amp choice.
Thumbs up on Nick Drake, and “Mazzy Star” doesn’t have a voice. Just poking ya!

I do think easing in a little to the cans, holding some funds back for a very good source/power section is wise here. Then you really learn what you like/need, what you’d like to upgrade in stage 2 and go from there. Good Luck!

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Try EQing your Sony XM3s to see what sound signature you prefer. Set them to a bit overly bassy and test that for a few days, then try overly bright, balanced V shape, neutral, ect… There’s probably guides around to help you configure them more for neutral. If Sony’s app can’t do that, find a EQ app.

Then, choose one headphone. Period. Don’t aim for a collection from the start because otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed. Live with that headphone and see how you enjoy it. Then consider something a bit different based from that perspective.

Honestly, I prefer like two types of headphone signatures for that mix. V-shaped and stupid fun, and more refined and neutral.

Also, you have to consider DACs and Amps. Many higher-end headphones need a proper DAC/Amp setup to bring them to life.

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Look into a Kennerton Magni and the possibility of getting it delivered to your home country direct. It hits most of your desires and is easy to power off relatively inexpensive amp. Solid well priced all around closed back performance.


Yeah vocals (and vocals + acoustic guitar) are quite important to me so I should probably get the 6xx. I was wondering if having both the Elex + 6xx is a waste though. Or should I go with the Ananda and the 6xx instead which are more different? The Argon needs power (reviewers say at least 6 watts), and that’s why I’m considering the A-100. Also, I was planning to get some bookshelf speakers and I could use that amp to power those as well. I’m keen to get a lot of stuff at once because I don’t travel very often to the US, so it’s a good opportunity to get all that I want.

i own hd600’s and t60argons and love them both. i would avoid the argons with your music tastes. any hd600 series headphone will work very well with your tastes. argons have slightly recessed upper mids and can leave some vocals lacking. especially compared to hd 6(whatever).

but i would avoid drop and get 600 or 650. drop version is built cheaper and has QC risks. while not guaranteed to break obviously, has a greater risk of failing sooner then sennheiser direct versions. just my opinion, YMMV.

edit: guitar also sounds very good on hd600 series headphones. very lifelike.

That’s what I was thinking too! Tbh I’m considering the Argons for immersive gaming, movies and particular songs that I might be listening that benefit from that bass.I’ve heard the 600 series lack a bit of body when it comes to movies/casual gaming. However, getting them just for these purposes may be too much and I’d just be fine with the xm3 instead of the argons? I was also curious because of the big hype they have, the good soundstage despite being closed backs and all that. My xm3 is bassy and ruins most of my music but from what I understand the bass in the Argons is more controlled or less boomy. One disadvantage of the Argons is that I’d have to get a very expensive amp or the Basx A-100.
Perhaps the Meze Noir (the Classics 99 by Drop) would also be a good choice.

i own the noirs as well. very easy to drive and has all the bass you would ever want. also very light and comfortable. argons be heavy as all get out. but the noirs have their issues as well. does not bother me much as i have amps to pair with them that work well. but the bass can get boomy for some. its a very fun headphone and i find it great for casual gaming. does not do the greatest at fps though by any means. but for pretty much everything else, it is fun to use and enjoyable.

edit: if you have large ears like me, they are on ear and not over ear. but they are so light and the pads are so soft, that it doesn’t matter.

Yeah, I’ve heard the Mezes get a bit hot, but perhaps they are better for my budget and needs. Any recommendations for a 500-800 headphone to pair with a 600 series? Elex / Ananda… etc?

You don’t need as much power as people claim to run argons well, you’d be better suited with a nicer amp like the Asgard 3 rather than an a100.

That being said, I personally found the argons I had were rather boring on tracks that weren’t big on bass. I’d much rather have a fostex biodynamic like the trx00 or e-mu teaks. Or there is also the Audioquest Nighthawk carbons which are also really good as long as you can get on with them.

The hd6xx series are really good and are what I started with (the 650 after I stopped using the k612 pros that I hate now :sweat_smile:). The sundaras are also a nice pick for a lot of uses, they are very nice and airy.

I also personally really enjoy the beyer dt880 600 ohms as they are very nice for female vocals and also gaming.

For other closed backs that you can look at, the focal Elegias are very nice, and also campfire audio cascades for a bit more bass.

Also for another thing to mention about the argons, they would take a long time to get, mine took around 20 weeks to get to me.

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I run them just fine from 500mw at 32ohm (not bothering with converting that to 80ohm due to T50Rp drivers sensitive). All the current DAC/amp stacks push at least that.

I do love my T50RP, tho. But they’re my custom model so I’ve tuned them to what I like, that V-shape stupid fun sound.

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I see, the trx00 are pretty much discontinued (I did some reasearch about it) but I’ll consider the emu teak and the dt880 600 ohms instead of the Argon as well. I want one headphone under 300 that is bassy and a bit fun for movies/casual gaming and specific songs that may require bass but wouldn’t do much listening sessions with them.

i agree with the argons. i run them off of my ifi zen dac single ended. soundstage width is a chunk more narrow then my lyr3 for instance, but nothing else really changes.

the emu teak are a solid pick for the price. and have a fairly different sound signature then hd 600 series.

i like my dt880 600 ohms for fps gaming and not much else. their sound signature is a bit flat for my tastes. but i prefer warmer sounding equipment every time. they are good sounding, i don’t want to knock them, just not my cup of tea.

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What for Dac have you actually in Use?

And yeah, sometimes I forget Mazzy Star isn’t the artistic name of the singer lol.

a really cheap and fun headphone you may want to consider are the monoprice retros with brainwavez XL pads. the 2 have a combined price of around 50$. not very technical at all, i won’t lie, but they sound pretty great for the price. and have a ton of bass. would also leave you more $ to spend on reasons you use more. mids are a bit recessed on them. vocals in some music doesn’t pop out at you for instance. just something to consider. they have a V shaped sound for sure. but they are ultra light and very comfortable. think beats that sound better and are much cheaper.

edit: Beats headphones. do not know if you have heard of them from where you are. not sure they are sold much outside the USA?

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btw, just saw T60RPs have a coupon on Amazon in the Deals thread. Like $255. Far more balanced than other Fostex mods and just done and done. I’d say they’re a good all-rounder.

If I didn’t have my modded T50RP, I’d jump on them.


I’d need to buy one, I currently have the Quad Dac that lg mobile phones provide but yeah I’ll buy an external one. Probably won’t spend more than 100 USS though.

t60rp’s do sound pretty great without mods. i had mine for a few months before sending them to Ryan for modding. i only had to wait a few weeks though as ive had mine modded for a couple years and had them done before he had them listed on his site.