What would you buy for $1000

I’ve given myself a $1000 budget. I currently own:

Focal Elex
Sennheiser HD6XX
Schiit Jotunheim (OG)

I’d love to experience other sound signatures. I was thinking of getting some Sundaras and a new DAC/AMP, or maybe the LCD-X. Definitely open to any and all suggestions (especially with since detail as to why). Also, I would prefer buying new. Thanks!

So a couple of questions

  1. are the headphone stricly for music or other uses (gaming/movie watch/work)
  2. what kind of music do you listen to?
  3. What do you have the Jotunheim paired with?

Off the top of my head i’d say maybe look into Hifiman edition Xs might be a good idea, Also getting a tube amp might give a brand new flavor to the 6XX

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I generally use the 6XX for work at this point since I wfh. I appreciate the low profile in this case.

I prefer the the more fun sound of the Elex for my music, which consists of pretty much about anything from main stream modern rock, funk, jazz, and orchestral.although despite what people say, I don’t like how it handles a lot of really deep bass, especially if it reverberates a lot like a big bass drum. The reverb doesnt sound as smooth as I would hope. If it’s a punchier bass like in some EDM, it handles that fine though.

I think I’d like to try something with a cinematic and exciting sound with a lot of spatial coherence. Something to use for watching movies and playing epic 1 player adventure games.

My Jot has the integrated USB DAC, although I really wish I had the fiber optic input at this point.

Hhhhmmmm I’d try the hifiman XS like suggested, ZMF Aeolus if you can find a deal, Audeze LCD2CB it’s closed back but it sounds giant cause it is, meze 109 cause it’s has better sub bass than the Elex and can be eq’d for more.
It’s honestly not an easy recommendation because your Elex is one of the most visceral headphones on the market at that price and most things just kinda sound boring when compared.

I’d buy a used BF2 as your DAC and if EQ is an option a used pair of HD8xx. Spatial spatial spatial. Right now both of your headphones have tight spatial presentation. Sennheiser’s 800-series gives the opposite, and good all around technical performance. The 8xx should be available for a very good price used, but IMO requires EQ. The BF2 gives you a substantive DAC upgrade that you can grow with, will improve texture, overall resolution, macrodynamics and spatial presentation elements. You get your optical or coax input too.

Backup headphone choices… egg-shaped Hifiman, Used Arya ideally (will push budget), XS if it fits your skull.

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OK so a dac would be on my shopping list, i personally dont have any experience with Schiit products (since i live outside the US), but i would try to get a balanced one - mainly for the little extra power if you are going for planers like the edition Xs.

Another option is maybe to hold out just a little bit more and keep your eye on the reviews and overall reception of the Meze 109, so far from what we have heard they are suppose to be very fun (Meze are going for a fun and overall very enjoyable sound), but there is not enough info right now.

But if you arent keen on waiting, take a good look at Denon i personally have the D 7200 but ive heard a lot of people love the 9200 i know @hit_the_right_note has one, increadbly fun warm headphone that are very smooth, try finding one open box on amazon (i got mine for 40% of MSRP)


I was thinking of stretching for a Fostex TH900 MK2 (pearl white is on sale, but still over budget) or maybe toning it back to some Argons. The Denons are similar to the Th900mk2, right?

I have never posted here before, but given the headphones that you already own I would think about dropping that cash on something like the Drop+MrSpeakers Ether CX. They’re an incredibly detailed pair of planars that are exceptional at imaging, spacial cues, and resolving every ounce of detail you feed them. I feel like they’d be a great compliment to what you already own. Kinda like a yin to your yang situation.

I also happen to know that they sound great out of the Jot 2 so I would imagine the Jot 1 would be a good match as well. On top of the great detailed sound, being a great compliment to your current gear, and sounding fantastic on your rig, the Ether CX happens to be one of the most comfortable headphones I have ever had the pleasure of putting on the old noggin and I’m not the only one who thinks that.

Anyways, just food for thought.


From what ive heard ya pretty similar, but i havent tried them myself.
Argons are defiantly an option if you dont mind the wait time

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I love my 900 PW edition. They would be a great compliment to the Elex and 6xx.


Is the color high gloss, or does it have the glitter look to it over the other colors? I could never quite tell on video.

More gloss less glitter, it’s an odd effect that almost looks like are whit flakes when the light catches them just right. Hard to capture on camera.

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You’re probably not going to find something more “in your face” and “exciting” than the Elex in your price range.

But if you want something planar with lovely balance, soundstage and imaging, try the HiFiMan Edition XS, as others have suggested. Probably the best open-back headphone on the market at $500.

But also know HiFiMan has quality control issues. I own two HiFiMan headphones (XS, HE400se) with no problems, but HiFiMan QC definitely is a thing. Then again, QC is a big issue with the Elex, and you own those. :slight_smile:

what are your current DAC / Amp? if you have plans to consider upgrading your headphones in the future, it would be a really good idea to ensure your sound chain is strong enough. that said, you need to get some planar hp’s into your collection. Sundara’s would be a good start, but I’d choose the better DAC / Amp and then save some more. Note, the amp is more important than the DAC. The effect it has on headphones is noticeable immediately while DAC are more subtle and nuanced. you generally don’t notice those subtle or nuanced effects until you have something of value…like say a $100 DAC vs a $500 DAC, etc.

I answered that question already :slight_smile: Jot 1 with the integrated USB DAC. Have any recommendations based on that?

I’m not sure on the Jot v1…but I do know most of Schiit’s early model’s aren’t nearly good as their later. the integrated amp modules aren’t well thought of though. they’re adequate and make for a convenient AiO but for the price there is better.

I’d consider a Bifrost DAC, pull the module out if you Jot v1 and use it as just an amp.

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I should mention the Jot 2 is on my short list as it has a nifty feature most amp don’t have. the audio out is active the same time as the headphone, which means you can connect a powered sub and get a more immersive bass experience with your music / movie, etc. like a shaker / fumbler, but no wires to your chair and more sound and feel than just feel.

Oh interesting. I imagine I can do that with the original Jot. :thinking:

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