What's your headphone progression?

I’ve always found it interesting how people upgrade their gear in the never ending search for the best so I figured I would start a thread to discuss it! Personally I started almost 4 years ago with a set of Philips SHP9500’s(the original one) and 12 sets later, plus any that I’ve forgotten, I currently have a ZMF Ori.
My progression went like this:
Philips SHP9500>Modded Philips SHP9500>AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon>Fostex t50rp Mk3>Sennheiser HD58X>Senneheiser HD6XX>MrSpeakers Mad Dog>Mk3 Argon>Fostex T60rp>Fostex T50rp Mk2(Open Alpha)>MrSpeaker Aeon Flow Closed>ZMF Ori in ZebraWood
I Guess I’ve got a thing for the T50rp’s and the mods, I seem to keep them longer than other sets. I’m interested to see how others have progressed from their first set to their current ones!


In the last year.

Panasonic RP-HTX7, later wired in balanced.
Sony MDR-V6
Musical Fidelity 200B, later modded to use carbon paper drivers.
AKG K550, now wired as balanced.
Philip’s SHP9500 not yet wired in balanced.
Onkyo Zedd 00 wired in balanced, same drivers as modded MF200B different enclosures.

Not sure what is next. Tempted to build a pair of RP-HTX7 using 40mm carbon drivers and wired in balanced.

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In the order of appearance:

ATH M40x
RHA MA750i - cable disintegrated, bad material design
MEE audio M6 PRO (1st edition) - bomb proof durability, over 3 years old
HiFiMAN HE-350 - not worth it, hardly used them over the M40x’s
Fostex T60RP - needed teflon dry-film lubricant as left ear joint squeaked. Single ended.
Koss KSC75X
Tin Audio T2 - single ended, ordered balanced cable
Koss KPH30i - mostly for making phone calls at home
Coolermaster MH752 - waiting on AutoEQ profile to correct highs (mildly fatiguing)

My mainstays are the T60RP’s, Tin T2’s, and oddly enough the KPH30i’s because they’re easy to use to answer calls. I put the ATH-M50’s on the other week and wondered how on earth I wore them for two years. So scooped out and just…bad.

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Upgraded in this order

Koss KSC75X - Pretty much only used these until 10th grade.
Sony MDR-XB500 - Bass was WAY over the top. I liked them though. Went well with my hardstyle phase.
Brainwave HM5 - First proper set of listening cans. Still have 'em. Headband’s broke thorough.
Sennheiser ie80 - First attempt to upgrade from my HM5’s. Actually killed my interest for a long while.
Tin T2 - Bought these about 2 weeks ago. After a bit of break in I like them a lot. Already looking to upgrade though.

Funny enough my Tin T2’s sound better to me then my ie80’s. I have had the ie80s for years and never liked them. Paid almost $400 for them in the early days only for them to be beaten my a $50 set years later. I want to get rid of them to possibly fund my next jump(Ikko OH1?) but, they are probably in a deal breaking condition for most so I’m stuck with them.

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I honestly loved the t60s, sold my Argons because of them. I use Tin T2s as my daily around town set because they are so cheap that I’m not worried about losing them.

I cannot express how pleased I am with the Tin T2’s. When I toggle the AutoEq profile for them on and off, there is really no discernible difference in my experience. They have a really smooth frequency response and are way more comfortable than my T60RP’s due to their size. The fact that I can swap out the cable and run them balanced or with a mic/controls is also a bonus for any MMCX iem. They are easily my favorite stock headphone. No modification necessary. I use the silicone tips, as they are more comfortable and easier to insert.

My preferred mic mmcx cable linked below. It’s pretty durable – no signs of wear in 3 months and good controls. Scores an A on Fakespot (to check for review deception).

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I’ll have to find new foam tips for mine because daily use hasn’t treated them well. But honestly, for a $30 set, I cannot complain one bit

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Sick of broken 15$ no-name headphones, I bought a 60$ pair of Sennheiser HD 477s years ago. My jaw dropped. I used them for 10 years, and I lost them (oops). Bought Sennheiser HD280 Pros, and my jaw dropped again. Now I could also hear the low frequencies (and a ton more detail in everything). Yay!

Right now, lol, I’m trying cheap stuff, and enjoying my new 10$ Panasonic HJE-125s. :stuck_out_tongue: I won’t resist, I want open-back earphones again, and the Sennheiser HD58Xs exist, but I will try other brands soon (I probably will have Fostex T50RPs in two weeks actually – and Koss Portapros).


What did you think of the aeon closed in comparison with the other t50 mods?

The Aeon really does struggle in dynamics compared to nearly anything, after going to any other headphone you really do notice it’s shortfalls. I went to a set of ZMF Ori and I never regretted it. Mines 3 years old and still holds up to modern heapdhones


Over 15 years ago maybe, not sure when, I bought a
*Audio-Technica ATH-M50
which was my first serious headphone purchase.
Eventually I needed to be able to talk to other people while gaming so I ended up getting a cheap sennheiser on-ear headset, I don’t remember what it was called but the quality wasn’t too great for what it was. I ended up getting a
*Sennheiser PC 360 G4ME Headset
and I have had that for MANY years and loved it.
I also own the
*Sennheiser PX-200II
for portable use.
I hadn’t bought any other headphones until this year when I thought about getting a better sounding headphone to go along with my headset for when I didn’t need to talk to anyone. So I got a
*Sennheiser 58 Jubilee
from massdrop. After buying that I saw that massdrop had a newer version of my headset so I bought the
*Massdrop x Sennheiser PC37X Headset
which is what I use currently and am wearing while typing this. Eventually I fell onto Zeos’s hype train for the
*Neumann NDH20
but I ended up returning them because while they sounded good, they lacked in comfort supremely and I realized I didn’t want a closed back headphone. After that I kept looking and based on hype from Bad Guy Good Audio I ended up buying both the
*TinHifi P1 IEMs
and the
*Thieaudio Phantom
While the P1s are really good, they leave something to be desired and I am looking at getting the Moondrop KXXS. But I love the Phantoms so far and think they really could be my headphone endgame. I’ve since given my 58x Jubilees to my brother and he really likes them.

I also recently bought the *Koss PortaPro and *Koss KPH30i thinking they could maybe replace my PX200II and or be more comfortable and am considering get Yaxi Pads (apparently they work on all 3 >_>) to see which I like best.


I just wish someone else would tune MrS heapdhones, the comfort is the best bar none, but the flaws in them keep me from going back

Went from a Sony $20 headphone to a $80 Phillips Bluetooth headphones To a akg k240 then to my current dt 990 and 58x. Pretty I’m gonna stay here and not go higher


Smart smart man, find what you like and stay there. This hobby will eat all of your money if you don’t


Indeed the Red pill’s the Audiophile pill…


Doesn’t mean I won’t buy anymore headphones will probably just stay in the mid fi game in the under $300 region not a lot above that has made me think damn these are worth the money they are asking for .


Personally i’d rather a quiver of midfi cans than say one Empyrean or an AB-1266 Phi TC…but if the world was less cruel then i’d have both the Meze, Abyss and the quiver lol.


The phi tc is really incredible. I regret nothing. I have yet to hear the empyrean though


Started with Audio-Technica m40x’s & had those for a couple of years.

Heard about the Phillips SHP9500 and purchased them for $59.99 on Amazon. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time (no Dac, no AMP and didn’t give myself time to get used to them), so in my ignorance, I didn’t hear $60 worth of difference over the m40’s, so I returned them.

Bought the Monoprice Retro’s for $25.00. I gave them a chance, but thought they were a toss up between the m40x’s, but didn’t bother to return them.

Got my first headphone amp and found that the Retro’s with amp sounded better than the m40’s. I was learning the importance of dacs & amps.

Purchased the Sennheiser 58x Jubilee’s and loved them. Visitors can’t get enough of that headphone. They always ask where I got them from.

About the same time, bought a used pair of Modhouse Argons and upgraded my headphone amp. These are amazing and I’ll probably never get rid of these. Definitely my go-to.

Looking for something portable to take to the beach, I bought a couple pairs of Koss KSC75. They were as good as advertised, but I’ve rarely used them. I don’t love how they clip on my ears.

Not loving the Koss KSC75’s fit, I purchased the Porta Pros about a month later with the Yaxi pad replacements. I LOVE THESE. If I’m not sitting down for a while at my desk and/or I’m not in the mood to have heavy headphones on, I reach for the Porta Pros. The 58x’s are better (richer, fuller), but I love, love, love the Porta Pros. Probably my second favorite next to the Argons.

I have a pair or Thieaudio Phantoms on order and hoping they live up to the hype. Will probably sell the 58x’s and m40’s to make room for them.

From the Phillips to the Phantoms was about 9 months. It’s been a fun journey!


I started off with a set of Bose wireless. I wanted better music quality than standard earbuds, and knowing nothing, got those. They were worlds better than what I had heard before, so I was content with that for many years. They fell apart eventually and ended up getting Vmoda Crossfade M100. Those sounded even better, and that where the rabbit hole began.

In the next 2 years, I was looking for upgrades or different sounds constantly. I purchased he400-i, senn 660s, Oppo pm3, Sony Z7, and recently Tin P1.

I don’t see myself getting anymore HP for a while…