What's your headphone progression?

Ya but i give the NTH-100 a pass since its design as a professional headphone for monitoring, also i dont think it muffled, i think its mostly due to to the pads that dull it down to make it much more bearable, when you sit down to monitor sound or edit video for a number of hours straight with no breaks you need that a way to take off the edge (drinking is an option but no advised :smiley: )

The Elegia is awesome, very energetic and very clear and sharp (even more than the Sundara), the bass is also very fun, with a nice heft to it. But ive been told it can even get better if you put Dekoni Stellia pads on it, its a bit pricey 100$+ shipping.

You might want try out the Hifiman edition Xs, I recently just got them. It’s very similar and very different to the Sundara at the same time, it has the speed and detail but with a lot more impact and resolution, its a lot less airy but im waiting on some Aliexpress pads to see if i can improve it

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Hi, i do own the AH-D 2000 and was looking to buy the 7200. Could you describe, why you prefer the 5000 over the 7200? That would be nice!

The 7200’s mids are telephonic, elevated, unnatural, that was immediately apparent. The rest was unremarkable (treble) or solid (bass). I haven’t heard it for very long though, that’s why I removed my comment on the 7200 in my recent update. Now that I have the E-MU Teak, while I haven’t heard them side-by-side, I’m pretty sure that the Teak is a better executed 7200. No telephone, amazing bass etc. I can’t comment on the soundstage, but soundstage has never been the strength of biodynas due to it’s closed / semi-closed design I think.
While the 5k is a bit boomy/unrefined in the bass, it’s V-shaped sound plays more to the strengths of the driver and it sounds fun and natural (minus the upper mids for strings, high pitched voices, etc). I also prefer it to the Argon Mk3 (different sound sig, but still). On higher tier equipment it scales more than the Argon. It sounds great with slower music like Trip Hop due to it’s sloppyness. It’s treble interferes with the mids (sibilance etc.), but it’s not severe enough to take away from the music enjoyment.

Thanks a lot. I prefer the 2000s over the elegia and the t2p II, because they have a relaxed sound sig in comparison. Also they seem to have the widest ss and natural sound. The elegia has a forward sound sig because of the boosted mids. They sound always artificial to me and can get really annoying or fatuiging. The t5p also sounds a bit boxy in comparison with the denon. So i am looking for an upgrade of the 2000s with quite the same sound signature.

So after stitching them back together a few times as they kept developing more and more defects I caved and went for the pad-swap, slapped on some HM5-sized angled-s I had lying around, and of course the isolation is not the same anymore, especially since the new pads have just regular “sponge” type filling. But they are way more comfortable with the bigger ear-fitting hole and the angle, and I haven’t lost so much isolation that they’re not doing their job anymore, they’re just not exactly like-new for isolation. (Also put on extra headband padding today, which fits almost exactly, as luck would have it.)

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Don’t ask me



1. DT 770 Pros:
Started with the DT 770 Pros, (got into the world of Audiophiles thanks to DankPods), thought they were the greatest thing since sliced bread.

2. HD 6XXs:
Next was the HD 6XXs, absolutely hated their guts cause of the watermelon crushing clamp. They were the first Open Backs I’ve tried and I was slowly warming to them.

3. HiFiman Sundara:
Still keeping the 6XXs, I tried out the HiFiman Sundara, my first Planar. I enjoyed their great clean, cripsy sound, they were quite comfy too. But the HiFiman QC curse had mine stop working after 2 weeks of light use. During those 2 weeks I had to deal with the right side not working randomly. So that ruined my opinion of HiFiman in general.

4. HarmonicDyne Zeus:
Ordered the HarmonicDyne Zeus next. Absolutely loved the pillow earpads, had nice bass but was too muddy for me.

5. AKG K712 Pros:
Next up was the AKG K712 Pros, overall was quite disappointed. I do wish I tested them a bit more, but from what I remember they had boring sound, and a surprisingly cheap build quality for their price. Lots of cheap feeling plastics, and the headband that sits on the head felt like hard cardboard. The box was funny with how hard they were trying to sell me the headphones despite me already owning them.

6. AKG K371:
Then tried the AKG K371, overall liked them. Good sound and nice comfort, although not as spacious as the 770s with the ear cups. Also liked how they were portable. At the time I kept the 770s instead. Currently I’d have neither cause I now much prefer Open Backs.

7. Currently:
And finally, it all comes back to the 6XXs. The more I used them the more I fell in love with them, especially once I fixed the clamp force. The only two downsides I can think of is they don’t have a great bass extension, and I wish there was a more premium built version to buy. That last “downside” isn’t really one since they are built wonderfully for the price ‘cough AKG cough’. I just wish we could get the same sound, but have them be built by Meze.
Don’t really have any plans to buy something anytime soon, as these are just so damn lovable, I have days where I wear them more than I don’t.

Future Plans?
I am curious about the “upgrades” like the Focal Clear OGs, and the sexy looking Meze 109s, but I really shouldn’t be spending that kind of money right now, especially since I am very happy and content with the 6XXs. Also the QC problems of Focal do not give me much confidence, especially at their price. I am interested about trying out the AT R70x, as they have similar vibes to the 6XX but more bass and soundstage. And while I actually enjoy the intimate sound of the 6XX, I wanna try out something like the HD 800s to hear what top tier soundstage is like.

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Headphones for me started in 2020, or at least headphones that were better than the creative sound gamer headset being run off my phone/PC headphone jack:

  • Meze 99 Neos
  • Sennheiser HD6XX
  • HiFiman 4XX
    (By now I had a Magni Heresy/Modi stack to properly run all these, along with a Q5k for on-the-go moments)
  • HarmonicDyne Zeus
  • Focal Elegia (shoutout that ever-constant Adorama email pricing)
  • Drop + Dan Clark Aeon Closed

IEMs were just the galaxy buds that came with my phone → Moondrop Starfields → LETSHUOER Z12.

Still have all of them by the way! Recently got the Monolith Liquid Platinum amp on sale and some dekoni pads for the Zeus and Elegia, so I’ve just been going back and seeing what all the extra power, tubes, and pads are doing to change them.

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I was looking at this thread and realized I missed an update. Here is the NEW chronological series of events for me:

  • Koss Walkman headphones (had MANY of these!) - Gone
  • Beats Studio Pro - Gone
  • Senn HD280 Pro - Still have, but basically idle… #8
  • HiFiman Sundara… #6
  • Sivga Phoenix… #7
  • BeyerDynamic Lagoon ANC Traveler… #9 (For Work)
  • Focal Elegia… #4
  • Senn HD660 S… #5
  • LSA HP-2… #2
  • HiFIMAN Edition XS… #3
  • Focal Radiance… #1

Numbers indicate order of preference at this point in time. The Radiance has grabbed the top spot, but only because I can’t have 2 number ones. It’s basically a dead heat between the Radiance and the HP-2. The XS has taken the number 3 spot from the Elegia even though the shitty build and bad fit make it tougher to use, and honestly, since the pad change to the 660S and the introduction to the system of the Liquid Platinum amp, the Elegia almost dropped to number 5, but the Elegia still has enough technical ability to retain its ranking. The Sundara is still a solid headphone and I still love it, but it just doesn’t have enough to elevate from its current position.

All that said, except for the 280 pro, which is still idle, every set on the list gets used. I love having the options. I anticipate adding one more open back Planar to the collection within the next 6 months, though I have not decided yet which one it will be. Research is ongoing.

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Update [3]

So far in order

-Philips SHP9500 - oldest son uses now
-sennheiser hd 598 - sold a long time ago, wish I didn’t
-Philips Fidelio L2 - youngest and middle son use these
-Monoprice M1060 - my first planar and liked them a lot but the left connection has gone to crap and they just don’t compare the other planars I have now
-Philips Fidelio X2HR - still use when walking around cleaning and stuff like that
Hifiman Sundara - love and use all the time
Hifiman Ananda Stealth - love and use all the time

Focal Elegia - arriving tomorrow

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Posted this in a X2HR upgrade question thread, but realized it fits here as well:

I started with X2HR, got tired of the bass and heard some sibilance.

Then I got the hyped HD560s. Good headphone, but a little to thin and clinical sounding for me. Too much elevation at 5k.

Then I got HD6XX. Love them. Did the copper mod which improved the bass. Using them with my OTL when I’m in the mood for some tubes.

Zeos review made me buy Thieaudio Ghost. Now I’m running them as my daily driver. From recommendation I got the Brainwavz Angled Hybrid Pads, which improved the bass thump and made them overall bigger sounding. This is the sound I was looking for all the time. I EQ down 250 hertz a bit to get rid of some bloat from the deep pads. And adding a small rise at 40Hz. The Ghosts were recently on summer sale at Linsoul for $103, must be some record in hifi per dollar, lol. :smile:

  • AKG 701/DT880 sold
  • UERM - sold
  • JH10x3 - damaged
  • Spiral Ears SE-… (05 i think) - malfunction
  • **HD 560S - sold
  • HD 650 - sold
  • AKG K371 - sold
  • ATH AD2000 - keep
  • Momentum 2.0 - sold, dumpster fire
  • SHP 9500 - sold, might rebuy them again someday, “Mr. Nice Guy” of headphones with some occasional treble zing that comes out of nowhere
  • Harmonicdyne Zeus - sold, just wanted something higher resolving
  • AH-D5000 - sold, see E-MU Teak
  • AH-D2000 - sold, see E-MU Teak
  • Sundara '21 - sold, wanted something higher resolving
  • LCD-X old model/headband - sold - too dull sounding
  • AKG K612 - sold - unfort. not quite on the level I wanted it to perform
  • Nighthawk - keep
  • Nightowl - sold to friend, might as well keep the Nighthawk cause it’s more balanced
  • HD 660s - sold - dull, little bass, veiled highs :person_shrugging:
  • Argon MK3 ZMF Protein - sold, wanted something higher resolving
  • Tygr300r - sold, see DT 1770
  • ATH AD700X - probably sell, dont like the pads and the peaky treble as much - sold
  • Drop ESP95X - keep, my only electrostat but I need to upgrade the amp to something better
  • AKG K500 - horribly thin sounding - sell
  • ATH W1000X - sounds wild but great with Dekoni pads - keep
  • R70X - sold, not resolving enough
  • Focal Elear with stock and Elex pads - left driver dead
  • Yamaha HPH MT5 - meh, for sale
  • Moondrop Starfield - sold, see IE 600
  • Ollo S4X - sold - grainy, little treble, studio use presentation
  • Verum 1 Mk2 - sold, better than Sundara but wanted something higher resolving
  • HEDDphone - sold, prototype, promising, few major downsides, hopefully mk2 version coming
  • E-MU Teak - best Fostex biodyna imo except for TH900, king of electronica
  • HD 800 OG - sold, just… boring sounding, sorry
  • Focal Clear OG - sold, see Aurorus might buy Utopia OG instead
  • Hifiman HE-500 unmodded - keep, easy listening
  • LCD-2.2 Prefazor - keep
  • Aeon 2 Closed with perforated pads - for quiet listening
  • Grado Hemp - keep - for rock genre, best Grado I’ve heard so far
  • DT 1770 - multimedia PC use, boosted bass for sound effects, great FR otherwise, workhorse
  • Final Sonorous III and IV - need more time with them
  • Aurorus Borealis - need more time
  • IE 600 (with A&K HC3) - one-and-only mobile solution
  • HD 700 bought for 50€ so I said why not + Dekoni Velours pads makes them actually decent to listen to, like M0n said, with stock pads kind of a failed HD 800
  • Arya V1 - soon to be replaced by HEKv2?
  • HE1000v2 non-stealth - en route
  • still on my list: #1 Auteur Classic with standard pads (best ZMF I’ve heard) #2 K1000 with Rens Heijnis amp #3 Utopia OG with warranty #4 TH900 OG #5 Phonon SMB-02 with Yaxi pads #6 GH 50 (JM?) for its horn speaker #7 ADX5k or AWKT/AWAS or other AT woodies #8 LCD-X 2021 (need to compare to prefazor again)
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Here is the NEW chronological series of events for me:

  • Koss Walkman headphones (had MANY of these!) - Gone
  • Beats Studio Pro - Gone
  • Senn HD280 Pro - Still have, but basically idle… #9
  • HiFIMAN Sundara… #7
  • Sivga Phoenix… #8
  • BeyerDynamic Lagoon ANC Traveler… #10 (For Work)
  • Focal Elegia… #6
  • Senn HD660 S… #5
  • LSA HP-2… #3
  • HiFIMAN Edition XS… #4
  • Focal Radiance… #2
  • HiFIMAN HE1000 V2 Stealth… #1

Numbers indicate order of preference at this point in time. The HE 1000 has grabbed the top spot from the Radiance, but not by a wide margin. It’s basically a dead heat between the Radiance and the HP-2 for #2, with the Radiance edging out the HP-2 by a nose. The XS slides to #4. The 660S now sits at #5, rising above the Elegia which now takes the #6 spot. Credit the upgrades and the introduction of the Liquid Platinum for that surprising move. The rest of the order stays the same. The Elegia and Sundara are now permanent members of the bedroom system, where they shine there.


Update from March 2020:

  • Bose QC15’s
  • B&W P5’s (2nd gen.)
  • Senn HD598c’s
  • ATH M50X’s
  • OPPO PM3’s
  • Senn HD6XX’s (twice)
  • Grado SR325e’s
  • Meze 99 Classic’s
  • Audioquest NightOwl Carbons
  • Sony MDR-Z7’s
  • HiFiman HE4XX’s
  • Fidelio X2HR’s
  • Shure 1540’s
  • Grado GH2’s
  • Beyer T5p.2’s
  • Senn HD58X’s
  • Senn HD600’s (twice)
  • Fostex TH-610’s
  • Koss E95X
  • Focal Elex
    Fidelio X2HR’s
    Beyerdynamic DT880 (600 Ohm)
    Beyerdynamic T5.3’s
    Monoprice M570’s
    Monoprice M1570’s
    Audio Technica WP900’s
    Senn HD660S’s
    HiFiman HE-R9’s
    T60 Argon’s
    Drop Edition XX’s (HiFiman)
    HiFiman HE6se V2’s
    HiFiman Sundara’s
    Audeze LCD-2 Classic’s
    Focal Elegia’s
    Nectar Bee’s
    Nectar Ambrosia’s
    Koss KPH30i’s
    Audio Technica R70X’s
    Quad ERA-1’s
    Sennheiser HD660S2’s
    Grado Hemp’s
    CFA Cascades
    iBasso SR2’s
    Focal Radiance
    Focal Clear (OG).