What's your headphone progression?

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…


At desk:
whatever was on sale-> sennheiser hd201(used two of them for a looong time)-> beyerdynamic dtx 910-> takstar pro82-> finally i have an amp! (jds labs atom+ topping d10 )-> HD600
Some old sony IEM-> xiaomi hybrid-> Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro HD -> fu** IEMs-> koss ksc75-> broken cable-> koss ksc75x -> broken cable-> takstar pro82 :stuck_out_tongue: with shorter cable

HD600 are nice for pretty much everything. But im looking for something with wide sound stage and extended base as a second pair for the desk. Maybe planars? Phantoms seams nice…
(this hobby is starting to be to expensive…)

But during the day at desk im using pair of mackie mr624:P

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Philips SHP2000 -> Panasonic RP-HC500 -> 3M Peltor Optime III :stuck_out_tongue: -> Superlux HD669 -> Superlux HD662 Evo (but also Massdrop x Koss KSC75X when people GTFO and it gets properly quiet; oh, and also Jabra Elite 65t for when I need isolation but also really wanna listen to something but also I can’t take any more clamping from clampy over-ears).

(Speakers only ->) Superlux HD668B -> Beyerdynamic DT 880 Edition, 250-ohm -> HiFiMan HE-400i -> Verum 1 [Endgaem Acheevd]

Long trips with noisy transportation:
A few attempts with random earbuds/in-ear-buds, hated them -> Panasonic RP-HC500 -> Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC [Waiting for a reason]

Chilling outside, away from home:
A few attempts with random earbuds/in-ear-buds, hated them -> Koss KSC75 -> Koss KSC75 (2018), just because Massdrop reminded me how much I’d hate being without these if something happened, so I bought a new pair which turned out to sound different and better.



I mean I could look for replacement pads and finally get an ear-sized hole, because these do seem to come off, but the isolation for best performance of the ANC might never be the same again.

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1st) Audio-Technica M40x (The humble beginning, and the one that got me to this hobby of mine. Still miss mine to this day.)
2nd) Cooler Master MH751 (an upgrade in terms of comfort and mic fidelity for a headset)
3rd) Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro 250 Ohms ver. (currently using as my go to headphones. IMO, a huge freaking jump.)


1st) Shure SE215 (My first set of IEMs, bought it for the noise isolation and durability.)
2nd) KZ ZSN Pro (Bought it out of curiosity, ended up giving it as a gift to my dad.)
3rd) Tin Audio T2 (Probably the best IEM I got in terms of looks and sounds imo, it is all thanks to Zeos’ video.)
4th) KZ ZS10 Pro (my 3rd best IEM imo in terms of sounds, also got it due to Zeos’ review of it.)
5th) BLON BL-03 (Goes neck in neck with my Tin T2s and I cannot choose a single one between the two, always bring it along when I have my T2s with me.)

Portable AMPs:

1st) Topping NX3s (My first and my only current portable AMP and it is enough for this baby to power and drive in my DT 880 Pros with ease.)


:slight_smile: M40x to AKG 712…looking at getting the Elex and Argons next.
Just started with higher quality headphones last Christmas. I use these with Atom and Darkvoice amps. I’m in love with them so far.

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Iem: 1more triple driver, TIN T2s, Blon 03
Headphones: DT990, DT770, Jubilee 58x, hifiman 4xx, Koss ksc75, Audioquest Nighthawks (Carbon)

In the future I’m not interested in going all in on this as a hobby but I’m still interested in trying out a new headphone once or twice a year just to see what is out there

Stuff I’m highly likely to check out in the future: Elex, Koss E-Stat, Sundara

But I’m not particularly looking for an upgrade or anything of the kind

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It has been a long and winding road. Actually about five and a half years.

  1. Bose QC15’s *
  2. B&W P5’s (2nd gen.)
  3. Senn HD598c’s
  4. ATH M50X’s
  5. OPPO PM3’s
  6. Senn HD6XX’s
  7. Grado SR325e’s
  8. Meze 99 Classic’s *
  9. Audioquest NightOwl Carbons
  10. Sony MDR-Z7’s
  11. HiFiman HE4XX’s
  12. Fidelio X2HR’s
  13. Shure 1540’s
  14. Grado GH2’s *
  15. Beyer T5p.2’s *
  16. Senn HD58X’s *
  17. Senn HD600’s *
  18. Fostex TH-610’s *
  19. Koss E95X *
  20. Focal Elex’s *

The * represents headphones that I still own.

I think that’s all of them. I can’t even keep track anymore. I got these from my Head-Fi signature. :laughing:


Way too many to cover every single purchase, so I’ll highlight the ones I enjoyed most and leave out side-grades

Closed Back

ATH-M40x -> DT 770 250 Ohm -> SRH1540 ->TH610 -> Neumann NDH 20 -> Atticus and Focal Elegia

Open Back

HD558 -> DT 880 600 Ohm -> HD58x (still own them) -> Sundara -> HD650 (still own them) -> LCD-2F (Sold to help purchase Atticus) -> LCD-2C

Still looking for another open back to complement the LCD-2C. Focal Clear, Audeze LCD-X and Hifiman Edition XX are amongst the ones that I am considering.

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I had to think about it. I wanted see it for myself graphically over time.

* Plan to sell
> Keeping for now


In the order I bought them

  1. HD58X
  2. DT770 250ohm
  3. Tin T2
  4. TR-X00 PH
  5. Tin P1
  6. kph30i
  7. Shuoer Tape
  8. Tin T4
  9. Porta Pros

In the order I prefer them

  1. TR-X00 PH
  2. Tin P1
  3. HD58X
  4. DT770 250 ohm (with dekoni X00 lambskin pads)
  5. Tin T2
  6. Porta Pros
  7. Tin T4
  8. Shuoer Tape
  9. kph30i

Interesting… how does that sound?.. also shame on you for putting kph30i in 9th lol

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The kph30i are just bad Porta Pros and I’m not sorry.

The X00 lambskin pads smoothe the highs just enough without reducing the bass. It turns them from monitors into pretty darn good pleasure cans. They can still be a bit sharp but much less so than the stock velour pads.


Nice… It reminded me I have the brainwavs xl pleather pads

You’re wrong… (jokes)


Porta pro
Modern retro
Fidelio x2
Dt770 (80)
Dt770 (250)
X00 purpleheart
Nighthawk carbon
Sundara (on the way)

Happy to report I’ve sold many of these for really fair prices and given many away as well :+1:

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before any audiophile knowledge Sennheiser game ones, (sound downgrade) arctis 7, (start looking into audiophile stuff) 6XX, Meze 99 noir, Monoprice Retro, X00 PH, 660s, Nighthawks, DT880 600 ohm.

have since sold the 6xx and 99 noirs and am waiting to audition some cans before I start jumping into the 350-700 dollar range but have several on my radar.

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Most of these I still own
Sennheiser 424’s (I think I still own these somewhere)
Dekoni Blues (T50-RP3)
Focal Elex
Ether CX
ZMF Aeolus
ZMF Eikon


Turtle Beach Gaming Headphones to Sony MDR-7506 to M50s to 58X (noticing an improvement but nothing big)

for earbuds from stock to panasonic and skull candy to wireless creative outlier airs (i dunno what to do with those once i get better wired IEMs)

i am watching an old rocky mountain audio video about how you shouldn’t treat what others like as the worst thing ever and just introduce them to stuff that might be just as good if not better with the sound… basically quiz them what sounds they personally like and see “ok this is why you should buy these headphones because they seem perfect for you”

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In order of purchase starting in 2011 ending in 2020;

AKG K240 Studio *
Sennheiser HD 6xx *
Sennheiser HD 58x ^
Koss Porta Pro *
Hifiman HE-4xx ^
Koss KSC75 *
Fostex T50rp mk3 ^
Cooler Master MH751 ^
Beyerdynamic DT770 250 ^
Koss KPH30i *
Neumann NDH-20 *
Sendy Aiva *
Focal Clear Pro *
ZMF Eikon *

  • = still own ^ = sold