Where do I go from here?

I have been thinking about where to go from here on my headphone journey. I have been thinking about what my next pair of headphones should be. What sound is the right choice or direction. I am partially posting my question as I am trying to determine if I prefer a warmer sound or not. I have really enjoyed my Focal Elex on my RNHP amp with the Bitfrost 2 Dac which I use at my desk. However, I have found that I have been finding myself enjoying my Elex on my Ibasso dx240 more. I find it more engaging and makes me feel like moving to the music. I am not sure if this due to a touch of warmth or not. I was wondering if anyone could help me figure this out. With Black Friday on the horizons I have been thinking about either upgrading my current set-up or getting some new headphones to help capture this sound at my desk.
Music that I enjoy listening to are acoustic, folk, symphony/classical, soundtrack, classic rock
Price range around $1000-$1500 or good choices as alternatives
Thank you for your assistance!

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if you want to find out if you like a sound with a warm / fun sound profile, you should get a DAC / Amp that will let you see if it’s so. your DAC is super solid, one I wish for, but an R2R DAC would warm things right up on your RNHP I suspect…though, I would also consider a warm amp, something like a hybrid tube and I bet if you’re okay with used you could get both in your price range.

the two most well known R2R come from Soekris and Denafrips. alas, I am not familiar with higher end hybrid tube amps, but one of the more popular that’s higher than most is the Monolith Liquid Platinum.

@M0N will definitely have some thoughts worth considering. I’d also look at his new ‘shit list’ thread.

Planars I would look at Audeze, their bf sale might still be going on. Dynamics ZMF Aeolus would be a great companion to the Elex or the new meze 109. Both are fun, Aeolus changes a lot pad rolling and with tubes. Meze sound great on anything, I like them a lot with my ifi micro iDSD signature.
Elex is very interesting, I personally didn’t find it warm but it’s dynamic sound is very very fun.


From your music choice and wanting a bit more warmth a zmf auteur classic could be a good HP that should also work good with your current chain
If you want to dabble with planars the rnhp could be a little weak power wise

I have looked at ZMF. It looks rather intriguing but also confusing. I have not really understood the sound difference between the aeolus and auteur. How do they sound different? I know pad swapping also adjust sound but have never had the opportunity to listen to any of the ZMF line up. I might consider the Meze but trying to figure out what that too sounds like too.

In comparison to your Elex the 109 would be a smooth sound, less in your face than the Elex.
I haven’t heard the auteur but from my understanding that would be closer sounding to the Elex.

Does the 109 still have good detail and highs? I hear smooth sound and I think relaxed and roll off on the highs and mids.

To me yes they do have good details and highs. The 109 will sound “boring” or relaxed compared to the Elex but so does most everything else I’ve heard.
Really the only headphones I have that beat the elex out for perceived detail are Atrium, Stax and UM Mest.