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  1. #1
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    Headphone Recommendation

    Hi All,

    I'm looking to upgrade my Sennheiser HD 650 headphones. I have a Schiit Jotunheim 2 Headphone Amp on the way. My budget is $1,500 but would like to keep it around $1,200. The below is what is currently in the running with MSRP and not what is currently on sale.




    Hifiman Arya Organic $1,299
    Focal Clear MG $1,499
    Sennheiser HD 800 S $1,795
    Audeze LCD-2 $995
    Audeze LCD-X $1,199
    Paul

    Speakers: Von Schweikert VR-5 Anniversary MK II Front L/R, LCR-35 Center, VR-1 Rear L/R Sub: JL Audio F113
    Amps: PS Audio BHK Signature 300 Mono, McIntosh MC207 Pre-Amp PS Audio BHK Signature and Gold Note PH-10 Phono Stage/PSU-10 Power Supply
    Turntable: VPI HR-X 12.7 TONEARM (2) and SDS, Stillpoints LPI
    Tape Deck Otari 5050B II2
    Music Server: Aurender N100H
    Cartridges: Ortofon Cadenza Black, Lyra Helikon Mono Digital Source: Oppo UDP-205 DAC: Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE
    SSP: Marantz AV8801 Cables: Wireworld Electra 7 (P) Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7, Shunyata Delta NR (I) Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 (S)
    Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 (USB)
    AC Power Regeneration: PS Audio DirectStream P15 Power Plant and Shunyata Denali 6000s V2.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2015
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    Kansas
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    5,961

    Re: Headphone Recommendation

    I have tried various versions of all of the above brands, including some of these models. Of these I prefer the Focal and HiFiMan. I have never liked the feel of the Audeze (I have had a couple models including higher ones). They are good headphones, but to me they are bulky, uncomfortable and there are other models at the same price that I prefer.

    I prefer Planar Magnetic headphones (which Audeze are), however the Focal using a more conventional design are very superior. One that I would suggest is Dan Clark's MrSpeakers headphones which are fantastic. Of course, the Abyss are by far my favorites, however they start at a higher price level. And yes, your Schiit Jotunheim 2 will be able to power any of these. I recently tried one (powering my difficult to drive Abyss) and thought it was great (compared to many much higher priced amplifiers). In fact, I thought it was so good that I purchased their higher model, the Mjolnir 3! To me it is a forever amplifier even compared to several that I have owned, some of which were twice the price.
    McIntosh C49, MC152, MR85, R778 | T+A DAC 8 DSD | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM750ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQPlayer) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Wyred 4 Sound ISO Recovery, DC Recovery | Abyss Diana Phi | Schiit Mjolnir 3 | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
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  3. #3
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    Re: Headphone Recommendation

    I've listened to those brands but not for long periods. I second having a look at Dan Clark to see if any models in your price. I love Hifiman and Audeze sound. These would be the 3 top on my list.

    I don't do much headphone listening, I have Sennheiser HD600 & 580, a set of Hifiman. The Hifiman were less expensive, I bought them on sale just to have a set. The Senn's have a larger soundstage with more of a full or blooming bass, the Hifiman has a tight punchy bass and things seem to be better defined, I actually prefer the Hifiman personally.

    I thought I was a diehard Hifiman/Audeze fan, always my favorites at the Headfi area but last visit I got to try Dan Clark both open and closed back, electrostatic and traditional, all were impressive. I find the amp being used makes a big difference as well. I didn't want to get up when listening to a Chord Hugo driving DC closed back dynamic drivers.
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB, Esoteric N05xd
    Mark Levinson #526, 534 & JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    Clarus Concerto & their Crimson cables

    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P6, MBL 8006b, Artisan speakers/subwoofer

  4. #4
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    Apr 2013
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    The Neutral Zone
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    571

    Re: Headphone Recommendation

    The most important consideration in headphone voicing is the diaphragm material. The next most important thing is open vs. closed back. After that it’s the flavor each manufacturer brings along with the fit and finish.

    The list you have covers a large swath of what’s out there today.

    Focal Clear - one of the finest dynamic driver headphones out there. Also consider the Drop Elex which uses the same magnesium drivers and is half the price.
    HD 800 - another outstanding dynamic driver headphone.
    In general dynamic headphones lack the bass drive of planar magnetic headphones so if you are a bass-head these will not be for you. They are low distortion and have exceptional
    midrange clarity. Sometimes subjectively bright, these headphones pair well with warmer amps and electronics.

    Hifiman Arya Organic $1,299
    Audeze LCD-2 $995
    Audeze LCD-X $1,199
    All these are planar-magnetic drivers and will exhibit the characteristics of those drivers. Low overall distortion, response down below 20 Hz, good staging. They tend to be heavy due to the need for big magnets. I have not heard these specific models so can’t comment on them.

    Best to find a place where you can demo them to see what you like.

    I started out with. LCD-4’s, then got Drop Elex’s, then ZMF Atrium’s, then ZMF Veritie Closed. They are all excellent but slightly different in a fun way. I listened to them at a Can-Jam overt multiple years before buying.
    Tom

    Audio:
    Amati Futura Mains
    Amati Homage VOX Center,
    Proac Response 1sc Rears,
    Three MC2301's for L,C,R
    MC 602 for the rears
    C 1100, MX 151, MCD 1100, MR 77
    Nottingham Dais with Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation
    SurfacePro 3, JRiver, WW Starlight Platinum USB, Schiit Yggdrasil, Benchmark DAC3 HGC

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    Lake House:
    Ohm F, MC 275V, C2300, MR 80, Rega P3

    OnDeck:
    McIntosh MAC 4300v

  5. #5

    Re: Headphone Recommendation

    I own Focal Clear’s and use them with a Feliks Audio Euphoria Evo tube amp and love it! Not at the same level as the very best out there but not at that cost either!

    George
    Wilson Audio Alexx|Pair of Rel No25’s
    VAC Statement Preamplifier
    VAC Statement 452 Monoblocks
    Sonorus ATR10 MkII
    Esoteric D1XSE Mono Dacs|Esoteric P-02X|Aurender W20SE
    MIT Oracle MA-X SHD SC and IC
    Transparent Reference Power

  6. #6
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    Staten Island, New York
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    Re: Headphone Recommendation

    All,

    I ended up getting the Hifiman HE1000 V2 Headphones - Stealth Magnet Edition​.
    Paul

    Speakers: Von Schweikert VR-5 Anniversary MK II Front L/R, LCR-35 Center, VR-1 Rear L/R Sub: JL Audio F113
    Amps: PS Audio BHK Signature 300 Mono, McIntosh MC207 Pre-Amp PS Audio BHK Signature and Gold Note PH-10 Phono Stage/PSU-10 Power Supply
    Turntable: VPI HR-X 12.7 TONEARM (2) and SDS, Stillpoints LPI
    Tape Deck Otari 5050B II2
    Music Server: Aurender N100H
    Cartridges: Ortofon Cadenza Black, Lyra Helikon Mono Digital Source: Oppo UDP-205 DAC: Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE
    SSP: Marantz AV8801 Cables: Wireworld Electra 7 (P) Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7, Shunyata Delta NR (I) Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 (S)
    Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 (USB)
    AC Power Regeneration: PS Audio DirectStream P15 Power Plant and Shunyata Denali 6000s V2.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    3,141

    Re: Headphone Recommendation

    After some time let us know your impressions.
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB, Esoteric N05xd
    Mark Levinson #526, 534 & JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    Clarus Concerto & their Crimson cables

    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P6, MBL 8006b, Artisan speakers/subwoofer

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    5,961

    Re: Headphone Recommendation

    Awesome... my favorite after Abyss! Let us know how you like them.
    McIntosh C49, MC152, MR85, R778 | T+A DAC 8 DSD | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM750ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQPlayer) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Wyred 4 Sound ISO Recovery, DC Recovery | Abyss Diana Phi | Schiit Mjolnir 3 | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Headphone Recommendation

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