Hello, I live in India and just joined this wonderful community. I need some purchase advice. I’m currently using Beyerdynamic DT880 250 ohms and wish to upgrade to something in the upper range. Max budget - 1700 dollars. These are the headphones I’m considering (along with my opinions I’ve formed by reading reviews)
• Meze 109 Pro (less audio quality for the price?)
• Hifiman Arya Stealth (QC issues maybe?)
• Audeze LCD X 2021 (Best bass, but weighty hp? )
• Sennheiser HD 800s (lacking in oomph, slam?)
Use case scenario - Music, Movies & non competitive gaming. I only play single player games e.g. Cyberpunk, Assassin’s Creed etc. I just want the most immersive sound and don’t care for footsteps. The headphone will mostly get gaming usage followed by movies and music equally.
Dac/Amp - Aune X1S Pro + Topping A30 Pro.
Initially I was locked on Ananda/ Arya stealth but I’ve heard quite a few negative reviews about quality control of both Hifiman and Focal products. So I left them mainly out of consideration. I want something that will last me years and has very good build quality. What do you think I sould get.
Note : 1. I don’t have the option of auditioning them here in india.
2. I don’t find the bass slam of DT880 to be particularly lacking. It’s sufficient bass (quantity wise) for me. But I think there isn’t much instrument separation/layering going on in the DT880s, so I wish to upgrade into something high end from which I won’t feel the need of upgrading soon.
Thanks for your opinions in advance to everybody.
After living with the Anandas for nearly three years with no build quality issues, I still love the sound. I know others have had issues with HiFiMan products, and I suppose I am lucky in that, although I do treat my headphones with care. BUT… be aware that they offer NO isolation whatsoever. You will hear EVERYTHING going on in the space around you, so that alone may rule them (and other open-back headphones) out for you, depending on where you do your gaming/viewing/listening.
Actually I prefer open backs, I don’t have any issues regarding external noise leaking in. If only Hifiman gave more warranty, I would’ve felt more confident buying them. Arya stealth here costs around 1300 dollars with only 1 year warranty. But, ai admit, they have probably the best performance per dollar ratio.
Take the negative reports about HiFiMan’s QC and durability seriously. This is false economy and not much cheaper than the competition. Be aware that HiFiMan’s typical factory cables are weird and cheap, the odds of issues or failure are high, and the HD 800 S can be found on sale for a similar price. I bought my 800 S a couple years ago for $1,250 when full retail was $1,600, and full retail is now $1,800. I run the 800 S through a Schiit Bifrost 2/64, RebelAmp (or a tube amp), and Schiit Lokius with a bass boost. I concur with @Nuance that the boosted 800 S is the mainstream king.
Actually I’m leaning toward Sennheiser too, I have two products from them (HD449 and HD518) both are running fine for over 8/9 years. I don’t want to buy something expensive and then worry about when its driver gonna fail. So that left me with two choices with good build quality - Audeze LCD X 2021 and HD800s, I’ve heard that the bass in the planars are stellar but I wonder if their weight will be cumbersome. HD800s wins in the comfort department by default. What I don’t know if the bass in the HD800s will be too lean to be enjoyable. As a owner of those cans, what is your opinion about HD800S’s bass performance?
The 800 S does NEED a bass boost for me and many others. They sound distant, thin, and weak on a neutral chain. However, it’s fine if you bring in warm gear and/or an equalizer.
I can’t comment on the LCD X 2021. I sold my old LCD-2 Classic because of jaw pain caused by the combination of weight and side pressure from its thick pads. It too needed EQ to fill in the upper mids and cut the treble. I demoed the LCD-5 and found it to be physically light and comfortable, but it’s not my first choice in that price bracket.
Well, that’s the issue for me too. I don’t have the option of auditioning them and all my prior headphones have been lightweight. LCD X have higher weight than 2Classic. So, I don’t have any clue if they will be comfortable for me or not.
How enjoyable is the EQed HD800s for watching movies? (For gaming, HD800s is probably the undisputed king according to pretty much everyone I asked)
Yeah, as I stated earlier, I live in India and sadly can’t purchase from headphone.com. The biggest seller of headphones in india (similar to headphone.com) is headphonezone.in but sadly they don’t have any exchange policies for flagship headphones, only 7 days exchange policies for headphones costing below $500. So no options for me of auditioning or exchanging.
I absolutely do use EQ. I use JRiver for my music playback and film watching and in its DSP I’ve added Sonarworks for EQ purpose (it also has its own P-eq which is decent enough) otherwise I use Equalizer APO.
BUT, I don’t know why, for all the three headphones I have, whenever I do EQ, I don’t quite like it while gaming. The equalised/neutralized audio sounds great while watching movies or listening to music but while playing games it somehow hampers the stage/imaging. I find the stock tuning of all my headphones better whenever I play game.
+1 on the Hd800Ss. I might be in the minority here, but I find the 800Ss very good without using any EQ. They take a while to get your brainto “burnin”, but once you settle in with them, the bass is quite good and well balanced. I’m running them with a Schiit Lyr+ and some nice NOS tubes. They’re my all-time favorite and I have zero concerns about durability
IMO the HD800S is really good for gaming. No EQ needed especially when properly paired.
A surprise and I could be in the minority here but I find the Diana V2 to be really solid for gaming lol. They’re light and the imaging is so good you can pin point where people are coming from. And a bonus is they sound great. With games or music. Gun fire and explosions have a really nice weight. I primarily play shooters like battlefield and lately Fortnite because my son is into it so we play together.
This is typically off the Bliss.