I have, over the last few years, been quite content to gradually add interesting, classic or capable headphones to my collection. While some have been more special-purpose than others (e.g. Sony MDR-Z1R or Fostex TH900 Mk2), all have had their place.
And while there is a large disparity among the listening time many models got, all were used, and rotated, at some point (often with varying moods and/or music).
Three products this year have really upset the apple-cart, as it were. And now, I suppose, there’s a fourth potential - or a replacement for one of the three at least - with the latest arrival - ZMF’s closed-back “Vérité Closed”; however, I’ll come back to that one.
Those three products are, in order of impact, the RAAL-requisite SR1a, ZMF Vérité and Focal Stellia. Depending upon how you look at things, they have either proven to be liberators from the relative tyranny of having/wanting/needing a broad variety of cans to get the best results, or “destroyers of worlds” in their impact on my personal headphone stable and the gear I had/have selected to feed them.
This list shows the overall impact (again limited to stuff I owned/bought as of the start of THIS year):
The struck-out, red, items are ones that have gone by the wayside as a result of the arrival or one, or more, of the afore mentions models. The items in black are items that either were already in place and are, so far, not directly affected (though not necessarily “safe” yet). And the items in green are additions since all this started … though two of those are augmentations to an earlier arrival (the various Vérité …).
More than half my initial collection gone. More still to come … the HD800S are almost certainly on the outs, and the combination, or options, of Stellia + Vérité Closed don’t bode well for the HD820 (a fine headphone, but one wonders when it’ll get used again … and I suspect I am now keeping it more because it’s “cool” and “different” than for listening purposes).
This has had an even bigger impact on the electronics I’ve had around to drive various combinations of cans/use cases.
And all this is a long-winded run up to me wondering what other’s have found to be particularly disruptive in this space?