General purchase advice: Ask your questions/for advice here!

Do you guys think the balanced output of the qudelix 5k (~200 milliwatts per channel according to Amir’s measurements) can provide enough power to comfortably power the Harmonicdyne Zeus?
or, would an atom stack or 789 be beneficial?

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6 posts were merged into an existing topic: The On-Topic, OFF-TOPIC Thread


The type of headphone/amp/DAC I am looking for is (Closed-back, open-back, in-ear, wireless, etc): Something wired with wireless capability. I would in environments that require a wired option.

My price range is: Not really sure. I know you have to spend to play. something middle road would work or a little less

I like to listen to: EDM/Hip hop/Rap/anything with good bass really.

I will be using them for: (Travel, commuting, home, gym, etc…): Right now Im in a desert environment but have plenty of AC. Mostly for listening at my desk or in my room. If anyone games with a good setup too…id be interested.

Thanks for any and all help. I am very new to this scene too.


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Welcome. Headphones with wireless capability tend to have quality limits because of wireless technology. Wired-only headphones can sound better because of stronger power supplies and less complex circuitry.

For most people who need wireless, the mainstream products from Sony, Apple, Bose, Beats, etc. will be fine. Noise cancelling technology works well on airplanes, trains, or other places with background rumble. Beats products often have very strong or excess bass (and they not popular in this forum).

Wire-only headphones can be terrible for commuting, the gym, or any noisy environment. However, they perform on another level. Open-back usually sound the best, especially over longer periods.


Thank you and thanks for the input. I am looking for something a touch more niche. I have B&O over the ear headphones currently and AirPod Pros however, I am looking for something in office/gaming/casual listening that doesn’t sharpen the soundstage greatly. I would prefer a richer fuller sound. However, if I was looking for simple (potentially deep) bass and off the shelf ease, I would grab from a brand you’ve mentioned already. But still something to consider. Thank you very much again.

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For quality beyond, you’re going to step into wired headphones. They provide next level performance. Wireless do all the amplification and DAC processing onboard (to be wireless), and in my experience don’t benefit from outside devices.

Headphone brands I’d personally consider include Sennheiser, Focal, Audeze, Dan Clark, ZMF, and more. The full-system budget might range from $500 to $5,000 or more. What’s your target range?

Hardcore products tend to sound different than mainstream/consumer/Best Buy products. It’s hard to recommend a specific model because you must try to know if you like it. They vary in fit (head comfort), tone, bass versus treble emphasis, and much more. Bass character varies between “lots of boomy sound” to “tight, precise, and nuanced.” Beats is notorious for overloading everything with rubbery bass, while the $4,400 Focal Utopia paints detailed 3D images with its bass alone.


Yeah I figured that might be the case. Wireless stuff is getting better and competitive but still has a ways to go.

I left them at home in the states but I have a set of Empire IEM and a battery powered DAC/AMP. But I would prefer an over the ear setup. Nothing crazy. Entry level would be great. Price could very. Id like personally not to go above a 2k setup, especially where I am on deployment and in the desert haha. Sennheiser is a great brand. I recently saw they might have a killer wireless buds system for everyday use/supposedly being able to work out with them as well. but thats besides the conversation at hand.

I am still learning a lot about this stuff. I went to a CanJam in the San Diego area in 2021 and was quickly overwhelmed. But there was a lot of good stuff there like the Dan Clark and Audeze. I think I personally, at least for now, prefer a closed back setup. Focal looked like a contender potentially but not familiar with their sound and what they try to target. I am not familiar with ZMF. Also, thank you for taking the time to chat about all of this.


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Great idea attending a CanJam! With that said, what really stood out to you besides Dan Clark and Audeze? I.e. which headphones fulfilled your craving for bass? Knowing which ones you liked will better help us make recommendations for you to audition. Headphones can get very expensive, but hopefully we can recommend something in your budget.


It was a while ago so I don’t remember exactly. I do really enjoy the physical comfort of the Dan Clark. Most of the stuff I did try was about 2k a piece or more as well lol I know Audeze just recently made a nice gaming headset but I think it was open back. I definitely do prefer the closed back. mostly to keep sound to myself and not have external noise bleed in.

Id have to go again or look back at the book I got. However, I left the book back at home in the states.

But the headset doesn’t have to be gaming oriented. Ill dig around on store page here over the next couple days and see if anything jogs my memory for it then update here.

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Other than just buying a Sennheiser HD6XX because they are relatively inexpensive and a fabulous baseline/reference, CanJam is the place to shop.

My first event was in San Jose in about 2005 or so. I tried everything at that time and the HD650 stole the show. Yes there were better headphones but at (no joke) 4x the $450 HD650 price at the time. And those were only nominally better, and most just sounded colored/different but not better for much more $$. The 650 was the cats meow.

Today if a guy has $240 get the HD6XX and never look back. Still the best value in hifi headphones.

For a $1000 or more then a CanJam to audition is the way to go. Test comfort, sound, build quality. You don’t need a 2 day pass. One day is good if you’re flying in to avoid the hotel stay. The event is big enough to see what you want to see and small enough to see it all.

You’ll see show prices too.

I’ll be flying in for CanJam SoCal for $235 round trip for the day. Completely worth it see the new stuff.


Agree 100 percent with this post.

Sure, we all know the rabbit hole is real in this wonderful hobby. But you could spend $220 on HD 6XX as an open-back dynamic, $110 on an HE-400se as an open-back planar and $210 on an Atom+ stack and be set for a LONG time.

Of course, upgrade-itis strikes for about 99.4 percent of us. But you could hold firm with that holy trinity of value gear and be a happy ear camper for years.


Most of us would have probably been happy with those setups had we just stayed off the audio websites and forums and/or stopped auditioning. For me, it was hearing something better that ruined what I had; I never did forgot the sound of the subjectivity better headphone, and I ultimately ended up buying it. 2 years later, the same cycle happened again and that headphone has since been replaced and sold haha.

To the novices and “noobs,” sticking with something like the HD 6 series or HiFiMan HE-400SE or Sundara, and then learning how to properly utilize PEQ, is probably the wise move. Your wallet will thank you.