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

By the way, anyone has experience on Diana TC? how does it compare to Utopia?

I would caution against the assumption that the HDV 820 is necessarily the best front end for the HD800s just because they’re both Sennheiser products. Plenty of folks prefer tube amps with the HD800s for example. Also, the DAC in the HDV820 is an ESS and they have a bit of a reputation for providing lots of detail but sometimes being overly “bright” or “thin” which leads some people to prefer R-2R DACs. Only you can say what the best match is for your listening preferences, of course.

That said, I’m sure there’s a bigger difference to be had by trying out other headphones. But I do think that once you pass the $1k mark for 'phones, amps, and DACs, the system synergy becomes a bigger part of the equation. It’s not only a matter of how good the individual component is, but also of how well the system works together.

Happy hunting – I’m interested in what you decide works best for piano for you. We had some discussions about timbre and that particular instrument awhile back, and it’s a major factor for me for future purchases.


Recently my 990s went out on me (my 2nd pair of beyers that went out on me after about a day of using them)

And I’ve been looking for some new cans.

Which ones should I buy?

My options are:

Sennheiser HD 660s

Sennheiser HD 660s2 (the new sennys that came out last month)

Sennheiser HD 650

Hifiman Sundara

Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X

I’m leaning towards the sennheisers, but idk, you guys tell me.

The work I am doing is sound design, foley, audio engineering, mixing and mastering, etc.

Looking for some cans that are neutral (kinda flat to mix and master on), but also nice to listen to music to, and the occasional 10 hour gaming sessions.

I’m also looking for some entry level IEMs and entry level tube amps (and tubes.)

Have you checked that you don’t have an issue with your amplifier that is driving them?

Two pairs dying after a day could be coincidence (and very bad luck) but could also mean there are other issues which could kill another new set.

You have listed quite a variation of models, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

It’s difficult to “tell” someone what to buy because each of us favour different things.

Are you referring to a full tube amp or a hybrid?

If it is a full tube amp, I am very fond of the Feliks Audio Echo MK2 as an entry level and it seems to work better with stock tubes than others (at least that seems to be the consensus of those who have spent time tube rolling on it), so it saves cash on diving into the tube rolling world.

For IEMs, it depends on what you are referring to as entry level. I am guessing you mean budget orientated but around what kind of budget?


When it comes to entry-level tubes, this balanced xDuoo MU-604 DAC + MT-604 AMP + XLR Cables offering is kind of hard to beat:

There are tons of new and great entry-level IEMs on the market today. I found mine in 2019 in the Tin HiFi T2. It is neutral from a frequency response point of view.

Can’t say what might be best for a sound engineer when it comes to headphones.

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The 604 is a hybrid though, with solid state amplification. However, this might be what @sailent is looking for (hence my question about hybrid or tube).


Check out the Truthear Hola. Under $20.00 and stupid good for the money.

Hmm…I’d say get HD600 for music pleasure out of all of those, but if you’re mixing and mastering the Sundara might be better, with its flat bass extension and neutral mids and treble. It really benefits from an amp, as do the 6 series Sennheisers.

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My budget is under $400.

Also I’m looking for a full tube, and my 990s didn’t fit well on anyones ears, the yokes were bent.

My amp is fine, i’m running the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 1st gen (bought it in december of 2014 and it works on literally everything.)

Modest IEM Purchase Advice wanted

Price Range $85-135
I’ve been happy with the DUNU Titan S in the range just below this, and have gifted a few to people who have only experienced casual purchase low end buds. They’ve been happy. Heck, I like my pair.
I’m looking for something a step up from the Titan in most respects, perhaps just a hair less shouty, good fun punch bass, and a nice shimmering bit of air. I’m well set personally (with higher end IEMs, if you consider the LCDi4 an IEM (ha ha)) but I’m looking for something as a robust general use driver, and cheap enough that I can gift a couple to the right people.

I see the Moondrop ARIA has dropped in price to $79 on Amazon and I like the review that @SenyorC did for the DUNU KIMA, and it’s around $109 on the 'zon. Am I missing anything important? Is there something significantly better hovering $20 above those prices? Between those two, does the KIMA edge out the ARIA by thirty smackers?

Appreciate all of your comments. There are no bad opinions, except when given without having heard what you’re recommending.

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To be honest, I don’t really understand the problem.

1.) If you really love the sound of the 990‘s, then just keep it.

2.) If the yokes are actually bent, then remove the cups and simply bend them to fit you, the material is very robust and can easily withstand it.

3.) Bayerdynamic is known for making every single component of their headphones available as a spare part and offering them for subsequent purchase. If this yoke actually causes problems then buy a new one:


This combination is actually not that easy to find in the entry-level price range, to be honest, the studio headphones are often not really suitable for relaxed music enjoyment.

Too boring and mostly tonally too flat.

The best example of this is the DT1990 from Bayer, as studio headphones these are a sound magnifying glass, but as audiophile “relaxation headphones” they pose a risk to your eardrum.

Even with subsequent insulation,

these headphones were too penetrating in the highs.

This type of headphone only becomes interesting with, for example, an Audeze LCD-x, which is also recommended by @pennstac for relaxed listening.


My personal recommendation would be to keep the dt990, buy this spare part for about 11€ and then get a wonderful second option in the headphone range.

A real sound alternative that is really fun and lets you relax while listening to music.



Honestly, as an alternative to the DT990, none of these.

There are wonderful alternatives on the market that have excellent sound qualities and are within a relatively normal price range.

If you would like to knock on the door of Sennheiser, then ask the HD600, which together with the xDuoo TA-26 costs about as much as the new HD660S V2, is superior in terms of sound to this (not only in my opinion) in the mentioned combo.

Then there are the Grado‘s „the Hemp“ or SR325x, which together with ifi amp’s (it doesn’t matter which one) reproduces a very good sound reproduction.

And lastly, my current favorites on the market, in my opinion this is a rough diamond that flies far under the radar of the communiti, is priced in the range of the HD660S V2 or the DT1990, but is toweringly superior to them in all areas.

The iBasso SR3 are outstanding headphones, unpack, put on your head, enjoy!

Next to the Meze 109 pro, these headphones are currently my most used headphones.


Funnily enough, this pairing is a very good one, especially with the newer Planar in-ears on the market.

Got my full recommendation.


How much mid and sub bass are you craving? I ask because the Truthear Hexa is all the rage right now; I believe it’s $79.99 but has a little less bass quantity than most of the $100ish IEMs.

Here are the three graphed together with Crin’s target:

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I like serious but controlled sub and mid bass. My understanding is that the Aria is a bit sloppier in the lower regions. I’ll have to look for Truthear Hexa reviews. I’m willing to venture into the $135 range. It seems as if the $59-79 bracket is somewhat of a spot.

Looking for bounce to the ounce, bang for the buck, sound for the pound, euphoria for the euro.

It seems as if there is a gap between about $109 and $279.

There’s definitely a hole between about $100 and $200, at which point the planars dominate the segment. I quite like the Tangzu Wu Heyday at $200, while many seem to enjoy the Sennheiser IE200 for $150.

If you’re willing to wait, everyone that’s heard Crinacle’s Project Red have had nothing but praise. I don’t know when it’s planned for release or what it’ll cost, but it might be worth waiting.

I use the Aria at work, and the bass is more rumble and quantity than it is controlled and detailed. I still quite like it overall, though.

Yes, I’m willing to wait. Just generally looking. I have trouble buying planar IEMs these days since I have, for personal use Audeze iSINE 20, LCDi3, and LCDi4. A plethora of planars. I also bought the Sennheiser IE 40 Pro a few years ago when it came out.

One thing that I want is an IEM that will work for a newbie right out of the box - with no need to EQ. Perhaps my experience with Audeze makes me leery of planars, as Audeze works great out of the box - if you use the Cipher cable that does EQ. Or if you use ROON with Audeze presets.

While I may certainly keep a pair, I’m looking for something that will please a newbie in both the short and long run. I’ve trained my grand nephew with Koss Porta-Pros, he’s 13 now and knows junk when he hears it.

What pads are you using on the Grado Hemp and 325x in your pics? Thanks.

Hemp‘s = G-Cushions

325‘s = Dekoni Audio Custom Velour Replacement Ear Pads for Grado Headphones - Dekoni Audio


The 990s were good but I’m just tired of having to buy new headphones because the things don’t fit on my ears properly, it’s stressful trying to constantly look for a new fit for this headphones, it makes me depressed sometimes.

Can never go wrong with HD600, imo.