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

Oooooh! I love spending other people’s money!

Probably a set of contrasts. A dynamic driver and a planar. An open and a closed. Maybe a zmf Aeolus and a aeon 2 closed? Or an ananda and a celestee.

What are you using for an amp and a source?


My spending speaks for me: Clear and AEON Flow Closed. The sticker price on the Clear is $1,500 and the AEON RT is $500 (street prices may vary).


Ha! You caught me while editing. I was trying to think of the focal open back that’s around 1k, and couldn’t, put the clear in as placeholder, and then thought of ZMF as a fun contrast.

Really though, those Dan Clark’s are amazing for a closed back.

My choice as suggested in former posts would be a planar and a dynamic driver headphone. Dan Clark Audio Aeon Noire and Sennheiser HD660s. This two in particular because where one doesn’t excell comes in the other. The rest of the budget for decent cables.


You’ve already had a fair amount of exposure to different headphones. I haven’t listened to ZMF, and I’m good at impractical solutions. Stretch the budget for a ZMF Verite Closed. Used if necessary. Then mope and consider selling some of your others to “finance” a nice tube amp. Finally, buy roses for your sweetie, and drop pictures of STAX SR-700’s and ANOTHER tube amp around the house near your birthday.


I spend 90% to 95% of my headphone hours with open headphones and use closed only when absolutely necessary. The are useful for blocking external noise, or for not disturbing others. Open headphones are far less fatiguing than closed headphones, and also more natural sounding. So, I’d put the bulk of my budget toward open headphones, and even reduce the closed budget to $300 or less (e.g., Meze 99 Classics, or Bose/Sony noise canceling).

If on a fixed budget, don’t waste the money. In most cases the factory cables are “decent,” and upgrades will result in maybe a 1% to 3% change. Changing cables is not necessarily better, just slightly different.


Hahaha… I just use a DragonFly black bc the el-8s are easy to drive. And if I’m not listening to Tidal HiFi, I’m usually listening to a FLAC or some other lossless quality file from my computer.


Need to save $700 or so in the “black budget” for a Schiit Bifrost2 in that case.


Tell me you can use Sennheisers with their stock cable, their 3 meters long stock cable and I believe you.
A decent cable would come for $60.
In a budget of $2000 I feel it doesn’t contribute wasting.
I put down my personal preferences.
You have different ones.
Since they are subjective they have the same dignity.
Adding to this the fact that not necessarily the best headphone isn’t the most expensive.
Sennheiser HD660s are excellent and I find them to complement perfectly with Noire.
Sorry to be subjective and different from you.

Yes, it’s my opinion for sure. We are all free to disagree, and audio choices are personal. However, in my experience many people are disappointed by the limitations of higher-priced closed headphones.

The factory 3 meter cable is “decent” but very long for mobile, true. They are fine for stationary use and allow movement around a work area. I used the factory cable for One can buy a Sennheiser compatible cable for as low as $16 on Amazon.

If disappointed by a Aeon Closed or a Stellia/Célestee I find really hard to get an headphone that can make these ones happy.
Opinions fortunately differ by a lot.
Kindness is always an option.
A subjective option but an option.
You can say the same things with a little more kindness without compromising your opinions.

Check AliExpress, you can spend even less.


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I would buy one headphone instead of two and invest the rest of your budget on a good DAC and amp like the Schiit Bifrost 2 (or Modius) and Jot 2. Your Celestee (assuming you get that) should benefit, even though it’s easy to drive (I’m basing this on my experience with a Stella) and it will give you more options for your next headphone purchase, e.g. something harder to drive like a ZMF Verite, which will play all the genres you like very well, and may be the last headphone you purchase.


Preowned ZMF Aeolus and Auteur.

(Yeah yeah, fanboi much? I know, I know. Look… he asked, I answered.)


how can I not take this advice?


Honestly, it’s excellent advice. Do make sure you know how to buy off you particular sweetheart though. Mine accepts home remodeling and appliances, and will return jewelry. She’s tricky like that.


Thought I’d get everyone’s advice one more time. I’m still here with Arya, Bifrost 2 and Jotunheim. I’ve thought about exchanging while I have time the Jotunheim to Mjolnir. Thoughts or opinions on the Mjolnir? Thanks

I have a Schiit Modius and Asgsard 3 for my more serious music listening, but listening to the TV these days sometimes requires headphones - helps with keeping peace around the house. I have seen a few models mentioned in my short amount of research and was wondering if anyone had any experience or other recommendations - Topping MX3, Schiit Fulla, Audioengine D1, etc. I need optical in from my TV, which I believe these have. I do like the idea of a remote (can never have too many of those…), which the Topping has. Price range is between $100-$200.

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I can’t comment on the other two but I have a Topping MX3 in my bedroom that I use for powering a couple of Bose speakers above the bed and for late night powering of headphones.

The headphone output is not amazing but it gets the job done. I’m pretty sure I posted a review of it in here at some point.

Edit: found it


Sounds like the Topping remote would be pretty worthless in my situation, 10-12 feet or so from the TV. I would ideally want to mount the DAC/Amp behind the TV itself so nothing shows, which would probably preclude any IR remote for my use. The Topping would work physically with what I want to do, as would several other units. Not sure if the sound improvement would be very significant over the TV, but would think it would be somewhat better, at a minimum.

I should add that I will be driving Focal Elegias.

Turns out the Schiit Fulla does not have the optical input I need.


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Any experience with the “FiiO K5 Pro DAC and Headphone Amplifier”, seems like it might be a worth a look, from what I have seen. Price is right and specs look pretty good - $150. Not sure about the match with the Elegias. No remote, but that’s life.