Moderators: not sure if this is the right category for my question. Please feel free to move if needed.
I"m new to this hobby. I bought a Hifiman Sundara as well as a Topping E50/L50 (thank you headphone.com!) aa little over a month ago. I absolutely love them! It’s opened up a whole new world of listening enjoyment. I used to think that my Apple AirPods were the epitome of sonic excellence.
I would love to try some new headphones, amps and DACs for comparison to my current setup. However I live in a relatively small New England town and there is no local HiFi store to visit where I compare/contrast audiophile components.
My question is for those of you who don’t live in a large metropolitan area: How do you get your hands on various components for evaluation? I wish there was a service that loaned gear on a short term basis for evaluation. (I know that headphones.com was doing this on a limited basis but suspended the program due to equipment damage). I don’t want to buy and return gear just for evaluation. To me this seems unethical and burdens the seller with B sale gear that they then have to sell for less. (No judgement on those of you who may do this.) I see a lot of folks who sell items mere months after buying them. My wallet cannot stand this kind of churn.
Any advice/insights greatly appreciated. Thanks!