The zen. So, if you haven’t read any of my history you probably should to get context about the following comments. I have several posts on here about the Blessing 2 Dusk, Dunu Zen and the he6se that elaborate on this.
The Zen is not a hard headphone to drive compared to all of those others (even the dusk). It doesn’t take much and almost anything can push it well at high volume. Including the apple dongle. That is not to say there aren’t differences, but it’s like the Zen equalizes sources to a great extent. This was not true of any of the other 10ish headphones I have tried.
I literally just did an a/b comparison between the signature and the qudelix 5k not five minutes ago. The difference is largely that the signature sounds slightly smoother. And the power to drive it is effortless in eco mode. What I have found I want is the ability for the headphone you are listening to work well at lower volumes. When that is achieved, you have a great source. The signature does this. So does the qudelix but seems to need a touch higher volume to feel it.
I have now heard the zen on apple dongle, btr5, qudelix 5k, iDSD micro signature and iBasso dx300. I honestly can’t say I have a strong preference. I am not sure this would be true with a more analytical sound like the monarch. But the Zen is just delicious everywhere for me. I couldn’t be happier with it.
So should you try the Zen? Yes. Do you need the signature? No. But if it fits your space, mobility and budget, it’s a safe buy (Unless you use MQA and DSD).
Bad Guy by Billie Eilish just randomly came on and I couldn’t care less which device is powering it.