Resolve's Headphone Ranking List

Why shots fired? Dude is one of the top headphone experts on Earth and is giving his opinion.

I respect and love that @Resolve is sharing his wisdom with us and don’t consider his recommendation of a headphone I don’t like as a “diss,” “shots fired” or any of that garbage.

Social media has f*cked this world, big time. Nobody can give an opinion without it being “shots fired” or a “hot take,” and if their opinion differs from yours, they’re a “hater.”

Sorry, I’m just in a particularly salty mood today due to a variety of factors.


haha I think maybe the closed-back list will be more of a ‘hot take’ - working on that now.


Quick question on DCA Aeon X Open. Your description makes it sound like a more comfortable planar version of the 6xx.

Is that an accurate assessment? I own the 6xx and enjoy them very much, but I’m also interested in the DCA’s. Are they just a more expensive, more refined, more power-hungry version of the 6xx? Wondering if I really need them.

Thanks, Andrew!

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Lol! Chill dude, just a midnight comment in a joking manner. I appreciate the list as well. Hopefully all the feedback, not just this one leads to manufacturers upping their game.


Weirdly the HD6XX is more detailed - the Aeons are a bit blunted sounding, possibly due to the extreme driver damping going on. But where the Aeons have the advantage is in the sense of tightness/speed and immediacy of the initial leading edge of tones, leading to very good image separation and the ability to isolate individual instrument lines well. Is it better than the HD6XX? Not meaningfully. But the Aeon X Closed is one of the best closed-backs for the price in my opinion. If you really want an upgrade to the HD6XX, you’d be looking at something like an Elex or Clear.


Great list, cant wait for your closed back list.

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The Hot Take: They all have trash tonality

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Sorry. As I said, I’m salty today. Shouldn’t have taken it out on you.

The Sodium King :slight_smile:


Mega thanks, man. Appreciate your wisdom and advice, as always.


Actually surprisingly some don’t! But, in some ways the hot take is that the ones that don’t have a trash tonality aren’t always the best haha.


Hahahaha. Yuuuuup. I was all mega excited for stealth just to find out I liked it less on my gear (at the time at least) than even the mega fucked FR (and resonance?) of R10P. I have some friends whos ears I trust who are getting some dynamics/kick back into them with stuff like the HSA-1B but my hopes arent particularly high given my similar impressions across 5 demos over the course of almost 2 months…

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With a published ranking list, you’re likely going to get asked “why is X not on the list?” (like the LCD-4z hint hint) quite often. Hopefully that doesn’t burn you out. Appreciate the time taken to come up with this list (and updating it), thanks Resolve.

Torq doesn’t have a thread of his ranking list and it’s scattered around some of his posts. Thought it might be worth mentioning here for those interested:

… and the last update:


Updated with an initial list of closed-backs. I’ll be adding more over time.


I had the ZMF Verite closed, and actually sold them to get the Verite (during the November 2021 sale). I have no need for a closed back (live alone) and just like being able to hear myself as well. I purchased a 2021 LCD-X and loved it, until I saw the LCD 5. I was able to return the X and order a B-Stock 5. Should arrive Friday.

I think that may be my final (for now) headphone collection (beyond my ZMF Ori & ZMF Blackwood). One stellar planar and one stellar dynamic.

Do you EQ the Verite?


Yes of course - keep in mind I only have the Open. But for the closed, I believe Chrono may have made a good starting point that I’d probably give a go.

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Did you post the open EQ settings? I no longer have the closed.

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Great, thanks again!

I’ve compiled a list of headphones you’ve measured. Might be good to link in the first post of this thread?


I already thought we were pretty close in our sound preferences. We are super close for open backs. On your closed back list…it is like you were peeking at my notes. My top three is identical to yours. Outside of that I would probably rank the Radiance (I owned it) below the Celestee and bring the Fostex TR-X00 Ebony up a few spaces behind the Celestee (?) and ahead of the Radiance. Outside of that, we are in lock step. I recommend the song “Big Balls” by AC/DC from the Dirty Deeds album. Because, you got 'em.

Okay, I would totally understand why you would not want to, but PLEASE consider posting this list on Head-fi. Even if just for my individual entertainment. :smiley: Nice work.


I had narrowed down my TOTL collection to one open back and one closed back, and decided to go with the VC & LCD-5 based on reviews and comparisons (before seeing this post just now.)

Had a nice sense of validation based on his list here… Not that there’s ever a last word in this hobby – but if there was one, Andrew would probably be it. :wink:

I also have an MDR-Z1R as a unique guilty pleasure. Tho, we’ll see how much head time those get moving forward.


I think resolve seems like a really earnest guy and a nice guy and I know that these things are all completely subjective…that said any list that doesnt include the abyss Tc and the sr1a at the very top doesnt compute to me…I have or have heard all of them other than the stats and to me it doesnt compute…that said as I said it is all subjective