Tell me about your simple setup

We all dream about that next pair of cans. But how simple can you go?

I realised that I was hit by a severe case of GAS even though it was the thrill of listening to great music that brought me here in the first case.

So now I am listening to Tidal through my iPhone and Tin T2s. Got a pair of Meze 99 Classics on its way. Selling all my other equipment. Might add a Mojo or Zen DAC.

Ever thinking of downgrading instead of just moving on on that route of eternal upgrades?


Maybe we can merge this into:

I think many have tried to find simple setups, and some have failed.


Still not thinking in downgrades but I’m definitely settled for a while. A few reasons (YMMV):

  • 6 new headphones in less than 1 year – that itself should be a ticket to see a shrink (GAS);
  • Still digesting the sound of them – the “bite more than you can chew” dilemma;
  • Discovery of DSP, i.e., not just regular EQ, but EQ + processing (added harmonics, etc).

To make things worse:

  • Still can’t differentiate between DACs;
  • All cans started sounding the same – brain normalization.

To conclude, answering your other question:

  • When running: A dongle DAC + SE-215;
  • When working: A HD6XX plugged into the Liquid Spark.



My “Simple Setup” consist of Koss Porta Pros (with Yaxi Pads) paired with an Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt connected to either an iPhone, or iPad.

Still one of my favorite listening experiences. Fun and fairly resolving, but never fatiguing.

I believe @pennstac runs a similar setup.


As far as simple, when trying out new IEMs, I will just run the M2X with the IEMs of choice for the majority of my working day.

Lately, TWS IEMs seem to keep showing up, so even simpler, just the TWS IEMs with whatever I have near me (phone, tablet, PC, DAC, etc.).


Part of the reason I’m here is because I’m trying to find out where the 95% solution is for me. And I’m perfectly willing to pay to find out. So making many headphone purchases is pretty much the core of my plan.

I don’t think I’ve been at this long enough to come to any conclusions. But I have good evidence to support quite a few theories that would probably not be shared by the majority of audiophiles. :grimacing:

So I definitely feel where you’re coming from, OP.

My simple setup right now:
Macbook -> Apple Music -> SoundSource -> EQuick -> USB -> Schiit Modi -> Schiit Magni 3+ -> AKG K712 PRO

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Porta Pro BluTooth is my house cleaning rig…

Used to be just Porta Pro into my V20

But just a Mojo from Chord would be nice, heck even iFi iDSD Nano for something smaller


OMG! I had to reread that. In my other life, GAS means group A streptococcus. Finally figured out what you were referring to. Bloody context dependent acronyms. I like this thread idea.

While I’m not looking to simplify my entire audio experience, won’t give up my desktop setup, I realize how much I would just like to wander around with an extremely portable setup at times.

Currently my simplest setup is Auteur via black label and iPhone. Would like to make that smaller but keep the experience as close as possible.


I’ve seen folks on other forums, with a great deal of experience, ending up with a setup built around a single headphone, usually the HD 580/600/650. If I recall correctly, Tyll Hertens rode off into the sunset with a pair of Bose and a pair of Aeon Closed headphones.

I’ve got five headphones right now. At times I wonder if that’s too many. Two of them aren’t getting the love as much any more. If I listen carefully, late at night I can hear my Clear whispering to reassure me that its the only headphone I’ll ever need. My newly purchased Andromeda 2020 might disagree, though.


Mmmmmm AFC was nice, I’m lucky my HM901 Stack pairs super nicely with A2C. Just hoping my 901 doesn’t die anytime soon q.q


I’m happy with:

MacBook with ITunes>GraceM900>Shure1540

I run the Grace on low gain right from he MacBook.

This is a simple straightforward combo that is warm and rich with an open soundstage. Great for Classical and Jazz. No urge to upgrade as it I enjoy it too much.


Simplest setup I have is a pair of Bose NC-700s … turn on and go! They sound pleasant enough to me for what they are and certainly good enough for watching Netflix, youtube, etc. Next up from there would be an Audioquest Dragonfly Colbalt driving a pair of Moondrop Starfields. Next up from that is quite a big jump…

I tried the T2s and sent them back. They weren’t terrible, but they lacked on the low end and the the treble seemed overcooked to me. The mojo is great, but even that is a faff with multiple cables, although it has more uses than the DragonFly.

Definitely not one for downgrading but I do like to do try different things and then consolidate back down, especially as many options are hard to get on demo or even go somewhere to demo (given COVID, etc). That means there are short term stints of GAS! :smiley:


I do. Exactly that. Blue YAXI on the left, and of course, Red on the right.


My simple setup is a Askell Kern AK 240 Blue Note, with Sony MDR Z7 headphones.

A surprisingly good sounding combination.


My simple setup is an iBasso DX160 and the Etymotic ER2XR. I’m still regularly surprised by how good that combo sounds.


Koss Porta Pro with Yaxi pads and USB dongle for iPhone, or iPad Pro…


I’ve been there for the last 18 months. Meze 99’s, es100, balanced meze cable streaming Google music… And I have a Vali2 for home use… I do eq the meze 99 with the larger pads.

Lots of hours of enjoyment and pleasurable listening that’s restored my love of music.

That will remain my traveling/portable setup, though I’m headed the other way right now :slight_smile: and recently ordered the ZMF VO, Pendant with NOS tubes, 2K cable and shortly a BF 2… Expecting that to be my HP end game for quite a while!


the jotunheim w multi bit dac and hd650 , or thx789 amp with smsl su-8 dac and elegia.


Schitt Magni 3, the old one, with ATH M50’s.


He is rocking Focal Utopia if i remember correctly.