My current headphone lineup is a bit out of control, but I sometimes find it difficult to part with what I have loved.
I’ll start with my current favorite, a complete surprise that I discovered out of nowhere.
My Denon AH-D9200.
I had these at home for a few days together with a Dan Clark Aeon 2 Closed and the Focal Stellia’s to find out which closed headphones I like the most.
Why did I choose the Denon?
— Because in my Eyes / Ears it has no weaknesses (until today). —
1.) Processing = A +
2.) Comfort = A-
3.) Sound image = A +++
4.) Bass = super dry, hitting hard, very well defined
5.) Mids = very good definition of voices, instruments and space, the whole thing is served razor-sharp and completely nuisance-free.
6.) Heights = tender as butter and crystal clear.
7.) Stage = absolutely extraordinary for a closed headphone.
8.) The best thing about these headphones is that all these attributes apply across genres.
If you are looking for" jack-of-all-trades" headphone, you will find it with the Denon’s.
My next choice is my beloved Sennheiser HD800S.
There is “The concert hall” in my portfolio, the qualities of which are well known.
I mainly use it for classical and live recordings.
And contradict those who claim that this is only really fun with tube amplifiers.
Questyle tunes their amplifier tonally with the HD800S.
And you can clearly hear that, the symbiosis of this pairing is extremely smooth.
The third in the group is my GRADO GS3000e.
In forums like this one more like a “frowned upon exotic outsider” who enjoys my absolute affection.
For jazz, blues, folk and rock, in the past 40 years in which I have dealt more intensively with this hobby, I have not found anything that reproduces these genres more “lively” than these headphones.
With a wonderful spatial musical reproduction, the tonal fading of every single note in the room, I cannot hear it with any other headphones.
These headphones are “living proof” that frequency measurements are only half the story.
Now comes my “intense activist”, the Focal Clear.
For me one of the headphones with a more intense sound, with which it is difficult not to focus completely on the music being played.
I find it difficult to “listen continuously” in a relaxed manner with these headphones, they are a precise sound monster, for which I recently had the opportunity to give them away in exchange for a new 2020 Focal Utopia for a small surcharge.
REJECTED, because somehow these headphones are “addictive”.
I don’t think I have to say anything about the next set of headphones, because the story speaks for itself!
Sennheiser HD600 = sit down, enjoy!
Here are my sonic surgical instruments, my DT880 edition 600 Ohm.
My analyst for musical recordings for 30 years, which I could wear on my head all day due to its comfort.
The second closed headphone in my portfolio, the Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2 Closed.
The first and only planar magnetic headphones to date that allow me to hear stress-free for more than 30 minutes.
After an inspiring initial phase of 20 minutes, this type of headphone sounds somehow “unnatural” TO ME, especially voices.
The Aeon 2 Closed does not do this to my ears, for this reason alone I keep it.
No, of course not only, it sounds very defined and clear to me, with good spatiality.
In addition, relatively little weight and very practical to handle.
Now a “little noticed” headphone with exceptionally good sound skills, the iBasso SR2.
All in all, the most well-balanced and most convincing headphones in the “mid” price segment, which in my opinion even reproduce “musical performances” well above its price segment.
Without question, the GRADO RS2e is THE headphone,
that, due to its sonic quality and comfort, encourages me time and again to give me time for relaxed listening with a good glass of scotch or bourbon in the armchair, close my eyes and relax.
My absolute price-performance winner in 2020, the Sennheiser HD560S.
Hyped or poorly portrayed.
Both nonsense, it is simply a very good-performing headphone that deviates from the typical sound of a sennheiser headphone.
That disappoints some, it excites others.
I try to see it neutrally, and tonally recognize a kind of “mini Focal Elex” for me, and the price is simply excellent for that.
I could go on here, but I think it will be too boring for one or the other .
Therefore, in the end, “the miracle weapon” of every audiophile lover;
And that is meant very seriously