What is your dream headphone setup?

Money is no object.

My go-to everyday setup would be the Audeze MX4 with a SPL Phonitor X and SPL Director combo. It sounds absolutely incredible and the MX4 personally wins out over the LCD4 in my opinion just based on the fact that its a full 200 grams lighter. I really liked the LCD4s but I was worried if I wore them for more than a week my neck muscles would be broader than my shoulders. The MX4 has the perfect mix of deep low-end and enough detail and clarity to put a smile on my face.

The Orpheus is another pretty obvious answer here but the Orpheus is just too damn resolving. I wouldn’t be able to listen to any of the music I like because it would just sound like garbage haha.

My dream setup is ANY setup that comes together for all sorts of music that sounds great (to me) without having to research for hours and trying on 5 different sets of headphones and switching amps to get that WOW sound. Can’t wait to hear what people are sharing for theirs.

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My current dream set up is arguably still modest. I would love to have a Woo WA6-SE. Then maybe some HD800s. Not sure.

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I really don’t know… But I really love my current top system, consisting of a Stax 009 and a self-built valve amp (based on AC/P4 tubes and Tango transformers) that gives me an incredible musicality …

Do you think you will enjoy the newest HD820? It has a different closed design.

umh… difficult to choose one, even if money no object… I would love to have many dream setups :slight_smile:
anyway, should I choose one, most probably would be the top MSB for electrostats + STAX 009S

Stax headphones (or earspeakers) are definitely an experience!

As much as I would love to have a pair in my home my wife has a couple of cats and their hair gets into everything. The Stax drivers wouldn’t stand a chance against those fur balls.

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:slight_smile: very true… and I would add that also little babies are likely dangerous, even if for different reasons though :joy::joy:

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I also really want to try out Stax. Unfortunately missed this year’s NYC Canjam but hopefully I’ll have another opportunity in the future.

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The Sennheiser HD1 is my new goal. From what I read, it’s a great all-rounder.

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you also need to factor in a sound source that can provide sound you can truly appreciate with top of the line headphones. I had a dual DAC cd player and with good headphones and music you could hear the difference between a single DAC and a dual DAC unit. Another factor when listening at home on your stereo…your power supply. AC power isn’t as “clean” as everyone things; you might be surprised at the impact of adding a line conditioner Furman AC215A

I also like the LCD4 but like you “I was worried if I wore them for more than a week my neck muscles would be broader than my shoulders.” Hahaha what a witty line. I’m thinking of what to say about it and there i read your line. Sorry
for “owning” it… Cheers.

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Definitely recommend giving Stax a listen as their headphones are an experience that you won’t forget!

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Yeah, everyone talks about how fast/musical/transparent they sound so it just hypes me up even more. I’ve thought about buying some of the entry level Stax systems to try (and resell if I dislike), but ideally I’d like to try it at some convention or meetup.

You could do what I do and keep a sheet over your Hi-Fi when it’s not in use (I use a table-cloth). I’ve got a cat and I do it to protect my Hi-Fi stuff from cat hairs and dust.

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Gotta be the Mr. Speakers Voce on a real nice amp. I don’t know my electrostat amps but I’m sure it would sound great on just about anything

What if my current setup is my dream setup?

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When I first got into this hobby I came across an AKG electrostatic (can’t recall the model, but HeadRoom carried it at the time) and I found the technology intriguing. Completely dropped off my radar the following years. Now I think a Stax upgrade to their entry level line is most likely my next purchase.

@asymcon That’d put you in the same camp I’m in … at the moment. Who knows how long that state of affairs will last, but for now I don’t see “anywhere to go”, with one exception, short of something entirely different.

Anyway, while I posted it here, it’s probably easier to recount it directly:

I use Roon as my primary source. That feeds a network connected streamer that I designed and built myself (and one day I might get around to a commercial venture around it), tentatively called the “Music Conduit”. That talks to a Chord DAVE using either USB or AES/EBU XLR connections. DAVE feeds a Woo Audio WA234 Mk2 via a pair of AudioQuest Wind XLRs. And then that runs using a self-built (and somewhat unusual) headphone cable to one of several headphones depending on my mood/material.

Tubes in the Woo are, currently:

  • Western Electric WE 300B (NOS) (power tubes)
  • Takatsuki 274B (rectifiers)
  • RCA 13EM7 (signal/drivers)

I do need to expand my choices of 2A3 and 45 series tubes at some point.

And the headphones I have in rotation are:

What might change from here to keep it my “dream” system?

I plan to add a Chord M-Scaler as soon as they release a standalone unit. The Blu Mk2 unit makes a worthwhile difference when paired with DAVE, but I don’t really want the CD-transport part of it (I’ll never use it … I’m a “rip/store/play” off the server type … and it’s just unnecessary expense and something else to fail).

Additional headphones might come into play … likely candidates are the Sennheiser HD820, a Fostex 900 Mk2 variant (when they stop releasing new colors), and probably a HiFi-Man flagship (if they quit with the “CCC” pricing and/or improve the physical build).

Beyond that I’m tempted to add an electrostatic capability. That’d probably be either a Headamp Blue Hawaii SE or a Woo 3ES (would have to hear that first, though). And then probably the updated SR-009S.


Either the ZMF Auteur + WA22 (or whatever good pairing I can find)


Stax SR-009 + Blue Hawaii SE