Advice From a Headphone User Wanted

Hi fellow Roons users :slight_smile:

I am a speaker guy and haven’t dabbled in headphones outside of cheap earphones and a set of B&W P7’s a while back. I have a Chord Hugo TT2 on order and wondered if someone could recommend a pair of headphones that will impress me at a fair price on the used market. I am a speaker guy and currently have some Kef R7’s to give you an idea of preferred sound signature.

Headphones will always be my 2nd option so don’t want to spend a bomb (sub £400).

Any feedback would be great.


What is a TT2? Other than the company that collects the tolls for the Tyne Tunnel?:thinking:
Anyway. Tried and tested Sennheiser HD650.


There’s a lot of existing advice on the forum try a search for “Headphone”… this topic looks promising…

I appreciate the suggestion and I edited my post to show the full DAC name :slight_smile:

I will do some research into the HD650.

I wouldn’t recommend buying any headphones without trying them on. The fit can be more important than the sound.


That’s a very valid point I forgot to ask. Is there a place I can rent headphones to try out before purchase?

I’m in the UK.

If you’re not wedded to over-ears, then I would consider:

My aging pair have a cable which is a bit microphonic, but they may have changed it (the description claims a low microphonic cable). In any case, they give a lot of headphones a run for their money.

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Really? I have always thought IEMs are a compromise and an over ear headphone would always the best choice if I could accommodate.

There is a lot of Chi-Fi in the head-fi space these days.

check out the phantoms on linsoul - I just got a pair and I must say they are nice for money. with some nice brainwave XL pads

I personally would not get used headphones… lots of you tubers doing reviews too.

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Personally I use KEF at home, and I use Grado SR325e when I critically listen on headphones. They’re love or loathe though in both design and sound. They do sound phenomenal into the Hugo TT 2 though.

I can recommend the Meze 99 Classics or 99 Neo. Both within your budget, both exciting sound.


Cheers guys got a few to research now.

Much appreciated.

I would understand if you wanted to stick with over-ear. That said, as someone fortunate enough to own the unbelievably good STAX SR-009, I don’t think that IEMs – as a form factor – are a significant compromise (vs. over-ear, not vs. the STAX!) at your budget price point.

Wander over to the forum. Some good ideas and nice people there. Many Chord users as well. Do you have access to Some very nice reasonably priced options there. Without a separate headphone amp with sufficient amplification, you’ll need to be selective with respect to headphone sensitivity. Are you interested in wireless or wired? Noise cancelling? Headphones are a lot like speakers, with the sound signature being a personal thing, but comfort is a huge factor as well. If where you live there’s a headphone meet nearby, that’s a good place to check out headphones.

I second the Meze 99 Classics awesome sound for the price and they look the bomb in Walnut.

Also look on for some deals…not always ready to ship when you want them

edit oops Robert drop’d that one too…

well here are a couple of YT channels WRT cans…IEMS and HP

be warned sometime the language used gets a bit (lot) colourful :zipper_mouth_face:

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I have three pairs that I more or less use and appreciate in equal measure.

Etymotic E4P in ear monitors. Crisp, detailed lightweight. Somehow have lasted 15+ years. Not much deep bass, but all else is as it should be. But in ear is not for everyone.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x sealed over ear. Punchy and dynamic. Modest looks. Fold flat. Several cable options included. Studio staple that now comes in Bluetooth version.

Audeze LCD-2 open over ear. Big, layered, smooth and airy sound. A little lighter on the top end than I would like but I can use PEQ to correct. Brings out a ton of texture in some music that I haven’t really experienced elsewhere.

Can’t imagine anyone would be disappointed with any of these other than the insertion awkwardness with the ER4Ps. Feel zero need to upgrade within a given headphone type. Looking to add a Bluetooth iem sometime soon, but I know it will likely be a step down in sound quality. So many great options out there - but I think trying them on is critical. I got lucky with that - but I would love to spend a few hours in a dealer with a comprehensive collection setup for listening. Haven’t gotten around to it yet.

I use my Hugo TT daily with a host of over ear headphones;
Hifiman planars such as Edt X v2, HE 1-K, HE-560v3 and the great value HE-400i. Also Sennheiser HD800s, Philips Fidelio X2 and a couple of Fostex, TH-900 and their cousin Denon AH-D2000.
The headphone that makes the best combo with the TT2 though is the Focal Utopia, to my ears. It’s easy to drive (the Chords are no powerhouses, even if they do nicely) and benfits from the excellent resolution of the TT.
Best bang for buck? Hifiman HE-400i, by a long way!


Much appreciated bud though I believe the TT2 is a powerhouse and has enough power to drive loudspeakers directly (given a sensible volume).

What are you thoughts on the HD800’s? Its out of my range but would love to hear them.

The HD800s are phenomenal headphones but are incredibly transparent. Personally I really enjoy the sound into the Chord Hugo TT2 but it can be divisive. The previous generation HD800 are noticeably harsher on the top end which isn’t forgiven by the Hugo TT2 (hence why we’ve struggled to move on our demonstration pair!).