Closed headphone suggestions

I am looking for feedback on some closed back headphones. I have a budget of ~$1500. I currently have the Focal Elex I use and a STAX setup for open ear solutions. I have custom IEMs but can not wear them for 8+ hours a day.
I’d like it to simply reproduce what the engineers laid down.

I will be driving them with either a Fostex or Woo Audio amplifier.

Thank you.

Sennheiser HD820 or Focal Radiance, both are within your budget if you can find a well cared for used set. I also like the Beyerdynamic T5p and the Dan Clark Audio Aeon Closed.

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DCA Æon 2 Closed, which I’ve owned for a while, is a solid choice if your amps can drive them: their very low impedance (12 Ohm) requires an amp that can deliver high current.

I’ve just ordered ETA Mini Closed because they had good reviews from people I trust and because I wanted a spare pair of closed headphones for travel. Very curious how they perform with my travel gear (DAP or external DAC/amp).


I 2nd the DCA Aeon2 suggestion, but would suggest the Noire model which is the same except for the color and the perforated pads, which offer improved sound quality.

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DCA Aeon 2 closed offer extreme levels of comfort but will be best driven by solid state amps. Can be worn all day no problem.

For tubes I’d be looking at something with high impedence like ZMF. Great sound and comfort if you can handle a bit of weight.


Thank you all for the advice. I went with the Aeon 2 Noire.

These headphones arrived today.
I needed to turn my amps up considerably to properly drive them.

I have no clue how the cables really work. I am getting signal but they appear to just push in, not spin locked? Am I over thinking this?

The headphones fit really nicely and are far lighter than my Focal’s.

They just click in, no spinning needed.

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Just ordered a pair of Drop DCA Aeon 2 Closed and now I have to wait for them to be shipped from the US.

Hopefully they are as good as everyone says. Not used any closed back in a long time and should be good for travel.


I’m still suffering from “it’s new” bias. But they sound good so far.

More staging than my iems yet retains most of the noise canceling being closed back.

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Sounds good, I also bought some IEMs (also first in many years) and have been listening to more music on the move.

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Solid state putting out minimum 1W at 32 ohms is fine for the Aeon 2 closed. I drive mine from a Topping A90 or a Matrix mini I pro 3, both on balanced. Need to push the volume a bit more on the matrix to get the same drive.

Cracking pair of headphones for the money. I bought mine open box sale and my only gripe was that the stock cable on the A2C was very microphonic. Not sure if it’s still the same design for the Dummer cable on the newer Noire models.


I have a fostex solid state to drive them with a balanced out. Took way more power than my IEMs, but they require a light breeze to power. I also have a tube amp that needed a bump but I’ve been told “loud library” is where I keep my levels. I too got an open box. save $ because it was open? If I must.

I went with a 4 pin xlr connection cable from Hart Audio as it makes swapping ends super simple. I leave the correct connector, balanced xlr, 3.5mm, 2.5mm etc in the proper amp disconnect from amp a → and jack in to amp B.
Shop by Brand – Hart Audio Cables


Saving money where I can is top of my list in this hobby. Picked up my A2C half price after somebody had made a purchase then returned them.

I went with another cable from Audiophile Ninja in US for the A2C. Nice solid cables with zero microphonics.

I was buying cables from another manufacturer but the dude stiffed me when one cables connection came unsoldered soon after buying.

I like the idea behind the Hart cables but I can’t see the value in it for me as I’ve now replaced everything.

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