Favorite headphones and why?

Yep, I would love some Funkadelics in high def. Speaking of headphones, which are your faves. I’m trying to decide on a good pair. I’ve been leaning Audeze LCD - XC as I like closed backs.

I can’t stand closed backs or leather cups… sweaty ears yuck.

Sennheiser HD600/650 are my favorites. I use the HD800 for movies, and the HD600 that I bought back in 1999 for music. Inexpensive cans too!

Massdrop just did a Sennheiser collaboration to release the HD650 as the “Massdrop HD6XX” with some minor cosmetic updates. I got in on that drop, as did @vova. Looking forward to them so I can have a pair at the office – supposedly they will arrive before Christmas!

You can wear these cans for 8+ hours and they’ll still be comfy. Your ears won’t overheat and get sweaty either since they breathe nicely, being open-air, over ear, and great velour pads.

Another great thing about them is that every part on them seems replaceable. If you break anything, or if the pads wear out, or if you tear the cable, then you can easily replace just that piece.

Be sure to replace the ear pads every 5 years or so. They will get squished and lose their fluffy softness. I have replaced my pads twice and my cable once (it got sucked up and torn by vacuum cleaner). They are like brand new still and I still find them not only awesome sounding, but the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever tried.

@brian loves his HD650 as well.

I’ve done a bit of Audeze listening with the Meridian Prime – it sounded great, but I’ve not spent a lot of time with them. I know @AndersVinberg has a pair.

1 Like

I have a pair of Senn 595’s I"ve been using. Thinking of upgrading. Closed because I have to listen with spouse who can’t stand my music and doesn’t want to hear it, LOL.

1 Like

The LCD-XC are very heavy. You might want to buy them somewhere with a return policy if you don’t like them. The closed back headphones I have heard that were not so heavy are the Mr Speakers Ether C Flow. They sound great too.

Yes, I use Audeze LCD-3 for main listening. I agree with @Danny, much prefer open back. And I replaced the original sweaty leather pads with microfiber, an easy swap. I think they are awesome, although I can’t claim exhaustive comparisons. (I use the cans a lot, because my home is completely open plan, no doors anywhere including the bedroom, not very spouse friendly.)

I do have the closed-back Audeze EL-8, because my previous airplane cans failed (noise-cancelling Sennheisers). They are very good, and I sometimes use them when sitting next to my wife. Nothing wrong with the sound, except the closed-in feeling of the closed back, par for the course.

My previous cans were AKG 701, which were quite good when I bought them, but technology moved on. The 701s were $250, I think, and the old headphone amp was $100. Doesn’t cover the sales tax of my current rig. Not just technology moves on, so does pricing…

I really enjoy my Sennheiser HD 650. I can listen to them for many hours in a row, without any listening fatigue, and they are also confortable enough. What I like the most about them is their versatility; I think they are well balanced and whatever the genre I am listening to I always think they are belonging to this genre. It is usually the headphones I use when I am listening to music while working at the computer.

I also really like my Audeze EL-8 (open version). They are rather heavy, but their sound is more attractive to me than the HD 650. Although, I have glasses, and sometimes I find the EL-8 not that confortable. However, I always choose this pair of headphones if I am not reading (hence, do not wear my glasses).

I recently purchased (Black Friday or whatever) a pair of HiFiMan HE400i (I had a pair of HE400s in the past, but I have not been impressed by them). This is a recent purchase, so my opinion is not set yet, but what I can say for now is that they are better than the HE400s, they are rather light and very confortable. I think they sound a little bit like the HD650, but I need more listening sessions to determine whether this is correct or not.

Regarding closed headphones, I think Sennheiser have recently releaser a closed version of their HD598. I bought the open version three years ago, and I have been quite happy with them for a while (until I bought a pair of HD650).

I have the Audeze LCD-XC with the pseudo leather. Went with the fake stuff because of the sweaty ears that Danny alluded to. I can say that with the fake leather there is no sweat. The other complaint written by many is how heavy they are and that they are. They sound great, love them, but yes they’re heavy and it will limit your listening time. After a few hours I feel my head needs a break. Usually the primary pain point is the very top of my head from where the phones rest, more so than ear fatigue.

I was torn between the closed backs and open backs, but it really came down to peace in the house. The closed cans keep peace and harmony here. Maybe not everyone else has that problem, but some do. Important to note the Open backs are a wee-bit lighter and I had to sacrifice taking on those extra ounces for peace of mind.

Before buying these I visited Stereo Exchange in NYC at least a dozen times, spending 45-90 minutes each time. I listened to lots of phones and for me the Audeze was the most pleasing. I’m not going to say better or had better this or that because it would incite riot here. But rather just going to say for “me” they were the most pleasing. I recommend you decide for yourself what is the most pleasing to you. And go with your heart whatever that might be.

Have HD800’s, happy with them, but no can can ever replace a decent pair of speakers.

Stax are the best headphones. :slight_smile:

1 Like

@Ludwig, I am certainly very happy with my Stax SR-009’s


AKGs: 550K, 702 and 241 Studio, Hifiman HE 400S arriving soon.

Since the Hifiman has on of the best impedance curves (flat) i know so far i want to test them against the AKGs which sound very “neutral” on my headphone amp (Funk Audio Technik).

PS: Stax are great right as well as the HD 800 and HD 650 heard them all.

best regards,


I love my Grado PS 1000’s. They just work & are simple to drive (Naim Headline).


I’m very happy with my SR404LE’s too.

My OP was tongue in cheek, in the style of the “internet forum definitive statement”, but for my repertoire and taste they are really excellent. Nothing I’ve tried comes close. They match the Meridian sound quite well too.

Others’ mileage may vary, but I hope people try them.

I love my Mr Speakers Alpha Prime’s.

Listening through speakers and headphones both give me a very different experience. Regardless of waking other family members the headphones always seem more suited to late night listening. Much like the way I prefer red wine in the cold of winter over white in the hot summer months!

1 Like

I bought a Meze Classic 99 last month.

Have had quite few headphones including all sorts of Sennheisers and Denons old AH-D7000. I cannot get the Sennheiser sound, it does not sound right to my ears.
My favorite cans for the day when price is a factor is most definently Philips Fidelio X2 open backs. They sound marvellous with most sources and do (to my ears) challenge most competitors up to 10x their price.
But if you feel generous and stand prepared to accept some diminishing returns Hifiman HE-1000 is simply the most neutral, fast, dynamic, detailed and still exquisitly musical headphone i have ever tried. (Better than Stax in my limited experience of those, to my ears)
I also have a pair of Denon AH-D2000 which are a bit crude compared to my Hifimans and the Fidelios but still are good fun!

A Schiit Jotunheim drives these, but also a DIY DAC/headphone amp built into an old casette deck with VU meter drivers and all!
Of course they are fed by Roon in both cases!

If you can appreciate the natural sound of B&W 800 series speakers, I’m sure you will appreciate their headphones too. I use 2 sets of the B&W P5 at home and with my mobile flac player. They sound awesome for a wide variety in taste of music. Hard rock, pop, jazz, classical music; you name it.

I read some reviews of Oppo headphones. Anyone tried them?

NY Times has a lengthy article about headphones today. It’s in the style section, and the entire discussion is about personal fashion statements. Funny, in a perverse way:

On a recent Thursday in Midtown Manhattan, Grimaldi Perdomo, 37, an architect, was on his way to work, wearing a Burberry trench coat and listening to the Weeknd’s new album, “Starboy,” on his Parrot Ziks, popular $400 black and titanium headphones designed by Philippe Starck.

A look through Mr. Perdomo’s black Banana Republic bag revealed that he, like other urban warriors, has headphones for all occasions.

I still quite like my AKG K550’s. I need closed back for domestic peace, but these sound open, natural and well-extended. A trifle warm on the ears, but I’ll live.