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What are your go-to headphones?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Penny24, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Sherwood, OR, USA
    My go-to headphones for the past 6 years have been an Audeze LCD-2 driven by a Cavalli Liquid Fire amp and Schiit Gungnir multibit DAC. Divine. The sound is whole and wholesome. It is my home headphone sound. The sound just sounds right to me as a headphone. It is what I want headphones to sound like.

    Six to ten years ago that was a $5K+ headphone setup. If you banished me to an island with only a Cavalli Liquid Platinum hybrid amp, Audeze LCD-2 Classic headphones and a Schiit Bifrost 2 multibit DAC, and all of my ripped music I'd be OK with that. The Liquid Platinum ($400), LCD-2 Classic ($800), and Bifrost 2 ($700) system would be about $1900 at what those components are selling for new now and I consider to be about 90% of the $5K+ system. Banish me to an island with that $1900 system instead of my $5K+ system and I'd be happy with what I had (assuming I had electricity to play it). I can afford more expensive headphones than the LCD-2 Classic, but with the Cavalli amps I don't feel the need to splurge on a more expensive headphone. The Cavalli Liquid Fire and Liquid Platinum and Liquid Glass get the lowly LCD-2 Classic or older LCD-2 rev 2 to sound better than the LCD-3 does with other lesser amps. There are $1K+ (and $3K+) headphones that are better than the LCD-2 Classic, but the value position of most of the $1K+ headphones is questionable. Most of the $1K+ headphones are a demonstration that the owner has more money than they need. The headphones in that price category aren't giant killers. Each only does certain things better. None do most things better. With that said, I am looking for a new and better headphone that is going to be in the $1.5K to $4K category. It's because I can, not because I can justify the additional expense.
    patrickd, mikeyt, Dreadnought and 4 others like this.
  2. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Nice! But even a nice headphone like that still needs an amp to make them go. And a worthy amp is not cheap.
  3. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Forum Resident

    St.Louis Mo.
    slovell likes this.
  4. Penny24

    Penny24 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Los Angeles, Ca
    I've heard that the LCD-2C has a very thick and dark sound. Is the LCD-X similar?
  5. Echo

    Echo Forum Resident

    I can't compare, never had the LCD-2. Maybe @Ham Sandwich , the greatest expert of headphones here at SHTV, know?

    I like my Audeze LCD-X a lot!
    mikeyt likes this.
  6. trickness

    trickness Gotta painful yellow headache

    yep I’m driving them with a DNA Stratus. Absolutely glorious
    Ulises and Ham Sandwich like this.
  7. hifisoup

    hifisoup @hearmoremusic

    Grado SR80e open headphones. I really enjoy their sound for all styles of music and they are comfortable to wear. I use them mainly with my Peachtree Audio Decco 65 integrated amp which has a high quality headphone amp inside. Occasionally I use them straight out of my iPad.

    Being of the open air type sound does bleed out so if you have someone else in the room with you that may annoy them.
    mikeyt likes this.
  8. ausgraeme

    ausgraeme Forum Resident

    Focal Elear. Wonderful for jazz
    WapatoWolf likes this.
  9. JimSmiley

    JimSmiley Team Blue Note

    Audio Technica: ATH-ESW9 (casual)
    AKG K501 (serious)
  10. jlykos

    jlykos Forum Resident

    Parts Unknown
    My "big boy" setup is RME ADI-2 DAC FS > Linear Tube Audio microZOTL MZ2 > Audeze LCD-3. Mostly these days, I end up listening to Audioquest Dragonfly Red > Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (250 ohm), however, just because it's more convenient to plug and play. I use the Westone W40 for portable use, usually out of an iPhone dongle.

    The big setup sounds nothing like my home stereo, but it's nice to have options. Both sound fantastic, but each is very, very different. Home setup is much more detail-oriented, while the headphones are oriented toward the warmer end of the spectrum.
  11. Senn. HD650 and I just bought the HD660S phones. Very pleased with both of them.
    Grootna and Wngnt90 like this.
  12. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    For critical listening, my go-to headphones are the Denon AH-D5000, which I assume are an earlier version of yours. Excellent indeed!

    For casual listening while working in my office on my desktop PC, I currently use the psb M4U 2, driven by a HT Omega Clara Halo PCI card.

    Slippers-on likes this.
  13. Bananajack

    Bananajack Phorum ... wat Phorum? Where am I?

    Then have a look at ESS Labs USA, the 452H are (factory price) very affordable
    I went to THE headphone store here and tried out others, but they were very competitive in the 1000 Dollar class
    And the sales guy was stunned
    Penny24 likes this.
  14. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    Semi-serious/casual listening

    Open: Sennheiser HD-600
    Closed: Sony MDR-CD3000

    Serious listening

    Sonoma Model One electrostatic system
    Ham Sandwich and alarickc like this.
  15. Soundslave

    Soundslave Forum Resident

    Full-size general purpose: Takstar pro80
    Full-size home listening: Fostex T50RP mk2 snorry+ (basically only have original magnets that were enhanced and housed into custom made headphones)
    IEM: Westone UM pro 50 (2017)
  16. shadowlord

    shadowlord Forum Resident

    AKG K601
  17. Humbuster

    Humbuster Big hat, no cattle

    Senn HD800
  18. rockphotog

    rockphotog Forum Resident

    Oslo, Norway
    Open: HD 800 S, using HDV 820 and RME ADI-2 DAC.

    Closed: Bey DT 770 PRO 80Ω a lot (direct to the ADI-2 DAC) - more comfy and for some music better than the HD800S. I'm probably going to sell my DT 1770, I prefer the 770.
  19. molinari

    molinari Forum Resident

    new york city
    Audeze LCD-2/Sonarworks Ref 4/Jotunheim...
  20. Hazelmullins

    Hazelmullins Forum Resident

    Sennheisser HD650 for critical listening. Sony wh-1000xm3 for when i don't want to be tethered and just need something playing in my head
  21. Adam Pajda

    Adam Pajda Forum Resident

    Sennheiser Momentum both wireless and wired. Over-ear of course.
    Wngnt90 likes this.
  22. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Simi Valley, CA
    I have Sennheiser HD 600's, Grado Hemp Phones and Quad Era 1's. My goto is the HD 600's primarily due to the comfort factor. The Grado's sound really good but uncomfortable. I just recently found out that the Quad's are not compatible with my amp and could cause damage so they are currently listed here in the for sale forum. They sound the best but not worth risking damage to a $2500 amp.
    Bill Why Man likes this.
  23. peteham

    peteham Forum Resident

    Simcoe County
    For home listening:
    Open: Sennheiser HD800s or Beyerdynamic DT1990 (occasionally Hifman HE-400i, Ultrasone Edition 11 or Beyerdynamic Amiron)
    Closed: Beyerdynamic DT1770 or Fostex TH-00 (occasionally Denon D2000 or Ultrasone 840)
    For walking around:
    Bluetooth Wireless: Sony WH1000xm2 or Beyerdynamic Aventho (occasionally Status BT One)
  24. Yep. Here's a link to the model I bought, but I didn't buy them there. I got them on sale for maybe $45. elsewhere, and they were worth every penny! Amazon.com: Floyd Rose FR-52BK 3D Headphones in Black: Electronics
    action pact likes this.
  25. TheIncredibleHoke

    TheIncredibleHoke Dachshund Dog Dad

    Brooklyn, NY
    Sennheiser Hd650s for daytime and Audeze LCD-2 for night. I also have a pair of Sennheiser Momentum 2 wireless headphones for when I’m feeling lazy or watching videos online. Can’t imagine needing anything further.

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