Submitted by sujanfloofens t3_112iftb in headphones

Especially in forums you notice people speaking of a certain IEM or Headphone as their new Endgame/ Daily Driver. Nearly no one has them listed as gear they use a few months later or you can even see them selling it… So this question that comes to my mind: is this hobby mostly about buying new gear?

(If you did find your personal Favorite that made you stop buying new ones, please feel free to share with us what it is.)



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zoinkability t1_j8kqalb wrote

I’ve stopped because I realized that I love music first and gear second, and the quest for better gear was keeping me from enjoying music.

In the quest for some kind of holy grail of perfection within my budget I realized I was always listening critically. I used to record in music studios and tracking and mixing was grueling — listening critically is taxing on the brain, saps enjoyment, and is fatiguing. Before I reached that place, when I listened my brain wasn’t really enjoying music, I was evaluating audio gear.

Don’t get me wrong! I am enough of a gear head to find that fun, for a while.

But deciding to be done where I was with the gear I had, and calling it “good enough” — with full knowledge that there is better gear out there — has allowed me to enjoy music again. And since I am a musician and music head first, and a gear head second, that is the right place for me.


BurntFemboyWater t1_j8mmd15 wrote

I’m still looking for ‘that’ headphone that makes me feel like I’ve got all I need. I have a favourite headphone which is the AKG K371 due to its versatility and tonal balance, but it is still a ‘budget’ headphone and I sort of feel ‘bad’ that I haven’t found anything in the more expensive range that’s really worked for me.

How is the R70x in your opinion? I’ve been looking at those


zoinkability t1_j8mndqz wrote

I like them a lot! Haven’t heard the 371 so can’t compare. They are somewhat warm but not rolled off or veiled, and they can also be easily EQed to meet whatever target you prefer. Decent bass extension for an open back.

That said, don’t sell your current cans short. Just because some headphones are relatively inexpensive doesn’t mean they are bad. A lot of people consider their Koss or $40 chifi iems perfectly good endgames.


BurntFemboyWater t1_j8n1pmg wrote

ThanksFor some reason I've thought for a long time that I prefer warm signatures, but only more recently I think I've come to realise that I do just prefer something following the Harman Target which I suppose has a 'tinge' of warmth and I feel that's probably best for me. I've found that very warm and bassy headphones are very fatiguing in their own way, as the bass becomes quite sickly and I just can't bear to listen anymore. Would you say the R70x's warmth is more like a tinge of warmth or a is it a decently warm headphone? As you said though it is easily EQ'able and I could probably give it some slight tweaks if it was too much


zoinkability t1_j8n9zva wrote

It's more a tinge of warmth. It's basically a slightly warm Harman curve headphone, not a bass cannon at all.


fove0n t1_j8pecoq wrote

It’s warm enough to be smooth and pleasant, not overbearing. Has enough punch to stay fun, I miss them!


kindofbluetrain t1_j8mpwqx wrote

R70x was my endgame. I got them on their release date 6 years ago and haven't bought another pair, except some Koss KPH30i because I needed a phone headset, and that also happens to also be a great headphone.

Expense has so little to do with anything for me. I've owned multiple flagships and heard l many of them. They weren't as good for my tastes.

The K371 might just be your jam.


jiminthebox t1_j8o03jh wrote

Interesting perspective for sure. I got into this mainly coming from live sound and studio work and wanting something enjoyable but accurate and detailed enough to mix on when I’m traveling (or just need to not wake up my kids mixing at 2am). I agree that critical listening can be fatiguing but I haven’t figured out a way to stop. Its definitely ruined some music for me that I liked before I was listening more critically. As far as gear I do the same as I do with gear for live sound. I buy the most practical thing that will give me all the tools I want/need. As better tools come out I sell old gear and upgrade, I think headphones are kind of the same idea. I don’t want 200 pairs of headphones sitting on a shelf but if I hear one that will do the job better than my daily drivers I’m probably going to upgrade.


blargh4 t1_j8kd1on wrote

If you participate in these communities and have the disposable income for it, you're probably going to get caught up in the hype/FOMO/upgraditis cycle.

I've been at a place I could happily stop for like 15 years and go through many-year stretches where I don't touch my setup but then I break one of my headphones or something and start researching the market and go down the "maybe there's something I'd like better" rabbit hole for a while.

(shout out to the Qudelix 5K - best headphone-related gadget I've bought in a long time)


AlternativeParfait13 t1_j8m5sxf wrote

Very much the same. Can’t do it forever, but suddenly I’ll come back to headphones. I keep hearing good things about the Qudelix…


andysaurus_rex t1_j8n4xx4 wrote

It's not just headphones, it's almost every hobby. It's upgraditits, and hardware accumulation and I think a big part of it is the excitement of opening the box when the thing comes in.


ValarMorgouda t1_j8pgzlm wrote

Yup. Have to quit while you're ahead lol. I agree about the 5k. It's wonderful.


Harthacnut t1_j8khue8 wrote

Once I found the parts express headband for my KSC-75s my roaming days were finished.

Any money I ever put aside to buy new phones got spent on whiskey.


RB181 t1_j8n99kx wrote

I rather spend money on headphones than on whiskey.


letsmodpcs t1_j8kbzsn wrote

I bought Sennheiser HD800S + JDS Labs Element III, EQ'd them using u/oratory1990's profile, then tweaked it to taste. I haven't bought anything else. Use-case is mostly gaming (I love the expansive sound and imaging accuracy.)

I'm a geek like most people here, and I don't kid myself into thinking that I'll never buy anything else, but I'm very happy for now. I've had this setup since Spring 2022.


TakeThatRisk t1_j8klxws wrote

I was like this with the element II about 3 years ago.

Now I want speakers :(


letsmodpcs t1_j8kolms wrote

Someday I'll do speakers. For now I have a Logitech speaker system and I tell myself I don't need to upgrade because "when I want good sound, I'll put on my headphones."


thatsuaveswede t1_j8lrgab wrote

Same here. Living in an apartment instead of in a free-standing house also helps keep the speaker budget down.


therealrydan t1_j8lzykx wrote

I've come to the sad realization that I prefer headphones for enjoying music...

(Think it's partly a studio-psychological-damage. I listen to speakers, I move my head, and my mind goes "Whooooooa, what happened to the phase there, and why did the tonality suddenly shift...")


VisceralVoyage420 t1_j8m0dds wrote

I barely use my speakers, getting them to sound good is such a hassle. I'd have to change the entire layout of my home just to improve acoustics a bit.


[deleted] t1_j8m8tn3 wrote



VisceralVoyage420 t1_j8m95ru wrote

Well I haven't been able to get my Elac Debut Reference speakers to sound decent. It really is a hassle to me and I've stopped trying, I already glued acoustic panels onto my walls, I'm not going to deal with bass traps, not only do I not have room for them, they're ugly.


JdeFalconr t1_j8nm7fq wrote

Similar boat here. I adore my M1570's and I also have a set of ATH-R70x that are very good but can't match the soundstage of the M1570. I rarely use either of them for music though I've found both to be exceptional at it. The M1570's have spoiled me and thus far none of the budget hotness you read about on this sub are an upgrade so I've stopped for now.

Your mention of the HD800S has me intrigued, though, and I'm also very interested in the LCD-GX. Though I love the M1570s I've come to appreciate the lighter weight of the R70x. But given that I'm pretty happy right now the cost of an upgrade just doesn't feel justifiable to me.


Hitlers_Hairy_Anus t1_j8ksyp3 wrote

I stopped buying when I realized I was chasing the next headphone and not just enjoying the music anymore.


CPOx t1_j8kmidv wrote

90% of this hobby for me *is* shopping and buying new gear


aknudskov t1_j8kmge0 wrote

Honestly, if you are happy with what you have uninstall Reddit and be happy with it


DJ_Firth t1_j8kgan2 wrote

Nope, it's addictive, the chase for prefect audio


seekingadvice432 t1_j8kj899 wrote

I'd say I average 5 years between each headphone purchase. Once a pair starts to wear out, I either repair it or upgrade if I have the money and want something new. My path went Senn HD555 > Grado SR 60 > Philips X2 > Beyer DT1990. I figure in 5-10 years I'll see what Stax has that might interest me. Or maybe see if Hifiman has upped their build quality/QC.


deshan79 t1_j8l84a4 wrote

I swore I wouldn't buy hifiman because of the talks of QC but i took the dive on Sundaras and here I am 2 years later with them as my dailies. They feel way better built then I expected. The pads die quick but I picked up Dekoni hybrids and they are new again. The dekoni pads still feel great even after 18 months use.


seekingadvice432 t1_j8lhdpl wrote

Well when I move on from my DT1990s, I'll make sure to check out what hifiman is up to.


deshan79 t1_j8lhr8s wrote

Right now I use HD 660s and Sundaras. Both are great but I like the Sundaras a tad better.


UltraZulwarn t1_j8kre5n wrote

I just ran out of space 😂😂😂


Nitrium t1_j8lnplf wrote

I actually did. Once I got the RME, the Soloist 3x Performance, the Valhalla, and the LCD-5/HD800S/Focal Clear MG/Celestee/Elex/6xx, I stopped. I know, this is pretty high-end stuff, but I just didn’t feel compelled to keep going. I felt like I peaked and the LCD-5 is just too good.


zr0sum t1_j8rtamv wrote

I'm considering buying LCD-5 right now. It's that or Susvara. But I know the Sus will take me deeper and deeper.


Nitrium t1_j8sb354 wrote

I don't know. At that point, the differences are so subtle that I find it very hard to justify owning two (or more) of such an expensive headphone. Just my 2 cents.


ku1185 t1_j8kkbub wrote

R2R-11mk2 and HD660s. Longest I've gone in 2 years without getting something new. Before that, have gone through Ares II, Soloist 3xp, OG Clears, SA-1, D1se, Bifrost 2, Asgard 3, THX 789, El Stack II, E30/L30, K5 Pro, M50x, X2hr, HE6seV2, Sundaras, G6, E10k, DT1990, HD600, and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting.

Though Canjam is coming up and maybe the 660s2 will change my mind. And still want to give the Meze 109's another listen. And try some ZMF stuff. And look at some tube amps.

Sigh, I think I'm in trouble.


CrelbowMannschaft t1_j8ke59a wrote

I've got a Cavalli Tube Hybrid with SDAC, and use it with HD6XX headphones. I use PEQ and crossfeed from a Linux app called Easy Effects. I've had this set up for several years, and don't want anything else.


emptyvasudevan t1_j8m4a1p wrote

This is where I hit wall too. Cavalli tube hybrid, apple dongle and hd600, I am content with this sound.

I got myself a pair of used headphones after that, but they were all for trying the sound and selling afterwards, never for keeping.


CrelbowMannschaft t1_j8noda8 wrote

I used to own Arya v2, and they were better in most respects. But I still went back to the 6XX for the tonality. Most of my listening is just quiet, background music while I'm on reddit, so it was worth it to sell the Aryas and put that money elsewhere. This is a fantastic combo, and I have my PEQ adjusted perfectly to my tastes. I haven't heard the HD600, but they probably sound about the same when EQ'd. I'm glad you've found what makes you happy. Satisfaction is elusive to too many.


emptyvasudevan t1_j8qy9zk wrote

I started with 6xx but never got to try them with a good amp. I have owned all 6 series at some point in my life and they are all more similar than different with probably 660s having least scaling.

I stick with 600 because of personal preference, its less darker. But if not A-B ing, I won't really notice it. Enjoy your set up, its a killer !


Dust-by-Monday t1_j8kevau wrote

Right now I have stopped at HD 660s because they’re just that good.

However, for IEMs, I’m still on the search for the perfect pair.


No_Analysis6187 t1_j8kxjei wrote

I second the IE600, one of the most natural sounding IEM and possibly one of the few affordable endgames. It's good for pretty much any genre so you don't need to carry complementary IEM.


sujanfloofens OP t1_j8klptn wrote

I just got the IE 600s and i think they are the first expensive Audiophile Devices i will keep, maybe worth a listen for you? How do you like the 200? And what amp/dac do you use for the 660S?


PsychologicalAsk7466 t1_j8laq0m wrote

I tried IE200 IE300 IE600 and like 200 the most, 600 in general is the best but in some track the treble got too hot/too much sparkle it sounds weird to me. 300 got too much bass/ sounds muddy for my taste. 200 feels like 600 but more relaxed/sterile signature with less technical prowess. 200 also very small and when paired with relaxed sound signature, I can see myself using it 9to5 everyday without hurting my ear.


subtodub t1_j8khwo7 wrote

I've been using the same battle-scarred Blessing 2 (I scuffed the housing haha) for the past 1.5 year. I really don't feel the need to upgrade and probably won't do so unless it actually proper broke down, unusable.

If I'm bored with the sound tho, I'd just use EQ presets to simulate other IEM "sound" with my IEM for a day or two then revert to stock sound or my custom EQ after I'm done, repeat. Not for everyone, I know, but doing so is enough for me to satiate my curiosity on the new hot thing on the market.


my2dumbledores t1_j8l5njk wrote

I’ve reached a comfortable spot. I’m certainly less interested in the hobby now, which bodes well for my wallet.

But for me, it’s:

HD560s, IE200 w/ Springtips and Airpods Pro Gen 2.

I have tonnes more. Countless chi-fi IEMs, open-back audiophile headphones, the latest TWS pairs and ANC headphones… but at the end of the day, these are the only units I use anymore. I value comfort equal or just above sound quality and consider myself a FR cultist.

IE200 was the final piece of the puzzle for me. The comfortable isolation and form factor really elevate them above my Moondrops, Truthears etc. I also like that they’re priced sensibly - meaning they are what the average person would consider premium, but if I ever lose them or damage them, I can replace them without much fuss.


[deleted] t1_j8kfem5 wrote

I have owned the HD 660S for three years. I used to have a K371 for a year but "upgraded" to the Noire due to comfort reasons, which I have now owned for a bit over a year.

I used to be an in ear guy. My daily driver were the shitty ones that came with the MP3 players I used to own. Then, I found the Sony MH750 and stuck with that for five years. Recently they died on me, so I tried the Truthear Hola, which has pleasently surpised me.

The only purchase I am currently considering is some proper speakers. I am talking Genelec 8030Cs and a sub here.

I have tried countless headphones and none of them truly left a lasting impression on me, other than HD 800. Sadly I find it very uncomfortable to wear, so I do not plan on buying one.

I think a lot of the buying hype is fueled by FOMO and NTS. People seem to always be chasing a new high, as they say. Nothing wrong with that approach, don't get me wrong, it just ain't my cup of tea.


Gothicus1016 t1_j8km77t wrote

My desktop headphone of choice is the Audeze LCD X. Most recent revision. Love these things. I pair them with the Fiio M17 being used as DAC with my PC. Usually listening through Qobuz. But I am always looking for something better


DeepJudgment t1_j8l9qpf wrote

I was caught by the trap for a little while, but after getting 560s, 280 Pros and PR-1 Pros I realized I don't need anything else. I hear pretty much every detail in any given song and am satisfied with the frequency response of each headphone I have. One is open-back, the other is a closed-back and the third one is an IEM for when I'm outside. I don't really see any point in getting anything else since the hobby should not be about the gear, but about enjoying your music. And I'm glad I discovered the hobby, because now I enjoy music like never before.


testurshit t1_j8lm9th wrote

Audeze LCD-X, Dunu SA6 Ultra, and Apple APP. All I really ever need, thinking about selling the rest of my collection or gifting them to my friends because the lower end stuff doesn't really get used any more and none of my auditioning since has brought me anything I like better than the LCD-X.


IfTheGloveFits t1_j8kkuov wrote

Coming up on a year since I last bought audio equipment(desktop dac-amp). I'm probably done for a while. My go to is still moondrop aria. Maybe I'd purchase a headphone if I were in a less noisy place but that doesn't seem on the cards.

These days, I keep tabs on new releases only to recommend (cheap) stuff to friends and family. Or to know what to replace my current hardware with if it ends up breaking.


litlron t1_j8kqwsu wrote

I bought an Auteur last spring and haven't had the urge to buy anything else...except the Caldera.


biolox t1_j8q4b9s wrote



litlron t1_j8q52dp wrote

I've just been using a Yamaha A-S301 that I bought for my bookshelf speakers. I do really want a Feliks Echo 2 though.


Lelouch25 t1_j8kru89 wrote

When I found the sound signatures and qualities that I like the most, my purchases increased.

Just like PC hardware, when you know more, you know what to get and essentially go out and get them.

I think this hobby has a few up and downs just like a stock market.

At first you start with nothing, so anything you buy you’re going up. But I’d argue you’re not fully satisfied with each purchase, but is finding out through elimination what fits you.

There’s a peak where you say, wow I know exactly the sound signature I like and relatively what gear I need. So you might start selling all the gear you’ve been through. This is where the graph trends downward. You’re losing gear yet you’re recuperating ❤️‍🩹 some investment.

Then there’s the big spikes. This is necessary as you’re finally making some big purchases left and right. You know you’ve gained success when the gear you suspect turns out to be what you were aiming for. You’ve developed YOUR very own price to happiness ratio.

I think afterwards might be some flat lining as you’ve reached $ to performance and is just cruising.


gruss72 t1_j8ks5x4 wrote

Headphone journey just started, but audio has been going on for decades. Yes, eventually you'll just appreciate hearing differences and enjoying music, why most of my audio gear is probably "vintage" by now.

Headphones are so much cheaper by comparison, and will satisfy my lust for comparison, so will it end?? Probably not but there will be large lulls as I revisit former purchases


35mmpistol t1_j8kwydj wrote

Here's my list of ownership, prior to settling. For a few years now I've been completely happy with my hd6xx's and a fostex hp-a3 amp (but any SS amp is fine really). Of note, I had owned and sold them previously, and after cycling through much nicer gear, I went back and bought another pair and sold everything else. The ROI curve is real.


Headphone ownership history:

Dan Clark Audio Ether Flow

Sennheiser HD800

Sennheiser IE800 (IEM)

Sennheiser HD6XX

Beyerdynamic T1 gen 2

Audeze LCD-X

Audeze LCD-3

Audeze EL-8T

Audeze Isine-20 (IEM)

Campfire Audio Vega (IEM)

Technics EAH-TZ700 (IEM)

Audio technica ATH-M50

Koss Porta Pro

TIn Audio T2 (IEM)

Etymotic HP3 (IEM)

Etymotic ER3se (IEM)

Yamaha EPH-100 (IEM)

Philips Fidelio X2


sujanfloofens OP t1_j9f3ko8 wrote

I really feel you, i got the hd650 at the beginning, i gave them back but really liked them. I just had too high expectations for headphones in general. I think i will buy them again


herbertwalkerbush69 t1_j8l7417 wrote

I don’t see myself ever buying new headphones again. I have Anandas and they do everything I need them to. I might eventually buy a pair of HD 650s just to the heavenly mids and female vocals that can’t seem to be reproduced elsewhere.


coffee_gondrong t1_j8l7pf7 wrote

that depends. if you easily attracted to newest or hottest audio device then its mostly about buying new gear. but if you take your time, learn your own setup strength or weakness and just enjoy your music collection then it can be fun. newest headphones will always come every now and then, its up to you how to take it.


flecom t1_j8ldqpo wrote

I think I have purchased 1 set of headphones in the last 10 years or so, I am very happy with my collection

I used to buy a ton of headphones but then I found what I liked and have been happy


StarWarder t1_j8kqvq5 wrote

I’m good with Susvara


moneylefty t1_j8ktnm1 wrote

Im not trolling, but might sound like. My end game is reached and i never want to buy anything headphone related again.

I own a condo in another state. Used headphones to keep noise down. I moved, rented out my condo and rent an apartment. After about two years of living there, i learned i have no shared walls. Side goes to a hallway stairwell. Other side to the hallway, another to the outside, and last side out to a courtyard.

I bought 150 bucks of used avr, and a set of towers. For a tenth of the cost of my setup, i had so much better sound. I go to an edm festival or show almost every month, that is my baseline on what it is supposed to sound like.

I bought a good, used entry level used subwoofer for 100 bucks. Mind blown on what home sound should be like. My home system sounds better than my car now, i was shocked. Car factory system aint no slouch either, harmon kardon, 10 speakers, and a sub under each seat supposedly.

Bought black friday deal towers for $199 each, that msrp for over 700 when they were new, sold the original used stuff i bought for more than i bought it for. Sold subwoofer for better one, flipped it for even better one.

Literally havent put on my emu teaks since. I never ever want to put on headphones at home again. End game reached :)


biolox t1_j8q7plb wrote

Hah. Other direction for me. Nice KEFs and killer sub —> ZMFs I can use without disturbing the household.


AbbottsOnion t1_j8kwlve wrote

Stopped at:

ATH-M50s with Dekoni Sheepskin pads EQ'd to Oratory 1990 preset. Pads make it much more comfortable and EQ fixes tonality. Have it modified with a 3.5mm jack with a v moda boom mic plugged in. Now it's a great headset for working from home. Although arguably a noise cancelling headset would be better.

Galaxy Buds 2 pro for when I am out and about. I love the well resolved bass of this 2 dynamic driver wireless IEM. Technicalities are surprisingly decent for this pair.

7Hz Salnotes Zero with Gizaudio 'Perfect' EQ - a nice little set to experiment with and good to take on planes with to plugin to their in seat entertainment.

SHP9500 with Oratory EQ and some small personal adjustments. Great for movies and gaming. Slightly too low resolution for really good music enjoyment but the immersive soundstage and imaging is nice for music listening.

Qudelix 5k as amp/dac with PEQ functionality.


ZM326 t1_j8lpr1n wrote

What did you adjust on the shp9500? I relegated them to Xbox mic duty


AbbottsOnion t1_j8lqj1a wrote

I basically applied the oratory1990 preset but lowered the bass shelf a bit to my taste. I use a qudelix 5k on my ps5 to apply the parametric EQ and then connect the shp9500 to that.


No_Analysis6187 t1_j8kx6x3 wrote

I have been using my current gears for quite a while now and probably won't be getting another one since upgrading will cost thousands of dollars. I'm thinking of getting a speaker now, probably starting with entry level Sonus Faber lumina or Whaferdale evos.


Pandawings t1_j8l3opn wrote

I've been in this hobby for 6 years and my path was: ATH M50x, then 2 years later HD 6XX plus Schiit modi and magni. I have no desire to buy new gear (yet), but also have two sets of speakers I use often


TheOddestOfSocks t1_j8l3rkq wrote

Legend has it that one guy reached perfection once. I'm yet to be convinced.


peekkaboom t1_j8l5zwp wrote

Tbh nah. Something interesting pops up boom cash gone


artofwu t1_j8l6hi6 wrote

I've had my headphones for almost four years & don't forsee myself upgrading anytime soon. One thing to note is for me, chasing music > chasing gear.

HD800S: All arounders. Games, movies, Zoom calls, low volume music while working, & dedicated music listening sessions. Comfort king.

LCD-MX4: Dedicated music headphones. Takes me to musical Lala Land.

Burson Conductor 3XP: amp/dac combo I've had for ~3 years. Opamps = 2 vivids and 2 classics.

I got to the point where there were no more wishes/wants, which I had when I was trying to find the right pieces in midfi for ~10yrs. I.E. I wish these were less shouty, less fatiguing, more clarity, less heavy, less pinching, etc. etc.

However, it doesn't mean I'm not curious about some of the newer headphones and would like to hear the ZMF Caldera, Atrium. Audeze LCD5, LCDMM, Maxwell. I'd also like to hear the Susvara.


My_Little_Pony123 t1_j8lcjhd wrote

Yeah totally. I stopped right around the time where the 1-2k iems became the craze. Found that for 800$-1k was the cut- off. Bought a couple of 1-2k and thought they were ok.

"Technicalities" can be "perceived" in the 2k gear, but felt that midfi gear (or sub 1k) reached a fine balance between that and sweetly tuned goodies. Heck a Sundara and the 660s is enough to keep me smiling.


be-LazY t1_j8ld5km wrote

some people but because they have a collection and want some headphones to rotate


Fallenharts_ t1_j8lemy1 wrote

I bought two pairs of headphones, one for the bag and one for the desk. They're good headphones on the $200 range, I've felt the itch to grab something new every once in a while, but I do the "try and buy" only for a few months before moving on to the next thing to mess with. I have solid but not-terribly-expensive options in keyboards, fountain pens, headphones, casios, knives, and, most recently, pencils. it doesn't help that the distance the money goes just keeps getting shorter of late.


DampeIsLove t1_j8liqay wrote

I got a pair of Grado 325x's when they came out, upgraded the headband, rodblocks, gimbals, and I won't be looking for a new pair until they break.


Avatar-san t1_j8lvnyk wrote

I buy headphones for their drivers and see if there is any difference is sound, turns out there are slight differences.

I would not recommend anyone buying different driver headphones if they are simply looking for the best sound.

Every headphone I've heard is a far cry from even a basic speaker with the most basic sub. Feeling the bass with your body while having true soundstage is the hight of enjoyment for me.

So to answer the question, yes I've found my endgame long ago(any decent speaker with a sub). If I buy anything in the future it is simply to expand a collection and not as an upgrade to anything as I don't see my enjoyment increasing by having better fidelity.


An_Professional t1_j8mg5l1 wrote

I’ve stopped buying a while ago and sold down to a “core” collection. I used to review headphones for a website and I’ve heard/owned cans at all levels, but what I have now is more than enough to be “done” buying.

I now have:

  • HE-500 (1 stock, 2 modded with headband upgrades)
  • HD800 SDR
  • THX00 Ebony with TH900 drivers and pads
  • Focal Elear
  • Audeze LCX-XC
  • TH900
  • MSR-7 for portable wired

These cover all my music nicely and I don’t see a need to chase other high-end cans anymore.

I use a THX-789 for amplification and SMSL SU-8 DAC, which cover SE and balanced with enough juice for all the headphones.

I’ve never been really into IEMs, but outside the house I usually use my AirPods Pro or AirPods Max - not perfectly matched to my music but good and convenient with ANC.


pim1000 t1_j8mgq77 wrote

After getting a fiio m17, akg k712 and lcd xc, i can say im done on the headphones, speakers tho


theenderstar t1_j8mipk9 wrote

Stopped when I got the dt 1990 pro, I'm just perfectly satisfied with it, and don't want to spend 600+ for something slightly better


Crinkez t1_jaaf36b wrote

How long have you had it for, and do the highs hurt? Or do you just eq them away? Which pads are you using?


theenderstar t1_jabp8bk wrote

I use the balanced pads, and the highs don't bother me in the slightest, people are really making it seem like a bigger issue than it really is


Jfox8 t1_j8mj0xb wrote

I’ve lost count, but I have probably owned around 30 headphones and countless DAC/AMPs. I capped out at $1.5k for individual headphones and roughly the same for the DAC/AMPs.

At the end of it all, I realized I was never going to be happy with one. I got rid of everything except AirPods Pro 2s and the AirPods Max. I barely use the Max, but the Pros are excellent. I found that in the end, I personally do not miss the higher SQ and it just ends up being a giant money pit.

Speakers (if you have the space/place for it) are the answer in my case. I’ve owned a lot of speakers as well, with KEF LS50Ws being the peak. I ended up settling with Vanatoo T0 with a Monolith THX 8” sub, and it’s amazing for desktop use. I found that I enjoyed this more than any headphone I’ve used.


Lainz t1_j8mo0mt wrote

I found what I personally found acceptable between sound, comfort and cost.

The Focal Clear (now MG pro) covers all that for me, and even having 2 of them snap in the headband and trying to find a alternative, I always end up back to a version of the clear.

Thankfully I have good enough insurance that covers new ones, but I did spend like 3 months actively looking for alternatives before giving up, including hd800 (just didnt fit me).

But the bad headband design and the expensive pads (and no pad for headband) is the main reason I wouldn't recommend it to others, unless they know what they are getting into.


audmac0107 t1_j8nu019 wrote

With headphones my only ones are the grado sr60 and they are too shrill and don’t have enough bass for my tastes so I’m looking at getting either a focal clear or lcd 2. But As far as speakers go, I’m very happy with my wharfedale Dentons I got for Christmas.


ArchMustrumRidcully t1_j8pcvar wrote

I haven’t bought a new headphone since early 2020. I’m extremely happy with the two pair I have, my speakers which don’t cost a ton blow them out of the water, and I always find myself wanting to listen to things through the gear I have when I’m trying out other, “better” headphones. I did buy a moondrop aria snow edition for convenience this year, but it was filling a use case my headphones couldn’t fill. I don’t think I’ll be upgrading those in a long time either.

I’ve got a 650 and an Audeze El-08 closed (The third revision that has foam over the drivers.). Both do different things extremely well, the Audeze’s handle percussion incredibly have an insanely linear low-end all the way to 20, the 650‘s have amazing warm mids. I’ve got an amp with more than enough power and a transparent DAC (and an ipod with a wolfson DAC that adds some fun warmth to things). I want to enjoy the music now.


spaceduck107 t1_j8q8rkx wrote

Not yet. Currently at the Susvara stage and looking at tubes. It's a pretty deep hole! Lots of fun though, and my wife enjoys it, so a win-win.


sujanfloofens OP t1_j8s9tpf wrote

Owning such an expensive pair of Headphones, how much better do the susvaras sound compared to the already expensive Aryas?


spaceduck107 t1_j8sk61t wrote

That's a tough one to answer, as audio is very subjective and everyone places different levels of value on items and experiences. I'll try to explain the best I can though.

Arya Stealth already sounds phenomenal, and so do the majority of headphones >$500. When you start getting into high-end audio, diminishing returns are very real. I wouldn't be able to say that Susvara sounds as much better than Arya as going from HE400 to Arya, because once you reach a certain level of sound quality, it becomes more about detail and flavor, so to speak.

The detail and sound quality are phenomenal, and is absolutely the best I have ever heard from headphones. However, if I were solely chasing better sound quality, I would've stopped at HE6se or LCD-X and called it a day. With music being so subjective and such an emotional experience, I find the Susvara to be worth it for me. I also made sure to get them at a discounted price which will ensure minimal loss if I ever decided to sell.

They're worth it to me because the improvement of little nuances in sound are the difference between thinking "this sounds really good," and "I feel this like never before, this is incredible." When you experience detail brought out in music in such a way that sounds so natural, smooth, and enjoyable, it really does make a difference. For me anyways.

If I had to put a number on it, which I don't even know how to accurately do so, I'd say from 0-100, LCD-X and Arya are an 80, with Susvara being a 90. I say 90 because I don't know whether or not there's a more enjoyable headphone that I don't know about, so I can't be certain.

Once you reach summit-fi levels of audio, it really just becomes more about finding a sound you like that reproduces music in the best way possible for your ears. It's a completely unnecessary, and honestly ridiculous amount of money to spend on headphones, but it is what it is. There are more destructive hobbies and habits for sure.

Having heard many headphones ranging from free to now $6k, I can say with a fair bit of confidence that the peak before highly diminishing returns is at around the $1k price point. So think LCD-X, Arya Stealth (on sale), Focal Clear OG, etc. Those get you top shelf sound without reaching the point of ridiculousness.

Tl;dr: They sound better, but it's hard to say "how much." To me, it's considerably more enjoyable, but to others, maybe not. Sorry for such a long response.


thatcarolguy t1_j8kly3x wrote

I am at endgame except for new products. Not interested in anything currently existing but waiting to see if better buys than what I have come out.


[deleted] t1_j8ko2cg wrote

I've been in this hobby for 15 years and I'm still rolling a lot. Sadly haha


mano_lito t1_j8kozn6 wrote

yes. and even sell everything and just keep one bt cans.


melmoo123 t1_j8kr2ne wrote

Got the CF Andromedas in 2016 and those have been my endgame, no other audiophile headphones purchased after that. Only purchase after that was the Fiio UTWS5 for convenience.


JackHareAir t1_j8kvn1k wrote

I got into this sorta recently in early 2020 about a few years ago now. I just wanted something a bit more than the lower/mid-tier Bluetooth Sony headphones (WH-CH700N) I got for Christmas. So that piqued my interest in getting into this stuff (I was previously really into car audio). I got a few pieces of gear after lurking around here and YouTube. The pandemic happened, then oddly, I just stopped buying anything (due to income loss).

It was easy to hit the brakes on that. I already learned from other money pit hobbies on my spending habits. I was fortunate to have lower standards than your typical audiophile and felt "this is good enough" after a few purchases in the past 2 years, LOL. Library means everything and that pretty much determined whether or not it's worth it to "upgrade".


dirthurts t1_j8kwuom wrote

I did. Very happy now.


hyperburststrike t1_j8kznxc wrote

I've found my personal favorite (ZMF Auteur), but I will still buy headphones for different experiences. (My next goal will be Fostex Th909 for EDM, HD800s for orchestral music)


Squirrel_Traditional t1_j8kzr3v wrote

Nope because then you develop hearing damage like me and you have to start learning how to eq your stereo information a bit 😂


Impressive_Bread_150 t1_j8l0g2b wrote

Bought the focal clears. Now I want a focal audio system for my car 😫


porscheboy919 t1_j8l7ygp wrote

I have been using my Moondrop S8 for more than a year. Thankfully I still haven’t gotten the upgrade itch.


consocmap t1_j8lb5tr wrote

In 2022 I bought the HD650 paired with Mt602, then upgrade to Ta26. Later I bought a used Denon D5200, both suits my taste very well and I can swap whenever I feel tired with ones. So yeah people stop on spending more on audio gear once they find their likes


guiver777 t1_j8lbmx8 wrote

Yup. Settled down after getting the ZMF Aeolus with a selection of pads. Started selling off most of the rest of my collection soon after.


bigjak0 t1_j8le5jv wrote

Yggy, Stratus & Atrium. Stopped for now.


JediMaS10 t1_j8lf4cf wrote

I would like to say yes .... But I can't!


Infinidecimal t1_j8lgigi wrote

More or less, but I think it's because I got more into other hobbies lol.


No-Context5479 t1_j8lhszx wrote

Me here... My last temptation as we speak is the Sony IER-M9


Then-Effective5434 t1_j8xh7lb wrote

Why not U12t? They both should be similar in tuning, more like warm neutral with awesome technicalities


No-Context5479 t1_j8xiy0v wrote

Heard both the U12T and the IER-M9 and the M9 was a much up my alley signature... The U12t isn't Warm Neutral... More like Neutral with Sub Bass Shelf...

IER-M9 on the other hand sounded actually Warm Neutral and it's timbre drew me in the most... So effortless... Not forcing details in my face but it's there in spades... Good headstage (I've never chased grandness of stage in IEMs anyhow but these did something impressive), superb tonal coherency


HadeanDisco t1_j8li0rl wrote

This kind of doesn't count but I guess it goes to show something...

Back in 2014 I blagged a set of Ultimate Ears UE900s through work. The included cable was tangly and diffiult to seat over my ears and I found them uncomfortable. After a few months the left bud kept cutting out unless I unplugged it and plugged it back in. I put them in their shiny little box and shoved them in a drawer.

Cut to early 2022 my son (now 14) was complaining about his new phone not having an audio jack. We got him some cheaper Sennheiser TWs and they quickly crumbled under "teen conditions". I remembered the UE900s and ordered him a FiiO BTR5, and a FiiO cable.

He's been using them ever since, rock solid with that new cable. Not bad for nine year old earbuds!


cb__360 t1_j8lifih wrote

Whatever i buy is endgame for me. I try like 5 most common, or what i prefer after research. Keep and pay for 1. And only replace if needed.

Atm i have what i need, and should stop reading and watching this topic. Because its like nonstop consuming endless advertising. 100% there will pop up new stuff, and 100% it will be praised as the new better thing.

Nobody need this to live, like water or bread. So the industry need to sell us the ilusion, to keep us buy their stuff.


AntOk463 t1_j8lmci6 wrote

My first headphones were AKG Q701 and they are the best headphones I have heard, nothing else sounds as clear as them. I have been looking at the Arya Stealth for a while because basically everyone in this hobby says they are the best headphones you can get. I plan on getting them and then not buying anything after.


ZM326 t1_j8lmfjq wrote

What kind of time horizon do you want? I just bought my first headphone in about 4 years ($50 zero x crin iem) but just to use at work. Based on what I've listened to it's not worth upgrading my main setup until I decide it's worth a stax 007mk2 or I need different features (rme dac with it's in-built EQ)

To me, my stax l300 limited are peak audio. My lcd2c are source-forgiving and sound good everywhere. My 58x fill the same gap. Audeze isine20 with BT for basically a lcd2 on the go, and a massdrop+ for isolation.

I previously was happy with my hd580/hd650 for a long time until disposable income and my curiosity of different driver types caught my interest. A $200 58xj and a $50 zero x crin would probably satisfy me if I didn't already buy the rest


Overall_Falcon_8526 t1_j8loazs wrote

MDR-Z1R has been my daily driver for 2 years. I bought an Aeon Closed X for the office. I like them both a lot and each one still dazzles me with some regularity.

I like to see what new gear comes up, and the discourse around it. But nothing has made me pull the trigger. I think part of this may be my relative distaste for open backs (I don't like hearing my room, traffic, A/C vents, etc.) and the fact that closed backs that interest me tend to cost even more than the Z1R (e.g. Focal Stellia, DCA Stealth, Meze Liric).

I buy way more music than I should, most likely (I am a FLAC dinosaur).


aceCrasher t1_j8lqo00 wrote

I think buying more headphones actually makes the desire to upgrade even worse. When I bought my HD800 I thought I was done, until I started wondering about that „planar bass“ everyone is going on about. So I bought a LCD2C.

…and now I desperately want a headphone with the bass response off the Audeze and the clarity of the Sennheiser. Send help.


f3llyn t1_j8ltgju wrote

I'm at a pretty happy place with my gear and am not looking to change anything any time soon. My most recent addition was the IE600 back in November only because my FH9s didn't really stay in my ears very well, no matter what size tips I used.


KiyPhi t1_j8lz1mr wrote

I buy gear for the features and comfort. I don't plan on buying anything more than a second pair of headphones for paired listening. If something comes out that is more comfortable with the same sonic qualities, I may consider buying something again but don't plan on it. For source gear, I have a device that has all of the features I could want so the only reason I would buy something else if if I can get the same features for cheap enough that I can get a net gain on selling my old gear and buying the new gear, which is very, very unlikely.


therealrydan t1_j8lzms7 wrote

Pretty much. 800S is my favourite pair of cans for listening to music, and that's all genres, a lot of it being in the synth/electronic category. They sound great (to my ears/liking, not the flattest, not the most of anything, but they reproduce music with great detail and an effortless presentation), they are comfortable to wear, they are relatively lightweight, they are easy to drive well.

Might still get another pair of higher end cans for studio work (use 660/280pro). But for enjoying music, unless I run into something I find much more enjoyable to listen to music in than my 800s, I'm not actively searching. There's definitely "different", and I wouldn't mind a pair of STAX:es, and a pair of great planars, but so far I haven't found them overall more enjoyable than the 800S. (Hell, if music is less than stellar production-wise, I sometimes even would pick the HD660s over pretty much everything else...)


VisceralVoyage420 t1_j8lzzns wrote

I'm gear curious. I only use one pair of headphones at home and one (wireless) at work. But my source isn't great (it's fine though), I've been eyeing more expensive DACs and amps, but I haven't bought anything because what if I can't hear a difference?


BOBANYPC t1_j8m0qi1 wrote

the first headphone I bought was the focal clear, I just leapfrogged price categories cause I figured it would work out cheaper than slowly working up through hd600s etc. Haven't bought anything since.


Paullebricoleur_ t1_j8m0tvg wrote

Bought the 7hz Timeless AEs and I am honestly convinced I'll never need anything better because they somehow fit my ears perfectly and are super comfortable all while having a perfect sound signature + technical performances for my tastes. The fact they fit my ears so well stop me from wanting to try anything else, it's kinda like I found my perfect pair of shoes, I'll wear them out until I cannot anymore!


hamyantti t1_j8m17ca wrote


It also helps if you know what you like. For example if you like new gear you will keep buying them. If you like music, at some point you start listening music instead of the gear.


aasteveo t1_j8m1rhc wrote

Honestly I stopped at HD600, it's been years and I still use them and love them.


InstructionSure4087 t1_j8m503g wrote

Yeah, me. Bought a pair of HD 600 in 2013 and haven't changed them since (and not for a lack of trying other headphones). IEMs are different; I've hopped around a bit there (LS-200 > ER3XR > ER4SR > B2D > IER-M9) but also feel quite confident I've reached the end of the journey there too.


Squid_Man56 t1_j8m5k5u wrote

I enjoy watching reviews and keeping up with new releases and such, but im not shopping for any audio equipment right now. I'm happy with one solid midrange choice that fits my use and preference in each category, open back, closed back, iems, tws. I have everything I need really, so if there's something new i want to buy then there's something else I'd have to sell.


plumpudding2 t1_j8m87fb wrote

This hobby is indeed mostly about buying hew gear, it's fun, exciting and a little addictive! However sometimes you find that perfect piece of gear that you're just completely happy with. I still want to try different amps and different headphones, but I will never want a different dac!


PutPineappleOnPizza t1_j8m8jt5 wrote

I would say buying things is not a hobby, it's that simple. Sure, finding that one thing you like can be difficult, but just getting more and more? To me that's an obsessive behavior driven by fear of missing out on something, or idk, the attempt to fill some sort of void in your daily life. But that doesn't mean that everyone is nuts here. I too have been in this trap, bought many thing I didn't need and so on. It just happens and advertisements, reviews and opinions on here fuel this process. However, I've somehow learned to not fall for this lately. My 6XX does plenty and heck, after long sessions with the HD800 at a friend's place I still love my setup just as much, if not more.

I also can listen to music with almost anything, as long as it's not too muddy or absolutely spicy in the treble response. Sure, I love my setup, but a pair of good budget IEMs does plenty and gives you 85% of the experience, if not 100.

So I personally, as a friendly advice, recommend to focus on the music after you've invested into some proper gear and by that I mean one pair of headphones or IEMs with the potential dac and amp, if needed. Headphones and IEMs became so good that chasing some sort of endgame is just unnecessary for most. Sure, if you have the money to burn, go for whatever, but spend your money wisely, no matter what your income is. Things you don't like can still be sold, but I personally would not hoard headphones.

Btw I can already smell the downvotes lmao. But I don't care. Spend your money wisely and responsibly!

Cheers, have fun listening!


Nickslife89 t1_j8mbnhk wrote

I stopped buying when I heard my HD600s. It what that moment when I realized nothing will be as comfortable with this amount of sound quality. Absolutely astonishing. I’ve owned them for 8 years, and even wear them over my HD800S. They are too good.


trexluvyou t1_j8mer7h wrote

Since i got my Samson sr850 with the Brainwavz hybrid pads xl . I stopped buying any more headphones. Have a Sennheiser hd600, HiFi Man 400i, Akg q701, Beyerdamicsdt770 250ohm and 900.All sound like crap when compared to the Samson. The Samson sound is so pleasing with all freq.making the sound and soundstage the better than my other headphones.. .


Comfortable-Lack-795 t1_j8mew7a wrote

I remember beginning the journey back in 2009 buying my first known earphone which was beats Dr. Dre and was coming from nokia stock earphones and i was enjoying that beats a lot mainly i was listening to soundtracks and jazz , classical in general

  • next upgrade was in 2016 the infamous plantronics backbeat pro And it was a huge step for me it had a nice bass and was nice and handy with long battery life

  • in 2018 i got the bose QC35 ii it was good but felt nothing new compared to my old plantronics that's when i stopped .

-then few weeks ago i was told about the open back headphones and i was intrigued that's when i ordered my Audio technica ATH-R70X and that was the biggest surprise for me , the details i was missing in the open back headphones is just phenomenal . However not everyone would like the open backs .


[deleted] t1_j8mh7lv wrote

For me the sennheiser hd660s are the endgame. Of course there are better options but these offer what I like and every time I use them I enjoy the music so much


quochungdinh123gn t1_j8mibxb wrote

I did. Got myself a Fiio K5 Pro, a pair of Sundara, applied some EQ and never felt the need to buy anything else.


AdFearless1541 t1_j8mig9p wrote

I just wanted something that could last, pretty good for the fit and comfortable and sounds good. So, I went and put my money down for the Sony Ier m9 after much research and consideration. I did consider true wireless or maybe headphones, but they aren't exactly portable (headphone) and need to pay attention to battery (tws), which I honestly cant be bothered. I'd want something that's durable so I could use it daily and just chug it in a small case and it's settled.

Just need to bring the iem and its adapters around and im done. $1.8K spent on it after the cable upgrade and adapters.


koursaros93 t1_j8ml2fd wrote

After i got the atrium from ZMF i kind of stopped looking into new headphones. For me its the perfect all around headphone i could have. Maybe at some point i would get a dac with more features but for now im pretty content. The trip so far was m50x->Sundaras->Celestee->Auteur->lcdx->edition xs some of these i still have to listen to sometimes


PostmanNugs t1_j8mlz9r wrote

Love the kato, stopped looking for more. Enjoying my music, games and movies now. I stopped chasing endgame/audio perfection at this point. I don’t think i’ll buy new gear unless this one breaks.


TheOneInYellow t1_j8mq47a wrote

I stop and start with large gaps of time in-between. For me, I buy the best gear I can afford at any given time, with consideration for very long enjoyment. My previous last update to my gear was between 2016 - 2017:

  • Focal Elear
  • Meze Audio 99 Classics (will never sell)
  • Onkyo DP-X1 DAP
  • 2x NuForce HA-200 monoblock class A balanced headphone amps
  • Double Helix Cables silver balanced cables
  • NuForce Icon amp
  • JohnBlue AudioArt JB3 speakers

However, late last year I considered that now is the right time to upgrade, and create a new best I can afford end-game setup, whilst also condensing what I needed. As part of a trade-in, got rid of three cans* towards the FiiO M17 DAP (which I got last week!) (*Focal Elear, Audeze EL8 Ti, and AKG K 712 Pro). After much saving, in December started buying my new equipment:

  • Asus Zenbook 14x UX5401ZAS laptop (Dec '22)
  • T+A Solitaire T in white/silver (digital wireless and balanced passive headphones) (Dec '22)
  • FiiO M17 DAP (Feb '23)
  • SanDisk MicroSD XC Extreme 1Tb card (Feb '23)

I only require small bits to add, such as an upgraded DC power for the FiiO M17 (likely the FiiO PL50), and perhaps an aftermarket balanced cable for the T+A Solitaire T cans. I'm also considering to purchase the Meze Audio 109 Pro's too. Whether I get these or not, I'm essentially set now for many years!


g2562 t1_j8mv7bw wrote

Got my open backs, got my closed backs, got my wireless buds and multiple IEM options I rarely use (my latest purchase was a Khadas Tea, which gets used about twice a month). Don’t need anything else.

I will need to think about replacement ear pads for my HD800S soon though.

If I move somewhere I have space to spare I may well get a desktop headphone amp, but more speakers would be a priority over that.


TECHNICKER_Cz3 t1_j8mvj3k wrote

I bought some H560S a year or so ago and I'm pretty sure I won't be spending a dime on another open-back pair any time soon. (I have my eyes on the k371 tho)


m3ga_p1xel t1_j8mxc8b wrote

The Hifiman Edition XS and 6XX are perfect for my usage. I think they sound great and haven't needed to upgrade in over a year. However, I instead shifted my focus to IEMs, more as a hobby and less about seeking perfect sound, just because I find the market and tech fascinating.


Framed-Photo t1_j8mxd03 wrote

The only gear that I'd want and is an actual upgrade over what I own, all costs far too much for me to actually buy. So yeah I'm not buying anything else lol.


ryukin631 t1_j8n21p9 wrote

I have to kick myself on an almost daily basis from buying an "upgrade". I have the HE-4XX fast I use as my daily driver on my pc, and they are fantastic. That being said, I'm feeling a weird itch for something more. My wallet really cannot afford that lol.


meihuaalyssa t1_j8n3870 wrote

Honestly, I found exactly what I was looking for, a stylish, white ish color, comfortable, amazing sound quality pair of headphones (focal clears) and a wonderful dac and amp combo that was equally as good looking (topping a50s/d50s) but.. at some point, I just didn't want it anymore. It had so many cables and just looked so cluttered with so much other stuff around it. I eventually sold it, and got a cute wireless gaming headset instead lol


BernabethWarners t1_j8n3ek4 wrote

I've been actively selling things off. For the first time ever, I'm completely content with my Edition XS and cheap buds for the gym. Headphones have changed dramatically in the past decade (maybe controversial) but the modern $1k goes SO far now.


coreyfromlowes69 t1_j8n3v11 wrote

Dang I feel this way with my HD6xx and HD58x. I feel like this combo + tewbz covers a lot of ground


andysaurus_rex t1_j8n4nif wrote

I was in the trade in/trade out world for a while, and it's really not so bad. You buy them used, try them out, and sell them for pretty much what you paid for since there's no real depreciation once they're already used as long as you keep them in good condition.

Part of it is a lot of fun. You get to try all these new headphones and only really pay the shipping cost. But at the same time, it's a bit silly. Yeah, it's a hobby, but it's not one that many people understand and especially my girlfriend at the time and now wife would certainly look at me and say "another headphone??" and then I'd have to explain that I'm not alone, there are dozens of people like me online trading headphones back and forth and it's just so I can listen to new stuff. It's not costing me that much money to do this and it's just a hobby.

So I settled on the K7XX a back when they came out and I've been using them ever since. I've really enjoyed them.


companyja t1_j8n9nys wrote

I bought the used pair of K712 I'm using around three years ago, haven't looked back nor forward. The Moondrop B2 is about a year and a half old as well, no desire to change. I bought a pair of ADAM T8V last year and have been playing around with room acoustics for a while. I've always found the notion of spending thousands of dollars on headphones silly but even more now when I consider how great of a sound you can get with headphones with so little nowdays, even compared to powered monitors today.

I've also had the Topping E30 and L30 since 2021, absolutely no need to switch. Running the speakers from the MOTU M2, it started having audio dropouts a few months back after a windows update so that's slightly infuriating but in terms of audio performance I don't see myself changing anything in the signal chain.


klogg4 t1_j8na8u8 wrote

Yes. AKG K612 with slightly modified oratory1990 EQ + Oppo Enco X2. It's not like I'm closed to something new, it's like I'm afraid that the chance of getting a lower quality sound is a lot higher than the opposite situation.


Ginger_Coroner t1_j8ng9h6 wrote

Have Focal elex. I mean I don’t really need anything more than that 🤷🏼‍♂️


djent_in_my_tent t1_j8njsbv wrote

I settled on ESP-950 as a long term setup after listening to nearly every high end option on the market circa 2015.

Once you achieve minimal distortion and can EQ to taste there's really very little difference between open cans in my experience. Minor differences in soundstage, maybe.

Then Raal released the SR-1a which to me seemed like it might actually be a step function upgrade due to the difference in presentation having significantly higher involvement of the pinna. Been enjoying it but damn is it placement finicky.


imsolass t1_j8nk595 wrote

Right now I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel price wise and I'm pretty content. I'm using Moondrop Chus on my phone/Switch and KSC75 for my laptop and I'm content with this. Ideally once one of these break, I have the money to upgrade to something that replaces it, but for now I'm happy with the IEM/open back combo


mtl171 t1_j8novbl wrote

Yes. I stopped after picking up a pair of LCD-X and UM MEST mk 1. After trialing a bunch of top of the line cans and IEMs, I realized EQing my current gear got me close enough and I would need to spend $4k+ to get tangible results I can notice. Though I will say I’m still interested by novel gear such as earbuds and CIEMs.


BoardsofGrips t1_j8nsbii wrote

Back in 2007 I was happy with my X-Fi Elite Pro -> Gilmore Lite / Little Dot Mk2+ -> Sennheiser HD580. I just moved on to other hobbies. Eventually my gear started to fall apart so I got back into the hobby


R6Hibana t1_j8nsffk wrote

I’m pretty close. Ifi PowerStation, IFI Silencer+ , topping U90, D90LE and A90 Discrete stack for my home setup.

I am a believer in cables because I kept wanting a lot more pricey gear until a UK provider called futureshop passed me some “audiophile” cables.

Thought they were bullshit at first but turns out these do what it says on the box, these cables genuinely make more of a difference than any digital/audio cable upgrade and they transformed the sound.

I had to swap my XLRS out because if you have a setup on good power cables there isn’t that much harshness in treble at all and if you add silver in it emphasises the presence region so symbols actually hurt to listen to. Moved onto copper xlrs and now I’m nearly satisfied.


sforzabull t1_j8ntzew wrote

I have 10+ iems and although I have a current favorite I enjoy trying new/different sets. Sometimes I'll grab a certain set when I feel like listening to specific music. This is most likely due to the wide variety of music I enjoy. I doubt I'll ever buy a set and decide not to ever purchase another. As long as you're not using your mortgage/car payment..... enjoy the ride!


[deleted] t1_j8o6tot wrote

For me personally, I'm more than satisfied with my setup. Must say that everytime that I use my gear for some listening sessions, i'm blown away by the sound. Already reached endgame and not planning on upgrading anymore in the near future. This hobby is addicting plus very costly and you never feel satisfied with what you currently have.

Headphone: Hifiman Ananda non stealth

DAC/AMP combo: Fiio Q1 Mark 2

Cable: Meze 99 classic balanced 2.5 mm


Ballin095 t1_j8od5iq wrote

Yep. Ever since buying the Meze Elites, I've been done looking at new headphones.


SexyFat88 t1_j8odxc7 wrote

Yes. Got my HD800S and never looked back.


Tokoolfurskool t1_j8otibb wrote

Idk if I count as being in this hobby, I’ve been lurking in this sub a long time though. I got koss portapros and have been happy ever since, would like to get some iems here soon just for added convenience in some situations. But definitely not eating up my wallet on the hobby.


minimus67 t1_j8ovo98 wrote

I reached an end game setup in 2014 with the HD800S, Apex Teton headphone amp, and the PS Audio Perfect Wave DAC and Transport. I had owned about 8 other headphone amps and numerous TOTL headphones in the prior decade, none of which measured up to this setup.

As an aside, I also bought an Eddie Current 4-45 tube amp in 2014 after a bunch of shills on the forum Changstar, predecessor of SuperBestAudioFriends, said that the heavens parted when they heard the 4-45. One of the Changstar mods - who soon thereafter went to work full-time for Eddie Current - even referred to the 4-45 as “the God amp”. The 4-45 ended up sounding OK, but was both dry and lean and not as good as the Teton. It has extremely expensive tubes, repeatedly blows fuses, and is not supported by the builder, Craig Uthus, who has since retired. Bottom line: avoid expensive amps that are hyped on forums by friends of the amp’s builder (e.g. DNA).

Last summer, I had a change in living arrangements that meant I could not use an open-back headphone anymore. I first went down the portable amp and IEM route, which is very convenient but offers inferior sound quality to a desktop setup and full-size headphones. I recently bought a used set of ZMF Verite Closed at a good price, which competes pretty well with the HD800s in terms of sound quality but is a step down in comfort - the HD800S are the world’s most comfortable headphones, whereas the VC are very heavy.

Even including my recent purchases, I’m much less active in buying/selling headphone gear than I was prior to 2014 and still consider the HD800s and Apex Teton to be my end game if I can go back to using open-back headphones.


gobolin-deez-nuts t1_j8oz22w wrote

I stopped buying headphones at HD580. I have enough budget speaker sets as well that I've gotten over the years, all sounding more than good enough, I have no itch for higher end speaker gear. So I only buy IEMs now, which tend to be a lot cheaper, even there I'm close to endgame. So I probably have 1 or 2 higher end IEMs ahead of me, and maybe a subwoofer upgrade, that's it. I see myself getting more into modding and rolling accessories in the future.


LeBronto_Raptors t1_j8p0hb2 wrote

I feel like I'm at endgame with a 660s, though a part of me is itching to mod some KSC75s just for fun


lilvietpker t1_j8pdk78 wrote

Headphones I stopped when I learned how to eq to my taste. What I grab/reach for Iem: k10 ciem, monarch mk1

Headphone: lcd 2 closed, my hd800 has stayed on its case for a few years now. Haven’t sold because it was my first “endgame”


LaTerreEstPlate t1_j8pwsu9 wrote

I found what I'm looking for, and I can't imagine music sounding better than it does now. Any change I would make at this point would essentially just be preference rather than an upgrade, and frankly the upgrades at this point cost entirely too much to justify. Even if I did want more, I wouldn't be able to afford it, so I'm more than happy with where I'm at.

My current chain is Audio GD DI-20 outputting IIS --> Audio GD Reference 1 --> heavily modded Bottlehead Crack with great tubes --> ZMF Verite Closed Leopardwood.


hifiman t1_j8qy43t wrote

All the people who stopped buying gear are probably no longer browsing this subreddit anymore. I was like that for 3 years, but I'm back now :)


RonanCondon t1_j8r4uak wrote

I’ve stopped since this ^^


FluffyGreyfoot t1_j8rxfim wrote

Bought my last pair of headphones (HD 58X) like 4 years ago. They sound really good and don't require anything better to drive them than my cheap audio interface.

Because of the really good value you get from buying Sennheisers on Drop, I feel like I'd need to spend a ton of money to get a big upgrade in audio quality. Maybe if I have a money to burn one day I'll get a really expensive ($1000+) pair of headphones and a proper dac/amp to drive them, but I'm honestly content with my current setup. If it ain't broke don't fix it.


IndoorRabbit t1_j8sqczz wrote

I got into this game about a year ago. Boy it's been a journey. Let me list out my stuff. Dac/amp RME adi-2 pro, dac, Burson Audio Conductor and Soloist, Monolith THX 789 Headphones Audeze Lcd-2c, lcd-X, lcd-2 Closed, Focal Clear MG, Stellia, Meze Audio Liric, and Sennheiser hd 820, 800s


widowhanzo t1_j8lxxax wrote

I haven't tried all headphones, so I'm not even sure what I'm looking for xD But I haven't bought new gear (except a few cheap chi-fi IEMs) in a while, I have HD6XX with SDAC and Atom and Starfield with BTR5, and I'm pretty happy with this setup. I did get to try the Moondrop Variations the other day and immediately liked it, but I just can't justify the price. I could get a new larger monitor for that much...

I have sold two headphones (Beyerdynamic COP and HE4xx) because I bought Sony XM3 to replace the COP in the office and I didn't like HE4XX for gaming and they were too heavy for music. I also sold my old amp because it didn't go quiet enough.

Nowadays I just listen directly to Macbook speakers...