Best Headphone under 1k$?

I had enjoyed using SoundMAGIC E11C while out of town for 3 weeks on May.

But I also got HIFIMAN SUNDARA from Amazon 10 days ago to compare it with SoundMAGIC E11C .

Although I will keep SoundMAGIC E11C for travel, I enjoy the sound from HIFIMAN SUNDARA much better.
It sound open and balanced.
I use Chord Dave to drive it.

Now my question is whether there is any headphone under 1k$ which will sound significantly better than HIFIMAN SUNDARA.
I wish to get transparent and open sound out of it with just enough tight bass.
Of course, if it provides wide and deep soundstage, it will be better.
I do not wish to get bright sound.

Can anyone recommend best headphone under 1K$?
thanks in advance
7aeeb429 76a8 4040 a90e 93802cf27573shkong78
Slow Sunday!

No response from gentleman.

Although I have 41 years of high end audio experience, I am newbie to headphone.
I appreciate your post but I stopped at the Sennheiser HD600 and have concentrated more on amplifiers. Sorry I have nothing more to add. You will find a multitude of opinions on Head-Fi forums and InnerFidelity. Good luck. 
@ tgrisham 

Thanks for your kind word

I am also getting information from other sites you mentioned.
After reading rave review on HIFIMAN RE800 Silver with good price, I placed an order and will compare it with Sundara.

If I do not find much improvement of HIFIMAN RE800 Silver over Sundara, then I will try Beyerdynamic T1 Gen 2 .

Thanks for posting. I just ordered the HIFIMAN 600S V2 with single crystal copper cable from Amazon for $99 free shipping.
HIFIMAN 600S V2  may be better value for the price.

I expect to receive  HIFIMAN 800S on Wednesday.

It will be very interesting to compare between  HIFIMAN 800S and Sundara.
That reminds me. Anyone know the burn-in time for earbuds? 😬
Do you mean Sennheiser HD 800s?  I have the HD 800 (not the "s" model) and Hifiman HE 560.  I have not heard the Sundara, but if it has the Hifiman "house" sound, it's a very different animal than the HD 800.  The HD 800 is a very revealing headphone and some consider it "bright" (I don't).  From what I've read, the HD 800s tones things down a bit.  The Hifiman is a much "warmer" sound.

Saying anything is the "best" is always subjective, but for under $1K my recommendation would be the Focal Elex from

I don’t necessarily believe anything I read about how things sound. 

One other thing you might consider is investing in a good headphone amp.  Most built in headphone amps are under-powered and will rarely do a good set of headphones justice.  
Post removed 
Looks like I’m going to have to gut it out. I just read a very comprehensive review of the HIFIMAN 600S V2 which, among other things, pointed out that 200 hours is required for break-in, the headphones sounding initially rather dry, anemic and bass shy. That would certainly explain the negative reviews, probably done by those who don’t believe in or ever heard of break-in.
Chord Dave has enough power to drive most of headphone.

I am not going to buy headphone hard to drive.

I do not use headphone very often.

Thus I limit the budget  to 1K$ or less.
"Anyone know the burn-in time for earbuds?"
It probably depends on the earphone model, but for Sennheiser IE80 (not 80S) is a couple of weeks of light use. Maybe 100 hours?
Let’s get down to brass tacks. Here’s the link to the page where the sound and break in of the HIFIMAN RE-600S v2 are discussed. My order arrives today.

I am playing Hotel California(Eagles) and Play the music of Simon & Garfunkel (Royal Symphony Orchestra) through Amazon Music using my Galaxy Note 4.

Somehow Sundara seems to sound better through Note 4 than Dave.

I am using 10ft extra extension line to connect from Dave to my listening chair.

That may be why.

I can enjoy music through Sundara and Note 4 combination.

Tomorrow I will receive Hifiman RE 800S earphone.

It will be interesting to compare between Hifiman RE 800S earphone and Sundara headphone.

I have a decent laptop.

Dell Inspiron i7559-7512GRY 15.6 Inch UHD Touchscreen Laptop

It is interesting to compare the sound of Hifiman Sundara with Dell  and Galaxy Note 4 through same source of Amazon Music and Youtube.

I played  Hotel California(Eagles, Amazon)  and Scottish Fantasy played by Joomi Kang(Youtube).

It sounds slightly more focused with Galaxy than Dell.

On the other hand, it sounds more relaxed with Dell than Galaxy.

Thus it is almost tie between them.

Looks like I’m in for the full 300 hour burn-in. The reviewer was absolutely correct about the sound right out of the box. 🤮
Hifiman Sunandra no question.

heard em all....including Stax....

Sunundra, King of the Cans!
I hope everyone who has an interest in headphones will attend the SoCal CanJam event June 22 and 23 at the Irvine California Marriott Hotel. Easy to get to and near the Orange County Airport. 
This is a huge event with all the major manufactures attending.
Please say hello if attending or give me a call. I will enjoy putting a face to my friends here at Audiogon.
David Pritchard
The HIFIMAN Sundara looks very interesting. Maybe if my EE-600S v2 don’t work out. I’ve only got 250 hours to go. So, anyway, what are some good CDs for breaking in headphones/earbuds? I’m using Kraftwerk, B-52s, Beastie Boys, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Not that I’m actually listening to them, but you could. 🤗
I just took a sneak listen on day three of burn in just to see how things were progressing, and shut my mouth and call me corn pone if it didn’t sound like music. No bass to speak of yet, but dynamic and not tinny sounding like yesterday. Of course, it’s the B-52’s right now and they always sound good. Nevertheless....
I had got Grado extension cable from Amazon

Connected to Dave with the Grado Extension, Hifiman RE800S earphone sounds fantastic with vivid details, clear soundstage and effortless dynamics.

After Hifiman RE800S get burned in (it sounds little bit bright now), then I will compare it with Sundara.

How are those two Hifiman earphone models with isolating outside noise? The review says they should be good, but what are your impressions? Any chance they would work on the plane?

Sie ist ein Modell und sie sieht gut aus, ich nehm sie heut gerne mit zu mir nach Haus.
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine hired B-52s (the band, not the plane) for his birthday party. Too bad, had he only hired Kraftwerk...
An old girlfriend of mine married a B-52 pilot. Coincidence? 
Well, my friend paid them to leave the following morning. I am not sure how that marriage went in your case.

Speaking of your picks for earphone playing...

"...Kraftwerk, B-52s, Beastie Boys, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Not that I’m actually listening to them, but you could."
You could compare it to the real thing, actually just half of it, about the time your earphones get broken-in. September 24.
"An old girlfriend of mine married a B-52 pilot."
Have you ever thanked him?
Now you’re getting smart.
It happened before, but you did not understand. So, now you are getting smart.
I’m just an “old fashioned” guy - still think with the right amp, the RS-1s are hard to beat, as well as the HD600’s (with tweeks).
Just my 3 cents worth.
Maybe I have odd shaped inner ears but the vast majority of iem phones I have ever tried inc some real spendy ones just were plain uncomfortable.

Now on my second pair of these Klipsch (v2 now).

Cheap yes at just under $50 but a real comfortable fit ( for me),superb bass and mid and liquid highs.
And yes I use them for travel on the plane all the time, hear nothing but my music, no " air noise or even announcements" at all.

All I use to drive them in travel is my old LG G5 phone and I can’t hit max volume even with that.

The cords are very tough and pretty much tangle free even after 8 years of usage. My original pair still work fine, just bought a new pair because why not ... Lol.

Thanks. I will try them.

I would get the ones without the Mic, unless you need or want a Mic for say phone call purposes?

Neither of mine are Mic versions.

That was the question I was about to ask. Do they come without microphone? Thanks for reading my mind.
I am sure lots of places do the non mic versions but here are the exact ones I bought from Best Buy.

You can ask in reddit/r/headphones

There are a few cans that  could give the Sundara a match but in the end it is a lot up to taste.
Making progress in burn in of my HiFiMan RE-600S V2 earbuds. Sounds more open today and more musical but still no bass and sound is quite synthetic and tinny. But it’s better than a couple days ago. Kraftwerk sounds super duper. I’m getting the feeling that the reviewer was probably correct, that this is going to take 300 hours.
"Kraftwerk sounds super duper."
Did you ever doubt it? You do not need some fancy earphones to figure that out.
HiFiman Sundara with Galaxy Note 4 using Amazon Prime service sounds so musical that I am astonished.

Of course, my main system sounds more analytical with clear and 3D soundstage and deeper bass slam.

But during summertime, I am trying headphone with windows open.

Fortunately, I can live happily without air conditioning at my house in Pacific Northwest.

Now I had realized that audiophiles including me tend to spend too much money on audio components.

Combination of Sundara and Note 4 cost me 600$.

Although I like the sound from Sundara, I had given up RE800S since it sounds too bright with Dave.

Since I prefer earphone to headphone for personal reason, I had placed an order for Periodic Audio Be earphone.
Post removed 
Post removed 
I thought you just got the RE-800S. 
"Kraftwerk sounds super duper."
Did you ever doubt it? You do not need some fancy earphones to figure that out.

>>>>You need to dig deeper, grasshopper. You’re just skimming the surface. 
This morning I had compared between  SoundMAGIC E11C earphone,  HIFIMAN SUNDARA and  HIFIMAN RE800s driven by Chord Dave Dac/preamp.

I played "Centerstage" which is a forgiving Audiophile CD.

Sundara still sounds musical with neutral sound.

SoundMAGIC E11C sounds also nice driven with Dave with more dynamics and neutral sound.

HIFIMAN RE800s  sound vivid and dynamic but with occasional bright edges.

HIFIMAN RE800s  may work in forgiving system but not with Dave which offer vivid and clear sound.

Tomorrow I will  get  Periodic Audio Be earphone.

After burning it overnight, I will do comparison between three earphones.
If the 800S is anything like the 600S V2 it’s going to take longer time to burn them in. Much longer. For my new HE-600S V2 after 10 hours per day for 4 days the sound is still decidedly peaky and bright with no bass. As I mentioned somewhere along the line the reviewer of the HE600S V2 stated that no significant changes to bright bass-shy sound occurred until AFTER 200 hours of burn in and that 300 hours is probably about right for the burn in period. If my math is correct that would mean perhaps as much as 600 or 700 hours might be required for one person to do a proper evaluation of THREE such earphones.
Some reviewers reported 7Khz peak of RE800S even after full burn in of around 300 hours.

After 50 hours of burn in, it still sounds too bright to my taste.

It is almost certain that I will return it to Amazon after comparison of three earphones.

But it may work with some forgiving system.

Thus I do not discourage other people from trying this out.

This one has vivid and dynamic sound with clear soundstage which will suit some people’s taste.
I am saying you should expect the brightness to continue for at least 200 hours. Rome wasn’t built in a day. 😬 At this point in time my Grado 60s sound much better than the HE-600S V2s. And the Grados are relatively inexpensive headphones. The HIFIMANs are FAST, I’ll give them that! It is what it is.