I too like the HiFiMan house sound.I found the Audeze slow & slightly plodding compared to HFM,the Focal too much like the original Senn HD800 on top & not as sweet in the middle.I settled in on the HE6 reissue driven off the 4ohm taps on my Cayin KT88 amp..IMO it's shoulder to shoulder with the 1000 in the mids & uppers but MUCH better defined & more colorful bass,at least in my system..
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One of the cool things about headphones for me is that it's like having a bunch of different sounding speakers that do different things well. When I want to hear a lot of detail, I get out the HD800. When I want to hear some bass and midrange, I get out the Audeze LCD-4. When I want something more neutral, I get out my Hifiman HE-560 or Focal Elex.
The reason I say all that is that there are two ways you can go if you want to get more cans - stay with a certain sound signature you like or get some headphones that have a completely different sound so you can change up.
If you like the HifiMan sound, move up the food chain to the HE1000 or Susvarra. I have no experience with either, but from what I've read, they will give you more of that house sound you like.
I listened to some Utopias and there was something magical about them, but also "artificial". I only listened for a few minutes, kind of hard to describe. I can see why people like them. I have the Massdrop Focal Elex and think they are wonderful. Much more affordable, super comfortable, very detailed, but a more natural and neutral sound to me.
Try to audition the Sony MDR-Z1R. Lots of bass, great detail, very comfortable.
There are lots of other great headphones out there.
@freediver , are the Focals you refer to the Utopia? Have not heard the HE 6 cans but all the reviews seem to love them, they are just hard to drive with a headphone amp as you know. @big_greg, talk to me about the Audeze 4 if you would as I am basing my judgment of Auzeze on the LCD2F which actuslly got me started on this quest a few years ago.
I LOVE my HiFiman Arya. I used to have other headphones including the Focal Clear. As someone said above, I too can understand why people like them. However, they don't have anywhere near the midrange warmth that the planar Aryas do.
Many people say the Arya is the sweetspot in the lineup.
That probably doesn't answer your question. I just wanted to contribute a post on the new headphone thread on Audiogon. Lol.
@tooblue The LCD-4 are the best headphones I've ever heard. I haven't listened to all the uber expensive cans out there though.
I own LCD-2 (I think mine are non fazor), LCD-XC, Sony MDR-Z1R, Focal Elex, Sennheiser HD-800 and a few others. I spent some time this morning listening to the LCD-4 and the Sonys and Focals. The LCD-4 are really easy to listen to and provide visceral bass that the others can't with slightly warm but incredibly detailed mids and highs. If you like Steely Dan, Black Cow on The LCD-4s is pure bliss.
The only negatives to the LCD-4 are their weight (really heavy!) and they need a lot of power (and their price). I love the Focals, they are really detailed without being bright. The Sony's are really nice and produce a lot of bass, but it's not as tight as the LCD-4. If I had to get rid of all my headphones but one set it would probably come down to the Focals and the LCD-4. The LCD-4 win on sound quality, the Focals on comfort.
It could be Raal Sr1a
I expect to audition it near future.
I had a couple of different Audeze headphones and they were all like cinder blocks on my head. Love the midrange and bass though!
The HiFiman Arya has tremendously beautiful midrange, extremely sufficient, tight, low-end bass. They are also the most comfortable headphones I've ever had. And I am a Former hd800 owner.
@big_greg, thanks for the input and will add the Audeze 4 to my short list. @devilboy , the Arya have been on my radar since I read a review when they came out, they seemed to hit my hot buttons as well as my phones of choice have been the XV2s for a couple of years now. I am going to contact the dealer I bought them from who gave me 30% off as they were freshly released. Enjoy the music.
@thieliste , the combo of HE1000se and Chord Hugo should be sweet, I just purchased a pair of the HE1000v2s here that are low hours and like new for a very good price to go with my Dennis Had Dragon Inspire amp that is breaking in nicely so should be set other than some tube rolling after I get acquainted with the set up. Enjoy the music
Have had in house the HE1000v2s for about 6 weeks now and really think I can close the door on headphone purchases as these have settled in and have proven to be as good as they are advertised. I really don't even feel the need to hold on to the other sets of cans I have as I won't listen to them, just hold on to an extra set for back up. Enjoy the music