Best Headphone under 1k$?

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
396
276
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Washington State, US
#1



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

Thomas
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,303
744
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#2
Hi Thomas,
Not sure of the current US pricing but I do love the Audeze range with its big organic rich bass signature for day in day out headphone listening. It is a good match for the Chord signature.

Also beyond that if you go across to headfi there’s plenty of info on good headphone matches for Chord as that is where all the Chord dave tt2 and m scaler headphone listening dudes hang out.
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
396
276
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Washington State, US
#3
Hi Thomas,
Not sure of the current US pricing but I do love the Audeze range with its big organic rich bass signature for day in day out headphone listening. It is a good match for the Chord signature.

Also beyond that if you go across to headfi there’s plenty of info on good headphone matches for Chord as that is where all the Chord dave tt2 and m scaler headphone listening dudes hang out.
Thanks a lot for your kind input.

https://www.amazon.com/Audeze-LCD-2-Classic-Headphone-Leather-Free/dp/B078922QVD

Audez LCD2 classic is one of the headphone that I consider auditioning through Amazon.

It is easy to return to Amazon if I do not like it.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,303
744
113
#4
It’s good... I recently thought about upgrading to the Audeze 4z but reality is I only listen to hp fairly occasionally and the LCD2 is good enough to live with... or you can take our usual audiophile route and eventually talk yourself up to totl Empyrean or Audeze ;)
 
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bazelio

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
848
211
43
California
#6
Best headphone under $1k (and I'm not joking) is this:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00001P4ZH/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_xGN.Cb6M4HBY3

The main knock on it is somewhat boomy bass, and somewhat rolled treble (but not overly dark). It's really good. The Sennheiser HD800 is now under $1k and can be modded to eliminate the 4k treble peak, making it my personal favorite. But could I live with only the Porta Pro? Yes. So price vs performance gives it the nod.
 

Bodhi

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2014
888
268
63
Melbourne, Australia
#7
Under $1k the Focal Alegia cans are hard to beat.
 
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Blue58

Active Member
Jan 20, 2013
482
150
43
London, UK
#8
I’ve been enjoying my Ananda for a while now and find them very close to the older HE1000 and pack enough punch for me in the bass dept. I also prefer the oval shape of the cups over round cups, just feels more natural. They are $1 under $1K but you may find them cheaper if you search.
50D5F061-526C-4E96-B6D4-22775281BD1F.jpeg
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
396
276
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Washington State, US
#9
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.​
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
396
276
63
59
Washington State, US
#10
I’ve been enjoying my Ananda for a while now and find them very close to the older HE1000 and pack enough punch for me in the bass dept. I also prefer the oval shape of the cups over round cups, just feels more natural. They are $1 under $1K but you may find them cheaper if you search.
View attachment 53813
I appreciate your recommendation of Ananda.

The only thing is that Ananda cost 2and half times of Sundara.

Sundara driven by Galaxy Note 4 using Amazon Music or Youtube sounds musical enough.

As I know Ananda has a good refutation, I may order it to compare with Sundara.

https://www.rtings.com/headphones/tools/compare/hifiman-sundara-vs-hifiman-ananda/589/670


My plan is to get reasonable one under !K$ now and after two years of experience, then I will upgrade to top headphone above 2K$.

I have 41 years of high end audio history but newbie to high end headphone.

Thus I need time before getting to know what I want with headphone.
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
396
276
63
59
Washington State, US
#11
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.
 

thomask

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Dec 9, 2018
396
276
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Washington State, US
#12

WLVCA

Member Sponsor
Nov 2, 2012
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#13
I've recently acquired the Focal Elex and the Beyerdynamic DT 1990. Like them both but if I had to pick I prefer the Beyerdynamic. Both are in the $500 to $700 range.

The DT 1990 is more analytical while the Elex is more fun, forward sounding.
 
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cjf

Member
Nov 19, 2012
332
3
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#14
A few years back I was on the same search and landed here: https://www.mrspeakers.com/

I ended up grabbing the highly rated Alpha Prime headphones which were just under a $1K. This particular model is now end of life and no longer offered but I am very impressed with the sound they create. I drive mine with a Benchmark DAC1 and its a stellar combination.

Maybe you'll find something you like there also
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
396
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Washington State, US
#15
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.
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
396
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Washington State, US
#17
Enjoy your new earphones!
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.
 

thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
396
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Washington State, US
#18
It is taking strange turn.

Hifiman RE 800S is listenable with more bass and tamed but fast treble after 70 hours of burn in.

Now I find sound from Sundara a little bit closed on top although it sounds very musical.



I use earphone when I work on Photoshop.

It is not comfortable to wear magnifying glass on headphone.

Thus I prefer earphone to headphone for my personal reason.

It may be too early to judge Periodic Audio BE IEM only after 10 hours of burn in.

But I prefer open and fast sound from Hifiman RE 800S to the neutral sound of Periodic Audio BE.

To experience the best earphone under 1K$, I placed an order for MASSDROP X EMPIRE EARS ZEUS UNIVERSAL IEM.

PgdTykLSeXabzDQZijQF_3ZZaWJdoRNKUD9VHG0Hf_AI7B2851-copy-pc.jpg

https://drop.com/buy/massdrop-x-empire-ears-zeus-universal-iems?mode=guest_open&utm_campaign=Transactional: Shipping Notification&utm_source=SparkPost&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Transactional: Shipping Notification&utm_content=1560968955870.083665385797592302809037&referer=67VW66

Thomas
 
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thomask

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2018
396
276
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59
Washington State, US
#19
Sundara. is a really good deal at 350$ with magical sound although slightly closed on top.

Now I may have to change the subject to "Best earphone under 1k$".

I placed an order for MASSDROP X EMPIRE EARS ZEUS UNIVERSAL IEM based upon following review.

https://headfonics.com/2016/03/the-zeus-by-empire-ears/

Tone onset has an accurate articulation – smooth and fast, and when properly driven Zeus displays excellent dynamics. The combination of its forward center midrange and high resolution creates a clear center image, while accentuating subtle effects of echo and reverberation – making them more present, while contributing to that sense of standing in a great hall. This resolving nature brings detail to the foreground, without having an analytical or bright tone. This reflects quality, as it is technically more challenging than simply ‘turning the light up’.

The soundstage is about average in width, but both tall and deep. It wouldn’t suffice to say imaging is excellent, for it has a precision and 3D feel that reflects an incredible degree of technical engineering. Instrument position is incredibly precise in the different layers spreading along the width and depth of the field, and together with the exceptionally high resolution provides a clear image of the instruments in space. Zeus inherently has a clean background and is highly transparent; although the warmth in the atmosphere is highly sensitive to the source, and can vary accordingly.
 

WLVCA

Member Sponsor
Nov 2, 2012
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#20
You have some nice earphones - reading on Drop about them, they have 16 drivers. How is that even possible in such a small space? Interesting.
 

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