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Consider a Focal Spirit Classic

I've owned:
-Sennheiser HD600 - very good but just didn't grab me, can't explain - perhaps too sterile
-Beyerdynamic DT880 (32 ohm version) - Loved it, great for orchestra and big sound stage music - not so great for intimate or base heavy music
-AKG 550 - Love it! Lots of detail and has the openness and airiness of on open headphone with the isolation of a closed.
-Grado SR-60 - not in the same league as the others but also much cheaper so not a hit against it. Good base
-Focal Spirit Classic - My current favorite. It has slightly less detail and soundstage as the AKG 550 but the tonal richness is unparalleled. I've never heard tonal colors like this from a headphone perhaps even from a speaker! It also comes with two length cables which really comes in handy. A really long one for listening in your living room or something like that and a really short one for desktop and bedtime. Its closed back which is nice since you won't annoy your wife listening in bed. Downside is the ear cups are rather small. I'm 5'9 with slightly larger than perfectly proportional ears and I have to kinda stuff me ears into the cups. It doesn't bother me, but if you are a big guy or have big ears it may be uncomfortable.

Another thing to consider is IEMs. I've had an absolute blast playing with them and am really amazed at how well they hold up to full sized cans. They are more convenient, are less sensitive to amplification and really sound great. There has been an absolute explosion in IEM technology and competition in the last 8 years.
My current IEM favorite is JVC-FX850. Its an open back IEM so you still hear some of your surrounding, but I have small kids so that is a good thing. Plus I don't really like a totally tight seal.

You can also get custom ear molds for a lot of models which allows you to comfortably completely attenuate outside noise. Great for mowing the lawn or Long distance flights. I went to Afghanistan in 2012 which took about 50 hours. I had the custom molds in my head pretty much the entire way there just to keep the sound out - C-17s are REALLY loud. My custom molds are for Etymotics HF2s. Great headphones but probably not up to the quality you are seeking.

You can't cheat an honest man, never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump -- W.C. Fields

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  • Consider a Focal Spirit Classic - texanater 07:14:52 02/18/16 (0)


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