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recommendations for headphone setup

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On 12/15/2020 at 12:49 PM, reverendo said:

I am looking for a shortlist of headphones and somewhat portable amp/dac to look at in order to make a final decision. This is for a friend who is not an audiophile, but is wanting to go in that direction in the future. Preferably, the DAC/Amp are on the portable side, but can also be used toward a future stereo system at his home.


The sound preference is toward a balanced presentation. Detail retrieval should be stellar without being bright. Preference for a sound that is not dark. Can be on the slight side toward the warm side of neutral, but without compromising LF tautness and HF decay. Mids need to be uncongested and crystal clear. Think ATC level of mid clarity. Again, resolution should be stellar. No need for closed back, good sound stage would be welcome, but am sure that this is where headphones normally come up short compared to a stereo system. He already has the Fiio M11 as DAP, so should be compatible with that for a more portable use of the cans.


Overall budget is $3k.


Thanks in advance for helping me create a shortlist.

Personally, I'd buy something like Dan Clark Ether 2 headphones  ($2k) plus a chord Mojo ($500) for portability + adequate power for the Ether 2's. 

The Ether 2's have excellent resolution, spectrum balance, wear comfort and like CJ gear the Ether 2 is never offensive in the treble.


Fiio says the M11 supports USB audio out using their CL06 type c to micro USB cable. I was able to find 1 user who said they were using USB out

to their Mojo. From reviews I am skeptical that the M11 would be able to drive the ether 2's by themselves






Audio system

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