I spent about 2 hours with a pair of these at a dealer in DE while on a business trip, switching back and forth between an Auralic Taurus Mk. 2 (own one, so familiar) and a McIntosh MHA150 (I own the MHA100, but sounds the same). I wanted desperately to love these cans (they are gorgeous), but I found them a tad bright and fatiguing unfortunately. They had that “HiFi” sound that I don’t unfortunately subscribe to, even though they had miles of detail. They were more “HiFi” sounding on the McIntosh, and a little less so on the Taurus, but still not something that I could live with. For comparison, I own HE1000s (Mk 1), LCD3fs, and LCD2s. They didn’t carry any of these cans there, unfortunately, so I couldn’t do a side-by-side.
While I had never heard Sennheiser HD-800s, which I had always assumed I wouldn’t like from my reading about them, it turns out I enjoyed them way more than the Utopias. I did like them (the HD-800s) better on the McIntosh than the Taurus, which is how I prefer to listen to my 3 sets previously mentioned. With all 3 of them, I find the Taurus to be a tad boring and unemotional relative to my other headphone amps.
Just one man’s opinion. I know a ton of folks love the Utopias.