What was the first pair of headphones that made you say HOLY CRAP?


Ahh the walkman. Remember when the main differentiator was the amount of skip protection a portable CD player had?


I’m a big fan of the NightHawks too.


The first time it was the Hifiman HE400i. The second time it was the Utopia.


SDR modded HD800 through a WA22. I didn’t really know what soundstage was until I heard this setup.


Was going to ask the same question


What an excellent question to ask :slight_smile: So which headphones got me hooked? It must be, for me, the late 80’s Sony Turbo’s with my bright yellow Sony walkman. At that point I had my first “holy crap” moment, especially the bass tones got me going.
Years past and with a tight budget I tried a pair of Sennheiser HD25, next “Waow” moment for me, which started my path towards less money for food more for HiFi :). I had great listening sessions with those HD25, but I wanted a more portable solution, hence next pair of headphones were the In-Ear Sure-215 a new high was reached. Unfortunately the headphone cable broke at a time where the new Sure products came out and the old were set on sale (if you can call it that). Anyway the were cheaper… so I came to own a set of Sure-425 - WAOW what a sound. To this day it hurts me to recall, when I accidentally through them on the street (had them in my lap while driving). That really hurt! So, for now, I’m back with the 215… And getting inspired for a new pair on Headphones.com, and now this forum :slight_smile:


I remember when auto reverse (the ability to play the second side of a cassette without physically turning it around) on my cassette tape walkman was a huge deal!

I will admit that even though I have owned Stax setups, the biggest thrill for me is uncovering a hidden gem. This hobby is easy to throw money at, but the satisfaction for me now is discovering the latest SR-60.


I’m still looking for the ‘wow’ moment. I’ve been through quite a few rounds but everything is still too much ‘in my head.’ Etymotic ER4s, Sennheiser HD 580, HiFiMan HE560 and a bunch off lesser offerings that someone, somewhere, recommended as amazing. I’ve plugged them into Bel Cantos, Parasound, Schiit and Headroom Max amps and DACs; yet, all just sound good but not wow.

HOLY CRAP (for now): Dragonfly and Thinksound ON2. Love what they do for $240. Pound for pound, they beat the ‘holy crap’ out of my more expensive hear gear.

Anyone else still looking for ‘wow?’


There’s just something about them…



I was in college at the time. A friend who was into a bit of everything mentioned that open back headphones were supposed to sound the best. I didn’t know what he was talking about so did some research. That’s how I found HeadWize.

I went to the local hi-fi shop and listened to a pair of SR-60’s. My life was never the same again. As luck would have it, Alessandro Music was introducing their line of headphones at the time - based on Grado models. I bought a pair of MS-1’s on sale. I still have them to this day - the box, receipt, everything! Every once in a while I take them out and listen to them.

Incidentally, one of my coworkers has a sister who was interested in getting better headphones and was considering a pair of Audeze planars. I lent her my pair of LCD-XC’s to get an idea of the ‘house sound.’ When I got them back, my coworker said her sister put them on and listened to some music. After a while she put them down and uttered, “My life has changed.”

It felt nice bringing someone new to the obsession… er, I mean hobby.


My first “holy crap” moment was when I ordered the Sennheiser 300cx. It blew me away with the way all exterior sounds was blocked. I found out later it was a PC magazine Editor’s Choice pick.


Introducing people to awesome headphones is always a pleasure! Its one of the reasons that Andrew and I started up headphones.com.

Although once you’re in the headphone world its like a drug habit with the only unhealthy side effect being your bank balance constantly at zero haha.

I’m definitely a fan of the Audeze house sound but until the MX4 I could never keep a pair on my head long enough to justify purchasing a pair.


I heard the Clears and the Clear Professionals side by side with identical equipment and couldn’t tell a difference. The importer was there and said that they were the same except for the color and cabling that comes with each. I suspect the price difference derives from the spare earpads and the 5m cable included with the peofessionals. I purchased the Professionals as the imported said he had 360 backorders and was only receiving 60 a month.


Yes we have had trouble keeping the Clears in stock and haven’t even received our first shipment of the pros. Back in March Focal was backordered about 2000 units on the Clears and we are startimg to see a couple arrive from France this month.

Good to know its just a color swap and some extra accessories!


You talking about the weight of their over-ears?


Koss Pro 4 AA. I used them in the music library at St. Olaf College in 1978-82. There weren’t many good headphones available at that time. I thought these sounded good at the time. But they were PAINFUL after a short time! And it seemed like the “pads” (if you could call them that) deflated over time.


Grados were it for me, too. It too was a revelation - never knew you could get such a clear, clean sound out of such a small can.


Old pair of sennheisers…back in high school (1975). Full over the ear closed and I loved them. I keep experimenting with ear bud style but end up with the full over the ear. It’s an issue in the summer when you sweat, but for me I like the comfort and sound.


My first headphones that really showed me what music is supposed to sound like and hooked me on sound quality were monster n-pulse over ear headphones. The power of the sound that I got from these and the sounds I heard that I never heard before was just phenomenal. Which is why I now spend so much money on speakers and headphones


Believe it or not, it was when I went from stock in-ear back in 2005-ish to BOSE triports. I didn’t realize how much of a difference spending $ on headphones made. Granted, I know how the general populace thinks of BOSE now, but back then it was a revelation to me.