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


Why would I think your opinion of a headphone is a put down to me personally?

Yes the Grado headphone amp is a simple amp and not worth over $400. That however does not mean it doesn’t sound good. Simple does not mean it sounds bad.

Also if you didn’t give the Grado headphones a proper audition how do you know they have mediocre sound?

I am by no means a Grado fanboy. I own and have owned countless different brands and models. The SR-60 is for me where it all began. We all have a soft spot for our first.

Take care.


A few years ago I purchased the Sony XB50s from Best Buy and I was amazed at how good they sounded and how good the passive noise cancelling was for earbuds. I had no prior experience with headphones other than the earbuds you get with an IPhone. Now that I have somewhat better gear I laugh at myself for liking those so much. :grin:


For me, Sure SE530. I could drive them loud enough with anything I put them in. that was huge. The single easiest pair of headphones to drive to date IMO. Even easier to drive than the 535! Next oh wow moment, Sure SE-846! Yes I had the 535 too. All baught right here from headphone.com! All per suggestions from Mike or just reading and trusting that they knew what they were talking about. Other wow moment? Campfire Audio Vega. also love the atlis too! I use the SE846, Vega and Atlis daily. Love them all! Forgot about the Fostex Th-600, which while kept me very wowed for a while now adays it is too much on the base. and mids lack. but a for a while also baught from headphone.com, those wowed me too!


I apologize for my last post and it was not my intention to put anyone down. I have auditioned Grado HP’s, but it was at an audio dealers and I wasn’t allowed, for obvious reasons, to bend or adjust them to optimize them for my head so perhaps my audition was flawed. The most important thing to keep in mind, and I’m am more guilty than many, is it isn’t about the gear; it’s about the music.and if Grado’s gear takes to that magic place, then more power to you.


Yesterday, I was visiting my 90 year old parents, and we were sitting around the table with an iphone, searching for songs relating to the states and/or Canadian provinces.

We hit on two winners - Judy Garland and Bing Crosby singing Connecticut, and Leadbelly singing “Alberta” (yes, I know it’s about a person and not the province). Even on the iPhone the glory of the music came through.

We also found the funniest song title ever - from some drunk scottish bar band in Newfoundland.

“You Look Like I Need a Drink.”


Late 80’s as I was finishing up college and did not have room for a big rig. I heard/borrowed a pair of Stax Lamdas and an adapter/energizer driven with an Adcom GFA535 and a CD player.

I remember listening to Cowboy Junkies and thinking it would never get any better.

The Stax were out of my price range at the time but at least I knew what to listen for going forward :slight_smile:



You were always hearing - you just weren’t listening. I envy your musicianship. You always had the experience of listening to live music. You can always tell when a musician finally puts him or her self in the audience shoes. Listen to ANY Stones album before “Their Satanic Majesty’s Request” Then listen to that album. They started to really hear what they were doing. Probably because they LISTENED to the Beatles “Sargent Pepper”.


Back in 1988 Sennheiser. Do not recall the model, but it was in the middle of the prise range. Second holy crap moment was my Grado 125 15 years down the road.


Oppo PM-3. I still have never found a headphone with precise imaging and placement to match it. When listening to a live recording, you not only can tell exactly where every member of the orchestra is, but when someone coughs in the audience you know exactly where they are sitting. Amazingly realistic soundstage.

RIP, Oppo Digital.


I hear ya for sure!


Shure SE530’s for me. Still listen to them as my defaults.



That’s what I thought I could tell in Cannonball Adderly’s Mercy, Mercy, Mercy album when I listened with my Stax, or heard it on Martin Logan speakers or other high end equipment. You were “Live at the Club” and there was an occasional cough or hint if ice in a glass. For years, the recording was thought of as one of the best live recordings.

Eventually it was revealed to be very very good studio trickery :wink:


Grado SR60’s.

That’s what got me and my wallet into this whole mess of sonic goodness. :grin:


First wow was in 2012 with AKG K240 MKII
then in 2015 with K240DF.
No holy crap moment until 2017. Then I got DT-250.

I couldn’t be more satisfied. :slight_smile:


Was it the size that made them uncomfortable?


For me it’s the LCD-2 and Burson Conductor. Audio bliss!


For me it was the LCD-2 fazor. My first good pair of cans besides the M40x was the HD650 which blew me away but the LCD-2 made me say “holy sh*t”. It’s like that headphone was made for metal haha


I will 2nd the Lcd-2 Audeze makes great things. I love my is in 20s. Not too far off from the Lcd2s. Of course the Lcd2s excel in bass.


Stax SR404 back in about 2008. It made all regular dynamic cans seem like a pretentious attempt at sound reproduction. I regret not buying the system on the spot as the exchange rate went against me soon after.


I currently have a Stax SR404 running from a Stax 006t tube energizer and it was the first time I realized what the electrostat magic was all about…the treble. As soon as you hear an estat you quickly realize there is something unique and weird going on with the sound that you have never heard before. It was hard to place exactly what that was. But the moment I put on “Reckoner” by Radiohead as soon as those cymbals start crashing it was the first time I couldn’t tell I was listening to a recording and it felt like the drums were playing live in the room with me. That was a trippy and mind blowing experience.