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


Mine were the HD 650’s as well. I burned in my X-Can V3 headphone amplifier with the headphones attached on continuous play for something like 2 weeks I think it was (it was a while ago now) and I was so impressed. What if I did the same thing with my STAX SR-009’s? No point really because I heard burn in doesn’t work for electrostatic phones. But then again does it work at all even for dynamics?


The HD650’s did it for me. I still have the pair I bought in 2004. Since then the HD800’s replaced them as my day to day favorite but I still enjoy my HD650’s.


I’ve always found mid’s to be overlooked in everything from headphones/speakers to the mix at live performances!


The HD650 wowed me at first but the Utopia was the headphone that made me cream myself repeatedly. So good until I bought a pair myself.


I’m abble to use supra-aural: I tried but didn’t succeed… only circum-aural headphones…


Mine was the Sony XBA-4s. Until it broke because of poor quality. Been trying to find a replacement (something of the in-ear audiophile kind but not Sony). Sound quality was pretty impressive. Not very well built.


when I was around 12 I heard the hd 800s hooked up to an extremely high end amp(don’t remember what it was lol) and I was hooked to the hobby. Then several years later I bought the meze 99 classics and I definitely had that wow moment. I had heard the Oppo pm-3s the Audeze el-8 the Audio Technica msr-7 and countless others but when I tried the mezes it felt like all the others were just plain boring. Not because they weren’t great cans but because the mezes has a certain life to them that set them apart


Audio Technica ADX500. Awesome open air headphone.


I suppose the first headphones that made me go wow were the HD650’s running through a Matrix Hpa-3u. It really opened them up and it’s when I truly heard what they are capable of.


I’m rarely blown away when I hear new headphones … in fact, I’m nearly always disappointed by headphones when I buy them until the psychological (or physical) break-in period is over. So the first headphones that ever made me say [something that I would never actually say] were probably almost the first headphones I ever heard. Back in the pioneering days of personal stereo my father bought me a nice little FM radio with those typical generic ‘phones with the sprung metal headband and orange ear pads. Listening to Dire Straits’ “Private Investigations” on that thing blew my mind.


STAX Lambda


Probably the first Stax I heard SR/X ? or SR/3 not sure which really. listening to Al DiMeola…wow.
I had the opportunity to listen to the original Sennheiser Orpheus, phenomenal but to be honest the price wiped away any Wow or Holy Crap moment as I knew I would never be able to (or want to) afford them.
Now my 64 Audio U4SEs wow me


So far, it was the Sennheiser HD600. The day they arrived from Amazon, I just had to try them with a Carpenters song that I know well and can identify issues in the sound. Of course that’s not the only music I tried - just the first. I was hooked! I think I spent the entire rest of the day listening to a variety of music, video, and beer bottles opening. I REALLY want to try out the 800s in the not-too-distant future. This forum kind of threw my schedule off, though. I’ve been reading about great headsets that I didn’t even know existed until I got here. Now the 800s isn’t the only ones I want to try. Thanks for all the great content.


I apologize, Darron, but I misspoke earlier. I actually have the SE 530s, which I’ve owned for many years.

For my money, they are still top performers. I’d been reading some really outstanding reviews of the Audeze ISINE 20s which prompted me to do an extended side-by-side comparison with my SE 530s at the local hi-fi emporium.

I will admit that the ISINEs offered some enhanced detail and accuracy on the high end. Elsewhere, differences were much harder to discern. In the end though, they just weren’t enough of an improvement to justify the purchase. So from that perspective, I see the money I spent on the SE 530s as an excellent investment indeed, and would enthusiastically recommend their successor as a leading candidate in this price range. If possible, I’d suggest giving the ISINE 10 or 20 a listen as well. It may be the case that you would find the ISINE 10 to be an outstanding choice for a couple hundred less than either of the others.


The Koss Pro AAA way back in 1968.

Then after years of no headphones it was the AKG K601 in 2009. One of the most neutral phones I ever heard. Used it to mix and listen to music. Sorry Day when it died. AKG discontinued it.


Stax SRD-34 back in 1983, it really was a WOW experience for me coming from only hearing speaker systems.


Hi, sorry to chime in late.

There is an actual real benefit to heavy (heavyweight) Canz. Any Canz.

With light weigh headphones the thing is…

Acoustic Mass Tranfer Loss…

Based on Newton’s “Third Law of Motion”

Floating in micro gravity…
The driver housing is same mass as the diaphragm.
Nothing to stop everything moving opposite equally to the diaphragm. Canceling out all sound.

Bottom octave bass has large acoustic mass. Ie. moves air.
Lightweight headphones can’ put up resistance, so as to piss away <50hz quite easily.

Big as heavy heavyweights Canz do. !!!
The mass of the housing puts up resistance to the acoustic mass attempting to be projected. Thus making deeper, tighter, bass, with less magnetic flux distortion.

Potentially better bass however…
All thing considered…

Dare to be fat! Fat is were it’s at!


My neighbor, who was 13 years older than me (I was in my low teens), let me try his Superex headphones back in the 60’s.
I soon owned a pair which I used to death.
For wow factor- it was the Sennheiser HD650s.
it’s been uphill ever since.


An old-timer, so this goes back to the seventies: Koss Pro4A. I think they still make them.

Now loving Grado GH1 and Shure SE846.


After the included single one ear earphone included with a Boy Scout radio kit in the early 50s I bought a $2 WW2 surplus Navy? HS33 headset and used with a ham station for years. Then in late 60s, 4 decades of audiophile system with speakers until iPod rediscovery then iems with Etymotics and Shure SE530. Rediscovered headphones with Sony 7506, Senn 280Pro, ATX50s.
At age 78, with hearing maxed out at 7khz, guess I’m a basshead-not by choice. Do I need more?