Recommendation for Headphones

My current rig is a Lumin U1 mini feeding a Intona isolation unit feeding a Chord Qutest DAC feeding a Primaluna evo300 integrated amp with tube upgrades.

I use Goldenear Triton 1r speakers.

What would be a good headphone for this setup.  Would like to keep it under 2500 if possible.   Thanks Much



I like Kennerton Magni’s for closed backs

Or spend more for high level Focals. They are sweet.

Quad ERA for open backs.

It depends on how much of your listening session desires to mingle with the outside world.

Any request for recommendations needs to specify this parameter or lack of interest. Impedance is also important if you shop for a dedicated HP amp.


The new circumoral RAAL CA-1a Naked is $2K. The Schitt JR amp specifically made for both the SR1a and CA-1a is $500.A total cost of $2500. Though there is an optional $400 headphone cable that works better than stock with the JR.

Shop • RAAL-requisite (

If you do not want the JR and want to use the Prima Luna (not sure if it has enough power). I have an extra  $500 amp interface box to join your Prima Luna to the headphones. I can sell that to you for $250


I have moved my RAAL VM-1a amp ($7K) to the same bedroom as my Schitt JR amp. Last night I played some Led Zeppelin on the VM-1a | CA-1a | Benchmark DAC3B DAC. Let me put it this way, $100K+ 2-channel systems are almost as good as this combo for Zeppelin. Read the the following thread if this sounds like BS. These guys on the linked thread do not have the better and cheaper gear I am talking about.

RAAL-requisite SR1a Has Landed - Headphones & Speakers - Audiophile Style

The $500 Schitt amp is good and a gateway drug to the VM-1a amp.

I had my VM-1a amp in my office but that was not ideal because I would get too distracted listening to music and could not work (it is too good). I also have the more 2-channel like RAAL SR1a headphones.

In my office I use 2-channel gear to drive my SR1a. The total cost of the gear (excluding the SR1a) is about $25K. It is NOT as good as the VM-1a amp and it will never be better even if I spent a million dollars. Technical details that can be explained if interested. The Schitt JR is not as good as my 2-channel gear on the SR1a, but it is not terrible either.

I do not have the proper adapter to play the CA-1a on my 2-channel office gear, I can only play the SR1a there.




I would recommend Focal… maybe Clear. I own Utopias. They are exceptionally easy to drive and have excellent sound quality.

One reason I wouldn’t get carried away buying super expensive headphones is using the output from the Rogue might be an inferior output. Some outstanding very high end integrated amps have low power / poor quality headphone outputs. I don’t know this… But in every case I tried, a separate high quality headphone amp has been vastly superior. Perhaps someone here in the forum has done comparisons. It is very possible that say a Woo WA6SE and a set of $1,000 Focals would sound much better than better Focals powered directly from the Rouge. You can see my headphone system under my ID.


I also have Audez LCD, Sennheiser HD800, Beyerdynamic T2 (incredibly musical… but harder to drive). Denon 5000.

You’re gonna get recommendations all over the place unless you share what sound characteristics are most important to you.  Also, can you use open-back headphones that leak sound into the room or do you need closed-back so as not to bother others or to seal out outside noise?

You are correct.  sound characteristics, I like bottom end, not bloated but tight and deep.  I know headphones will never match speakers but would like something impactful.   I can use open-back or closed-back.   Thanks


What about mids, treble, warm versus more neutral, soundstage/imaging, etc.?  What kind of music do you tend to listen to?  The more info you give the more targeted and useful the recommendations will be. 

Since i have a tube amp, i like a more warm overall sound.   kind of music everything but in order of priority i would say

classic rock


"new" rock


trip hop

hip hop




Thanks, that helps a lot. You should take a look at Audeze ‘phones, and if bass impact/slam is important you might prefer their closed-back models but by all means try open backed too as the soundstage tends to sound more open and expansive so it’s just trade offs based on your personal preferences. You’ll definitely need a separate headphone amp to drive them properly and I’d recommend the Singxer SA-1 fully-balanced, Class A amp that I own and use with Hifiman Arya ‘phones to great effect and would fit well with your stated preferences. It’s $599 on Amazon, but here’s a very nice used unit for $445(or maybe less if you feel lucky bidding) if you’re open to buying used…

If you’d prefer a tube amp the Quicksilver amp is excellent and retails for $1200 but can be had used around $850 if you’re patient. Anyway, just some options to explore, and best of luck in your search.

If you like a warm sound the OLD Meze Empy is a very nice headphone, but it pales in comparison to the RAAL ribbon. The ribbon is likely too bright for someone that likes it toasty.

Used Meze Empy could be going for a nice low price these days since Meze has a new top model. The new model is brighter than the former top dog, Empy.


+1 @soix on Audeze. For what you de@mlapenta you might be really happy spending much less than the amount you specified. The Audeze LCD-2F costs significantly less than the LCD-3, but it might suit your sonic tastes better if you like it a bit on the warmer side with a softer top. Allocate $300-400 on a quality aftermarket cable and the rest towards a headphone amp if you do not have one that will drive the Audeze to perform its best. The LCD-4 is also worth listening to, but you’ll have to find it used to reach your price. 

BTW, I bought both my headphones as open box items — one from a reputable dealer on Amazon (Gramophone) and the other direct from Hifiman and in both cases it worked out great as both were as new and I saved hundreds of $$$.  FWIW. 

I agree with the recommendations for Audeze for the type of sound you described. 

I'd throw Hifiman into the mix also.  Similar sound signature, a little more neutral and depending on which model, can be lighter than many of the Audeze models. 

It's important to take comfort into your purchase decision.  I love the sound of my LCD-4, but they are heavy buggers! 

The Sony MDR-Z1R has great bass and is in your budget.  They are very comfortable.  They compare favorably to my LCD-4.

Just fyi, in another post a member was looking for similar sound characteristics and I also recommended Audeze to him, but he actually ended up preferring the overall sound of the Hifiman Arya and went with those instead, which kinda surprised me as the Arya is more neutral sounding with less bass emphasis (although still very solid, quick, and tight bass) relative to Audeze IME.  Just goes to show nothing replaces an audition if you can swing it. FWIW.

Open back headphones generally won't produce the deep bass that you'll be used to with your speakers unless you use EQ. If you end up feeling you're lacking in low end response, take a look at closed backs.


Given how your speakers measure, you might prefer headphones that follow the Harman target response such as the AKG K371 or Dan Clark Audio Stealth.

Thanks all for help 

went with HIFIMAN HE1000 V2  gonna add moon audio black dragon cable unless you folks have a better cable  need 15 feet 

Ooh you bugger! As mentioned earlier I’ve got the Arya Stealths and lust after the HE1000v2s. Congrats!!! What headphone amp are you using because that will be key to cable matching?

I am using my PrimaLuna evo300 integrated amp for this purpose and was planning on MoonAudio black dragon cable



The Moon cable is designed for a warm, musical presentation, so the only concern would be if between that and your amp if that may or may not be too much of a good thing?  If you’d rather just pass on the sound characteristics your amp produces you might want to consider something more neutral sounding like this…

I use this with my Arya Stealths and Class A solid state headphone amp and find it to be very balanced and neither too warm or too bright sounding — nothing stands out over anything else in the sonic spectrum.  Which would be right for you I’ve absolutely no idea, and as we all know cables can be a crapshoot as to how they’ll perform in any individual system but just thought I’d pass this on FWIW,

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