Jul 3, 2018826 views

How many headphones are too many?

I'm currently at 16 total for cans (7) and IEMs (9). Randomly started thinking about this as I'm going through my current collection for old, barely used sets to sell off. Is there a limit to how many one should own or is collecting in this hobby reasonable? Even though I want to sell stuff off, there's that part of me that's saying, "Keep em'. You'll listen to them in the future. Maybe."
RyCan, GiantHeadphoneSquid, and 10 others

This will depend greatly on your living space and budget. If you want to keep buying new headphones, it can help to sell off some of the older ones to subsidize. Similarly, especially if you are accumulating gear, the space headphones take up can quickly run out. I enjoy collecting headphones, so they have to be particularly dissatisfying or boring to be sold off. Having examples of different transducers and enclosures on hand is wonderful. Our memory for sound really only lasts seconds. . . being able to bust out a Senn 650 just for reference comparison is really useful, even if I don't actually listen to the 650 particularly often these days. I also enjoy the historicity from brands like Koss, Beyerdynamic and of course Sennheiser. I am fortunate to have the spare space, time and money to collect headphones for their own sake; I see no reason to feel bad about the resulting accumulation.
hifiman 4xx beyerdynamic dt770 pro sony MDR-1000x noise cancelling grado Sr80e ATH-MSR7 currently decidong whether to join the drop for HD58x or for 6xxs....not sure what to do. Is it worth to pay 100$ for the 6xxs? Moreover because I could get the HD 650 for about 30$ more than the 6xxs (and with 2 years guarantee). Do you think that the 6xx/650 are worth the extra 100$??. Hint/ I like detailed headphones but I don’t mind a good bass either. Thanks.
i got few the Q35, Q25, M50, Q20, shure215 and i add hd6xx and hd58x which I'm very happy with it....i use emotive a-100 with jumper to drive my hd6xx and hd58x...
This question isn't about how many headphones are too many really. Its how many <insert tool here> you need for the <job>. Its like how some music producers have like 25 different machines, instruments and secret tech they use to produce the music they make. Same thing with headphones and you answered your question yourself pretty well. Your job in your mind is to enjoy the music, the many different genres of music you listen to, so you need all these different headphones. It becomes "too many" when you start listening to people outside of your frame who are jelly of your passion and cool toys.
I only own 2 headphones and 1 headset for gaming that I don't use anymore. All Sennheiser and the collection will grow and grow over time. My first Sennheisers lasted like 10 years till sound went out on the left ear. I could fix and mod these (HD 280 Pro) but too lazy, they sound really nice tho I loved them.
I guess it really depends on how much time you have with them. Recently, i thin down my collections from 19 to 8. I kept more IEM/In Ear as i use them more and have lesser time for full size headphones. If you ain't using or enjoying them, they are just being wasted.. Right now i'm left with..
AKG K702 Sennheiser Momentum Wireless AKG N60NC Wireless
Sennheiser IE80 AKG N40 Nuforce Primo 8 Jaybird Freedom 2 SOUL ST-XS
Sold M220 Pro and a couple of IEM like Momentum In ear, AKG N20U, FiiO FH1, Nuforce EDC, Sony XB75, Sony XBA-300.. Can't possibly listen to all
The interesting thing is I have everything in a rotation. My Shure 846 are my EDC and I usually bring either 2 other IEMs or a closed back with me to work (they change out depending on my mood for the day). At home, I have certain cans I use through my AVR for gaming or watching movies and others through my desktop amps. Truthfully for me, there isn't a headphone I own that doesn't get some ear time a few times a week. I have a very eclectic taste in music and depending on the genre and source, some headphones are just better than others. My one exception is my Focal Elex as I will always find an excuse to listen to those daily no matter the circumstance (usually right before bed). Those are my absolute favorite and just demand me to jam out to something at the end of my day.
That's good! As long as they aren't collecting dust at one corner, you needn't worry about having too many. I thin down my collections cause i only use a particular few. Just like people owning few shoes for different purposes, Work. Weekends. Trekking. Running. I guess it the same for headphones. They each serve a different purpose.
I'm about to hit 50 different units. I plan on minimizing my collection down to the top 10 pretty soon.
I shared the number here's the list:
Beyerdynamic T1 Focal Elex HiFiMan HE-500 Sennheiser HD650 Ultrasone Pro 900 Fostex TH-X00 (MH) Phillips Fidelio X2 Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro SoundMagic HP-150 Sennheiser HD555 (the one that started me down this rabbit hole)
Sony MDR-1000X Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless
Audeze Sine Beyerdynamic DT1350 Grado SR325e Sennheiser PX200-II
Noble x MD K10u Sennheiser IE800 HiFiMan RE-600 Sony MDR-7550 UE Triple-Fi 10 Pro Audio-Technica CKR9 RHA MA750 Vsonic GR07 Vsonic VSD5 MEE M-Duo MEE A151 (2nd gen) Zero Audio Carbo Tenore Fostex TE-02WP Xiaomi Piston III Baldoor/Mrice E100
Sold: Beyerdynamic DT880 - replaced by T1 HiFiMan HE300 v2 - replaced by X2
All get use a few times a year at the minimum. Haven't really touched the Urbanite's nor the Baldoor's in a real long time but one I'm trying to sell and the other is there to remind me that the Hype Train is real.
40 something ..but don't worry, they are all under 50 Euro / Dollar. Had the stupid idea to find the needle in the straw. End of year I will buy my fist more expensive ones ...any recommendations ?
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Well, to hear Musik in a completely different way. An entry drug for beginners. Also equipment if needed. For sure I would not spend 50 000, but let's say from 200 to 500 !? Or do I need 2000 for this experience ? I am a user, not audiophile in the classic way. I am 50. I use to listen to a lot of live music, guitar and singing...neo folk like Counting crows but also a little jazz, pop, even dub ...a wide spectrum. I like a wide stage, clear voice and a warm sound. Any suggestion s or a link to learn the basics of being a " high fidelity person" Sorry for writing this here. Thank you
https://diyaudioheaven.wordpress.com/tutorials/ Does that budget include source/amp?
An important thing to note is that there is no accounting for personal taste. Without knowing what sort of frequency response you like, it is very difficult to give useful advice (easy to give advice that simply appears to be useful, however). Personally, I don't buy anything anymore without first auditioning it, but I realize that's not possible for everyone.
I have auditioned pretty much everything at the Source AV under $3k, which covers most of the usual suspects, including MrSpeakers, ZMF, Sony, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, Focal, Hifiman, Audeze ... might even be missing some. My hands down favorite is the Focal Clear. Some people don't like it, though, and I have to say I'm not really a fan of the Elear for some reason. In your stated price range, my favorites are the TH-x00 and the now-discontinued PM-3, depending on how much bass you want. If you like a brighter headphone, I would go with something from Beyerdynamic; if less bright, then Sennheiser.
20 headphones is too many. I say that because I have 19. That number is subject to change as I acquire more. :-)
"No man should own two headphones, until everyman owns one!" --Comrade Lenin
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Weird. The hat finally makes sense to me...
Well "sharing" is better, but you know how stingy these one-percenters can be!
I want to have one of each type. Which kinda breaks down into the following along with examples:
-open back full size high impedance (HD 600/dt880-600ohm) -closed back full size (ATH-M70x) -open back planar magnetic (Sundara) -closed back portable on-ear (Beats, HD 25) -Dynamic driver IEM (RE-400, NuForce EDC, CA Vega) -Balanced Armature IEM (Massdrop Plus) -Electrostats (Stax, Mr Speakers Voce) -Noise canceling (Bose) -Bluetooth/wireless (Bose again) -Gaming headphone with 3.5mm for modmic (Philips SHP9500)
Which brings it to 10. I don't want to have anything more than this and will sell anything that is in a category with more than 1, keeping the one I think sounds better. Heck, even 10 is excessive and I should probably cut it down to one premium desktop pair and one travel pair.
you need exactly40 because I have 35 and want 5 more once I have all 40 I reserve the right to alter the number
I think the limit is when you run out of space to store them.
Currently in the stable: Beyerdynamic DT990, DT880, and DT1770 Pro

Philips X1 and X2HR
I just got my Sennheiser HD6xx and am awaiting the arrival of the Hi-fi Man HE-4xx.
My Sony WH-1000XM2 rounds out the over-ear headphone department.
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How are you liking the Sony 1000xm2? I've been thinking about picking up a pair since they occasionally go on sale in my country for a little over US$200 new. I'm not sure I really need them... but that's the headphone disease, right?
I really like the Sony's. Extremely convenient, fast paring, excellent sound if your source is good ;) I run them off of my LG V30+ which supports LDAC connectivity and hi bit-rate streaming, so sound is actually quite dynamic. The ANC is ridiculously good, better than my wife's Bose QC25 and my friend's QC35 honestly, but it takes some fiddling with the Sony app to get it just right. My friend and I listened to each others and he said he was jealous.
I'm going through the same dilemma (but maybe to a lesser extent). So far I've decided that if I'm not listening to them anymore, they need to go. But I keep hesitating when it comes to selling them off...
My 'proper listening' headphones: - Sennheiser HD650 - Sennheiser HD6XX - DT880 (250ohm) - Bose QC25 - Shure SRH440 - Fiio F9 Pro - Sennheiser Momentum on-ear
I think I can get this down to just: - Sennheiser HD650 (home) - DT880 (250ohm) (work) - Bose QC25 (travel) - Fiio F9 Pro (portable)
I have lots of other headphones and earbuds (cheap Sennheisers, Jabra wireless, etc) but I'm not going to list them all and they are used for activities where they get rough treatment, so they have a place.
I too have an ever growing collection. my friends look at me weird when I show them...
Amplification - Oppo HA-2 (on the go) - Massdrop Cavalli Liquid Carbon X + SDAC - Schiit Jotunheim
Headphones - Audio Technica ATH-M50 - Audio Technica ATH-M50x - Bose QC35 - Sennheiser HD600 - Sennheiser HD58X - Sennheiser HD6XX - Sennheiser HD800S - Oppo PM-2 - Oppo PM-3 - Audeze iSine 10 - Koss PortaPro - Koss KPH30i - Master & Dynamic MH40 - Beats Studio Wireless 2 (i know...) - Beats urbeats (i know....) - Apple Earbuds
On Order: - Audeze Mobius
I need help. Please someone help.
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No problem at all. And yes, I do own the HE4XX as well. It's markedly different than both the 58X/6XX in a few ways. To me, they have a larger soundstage (albeit not by a huge margin). They're also brighter and have much more dynamic, punchy bass (although they don't have the best low-end extension, it's somewhat 'one-note'). Personally, I like them for their dynamic and bright sound which is a compliment to the "veiled" Sennheisers. I will say they are very power hungry as they're not very efficient. Before casting judgement on them, I would make sure they are properly amped so you're getting all that you can from them. That's why I think so many complain about them due to poor amping.
Personally, I love my Elex much more than the 58X and 6XX and like the HE4XX as a compliment to them. They're both very dynamic and for most of my music choices they pair very well. Neither are neutral and both are quite musical. Which, is right up my alley.
" my friends look at me weird when I show them... " LOL
I own 1 for work and 3 decent ones for use, also I own 1 iem and 2 other junk ones, I am debating on sending out my t20 to get made into argons, 3 more incoming as well. So thats a lot lol ;) so 11 once my new ones are in smh
How many headphones should one own...is an excellent question...tough to answer....relative to your own desires
I have... Senn HD 1 M2 AEBT Senn HD 1 M2 IEBT Senn HD 6XX Mr. Speakers Aeon Flow Open
...& I placed an order for... Fostex TR X00 Ebony Kennerton Magister Pro
When it comes to bicycles, the rule is”n”; where “n+1” is the number where your partner will leave you!
Entirely based on the hobbyist. I am currently at two full sized pairs of headphones and one cheap set of ear Buds. My wife and I share the full sized headphones (HD 58X and HD 558 - me using the HD 58X as she doesn't care as much about sound quality). My daughter also has a few pair of ear Buds, but because she doesn't take care of them she just gets the ones cheapest - comes with a phone purchase? Check. Dollar bin? Check. She will sometimes use the HD 558's, but doesn't like full sized.
It just depends on how much you want to spend and how important it is for you as an individual. Sell them off if you want to. Or don't if you have the space to keep them. Your life. Your choices.
More than 1 headphone and 1 IEM is consider too many. Cause we have only 1 pair of ears. Important is enjoying the music you love. Thus, quality and quantity of music are far more important than cans.
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I'll add them to my queue. Always down for discovering something new so if you have more good suggestions I'm all ears. If it's any help, I'm a huge Dolly Parton fan and do enjoy Willie Nelson from time to time (he can be hit or miss depending on the decade...). Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline are pretty good and stick out to me as well.
I also think Bingham has a lot of potential. I really like the texture of his voice and his cadence as it has a raw quality to it I really enjoy. If he can up his guitar playing and lyrics he could really be amazing overall. I feel like he's stuck between sounding raw and old-school vs. smooth and commercial. I just prefer the former more I suppose.
Bingham also plays a bit with his style from album to album which angers some of his early fans. I found him after he had changed things up a bit and can appreciate his evolution over time. I was/am a Drive-by Truckers fan which is where the Jason Isbell interest comes from. Definitely agree on Willie and 'different decades' bit, his reggae album was interesting but most certainly a touch odd.
...no limits .. HD 800, LCD-2, HE-6, T1, T5p, TH-900, TH-X00, K812, K702 Anni, Q701, RS1i, SR325i, PS1000e, Z7, Elear, SRH-1540/1840, D2000/7000, QP 400, Stax Set 4040II, Lambda Signature, Nova Basic, SA5000, SE846, IE800 ...Started with K500 in 1995...
That's a nice collection, ha. I own or have owned quite a few of these as well.
Thank you. Indeed. It's more than equipment, but passion. Each of them has its right to exist, because they have all their own characteristics that distinguish it from others. e.g. Audioquest Nighthawk: liquid wood, unique look and comfort, bio-cellulose diaphragm , earcups formed for the human ear, 3D-printed grilles, complete package, great sound = must-have in every collection ;-)
never too many if you like it
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I must ask but what is a Squishables? Are they like Beanie Babies?
Look at squishables.com for your answer
I never want more than 3, though I currently have 5 that I know of - Stax SR-009, LFF Code-6, ZMF Ori, ZMF Blackwood, Sennheiser HD 6XX. The Code-6 is getting sold, HD 6XX will be given away since nobody I know wants to buy it (understandably so), and I have no idea what happened to that Superlux HD 681 EVO I bought years ago haha.
I had 3 IEMs and 2 Cans and i need one more can and i am confused between dt 990 or hd 650 cuz i have the m50 (v shape like the 990) and he 4xx (which is near to hd6xx)
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What are your thoughts on 250 v 600 ohm DT990 with the DarkVoice?
It's tough to say, I have a sneaking suspicion BD changed up the "sauce" on the 990 driver and didn't tell anyone. My old silver "potato peeler" 600 ohm was way more piercing at the top end than the brand new black Ltd Ed 250 ohm. Is that a function of the impedance change? I don't know. The 250 ohm also has a bit more bass extension. These headphones are several years apart in manufacture date, so comparing them to each other may be a bit of a fools errand.
I wouldn't put a number on what is 'too much', but any headphone that I really don't get much use out of or ever really ever want to listen to gets let go. If I had to pare down my collection a minimum right now, it would be to these four: STAX L300 Ltds (because they are unlike normal headphones and are top tier level, plus LOVE how they sound), modded Fostex TH-X00PH (bass presence unlike anything else with rich mids and energetic highs), Sennheiser HD58X (what I wanted the HD6XX to be - punchier and more energetic sounding), and Koss KPH30i (awesome portable warm, smooth sounding cans that work for everything, including gaming).
Everything else I could live without: Monolith M1060 (×2), Philips SHP9500(×2), B&O H7, Denon AH-D2000, Fostex TH-X00 MH and second PH modded into a PS, 1 More-Triple Driver Over-Ear, Philips A5 PRO (most horrible comfort, okay sound), AIAIAI TMA-2 (horrible sound quality, bad comfort). Unknowns right now are two I have eventually coming in - Audeze Mobius and Modhouse Argon Mk3s (sent in my T40RP Mk3s, which I do like.) And I'm really interested in the FLC 8S IEMs. While IEMs aren't really my preference at all for music listening, they are unbeatable when you need portability AND isolation on the go - the FLC 8S are also highly tunable for sound signature as well.
The FLC 8S are on my short list as well due to their adjustability and cost. But my friend is letting my borrow his Campfire Vega and honestly, it hits everything that I want out of an IEM. It's unique and nothing I've heard really sounds like it. Just having a hard time trying to convince myself it's worth $1100 despite how enjoyable I find it.
I also feel the same way about the 58X vs the 6XX. A pleasant, cheaper surprise. I also like the gloss black and grey grills more than the blue on the 6XX.
I'd wanted a K10u ever since they launched but they violated my $1000 HP limit (self-imposed). While $900 is not $1100 I can certainly relate to... do I really want to pay that much for IEM's? In my experience I am damn glad I jumped on the massdrop revival of the K10. They are just about everything I want from an IEM (e.g. they sound good with all of my music) and I have no regrets. I say go for the Vega, if it causes you to stop analyzing the gear and just listen to music it's a keeper in my book.
The eternal question. How much is to much?
I take solace in knowing that you have me beat at the moment.
I have 6 sets of headphones and 3 earphones.
Headphones - 6xx, 4xx, m100, SR80, K550, Janra Move Wireless. Earphones - Klipsch x11, Aukey Latitude, Jaybird X2
The only headphones I’m willing to part with at this time are my AKG K550. As for the earphones i could part ways with my Jaybird X2 with no regrets.
I've got 31 pairs when you combine all the various types of HP's. I recognize that I have a problem but that doesn't mean I plan on changing.
Damn. That makes me feel better, ha. I was really lamenting the fact that maybe I really do have too many cans.
Glad I could be of assistance... :) I've sold a few over the years but mostly those that received a direct replacement. Sold the HE300 for an X2, Sold the DT880 for a T1 etc...
To answer the headline, however many you think! Those kinds of numbers aren't unusual for collectors, and I bet a lot of folks around here have way more than that (I'm in the same ballpark as you). Reasonable is in the eye of the beholder.
Some part of the fun in the hobby is appreciating the differences between models. It's hard to do that without owning several different ones. There are also different use cases to meet - travel, outdoors, movies, critical listening, etc.
If you are enjoying them, and you can afford them, then keep them. If not, save your favorites, let the rest go and move on.
I think I'm going to get a kick out of the responses you get. I see the vultures are already gathering!
Yeah, as silly as it is, I have each set for genre's or activity: movies, music, gaming, travel, work, etc. I've discovered more and more there isn't one "perfect" set and they all have their flaws in some way. My IEMs for example, as much as I love them for work and travel, absolutely suck when gaming or watching movies when compared to an over-ear.
Yeah, totally agree. Either we don't have too many headphones, or we've worked out a really good, logical sounding way to deceive ourselves into believing we don't have a problem :)
What are you intending to sell? Inquiring minds would like to know
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Can do. Once my new sets come in, I'm going to reassess some things and throw it all up on eBay.
Let me know first please bby