Adjustments to the $1000+ Circumaural Open Wall of Fame
The new Mr. Speakers Ether Flow and Focal Utopia and Elear have rocked my world...and the Wall of Fame. All three of these headphones have very good tonal balance. At this point, I see no reason to leave any headphones in the Circumarural, open, $1000+ headphone category that don't have excellent tonal balance and are free of serious flaws. Even though I think the headphones being removed are very good headphones, I think the bar has been significantly raised, and above $1000 the headphones should remain competitive or be removed from the Wall of Fame.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S is being removed for lack of bass extension and response. I think Sennheiser did a good job updating this headphone, but its somewhat thin and analytical nature significantly detracts from its otherwise exemplary characteristics such as its deep, wide imaging or superb transient response.
The HiFiMAN HE1000 remains a charming headphone and provides a very relaxed listening experience, but in the end it fails to have the tonal balance and dynamism of the new headphones.
The Mr. Speakers Ether is being replace by the new Mr. Speakers Ether Flow.
The Stax SR-009 will remain on the Wall of Fame until such time as I am able to properly survey again contenders in this area.
That is all.