The Battle Of The Flagships

Welcome to the Battle Of The Flagships 2022 by Ear Fidelity.

The bass is pretty essential in any audio device, including headphones. While often being overlooked by audiophile newbies, probably as a way to rebel against all of these mainstream bass-heavy headphones, it’s certainly a very important aspect of the sound.

You see, I met a lot of people that told me once that they hate bass. I was one of them at one point as well, where I was so tired of mainstream headphones that getting something bass-light like the Akg K701 felt like the perfect getaway. Fast forward a few years and here I am, really appreciating a good bass response in my headphones. It’s not THE most important of course, but a good bass makes me have more fun with audio, just like it was something new and fresh, which is ironic.

This is a high score for the CZ-1 in this comparison, and for a good reason. The bass response is actually the best aspect of the Crosszone CZ-1. It has a good slam, good dynamics, and is pretty linear in comparison to the rest of the frequency response. While this is by no means a great bass response, I have to give credit when it’s due. Keep in mind though that this is a rather big type of bass.

The bass response of the 8xx is a mixed bag. It has a very nice kick to it, it’s physical and big, but it gets boomy and too forward quite often. This might not be a bad thing for many, as a slight emphasis on the bass frequencies might be something that you’re looking for, but it has to be noted. The competitors offer better control and resolution to the bass, while also being fun and full-bodied.

The bass response of the HEDDphone is very detailed and agile, but it’s not class-leading. While it has that electrostatic-like detail and pace, it’s not AS snappy as the competition. At the same time, the HEDDphone comes up at somewhat limited in attack and impact, sounding a bit too gentle when compared to the rest of the lineup, especially the Diana Phi. It’s a good headphone when it comes to the bass, but not the best.

By many, the biggest problem of the Empyrean was its bass response, and I agree with that statement. The Elite is a straight-up improvement over the Empyrean in every aspect, and the bass response has also been significantly improved. The Elite sports a saturated and punchy low-end, and it only lacks a bit of dynamics and rumble. It sounds just a hair too soft and easy-going, but it’s often desirable. Actually, when I just want to chill and get lost in the music, the bass response of the Elite is one of my favorite.

Yay, the Susvara won’t win every single category regarding the sound quality! And it actually won’t beat the cheaper HE1000se as well, which is really interesting.
Well, scoring 8 points means that they both have an extraordinary bass response, but they’re not perfect. The Susvara is just too bass-light on most amplifiers. Of course, connected to something crazy high-end and powerful it gets astonishing, but it wouldn’t have been fair to rate the bass response only using Summit-Fi amplifiers. While using more “down to earth” equipment, the Susvara generally lacks just a bit of body and is simply too soft.
On the other hand, the bass response of the Final D8000 Pro is very neutral and highly technical, but its sub-bass delivery is somewhat subdued. Overall, the D8000 Pro lacks a little bit of excitement and musicality in comparison to the best out there, hence scoring “only” 8 points, even though technically it’s one of the best bass responses out there.

This category was pretty close, but these two headphones just came up as the best from the lineup.
The HE1000se wins with the Susvara mainly due to its more pronounced presentation and better physicality in the bass response, having all the details and amazing resolution to pair with it. This is one of the best bass responses in headphones and it’s just a joy to listen to.
The bass of the Abyss Diana Phi is extreme, just like the rest of these headphones. Abyss makes the most extreme sounding headphones in the high-end market and the Diana Phi is the perfect example of it. It has the best attack, slam, and dynamics from the whole lineup. While both the 1000se and the Diana Phi are NOT the most technical in the bass response, they both have that perfect blend of different aspects to create an almost perfect low end.

Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: Contenders
Page 3: Presentation
Page 4: Build Quality & Comfort
Page 5: Tone
Page 6: Detail
Page 7: Soundstage
Page 8: Bass
Page 9: Midrange
Page 10: Treble
Page 11: Musicality
Page 12: Value
Page 13: Results


  1. Great review! Pitty so many are missing – LCD-5, CRBN, DCA Stealth, Staxxes, Utopia, T+A Solitaire…

    • Thanks Peter!

      Yeah, but I’ll get all of them eventually and will constantly update this 😀

      Thank you again and enjoy your time here.

  2. Great idea, well executed, but one small item please. Why not use the real Sennheiser HD800S as it is a headphone that many folks in the headphone community know and love (or hate) but at least it is a widely known data point. The Drop is comparatively unknown and had a lot of poor reviews due to the many variations in tuning. This has ruined your hard work and effort, sorry.

    • Hi Ian!

      Thank you very much for your comment, I really appreciate all the feedback 🙂

      While I definitely wouldn’t call that it “ruined” the hard work, I might get the 800S eventually to include it in the comparison as well. The more, the better. The 8XX is a rather fresh release and I’ve got it here, so it was natural for me to include it and see how it scores.

      Thank you for your feedback and hopefully I’ll be able to get the 800S in the future. Enjoy your time here 🙂

  3. This is one hell of a comparison of top and upermost earphones around. Keep up the highest mountines of our ears Pawel!

    • Thank you Kris, I’m glad you like it! I’ve mentioned this article so many times to you that there was quite an expectation I believe haha 😀

  4. Dear Pawel,

    It was a refreshing read of a comparison. I was in the market to see if I wanted to get one of the headphones you compared here and your article just made the decision for me! Keep up the great work and looking forward to future updates on this summit-fi shootout!

    • Thank you very much Kelvin, this really means a lot to me!

      I’m glad it helped you with your decision. What headphone did you choose in the end?

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