-First time?

I have been using SHP9500s as daily drivers for a few years now and I'm looking to upgrade into the $150-$200 range, and its troublesome.

I've had access to a few different headphones in that range, as well as a few higher, and one big conclusion I've come to is that these headphones were an incredible fucking deal, and nearly perfect for gaming as a concern, though I know things can get much better.

There are a lot of deals at this range too, and I can currently get ~$200 headphones for $99-$135 (HD 599, X2HR, DT 990, 58X) with the 6XXs being the only "high" deal up at $195, but they're a rebrand of a $400-$500 headphone making them a deal even at full price...

If you asked what my more endgame set would be, from my research and personal experience, it'd be the DT 1990 Pros (looks wise too), as long as I could get them under 500. This is an easy stopping point for me given that I HATE spending big money, and I'd have to be absolutely rich to spend much more on ONE PIECE of a 3+ piece setup (DAC/AMP, etc.) and the fact that I really like to spread money around to my different hobbies. Honestly I have "end game" pieces from other aspects of my life that I still have back burnered from a decade+ ago, so who knows if ill ever own 500 headphones, let alone follow any "there is no endgame" mentality, though I completely get it.

Of the current options, with the 599s being a limited deal, and the X2s being volatile in the past, I just wish there were any clear answers. People who over paid will never allow $99-$200 headphones to be made comparable in the public eye to their $350-$500 purchase, even when its completely subjective, or they're extremely similar, and people getting amazing deals want those deals to seem as crazy as possible. Add in tonnes of personal preference, brand bias, sales pitches and the like, and its next to impossible to make decisions on how much any pay increase is realllly worth...

My own mental issues when it comes to solidifying decisions don't help what so ever, but I honestly start to hate whatever hobby culture I currently have to filter through to get whatever upgrade I'm looking to get in my life, and it's an endless cycle as components break or get old, or I get bored and the sales all start dropping.

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