https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-koss-esp-95x-electrostatic-system A while back, @CEE TEE in phone conversation spoke with me about trying to sell the ESP950 electrostatic headphone from Koss. We talked about pricing, tweaks, etc. Well now we have it, at a rather unexpected $499. I actually thought the price would be more like $599 or $649, but $499 is a steal. Keep in mind there is this thing called inflation too. The major difference with the Massdrop ESP95X version is that the pads are different. The regular ESP950 has very comfortable pads. The only downside is that the pleathery material gets all icky with sweat - really quickly. In fact, I am suffering from this as I write this post in SoCal (switching over from ESP950 to ESP95X now). Here is a photo ot the ESP950 pad. We can definitely see how these pads can be a sweat magnet. Massdrop x Koss ESP95X pad is foam. In this warm weather I'm currently in, it's actually quite nice. The pads do change the frequency response, which I will post later. My subjective sense is that there is also a bit more openness with the foam pads. Other than the pads, we just have a few details changed, like the lettering on the headphone and the amp. The ESP950 has "ESP/950" in a red background at the top of the cups (not shown). The ESP95X has "ESP/95X ELECTROSTATIC". Just like the ESP950, the Massdrop x Koss ESP95X comes with an amp too. So for $499, you get a legitimate electrostatic headphone and a dedicated amp (energizer or whatever) that goes with it. All we need is a source. I know that a lot of the STAX aficionados may poo-poo this Koss amp, but it's actually pretty good. (I prefer it to some lower end STAX amps). I mean, if you are running modest Schiit or Topping gear under $800 or so, you are not going to be missing anything, so don't get neurotic. At this level in the game, spend the money on the best transducer that you can get your hands on. You'll need to spend at least $1200 for a STAX amp to do better than the included Koss amp. Get any STAX amp that costs less, and all you are doing are side-grading or worse. On the other hand, if you are a audiophile with deep pockets, the ESP95X will scale up to bigger and badder amps. Try an SRM-727 or BHSE. Heck, I immensely enjoyed the ESP950 on my T2DIY during the time I had it. Sure the ESP950 didn't scale as much as the SR009, but it still did scale - and in any event, I hated the tonal presentation of the SR009 anyway, so the ESP950 got way more headtime - but I digress. Keep in mind what else $499 can buy yo: A Grado RS2 or an HD660S (both without a amp), and neither of these headphones really better than the ESP95X. I am heavily psyched because the ESP950 had always been very well respected at the predecessor site www.changstar.com and I am glad to see it selling at a price which if affordable to many hobbyists. I kind of feel that even if we don't want to go down the STAX route, we should at least pick this up to get something truly complementary to our dynamics or orthos.