Eskuche Kassette BRG "Walkmen" Style Headphone - Metallic Red (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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|Headphones Form Factor||On Ear|
|Headphones Jack||3.5 mm|
About this item
- Light weight, on-ear headphone with a thin, durable, adjustable aluminum headband
- Custom designed single touch controller for seamless play/pause + answer/end technology
- Spongy foam ear cushion for prolonged comfort
- Premium woven cloth cording to prevent tangling
- Compatible with iPod/iPhone/iPad and other music output devices
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Kassette is an ode to the beginning-the renaissance of sharing music and the friendship bond it fostered in creating the mixtape. As the technology of the 70s became more lightweight and easy to transport, the demand for mobile listening devices like the cassette player boomed. Kassette is our tribute to the days of the Walkman and all they symbolized. An agile, small, on-ear-style headphone that utilizes durable industrial materials to maintain both sonic high fidelity and a contemporary aesthetic. Keeping to the eskuche design DNA, the Kassette incorporates our unique CD-textured ear cup construction and woven cloth cable, and merges it all with modern-day functionality. The pivoting speaker driver mechanism for adjustable on-ear fit, the mic answer/end button, which adds iPod/iPhone/iPad compatibility, and the adjustable aluminum headband allow the smallest of our headphones to pack just as much of a punch as the others.
Top reviews from the United States
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Sound quality - this is probably going to read rather harshly, but keep in mind the price point. They actually sound pretty good. Starting at the bottom, the bass is a touch north of neutral, but it's not wildly overblown or overpowering. They're far from lean-sounding, but hardcore bassheads will not be happy. They aren't going to reach subterranean depths, but they hang in fairly well at least down to the lowest note of a 4-string bass guitar or an upright bass. The quality of the bass is not very high, but it's not totally awful. Sometimes, if a song has a prominent low end, the drivers will distort; likewise, if there's a lot going on in the bass region, distortion can happen. As I don't listen to music genres that tend to have heavy bass levels (such as hip hop, or some modern pop) I don't run into this often, but it happens. The bass isn't tight - it's kinda bloomy, and a bit slow - but it's definitely got some note definition. Not a one-note bass character at all. There is a typical consumer-oriented midbass bump, and a slight bleed of the upper bass into the lower midrange, giving some warmth to the sound.
One of my standard test tracks is "Song of Joy" from the album Murder Ballads by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. An overly warm headphone will swallow up Cave's baritone voice into the bass. I'm happy to say that these headphones pass the test, although it's close. I'd personally prefer a bit less warmth, but it's probably spot-on for most people (it seems that the majority of people prefer considerably more warmth than I do; I like my headphones to be rather lean in the bass and lower mids).
Mids are slightly less prominent than the bass, but not to any great degree. There's a bit of congestion, but considering the price point it's nothing to complain about. There's some emphasis (a bit of bite) in the upper mids that give a touch of detail to the overall sound signature (though not as peaky as a Sony MDR-V6/MDR-7506). I don't find these headphones fatiguing in the way the MDR-V6 or some (most) Grados can be, but by the same token they are not nearly as clean and detailed sounding as the Sonys/Grados. I haven't heard the Grado SR60 in quite a few years, but if memory serves me correctly, these 'phones sound a bit similar to the SR60 but with slightly more bass quantity, a little less clarity, and a bit of congestion in the mids. Now, the SR60 is certainly a far better-sounding headphone, with much better dynamics, but in terms of frequency response, the sound signature is in the same general ballpark.
Treble is OK, a bit gritty, but present and serviceable. Highs aren't airy or sparkly, they don't extend into the stratosphere, but I've always found that a peak in the upper mids can sort of fool the ears (at least my ears) into hearing more highs than are actually there. I detect no added sibilance, however if sibilance is present in the recording, it will be reproduced but not emphasized. So that's good.
Soundstaging is nothing to get excited over, it's a small and tight stage. Imaging is rather vague but you can't really expect an expansive soundstage and pinpoint imaging at this price level.
While jazz and rock generally sound pretty good, orchestral works don't fare as well. The lack of soundstage and lack of precise imaging make orchestras sound compressed and indistinct. Crescendos can completely overwhelm the drivers; several times a sudden loud passage caused the drivers to distort. But smaller ensembles like string quartets come out sounding alright.
All in all, it's a decent but unspectacular sound. It's not disappointing - in all honesty, they sound better overall that I expected when I ordered them, glowing review on head-fi notwithstanding. I'm keeping them.
They're pretty easy to drive - an iPhone or iPad powers them adequately - but they perform better when amped with a good solid-state amp. Bass tightens up a notch, and dynamics and instrument separation improve noticeably.
I have some concerns about durability, as the strain reliefs coming out of the earcups are small enough to be almost nonexistant (I'm actually being generous calling them strain reliefs, they're more like tiny little nubbins), and there is essentially no strain relief on the plug at all. But hey, maybe they'll last forever, I haven't had them long enough to tell. The cable itself is covered in cloth and doesn't seem too prone to tangling. The light weight makes them very comfortable to me, and I don't find the foam pads scratchy or irritating.
So, would I recommend them? Yes, but.... If you want a good set of home headphones on the cheap, Superlux makes some real winners (the 681, 661, and especially the 662F provide very good value, but they're bright) that totally blow these Eskuche Kassettes away. However, if you're looking for a lightweight, portable set of headphones with decent sound quality at a throwaway price point (I paid 20 bucks for them), these could be a good choice. In fact I'll probably pick up another pair for backup. They aren't the greatest, but for their intended purpose, they're not bad at all.
It wasn't packed correctly, one of the foam covers was pressed against an edge and there was a visible dent, however it seems like it fixed itself over time (the foam looks ok now).
Top reviews from other countries
They are not comfortable, the flex is 120cm long from ear to iPod so although the headphones are light, the flex is everywhere and pulls them out of place.
Everyone else can hear your music clearly even at low volume so they are annoying for others, and don't create much privacy for you. The sound quality isn't pleasing either. I would not have bought these if I had tried them in a shop first; I might as well keep them because the postage to return them is too expensive in relation to their cost. I guess I'll use them at the beach, where it won't matter if I lose them or ruin them.