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Fostex USA 25-Ohms TH900 Premium Stereo Headphones with Japanese Lacquer Earcups and 1.5 Tesla Magnetic Circuit
|Price:||$1,199.00 & FREE Shipping|
- Neodymium magnetic circuit with a 15,000 gauss magnetic flux density for wider dynamic range
- Soft, comfortable ear pads
- Housings made from Japanese Cherry Birch and finished with Urushi lacquer
- 25-ohm impedance
- 2-inch dynamic drivers
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TH-900 Premium Stereo Headphones. The TH-900 is the first high-end headphones form Fostex featuring the newly designed driver unit with1.5 tesla (15,000 gauss) magnetic circuit and bio-dynamic 50mm diaphragm, traditional Japanese lacquered "Urushi" finished craftsmanship housing and selected 7N OFC cable. All coming together to achieve the sonic goal of a wider stereo field, high resolution and transparent reproduction. "Biodyna diaphragm is made by Bio-cellulose fiber featuring low specific gravity, high Yang's modulus and high internal loss at the same time to achieve 2 times high propagation velocity and 5 times high rigidity against the conventional plastic film based driver unit.
From the Manufacturer
The TH900 Premium Stereo Headphones from Fostex feature a newly designed driver unit with a 15,000 gauss magnetic circuit and bio-dynamic 2-inch diaphragm. These high-end headphones feature a traditional Japanese lacquered "Urushi" finish. The cords are made from 7N grade OFC and the 1/4-inch stereo plug features a gold coating. The included headphone stand (ST300) keeps your headphones safe and secure when not in use and within easy reach when you need them. Founded in 1973, Fostex is an acclaimed manufacturer of location sound, multi-track recording, and speaker products.
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Before trying the Fostex TH-900, I bought and returned the Audeze LCD-3 and Oppo PM-1. I briefly auditioned the Sennheiser HD800. My in-ear monitors consist of the Sennheiser IE800 and Shure SE846.
The fit and finish of the TH-900 is great. They feel solid, are very comfortable in both the headband and earcups, and provide sufficient adjustment in both headband size and earcup swivel to fit my head. The cable is nicely wrapped and terminated. The lacquer finish on the earcups is a nice touch, but I do find the red color to be a little garish for my taste. My only real complaints on the fit are that the earpads are made of a synthetic leather that although soft and supple, isn't anywhere near as soft as some of the real lambskin earpads I've worn before. The pads also aren't particularly deep, so they don't quite seal to the same extent as other closed headphones. The headphone is terminated in an unbalanced 1/4" plug and the cables are not detachable, so those seeking balanced connections will require some sort of aftermarket modification. If you want to use these with a portable source you'll need to supply your own adapter. They were obviously designed for home use, but they did sound quite good when I tried them directly out of my iPhone.
I was initially hesitant to try these because I generally dislike the way closed headphones sound and had heard from others that they were excessively V-shaped, with a recessed midrange and overly pronounced bass and treble. Listening to the people that said that was a mistake because I get none of those impressions from these.
Despite being closed, these offer very little in the way of isolation, perhaps due to the somewhat loose nature of the seal. They don't sound like closed headphones at all, and if listening blind I would almost surely identify them as open. The soundstage is very open and provides a convincing placement of sound from side to side.
There's a bit more treble than I'm used to from my Shure IEMs, but it is very well extended and detailed. It's not excessively smoothed over as with some other headphones yet I have zero problems with sibilance, which is something that I'm very sensitive to. It also doesn't sound splashy or brittle like my Sennheiser IE800.
The bass is probably the highpoint of these headphones. I'm no basshead, but one of my main complaints with other headphones was that very low frequency content, say 30 Hz and below, was in many cases entirely inaudible in situations where I knew it should be present. I view that as an entirely unacceptable flaw, and unfortunately one that's way too common as the bass roll-off often starts early and continues relentlessly on a downward trend. The Fostex have no issue playing very low with authority. Very low bass is also well defined and the headphones have no issue rapidly transitioning between low bass frequencies. The headphones are also free of any excessive midbass push but still have plenty of impact at midbass frequencies. It's rare to find headphones that can play the entire bass spectrum with both speed and authority, but these can do it easily.
The midrange is present and well-defined. I don't find it particularly recessed in any way, and this is despite using Shure IEMs that are often known for their midrange. The bass to midrange transition, which is another area to easily ruin a headphone, is very smooth and at no time does the upper bass seem to overwhelm the lower midrange frequencies.
For comparison, the Sennheiser HD800 that I auditioned seemed overly bright. Bass definition and extension were both good but I found them lacking in power down low. They may have been more detailed as a consequence of the brightness, but they also came across as harsh with some recordings.
The Oppo PM-1 had an interesting sound that I liked a lot in many ways, but they roll off very quickly at both extremes. I could live with the treble roll-off but the bass roll-off was unacceptable. The pluck sound of many stringed instruments sounded very, very real and was easily the highpoint of these. Supposedly, new earpads are being developed in conjunction with the as of yet unreleased PM-2 that will provide a different sound for the PM-1.
The Audeze LCD-3 also sounded very good, but I disagree with those who claim it's the world's greatest headphone. Despite being open, I felt the soundstage wasn't any more impressive than the Fostex. Detail was very good but not excellent, some areas sounded smoothed over. The bass did go very low and with great definition and clarity, but the quantity was less than that of the Fostex. Impact was also generally good but still less than that of the Fostex. Comfort was a significant issue; even at the loosest adjustment the earpads pressed so tightly into my head that I could hear my heartbeat. Overall, the comfort issue plus the greater bass quantity of the Fostex is what tipped the scales in their favor. For those who claim the LCD-3 need lots of power to sound good, I was driving them from the speaker taps of a stereo amplifier, so power was not an issue.
No headphone is perfect, but the Fostex TH-900 offer me the least number of compromises. I've been very satisfied with my purchase.
I'm using these with a Burson amp, PS Audio DAC, Musical Fidelity async converter, and an iMac.
Review by husband, not Sarah.
Edit. I just noticed a price drop on these wonderful headphones! Definitely a must buy!
Very detailed sound with great tight bass and crisp hi frequencies. Slightly recessed mids but only when you listen male vocal music.
I can write 10 pages triying to tell you how they sound to me, but sometimes its hard to find the right words to do it properly.
Now i'm using my dell inspiron 15 with foobar2000, my hi res flac / dsd music collection and power it with a fiio E17 right now, but I'm planing to buy the burson conductor v2 headphone amp/dac, some th900 reviews said they are a good couple.
Besides many people think about the headphones burning process, I truly believe they are, after 40-50 hours of use, more open and natural,
and it's getting better.
Finally I get what I was looking for, a great hi end sound without getting disturb when i want to hear my favorite music at night.