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Superlux HD 681 Dynamic Semi-Open Headphones
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|Ear Placement||Over Ear|
|Model Name||HD 681|
About this item
- Make sure this fits by entering your model number.
- 50mm Neodymium Drivers Circumaural
- Semi-Open Design
- Self-Adjusting Headband
- Lightweight and Comfortable Fit
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|Sold By||AVLGear||Japan Treasure Mart (Shipping fastest Fedex w/t)||Angel Seller||Amazon.com||GenCoDeals|
|Item Dimensions||4.21 x 7.36 x 7.87 inches||4.21 x 7.36 x 7.87 inches||4.17 x 7.4 x 7.87 inches||8 x 8 x 4.8 inches||4.69 x 4.09 x 2.83 inches|
|Item Weight||0.61 lbs||0.61 lbs||7.80 ounces||1.05 lbs||3.31 lbs|
|Special Features||Noise Cancellation||Lightweight||ios-phone-control||volume-control||Lightweight|
The HD-681 headphones from Superlux combine premium-quality audio components with an ergonomic design to offer accurate and detailed sound in a lightweight and comfortable package. Ideal for long, fatigue-free listening sessions, they are intended for use by musicians and audio professionals in monitoring applications, including recording live instruments and vocals, mixing, and more. The HD-681 features around-the-ear earcups which provide sound isolation from outside noise and help eliminate "headphone bleed" when recording in the studio. The semi-open design delivers a natural sound while still offering deep bass response and minimal sound leakage. Two 50mm neodymium drivers provide a rich, balanced sound with high resolution, wide dynamic range, and excellent stereo imaging. The headphones are equipped with a self-adjusting headband and thick around-ear cushions, providing the listener with a great fit. The HD-681 comes with a protective storage pouch and a gold-plated 1/4" adapter.
Condition Note: Item may have small scratches, may be missing some accessories and is in 100% working condition
- Screw-On, Gold-Plated, 1/8" Stereo Mini Jack to 1/4" TRS Phone Adapter
- Protective Storage Pouch
- Limited 2-Year Warranty
Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2016
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Top reviews from the United States
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I'm not one for hyerbole, but these headphones are a delight. An absolute delight. A stone cold banker absolute delight. For $32. Sure, you can level some criticisms at them, if you really, really try, but that's just churlish. They're $32 and they sound fantastic.
They LOOK like utter cr*p. They don't SOUND like it. They're about as cheap as you could imagine a pair of headphones could look. The packaging is hilariously naff. But, by god, these things are revelatory. Delicate and precise without sacrificing oomph in the bass. The bass isn't a horrid thick wad. It's there, it's powerful, but it's contained and controlled and won't smother the mids and turn everything into a soup. If I absolutely had to, at the point of a gun, I'd suggest they're a bit bright. And only a bit. And what's the point? They're $32, and sound like so much more. I don't care that they look like they were assembled from the contents of a Kinder Surprise Egg. I don't care that the lead is moulded into the main body, and isn't detachable. I don't care that they look like they might break in a slight breeze. THEY. ARE. 32. OF. YOUR. DOLLARS. And they sound great.
Burned them in for 24 hours with some AOR that thankfully I wasn't actually listening to, and then gave them a workout with a playlist reserved for checking out speakers, and I had a massive grin plastered all over my usually thoroughly miserable face. They're perfectly comfortable, and personally I'd shy away from any of the hacks I've seen mentioned on here. You most certainly don't want the highs to be accentuated.
So, yeah, for $32 you can get a big soundstage, with delicacy and respectable bass. They're responsive, and didn't seem sluggish no matter what I hurled at them. At no point did they get confused with anything complicated. Just took everything in their stride, and seemed completely unflappable. They look and feel terrible, and yes, they're a bit bright which may be a bit wearying over extended periods, but I can't and won't believe there's a better thing you can do for your ears under the $40 threshold. Hell, someone could have plonked them on my head and told me they were above $100 and I wouldn't have argued.
My son bought these to replace some skull candy and originally missed the bass those had. But, over a couple weeks he says the superlux are so much clearer, cleaner, and spacious sounding, he doesn't like the skull candy anymore. He says he can hear all sorts of detail in music he never heard before (and he likes it...). My experience lines up with that from the few tracks I listened to with these (though I don't put his skull candy on my head ... ever). Everyone will be different.... so look up more details elsewhere. But $ for sound, these surprized me in a really good way.
Build quality doesn't look exceptional. They don't look fragile, just like they are "just adequate" and not more. My son usually tears things up pretty quick, headphones not withstanding. Hence he paid for these himself ... 2 pairs from dad in <2years and you're on your own, Jack. So far, a couple months of frequent use (he uses them every day, several hours per day ... some days I think he has these on more than he doesn't) and they are holding up okay.
My son listens to them with a generic MP3 player and they sound fine, so no amp needed ... but if you add a little juice, they do perk up and shine. But so do most good headphones. I let him listen to these on a class A solid state and then a tube headphone amp, and his jaw dropped. He tried his skull candy on those and went "meh, yeah, better, but ... not like the superlux" The point is, these are surprisingly good headphones for "cricial listening" if it's not blasphemy to say such about a sub $50 headphone, but you get out of them what you put into them. On a marginal source, you may not notice a big difference between these and a typical $40 set but as the source improves, they start to really separate from other similar priced cans.
Be aware, if you aren't familiar with semi-open/ open, that means they leak sound - in and out. You can still hear things around you AND others can hear YOUR music even if it's not cranked up. The tradeoff is, again if you are not aware, is that the design makes them sound really spacious. Open/semi-open headphones are rarely this cheap, so in case you wondered into reviews of this Superlux looking for a "cheap but decent" pair of cans to wear on the train while commuting ... hmmm ... think on that a bit.
I have a lot of far better headphones ... but for the money, I've not heard anything this "good." It looks like these bounce up and down in price. If these were $70 you could do better for a couple bucks more and would be well to do so (phillips 9500 again). We scored these for less than $40. At that price I'd buy them again any day!! 5 stars for VERY good sound at a CRAZY, CRAZY low price. If $50, I'd say 4 stars because there are other competitors at that price that have better build quality better comfort, and better sound. Hit $75 and I'd drop to 3 stars - too close to Phillips, Sennheisser, and Audiotechnica options that edge these out.
Top reviews from other countries
These HD681 are semi-open, which makes them feel a little less urgent, and more open than the closed-back 662s. They bleed more sound so I wouldn't recommend them for recording especially, but that does give them a lovely natural quality which I think makes them the best Superlux model for listening to music/movies/games etc. if you don't like the red colour, the Presonus HD7 and Samson SR850 are extremely similar rebranded ones with different aesthetics.
I'm not saying Superlux are the best cans in the universe, far from it, but there is nothing else that comes remotely close in this price range.
I bought some Sennheiser HD599SE's 2 years from Amazon when they were half price at £99 and again, they were ok, but again those darn high frequencies required sum eq'ing ( to my ears ) !!
I have tried Grado's, AT's, AKG's, Bose, Denon, Panasonic, Yamaha's the list goes on and on and on ......
Most ( if not all of these ) are either too analytical with zero warmth, or too warm with not enough crispness / detail ..... I couldn't seem to find any that sat somewhere in the middle .... until now.
I've read about these Superlux cans for a few years now, but simply didn't want to believe that they were any different to any I have tried over the years - well, I bit the bullet and ordered some.
Well, I'm astonished !!!! These are EXACTLY the headphones I've been looking for in all these years.
They're supremely comfortable, don't leak a lot of sound ( as they're semi-open back ) and just sound SUPERB ( regardless of cost )
I use these through a Rega headphone amplifier, my Google Pixel phone and on my Mac for audio production .... the thing that is striking is the sound signature is very similar on all these devices .... I don't need to use eq on any of them.
They have a warm, natural sound, with fantastic detail / crispness to the sound and if the bass on a recording goes sub-bass, they show it.
After about 3 weeks of use now, they seemed to have opened up even more without losing any of the warmth they initially had.
I would defy ANYONE not to be impressed with these cans - they have a rightness to the sound with nothing overblown, but most importantly you just sit back and enjoy the music, rather than analysing it.
For me, these are the BEST audio bargain I have EVER bought
Well done Superlux - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED :)
~*~*~*~ UPDATE APRIL 2022 ~*~*~*~
After using these every day for the last few weeks, I'm still amazed at how good these sound - if anything they have opened up even more, a real airy quality where you can pinpoint EVERY different instrument with ease. Totally engrossing sound. The bass is astonishing but in no way over-whelming like so many bass heavy headphones - the best way I can describe the bass quality is like wearing your favourite old warm jumper - you don't want to take it / them off haha - bass is completely natural and when it goes low, it's like there's a subwoofer attached.
Astonishingly good headphones :)
Now the sound... Well they have surprised me, not overall bassy and very good mid to high range as well. I've been playing a variety of music from Zeppelin's "You Shook Me" to Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" and they responded very well and have a faithful vocal range. Can't crank them up too far as the sound can become a bit distorted, but that not such a bad thing.
The quality is fine if not top end but for this price at under £30 its to be expected but the sound reproduction for me is excellent and that was a surprise.
Now need another pair for my Grandson but now the price has gone up.... but still worth it!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 2, 2021