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Wonderful headphones if you can get them to fit just right.
on February 21, 2013
These headphones sort of break my heart. On the one hand you have one of the finest built, best sounding on-ear headphones at this price point. On the other hand, though, they might also be some of the most uncomfortable headphones you will ever put on your head. Let me go into a bit more detail.
Let it be said that these are easily some of my favorite sounding on-ear headphones in this price bracket. They sound absolutely great and a lot more neutral than I assumed they would.
Highs are wonderfully detailed, but not overly bright (no Grado shrill, here). Don't get me wrong, cymbals and hi-hats will still ring accurately, but it's never going to sound harsh or over-pronounced. Just nice and clear and perfectly balanced.
Mids are where it's at with these headphones, as far as I'm concerned. It's got the clarity of much more expensive headphones, with a nice, smooth, buttery finish. Coupled with the clear highs, vocals in these headphones sound absolutely stellar.
Lows, in keeping with this sets more "neutral" leanings, are also very balanced, though if I had to find one fault with the sound it would be that at times they can be a smidge unrefined. I wouldn't go so far as to call it muddy, but it's not as tight and focused as the mids or highs. It's also not necessarily for bassheads, though I have to say that it adapts very well to a variety of different musical genres. If the bass is meant to stand out in a song, then it's going to stand out through these headphones. Basically, lows are about as prominent as the given source intends it to be, which for most people is absolutely great, but for bassheads, not so much.
Sound stage and imaging is about on par with other on-ear headphones in this price range. These being sealed, you're obviously not going to get that wide-open feeling you get from open-backs, but it does well enough for what it is.
Sound leakage is very minimal even at considerable volumes and isolation is about the best I have ever heard from on-ear headphones...if you can get a good seal on the ear (but more on that in a second).
This is another area in which this set shines. These things were built to last. The headband is made of a highly flexible, durable material that let's you bend the shape to fit your head. It's also ridiculously tough. You can bend it nearly flat with absolutely no harm done. Clothwork and stitching is also top-notch.
The cups themselves are high-quality molded plastic with metal accent plates affixed to the outside. These plates can be removed and replaced for a bit of personalization, but to tell the truth, the brushed-metal black plates that come stock already look pretty great. The pads are covered in a high-quality faux-leather that actually feels surprisingly convincing, and the pads themselves feel great (theoretically, I guess).
The two detachable cords included (a one-touch mic cord for used with android/general purpose devices, and a three-touch cord for use with iOS devices) are covered in a nice kevlar coat that, aside from keeping things very durable, actually does a nice job of preventing tangles as well. The only problem I had with the kevlar is that it can get a bit noisy rubbing up against things while you have the headphones on. Nothing too distracting, and nowhere near as annoying as the "stethoscope" effect you get from lower-end iem's, but still worth mentioning, I think.
Well, here it is. The one area that really breaks my heart with these things. Full disclosure here, I have a couple of buddies that own these headphones that have minimal to no problem with the fit of them, but as far as my (apparently mishapen) head is concerned, these are some of the most uncomfortable headphones I have felt outside of a stock set of Grado's.
The cups simply don't get a good seal on my head 90% of the time. I can never seem to get the angle just right when I'm beding them, and often times one ear would end up getting a much better seal than the other. What's worse is that, given the material of the headband, they tend to slowly bend back into their original shape over time, meaning not only does the headband start to put pressure on my head, but the cups slowly lose their seal and become increasingly uncomfortable. I get about thirty minutes of use out of them before I have to take a break to let my ears rest and readjust the band.
It's sad too, because the pads themselves feel great, almost like a mushy memory foam, but there's just something about these headphones that makes them completely incompatible with my head.
I don't want this review to scare people. I hope the content is more important to people than the score, because like I said, I have a couple of friends who are head over heels in love with these things. I would be too if it weren't for the comfort issues, because they're truly a great sounding pair of headphones for the price you pay...and it doesn't hurt that they'll probably last a couple of human lifetimes, so maybe your future children/grandchildren will love them too.