ipod touch 7 -> HE-R7DX
Yggdrasil -> Cavalli Liquid Fire -> HE-R7DX
These things are going to sell really well.
They are comfortable, easy to drive, extremely well tuned, and super cheap at $149. I like them better than the cheap Hifiman orthos I’ve heard, and I much prefer orthos.
A very balanced, expansive sounding closed back electrodynamic. Overall they have a slightly warm tone that makes them sound natural. From bass to treble, I hear no peaks at all, they’re exceptionally tuned. Nothing sticks out except maybe a little bump in the upper mids and one in the lower treble but they’re not peaks and not harsh but just makes certain notes a bit louder than they ought to be (nit picking). Treble has good tone- cymbals sound like cymbals- and is perfectly balanced. Vocals are very neutral, not recessed, and have great, natural tone. Bass has great slam and goes deep with good control. Resolution seems quite good to me, though they seem to have better macro than micro detail.
I wasn’t expecting to like these headphones. I don’t like electrodynamics in general, they sound grainy and mooshy to me, and usually peaky and resonant to boot with high distortion. Hifiman making an electrodynamic had me even less excited and it’s closed back. I was very surprised when I reluctantly put on the first track with these plugged into my ipod touch. I was ready to send these back or send them to someone else to review.
Very open sounding was my first reaction. I then went through some test tracks and not only was I not bothered, I found myself listening to the songs- songs I’ve heard a million times tuning orthos, and not really paying attention to the headphones. This is a good sign as you all know, especially for a picky bastard like me.
They fit a bit weird. They use the old school og HE-5/6/500 style Hifiman headband (come on guys, I like this headband personally, but you can design a new headband). This headband wraps around the top of the head pretty evenly. The weird part is that the cups/earpads aren’t positioned to put much pressure on your head, they just kind of touch gently, and the way the headband cradles the head, you can’t get more pressure or clamp. So when you first put them on it’s unlike most headphones that immediately pivot and find the right angle against your head. You have to move the cups into position. But once you do, I personally find them comfortable. They’re very lightweight and that weight is distributed evenly all along the headband and earpads. It’s just such a unique fit that I am picturing other head sizes/shapes maybe having issues, but I like how they fit my noggin.
It’s still a bit weird though, it feels more like wearing a helmet than wearing headphones.
Here’s a picture where you can see how the earpads line up with the headband in basically a straight line so you can see why the earpads don’t have much pressure against your head.
There are two things I don’t like
How shallow the earpads are, but with the very mild clamp I don’t notice any discomfort with my limited time with them. I imagine if I wore them all day my ears might get sore from touching the grill but i don’t know.
The cable comes out of the cups basically at a straight down angle, instead of slightly angling forward. It works for the stock cable, but when I put an aftermarket cable on them, the 3.5mm jacks make the cable hit my shoulders. But the cable I’m using costs more than these headphones, so I’m not sure this is a legitimate concern. Still, seems like an oversight.
Maybe just a tiny bit more than neutral. But it’s done in a very even keeled, natural way, and the treble has excellent tone no plastic-y bullshit. No harshness. I actualliy think they have very good air too despite being closed back.
It’s lovely. Neither emphasized or pushed back in the mix, midrange heads will love the vocal presentation of these phones. Very lifelike. Rich when called for, airy when called for. You can hear the timbre of breath coming out of a human being like you should be able to. It just sounds very right. Which is important. If the vocals are off, I could care less about anything else. But these phones nail it.
There is one spot in the upper mids that is a bit emphasized and picks up harshly recorded piano a bit too loud. But I only heard this on two of my test tracks. And it’s not quite to the point of being harsh. I would call this a flavor, bringing out electric guitar in a nice way for most people. I don’t see many people finding fault here. Though I would personally want a little less presence.
These are not basshead headphones at all. I can see a lot of noobs buying these - because of the price, being closed back and the Drop crowd’s preferences in general including lots of noobs - and wanting more bass. Bass is neutral, but high quality and has great extension and control. Extension goes all the way down flatter than most electrodynamics, though I’d say by 20hz they are down a bit from where they are at 40hz. Not bad by any means. Just not ortho flat. Punchy, layered and detailed. I don’t think I can ask for more from an electrodynamic headphone.
Bass never bleeds into the midrange at all. And they’re not bass light in the slightest. Bob Marley sounds excellent, and you can hear the little nuances and details of the bass riffs not just a big phat note like on many headphones when playing Bob Marley..
They have a very dynamic sound. Focus is on macro rather than micro, they lack a little finnesse or refinement for the last bit of microdynamics, but I’m quite happy listening to them.
Very open for a closed back as far as I remember them sounding. I guess I can tell they’re closed back, but they create the illusion of space very well. They actually have a sense of air and space to them. Instruments have good separation.
They honestly sound pretty similar straight out of my ipod touch compared to my Yggrdrasil -> Liquid Fire. So I’d say they are very easy to drive and not picky about amps. It’s too bad they don’t fold up or isolate better because they’d make great portable headphones. Drop should consider making a foldable version with a little second layer of plastic on the outside of the cups filled with styrofoam.
I’m guessing it measures pretty good. That’s all I have to say about that.
There is a very slight plastic tone to the whole sound. I’m not sure where it’s coming from, because anywhere I look sounds natural. I’m guessing it’s from the little bumps in the upper mids or lower treble, or a distortion thing.
They aren’t the most resolving headphones I’ve ever heard. But they are actually quite good, and at $149 they are damn good. They sound about as resolving as Focals to me I’d say, from memory. Maybe not quite as resolving as the Clears. Not amazing but pretty damn good. Though I will admit that my dislike of electrodynamics may be clouding my judgement here.
They’re pretty bulky for what people will probably want to use them for - portable phones. The design makes them home use headphones or I guess transportable. But they don’t isolate at all, they may as well be open or semi open back.
I think the fit may bother some, it’s very unique but once I get them positioned right, I actually like it because there’s so little clamp. They’re very light and rest evenly and lightly all around from the headband to the earpads.
Closed but not isolating
Very balanced FR with great tone across the spectrum
Spacious and open sounding for a closed back
Not picky about amps
I really like how these sound, and they are the opposite kind of headphones I usually like. I’m impressed by what Hifiman and Drop have pulled off here. I think these are going to make a lot of people very happy and sell extremely well. I think I would take these over any ortho I’ve heard under the LCD-2 Classic price range maybe. The LCD-2 Classic has lower distortion obviously, but these are more clear and neutral sounding. I’ve heard some cheap orthos (I won’t name names) that sound way way worse. Hifiman should make more electrodynamics...
I would highly recommend these headphones for anyone looking for a budget headphone that is natural sounding and natural. Fans of the HD650 or Joe Grado HP1000 or Focal Clear would like these headphones. If you prefer a John Grado sound with boosted upper mids or treble or bass, these may not be for you.
-rhythmdevils on SBAF
Maybe I'm spoiled because of many years of using Sennheiser headphones - nothing expensive HD 555 and HD 6XX, but these HiFiMAN HE-X4 does not live up to those standards. I purchased these only to have planar magnetic headphones in my collection.
Treble is way too much - so forget to listen to your music loud and for extended period of time - my ears start to hurt.
But that probably will not be a problem for all because you will need proper audio equipment to drive these headphones loud. Phone or typical computer audio card will not be able to drive these headphones verry loud.
And then there is comfort. At first, they seem comfortable - earpads are truly great and comfortable. But something fishy is going on with headband. Maybe it is little too stiff, maybe there is not enough padding, maybe headband arc is little bit off for me, but in hour or so my head are start to hurt at the point where headband is resting on my head.
In conclusion. These are good headphones, but needs equalization and some headband mod. If you don't want to do any of those things, then better spend little bit more money and by Sennheiser HD 6XX headphones instead.
I used various Sennheiser phones in the last 40+ years, from HD414, HD430, to modded HD580.
HD6xx is an absolute treat, and an absolute audiophile bargain at the price offered by Drop. The absolute sweet spot of price/performance matrix.
When they arrived, replaced stock cable right away with a ZU cable (also purchased through Drop) and let them cook for two days with ISOTEK Burn In CD before listening. Then, I was blown away like the guy on the Maxell ad. I listen to everything except heavy metal, and the satisfaction was immense no matter what I played. The difference from my modded HD580 is huge.
Life is short. The only regret I have is that I did not buy them earlier, even at full Senn price.
I would recommend HD6xx to anyone, even to people accustomed to $1000+ phones.
If you are reading this undecided, don't think twice, and pull the trigger. You can buy other cans if you need them, but you should have HD6xx as a baseline to gauge other cans and prevent losing money in lateral moves.
UPS free shipping took a very long time to get these headphones to my house (estimated original time ~2 weeks, then ~1 week later than expected) but now that I finally have them, they are very good. They are extremely comfortable, some people have said the clamping force is a bit too high when they got them, though I think it is fine. They sound very good, almost like surround sound for your ears, though the sound staging is not super good, as they sound pretty close up still. Also you hear everything around you and you need an amp, and a DAC is good to have as well. overall for my use great headphones, but there are many uses that these headphones are not great for, they are really meant for being by yourself at a computer with little background noise. For open backs at this price though, VERY hard to beat
First things first, although it really not important, the packaging was bad. this is not a a box you’d want to put on your shelf, it screams kids headphones from walmart type thing.
Initially, i actually thought they were broken because the actual ear pads and driver are on a ball bearing connected to the headphones and seemed lose from the actual headphones but that’s how they are supposed to be. I actually really like this as they conform perfectly over the front of my ears and it’s super comfortable. I was just walking around for about an hour and barely noticed them. They have a firm to light slider which effects the force it applies of your head, which i have set to light. The adjustable head band is fine, but my hair sometimes gets pulled by the mechanical and when you take them off they spring back so you can’t save your length.
Most importantly, the sound. It’s just ok. It took awhile to get used to and you really have to crank the volume on these guys. Mids and highs almost seem a little blurry to me but the bass is there. overall pleasant. The mic is pretty good actually, i recorded some homework with it and it’s clear and no crackling. The mic swivels up and down so you can drag it out the way but it does NOT come off. They do not seal as they are over ears and are definitely not noise canceling. There are no controls for calls, music, or the mic. Hope this helps,
7/10 good budget headset, maybe wait till it’s around $30-40 or get something else.
After buying HD6xx the next step was to find the best budget headphone amp. My only experience was Headroom (different models) and a British made O2. The reviews agreed that HD6xx (300 Ohms) and DarkVoice
(80 Ohms) are match made in heaven. Also, its tubes are cheap and plentiful, from NOS Cold War surplus both East and West, to new ones.
When it arrived, left it for a day to cook. To establish a baseline listened intensively to HD6xx and O2 . if it is not much better than O2, there is no point.
The result was, well, um, ok. Better, but not significantly better. I endured it for a day. Then, the real test came. Installed replacement RCA tubes and left them couple of hours to stabilize.
When I started to listen, I was awestruck. For less than a 500 bucks this is a killer rig.
I firmly believe that music should be listened on equipment from the era recording was made, because we get to hear what engineers heard. DarkVoice is OTL and what we listen is a tube. This tube can be chosen to fit our musical taste and preference. If you listen mainly to blues, jazz, baroque as I do, this amp will blow you away.
DarkVoice is smartly engineered from cheap components and at this price point is hard to beat. Similarly designed Bottleneck is much more expensive due to better parts.
My suggestion to anyone buying DarkVoice is to purchase replacement tubes ahead of its arrival and
listen to the new tubes right away.
The only negative I have is that the power switch is so flimsy I am afraid it will break quickly. I would rather have a simple toggle switch with a short throw.
I've finally come to some conclusions after owning the Sennheiser HD58X and it being my primary headphone for quite a while.
First, I'd like to address some common complaints about the headphones; I'm not the most experienced but I've had my fair share of headphones (even if most stay around the lower mid-fi or budget options), and I can say that even while most of the parts are plastic, it feels sturdy and hefty. Also, the cable is probably the best I've owned, and I say this because I've read more than one review complaining about it.
In terms of sound, I must say they exceeded my expectations for such a "budget" headphone; they have some great, tight bass and the lack of extension can be somewhat remedied with EQ (I use Oratory's EQ, which I've found to satisfy my needs), the mids are natural and the voices sound beautiful. The sound is quite intimate but the imaging is good, and they work great with several genres of music.
Comfort is great, just behind my HD558s (they were extremely comfortable headphones) and miles ahead of the K550s that I also own. The clamping force doesn't really affect me due to the shape of my head but beware as it's rather high indeed.
I'll compare them to other headphones I own in case it may help someone:
Compared to my Sennheiser HD558, the HD58X is definitely more refined and loses the considerable consumer-oriented mid-bass hump the HD558s had. The HD58x feel better built overall and have more metal (the 558s are entirely plastic).
Compared to the AKG K550, the HD58X are less fatiguing and more natural, I really like how voices sound on them, but the K550 feel more detailed and the bass is definitely tighter on the lowest regions. Both are very well built and they complement each other nicely.
These headphones are a great buy and I'm eager to compare them with my incoming Sundara!
Still an Excellent Option in the Affordable IEM Market
There's been a lot shared about the BL-03s, and the truth of the matter is that they were and (to an extent) still are an excellent choice in the affordable IEM market. I've recommended them to at least a dozen people, and all have agreed that for the price there's little more they can ask for in well-performing, relatively comfortable, and user-upgradeable IEMs.
This small but competitive corner of the market has changed in the last couple of years, and there are now a significant number of excellent products running for the throne in the go-to affordable IEM race. While you may find more accurate. more comfortable, or even more affordable options, it's hard to argue that one can go wrong with the BL-03s, especially when they're on sale.
As a service to to the general populace, I've decided to share some snippets from the BL-03's manual, which is one of the most entertaining documents you'll ever own:
BLON: BELIEF LETMUSICBURN OPPOTY NEVERGIVEUP
USER MANUAL: Please do not use the earphone for watching videos or hearing emotional music when eating for health. In order to reduce the probability of being lost or forgotten for the earphone,please kindly fix the clip to cloth.When using the earphone outside and please kindly do not put in on those places which are easy to be neglected,such as desk and chairs.
NOTICE/WARM TIPS it may affect your hearing,if the earphone is in high volumn. Please do not wear both the left and right sides of the earphone at the same time when talking to others for showing respect for others
TURN The earphones are not like vases. Although the design reflects the thoughts and styles, it can't replace another indispensable element- the sound. The Chinese attach great importance to being adept with both the pen and the sword, and the Chinese works are no exception; the beautiful shape needs to coexist with excellent sound quality, which can make the headphones perform its value.
"The soldier will be brave after feeling ashamed. If you want to achieve something, you must know your own shortcomings first, and then fight for it."
"Although BLON has not achieved great success, it has made us see the results of years struggle and the efforts and changes required for the future, all of which derives from these years of hardship, accumulated experience, as well as the dream we have been hold on to"
Initial caveat- these are the most expensive headphones I've purchased to date so I don't have experience with others in this price range or higher. That being said, they're awesome. I don't feel compelled to try others or to mod them to squeeze out extra performance. There's been plenty said about how great they are and I completely agree. The main improvement I hear (and what makes them worth it to me) is that they go from merely sounding clear and balanced to really allowing you to hear/feel texture and movement in music.
The only reason I would say not to buy them is if you plan to only use them plugged into a cell phone or if you would exclusively use them in noisy environments. The do need some amplification to sound their best, but even just a bluetooth or small portable DAC/amp like an es100 or an iBasso DCxx makes them worthwhile. If they're within your price range, go for it!
I've had the Beam 2 for a long while now, and it's seen many use cases as COVID changed up my travel/commute/hybrid-WFH lifestyle. Through it all, it's been a powerful and useful little audio companion, supplementing my ifi Hip Dac V1 in most cases where I didn't see the need to lug around the ifi's heft, USB-A connection, and battery limitation especially when using the particular IEMs & headphones in my collection I tend to pull out for the purposes above.
-Extremely versatile; I've used it with multiple desktop & laptop PCs and both Android & iPhone. Powerful enough for all of the IEMs and headphones I tend to travel/commute to work with in both balanced & unbalanced modes;
-Website isn't very well designed but is very specification-comprehensive and does list driver & firmware updates on the "FAQ" page;
-Shipped in a small display case box with excellent USB-C <-> USB-C & USB-C -> Lightning cables (I use both): nicely braided and with sculpted metal connectors, and included a USB-C <-> USB-A adapter for Laptop/PC use;
-Built very nicely, with subtle printing, easy-to see LED power/bitrate light, and a slim profile that's easy to love and get used to;
-Has a warm, musical sound signature reminiscent of Class A, tube/valve, and some ifi products I'm used to.
-EMI is certainly audible on occasion when using with a mobile phone, but it's hardly constant nor especially annoying
-Speaking of "warm sounding," this thing can run HOT. I tend to listen to music at high volumes and cranking the Beam 2 will turn it into a lovely little aluminum pocket handwarmer; not hot enough to burn you, but certainly hot enough to surprise your hand or possibly irritate people with sensitive skin in a thin pocket at high volumes/power levels
-Power Consumption: A lead-in from the prior point; if you regularly listen at higher volumes, it becomes quickly clear that the Beam 2 isn't the most efficient pocket DAC/AMP in the world; it warms up quickly and significantly, and the draw on your average phone will be noticeable. On long trips where I only use the Beam 2 off my phone, I typically alternate charging my phone and using it's built-in headphone jack (LG G8) and using the Beam 2 for 6 or so hours before needing to top-up again. It's very well suited for use with a laptop, as it's compact, capable, and the power draw will be hardly noticeable.
Overall, there are a great many use cases I've found the Beam 2 perfect for - I don't feel the need for an even more compact DAC/AMP, and while I do still have and use my Hip DAC when travelling with more power-hungry or 4.4mm balanced cans, the Beam 2 is too convenient not to use in most cases.
The shooting pair I chose come in a very handy swivel-top carry case with bead chain - it's probably not waterproof but it's 'mil-spec' design is durable and large enough to store both pairs and the cord.
I've read that the 3M Pair these are allegedly based on are part of a class-action lawsuit due to complaints that they don't seal properly - while I have a large head, I have relatively small ear canals (If you're familiar with the Dekoni Bulletz, the "small" size fit me best), and I find that these fit very comfortably and seal well. I've fired 9mm, 30/06, .308, and thousands of 12-gague shells in rapid succession with these on and I'm very happy with their comfort and performance.
While I still have a pair of Walkers slim over-ear shooting muffs, I almost never pull those out unless shooting in the cold - the only reason I haven't worn these earplugs for road & air travel is that I typically prefer to listen to music on well-isolating on/over-ear headphones, but I can see these being excellent travel companions. I'll update this review after my first concert experience wearing them!
Quality, Stylish, and Comfortable upgrades to Grado Prestige
As other reviewers have suggested, the "legendary" Grado fit & finish leaves much to be desired for many (including myself) who absolutely love the way many of their products sound. This headband is a very welcome upgrade that significantly boosts appearance, comfort and fit - as for the quality - stitching is excellent, flawless hide, and supple head padding all lend to a very nice looking and feeling piece of leatherwork. I opted for the coffee colour on my SR80e to set off the otherwise black plastic ocean, and love the result. The installation process may look frightening to many but it's straightforward and well worth the experience.
My only issue? I'd love to upgrade the headband on my Beyerdynamic DT880 Editions, but as those headphones *barely* clear my gargantuan head on the stock headband, I fear replacing it with a more thickly padded one will render their fit unwearable for me.
Best Upgrade for the 99 Classics, Especially at this Price
I'm no stranger to pad swaps - I've experimented with nearly all of my headphones (nearly 40 on/over-ear pairs) well before they "needed" to be changed out due to discomfort or wear, solely for the fact that 95% of the pad upgrades I've made have been significantly beneficial, at least in either comfort, sound, or (in the best cases) both.
The 99 Classics (I happen to have the walnut/silver trim versions) are nearly a perfect product for what they're aiming for - they include a lovely 'leather' carrying case with accessory storage within, a *damn* good cable that's long, supple, and durable, and the fit & finish you've come to expect from this relatively young but deservedly-popular brand. This is all despite how many people seem to overlook what I consider to be the 99C's weakest link by far: the stock pads. They aren't quite "offensive" in the comfort department; I wear glasses and don't notice any pressure point for several hours of listening, they seal well enough, and are covered in a soft enough material to relieve any immediate discomfort. When it comes to the sound, though, is where all the difference lies. I expected these to be one of the more bass-heavy headphones I own, but (hopefully) not at the detriment of midrange & treble capability; I'd describe the sound on the stock pads at the very limit of the compromise I'd tolerate between bass response/impact and the muddying of the rest of the spectrum.
After my first day of solid listening on the stock pads, I already started thinking about the genres of music they'd be best suited to for listening, and they admittedly weren't my cup of tea - I typically prefer airy treble and midrange-focused sound signatures on open-back sets, but had an idea of what to expect. Then I swapped the pads, which took all of about 5 minutes (3-4/10 on my difficulty scale), and put them back on...If only every reviewer & Meze customer were able to get their first impressions of these headphones in THIS configuration, the admittedly already-high hype would be off the charts.
Yes, the bass is still present and sometimes impactful, but the treble had significantly opened up and a surprising width revealed itself I didn't expect from closed-backs at this price and with this approach to engineering. Clarity in the upper midrange appeared out of nowhere and my understanding of the purpose of these things completely changed - I wore them for a straight 23 hours and listened to all genres of music in my library, completely surprised at how refined, capable, and versatile they were across the spectrum. The biggest surprise? I had no idea I could enjoy classical music so much on a pair of closed-backs, let alone at the price these sit at (ALL the time). That full day should be another testament to the folks at Dekoni - comfort is key. While I don't know whether the stock pads would have given me "glasses-ache" after longer sessions, I don't need to find out. The sound is so much more refined and enjoyable to my ears that this had become the only upgrade I'd recommend to anyone & everyone who owns the 99Cs, and possibly the Noirs if you believe the same experience might apply. These are understandably expensive pads (especially in sheepskin) direct from Dekoni, but at less than an additional 20% over the cost of the headphones themselves, they're a no-brainer.
This review for DROP support not for the actual headphones since i never got to listen to them.
Drop support is pretty bad, so on 3rd jan 2022 i received my 6xx from UPS, there was a huge 90$ customs charge on my package, after opening the package i was shocked, the headphone box was ripped apart like a monkey opened the box, there was UPS tape all over it, i contacted drop regarding this issue the same day, next day i received an from Mathew from Drop asking me to check the headphones for any damage, i checked it, there was no damage but there were few fingerprints on it, after cleaning them off and plugged into my pc and Boom the headphones did not worked, i thought there must be some plug issues, i rechecked everything, tried on multiple devices but no luck, it was a DOA.
On 5th Jan 2022 i mailed Mathew and told him that its dead and headphones are not working.
On 6th Jan 2022 i received an email from Mathew that he is starting a return and replacement for the 6XX, he is said he is getting the return started and he will let me know once everything is set.
On 8th Jan 2022 i sent an email to Mathew to gen an update, after 2 days on 10th Jan 2022 he sent me an email that my address is too long for them to create a return, i dont know why it took them 4 days to find out that my address is too long, anyways i told them they can not remove anything from my address because thats what my address and it can cause issue for finding my address if they remove something, i asked him what the solution now, received no response, I waited.
On 14th Jan 2022 i sent him an email to get an update, still no response.
Today is 17th Jan 2022 and still i have not received any response nor any solution, i paid a total of 180$ + 90$ customs for a dead headphone and now my money is stuck, i already bought a HD650 from a local store since i could not wait more for a replacement, hopefully they will read my review and help me with the refund.
This is a great, fairly linear amp that won't color your music. Plenty of power to drive anything. Pairs great with warmer cans for causal listening, but can really accentuate recording flaws or file issues when using analytical cans (which is not the amp's fault). I ended up adding a tube buffer in front of mine so I could use it with everything on my wall.
Included aluminum case is the worst part of the product. It's very industrial and appears unfinished with sharp edges. It will keep the contents safe, though, and won't look bad on your table or shelf.
The cable is good. Flexible, good looking and well made. The IEMs themselves and likewise handsome and feel nice.
Included eartips cover a decent range of shapes and sizes. I was able to find a very comfortable fit with white cylindrical tips in medium size. Your choice will probably differ from mine.
Unmodified sound signature is too V-shaped for me. It still sounds coherent, effortless and clean, which I'd like to attribute to having a single planar driver without crossovers and stuff complicating the matter. Frequency range is very broad.
The driver scales effortlessly with EQ. Driving the Timeless with Qudelix-5K and Crinacle's EQ preset produces such a balanced, immediate and detailed sound that I'm having hard time believing it could get much better for IEMs at any price range.
The sound stage is not large, but the details and imaging (with EQ) are on such a high level that it feels natural to observe the music from up close.
I ordered a set of the emu teak’s back in late fall, and received them right after Christmas (a few days earlier than expected). I’ve had a few weeks with them now, and they’re every bit as good as I was expecting.
My only other set of headphones are the fostex t60rp, which has a much different sound signature. I sometimes want more low end, but they make up for it in detail, speed and control. The emu teak seemed like the perfect compliment. At first the the bass on the teak felt a little bloated, and I didn’t get as much percussive impact from snares as I like. The bass has since mellowed, and I get plenty of detail. Surprisingly, I’ve heard things I didn’t with t60rp. The teak is much more non-fatiguing too. I can just listen and enjoy. The clamp is not overly strong, and it provides enough pressure while not being uncomfortable for long sessions. The cable is good. I would have preferred a removable one. Though I’m still fairly new to the headphone game, I think I’ve found my all-rounder. At least for a while.
The teak sounds wonderful on most amps and DACs I’ve tried, but my favorite at the moment is the Schiit bifrost 2 into an xduoo ta-10r. I have a singxer sa-1, which pairs very well, but the ta-10r adds a little hybrid flavor to the midrange. The bifrost 2 is plenty resolving and it really comes through on the teak.
So right off the bat, yes they clamp pretty hard out of the box, but all you gotta do is carefully bend the metal bit between the headband and drivers. After loosening them up a bit I can easily wear these cans all day with glasses.
I only own these and the Meze 99 Neos so I'm not as reliable as some of the other reviews floating around, but personally, I love it. They really are like VR for your ears. The highs are careful yet present, mids are beautiful, and although the bass has a roll-off it's still enough to keep you entertained (if you're coming from something bass heavy it could sound really weak for a bit until your ears adjust).
As for the build quality, I could sit on these and they'd be totally fine, but I don't advise sitting on *any* of your headphones for obvious reasons. The headband and driver housings are made out of a relatively nice dark blue plastic with black metal screen protecting the backs of each driver. Both the earpads and headband padding are this really nice plush, soft fabric covered foam that feel like the inside of a motorcycle helmet (but much softer).
If you're new to high end audio, then you will need an amp powerful enough to drive these. I use the Schiit Magni 3+ and it does a great job at driving these puppies.
10/10 from me, as my first taste of what open-backed headphones can do, I'm hooked.
Years ago, when I first heard about Massdrop, I thought it was kinda cheesy -- "hey, let's start group buying stuff, and pester our friends on social media to come join us in getting stuff they might not otherwise want." It kinda felt like multi-level-marketing with a twist.
But after the debut of the Sennheiser 6xx in 2016, my attitude changed. They were changing the game, and democratizing premium gear for us filthy casuals, and making stuff better. I participated in that first 6xx drop back in 2016, and it gave me a wonderful re-entry back into listening to music, and caring how it sounded, rather than just how convenient it was to listen to (I'm looking at you, over-compressed MP3s and crappy earbuds...).
Then when it was time to up my brother's headphone game, I came back to Drop, and immediately got him the 58X -- a little more bass (suits his musical preferences), easier to drive (so he can use them with his iPad), what could go wrong?
Well, apart from brother declaring his former go-to gaming headset crap, building himself a PC rig, and buying a JDS Atom stack all in the name of getting better sound from his New Favorite Thing Ever™, it's been wonderful -- just a burden on his wallet, I guess.
In the 4-5 times I've listened to the 58X (when I can pry them off my brother's head), I'm amazed at how competent they are, akin to my 6XX, yet somehow more airy and balanced.
So, I hope Drop's satisfied, you've wrecked my brother's finances, and if you'll excuse me, I have to go shop for an amp upgrade... :D