E-MU Wood Series Headphones
E-MU Wood Series Headphones
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Product Description
From E-MU’s Wood Series, these headphones feature full-size circumaural enclosures handcrafted from your choice of bamboo or teak. And now, they’re available with a 1.5-meter cable—something fans of the Fostex TH and Denon D Series have been wanting for a while Read More
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All of our reviews are from verified customers.
4.9
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would recommend to a friend
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TheRequiem
149
Aug 27, 2020
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Deep heavy bass
These things HIT, if you like bass heavy sound signature - these are perfect for you.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Gurbakhshish
193
Jun 12, 2020
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This is worth every penny
Got this and modded it for removable cables. This is a really good pair when compared to big brothers(TH900). These come fairly close to the performance of th900 considering the price.
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Would recommend to a friend.
JayP16
3
Jul 12, 2020
How did you mod it
Gurbakhshish
193
Jul 15, 2020
I am using there 3.5 mm jacks from amazon. i has to use dremel tool to make the wire hole slightly bigger (5mm to 6mm) and mill part to cup inner edge and small part of driver plastic housing to make space for jack. it fits surprisingly well
Saxelrod92
120
Jun 10, 2020
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Best headphone in its price range.
I used to own the old 2012 Denon d5000 model, have owned a Mr. Speakers alpha prime, and have heard a bunch of high end sennheisers. I currently also own the E-MU purplehearts for travel, and have tried a bunch of sub 200 dollar In-Ears. In my opinion these teaks are probably the best sounding and built headphone you can buy for 400 dollars. There's maybe some open backs here or there that can do mids or treble a bit better, but for a whole package this is the one. Bass: this variation of the classic foster OEM really refined the bass region a lot. It has much better transient response now so everything hits hard, cleanly, and quickly. Extension is very good, but it's not flat all the way down and I personally would prefer deeper sub bass extension overall. That said the thump and clarity in the sub bass these headphones do have is very satisfying. If these are your only pair, you'll not feel like something is missing at all here. If you happen to own a much pricier headphone that does bass better then you'll feel these aren't quite up to par, but also they are like 400-600 less dollars than the higher end headphone. Overall bass is fantastic, and impressively never bleeds into the mids (if your coming from lower end gear, with mid bass bleed, this will be the most noticeable change at first). Mids: this is the biggest improvement over all the other versions of this headphone. Its not as recessed as it's other versions can be, in fact with sounds like electric guitar it's really incredible. It really gives guitar that nice full crunch sound, and lots of detailed clarity. Resolution as a whole is greatly improved, while still sounding smooth. That said if you want a mod forward sound, these won't cut it for you. Certain frequencies will dip a more than others putting certain vocals a but behind the rest of the sound. Overall really impressive, esp with guitar and has a nice full sound to most of the midrange. Treble: again compared to it's counterparts it is much more refined overall in the treble. It stays consistently smooth, clean, and tilted warm. It has much more resolution than the other headphones, and it really brings out lots of small details without being overly sharp or bright. It stays on the warm side of neutral for sure, but it's airy and clear. The only part that becomes an issue is somewhere in the upper mids/lower treble it can get a tiny bit shouty with certain frequencies and sounds. But it never feels like the driver get overwhelmed when that occurs, and it never crosses into that shouty distortion area that can be painful. It just stays controlled, but depending on your ears can be a little annoying after a while. Its by far the least refined element of their sound, and the only area that tells you these aren't 700+ dollar headphones, bit instead 400 dollar headphones. Overall treble is nice, smooth, clean, and detailed. Imaging and soundstage: they exhibit some of the more familiar imaging characteristics I've heard on the other foster OEM models. Which would be nice and wide, but not very deep, without much precision in the center image. The right and left though is very precise, and works great for gaming. Layering is also very good, so busy songs never sound like a jumbled mess of noise. I listen to a lot of metal, and these headphones never break a sweat keeping up with everything going on in those songs. The fast transient response really makes a huge difference here. Overall they image well, have a wide soundstage, leave plenty of air between instruments, but aren't that deep or the most laser precise ever. Build quality/comfort: honestly they are built much better than my old d5000 was. These teaks are somehow much sturdier, no loose hinges or wobbles, and all the metal parts feel more precise and of better quality. Ear pads are on the small side, my ears fit inside though and even then it's a bit cramped. These will ship with the newer sheepskin pads, but I also ordered the old protein pads directly for comparisons/backup since the sound changes a good bit depending on your pad choice. That said the sheepskin pads are more luxurious in feel and build quality than the older protein leather pads. Have not tried them yet for sound changes, but it seems these sheepskin pads do a good job at keeping things relatively the same as stock. Comfort is always great for me with these models, light clamp, snug headband with no hotspots despite little padding. Also the cable is better built, but it is thicker and it holds it's coiled up shape unfortunately. It does not like to be straightened out at all, and I just use it coiled a bit. Its an attempt to solve the old Denon cable issues that my d5000 had. Where it was too flexible and eventually tore open breaking the wire. So E-MU seems to have used a thicker less flexible cable to prevent it from constantly being bent. I can tell you this cable is better for longevity but it is a little annoying to deal with it's coiled up memory. Overall I love this headphone, it's just one of those models that takes the original foster OEM and refined every last drop out of it that you can. It has a sound that the most amount of people will enjoy, with comfort as well. All at a price high enough for this to be your end game, and low enough to justify buying on a whim. Either way you'll enjoy the headphones and even when you get very high end models you'll still want to come back to these every now and then.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Saxelrod92
120
Aug 21, 2020
Yeah for their price point they can do what most headphones up to 1000 dollars can do. Maybe not perfectly in one area or another like the others can, but as an all rounder it basically does the job at half the cost. At this point any time I'm looking at another pair to buy its really just headphones over 1000 bucks that seem to have any significant improvement to the sound and build. Seems like audio performance works in large price gaps. Like my 100 dollar headphones or in ears sound great compared to their competition. Then these teaks sound great in their price range, but that's like 4 times the cost now. After that a 1500 dollar+ set will beat the teaks, and that's another huge chunk more money to get there. Headphones similar in price just seem to be about sound preference because most good ones are of similar sound quality. Find your preference in each price range and you're set lol, just 3 pairs will fill the whole range.
tkyc
41
Aug 23, 2020
We are very lucky to have such great sounding headphones available. Even my Hifiman HE-400i make me smile. The Denon AH-D9200 blew me away in the $1500 range. The Sennheiser HD 800s and Focal Clears were also very good but not quite my taste.
rjones36
2
May 29, 2020
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Looking for some bass.. buy these!
These is just a small review of my own experience. I believe the review written by @toniidesu really nails it when it comes to these headphones. Pros:
  • Bass! If you like listening to EDM or HipHop then buy these. You will not regret it.
  • Great soundstage for a closed back headphone
  • If you also like to game, then these are great for hearing those footsteps
  • Imaging seemed fine to me, but maybe this is because I have smaller ears and they can actually sit somewhat inside the earcup
  • Cable is solid for being an attached cable. It is pretty "thick" cable so be warned if that bothers you. (Ladies..)
  • The wood design is a beautiful thing. You just want to pet them, stroke them until they give you that warm silky... eh.. nvm. You get the point.
  • These feel very light weight. (To me anyways)
  • I didn't find any really hotspots from the top headband. Even though it doesn't really have any real padding. Might be because I don't have a really huge head. YMMV
  • Easy to drive. I have used them with my Sennheiser GSX 1000 and my Schiit Hel. Both are more than adequate to do the job.

Cons:
  • Cable is attached (at least the version I bought)
  • Pads might be too small for most (Not really issue for me, I have small ears)
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Would recommend to a friend.
toniidesu
157
Jan 25, 2020
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I'd been curious about these cult classics ever since I first read about them, so I joined the 2018 drop for the removable cable version but got cold feet and canceled because I was afraid of eating ~$500 on something I couldn't return. I then felt buyer's remorse remorse and lurked Drop for the next year hoping they'd pop back up, and last November they did, albeit in a fixed-cable variant. For anyone else who's on the fence, I'm glad I got these! For perspective, I've owned the following over-ear headphones (cracks knuckles): Audio-Technica M40X and M50; Sennheiser HD598, 600, and 650; Philips Fidelio L2, Fostex T50RP Mk3, Oppo PM-3, Sony WH-1000XM3, NAD Viso HP50, Audioquest NightOwl Carbon, and Audeze LCD-X. I'm not going to make any inane claims about "bestness"—sound is inherently subjective because we all have different ears, heads, and frequency sensitivities. So these aren't the "best" headphones, just the best for my use case. It would be absurd to claim, for example, that these do vocals better than the HD650 or have better detail retrieval than the LCD-X. They don't. With that disclaimer out of the way, I like these headphones better than any I've owned before, but I want to clarify why that is. After a lot of experimentation (and expense), I realized that I want the following:
  • Closed back: sadly, I'm never in an environment quiet enough for open backs. This also has the fringe benefit of removing the most expensive headphones from consideration. :)
  • Good sound from any source: after years of messing with DACs and amps, I realized that adding more complexity to your playback chain is a major obstacle to enjoying music. The more upstream gear you add, the more likely you'll trade the simple pleasures of music for the neurotic pursuit of impossible perfection. This allowed me to rule out headphones that need an amp to shine, which really pares down the field.
  • Forgiving treble: I'm sensitive to high frequencies, so I tend to prefer "darker" to "brighter" sound signatures.
Putting all these factors together, these are what I've been looking for all these years, and while I could say I wish I'd known about them a few years and a few thousand dollars sooner, it's possible that if you meet your headphone match too soon, you won't recognize it. Once you embark on any sort of grail quest, you'll travel far even if it's just to end up close to where you started. So no regrets! :) In addition to fulfilling the requirements above, the E-MUs have the following sound highlights:
  • Awesome quality and quantity of bass: these are a basshead's dream come true: I would say bass response is the dominant feature of their sound. Note that the bass isn't as quick or dynamic as the NightOwl, to say nothing of the LCD-X.
  • Great treble extension without being painful: the Sony WH-1000XM3 and Oppo PM-3 are both examples of headphones whose treble rolls off too soon, to the point that some recordings sound lifeless or incomplete.
  • Smooth, natural timbre: perhaps unsurprisingly, the combination of two organic materials in critical places—biocellulose drivers and wooden ear cups—creates a very natural sound. There's a reason musical instruments and speaker cabinets are made of wood, and these headphones definitely benefit from the unique sonic properties of wood, in this case teak. This is their secret sauce relative to other closed headphones I've tried. This benefit is reduced if you don't listen to a lot of jazz and classical, though.
  • Soundstage is big and open for a closed design. There's good width, but not much depth.
  • Putting all this together with their undemanding power requirements, these are the solid headphones for gaming, even plugged straight into a PS4 controller. Video game sounds are usually V-shaped, so these are a natural fit. I would imagine they'd be perfect for movies too, but the only time I watch movies on headphones is during flights, and these aren't travel friendly.
Here are the not-so-great things about their sound (with stock pads):
  • Bass can be overpowering and boomy on certain tracks, crowding out the gentler mids.
  • As is the case with most V-shaped headphones, imaging isn't the best. These don't create a razor-sharp stereo image with clear instrument separation. They're warm and syrupy and kind of stir sounds together (with the exception of the highest frequencies). Depending on your tastes, this will either sound "musical/natural" or "congested." That said, these don't fall apart with fast/busy music like drum and bass or metal, so to me it's not a big deal. Even so, I don't think anyone would call these "analytical." If you like maximum detail and crystal-clear imaging (generally exemplified by the HD800 series), you probably won't like these.
  • Sibilance can be a real problem on some tracks, and this is true even after swapping to different earpads.
And finally, comfort/quality:
  • Ear openings are too small for Dumbos like me, which limits how long I can keep them on. Fortunately, the earpads are easy to swap, and I'm currently using the Brainwavz XL pads in leather. If you've got the coin, ZMF or Dekoni pads are probably even better. Changing to the larger and flatter Brainwavz pads significantly changed the sound, making it leaner and more open, but also harsher and more sibilant.
  • Headband is minimally padded and creates a hot spot on the crown of my head. Something like the ZMF Pilot Pad will correct this. You may not have this problem.
  • The earcups swivel! This is an underrated feature that makes a big difference in comfort.
  • These are pretty barebones for the price. There's nothing in the box but a 1/4" adapter and a business card for E-MU (lol). Seems odd for the price, but whatever.
  • Build quality is excellent. I'm sure this is equally true for everything built on the Foster 443742 platform, but all the structural bits seem to be metal, which reassures me about their longevity. Nothing creaks or squeaks, and the wooden cups are polished nicely.
  • The cable length is great for most situations, although when I plug them into my phone and walk around the house it looks and feels absolutely ridiculous because the cable is thick and unwieldy. You'd have to be a real maverick to wear these out.
Anyway, I think I've said more than enough about these, but if this helps even one person find headphone happiness, it will have been worth the time I spent writing this review. Thanks for reading!
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Troglo
4
Mar 17, 2020
Thank a bunch, I appreciate the feedback. I’ll actually have a chance to demo some Audeze gear this weekend if I want. If I do, I will pay close attention to what you mentioned there regarding comfort. It’ll probably be a quick test. I mostly just wanna bring my Loki along for the ride and see how much bass they kick out. So that comfort thing might’ve gone unnoticed, thanks again!
toniidesu
157
Mar 17, 2020
Sure thing, glad to help! The final thing I'll say is that the E-MU is the most musical headphone I've owned. Many headphones, especially at the high end of the market, seem to prioritize sound reproduction over musicality. I felt the LCD-X fell into this category: heard analytically, it's an outstanding performer across the frequency range, but the whole still seemed to me less than the sum of its parts. It just lacked the sweetness and warmth I equate with music (to be fair, I listen to a lot of jazz and classical). The HD650/6XX is an exceptionally sweet headphone, especially for vocals. If you can get away with an open back and don't mind using an amp, I think it's probably the best value in the headphone world and becoming a better value all the time. If you're less concerned with musicality and don't mind something that's pointless without an amp, the Fostex T50RP Mk3 is an insane value and has some of the best bass I've ever heard. Good luck and let me know if I can answer any other questions!
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WildChinoise
235
Jan 16, 2020
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Thoroughly enjoying my music
I've had these in hand for a little over a week. The teak wood came installed and the bamboo cups as extra in a cardboard box. For some of us us Fostex fans, having more types of "affordable" wood to sample, is just over the top. The following comments are just for the teak cups, I'll update when I get around to listening to the bamboo cups. Firstly, it's a well made headphone. I have two other Fostex headphones, build quality is right up there with them. If anything the finish on the wood cups is more polished than my purple heart and ebony models. I do like that there is no obvious branding logo to spoil the wood cup or the the headband. There is a very discrete EMU carved into the rectangle of the headband hinge. This is the model "without" a detachable cable. The cable seems well made and is wrapped in black paracord. Thankfully it is 1.5 meter in length and not the three meter length of prior models. If you like to swap and or upgrade cables, it will be less convenient with model. I modded the cable on my ebony model by cutting it short and re-terminating with a Neutrik plug. I don't know why I find it so amusing that the EMU Teak came in with cable length similar to my modded ebony. Comfort is about the same as prior Fostex models. My main complaint is the ear pads have smaller cutout for your ears than some other headphones. But I have elephant ears, most people probably wouldn't be bothered at all. I also have a large round head , baseball cap size 7 7/8 inches, but there is no problem or issue getting the EMU comfortably positioned on my head. For me the clamp is on the milder side, so I do not experience discomfort from a longer listening session. I happen to like the sound signature of the Fostex family, and these EMU Teak fit right in with the family. There is a goodly amount of bass and it seems well extended. The mids are mildly recessed Clear and detailed highs. In the first few days, I thought the high end was harsh and I kept volume down. After a week, I think the high end has smoothed out a bit and they are much more listenable at higher volume levels. I'm not a good judge of sound staging and imaging. Its probably due to my preferred music genres do not demand much skill or competence in that regard. I listen to classic rock, old jazz, blues, pop, girl group k-pop, j-pop, c-pop, classical Chinese instrumental, some hip hop, some rap. I have listened on Burson Play (V6 classic op amps), Centance DACport HD, Gustard X12 DAC+H10 HPA stack. So far, it sounds best on the Gustard stack. I did try my the EMU briefly on my Eddie Current ZDT Jr. Not a match made in heaven. But to be fair, the ZDT Jr. is not burned in at all and it is running with stock tubes and I have lot of tubes in hand that I want to roll. If you want to challenge the bass of your headphones, try this YT track https://youtu.be/C7HL5wYqAbU All in all. I'm happy to have added another member of the Fostex family to my collection.
Onaha
27
Sep 12, 2019
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Really great headphones
I experienced some serious buyers remorse after my drop ended and I waited for shipment notification. I already owned several pairs of closed-back headphones, and hadn't spent enough time with some of them. The cable wasn't removable, and shorter than I'd prefer. I already owned Fostex Ebonies, and I expected these to be similar, if not exact. But these rarely show up for sale here, and I had read so many great reviews that I pulled the trigger and then spent a few weeks questioning my decision. I'm very happy to say I have no regrets about the purchase. These are just great headphones. I will let others with more refined ears go into further detail than I can, but these have a sound signature that just works for me. I'm not opposed to EQ, but I prefer to not use it if I don't have to. Some may feel these need some tweaks, but I don't. Bass, mids, and highs are all clear, yet different from the Fostex they most resemble outwardly. While I would guess these would also be considered a "fun" sound signature like the TR-X00 Ebony, they don't overly emphasize the bass, and the highs seem a little more balanced to my ear. I don't find myself searching for bass heavy tracks in my library like I do with the Ebonies. I just hit shuffle and let it go. They seem lighter yet sturdier to me than the Fostex do, and I find the pads to be more comfortable. The wire is more what I would like for portable than desktop, but my desktop setup is fairly close, so the short length is not a major issue for me. I can see the cable being too short for others though. One of the recurring issues I saw on a previous drop was with the housing of the detachable cable, so I imagine they changed the connection to remedy those complaints. I have zero issues with the new fixed connection, and if this change will result in more durability I am all for it. While I'd love to run them balanced, they really do sound great the way they are. I went with the Teak upgrade, only because all the positive reviews specifically praised the sound the teak ear cups gave off and I couldn't find any reviews of the bamboo cups. I can't speak for how the bamboo sounds, but the teak is worth the extra money in my opinion because they just sound great. If you've considered these before, or are on the fence, I think you will like these a lot. They are not the best headphones I own (Focal Clears are my current leaders), but they may be my favorite closed back for enjoying music. I own the Fostex Ebony, Audeze LCDX-C, Beyedynamic DT770 250ohm, Meze Noirs, and Mr Speakers Ether CX, and I reach for these more than any other closed back on my shelf. For $400 w/ the upgrade to teak, they are still cheaper than most of those, and less than half the price of 2 of them. I think it's a great value for the sound they deliver, and you should buy with confidence.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Barce
4
Nov 12, 2019
Fair point, that's why I don't assume it's true myself. I'm loving the Teaks so far, they've dominated my listening time since arrival. The only thing I don't adore about them other than the heavy, undetachable cable (it's not as bad as I had braced myself for) are the fact that the earspace on the sheepskin pads is smaller than I'd like, so the comfort isn't absolute. Really great pads otherwise though, I can tell they're a big part of this awesome sound signature. They're supremely fun cans in a different way than Argons are. I'm very pleased.
Jakob
210
Mar 8, 2020
Do you ever experience clipping with your Focals? My Elex clip when listening to powerful bass tracks like Hans Zimmer soundtracks or EDM at Admittedly loud volumes. I really like my Elex, they are easy the best I have but the clipping is a known issue with their driver design and a disappointing weakness in an otherwise great headphone. This is why I love my Emu, they provide thunderous bass with zero distortion.
zep483
618
Sep 5, 2019
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Amazing Value/Great sound!
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Would recommend to a friend.
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zep483
618
Jul 19, 2020
Yeah I finally switched mine around. The teak is definitely my preference. The bamboo is a little V and gets rid of the liquidity of the headphone the teak has a bit. I definitely think the teak is worth the upgrade, but would understand that some like the bamboo better... but will have to put up with the V, rather than the U...
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Hyde
742
Jul 20, 2020
Lol yeah I think bamboo is half way in the middle between the E-Mu Teak sound vs the TH-X00 sound. To my preference I like the vocal better on Bamboo where as Teak the female vocal is too recessed for my taste, but otherwise I can totally see why people would go either way depending on preference and genre of music. I also prefer it on the TH610 ear pad as oppose to the E-Mu ear pad so might not be exactly apples to apples here. But I think I'm probably the only person that I know that prefera Denon D2000 the best follow by TH-X00 Mahogany so maybe the I'm the odd ball here LOL.
maellen
39
Jul 11, 2020
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Easy to drive. Love the bass slam.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Gallappago
3
May 23, 2020
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