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Dec 30, 2018
Amazing headphone. Excellent choice if you're looking for a fun, v-shaped/w-shaped headphone. Also one of the few Foster 443742 variants that you can actually afford at nearly half the price of its' competitors. I hear you can purchase the E-MU Teak (retail is $850 as of this review) at the Massdrop price ($450) if you email their support, but availability may be spotty. Meanwhile, you can buy this at $420 and get it shipped the next day, so that's really nice. There are other variants of this headphone that Massdrop x Fostex also produces: the Ebony ($520) and Purpleheart ($470), which come with different cups. The popular word seems to be that the Ebony is the most smooth and subtle-sounding of the variants (less v-shaped than the others), with the Purpleheart being the most intensely v-shaped. Mahogany being in the middle. You can read various reviews online and make the decision for yourself. Both vary in availability from time to time, but I recommend you check out the reviews there also. In my opinion though, you'll be satisfied with any of the choices -- while they do have different cups, they are exactly the same headphone. Same driver, same housing, same everything else. And on that note, it is also quite straightforward to perform modifications on, which gives it a decent popularity in aftermarket parts:
  • You can get replacement earpads which will affect the sound and comfort to varying degrees. The most popular aftermarket ones are probably the Dekoni Premium Pads that are also offered here on Massdrop (they make earpads specifically for the TH-X00/TR-X00, here's a review of them). I own the fenestrated sheepskin pads with the attenuation rings, and as someone that wears glasses, the comfort is a significant improvement from the stock pads, although the sound does change quite a bit (I'll address this in the review over there). If you use ZMF Ori pads (which are also pretty popular), I would recommend you make your own custom attenuation rings as the raw sound may be a bit too unpleasant, and the earhole design on the original pads exists for a reason.
  • You can also replace the earcups. Lawton seems to be one of the few aftermarket vendors that offers replacement wood cups for this headphone and its' variants but do keep in mind they are really expensive. As mentioned in the SBAF thread, it's not recommended, and I agree. It's something to keep in mind if you're holding out for another variant because you want the TR-X00 that's perfect for you.
  • This doesn't apply to the TR-X00 as it already comes with a removable cable that uses the same connector as the TH909, TH900mk2, and TH610, but it wasn't difficult to make a detachable cable mod given some basic soldering skills.
I own the original mahogany TH-X00 from the first drop (3+ years), but for most intents and purposes it should be considered the same headphone sans removable cable. It's been my daily driver since I got it, and I remember using it for everything (music, videos, gaming, etc). I gave my other spare headphones (AKG K7XX) to my brother since I didn't want them to gather dust, because I kept using these so much. They sound great. Definitely quite a basshead headphone with tight, crunchy bass with great decay, but doesn't lack in tonality in the mids and highs. Sub-bass is also freaking amazing. Great for most genres, but excels in bringing out the joy in EDM and pop tracks. Try listening to RL Grime, QUIX, Just A Gent or something similar and you'll feel a real satisfaction from that tight low end. Imaging is quite good for a semi-open/'closed' headphone too, so you can use this for gaming. That low end will make explosions and gunfire sound real beefy too. It doesn't really leak too badly either, though this will also depend on what earpads you're using. The comfort is quite nice in stock -- clamp is nice and firm but not uncomfortable, stock earpads tend to get a little warm during sessions. Build quality is pretty good and the mahogany in particular looks quite gorgeous. The hinge design is something to be careful about since it is a little delicate, but I've never had a problem with it. As with many things that cost ~$400+, it'd be best to exercise some caution. Always try to lay them down somewhere where they won't fall when you aren't using them. I suggest folding the complimentary carrying pouch into a fourth and leaving the headphones on top if you don't have a stand. Cable's kinda long (and which makes it unsuitable for portable use despite its' high sensitivity and low impedance) but it is really chunky and durable. I ran over it accidentally with one of my chair's casters once but it turned out fine. Given it was over carpet, but still. On that note, you don't really need an amp for these, but as with most desktop headphones they do get a good performance benefit out of one, even if slight. So with that $100 USD you're not spending on something more expensive, if you don't have an amp yet, go purchase a JDS Labs Atom and be happy with your life. Plus you'll be able to run them a bit louder for those party hard sessions. If there's one headphone that you'd have to own at this price range, this one should definitely be one of the top contenders. It's very enjoyable, and its the kind of headphone that prior to its' release was hard to get ahold of. Denon no longer manufactures the AH-D5000/7000 (instead opting for a new driver they've developed in the AH-D5200/7200 which is kinda "eh" in comparison), and as mentioned before the E-MU Teak's availability can be spotty. And if you're considering an OG Fostex TH-series, you probably know what you want already (though I don't consider them great contenders given that this headphone exists, and at higher price points you should really consider a ZMF Aeolus or Atticus).
Dec 30, 2018
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