Pros: VERY fun sounding yet still detailed, sweet mid, solid and punchy bass when needed, comfortable earpads, housing looks cool enough
Cons: Earpads may be too shallow/thin, could use more power in highs, looks cheap, funny design, asymmetrical clamp
This is my first review on head-fi and this is only my second week on having this pair, but I'll try to cover as much as I can. I am a newbie on this stuff (not planning to be audiophile) and also I hail from being a fan of Audio-Technica (I have ATH-SJ55 and love it), so you know my position. I would also like to compare it with the DT 1350 I've recently tried. Still, I am far from being an expert and this review may contain many mistakes I would like to correct when I got my hands on more high-end pieces. CMIIW.
I will start with an overview and the moment I got my hands on these. Opening the box, the set only comes with the pair in a semi-hard case as I expected. Since the first time I bought the WHITE DTX 501 p, I've been sharing the use with my girlfriend. We use it on a daily basis, though. She is a typical person who loves emphasis on bass, and could use more upper-mid to highs found in a violin. She said that she loves these the most, but admitted my SJ55 is better in terms of detail. I use them for everyday use in home and for commuting as well, and as far as I care about, these sounds nice directly out from my phone. I will come up with details. And also, deciding whether this or SJ55 is more worth the price on the whole run would be comparing apple to orange.
These phones look cheap, not to mention its rather fragile build. The design is also funny. It is neither round nor square and I can see myself accidentally stepping on it and break it. The cable looks fine enough. The looks just can't hold it if it were not for the nice looking silver metal-plated housing. Another plus is that it looks clean, at least for me. It is comfortable, but not for a long time. If you can adjust the length of the headband right, you won't feel it hanging on your head. My main concern is actually the at the housing. The earpads are comfortable, but at a long session of hearing (mine is after 1 to 1.5 hour more or less) you can feel the housing, the headband, and the earpads teaming up to clamp on your ears' bones. I feel it especially on my left ear with a fewer hurt on right ear. Not crushing your head and I wouldn't call it painful either, but it can be annoying and sometimes put a hurt you can feel on your ears. I can't comment on this more though, as I am more comfortable with beyer's earpads rather than Audio-Technica's (M50's terrible for my head without any mods)
I would describe the sound as a rather dark, fun for music sounding. That being said, I can also say this is an all-rounder, unlike its far more expensive step-brother DT 1350. It surely has more bass body, but with less control and less impact. It doesn't leak to lower mid as I heard with my SJ55 by a very tiny measure. With Noisia's Red Heat, the chorus (I prefer calling it the 'bass drop' moment) sounds fun and forgiving enough for me to enjoy. Because I mainly listen to Dubstep, Rock, Metal, Classical, and Cabaret, I find that I'm really content with this intensity. Guitar bass sounds a little bit hollowed/stacked out by the mass of the rumbling bass, and that is my only concern with the lower regions. For me, it sounds a bit laid back. But at this price I couldn't comment much and the fun musicality factor of this headphones let me take that aside.
The mids sound nice enough, and it virtually is what led me to think it has a decent, larger soundstage. It isn't as forward and aggressive as my SJ55 and it is sort of on par with DT 1350. The mids are more pronounced and fuller on DT 1350, which I think is coming from the tighter bass. Kalafina's vocalists sound really good with their various range of vocals.
The highs is where it loses. It is a bit rolled off and violins didn't sound as full as I would hear on the Audio-Technicas I've tried. It still has a good detail and also smooth though I'm not sure if I like how the cymbals and hi-hats are presented. And it is after all a dark one. For me, it is a mediocre one compared to the DT 1350 which has the best presentation even with the Audio-Technicas, which are a line of brighter ones.
Soundstage feels decent for a closed portable in this price range. Yes it is small, but I can hear the separation quite well although not as sharp as I would hoped for. Its more background-ish presentation also gives it a feel of larger stage compared to my SJ55 though still losing against the DT 1350 by a small margin. I've also tried using these for gaming, mainly FPS. I can say this gets a 5.5 out of 10 points on a stereo setting. The sound is clear and have a nice detail, though. But I have to say this can go neither for competitive nor fun gaming. I prefer my past Razer Electra in gaming as it gave me a far larger stage, more precision and better immersion, although SQ (in other terms than those) is definitely worse.
After all, I was kinda surprised as these can be a good pair for comparison, and also worth nice for its price. This cans give a moderate amount of isolation, and I could have more. But that won't be a bad thing because this pair is nice enough for everything I do. By far, this is the best all-around headphones I've tried. It isn't as good as beyer DT 1350, but at almost one fourth the price, I think it is a good one.
Used: beyerdynamic (DTX 501 p & DT 1350) and Audio-Technica (ATH-SJ55, ATH-M50, & ATH-WS55x)
Past: Razer Electra
Player: Oppo Find Way & foobar2000
No external amp and/or DAC involved
Lindsey Stirling - Phantom of the Opera Medley (MP3 CBR-320kbps)
Kalafina - Lacrimosa (FLAC)
Noisia - Red Heat (MP3 CBR-320kbps)
DELUHI - Remember the Rain (FLAC)
all in 16/44.1000Hz