Pros: Superb sonic capabilities, comfort, build quality
Cons: without an eq, they are too imbalanced
I have owned these cans for a few months I am reviewing them in the context of them being a 200-300 can. so im not comparing them to HD800's or Beyer T1 b/c they are not in that league and are not expected to be.
I am an ametuer reviewer, so please keep that in mind
I should be clear when i say actually like these cans, because much of my review may sound to the contrary
In brief - these cans are laid back and smoothe. quite imbalanced without an EQ but capable of great things with a little patience and an EQ
In fact i will say that for the money these are some of the better cans you can get Sure there are lots of other cans in the $200-$300 price range that sound just as good, but at that point it comes down to preference, and we'll visit that later
The major issue with these cans is that they require an eq. Without one, i am not exaggerating when i say they are hard to listen to.
I play a sine wave through all my headphones to find where they are imbalanced and eq appropriately. These took some serious work to flatten, but it was worth it!
they have huge frequency imbalances , which seems to be a universal experience with these cans.
Here is how I have to eq these cans to get them to sound "flat" across all frequencies
Imagine all those valleys as peaks, and vice versa, and you can see how they would scream in your ears without an eq
The reason i am so fond of these cans is that they are CAPABLE of sounding great.
Thats really what seperates average phones from audiophile quality. Sure each phone has its peaks and valleys, but the best ones are capable of handling much more than their stock sound whereas cheap cans or buds simply cant produce no matter what you throw at them
So for the sake of the rest of the review, lets assume we have properly flattened the sound.
since you will probably use them at home anyway.
BASS: 8.5/10 bass to me is almost purely a preference game. No two people like their bass the same, and no two will call a "flatly" eq'd sound the same when it comes to how the bass "should" sound.
these cans are commonly known for their more than ample bass. it should be made clear though, that quantity and quality are two different categories. in this case, these cans have some of both. though the bass is not totally clean, as it does get slightly muddy at times, the bottom line for me is this - Yes these cans have a bit more bass than some people prefer, but the great thing is you can simply eq some of it out and you lose nothing. The sound quality only improves. and for those, like myself who occasionally like to rattle their eyes, its there when you need it. The frequency extension is really good. i can hear 20hz on the hi-fi heartbeat track no problem. I have tried other cans that didnt have ample volume at frequencies below 50hz like these have, and i missed it sorely.
Mids 9/10 - I feel the mids on these cans is about laid back, and im pretty sure most people agree. This means that the mids are sort of in the background compared to the rest of the frequencies. I like this though and i feel they just sound great, no matter what i throw at them. I especially like how they sound with jazzy, vocal, or acoustic tracks.
Again, when eq'd properly, do very well. Everything is in its place and nothing gets mushy or tinny.
However, without an eq.. well... ouch!
Soundstage: 9/10 this one is tough for me to describe. I remeber upgrading from some sennheiser hd555's and being blown at the difference in how expanded and immersed i felt with the D2000 in comparison. thats the best i can do
Build...10/10 this one is easy.. these things are SOLID. Very well built from cup to headband cord and everything in between. The cord is a bit unruly though. While i do believe it could stop a bullet ;-) it is too stiff.
Comfort: 10/10 another easy one, very comfy. i often forget to take them off and wear them for hours with absolutely no discomfort.... really.
Fit: 8/10 they dont fit very tight, again this seems to be a universal sentiment, but for me this did not cause an issue except that they offer very little isolation. If isolation is important, these cans are not for you. I should also note that i have a small head.
Overall Sound: 10/10 I feel these cans have a way of adapting to my musical needs. I listen to a very wide range of music from metal to jazz to acoustic to hip hop with pounding bass, to classical to eastern, to meditation music. I dont feel they really fall short in any category, though they do better with smoothe laid back music than they do with hard precise or powerful music. They are just a great all around listening experience in their class.
Portability. none. Not meant for portability. These cans are not a good option for portability. The cord is too long and too thick, they dont isolate, they are pretty bulky and if you turn your head too fast they will probably fall off.
I would highly recommend these cans for someone who is just stepping into their audiophile shoes, and beyond. If you are willing to put in a little work and break out the EQ you will be very happy
to summarize again. a pretty capable laid back smoothe sounding headphone with ample bass, nice sound stage, and a generally Fun and Forgiving sound signature. Use and EQ and you wont be dissapointed.
If you are anti EQ however, i just cant recommend these cans - they will not be a pleasant experience
without an eq i could not listen to these cans for more than 10 minutes.. it just hurt.. with a flat eq, i felt like i could keep them on forever...