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Fostex T50RP Closed Ear Stereo Headphones Reviews

Positive Reviews


Fostex T50RP Mk3 Early Impressions


Pros: Awesome value for money with the sound it produces for its price. A more transparent and clearer tonal signature compared to it's predecessor.

Cons: Treble sensitive audio listeners could find it a little "hot". Still lacking in sub bass.

Thanks You's A great thank you to Fostex Japan for graciously passing me this T50RP Mk3 and giving me the opportunity to write this review. Further a great big thanks to @Wallabee for loaning me his T50RP Mk2 for a comparison.   Introduction Fostex T50RP models actually require no introduction as it's been a running model since 2002 (with a revision around 2007). And in 2015, Fostex has done a 3rd revision of the T50RP. The RRP in Japan is 20,000 yen (equiv to USD$161).     Unlike it's predecessor, the Mk3 is more easily identifiable with changes to the text & colour of the labels, a padded headband. Strangely just such tiny little changes does make the...
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Negative Reviews


Just my impression...


Pros: Good midrange, low price, quite easy to drive, surprisingly detailed

Cons: Very uncomfortable, mods are a must, treble

OK cans for price when modded, but certainly doesn't deserve the attention it recieves here. Unmodded sound lacks bass (rolof starts at 200Hz !!), is very mid-centric, highs and upper midrange is attenuated. It sounds cavelike, honky, and hollow - takes a lifetime to get used to it. :) The headband is extremely uncomfortable to me, earpads are thin, but comfort is good. When modded the bass is much better (the old earpads are thin), quite linear but still nothing special. The upper midrange and treble have more power, but it still sounds somehow cavelike, honky and hollow. Overally much better than original T50RP. For the price it's barely acceptable. When modded it's OK for the...
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More Reviews


Go ahead, turn them up a little more.


Pros: neutrality, chameleon, smooth midrange, detail and speed, crazy good deal.

Cons: Needs solid amping, can sound a bit flat, takes some getting used to

  The orthodynamic club at Head-fi probably feels a little outspoken at times. They have a less common headphone technology that they believe very strongly is fundamentally superior to the traditional dynamic drivers that we see so often. The dauntingly enormous orthodynamic roundup thread is a testament to the dedication and passion of this Head-fi subculture. To make matters worse, there are very few companies still producing orthos. There are some hugely expensive offerings, but only one brand making affordable offerings. That company is Fostex, though many consider the new flagship T50RP to be inferior to some of the vintage orthos from the '70s.   I am not an expert on orthos...
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Fostex T50RP, My Intro to the World of Orthos


Pros: Clarity, looks, natural sound

Cons: Potential comfort issues, flat sound might turn some off, no 1/4'' to 1/8'' adaptor, needs amping

      Pros: Clarity, looks, natural sound Cons: Potential comfort issues, flat sound might turn some off, no 1/4'' to 1/8'' adaptor, needs amping   Source:   MacBook Pro->FiiO E7->Fostex T50RP   Much thanks to Fostex for the review pair.   Packaging     No frills here. The T50RP come packaged in a cardboard box in-which the style seems a bit dated. There's nothing to catch the eye really. The color scheme I'm not a fan of, the red background displaying the black T50RP just doesn't appeal to me. T50RP is in big white letters on the front and below that is a quick blurb about...
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Hunki Chunki

Lovely set of headphones for home use


Pros: Very nice sound, good tight bass. Very comfortable

Cons: Oh you are going to need a good amp for this...

At a relatively low price you can enjoy really good sound with these headphones.   It is so popular for good reason, you could customise it to your personal taste, I just swapped out the cables to the Vmoda cable, and swapped the pads for Shure pads.   The FIIO E10K is not able to drive this headphones well. The SMSL M3 and Grace Design M9xx is able to drive it well.   The sound is very balanced and neutral. Very pleasant headphones to use all day.



Pros: Fast, detailed, crystal clear, great bass quantity and quality

Cons: Midrange is recessed, mid bass a little light,

This is a quickie review... not the standard head-fi thing.   I've been listening to the Mk III T50RP for a week now and I've been able to compare them directly to Sennheiser's Amperior and HD580, Fidelio X2, Grado SR125, Meelec A151, and DreamEarz VOX3 CIEMs. Source is a Fiio X5 HO or LO feeding a Schiit Asgard 2.    The X2 has been my reference for a year of listening now, and the first time I picked up the T50 I knew I liked it better. Crazy!   I have a thing for fast, neutral headphones. My previous favorite was the Ety HF2, but I no longer have them. I switched to Meelec A151, which are great, but are now just for listening off the phone. Those single driver...
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Entry into Planar Magnetics


Pros: Mod-able, cheap, good driver, PLANAR MAGNETIC

Cons: Not comfy stock, too midcentric stock, reverby stock, stock stock stock.

Well, this will be my first review at all on head fi, but the t50rp is not my first audiophile headphone. If one considers the sennheiser hd558 and audiophile headphone, then they would be. It is my first planar magnetic headphone, though. I noticed the enthusiastic modding community of head fi's past and I really got hyped about these headphones. I listen to classical, jazz, progressive rock, and blues almost spread out evenly. I don't touch electronic and seldom listen to hip hop or country. I did most listening out of a creative soundblaster e5, but also tried them on a McIntosh MHA100 amplifier, hifiman ef100, audeze deckard, and auralic tauras, each fed by a sonos connect that...
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Good for modding


Pros: great sound after pads replaced with better ones

Cons: stock sound is boring but not bad, need to replace the pads

The stock sound is boring. Now discontinued and newer revision coming out.   Replaced the pads with HM5 pads and modded the ports and internals. Got an OCC angled cable from VMODA.   Result: great headphones for the price when I bought them, considering the total. Gave them as a gift and he who got them was very happy. Still using them.   They survived being thrown! Not most comfortable headband unless you have large head. New pads make them quite comfortable.   There are much more impressive mods out there. Changing the cups and the cables and pads and these can deliver great sound. They are boring with stock sound, but not bloated. They have reasonable detail...
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Best bargain in headphones, end of discussion.


Pros: To mod them is to love them.

Cons: Even at $90 they suck out of the box. Can't fix ugly.

Buy it, mod it, slip on a pair of alpha dogs, smile. Not worth owning if you don't mod.  I got maybe a half hour on them unmodded just to satisfy my curiosity.  I own better cans that cost more and less, so pretty worthless to me until modded. Ratings are based on modded cans including comfort strap and alpha pads (comfort and sound). You will forget they are ugly as soon as you put them on your head.

Cinderella of headphones


Pros: Highly Modifiable, low price, smooth sounding

Cons: Lacks sparkle in treble, ugly

These headphones are great in the sense that they are the ultimate modding headphones.  You can adjust the sound to almost anything you want with a few relatively simple mods.   Before modification, the resonance is horrible, the headphones are all mids, and nothing else, but the sounds is smooth.   After modification, the sound remains smooth, but there is an obvious increase in treble and bass to balance out the sounds.  The treble does not have the necessary sparkle that I would want from it, but it is a matter of skills, I am sure someone out there has the ability to mod these things to provide smoother and better sounds.   The headphones are...
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5 Star with Modding


Pros: Modder's dream w/ incredible potential, easy to mod, cheap

Cons: Must mod them, cord connection issues, kinda ugly?

If you don't plan to mod these, then you shouldn't buy them. My ratings are based upon the state of my pair after modding, which I believe is fair because most of my mods can be cheaply and easily replicated.   However, everyone should buy one and mod it. These are by far the best value headphones I've tried. For about $100, you can get these headphones, upgraded ear pads (Shure SRH840 are good), and the materials to do basic mods. If you are willing to put in a couple hours, pretty much anyone with patience can perform the necessary mods to make these shine and compete with headphones that are much more expensive. These are now competing (and receiving about equal playtime)...
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Fostex T50RP: My Impressions


Pros: Good SQ even when unamped, sturdy, nice aesthetics

Cons: Hard, unforgiving headband, Sub-par detachable cable

  Prior listening experience: Audio Technica ATH-M50, AKG K240 Studio   My time with these headphones was limited, as I bought them for a friend who lives far away.    Sound: The overall sound signature isn't overly bassy or dark, but there is more bass than treble. Good imaging, sound feels like it emanates from nowhere as opposed to from two distinct spots over your ears. Soundstage is slightly better than most closed cans. Bass is really good and tight, though it rolls off a bit. Mids seem very slightly boomy. Very smooth treble. Isolates very well and little sound leakage.   Build: Heavy and sturdy. Feels like a tank. Mostly ABS...
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