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Decent $30 cans for those on a budget.

A Review On: Gamma LH-036

Gamma LH-036

Rated # 491 in Over-Ear
See all 1 reviews
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Purchased on:
Price paid: $30.00
Posted · Updated · 604 Views · 1 Comment

Pros: Decent clarity in the treble. Good bass extention and tightness. Very durable and can take a lot of abuse.

Cons: Extremely sharp and sibilant treble. Materials feel cheap and the earcup joints tend to get a bit squeaky.

If you have been to Taiwan, you likely have seen one of these inside a CD store. It is one of the most widely-used headphones for CD listening stations there.

It was in fact my first exposure to "hi-fidelity" sound - when I was a teenager, I remember being completely blown away by these phones!

They can still be found for less than $30, which IMO makes them very competitive against the Superlux HD668b.


Materials & Craftsmanship:

The packaging is pretty barebone, though you do get a 1/4" adapter.


Materials feel cheap, obviously, but you get what you paid for $30. The LH-036 does have one feature I really like: The cups are connected to the headband via a ball joint, which pivots very easily for a good fit. Unfortunately the screw that affixes the earcups to the joint have the tendency to get a bit loose after a while, and each time this happens I have to open up the housing to tighten them (the joints also get squeaky if these aren't tightened).


The earpads are made of pretty cheap pleather, but they are very easily removable and serviceable.





I don't find the LH-036 to be comfortable due to my ear size - the earpad opening is on the small side and not very deep. Clamping force is decent though, and the headband is actually very well-padded.


Audio Quality

The LH-036 sports large 50mm drivers, and the sound quality is actually very good for its price.


Technical Specifications:

  • Driver: φ50mm Neodymium
  • Impedance 32Ω
  • Frequency Response: 5-25,000Hz
  • Maximum Output: 100mW


Treble: The treble is my biggest complaint with the LH-036. It is very sharp and bitey - a problem I seem to also have with the Superlux HD668b. This is an extremely sibilant headphone and will require a good amount of EQing in order to sound pleasant. That said, detail and clarity is decent, though not quite as good as the HD668b.


Mid-Range: The mid-range is actually pretty good (when the treble is behaving). The LH-036 by default has a V-shaped presentation, but the mid-range clarity is decent and I would say have a slightly warm tilt.


Bass: With a good amp these headphones actually put out a decent bass with good extension and tightness. I actually think the extension is better on these than the HD668b.


Sound Stage: The sound stage is actually pretty ok. It's comparable to the HD668b, though imaging isn't as good (due to treble clarity not being on-par).



The Gamma LH-036 has been around for over two decades now - it's actually held up pretty well considering its age and price range. If you are in the market for some budget head gear and don't mind EQing for good results, this should definitely be on your list.

1 Comment:

I just wanted to add something to your first statement regarding not being available in US / North America.
I was using this as a cheap alternative headphone and my first one was actually purchased in Asia (15+ years ago). Sometime around 8-10 years ago, I purchased a second unit since my first daughter wanted to use the exact same unit (and the first one was already showing signs of age). Anyway, a local big box store in Western Canada (Vancouver), A&B Sound carried these headphones. At the time of purchase, they had several dozen units on the display shelf and continued to carry them until they store chain closed circa 2008. The other big box stores like Futureshop and BestBuy did not carry them and I was unable to find them anywhere else. Just for the sake of clarity, I will be referring to my first set as the asian model, and the one purchased in North America as the Canadian model. This, however, does not infer in any way that they are indeed such models.
Maybe it was because of the age of the drivers on the first unit but when I compare them, the Canadian bought model seems to sound a bit better. I still have both headphones and both are functioning (with the exception of the asian model's mini jack replaced with a cheap radio shack connector). I understand that "sounding better" is relative but at least for myself, there was a noticeable improvement in music reproduction compared to the "asian model"
There are some variations in overall presentation of the products. The Asian model did come in the plastic blister pack similar to what you have posted. The Canadian version came in a "higher end" presentation in the form of a proper box and better packaging. The Asian version came with the cheaper feeling leatherette ear surrounds (the leather was stretched smooth and shiny) which eventually completely "flaked off" leaving a cloth covered foam surround. The Canadian version came with a more "wrinkled" and finer grain dull-leather (albeit still fake leather) but has somehow survived the last 10 years or so of use. I keep it under my TV-entertainment system when I want to watch something while there are kids running around. The Asian version I have also has that "audio-transparent" thin black layer on the headphone foamies that sits between the ear and the driver (similar to your last two pictures), while the Canadian model just has that white material (shown on your last picture).
I do have to agree with two things. The cups are tool small and begin to feel uncomfortable after extended use. They are not the best headphones but certainly not the worse for drivers at this price. For me, they are still viable headphones compared to sony's low end MDRXD100 which has absolutely no bass. The bass output from the LH-036 is just enough not to be overpowering.
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