Pros: Surprisingly good sound qualtiy for the money.
My Altec Lansing 716s are getting old and my Sennheiser HD 600s will need new cords shortly, so when I saw the Lenntek Pros at Costco.com for $50, I couldn't pass them up.
When I first opened the box, and cut open the sealed all around plastic, I noticed that the included tips are all very small. But if you push them deep, deep, deep into your your ear canal you can get a seal. Unfortunately, the foam tips have a hard plastic core, that I could barely get onto the earphone body. The hole is too small. After stretching and twisting a lot, I finally got the supplied foamies on. But they came right off because the foam is way to hard and they are very uncomfortable. I finally settled with the large foam tips I've been using on my 716s.
Build quality is what you'd expect for $20.The cable is very thin, and has low microphonics. The earphone and y-connector bodies are hard plastic, with soft plastic strain relief. Also included is a nice zippered pouch with a thin plastic spool to wrap the cord around and an aluminum carabiner to hook to the case. Aside from the case, it looks and feels like a cheap set of earphones. Overall, I do not expect it to last for more than a few months of normal wear and tear. But time will tell.
I've been listening with a Squeezebox - and my initial impression is pretty good. After about 15 hours of burnin:
The Lenntek Pros are much more efficient than the HD 600s. On the Squeezebox I used a volume of 50-60 with with the Lenntek Pros and 90-100 with the HD 600s.
Limehouse Blues on Jazz at the Pawnshop the bass is just right, vibes are outstanding, good space around the instruments, the high hat is clear, not intrusive. Comparing against the HD 600, there is more low bass and a bit flatter through the mid bass. The clarinet is not quite as shrill with the Lenntek, which I prefer, but the HD 600 has a more extended high end over 10K. You can see this on the graph at headphone.com: http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID=1533&graphID=573
Easy Money on Rickey Lee Jones shows off the flat bass in the opening bars, and smoothness through the vocal range. The Lenntek Pro sounds a bit more immediate and engaging while the HD 600s are a bit more relaxed. The vibes at the end of this song are slightly more natural on the HD 600, due to their extended treble response.
Tweeter and the Monkey Man on Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 really shows the difference between the HD 600s and the Lenntek Pro. The HD 600s are laid back and mellow. The Lenntek Pros are much sharper and edgier and much closer to what Bob Dylan sounds like in concert.
I also listened with a Headroom Portable Micro amp. Lower noise floor, better bass, more controlled overall.
Tricycle on Flim & The BB's is one of my deep bass test records. With proper sealing tips, and the Headroom amp, the Lenntek Pro bass was indeed very good. Not overly emphasized, not suitable for a bass head, but clean, detailed and accurate.
Upon further listening with the Headroom Micro, the Lenntek Pro compares reasonably well with the HD 600, especially considering the price difference.
Listening to You've Lost That Loving Feeling on Growing Up in Hollywood Town, at my normal volume levels, the highhat is more in balance with the Lenntek Pros, while with the HD 600 the highhat is bordering on intrusive. At higher volumes than I normally use, the HD 600 sounds less strained, while the Lennteks are struggling a bit. The HD 600s bass emphasis is noticable on this album and helps to throws a wider soundstage, but its treble is just a bit too much.
Finally, I spent some time listening to the Altec Lansing IM716 and the Lenntek Pro on my T60 laptop. The Altec 716 are also balanced armature, provided by Etymotic. The 716s are less efficient than the Lenntek Pros. With the Headroom Portable Micro, I used low gain with the Lenntek Pros, medium gain with the Altec 716s and high gain with the HD 600s. The Altecs are not in the same class as the Lenntek Pros or the HD 600s. The 716s sound dull and slow in comparison. The high end on the Lenntek is substantially better.
Overall, I'm very please with my purchase - the Lenntek Pros provide great sound quality at a very reasonable price.