Pros: balanced, isolated, easily repairable, neutral (a bit redundant, no?)
Cons: clamp force, looks and other aesthetics, accessibility
Summary: These headphones give an accurate picture of what the producers had in mind when they mixed their music because they have a well-balanced, present, but not over-powering bass.
Songs Used for Listening/Critiquing:
- Stuck on You - Michiko
- Unlike Any Other - Jeremy Ellis
- Garden - Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
- Basically, **** You - Deru
- Flashlight - Parliament
- Creator - Santigold
- Petrified - Fort Minor
- Jamba - Tyler, the Creator
- Ballad of NGB - Stateless
- I'll Never Leave You - Rogue Wave
- BloodStream - Quartet Session - Stateless
- Blue Ridge Mountains - Fleet Foxes
- Sunburn - Muse
- Rhino - Solander
I know that headphones are truly the best consumer audio market right now, and that's cuz I said so.
But seriously, not a day goes by where I don't see at least 250+ people with headphones or earbuds on their heads, listening to these ridiculously leaky headphones that tell me more about their music taste than anything else.
Firstly, I think these headphones are quite something else. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but I know that they are amazing. Honestly, words can't describe the satisfaction these headphones bring to the table. I don't think I could describe the sound quite like others do (spacious soundstage, sweet treble, warm mids, supported bass, etc). On a side not, I work in the food industry, specifically coffee, and every day I have to work with coffee from Intelligentsia, people who describe their products with fluffy descriptive, pastoral, and picturesque diction and abstract syntax; I am not that kind of guy. I prefer to describe everything simply and with ease of understanding, so here goes.
These headphones are good. They get the job done. They are utilitarian. They are affordable. They are the PERFECT consumer product because they do everything that a consumer needs.
I own a pair of Sennheiser HD595's as well as Ultimate Ears Triple Hi Fi 10v (or something like that). I have also listened to the Senn. HD598, HiFi Man 500s, the Senn. OCX800, and a variety of Beats, Monsters, and other things. Of those, the HD598, HiFiman, and the Ultimate Ears were my favorite because they had noticeable clarity. They sounded good and didn't give me fatigue. I'm sure some have noticed that when listening to bad headphones, subconsciously or not, you get tired of listening to that music. I mean, if you listen trap music or like Blink 182, MUSE, and other high-gain songs that have massive compression and gain boost on the final mix, then duh of course you'll get fatigued, but I'm talking about Dave Brubeck, Kronos Quartet, and the Hilliard Ensemble. Listening to Stacey Kent's beautifully soft voice is tiresome when I have ****ty headphones on because those headphones don't sound natural, at all. The headphones that I liked were all natural-sounding headphones, with authentic sound that comes with quality engineering and technology.
Then come in the HD 25s. It is an amazing product because it sounds just like all the other headphones I listed above but with more bass. Why is that important? For me, it's very important; my mama always loved Earth, Wind, and Fire, Parliament, Chic, etc. and my dad loves Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Bread, America, Sultans of Swing, etc. My uncle loves Jimmy Hendrix, Beethoven, and Bach (weird mix right?), and I love electronica, rhythmic world music, and folk music. With all that exposure (and rest assured, I listen to all of those genres on all of my headphones, all day, every day), the one common factor between all of them, from Bob Marley to Aphex Twin, is bass. This is pretty obvious, considering the fact that bass notes hit harmonics with higher notes, immediately beefing up the overall density of sound that is produced. For example, when I was in a band and played one of my songs, I'd always incorporate a melodic bass line that runs against the upper register instruments (like the piano), and it never sounded thick or dense, but when the band played solid, unified chords, I was so astonished how much of a difference it made. This subtle, meticulous balance of bass and other frequencies is hard to accomplish, and that's where these headphones shine.
The bass on these headphones are not overpowering to the point where you can't hear other instruments, but they aren't thin like the HD595 to the point where Fleet Foxes sound wispy. They are perfect. They make the MUSIC sound BETTER. Now, I am not a pro audiologist, audiophile, whatever you wanna call it, but I can appreciate a well-balanced, supporting, not overwhelming, not nonexistent bass with a low range that goes all the way down to hit the sub-sonic frequencies in Tyler, the Creator's "Jamba," and these headphones are remarkable.
This is, again, my opinion however, and I think that is an important fact to consider. Some people like powerful bass, some don't, and I am neither of those, so consider my recommendation with a grain of salt. Furthermore, there is no such thing as "best" headphones; that's like saying there is such a thing like the "best" car, "best" steak, or whatever. It doesn't mean ****. Yet I can't help but appreciate how affordable these headphones are; they aren't, say, as cheap as some other headphones, but what you pay for and what you get is remarkable. On top of that, maintenance is super easy! Cables, ear cups, and other parts of the headphone are easily replaceable, a feature I love.
The worst part about these headphones? The looks. See, I think these headphones should be the standard headphone for everyday consumers; it gives accurate pictures of what the producers wanted to make in their labs, so you see an honest, untampered musical idea. Beats, for example, have a stronger emphasis on bass, and so every song will have a bass emphasis, even if the producer didn't want one. But they aren't pretty, and they aren't marketed well. They do really well with professionals, but I have such an itching to have my friends all listen to these side-by-side with their headphones just to open their "eyes" to what's out there. Clamp force is strong, but if adjusted well, it's fine (plus, a good seal on the ears = better bass).
Regardless, thanks for reading my ridiculously wordy, sarcastic, and boring review (just kidding, my reviews are the BEST). I recommend these headphones to anyone who's looking for something that is affordable, accurate, and eye-opening.