Pros: Excellent sound: Rich and slightly warm non-fatiguing sound, punchy bass, excellent extension & detail, speed, seperation and good timbre. ALUMINIUM!
Cons: Vocals lack some weight, lower treble not as upfront, Dominant 100-300hz bass region not for all genres, not as spacious or airy as over-ear
I bought the HD25 Aluminium 3 months ago and so far this headphone has done nothing but impress me.
For the qualities it delivers I find it's still a highly overlooked headphone due to the predecessor still being sold.
I can easily say that these are far better than the HD25-1-II's and are probably the best portable on ear headphones in the market today.
This can has a dominant bass presence that definitely will attract bassheads but the mids and highs are perfectly balanced alongside that bass.
This headphone is of audiophile quality back to back.
It hits all the check-boxes of what a headphone should do good and is as good as a tool as it's entertaining.
These are a hyperdetailed set of cans.
The control and speed is amazing and came very unexpected to me, as I heard the HD25-1-II's before, and they did not give me those qualities. When tones
switch quickly, or when there are many sounds running through each other, this headphone is faster than my DT770 32 ohm.
The soundstage is good. Excellent depth but limited XY width and height due to their on ear nature, so don't expect the spaciousness that over-ear headphones bring.
I did notice a significant increase in soundstage when switching from my Ipod 5.5 to my Galaxy Note 3. The Note 3 opened up this can to such a degree that most of the time I forget I am wearing an on-ear headphone. It got rid of the congestion that was happening with the Ipod 5.5 pairing.
There is a very nice and precise center image. A lot of sounds can easily sound left/right though because it's an on ear headphone and lacks the spaciousness of an over-ear.
Those looking for an expensive soundstage should definitely opt for the Soundmagic HP100/150.
They still don't excell at orchestra or classical because of the limited XY width and height.
They are thus extremely engaging with superior imaging, positioning and seperation. These sound great out of portable DAC's, but scale well with better equipment.
The HUGE bass presence never bleeds into the mids or the highs, and after burn in the bass becomes more controlled. Sub-bass is very present, bass lines can easily be tracked due to the speedy nature of this can. From 25hz and up the Sub-bass is perfectly present. I own the HE-400 so am used to quality bass, these don't disappoint. It's the respectful kind of bass, with that huge present body and a nice hint of physical vibration. Next to the detail the Sub-bass is the biggest improvement over the HD25-1-II's.
The kicks are the star of the show though. These kick really hard, and are so perfect for DJ-ing and Hip Hop/Rap. On poorly mastered recordings or bad pairings(some Ipods/Iphones) they can get out of hand but that is not the fault of the can.
Again, the bass to me never distracts from the rest of the spectrum but it's definitely the main characteristic and most present part of the spectrum.
The 100-300hz range add a lot of weight and body to the sound, but can get a tad bit overblown(too present) with certain recordings.
On some recordings it really shows of the bass body. Bass-Head would love this can for sure.
The mids have an immense control, not missing a hint of detail. There are a lot of subtle nuances to be heard. Vocals are always positioned perfect within the track.
Nothing and no one get's left behind.The mids are very organic and weighty though. The slightly recessed lower highs allow add a lot more personality and dimension to the mids.
My only compliant is that female vocals could use just a tad bit more energy and that male vocals lack a slight warmth to them. While the mids are the least upfront in comparison to
the highs and bass, the Mids have excellent dynamics and Timbre so I would not call these headphones a V-shaped headphone. This headphone with good pairing (with the Note 3 for example)
is a really balanced headphone.
The highs are excellent, well controlled and never fatiguing. The highs don't roll of too quick and so the extension is perfect to my ears. They have a nice bite to them and are very energetic.
They have a slightly warm signature due to the toned down 4-6khz region.
This toned down recession is mostly positive to my ears as I dislike claps and snaps dominating the tracks I listen to.
But there is the classic HD25 spike around the 8-10khz area that adds load of excitement to the sound. Perfect for EDM and electronic music.
On higher volumes this spike can create some slight sibilance with emphasis on slight and might give the impression this can is Bright.
It's really not, to my ears this is headphone leans to the warm and laidback side of the spectrum with a treble spike on top.
I'd actually call this headphone really balanced next to the massively present 100-300hz region.
While neutral recordings sound slightly warm, very bright recordings still sound slightly bright.
The highs while not recessed might not be upfront enough for some. If you're a hardcore treble head then I would look elsewhere, like at the DT770 or preferably the HP150.
I thought these sounded warmer at first, due to my IPod 5.5 having slightly rolled off highs but they sound pretty neutral to me now that I pair them with the UCA222 and Note 3
(minus the slight dip in the lower highs).
The isolation is just dangerously good. You won't hear anything except for the sound being beamed in your ear canals. They isolate better than the DT770.
Ladies will be ignored and meteorites will fall down from the skies without a notice. While riding my bike or being in windy areas, I did not notice the wind affecting
the sound enough to be bothered by it. In a loud train while you can still hear the music clearly, the train rumble isn't entirely cast outside by the isolation. So on
flights noise cancelling headphones are still the better option, even though these will do more than just fine.
The comfort is good but not excellent; At the first the clamping was a bit too much, but give it a few days and it becomes perfect. It remains an on ear headphone however, so it won't massage your ears like full-sized over-ear velour headphones do. You'll have to experiment where the headphones sit best on your ears, but they seal really easily and the sound does not change much when changing position. The good news here is that you don't have to play around too much with the headphones positioning on the ears. They always seal easily.
Fatigue sets in after an hour and a half for me. Quick breaks easily remedy this fatigue. The present bass will tire your ears on higher volumes. Thankfully these produce excellent detail on low volumes and the superior isolation allows no disturbance to listening experience.
Build quality is nothing short of excellent. This is a tank. Aluminium cups and aluminium buttons on the pivot points. I believe the headband is reinforced with a metal wire running through it, but I can not confirm this. I absolutely love the look of the silver aluminium. The cable, while remove-able, is a bit on the long side for a portable, but are easily braided to fit your portable needs. The build quality feels sturdier than it's predecessor, which was a tank to begin with.
Man I can keep going on how good these headphones are. They have officially become my favorite portable headphones. They are a warm headphone with as much excitement added as possible before fatigue sets in.
I am ballin' around the city with these headphones tied to a rockboxed Ipod 5.5 Wolfson WM8758 / Galaxy Note 3(Recommend the Note above all) and FIIO E11, playing my favorite albums in FLAC format.
I don't have the most experienced ears in comparison to other Head-fi'ers , but I am a young gun that can confirm these are an excellent step up from the HD25-1-II's and are a serious contender for the best headphones around 250$. I also own the Soundmagic HP150 and these are easily tied to those when it comes to detail. They have excellent dynamics and speed that the older HD25 models simply did not have. It is a shame people skip on these because the older HD25 is cheaper. They are worth the extra price you pay. These are easily one of the best portable headphones out there today.
Recommended for: Portable walk around, DJ, Electronic music production, exercising and vacation headphone.
Recommend Genres: Acoustic, Electronic music (EDM, techno, etc), Pop, Trip-Hop, RnB, Hip-Hop, Rap
I wouldn't recommend these for: Solely for Gaming or watching Movies.
This EQ setting turns these into an Energetic treble can, but makes it lose it's organic and detailed nature slightly.
I use this EQ while running or making Gains in the gym, good for energetic motivation.
*Ask away in the comment section!