Pros: Great balance between lows, mids, and highs. Good comfort and build quality, detachable cable, sound quality is musical w/ good separation
Cons: A bit bright up top, though not as bad as DT 990pro, and a little lean in the lows
This is a review of the SoundMagic HP100 over the ear full sized closed headphone. I received this as one of my first mid-fi headphones about 6 months ago, and I have to say though I had just received the DT 990 pros a day before these I was undoubtedly impressed with the sound quality and comfort of the headphone. This headphone is top notch and one of the best closed headphone options you can choose under 300$. I had spent a few months with it, and my preferences being on over the ear open headphones I was surprised how much time I spent listening to this headphone. Let me get into a bit more details on why that was, at least for myself and what I heard and felt about this phone.
Top notch, in the sense that these definitely feel like a 300$ headphone in comparison to what is out there currently. The design is made of a mixture of plastic and metal, but the plastic is higher quality and holding them in hand, though they are not too heavy, they feel sold and that they have a nice finish. Their is aluminum underneath the headband but it is a flexible source of design where one can extend this band very far given one's head width. I have a larger skull and these headphone never caused me pain for long hours of use(long is generally 6hours+) and the ear pads though they were my lesser desired pleather material they had a very soft and high quality texture. Some owner's complained about the depth of the ear cup with the current stock pads, and I understand that perhaps for some ears that would be a less comfortable scenario. I have decent sized ears, and I have never experienced discomfort, and I remember putting velours on this phone and I have to say with them they become the most comfortable over the ear headphone I have ever worn let alone owned. I do believe the gripes about comfort or only ever about ear pads depth which can be easily remedied for a much more comfortable headphone than one would expect. As far build design only gripe is the detachable cable being custom to their own design with a locking mechanism, and this making it more difficult to get a custom cable for the headphone of higher quality. Minor gripes all in all, this deserves a 4.5/5 For comfort and build
Sound stage: Decently good especially considering this is a closed headphone, which tend to lack stage and excel in something like more bass impact. But this headphone does well in having a decent sound stage, granted nothing like DT 990s or even better a AKG K701's.. but come one this headphone cannot have it all. 4/5 (for a closed headphone)
Lows: Very well controlled, with nice tight percussion, which I prefer. It does have decent extension in the low's as well but one thing it may be lacking in body and warmth when it comes to the bass I like control, impact, body, and extension. With this phone you will find almost all of these acquired but the body really. 4.5/5( overall very enjoyable lows)
Mids: Now I think this headphone excels in this as far a bit more forward mid range, and while listening to something Counting Crows I was kind of dumbstruck about how much I felt him singing in the same room as me. I have read that some one thought them too dry at times, and I will be honest I did not hear that if anything they are slightly warm and have a fuller more forward sound. 5/5
Highs: There is solid detail retrieval in all three ranges, and highs are no exception of this. I would say they have a brightness, and this grants detail and a bit of energy at the sacrificing of being a little to bright at times. Where you will here harshness listening to something like a modi and magni coupling. I do believe it is not near the level of the DT 990s and some other like headphones. But I did not want to leave it out in case someone bought them after reading this. Highs are well done none the less 4/5
Now when it comes to taking the small sections I had wrote about and putting the information together I can honestly say this is one of the best headphones I have used in the sub 300$ pricing. I am comparing this too hp's like DT 770s, Shure 440, 840, ATH M-50s, and others that have slipped my mind. This headphone does not disappoint and I ended up selling my own at my great dismay due to health issues and struggling finances. I will be honest for a closed headphone it is fantastic in all aspects that I prefer and desire. I am not going to say that I am going t buy it again soon, but that is because I am buying it's open brother the HP200 which I know wills suit my preferences even more. I will say however that if I end up needing and having to purchase a closed headphone again, this is with out a doubt the one I am buying. That should say something being that I am stingy when it comes to making purchases for myself.