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A Review On: SR850 Professional Studio Reference Headphones

SR850 Professional Studio Reference Headphones

Rated # 209 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $50.00
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Pros: style, good build for the price, overall sound, value

Cons: not the best for those with large heads

These are admittedly my first pair of "decent" headphones. I've collected a myriad of speakers over the years until last year I finally bought my dream speakers, the Klipsch Heresy. With my speaker quest done, I wanted to start experimenting with headphones. I wasn't gonna shell out over a hundred bucks on something I might not even enjoy so I set my limit at a cheap $60 bucks. I was actually gonna buy the Koss Portapros due to the sheer amount of rave reviews on Amazon but personally thought they were a bit too funky looking for my taste, the Audio Technica M-30's were another contender but decided to take a leap of faith in these AKG look a likes, after all they were only 50 bucks, so what could go wrong? 


They arrived the next day (the Amazon warehouse is like 30 minutes from where I live). They come in a simple black box with a 1/4 adaptor and a manual, that's pretty much it. The box also has this pretty young lady who has a big smile on her face as she listens to the SR850's, a bit of foreshadowing for you. 


These are 32 ohm headphones which means you will not need external amplification to play these at a loud volume, I listen to these through my uDac 2 with no problem.


My first song was Florence and the Machine's "Spectrum", this song has an orchestra in the background, good female vocals and some percussion. This song immediately revealed that this headphone is quite bright, the highs were well defined, but unnatural and borderline tinny, mid range was quite good but the upper mids were a bit too forward for my tastes. Both bass and lower mid range were recessed, the drumming lacked impact. These arrived around 5 and after a few songs it was time to eat dinner and went down, after dinner I watched two episodes of Top Gear downstairs, It was almost 9 by the time I got back and I found out these had been playing the whole time. 3 hours of burn in really changed these headphones! 


Bass- The bass had become much more "full" and punchy it had lots of impact, it also has good extension and reaches very low, no doubt that these will satisfy anyone who listens to bass driven music. 


Mids- A bit forward, but now a lot more smooth and open, very clean sounding, upper mids also improved with much of the harshness gone, 


Treble- These 'phones certainly don't hold back on the treble, but the treble is always clean and never abrasive, I've heard many nuances in the high frequency range that I've never heard until listening to these headphones. Although they are on the bright side, I don't find myself putting these down to rest my ears.


Soundstage- Very good, as these are semi-open headphones, soundstage is very large. These have a spacious sound to them, I found them great for gaming. 


Comfort- The big cushy vinyl earpads are very comfortable but clamp is a bit high,maybe it's because my head is kinda big and I wear glasses. I also find myself pulling the self adjusting headband down alot because they slide up, I think over time the elastic string will break in and this will be no longer be a problem.


Build Quality- Although these are only 50 bucks, the build on these things is good, EVERYTHING except the plug is plastic, however it is very well made and solid for the price and I think will withstand some abuse, I know these won't have that problem with me as I take care of my things very well. The build correlates with the price. 


Aesthetics- While not everyone will like the dark olive green/black combo, I don't mind it that much as the green is very dark and looks black from afar. It looks good, probably because it looks like an AKG K240 DF. 


Design- Overall well designed headphones, just wish the elastic bands had a bit less resistance.


Bang for the Buck- for 50 bucks I'm positive no other new headphones can match these, I even prefer these to the SR80's, you don't always get what you pay for, sometimes you get more for what you pay for and these headphones are exactly that.


Overall- An amazing 50 dollar headphone that kills most -$100 dollar cans and gives many -$200 a run for their money.


Bass- 5/5          Midrange- 4/5              Treble 4.5/5                 Soundstage- 4.5/5            Comfort 3.5/5              Build Quality- 4/5               Aesthetics- 5/5          Design- 4.5/5      Bang for the Buck-5/5


Overall 4.5 

1 Comment:

Thanks for the review. I've bought it in the past month, and enjoying it every single day.