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Stax SR-009 Electrostatic Headphones Reviews


The pinnacle of headphone listening.


Pros: Detail, naturalness and resolution on another level above anything else out there.

Cons: You'll never have a good enough source for them and the best rig will cost as much as a quite excellent speaker rig or even a car.

Knowing where to begin describing these is hard. The closest I can come is my first experience listening to a pair of full-size swiss Piega loudspeakers back in the early '90s. The resolution of those things was so incredible I thought that they reproduced the notes of a double-bass with such amazing resoultion you could hear the detail of the strings vibrating and that's before you get an idea of what their ribbon tweeter could do! Similarly, I recently experienced the capabilities of the Linn Klimax Twin power amp on a variety of speakers. The absolute authority and perfection of its presentation was something to behold and it immediately drove me to wonder how it might be possible to...
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Excellent but a bit too expensive


Pros: Well crafted, detailed and realistic timbre

Cons: Price

As the subjective sound quality of the SR-009 has been extensively discussed in the other reviews, I will focus on my objective experiences. Whenever I purchase new high-end products, I always choose to run a blind test consisting of the model in question alongside other high-end headphones. This time, the comparison counterparts included the LCD-3, HD800, HD650 and Orpheus.    My subjective impressions always tend to take a similar route: there exists a very strong correlation between the price tag and the sound quality that I perceive. It was no different this time. Therefore, I performed the blind test on ten participants who are all fellow classical musicians in a...
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Peerless (When the Conditions are Right)


Pros: Quick; Nuanced; Smooth; Transparent; Detailed

Cons: Cost; Needs TOTL amp to excel; Needs good quality source to shine

As I have pointed out before in my review of the Stax SR L700, electrostatics and Stax are the latest port of call in my journey of discovery in the world of audio bliss. I recall it was April or May 2015 when Spkrs01 opened the door to the intriguing world of Stax. Prior to this, Stax was only something that I heard about occasionally, but always referred to in hushed tones of deference, especially when the subject was the venerable Stax SR-009. Everyone swore blind that it is the best headphone in current production, bar none. Pity about the lack of bass but what ethereal sonics: so the conventional wisdom went. Admittedly, when I heard the SR-009 off a Stax amp, this seemed to be borne...
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the king of headphones


Pros: soundstage, imaging, details, extension, honesty, comfort, look

Cons: lows are not that powerful

the first time I tried an electrostatic headphones I did not believe what I heard: the amount of details the Stax L700 delivered made my literally cry. the next one was the SR-009...   i tried them with the Stax SRM-727 II, SRM-007tII and a German made Mal Valve Headamp (mark II?).     design i would not say that these are the best looking headphones on the market, however, I still like the way they look a lot. it does feel premium. the headbands are well made and it fits to most heads. the pads are soft.   comfort I personally find the Stax L700 more comfortable, however, the SR-009 is also very comfortable. and it is lightweight. especially compared to...
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Stax's new flagship


Pros: High level of clarity, relatively close to neutral, wide & open soundstage

Cons: Not as natural-sounding as OII MKI, flatter imaging than OII MKI

Originally published on November 11, 2012   Note: this review is an exact cross-post from post #1 of this thread on Head-Fi, which contains some user discussion on the review that may be relevant to read: http://www.head-fi.org/t/635893/mini-review-stax-sr-009 - download a printable 6-page PDF version of this mini-review (target goes to a location on my Dropbox) Intro I've been an owner of the HeadAmp BHSE for just over 3 years so far, which I use with the Stax SR-007 (OII MKI). My opinion of the OII/BHSE is that it forms the best headphone system that I've heard and is so amazing that it's changed me on the inside forever and continues to do so every time I listen to...
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The finest sound available


Pros: Transparent/neutral/detailed/dynamic/comfortable

Cons: lacks the last bit of bass power and dynamics

These arrived in the mail last week. I'm playing them with the Blue Hawaii SE amp. This review will not be too long as I like to be terse, and it is just not necessary to be wordy. These "earspeakers" are beautifully constructed and solid. They are light and comfortable on the head. The imaging is natural and spacious. The sound is the most perfect of any transducer I've ever heard, and I've heard Wilson Audio, Focal Utopias, and numerous electrostatics in systems costing nearly a million dollars. The Stax SR-009's are simply better and sound more live and transparent, at least to me. They are very, very fast, detailed...even micro-detailed. But they do this in a very smooth and natural...
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Pros: Detailed

Cons: Expensive

Since I have had them for a while, I can say that they are a real pleasure, every day, every week, every month. I just don't get tired of them. I can use words like balanced, neutral, spacious, detailed, but those really don't distinguish them enough. They are all of that, but they are totally non-fatiguing. I can listen to them for hours on end, and still want to hear more. I am driving them with the Blue Hawaii Special Edition, which only adds to the delicious experience of these headphones. When I listen to well recorded and mastered DSD files, it almost takes my breath away. That eerie feeling that the instruments and voice are right in the room with me is uncanny. I am a very...
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Fantastic, but expensive


Pros: Detailed. Smooth. Balanced. Refined. Excellent build and comfort.

Cons: Expensive! Sound does not match the SR-007.

  Compared to most of the competition, this is inarguably a wonderful headphone and I do enjoy it. But sonically, it does not compete with a well-driven O2 mk1 to my ears. I simply find the O2's richer and more involving tone to be more natural.   The 009 is more alike the Lambda series than the Omega series. It's no harder to power than the Lambdas and the sound signature is reminiscent, but probably a step up in refinement, soundstaging and bass extension/impact. In general though, the sound is typical STAX. Natural, agile and very detailed. But then again, compared to the O2 mk1 it falls short. Particularly in the midrange, which lacks the organic presence of the Omegas....
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