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Superlux HD-681 EVO Black Professional Monitor Headphones

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #35 in Over-Ear

Posted

Pros: powerful, engaging bass, beautiful vocals and guitars, excellent soundstaging

Cons: bass can be slgihtly sluggish at times, mids may seem slightly recessed

Introduction

 

This is a review of the Superlux hd 681 Evo, Version II. It is my first review on Head-Fi, so bear with me. The particular Evo under review here has roughly 40 hrs of burn-in time on it and you should be aware that many knowledgeable Evo users feel the proper burn-in time for these cans is more in the 150-220 hrs range, so keep that in mind when reading this review. The Version II is the newer of the Evo's and comes with an extra set of velour pads and two lengths of cable--one about right for portable players and the other, much longer one, for home use. There is a bag for the cans that seems rather smallish for the very ample HP of their intended joinder. Mine came from amazon and were well packed in a nice box with proper packing materials. I have no complaints with any of the packaging or shipping--they came in three days.

 

Design

 

The Evo are a semi-open headphone. This means you can hear the outside world, and the outside world can hear your music--when loud enough. The Evo's bear a striking resemblance to the AKG k240 cosmetically, if not from a listening point of view. The cable plugs into a short length thereof on the right (or left, depending on how you wear them) cup (male). The band is easily adjustable. Construction seems adequate for a can in this price range. They are neither tanks nor pieces of garbage. Somewhere in between the two, I would say. The primary material used seems to be some sort of plastic. The short cable is very nice for those of us who use portable players a lot or primarily. That said, having both lengths is also very nice.

 

Comfort

 

In some thirty-plus hours of listening, I have found the Evo to be plenty comfortable--more so now than when I first got them. Clamp pressure is fairly high on my smallish head and will be more on a larger one. There are several ways to deal with this, including using a box or pillows to reduce the tension (and opening the HP around this).. There are several other ways to reduce clamp pressure also in the forum on the Evo. I won't belabor them here. I would say that some people have found the velour pads more comfy, but I am not bothered by the pleather ones. Cup size is adequate for my ears, which don't hurt after hours of listening. I have had zero sweat issues either.

 

Sound

 

My first impression on putting on the Evo's initially was "Gosh--these sound pretty darn good." On VH's Judgment Day, EVH's guitar tracks sounded biting and rich at the same time. Still, the whole picture, all brought together, was somewhat muddy and muddled. Sammie's voice had little life to it and the bass was bloated. So, knowing about the burn-in recommendations for the Evo, I set it down and played random continuous rock/country/edm/jazz/bluegrass for about twenty-eight more hours. Then, I listened again. OMG--what a difference! Judgment Day this time had richer, fatter guitars, a snappy snare drum from Alex, and exhilarating vocals from Sammie. Onward. Pat Metheny's First Circle was a tour de force, with crisp, gorgeous vocals with multiple layers of richness and beauty, and just the right amount of bite. The acoustic guitar had punch and attack and clarity. The piano fills the track with percussive loveliness and sonorous layers. The bass is thick and rich, but not excessively so. There is harmonic detail in it. The soundstage is huge, with instruments placed in individual points in space and, at times, layered over one another. Detail retrieval is very good. When compared to my Sennheiser HD 202's, these Evo's are in another league. There is greater detail, a much better soundstage, and way more information delivered. The 202 is excellent for the money, but the Sennheiser veiling is quite prominent in it and listening to the Evo, I am more aware of this congested veiling because it is so absent in the Evo. It has a whole other level of stuff going on.  Cymbals sound like cymbals. Drums, like drums. Compared to the Crossfade m100, the Evo has slightly tighter bass, a more detailed midrange, and, to me, about equivalent treble. That's just me--others may feel differently. Lastly, I would say that the two areas I wish the Evo did better in are dynamics  (I listen to a lot of jazz and classical and the Evo could do better with dynamics, IMHO) and detail. This (relative to the absolute) reduction in detail can lead mids to seem slightly recessed at times. Compared to my Avalon Eclipses and Magnepans, there is no comparison in the amount of detail delivered. Still, for the money, they are remarkable. Just remarkable.

 

Summary

 

Summing up, the Superlux hd 681 Evo, Version II is a very good headphone and a terrific value. Do they compete with the best in the $500-$1000 range? Of course not. But they certainly do compete with many cans in the hundred dollar range (my v-moda were many times as expensive and I actually prefer the Superlux!). They are very enjoyable to listen to music on. That's all there is to it. Order a pair--you won't be disappointed.

Posted

Pros: Clear, natural sound, nice bass, wide soundstage, fixed treble

Cons: Cable issues, bulky design

These cans need cc. 50-100 hours burn-in time to give you the best performance. Their sound is very good for the price. In some cases I even prefer them to my girlfriend's Sennheiser HD-650 (you can buy ~10 EVOs for its price), because the EVO has a very natural, realistic sound, while the highs of the HD-650 are rolled back and it sounds a bit artificial to me sometimes. Unfortunately there were several reported issues with the cables, Superlux should pay more attention to fix these. My first EVO had a contact failure in the right channel, but my friend could fix it easily. The biggest problem of the earlier models, the piercing, hissing highs are fortunately not present anymore, the treble is clear and not fatiguing in the EVO. It works fine with some portable players, but has volume issues with others. The impedance is only 32 ohm, but the sensitivity is quite low. It is really bulky and looks stupid on the street. But for home use...

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! beyersmile.png

Posted

Pros: Highs, Sub-bass. TIMBRE! AUDIO POSITIONING!

Cons: Somewhat slow mid-bass, slightly recess mids, Build quality.

Well, I've been using these for 10 months, and I realized that I havent done a review for them, so here we go. This is also going to be a comparision againts the Superlux 668B.

 

First, I have to say that these headphones are somewhat underrated, they're way less popular than their brother (668B), and these deserve as much attention as the 668s or even more!

 

So lets start, Evos and 668s have two things in common, their soundstage and their V-shaped sound, the rest is diferent. Although both have a V-shape sound, Evos are also warm, with a great sub-bass thats really present and shines with Classical music and Jazz. (While 668s are really poor in that aspec howeer 668s have a faster mid-bass that I really enjoy). To resume it, Evos are Warm V shaped and 668s agressive V shaped. So If you're doubting about picking one of them you should really consider what headphone you want, because they are almost completely different.

 

Now lets go with the mids, they still have recess mids, they're present enough, even a little bit more than 668s and thanks to its timbre that we gonna talk on a moment, they are better.

 

Highs: Very detailed, not as much as 668s, both show recording mistakes easily, on the 668s you will heard any clipping/distortion right over the rest of instrument, on the Evos you will hear it too, but in this case they sound behind the rest of instrument, I would even consider this a good point, since some games soundtracks really have a poor quality and on the 668s is really hard to enjoy them (I'm looking at you Ace Combat X -.-)

 

Their highs are surely softer and with their amazing timbre that omg, really this aspect is something that surprises me a lot on the Evos, that Timbre makes everything sound better, more natural, 668s are well know for their "dry" timbre. thanks Superlux to for fixed it!

 

Now lets talk about gaming, and with that I mean soundstage and positioning, both headphones have a similar soundstage (Its really hard to tell to be honest) but I would say Evos extend a little bit more horizontally and less vertically.

 

However, Evos do depth and audio positioning amazingly better, I mean, I no longer game on my 668s, they could have as much detail as you want, but Evos positioning is brilliant, Now playing CS:GO it is super easy to tell when someone is coming from your 8 to 4 O'Clock (668s really struggle there) If you have both headphones, please tell me how do you find their positing on CS:GO, because maybe I'm crazy. xD I wasnt expecting that at all.

 

But they have a fatal flaw that really bugs me, and it is their build quality. Why???

 

I've been using these for 10 month, I've already recable them (the little cable that goes out of them broke off), the two metal beams that goes over your head have one tear each on the middle (although there's metal inside them, so this is not fatal) their headband have like 10 tears, all of them fixed with superglue that really prevents them from getting bigger.


I really dont know why this has happened to me, My 668s are one year older than my evos and they are still fine.


So, I do recommend this headphone to everyone, but you have to be aware of its building issues, if that really does not matter for you, go for them!

 

 

UPDATE: These were my impressions of the Evos plug on my Xonar DG. Recently, I performed a test between my Xonar DG and a ELE EL D02 and I realized that they sound better on the ELE DAC, basically that "slow bass" is gone (It is still slower than 668s bass though).

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/677895/ele-dac-support-and-appreciation-thread/105#post_12043224

Posted

Pros: Sweet Bass, Dramatically improved Mids, and Low Price

Cons: Midrange is harsh and lacks transparency

Superlux HD-681 EVO Review 

The Superlux HD-681 EVO is a pioneer in the world of audio quality. As this is a budget headphone, I will be critiquing, and comparing it to other headphones similar to it in price to sound correlation. This headphones had a distinct V shaped sound signature, and is intended mainly for listeners of modern genres, such as hip-hop, rock and pop. Older genres such as classical and jazz will not sound near their full quality with these headphones. The Superlux HD-681 EVOs are a worthy replacement to its predecessor, the Superlux 681 (older version) in both sound quality and aesthetics. The improvement in sound quality is mainly present in the treble, where the long hated sibilance has subsided. In addition, the improved aesthetics only make the headphone a more valuable asset. The overall sound is darker and v shaped, comparative to my sennheiser momentums and TDK 700s. These headphones have received universal acclaim across multiple forums and sites, for it sound quality, and cheap price.

 

 

This review consists of: Specifications, Highs, Mids, Lows, Build/Comfort, and a Conclusion 

 

Specifications 

Weight                          276 g

Driver Size                    50 mm

Frequency Response     10 - 30000 Hz

Magnet                         ferrite

Sensitivity                     98 dB

Impedance                    32 Ohms

Connectivity type           wired

Type                             Semi-Open, Over ear

 

Highs

The highs on the the HD-681 EVOs are vastly improved from the older superlux models of the 681. The old sibilance that caused ear fatigue are now gone. I found the highs to be very decent for the price. It is drastically better than other 40 sony or phillip models. Against the TDK 700, the EVO's highs wins by just a slim margin. It even manages to hold its own against other higher priced headphones, including the Audio Technica ATH - m50s and Sennheiser Momentums. Recommended and acclaimed for its price, but nothing special.

 

Mids

The mids on these headphones is its main weakness. The mids are lacking, even for a v shaped headphone. In transparency, they were among the lowest in my budget headphone collection. They simply lack the texture and quality of sound that any experienced audiophile will detect. Compared to the TDK 700, sennheiser momentums and even my apple earbuds, the mids loose out. For the price range of this headphone, I would say that the mids are lacking.

 

Lows

One of the best aspects of these headphones are its lows. The lows make up indefinitely for the mids of the headphones. I found the lows to be very smooth, with deep extension. While they do not muddle the mids like the ATH m50s do, they are reasonably well balanced with decent slam. Songs like Animals by Maroon 5, Centuries by Fall out boy and electronic mixes such as 

Back on Track sound stunning. While it lacks the speed of the ATH m50s, and the detail of my sennheiser 598s, it truly is a steal for 40 bucks. Highly recommended for its price. 

 

Build/Comfort

Inside the box, the Superlux HD 681 EVOs comes with two cables, a 1/4 inch audio jack adapter, and two sets of earpads, one of which is constructed of synthetic pleather. the other is fabricated of velour. I used the velour earpads on the headphones, as it proved to be more comfortable. The headphones are constructed of a durable plastic, and do not feel as if they would damage easily. The cable however, is abysmal in quality, and I would recommend replacing it with any other female to male adapter on Amazon. Luckily, the design of the headphone allows you to plug in a Bluetooth adapter for wireless listening. Because there is a 2 inch male cable that connects to the other two cables, any sort of lightweight Bluetooth adapter (OST Bluetooth adapt) will be able to plug in, and give you wireless audio. A very handy trick. 

 

As for comfort, the headphones were decently comfort. The earpads pressed on the top and bottom of my ears, and I could wear it an hour at most. However, compared to other budget headphones of the same price, it is one of the more comfortable headphones i could wear. 

 

Conclusion

The Superlux HD 681 EVOs is a dramatic improvement to its predecessor, the Superlux 681s. I regard it as one of the best headphone in sound quality and build that one can find for its price range, and would recommend it to others. The Highs and Bass make up for its lacking mids, and its wide range of accessories only make it more desirable. 

 

Overall rating 4.6 stars

Thanks! ☺

Posted

Pros: deep and defined bass, warm, light, sturdy and easy to modify

Cons: big cans, isolation is weak, lack of airyness unless modified

I got those from thomann.de for 28€, shipping included ;-)

I own and am used to Sennheiser px-100, cx880, Etymotic hf2. 

I wanted to get detailed headphones like Etymotic hf2, but warm, and comfortable for longer period of time. 

After investigating many models, reading review & comparisons, and actually testing headphones on my own, I got settled with Superlux 681EVO White. 

 

With Superlux 681EVO i used:  -3db for 30-150Hz, +4db 1-6 kHz.. extra +2db for 4kHz additionaly

Those settings produce very balanced, yet worm and detailed sound. This makes every kind of music nice, but well mastered jazz and orchestral music is very impressive. 

Sound stage is wide and deep, with clear separation of instruments. 

 

Lack of  "airyness" compared to Etymotic hf2, but detailed, layered presentation that can be listened to for hours. (a half star is lost here).

 

I listen the music in flac form, from either my notebook or Samsung S4 phone, and everyset of headphones I own has their EQ settings that I use to compensate for their weak points. 

When used with velour pads, those cans can be worn for hours. 

Lack of isolation is both a good thing and a bad thing. However, I must sometimes make the sound louder in medium noisy environment.. (there goes a half star away). 

 

Conclusion - the music through 681EVO brings smile to your face. Is there more to be found? 

Posted

Pros: Stupidly cheap. Stupidly good sounding. Badonkadonk bass.

Cons: Look cheap and plasticy. Feel cheap and plasticy.

Superlux HD681EVO Quick Review by mark2410

 

Thanks to GearBest for the sample.

 

Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/805775/superlux-hd681evo-review-by-mark2410

 

Brief:  They may look cheap but they sound anything but.

 

Price:  US$32 or £23

 

Specification:  Headset type: Dynamic, Connectivity: Wired, Connecting interface : 3.5mm, Application: Mobile phone, Computer, Sport, Portable Media Player, Aviation, DJ, Cable Length (m): 1m, Driver unit: 50mm, Frequency response: 10Hz-30KHz, Impedance: 32ohms, SNR: 98dB, Input Power: 300mW ( max )

 

Accessories:  Package Contents: 1 x Headset, 1 x 1m Cable, 1 x 3m Cable, 1 x Adapter, 1 x Buckle, 1 x Storage Pouch (buckle?  Erm that’s what the website says yet no mention of the other ear pads.)

 

Build Quality:   Well…… it seems sturdy enough but it’s all glossy plastic and the headband rest thing is very plasticy too.  So while it doesn’t feel like it’s going to break or anything it’s all plastic and not the best to the touch plastic either.

 

Isolation:  While they are partially closed, they are still open.  They isolate hardly any at all so if you need iso, skip these.  Definitely not one I’d want for outdoor use unless you want everyone near you to be audible and for them to want to hit you.

 

Comfort/Fit:  They are not bad, the pads do rest on the ear so it can get a little stifling after a few hours but….. they are pretty much fine.  I was reasonably happy to wear them for hours at a time.

 

Aesthetics:  From a distance, they look rather AKG like don’t they?  Well get up close and that illusion disappears.  These are considerably cheaper looking, they look cheap and plasticy.  Not that they are ugly per say, but I wouldn’t think you’ll get mugged for them anytime soon.

 

Sound:  Have I been a little so so about them so far?  Yeah because these aren’t lookers and they don’t isolate for toffee but the sound?  Bugger me they sound insane for the price.  That they can post the things from the other side of the planet and sound like this for £23, just how????????  They sound fantastic, utterly fantastic, just simply incredible in the literal sense that they defy credibility.  So long as you ignore their labelling as “monitors” they aren’t, they aren’t anywhere near monitor like.  The bass in particular is great big badonkadonk bass.  Right up front, in your face, bouncing and jiggling all over the shop.  It’s awesome, a little bit silly perhaps but just nuts.  Big, jiggly, bouncing all over, so in your face and vigorous.  Just so much energy and playfulness that with its open nature means it’s much more articulated and clean than something closed would be.  The mids too, are just so open, dynamic, airy, yet a touch creamy, just excellent for the money.  The treble isn’t quite so accomplished, it’s a bit reduced in volume (which is wise) and there is a bit of a lower treble range spike that at volume gets a little ear tiring.  Still the detail and the shimmer they give is outstanding for the price.  If these cost more I could tear into to the treble a little because it’s not perfect but that price tag……. That price tag means I just can’t.  Sure they aren’t perfect but come on, £23 delivered, you’re practically stealing them at that price.

 

Value:  Shut up and buy a pair!!!

 

Pro’s:  Stupidly cheap.  Stupidly good sounding.  Badonkadonk bass.

 

Con’s:  Look cheap and plasticy.  Feel cheap and plasticy. 

Posted

Pros: Sound quality, price, value, modern design

Cons: Not so good comfort with leatherette pads

I bought my headphones after thorough information on this site. That's why I thank to all who wrote a review, giving information to others. It helped me a lot! I'm very pleased to have a copy of those astonishing headphones. They have a stunning sound quality for the price. Having this in mind, I can overlook other characteristics such as build quality, materials etc.

My conclusion: Highly recommended for those who look for sound quality but still don't have a little fortune to spend.

Posted

Pros: Cheap, nice looking, lightweight, comfortable, big, smooth spacious sound, deep bass, nonfatiguing overall character, brilliant cord design,

Cons: They should come pre-modded. Slightly bloated bottom and a some mid bass cloudiness.

I can't get over how much I love these cans. Except for the slightly bloated bottom, which doesn't reveal itself on most cuts, these sound as good as anything I've heard except crazy expensive stuff like HD800s and the original Orpheus. I like them better than the HD 580/600/650, K/Q701, and Beyer DT-880's, all of which I own now (not for long) or have owned for years. I absolutely love the big, easy spacious sound and the fact that they don't need an amp, which I consider a huge PItA. The proof of how good these are is, I can't take the damn things off! Un-modded they have some serious problems, but switching to the velour pads (included) and removing the foam discs reduces the problems to entirely acceptable levels.  

Posted

Pros: Construction, Comfort, Sound stage, Bass

Cons: Not the most revealing or detailed headphone

I'm still a newbie in the headphone category, just starting to try out all the hyped ones like SRH840, HD650/600 etc from the beginning of this year.

 

Now I'm left with this, HD600, and DT880.  I'm thinking which one of HD600 and DT880 to sell at the moment, so HD681 is certainly doing something right here.

 

In terms of absolute detail there's no contest here, HD681 looses, but for overall performance at such a laughable price, it's certainly a keeper.

 

Nothing wrong with the construction, plastic but yea, it feels solid on hand.  A minor complaint that it's not foldable, but with semi open design this is not for outdoor use anyways.

 

Comfort wise I find them very suitable for long hours of use(especially with the velour pads replacement).  To me they are just as comfy as both the HD600 and DT880.

 

Bass extends quite deep down there, quantity wise it's certainly boosted.  I don't find it bleeding into the mids though.  Certainly more bass heavy than HD600/DT880, but this makes HD681 more enjoyable for pop music.  Due to the bass, I will categorize the overall sound as warm(definitely more so than HD600/DT880).

 

Mid does its job, don't find it recessed.

 

Treble is just the right amount for me, less bright than DT880 but sounds like a tad more in quantity than HD600.

 

Sound Stage is excellent for its price, certainly feels more 3D than HD600 to me

 

As for source, they sound just as good to me with xonar dg and audio gd 12.1, which make sense as it's not the most revealing headphone.  Unlike the JVC S500, the HD681 does benefit from some minor amping, especially if you're going from a mobile source like ipod or mobile phone.  Pairs well with bright sources IMO.  A warm source/amp may make the bass too bloated.  

 

 

 

Overall, well... Can't think of a better deal than this in recent head-fi gears, maybe the Sony MH1C...

Posted

Pros: Durable, Fantastic sound, Large diaphragm, Interchangeable cords, Insanely comfortable

Cons: Bulky? To be expected with the diaphragm size though

This will be a short synopsis of my findings after a few weeks with these. 

What they come with: First of all, they are shipped with a good deal of extras, including a longer studio-aimed cord, and a shorter portable one, a carrying bag, an adapter to 1/4 inch, and velour earpads.

 

How they sound: With velour earpads, a bit distant and tinny. With the flatter, normal ones, they sound more open and pleasant. It's a comfort for sound trade-off. I wouldn't say the sound very neutral or natural, because it is markedly V-sounding with hyped bass and treble. Closest sound I can reference is that of the ATH-M50s, except I prefer these - treble, albeit hyped, seems more authentic to me in the Superlux than in the M50s. (Be it said, the M50s I listened to were close to new). Excellent sound stage, very good implementation of the partial open-back design with 50mm drivers. Sound leakage is, as is to be expected, noticeable, more so out than in surprisingly. I use them as a quick reference in mixing, just to see if anything's blatantly wrong with the highs of a track, if I can't use my monitors (usually night work, when I can't really use speakers). They, together with my NVX-XPT100 (Fischer Audio Fa-003 clones), give a decent view of the midrange with the NVX and the bass and treble with the Superlux. So in a nutshell, tastefully hyped. Acoustic music sings on these, as do other genres to a similar extent, with tight bass and clear treble. Also none of the widely dreaded shrill sibilance in highs of the former HD 681s to report, nor are the highs excessively rolled off. Good balance.

 

How they're built:

They are of plastic construction, but none of it seems like it will give way. Flexible but sturdy, they should survive a fair amount of wear. The fit I found to be fantastic, the self-adjusting band at the top worked very well, and they do feel nearly weightless on your head, that is until you really forget that they're there and scrape them against a doorframe - as I said, they are somewhat comically immense. These are definitely for home use, or perhaps in a loud environment only because you wouldn't disturb anyone with sound leakage, but you wouldn't be hearing much either. These are truly best in a quiet room where no one takes issue with your taste in music. The velour earpads are also a great touch, they add a great deal of comfort, at the somewhat noticeable expense of sound. 

 

How they look:

Well, this is debatable. To some, they may seem pretentious, especially in white. Pretentious or not, they certainly do make a statement. Reminiscent in design to the SteelSeries Siberia v2 headset, these draw attention based on their looks and size. I have worn these in public, and they get a fair amount of comments. The most common is an incredulous face, followed by "what could you possibly need those for?". They are rather out of their element on the street, perhaps more because of the lack of sound isolation than of their size.

 

Verdict:

Brilliant, but hyped sound, in my opinion similar but possibly superior to that of the ATH M50s. They're worth M50 money as well, but cost a laughable amount. Insane value that I assume isn't yet generating noise because these are still fairly new, with few reviews on Amazon and not that much time on the market. Sound enthusiasts and even some producers can appreciate these. Obligatory disclaimer: yes, I realize that you cannot master with headphones. No one really should. But if you're still working on a mix, and have to keep it down, and need to check your treble for obvious issues, these do the job. Better, again, in my opinion, than ATH M50s (and the ATH M-lineup in general) and Sony MDR-7506, all of which I have had ample time with. Having said that, don't take my word for it, give these and some others a listen if you can and decide for yourself.

Superlux HD-681 EVO Black Professional Monitor Headphones
Description:

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BrandSuperlux
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LabelSuperlux
ManufacturerSuperlux
PublisherSuperlux
StudioSuperlux
TitleSuperlux HD-681 EVO Black Professional Monitor Headphones
UPC798304233544
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElement51978
Item Weight2 pounds
PackageQuantity1
ProductGroupCE
ProductTypeNameCONSUMER_ELECTRONICS
UPCList - UPCListElement798304233544
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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