Good price, great sound

A Review On: Superlux HD-681 EVO Black Professional Monitor Headphones

Superlux HD-681 EVO Black Professional Monitor Headphones

Rated # 45 in Over-Ear
See all 8 reviews
Recent Pricing:
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Value
boombox589
Posted · Updated · 20559 Views · 2 Comments

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 and actually seem to improve the sound just slightly. 

 

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.

2 Comments:

Really? Until now, this stands true for you? i mean i got a budget well over 50$ but if this is the case then i will get the evo if it is close to m50 and save my money for something else.
For what I do, yes. I could see how some would prefer the M50s for certain types of acoustic music, but honestly from what I remember of the M50s, my (well burnt in) evos sound rather similar. Acoustic rock, pop, and the sort, as expected, sound brilliant. Of course a lot of that would depend on the amp (if any) that you're using, your DAC, etc., etc.