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Takstar 2050

Posted

Pros: Comfortable, sturdy materials, sounds great

Cons: Non-removable cable, not for those with large heads

Introduction:

 

Hello everyone, I've been asked by a user to review the Takstar HI2050 so here we go. I'm just your average guy making his way through college with a passing interest in audio fidelity. I'm NOT an audiophile, but I've got a little experience with some of the lower end stuff as well as some mid-fi offerings such as the venerated Sennheiser HD600 and the much newer Philips Fidelio X1.

 

The Good Stuff...From China?

 

The Takstar HI2050 is a budget open headphone offering from Chinese company Takstar. I got it for about $50 from Amazon, but it's known to be lower from places like AliExpress. I swear, headphones like these go after the law of diminishing returns with a VENGEANCE.

 

Disclaimer:

 

I consider myself to be overall pretty bad at describing what I hear so take what I write with a grain of salt. And keep in mind that everyone hears differently; it's not a bad thing, just different.

 

Packaging:

 

For a $50 headphone from a Chinese company, these have remarkably nice packaging. Think Sennheiser HD800 presentation, but with super-cheap Chinese materials instead. The plastic headphone-shaped tray is covered by cloth ruffled in a way that reminds me of the inside of an HD800 box. Solid (enough) cardboard holds it all together. It comes with the user manual, 3.5mm->6.3mm adapter and an extension cable. The attached cable is already 6-7 feet long, but you know, just in case for all the people that need their headphones to have a 10+ feet cable.

 

   

 

 

Build/Comfort:

 

If you're at all familiar with big names in the headphone industry, you'll know Beyerdynamic. And you'll note that these have a very similar style, from the arms holding the cups to the fabric earpads and their color. These headphones are very well-built for $50 and sometimes indicate the development money was spent on physical design rather than sound tuning. But that's not the case here, a little more on it later. The headband padding is sufficient and very soft (maybe pleather?). The arms are aluminum and are very solid. The cups are a mix of silver and black plastic with metal mesh grill covers and a label plate with "TAKSTAR" written on it. The cups are oval-shaped unlike Beyerdynamic headphones, which are circular. I prefer this as my ears (and probably everyone else's ears) aren't circular. The headphones are very comfortable and they're deep enough and large enough to not touch my ears. I don't think the pads are velour, but they're a comfortable fabric. Clamp is just right for me, not too tight, but enough to not be loose around my head. One caveat is that if you have a larger than average head, these might not be the headphone for you as I had to fully extend the arms for a comfortable fit. The cable is non-detachable and pretty long, maybe around 6 feet or so. Then they also supply an extension cable to make it even longer. It terminates in a standard 3.5mm plug but comes with an adapter if you need to plug into a 1/4" jack. The cable is pretty thick and seems durable.

 

     

 

 

Sound Quality:

 

Overall I consider these headphones to sound fantastic. Not quite to my liking in terms of the sound signature, but it's of good quality. Treble is clear, detailed, and emphasized, mids and vocals sound good, but are easily less present than things like the snares and cymbals. Bass response is very smooth and of ample quantity, though not emphasized or overbearing. I'd say that it's not super detailed or textured, but it's not boomy and it's clean enough in presentation. Instrument separation is alright and the soundstage is of average size.

 

Quick comparison: Superlux HD668B

 

These two headphones are of similar price and both are great bang for your buck. But which one do I like more? I'd say that my vote goes to the Takstars. On the merit of build quality, the Takstars easily take it. The HD668B feels very flimsy in comparison. It's super lightweight with it's wireframe design, but it's made of plastic. While that's great for flexibility, I feel like it could be easily crushed, though for me, it's withstood everyday handling just fine. The Takstars, on the other hand, use aluminum arms and a very flexible headband; it just feels more solid. The one-up the Superlux has on the Takstar is that they have a removable cable whereas the HI2050's cable isn't removable (and at 6-7 feet long, too long for my use). The Takstars also win for me on comfort. While neither headphone clamps too hard, the circular shape of the cups on the HD668B meant the bottom rested on my ear lobe enough of the time, while I have no such issues with the Takstars. Also, the standard pads on the HD668B can get hot very quickly, being made out of pleather or vinyl or something like that. I dealt with that problem immediately by swapping for velour pads. The HI2050 has fabric pads standard so no swapping necessary for a comfortable fit. As for the sound quality, I think the Takstars are a little more resolving overall. Not only that, but they have a warmer and more desirable bass presence. That's not to say they have a warm sound signature,, but they are warm compared to the Superlux. The HD668B feels colder, more analytical. It's detailed and tight, but those are also the qualities that make it sound a little cold and less fun. My recommendation between these 2 headphones varies based on a few factors. If you want lightweight as possible, the Superlux feels a little lighter, though I wouldn't say by a lot. If you want something with a sturdy build, I'd easily recommend the Takstar over the Superlux. If you like a thinner and more analytical sound, pick up the HD668B, otherwise go for the HI2050.

 

If you'd like to see what I thought of the Superlux HD668B, check out my review video here: Superlux HD668B Review

 

Conclusion:

 

These headphones have no right to be as good as they are at $50. They're well-built, they sound very good and they're quite comfortable. For me, they tend to be fatiguing after long periods of time due to the emphasized treble energy, but for those who like it, they're very good for the money. Being open headphones (I'd actually call them semi-open since the mesh style actually blocks quite a lot), the HI2050s leak sound in and out. It leaks less than some headphones, but it leaks nevertheless so it's not great for portable use (especially with the massively long cable). If you're looking for something to appease the inner audiophile, but can't sell 2 organs and an arm to buy some of the more expensive offerings, the Takstar HI2050 is a very solid choice at a surprisingly wallet-friendly price.

Posted

Pros: Insane value / price ratio. Great build, comfort, nice open soundtage, very enjoyable balance of bass, mids and treble.

Cons: Highs can be piercing sometimes - use parametric EQ! Not for people with big heads.

I have already praised the Takstar TS 671 in a small review, what is a very ugly and bulky headphone, but has a beautiful neutral sound with enormous soundstage. Thank God the HI 2050 is a much better looking and much more comfortable open headphone that also has a slightly different but also amazing sound. Its design is from Beyerdynamics DT880 but with oval cups and with different velour material on the earpads. Massive, beautiful, comfortable, IMO for 60 bucks nothing else comes even close...

The soundstage of the HI 2050 is smaller than the TS 671, but still very enjoyable and open - this means for home use only. The sound signature is more V-shaped with some elevation on the bass, giving a nice body for the music, and a bigger elevation in the highs that unfortunately can be piercing with some sources / recordings. I have used it with a Fiio E10, that had no such problem with Takstar TS671, Sennheiser HD650, ATH AD500X or Superlux HD681 EVO, but it seems the HI2050 is a harder case. Its treble sounded pretty awful out of the box and burn-in helped a lot. I think I am going to put some filter material (cloth or wool) in the cups to tame the highs or even buy another headphone amplifier because these headphones are just too great to get rid of them. This is their only flaw in my opinion. One more important thing: if you have a big head then do NOT buy this headphone before trying it. I never had size problems with headphones, but I have to use the HI 2050 almost completely stretched out in the biggest head position. Its headband is just too small, designed for small Asian heads.

 

In short:

Another wonder headphone from China. Takstar discontinued this headphone with its closed sibling the Pro 80, so better buy it for the ridiculous price while available. Just be sure that it fits your head size and you are not too sensitive for sibilant treble. (If you are then rather buy a Superlux HD681 EVO or an ATH AD500X.) Enjoyment factor guaranteed! :beyersmile: 

 

Edit:

Finally I have found the cure for the piercing highs! :L3000:

Use the following parametric EQ setup in your media player and enjoy the sound without the killer frequency spikes:

-2dB @ 2100Hz BW=1
-7dB @ 7100Hz BW=1
-4dB @ 11000Hz BW=1

(Fiio E10, JRiver Media Center 20)

Posted

Pros: Clear mids,highs and punchy bass,comfort,soundstage

Cons: At 40$ nothing

My website:www.krish-tech.com

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Before i first used Takstar Hi 2050 headphone i thought as the price increases the audio quality also increases.In my earlier review of ATH M40 X headphone i praised it for it's amazing soundquality and said you can't get a better headphone under 100$ and boy,i was wrong the Takstar headphone simply blows them away in comfort,audio quality,soundstage and the fact that it is 60$ less than ATH M40X makes me think why on earth are we paying more than 100$ on a headphone.

Read below to know more about this headphone.

 

 

Comfort&Build Quality

Let me start by saying i have never even imagined getting a headphone for 40$ that has better audio quality and comfort than even half of the 200$ headphones out there.So first the comfort,this headphone is a open headphone,meaning if you live in a noisy environment like near a railway track or your family is a loud one obviously this headphone is not for you,better to buy a closed headphone in that type of environment.But if you are like me and have access to a silent environment you are in for a treat.Most of the headphone i owned even ATH M40x,i felt the need to mod the ear cushions because it got uncomfortable in just a hour but in this headphone ear cushions are so comfortable you can use it for hours without any discomfort at all.Ear cushions are made of a material you will find in old sofas it may not look good but it's so comfortable that you don't feel like taking these headphones off even if there is no music playing.

Build quality is also a as good or even better than M40x there is actual metal in this headphone on this headphone like that of Beyerdynamic dt  770,it looks so much alike that you wonder if you see it from far you may mistake it for a dt 770.I don't have any complaints in the build department.Overall for 40$ it has blown me away.

 

 

AudioQuality

This is the best part of this headphone,there is only a few products that made me think they are selling for a loss one is lepai amp which is just amazing piece of equipment i can't live without then there is this headphone,with my schiit modi DAC and fiio amp the sound is simply mindblowing.Fiio amp slightly limits the soundstage of this headphone after i get the amp smsl sapII headphone amplifier i ordered i can test this headphone to it's full potential,not that there is anything wrong with fiio.The sound is detailed with amazing mids,good treble,bass is also punchy,wide soundstage,A video reviewer in youtube said the sound is as good as the 200$ headphone i can't say that for a fact because i don't own any headphone above 100$.

 

Music test

All music played with Jriver with Wasapi

Ludovico Einaudi Divenire(Flac),Una Mattina-Both the songs bring out the best of this headphone which help to really appreciate the talent of Einaudi.Divenite is spectacular with each piano note clearly heard and the instrument seperation is simply unheard at the price.The sound is roughly equal to that of heard from M Audio BX5 D2 studio monitors.

 

The Cranberries-Zombies,Linger,Dreams(Flac)-You already know what i am going to say this headphone really bring out female vocalists without any loss in detail,i just intended to play only the Zombies for the audio test but then i played one more song then ended up playing the entire album which i wouldn't have done if i was testing in ATH M40X.

 

Lacuna Coil-Our Truth(Flac)-One area where most bands fail are with metal songs,if you are testing a new headphone in a shop just play some metal songs and you will immediately know if you want it or not.And if you tested this headphone along with couple of headphones that cost 200$,with your eyes closed and played this song.I bet that you won't be able to recognize the cheaper one and yeah it is that good.Bass is the only region that could have been punchier,but if the bass is more then the highs and mids might suffer which is not a good thing.


Gaming and Movies

Playing Dead Space 2 with this headphone was a terrifying and thrilling experience,this headphone create a surround sound experience that you constantly turn around to see if there is one of that things behind you.This headphone really helps to bring out all the sound effects in the game that literally makes you jump out of your seat something  ATH M40x wasn't been able to do.Attach a mod mic to this headphone and voila,you got a gaming headphone better than 300$ gaming headphones out there.

 

I watched Predestination and Begin Again movie,both of them are soundtrack heavy movies and was a fantastic experience.

 

Conclusion 

So far i haven't been able to find one single thing wrong with this headphone which means it is the new value for money leader out there.For 20 dollar more i heard you can get a monitor version of Takkstar that apparently sounds better,please let me know how it sound if you happen to buy them.

Thank god for Chinese,if it wasn't for them we wouldn't be using these amazing amplifiers and headphones at prices that we spend on a dinner in a restaurant.They could have price them at 100$ for these headphone and i still would have given all the praise,selling these at 40$ show that the people who made this headphone actually care that we get best performance for our money,that alone make me buy this headphone again if by any chance my current one broke.

 

 

 

Takstar 2050
Description:

• Full-bodied bass, well-balanced mids and highs • Adjustable headband for different head shape • Exquisite and durable aluminum structure • Soft velour ear pads for comfortable wearing • Stylish stainless steel ear cup design • OFC, 2.2m single-side cable with 1.8m extension cable for multiple  application

Details:
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Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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