Ok, what do you get when you combine the earcups of an Audio-Technica ATH-D1000, and the earpads of an ATH-W1000? Add in a unique headband of its own, and you have the Kenwood KH-K1000.
Thanks to Rasto, I ordered these from Pricejapan.com late last Thursday evening. They were promptly shipped within a few hours of my order, and arrived in Connecticut today around noon. Two business days - not too shabby. Would that all retailers could provide such prompt service.
I love getting things from Japan, if only to go thru the ceremony of opening the box. It seems that the Japanese pride themselves with their ability to package everything as if it were a piece of fine porcelain. The Kenwoods, despite being a mid-priced headphone, were no exception. First, PJ's outer wrapping prepares the contents very well for their long journey. Inside, Kenwood pays more than a little extra attention to caring for these precious headphones with strategically placed cloth-like tissue, giving the new owner a sense that something important is inside. Nice extra touch.
Construction-wise, these are well made, reminiscent of other A-T's I've owned in the past (W2002, W1000), with the fit being better than any of them. Perhaps this was due to the lighter earcups vs. the woodies. Or maybe because of the unique, well-padded headband that flexes better than the A-T wings over my shaved chromedome. The earpad seal is better on my somewhat narrow head than any A-T headphone as well. Man, these are big headphones (just caught a gander of me in the mirror - yikes!). The cable seems decently constructed, entering each earcup individually in a dual-entry configuration (easy upgrades later?
Sonically, out of the box these are quite muted. Most noticable are the rolled-off highs. Coming from the Ultrasone camp, and being a long-time Etymotic fan, these are downright boring. Mids are rich, while the low-end is of decent quality, if not extremely extended, nor textured. I'd say these are very similiar to the W1000's I owned briefly, and wouldn't be surprised if they used the same drivers. Tonally somewhat like the JVC HP-DX1000, without the extremely wide soundstage, and less bass. If asked to liken them to a popular open can, they remind me alot of Sennheiser HD650's.
I'm really hoping these will open up with burn-in. Can any long-time owners offer input on this?
Also, I'm experimenting with sources & amps. My prior experience showed that Audio-Technica's are finicky in this regard, and liked amps with plenty of PRaT to wake them up. Any suggestions?