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Shootout: 114 Portable Headphones Reviewed (Xiaomi Mi Headphones added 04/21/2015) - Page 199

post #2971 of 4545

Great job!

 

Will you review ATH-pro700mk2 ?

post #2972 of 4545
Quote:
Originally Posted by boonh View Post

Great job!

 

Will you review ATH-pro700mk2 ?


The Pro700 is probably at the very boundary of what could be considered portable (a bit like the M50), though with the short cord I like my pair out and about. 

post #2973 of 4545
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boonh View Post

Great job!

 

Will you review ATH-pro700mk2 ?



No plans at this point.



Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post


The Pro700 is probably at the very boundary of what could be considered portable (a bit like the M50), though with the short cord I like my pair out and about. 



For me that's the Ultrasone Prolines in a nutshell. I like them quite a bit but they are huge even for DJ cans, making the M50 and Denon HP1000 feel tiny. They really don't belong in this thread but I've got to justify keeping them somehow tongue.gif

post #2974 of 4545
Thread Starter 

Added the Fischer Audio Oldskool '70 and Oldskool rpm 33 1/3


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

Tier B ($50-100)

 

(B34) Fischer Audio Oldskool ’70: retro-styled on-ear headphones from FA

Fischer Audio Oldskool 70.jpg

Build Quality (8/10): The construction of the Oldskool ’70 is extremely simple and should prove quite foolproof. The metal headband is thick and sturdy and the glossy plastics and machined aluminum earcups have a quality feel to them. The headband length adjuster is easy to operate and feels smooth and controlled. The small foam pads are extremely soft and the rubberized flat cable, which exits towards the rear of the earcups, is strong and tangle-resistant. A carrying pouch is included.

Comfort (8.5/10): The Oldskool ’70 is a classic on-ear headphone made comfortable by pivoting cups, soft pads, and the extremely light weight. Clamping force is moderate – certainly enough to keep them planted securely on the head – and may bother those with an aversion to supraaurals. Likewise, the metal headband is unpadded and may not work for those with sensitive heads.

Isolation (4/10): While the Oldskool ’70 is technically a closed-back headphone, it is tiny enough that the closed cups don’t make much of a difference. When positioned perfectly, they cut out a small amount of outside noise but still have a tendency to leak sound.

Sound (7/10): The sound of the Oldskool ’70 is punchy, dry, and aggressive, fitting in well with its retro personality. The bass is tight and quick, with mild roll-off at the bottom. The average depth puts the emphasis on mid- and upper bass, which have good weight and texture. The low end is far from thin-sounding a-la Beyerdynamic’s DTX 300 p but the note presentation doesn’t have a whole lot of body or fullness. The pricier Oldskool 33 1/3 has more rounded, filled-out bass notes, as does Beyerdynamic’s similarly-priced DT235.

The midrange is crisp and clear, with good detail and no veiling. It is slightly forward, getting more aggressive towards the top. As with the low end, the texture is good but the Oldskool ends up sounding dry and a bit grainy. Instruments are very well-defined and vocals are lively and energetic, helped along by the slightly emphasized top end. Even next to the impressive accuracy of the Beyerdynamic DT235 and Sennheiser HD428, the midrange of the Oldskool sounds impeccably clean and detailed.

The top end of the ’70 is on the bright side, fairly well-extended, detailed, and crisp. It’s not very forgiving of low bitrates and throws off the overall tonality of the headphones, causing them to sound colored, but impresses with its resolution. The Beyerdynamic DT235 sounds darker, smoother, and more laid-back at the top while the HD428 takes a middle ground with its neutral tone and treble that is crisp but not overly edgy. Both the DT235 and HD428 also have larger presentations – the small, supraaural Oldskool doesn’t really have much of a soundstage. Its forward presentation is set off by good instrument separation, though, and it doesn’t have a tendency to sound closed-in or congested.

Value (8/10). (MSRP: $67.50; Street Price: N/A) A retro-themed on-ear headphone with contemporary performance, the Fischer Audio Oldskool ’70 is one of the more straightforward portables I’ve come across in a while. Those who don’t mind supraaurals will find a well-built, secure-fitting headphone with nearly nonexistent isolation and a simple, unassuming design. The dry, aggressive sound impresses with detail and clarity and the tuning is well-suited for the grime and grit of many 70s and 80s recordings. Being able to compete directly with the Grado SR60, Koss PortaPro, Sennheiser PX100-II, and a myriad of newer sets speaks volumes about the performance of the Oldskool ’70, though those who prefer a more conventional sound signature may want to look at Fischer’s similarly-priced FA-004 as well.

Manufacturer Specs:
Frequency Response: 20-20,000 Hz
Impedance: 35 Ω
Sensitivity: 112 dB SPL/1mW
Cord: 3.94ft (1.2m); Straight Plug
Space-Saving Mechanism: N/A

 



 

 

Tier A ($100-400)

 


(A18) Fischer Audio Oldskool rpm 33 1/3: Striking portable woody placed above the Oldskool ’70 in Fischer’s lineup

Fischer Audio Oldskool 33 1-3.jpg

Build Quality (6.5/10): The 33 1/3 is a compact supraaural headphone with a flat-folding, collapsible structure. It is very similar in construction to MEElec’s HT-21, seemingly sharing all of the same external bits except for the cups. Like the HT-21, the Oldskool sacrifices some solidity for its light weight and extremely portable design. It features the same thicker-than-average, single-sided cable and 45-degree 3.5mm plug. Aside from the metal inner headband, the only non-plastic part is the wooden insert on the rectangular cups, which features an engraved winged ‘F’ and a stylized model name. The engraving quality is fantastic, which makes the plastic outer structure just a bit disappointing, but the rpm 33 1/3 does hold the honor of being one of the most lightweight headphones in its class as a result.

Comfort (9.5/10): While the headband pad is identical to that of the HT-21, the earcup padding is of the flat (non-doughnut) variety a-la Sennheiser's HD238. The pleather and stuffing are extremely soft and the light weight of the headphones makes the thin headband pad a non-issue. Clamping force is very low and the multi-axis folding system allows the 33 1/3 to conform to the wearer’s ears comfortably at all times. The only potential issue is the headband length, which might rule the 33 1/3 out for those with larger heads.

Isolation (5.5/10): Being a small supraaural headphone, the rpm 33 1/3 is hardly noise-isolating despite the closed-back design. Much of the isolation is traded off for comfort with these. Leakage is still reduced significantly compared to most open sets but they are best used in low noise environments

Sound (8.5/10): While the original Fischer Audio Oldskool pursues a crisp and aggressive sound, the 33 1/3 is radically different, offering up a darker, smoother signature. For a tiny on-ear portable with a plasticky outer structure, it sounds remarkably mature and refined. The bass is good – clean and punchy, but not overly aggressive or dominant. The note presentation is on the soft side, resulting in full, rounded bass notes and a smooth, liquid sound. The low end is similar in depth and quantity to that of the AKG Q460, beating out the Phiaton MS300 and lagging just behind the V-Moda M-80. Compared to the Oldskool ’70, the rpm 33 1/3 sounds warmer and fuller, with better bass depth and more realistic note thickness. The Oldskool ’70 sounds a touch quicker and more crisp, but the rpm 33 1/3 is clearly the more natural-sounding of the two.

The midrange is neutral-to-warm, with good detail and a lush, full character. While the bass is punchy, the mids are not at all recessed and barely affected by the low end. The V-Moda M-80 does bleed a touch less but both sets have clean, smooth mids. Like the pricier M-80, the 33 1/3 manages to impress with its clarity and transparency without sacrificing note thickness, as Sennheiser’s HD428 and Superlux’s HD66B tend to do. It also doesn’t push the mids forward to create an illusion of greater detail and presence, again unlike the HD428 and AKG’s Q460. Compared to the Oldskool ’70, the mids of the rpm 33 1/3 are warmer and fuller, maintaining similar detail levels without sounding thin or aggressive and making the ’70 sound grainy and a touch cold in tone.

At the top end, the 33 1/3 is again smooth and refined. The treble is not at all peaky but at the same time doesn’t sound recessed when the headphones are properly driven, offering up a bit more sparkle and air compared to the V-Moda M-80. Treble clarity and detail are on-par with the brighter Oldskool ’70 and ahead of the Phiaton MS300 but the real strength is the realism of the top end, with the 33 1/3 beating all but the M-80 in timbre. The same can be said for the presentation – while the 33 1/3 lacks the imaging and layering of the M-80, it beats most of the competition handily. The sound is a bit laid-back, as expected, but far from overly distant. While the soundstage is not particularly big, it is very well-rounded, revealing just how poor the depth of the Oldskool ’70’s presentation is.

A note on powering the Fischers – despite the high rated impedance, high sensitivity allows them to be driven reasonably with portable players. However, they do scale up quite well and just don’t sound as impressive as they should at lower volumes, leaning towards a darker tonality and a duller, less detailed, and less dynamic sound. Driver by a Cowon J3, the 33 1/3 doesn’t come alive until around 50% of maximum output – quite high compared to most portables and about double that of its lower sibling, the ’70.

Value (8/10). (MSRP: $129.00, Street Price: N/A) The Fischer Audio Oldskool 33 1/3 is a retro-styled on-ear headphone with a smooth and pleasant sound signature. Admittedly, it is not all things to all people – the 33 1/3 isn’t a rugged, highly isolating DJ headphone. It isn’t a good match for bass junkies or those looking for sparkly, emphasized treble. It isn’t aggressive or analytical. What it is, is an extremely compact and comfortable supraaural designed for casual listening. The sound is clean and detailed, with a slight tilt towards the bass and midrange, and scales well with proper equipment. Its design is unobtrusive and – even with the engravings – unassuming. Keeping in mind that it can sound a touch boring at lower listening volumes, the 33 1/3 is certainly one of the more capable performers in its weight and price class and a great example of what portable Hi-Fi is all about, making it easy to focus on the music and forget the headphones are even there.

Manufacturer Specs:
Frequency Response: 15 - 22,000 Hz
Impedance: 164 Ω
Sensitivity: 114 dB SPL/1mW
Cord: 4ft (1.2m), single-sided; 45º plug
Space-Saving Mechanism: Flat-folding, collapsible



 

post #2975 of 4545

Good write ups.  Been searching around for a US dealer for the OldSkool's for a long time.  Guess that is never going to happen.  Being an "older" guy, the look of these is just very intriguing.  They look like every set of headphones I owned for many years growing up.  Maybe with the exception of one full size set of Koss that I owned and my Porta Pros that I bought in 86. 

post #2976 of 4545
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonsupremous View Post

Good write ups.  Been searching around for a US dealer for the OldSkool's for a long time.  Guess that is never going to happen.  Being an "older" guy, the look of these is just very intriguing.  They look like every set of headphones I owned for many years growing up.  Maybe with the exception of one full size set of Koss that I owned and my Porta Pros that I bought in 86. 


Thanks, and not that I know - overseas shipping or buying them from the FS forum seem like the only options. The '70 definitely looks like the portable headphones included with old Walkmans. 


Edited by ljokerl - 3/2/12 at 2:49pm
post #2977 of 4545

^^Definitely looks like the stock headphones with the old Walkman players!  I sure like all those little headphones, you could blast them at the loudest volumes possible and they just kept on crankin out the tunes! 

post #2978 of 4545

man those rpm 33 1/3 looks sweet, the pads looks wrong tho, too bad the square shapped cup doesnt leave only a few options for replacements.

post #2979 of 4545
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMcProgger View Post

man those rpm 33 1/3 looks sweet, the pads looks wrong tho, too bad the square shapped cup doesnt leave only a few options for replacements.



Aside from providing little isolation the pads are fine for me - too small to get particularly hot and and soft enough to stay comfortable for hours. Not a modder's paradise though as I can't think of any other pads that would fit easily.

post #2980 of 4545

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post

So that's where the hope comes from?  wink.gif


 

were you saying? *hmmm hmmm*

post #2981 of 4545

Great reviews on those old-school Fischer Audio cans! Brings back memories of Sony Walkmans from years past. The Oldskool '70, does it have the same cup size as the Senn PX 100/Koss Portapro? Just in case the pads wear out quick, as Koss replacement foam pads are relatively easy to get.

post #2982 of 4545
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azathoth View Post

Great reviews on those old-school Fischer Audio cans! Brings back memories of Sony Walkmans from years past. The Oldskool '70, does it have the same cup size as the Senn PX 100/Koss Portapro? Just in case the pads wear out quick, as Koss replacement foam pads are relatively easy to get.



They are smaller - the pads themselves are probably 20-25% smaller than a PX100/PortaPro and the cups are just big enough to fit the 30mm drivers. 

post #2983 of 4545

I finished my review on the Ultrasone HFI-450:

 

Okay, let's start with the build quality. It's very superb. The plastic on the top headband is rugged and very tough and it feels like the cups can stand some abuse for the long run. The cable is very thick, but not as thick as the Beyerdynamic DTX 910, which is a very good thing. As for the sound quality. I'm not gonna lie. When I first got my Ultrasone HFI-450, I thought that it was broken due to limited bass, but after 24 hours, the bass really started to dig deeper. The bass is capable of digging down to 80 Hz while maintaining great clarity throughout the entire frequency. The bass is energetic, but sounds rounded, so it's best to keep the Bass EQ at low to moderate because if it goes too deep (High) then the bass will eventually distort, but there is really no need to EQ the bass too high because there's plenty of bass after 24 Hours of burn-in. The Midrange is really forward and times seems like placed very close to your ears. The detail of the instruments and vocals is one of the best I've heard Under $100. It's smooth, yet pretty aggressive, although not aggressive enough to become sibilant. The treble is pretty prominent. It is somewhat bright and analytical in nature and tends to sound cold without proper EQ or amping. The best thing to do is to use the Fiio E6 or any amps related to it to warm up the treble, but not to the point that it'll become dark and slightly muddy. The S-Logic function of the HFI-450 is actually pretty impressive. The instrument separation is actually very good for it's price range, but as for accuracy, there are better headphones out there that do the job at its' own price range, but not many. The Beyerdynamic DTX 910 I own is better in accuracy and imaging, but isn't ahead by much. The Soundstage/Headstage isn't so bad for a Closed Headphone. It's sounds open and at times becomes a bit reverberant (probably due to the S-Logic/Closed-Back Combination). Overall, the Ultrasone HFI-450 is a very good Headphone due to the sonic qualities and build quality. If you can find this set for under $100, then you got yourself a HUGE bargain. This Headphone set is great for Multiple genres. I have tested them on Trance, Techno, Dubstep, Hard Dance, Hardcore, Hardstyle, Metal, Hard Trance, Rock, Ambient and even Hip Hop and it has proven itself worthy to stay in my collection of Headphones and IEMs for a long time. The only problems are the cable length and the clamping force, but shouldn't be too much of an issue if you have a cable wrap and the clamping force eventually loosens up a bit. So therefore those Cons are temporary.

post #2984 of 4545
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niyologist View Post

Overall, the Ultrasone HFI-450 is a very good Headphone due to the sonic qualities and build quality. If you can find this set for under $100, then you got yourself a HUGE bargain


$71 at BHphotovideo http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Brand_Ultrasone&ci=12572&N=4220238605+4291129814 More popular HFI-580 is $137.

 

post #2985 of 4545
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutabor View Post


$71 at BHphotovideo http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Brand_Ultrasone&ci=12572&N=4220238605+4291129814 More popular HFI-580 is $137.

 

 

     I posted the same review on B&H.

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