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Shootout: 114 Portable Headphones Reviewed (Xiaomi Mi Headphones added 04/21/2015) - Page 50

post #736 of 4545

The Pro DJ 100's cups are 50% metal. The outside half is metal and in the morning they're freezing cold. Underneath the pads it's all plastic, but this is probably due to cut costs and reduce weight. The metal part that makes the cups rotate is all metal and so is the internal part of the headband. Overall the build quality is very good and they only weigh about 6.5oz I believe it was.

 

Overall they feel like a closed version of a Grado SR-80 in a way. I think these could easily be modded. Unfortunately I accidentally cut the internal wires and they could not be repaired, so that's why I have to recable them! Expensive mistake, but at now I can have a silver cable!

 

I poked too many holes around the driver and it sucked out all the mids and created a massive amount of bass. I think only a couple holes would be perfect. Since this is closed, too many holes hurt more then helped, but I can fix it. These headphones get my vote for best mids and vocals of any headphone I have. Bass isn't anything special, but it's not bass light.

 

For some reason, just like the SR-80 these seem to need an amp to sound best. That's my big negative with them.

 

Like the Maxell DHP-II and JVC RX700, these are another pair that more people need to check into!
 

 

 

 

To be honest I've never considered Grados portable on any level but from week one of this thread people had been suggesting that I add some so in they went. Same with the M50, Denon HP700, and all of the other large DJ cans I've been meaning to add. I did review the ES7 but wasn't a huge fan - certainly didn't think they could compete with the HD25 or MS1 or M50. Plus the (dis)comfort was off the charts. I'll have to try the DJ100. I've been curious - how much of it is actually metal? I hope it's not just a huge glob of silver-colored plastic...

 

post #737 of 4545

ljokerl, I see no "i" designation on Alessandro's site. Do they just use the new drivers in all their new phones so if I buy a pair of the MS2's will I be getting the "i" driver or am I missing something?

post #738 of 4545

Today I was at Office Depot and I saw the Maxell NC-IV noise canceling headphones. They looked exactly like the DHP-II and were only $50. I wanted to check them out, but I was expecting the DHP-II in the mail the next day.

 

Has anyone tried them? The drivers are only 38mm instead of 40mm. Probably don't sound as good, but I do need another pair of CHEAP noise canceling headphones. Couldn't be worse then the Sony MDR-NC7.

 

A noise canceling headphone that sounded like the DHP-II might be good. Of course that's assuming they sound good to my ears. I'm not sure about this yet.

post #739 of 4545
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

Today I was at Office Depot and I saw the Maxell NC-IV noise canceling headphones. They looked exactly like the DHP-II and were only $50. I wanted to check them out, but I was expecting the DHP-II in the mail the next day.

 

Has anyone tried them? The drivers are only 38mm instead of 40mm. Probably don't sound as good, but I do need another pair of CHEAP noise canceling headphones. Couldn't be worse then the Sony MDR-NC7.

 

A noise canceling headphone that sounded like the DHP-II might be good. Of course that's assuming they sound good to my ears. I'm not sure about this yet.


Well, they are the most pricy of the Maxell noise cancelling phones and look to have a very similar construction to the DHPii's. I'd say, especially since you can get them locally, go for it and if you don't like them just return them.

 

 

 

I'm personally interested in...

 

 

Maxell HP2000 Studio Series

 

21258151_4.jpg

 

$8 lol...

 

 

 

 

 


And...

 

Maxell HP-550F

 

Maxell-HP-550F-green-silver-fb-4546665.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, they're Maxell's! They MUST be good!

 

/Maxell fanboy

 

 

arr.gif

post #740 of 4545
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

The Pro DJ 100's cups are 50% metal. The outside half is metal and in the morning they're freezing cold. Underneath the pads it's all plastic, but this is probably due to cut costs and reduce weight. The metal part that makes the cups rotate is all metal and so is the internal part of the headband. Overall the build quality is very good and they only weigh about 6.5oz I believe it was.


Thanks, very interesting. Coupled with Koss's warranty that might make them a good 'only' headphone for some people.
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Olimoronio View Post

ljokerl, I see no "i" designation on Alessandro's site. Do they just use the new drivers in all their new phones so if I buy a pair of the MS2's will I be getting the "i" driver or am I missing something?


I have no idea. You can tell the 'i' and non-'i' versions apart by cup depth but in terms of buying them perhaps you'd better email alessandro themselves. I remember for a while they used to explicitly sell both the MS1i and MS1 with a $10 difference between them but I think they stopped calling them that a while ago and just said one is the '09 version.



Quote:

Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

A noise canceling headphone that sounded like the DHP-II might be good. Of course that's assuming they sound good to my ears. I'm not sure about this yet.

 

I actually have tried a decent noise-canceling can, the Philips SHN9500. It's been a while since I've heard it but I remember expecting it to be terrible but it just wasn't. Pretty mid-centric but very rich and lush and not overly rolled-off anywhere. I didn't try the ANC function but as far as sound goes that's one I wouldn't mind taking with me on planes, etc, at least based on my 30-minute impressions.

 

On another note, did the Maxells come in? 


Edited by ljokerl - 9/29/10 at 7:27pm
post #741 of 4545

Looks like I won't be able to blame you for me getting a M50 assuming everything works out fine. No review here of a M50 so can't blame..actually not many of my purchases can be blamed by you now that I think about it. I'm getting a trade of a M50 for my Eterna tomorrow assuming everything works out when I meet the head-fi member who wants the trade. I'm hoping they sound decent with a somewhat balanced presentation and not too V shaped if that's what it is. I didn't do much research on them but I figure I could give them a try and get rid of my Eterna so I get a two for one smily_headphones1.gif I just hope they aren't too big or too much bigger than when I had Denon D1001.

post #742 of 4545

 

On another note, did the Maxells come in? 



Not yet and I'm disappointed. I waited there at the door hoping the mail man would be walking to my door with them, but instead he drove on by. They will definitely be here today since they were shipped by Priority Mail on Monday.

 

I did get my silver cable in to fix my broken DJ 100. I was stupid and accidentally broke the cable inside and couldn't repair it without a recable. It turns out somehow I blew up the driver too. Nice. Now I get to buy another pair. I didn't want to, but I guess I have to now. Just when I found a way to make them have a bit more bass. The negative about them is that the internal wires are super thin. The cups came open way too much and I wasn't gentle enough I guess. This is what I get.

 

Know what I did with my stupid waste of expensive silver cable? Used it on my KSC75!

post #743 of 4545

What about the lifetime warranty no question asked? Definitely interested in Koss DJ100 vs Maxwell DHP-II. smily_headphones1.gif

post #744 of 4545
Quote:
Originally Posted by inarc View Post

What about the lifetime warranty no question asked? Definitely interested in Koss DJ100 vs Maxwell DHP-II. smily_headphones1.gif



I guess some people would send them in for replacement, but not me. Just feels a bit dishonest.

 

Hopefully I like the DHP-II. Not everyone will like the DJ100 for sure. Probably has slightly rolled off highs to some people. Others say it's lacking bass. I guess to me it's just a very neutral phone, but has the best mids/vocals i've heard so far.

 

I actually preferred them to the HFI-680 and ESW9A that I just tried in the last week. HFI-680's bass quality and amount did impress though. Soundstage was just...strange.

post #745 of 4545

I see, they're a company worth supporting though. smily_headphones1.gif

 

Actually, I do find myself prefer mid/vocal (esp. female) over everything else, thought I also appreciate good quality bass, sparkly enough high to get some detail, and just about right sound stage. How do you think Koss DJ100 fit for all of those criteria?

post #746 of 4545


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by inarc View Post

I see, they're a company worth supporting though. smily_headphones1.gif

 

Actually, I do find myself prefer mid/vocal (esp. female) over everything else, thought I also appreciate good quality bass, sparkly enough high to get some detail, and just about right sound stage. How do you think Koss DJ100 fit for all of those criteria?


60% of my music is probably female vocals. I always try to find a headphone that has the most natural sounding vocals and somewhat a bit more forward. I don't want to struggle to hear them, even in say rock music or whatever else. Because of this I'm not a fan of bass heavy headphones, but I do like a lot of bass, just nothing like the M50 or 750DJ. Hd-600 and Triple Fi 10 is perfect.

 

Pro DJ 100 has the best vocals out of everything i've tried. I haven't compared them to the HD-600 or Triple Fi 10 side by side yet. They're the perfect headphone for Jpop, Radiohead and Pearl Jam. The bass is good, but some will say it's light. I don't think it is at all. It's comparable to the bass of the SRH-840, but has a tad less. Less then the HD-600. Sometimes I wish it had a bit more bass, maybe 5% more. I do find I can EQ it and it actually helps a ton. I usually don't though.

 

The mids overall are comparable to the SR-80. I love the mids on both of them. I think acoustic guitars may sound very slightly better on the SR-80 for some reason. The highs on DJ 100 are VERY slightly rolled off. Not like the HD-600 and not as much as the M50 i've found. I kind of am at the point of thinking they're just under the point of being too bright and also where the highs are not very fatiguing. These may not be good for people who like metal or like an extremely bright headphone like the Grado 325i.

 

I do this this is not a headphone that everyone could like. For me, it meets my own preferences almost as close as it could possibly be. More so then any headphone. Some may just hate them due to the rolled off highs (kind of) and maybe less bass then a lot of other headphones.

 

Overall I find them to sound like a closed Grado SR-80 with better vocals, more bass and less fatiguing highs. They're also more comfortable. This is not something that's talked about much, but the imaging is just amazing. It reminds me of the DT-880 in a way. Same for the instrument separation and Soundstage. The soundstage however is not as good as an open headphone and I did not like these for movies. An open headphone to me is an absolute must for movies to get the full effect. These have the best soundstage out of any under $200 headphone i've tried.

 

The level of detail is very high. Slightly less detail then say the AD700 and DT-880. For me this is perfect. They should not have labeled this headphone as a DJ headphone It's more like a studio monitor in some ways. It's fairly neutral and calling it a DJ headphone makes no sense to me. Like the Triple Fi 10 it doesn't do too much of any one thing.

 

Unfortunately I'm still not convinced they will sound their best without an amp. I'm not sure why this is. My SR-80 is the same way for some reason. I tried them with an E5 and it just did not sound good. They're perfect with my Total Airhead. Due to how I now refuse to use them without an amp, i've looked to buy other cheap pairs of headphones for portable use. They are portable, but they need more then say an E5 amp I think. Even the Nuforce Mobile isn't all that good for them. Most people seem to review them without an amp. More people really need to try this headphone out, but it's best to make sure it provides the sound signature you like. For me, it's near perfect except for the coiled cable and the cheap pads. I wish they could be upgraded.

 

Sorry, probably sound like a Koss fanboy now.

 

Off to listen to my new Maxell DHP-II.


Edited by tdockweiler - 9/30/10 at 7:27pm
post #747 of 4545

I've been listening to the Maxell DHP-II for the last hour. No burn in yet with the Total Airhead.

 

I honestly was expecting them to sound somewhat bad. In the past I picked up some cheap pairs that people on here suggested and I listen to them and I thinking "Huh?! Do we have the same headphones?".

 

Out of the box the first thing I noticed was that they felt like they had a slight mid-bass hump. It's not bad, but more then my other headphones. So far it doesn't bother me at all and after I burn them in they'll sound better maybe.

 

What I can't get over is how similar they sound to the Koss Pro DJ 100. More on that later.

 

Here's a few general comments.

 

Again, out of the box nothing came to mind like "This doesn't sound good" or "something's not right". Nothing brought attention to itself and so far there's not too much of any one thing so far. Basically no complaints from my ears came up immediately. The bass on my Koss Pro DJ 100 is almost about the same, maybe there's a bit less. Less mid-bass for sure. I never understood how people say the DJ 100 is bass light.

 

The mids are fine. Don't feel recessed or anything like that so far. Vocal seem clear, but maybe a bit less then on the Koss Pro DJ 100. I can't compare them side by side at the moment.

 

During Imogen Heap's "The Moment I said it" the whole feel of the soundstage and imaging is actually exactly how I remember it on the Pro DJ. Vocals seem to be a bit different though. You can feel the headphone case vibrate a lot during this song and it's quite annoying. The soundstage is really impressive for such a cheap headphone and it reminds me of the exact soundstage of the DJ 100. That's my second favorite thing about the DJ 100 other then the vocals. Instrument separation feels almost exactly like the DJ 100. This is just weird. Some songs sound exactly like they do on the Koss. Any difference may be due to the plastic ear cups and how small they are. You can feel them vibrate a LOT.

 

Comfort is probably a 10/10. It almost feels like these were made by the same factory that made the Triports. They look and feel almost the same. Since my Triports broke twice I will try to find a way to prolong the life of these. They almost have the same design and use plastic.

 

The highs seem less rolled off then the Pro DJ 100, which isn't really a negative or positive. Just depends on what you want.

 

I'm really hoping someone has a broken pair and can eventually pop out the driver and post a picture. I bet they're made by the same company. Maybe the DHP-II driver is titanium like the DJ 100.

 

I've tried lately the ESW9a and HFI-680. The bass of course is better on the HFI-680, but it's a $200-$225 headphone unless you get a deal. The soundstage and imaging is better on this headphone by far. HFI-680 soundstage just felt a bit strange and not right. I absolutely hated the ESW9a and these sound far better to my ears. The bass on those seem to bleed in to everything else and it got annoying. Vocals were also hard to hear.

 

Trying to come up with some differences. It just feels like the Koss has slightly more natural sounding instruments and better vocals. I think they may be just more clear and more forward on the DJ 100. I shouldn't say this until I compare them side by side. I keep saying they sound crystal clear on the Koss and that's really the only way I can describe them. I think this just feels like a more "fun" version of the DJ 100 with more bass and more highs. Just slightly though. It could also have a lot to do with many different things like the ear cups etc. DJ 100 is just far more neutral to my ears maybe, but that's not always a good thing for some people.

 

So far I like them. Very minor negatives, but I'll listen to them more after burning them in. Strangely it almost feels like the sound could be improved with better and bigger ear cups. Maybe not. I wouldn't want them bigger. Never felt a ear cup vibrate so much before. Not a big deal since it's so small to begin with.

 

I'm buying another pair of DJ 100's since mine broke due to my mistake, so I want to compare them side by side by myself. So far the sound signature on these is one I like.

 

UPDATE: Been listening to these for a few more hours. No hearing fatigue really. Instead of my Total Airhead I connected them to my NuForce mobile and they don't sound nearly as good. The sound just isn't the same and is a bit more flat and boring. Bass is a bit worse and kind of out of control. Overall main difference is basically just the DJ 100's mids feel a bit more forward with a bit better vocals. Hopefully I can order a new pair of the DJ 100's next week. The Maxells also feel a tad more hollow sounding. Don't read that as a negative. I can't think of any better way to describe it. Probably due to it's plastic shell. Not like the JVC flats. Those were awful.

 

I'd be interesting if others have found that the Maxell benefit from a good amp. NuForce Mobile really isn't one to me. Wish I would not have kept it. The Airhead can even power my HD-600 decently and with bass! Nuforce Mobile can't and I guess I knew that beforehand. The Maxell sounds way better with a good amp. This leads me to think the drivers are more similar then I think since the DJ 100 is extremely pick and wants an amp. It hates the Nuforce Mobile and E5. Not sure what's so special about the Total Airhead.

 

UPDATE AGAIN:

 

Now about 5 hours or so listening to these. The sound overall isn't as in your face as my modded SR-80, but I think the bass amount is about the same. Modded SR-80 had more bass then the standard SR-80 though.

 

I can't get over the fact how much better these sound out of my Ipod Touch and Total Airhead instead of my PC and the NuForce Mobile DAC/Amp. I don't want to use these without an amp now.

 

They most definitely DO have more bass then my Koss Pro DJ 100. The bass amount is fine. The mid-bass is a big annoyance for me. Sometimes it feels like certain parts of a song are filtered through a fart machine. The mid-bass issues just seem to show up when I least expect it. The problem is very, very minor and it's just a preference of mine. Again, Koss Pro DJ 100 doesn't have this problem. Not that it will be a problem for anyone at all.

 

The highs are not fatiguing at all. After five hours I know this for sure. Nowhere near like the un-modded SR-80. I absolutely 100% cannot stand any excessively bright headphone like the 325i or some specific Beyer headphones. DDT-880 600ohm might be OK.

 

Vocal quality and overall detail seemed to improve a bit when I used my amp + Ipod Touch. Total Airhead is one magical amp. Not sure what's so special about it. The overall detail and quality of the vocals and mids is a bit less then the Pro DJ 100. I get goosebumps listening to them because everything just feels "just right".

 

Basically the Maxell DHP-II feels almost like Koss Pro DJ 100's clone, but more like his little brother and that's not as bad as it sounds. The differences are very subtle. The advantage for some is that the Maxell has more bass, but less detail and less forward sounding vocals. I'm talking about tiny differences here. All instruments sound pretty natural and realistic. Nothing sounded "off" yet. BTW if you want to hear a song with the mid-bass thing try "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" from Smashing Pumpkins. Doesn't sound good.

 

So far, I have zero major complaints. I won't comment on the build quality. At this point if they broke every 8-12 months I'd have no issues with buying a replacement. The build quality on the Koss is much higher and has metal in it, but it's more expensive and is less comfortable. It also has a stupid coiled cable.

 

Someone should do a comparison between the two. I will once my new pair comes in.

 

BTW I opened up the Maxell headphones. It's not suggested! Behind the driver there is some foam in a small compartment. DON'T remove the screws! The side will fall off. Removing this temporarily didn't seem to do much since the driver itself is very closed off, but the driver case has a bunch of tiny holes covered with some type of paper/fabric. Above and below the driver there are a total of 2 holes on each side. Behind them they are covered with tape. I couldn't tell if the driver matched the Koss. You can see a picture of the Koss driver in the "SR-60 mod" thread. It looks exactly like the SR-80 driver. 10 holes and everything. I bet somehow removing some of the plastic around the driver would help the sound quality.

 

I'm going to test this headphone with movies next. I think it will be even better then the Koss for movies. Not sure. I thought the Koss would be good, but I compared it to the HD-600 for movies and it failed. BADLY!

 

I'm listening to a Cantopop song and there's that annoying mid-bass hump again. I wonder if there's anything that can be done to tame it a bit. Probably not. That's my whole 1 minor complaint.

 

Once again, both of these headphones sound much, much better with a good portable amp! Not just a little!


Edited by tdockweiler - 10/1/10 at 11:29am
post #748 of 4545
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

Looks like I won't be able to blame you for me getting a M50 assuming everything works out fine. No review here of a M50 so can't blame..actually not many of my purchases can be blamed by you now that I think about it. I'm getting a trade of a M50 for my Eterna tomorrow assuming everything works out when I meet the head-fi member who wants the trade. I'm hoping they sound decent with a somewhat balanced presentation and not too V shaped if that's what it is. I didn't do much research on them but I figure I could give them a try and get rid of my Eterna so I get a two for one smily_headphones1.gif I just hope they aren't too big or too much bigger than when I had Denon D1001.

 

Well... if you really need to shift some blame I can always PM you a copy of my review . M50 for Eterna is a good deal especially considering that your attitude towards the Eterna is similar to mine. They are heavier and a bit less comfortable than the D1001 but not necessarily bigger... they sit more flush anyway. I ended up selling mine as I prefer the Denon DN-HP700 and have some higher-up full-size cans to take the place of the M50s (which aren't very portable IMO) for home listening.



Quote:

Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post


I guess some people would send them in for replacement, but not me. Just feels a bit dishonest.

 

Hopefully I like the DHP-II. Not everyone will like the DJ100 for sure. Probably has slightly rolled off highs to some people. Others say it's lacking bass. I guess to me it's just a very neutral phone, but has the best mids/vocals i've heard so far.

 

I actually preferred them to the HFI-680 and ESW9A that I just tried in the last week. HFI-680's bass quality and amount did impress though. Soundstage was just...strange.



I agree, the S-Logic soundscaping thing on Ultrasone cans is really hit-or-miss when it comes to the soundstage on individual tracks (except for the Zino which was mostly a miss). This is true for my HFI-450 and Pro 650 and even (to a lesser extent) for the open Pro 2500. I guess it's lacking coherency.

 

Oh and thanks for the additional DJ100 impressions. Now I need one of those Best Buy 20% off storewide coupons .

 

Edit: Thanks for the initial DHP-II impressions! Glad you don't hate them . Sounds like the DJ100 will be up my alley as well (except maybe the 'less treble' part... I do like my treble ). Funny but the DHP-II made the $140 I paid for my Pro 2500 seem like much less of a deal, except of course in longevity/build quality.


Edited by ljokerl - 9/30/10 at 7:04pm
post #749 of 4545

eh I'd rather not have a PM that has that much text :P I do agree that I liked my trade of the Eterna. I got rid of an earphone that had too much bass for me and a decent headphone. Whether I'll be keeping these or not is another story that I'll find out sometime in the next couple weeks. I will say that I'll take earphones over headphones any day for portable

post #750 of 4545

@tdockweiler

Very nice impression, it seems that Koss DJ100 is for me, I'm interested in Maxell too but kinda dislike the model and heard some bad thing about its build quality. Waiting for more impression after you get your DJ100. smily_headphones1.gif

 

On another note, have you ever heard the Fostex T50RP, since they're now selling for about the same price with DJ 100, and Ortho cans are famous for its mid.

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