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Is the Numark PHX any good?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I didn't get any answers yet (did I do something wrong?), so let me rephrase (and simplify) the question:
- Is the Numark PHX any good?

I would rather spend $68 on them, instead of $105 on the Denon DN-HP1000 (I'm very short on money, my monthly income is around $412 - but when I take out rent, food and transportation there is very little left).

Primary intent for them:
- Video Editing on the PC.
- Music Remixes for fitness professionals.
- DJ'ing on occasional weekends.

Secondary intent:
- Traveling with a Sony Video Walkman.
- Occasional use as portable speakers (I've just learned this while browsing posts here; awesome! )

- Closed design (mostly for work purposes);
- Good dynamic range.
- Good power handling.
- Good bass reproduction (mostly for live remixing).

Music Types:
- I really love Deep House and Club, but also...
- Very Eclectic Music (Pop/Rock/Easy Listening/Dance/Trance).
- All kinds of audio tracks from video sources.

Previous Experiences:
- Stanton Pro 60 DJ
- Seinnheiser HD 437
- A lot of other "el cheapo's"

PS: there is no budget for any kind of other equipment (like amps) for at least one more year after this... (I think)

_Posted previously:_______________________________________ _____
I am traveling and I was able to find at some local shops some good headphones for almost half the price they cost back at home. I am very excited to buy one of them, but the selection isn't huge. Here's what I could find (that is in my price reach - US$100):
  • Denon DN-HP1000
  • Sony MDR-V700 DJ
  • Technics RP-DH1200
  • Denon DN-HP700 DJ
  • Stanton DJ Pro 3000
  • Cortex CHP-2500
  • Numark PHX
  • Behringer HPX4000
  • Behringer HPS5000

You'll probably laugh at me, but most of them sound wonderful for my tasting...
That's most likely because I've been using so far a very beat-up Stanton Pro 60 DJ, and prior to that a Sennheiser HD 437.

I use them mostly for video editing in two PCs, for making some music remixes and also some amateur DJ'ing on the weekends (and occasionally on a Sony Video Walkman).

I couldn't "test-drive" them all (the shop wouldn't let me), so I had to research most of them. At first, I compared the specs. Then I read the reviews and refined the options to:
Denon DN-HP1000 or Technics RP-DH1200 or Numark PHX.

But then, as I read more reviews and more opinions online, I became very confused.

I liked the Numark specs and I really liked the price, but most reviews say it doesn't sound good. The Denon and the Technics are supposedly much better sounding, but break easily (or so they say). I don't really mind that breaking stuff, 'cause I can always fix it.

I believe (and I might be wrong) that I really need the wide range spectrum (that the cheap Stanton Pro 60 already provides me) and a good isolation.

What I really want to ask you all is if you have had one of these headphones listed and if you would recommend any one of them (especially for my kind of use). Also if you have an opinion about which one I should buy, please do say so.

Thank you so much! I am very confused right now. I hope you can help me.
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
I forgot to say I need to buy on Tuesday at the most late, 'cause I'm returning home then. I appreciate if anyone can give me any kind of input. Thanks!
post #3 of 7
You probably didn't do anything wrong. This forum is massive and probably needs to be broken up into more sub-sections to make it easier to navigate and prevent threads from getting lost.

The PHX is interesting, but I have some reservations about it. Can you open up a couple boxes and try a few pairs? Play pink noise through a good jack (even an iPod) in mono and swap the ears around to check balance from top to bottom before you buy one. Or buy a few and return the bad ones.

It does come with three cords, two pair of threaded (so cool! even better than Ultrasone bayonetts) earcushions, and is very extended in its response. So as a utility headphone, with a good amp, or if you can get a very closely matched (through no effort of the OEM) pair, then they are worth it for just US$50-60.

If I was only doing studio monitoring, though, for under $70 I'd get a Sony V6. Not as pleasant for listening, but more accurate and better matching...even considering the V6 is the unmatched consumer version of the 7506.
post #4 of 7
My headphone roundup from a few years ago, my O-One review from a few months back, and the new roundup pending for your reading...uh...I'd say pleasure but it's long! You can find the entire reviews, along with pics, on djforums.com.

Ixos MOS DJ1001 (Overall ***) $110-140

First Impressions: Highest ranked closed, low impedance headphone by Greek Hi Tech magazine. Ministry of Sound’s high-end headphone created by British audio cable maker Ixos. Hard to find outside of the UK. Stereo/Mono switch.

Sound: (Djing: **, Music ** to **** depending on source and jack, Studio ****) Slightly midrangey, dry sound that lacks the subtlest in low-level resolution. Macro dynamics are good. Bass is tight and goes very low, but a little quieter than the other headphones. Though its impedance is rated at 64ohms, it’s clear it wants something closer to 0ohms with a lot of current. Its load seems rather complex and finicky for a single driver transducer. Seems very un-punchy out of a 47ohm mixer jack compared to on portables. No added grain or hash to the treble in any way. Matches better with Pioneer gear. Smooth as the source.

Power: (***) Can only handle about 300mW before warbling resonance sets in and ruins the bass. That’s still extremely loud, but barely sufficient if you’ll be wearing earplugs. Rated at 3000mW when protection circuitry supposedly kicks in. Couldn’t get this to happen. Rating is probably a misprint.

Isolation: (***) About as good as most closed headphones of this type.

Comfort: (***) Initially way too tight of a fit. Put some VHS tapes in between the earcups overnight and solved the problem. The earpad could be a little deeper since the cloth covered grill over the driver has no padding. Headband could use a little more padding.

Durability: (***) Same external construction as the audiophile Ultrasone headphones. Headband padding started to peel off and needed to be superglued on the corners to halt this. Headband shell cracked in the corners symmetrically on both sides. Hasn’t affected function and didn’t excessively mess up the way they look since both pieces cracked off the same way. Has held up for a year, though.

Sony 7506/V6 (Overall ***) $70-110

First Impressions: The sound engineer’s headphone. The staple of the studio industry.

Sound: (Djing ****, Music **, Studio ****) Bright, harsh, coarse treble that lacks any sense of smoothness. Not the loudest bass, but tight. Transparent mids, due to the treble probably. Crunchy overall sound. To bright and harsh for my ears.

Power: (*****) No noticeable distortion at high levels. Sony’s studio housing produces no noticeable resonances or smearing.

Isolation: (***) Circumaural, but very shallow cushions.

Comfort: (***) Those shallow earcushions don’t quite keep the padded driver housing off your ears. The headband will loosen over time and the overall feel will improve on these. I found them uncomfortable.

Durability: (*****) Built to last and they do. Nearly indestructible. Only the earcushions will wear out over time and can be replaced for $12.

Sony 7509 (Overall ****) $190-230

First Impressions: Sony’s high end studio headphone. Larger than the V6/7506. Pretty much the V900 as far as I can tell. Not the tightest grip on the head. You can’t lay down with them on without them falling off. Easy to get on and off, unlike the Etymotics.

Sound: (Djing ****1/2, Music ****, Studio *****) More spatially open than most closed headphones. Very resolved sound with huge amounts of low-level (micro) detail. If it’s in the music, you’ll hear it. Surprisingly not usually excessively bright, though it certainly is extremely extended in the highs. Not perfectly smooth, but much better on the top end than the V6/7506. A bit slappy in the mids, but not too bad. Bass goes low and is louder than the v6, but not as tight or as loud as the Pioneer 1000. A bit vague in its low-end resolve, getting worse with the ER20 earplugs at extreme volumes for Djing. But matches (in frequency response anyway, not tightness) the ER20 earplugs. The overall sound is a tad unmusical and dry, but excellent for studio monitoring or even listening to music on very tight liquid-sounding source gear. Will never completely lose its slightly loose sound, though.

Power: (****1/2) Definitely likes low impedance jacks around 10-30 ohms. Seems capable of handling enormous volume without exhibiting rumbling until 500mW into its resistance load. Response does alter slightly in favor of the upper mids at extreme volumes. Edged out slightly by the Pioneer, but never showed cracking distortions.

Isolation: (***) Similar to most closed headphones, though the loose grip may contribute slightly to a loss of isolation. The deep earcushions work great with the ER20 musicians earplugs, better than the Pioneer.

Comfort: (*****) Very comfortable.

Durability: (*****) Sony studio headphones. Nuff said.

Pioneer HDJ-1000 (Overall ****) $120-160 - NOTE: THESE BREAK EVENTUALLY!

First Impressions: Looks gaudy as hell. Way too much bling, bling on this thing. Is better made than it looks in the pictures. Stereo/Mono switch.

Sound: (Djing *****, Music ***, Studio ***) The bass is loud, tight, and well controlled. Much better for picking out layered beats than the other conventional headphones here. Only the unconventional Etymotic can match (and exceed) this kind of low-end resolve. Doesn’t have quite the low-level (micro) resolution of the 7509, but not lacking like the Ixos. Less midrange and no “slappy” quality, allowing it to be played louder with less perceived volume. Touch extra highs with a slight sizzle that aren’t the most refined, but sound fine when matched to the right mixer. Not very musical, but not dry either. Great Djing sound with ER20 earplugs. Essentially sounds like a closed version of the Koss SportaPro, which is exactly what I was looking for to DJ with.

Power: (*****) Listed as 3500mW. Probably not really that high except before it blows, but appears to handle well over 500mW before any rumbling occurs to the low end. Could only cause distortion on a Red Sound Micro Amp with maxed volume and bass boost. Couldn’t rule out the amp as cause of the distortion. No smearing resonances. Bass stays tight all the way up on my mixer. No response alteration at max.

Isolation: (***) Surprisingly good for non-circumaural headphones. Hermetically sealed driver housing probably helps. Gets better during single ear/hand monitoring when you press it into your ear..

Comfort: (****) Good initial comfort, with a refined quality to the padding used. Not as cushy as the 7509. Thus not the long term comfort of the 7509, but fine for Djing if you’re constantly taking them off.

Durability: (****) Seems well made. Have heard of problems with the headband cracking, but Pioneer replaces those for you. Would be willing to put up with that for this kind of Djing sound.

Etymotic Research ER4S (Overall ***** with reservations regarding comfort and rapid usability) $220-300

First Impressions: I’ve owned this for almost five years, so this isn’t quite fair. These are in-ear headphones and thus require some patience putting them in your ears. Not really suitable for live Djing, unless you can live with having these on the whole time. Ditto for studio engineering, but for post production work would be excellent. Not for use when walking or exercising, but I’ve danced around with them on before (heheheh). Microphonic and occlusion effects are significant since this is an earplug of sorts. ER4P is the lower impedance version that can be converted to the ER4S with just an extension cable. ER4S has a low-dielectric, high strength Teflon cord, though. My Radioshack 3904 portable CD player runs the 4S just fine.

Sound: (Djing: *****, Music *****, Studio *****) Near perfect. Like all audiophile grade equipment, it thrives on volume and will sound better the louder they are and the more dynamic the music. Neutrality, dynamics, resolution (micro and macro), and control (highs, mids, and lows) you can master to. Requires proper insertion and amplification to get this, though. With less than perfect, you’ll still exceed the other headphones. For private, at home practice Djing you’ll never hear the beats more accurately and clearly than with this.

Power: (*****) Can handle more volume than your ears will ever be able to handle. Be very careful, especially when unplugging connections to your gear or with MP3’s of unknown quality.

Isolation: (*****) The best isolation in the world. I use them when I fly.

Comfort: (????) Depends on the person and how you insert them (use dab of water or hearing aid insertion lube). Can be a sore point, literally, if you keep inserting them in aggravation over not getting them in right.

Durability: (*****) Never had a problem. If I did, Etymotic has great costumer service.

Associated equipment: Numark Fusion Series Djing gear, Denon DCM-370 HDCD Player, Pioneer DV-655A PX Universal Player, Red Sound Micro Amp, Apple G4, Various portable CD players, Etymotic ER20 earplugs. My ears.


Ortofon O-One Headphones

First a word from Ultrasone:

“ORTOFON O-one headphones are different in color design and they also use different drivers. But they feature our patented S-Logic-Technology and MU metal shielding.”

- frequency range: 10 - 20,000Hz

- 112db/mW sound pressure level

- 40 Ohm impedance

While the new DJ1 Pro is identical to the Pro 550 except for the color scheme and the Eclers are a re-branded Ultrasone DJ1 (not “Pro” version), the new O One has drivers specifically chosen by Ortofon to be more sensitive overall as well as extended in the extremes. They are manufactured by Ultrasone of Germany. The housing construction and cables are identical to the Pro 550 and DJ1 Pro. The Ortofon design engineer is quite proud of the driver he picked, and I assume the striking looks.

And he should be, though I will admit to some trepidation upon first listening. These headphones need at least several days of continuous burn-in while upright with something like XLO/Reference Recordings Test & Burn-In CD (RX-1000 HDCD) track 9. I have never encountered a headphone so prone to burn-in alterations of its sound, and I have burned in most of the headphones I’ve owned over the years this way. With the O One, the change was not subtle.

While it was once bright, strident, and lacking in warmth, the O-One is now more balanced, yet still incredibly revealing and extended. With the PPD9000 and hi-fi phono cartridges, the bass went deep, the highs had shimmer, and the sound was better balanced than any other headphone I have strait from the jack. The Numark PHX might have matched better with the Shure Whitelabels, but those are less neutral carts and I rarely use them now.

Direct from a TDK CD Recorder that has one of the best DACs I've ever heard and an exceptionally smooth but lean headphone jack, the Ortofon sounded lovely again. The annoying, pre-burn-in sibilance range was now restrained and nuanced. For the first time this headphone jack's positives were fully exploited without being overshadowed by the negatives. While the highs were extremely extended, they were not coarse or grainy like the Sony MDR-7506. Bass had bloom & kick depending on the track, and vocals were not recessed. Ortofon’s own description to me of what they intended is accurate. As their rep also put it, these are certainly not the cans for bassheads. They go deep, but they will not kick your teeth in with accentuated midbass if that’s what you desire.

I next went back to spinning, hooking up my Biamp SCM7600s using the control room out to a separate headphone jack of known quality for cueing purposes. I mixed a private, late-night headphone-only set using just the O One for monitoring purposes. While it didn’t blow me away like the PPD9000 did, I found the experience eminently enjoyable and typified by articulation and transparency. A few days later I tried the same thing, but using the Biamp’s own jack. While the sound wasn’t as punchy or extended in the extremes as with the outboard amp, the smoothness, detail, and ease still did not fatigue.

With Sirius satellite radio off Dish Network, I was bothered by a certain grit to the highs -- artifacts, if you will – on some stations. I realized it was the Pioneer DACs through SPDIF being used that were so revealing. The DBS box’s own converters glossed over it. The Ortofon’s diaphragm at times has an almost electrostatic resolution. That’s not an ability common to headphones marketed to DJs. This is a headphone you can spend hours with listening to classical and jazz, as I did. The extra warmth and dynamics compression used by some Sirius channels brought out the sounds of not only Nat King Cole’s voice, but of what his mouth was doing.

Let’s have a reality check for a moment after this gushing. Compared to the Etymotic Research ER4S, the Ortofon O-One is not what I would call reference grade. The last degree of resolution, speed, neutrality, and transparency the Etymotics achieve, however, requires a quality dedicated headphone amp. These in-ear-monitors are also not a DJing headphone that can be slipped on easily, nor is it capable of being run by a bass-shy source component without revealing that fact to the listener’s dismay.

S-Logic is also certainly not for everyone. For most listeners, it is initially very appealing on first blush. That’s one reason why I think Ultrasone sells so many headphones. “S” might as well stand for the Siren’s song. Many, including myself, consider it prone to unwanted midrange resonances that color and confuse the sound. However, I found the O-One an acceptable tonal match to this technique for achieving a wider soundstage.

This shielded baffle system does impart a welcome speaker-ness to the sound of music that is very appropriate to electronica specifically which often lacks real acoustic breadth. While synthetic reverb is effective in its own manner, there is a re-recording-like quality to the Ultrasone invention that enhanced tech trance in particular. Why certain filtered synths and shimmers sound so good, particularly on the PPD9000, with the O One is baffling to me, pun intended.

In contrast, the technique is less appropriate for binaural music, I found. Obviously this is not as acoustically confusing with such dummy-head recordings as when played back through actual speakers…a cardinal sin in playback. Yet, not even the Clarke & Ware Experiment’s artificial binaural processing benefited from S-Logic. It was precise, but smaller and definitely in or around the headspace in a way that did not fool me into the thinking it extended possibly “out there”.

With live mic and room-tone utilizing TV shows and films (you record the near-silent sound of the space before or after the scene for a minute and mix it in later), there is an enhancement to the acoustics of this space, favorable or not depending on the content, possibly due to the extreme extension up top again, the resolution, and the S-Logic in combination. Usually it was favorable. You could certainly do post-production sound mixing with this headphone and be certain you’re never going to overly mix in reverb or room tone.

I do think the sensitivity rating of 112dB/mW into 40ohms is perhaps slightly exaggerated, as several headphones I have that are listed as lower sensitivity actually seem louder to me. The impedance of the Ortofon is even lower than some of them, which should increase output even more. However, these are still extremely sensitive headphones that any jack is capable of driving to ear-damaging levels. It’s just a comparative observation.

When burning them in, I had them on a dummy head. Therefore in my opinion they are more comfortable now than before, with a looser but still sufficiently snug fit. The slice of headband cushion is thicker than the PHX, Ixos, and most of the OEM designs that use these parts. Their isolation is no better or worse than most other conventional DJ headphones. While not isolation headphones in the true sense of the word, they are a large, roomy headphone that is a closed, fully circum-aural design with thick cushions and very appropriate for using with ER-20 earplugs.

Like other Ultrasones and the PHX, it comes with extra velour ear cushions and a variety of screw-in cords. Unlike the DJ1 Pro and like the Numark & most other offerings, rather than including a hard case it instead comes with a soft bag. The difference in price between the DJ1 Pro and the O One is approximately $50, depending on where you find them. I’m sure you could buy a considerable hard case of your own for that much to put these in if desired. My point is, don’t let accessories or the case be the deciding factor.

Having used the purple Pro 550 before, I can tell you those headphones start out warmer to begin with. Some find it to be excessive. As to which headphone you choose, the Ultrasone brandings or the Ortofon, should be based on whether you want a warmer tone or more (in my opinion) balanced & extended presentation, with the caveat it takes time to achieve it and the O-One’s sound to stabilize. If you like black and red, well there’s only one choice here.

Ultrasone will be happy to have your business either way. I personally am thrilled to have the Ortofon O-One available for my listening pleasure and am surprised there is finally an Ultrasone that doesn’t bug me with excessive resonance. While I prefer to use dedicated isolation headphones for DJing, I must admit to numerous occasions lately when I have given into temptation to forgo absolute isolation for sound quality. It also gives me another excuse to get a single-cue Bozak or original Urei rotary one day. Ah, to dream…

Many thanks to Ortofon USA for the headphone and their equally generous time in explaining their sound goals.

Benjamin “Reticuli” Goulart

Response from Ortofon:

We greatly appreciate Mr. Goulart's critical analysis of these headphones, especially his taking into consideration our specific design goals. The O-One headphones not only find themselves at home for DJ use, but just as importantly they offer a more revealing and detailed listening environment for critical listening and production environments. It has been the belief of professionals and high-end listeners alike that open-back designs are superior to closed ones in regards to accuracy and stereo imaging. However this frequently does not coincide with professionals' requirement for isolation. We are confident that the O-One finds the best properties of both types, combining the isolation and bass response of closed-back headphones, while providing more detailed and accurate sound reproduction found on open-back designs.

Louis Dorio, Ortofon Inc


First, the response from Ortofon on the topic…

“The acoustics on the O2 were in fact designed by our asst. Chief
Engineer, along with input from myself.

*Ben’s note: manufactured by Ultrasone, like the O-One. Without S-Logic.

I think that we can both agree that the O-One was a bit of an atypical
design - the high end was far more open and revealing than most other
closed-back circumaural cans. As far as DJs are concerned, most of us are
creatures of habit, and despite the O-One really providing a great deal of
detail and superb timing, DJs might find that it's outside of their range of
comfort. It just doesn't have the profound walloping bass response that
most DJs become accustomed to. Don't get me wrong, I am proud to have the
O-One in my headphone collection!

Now let's think about what both you and I want our DJ headphones to sound
like... I think I speak for the both of us, when I say that Sony MDR-7506s
and MDR-V700s are two very nice designs that serve as a bit of a benchmark
in DJ/studio/broadcast.

*Ben’s note: I might agree with the DJ reference, but I don’t enjoy listening to either of those.

We wanted to start here on the map, and make a few
subtle improvements upon the sound that people expect. The result is a
nicely balanced bass response (with attention to dynamics as much as
tonality), a slight boost in presence (mid/mid-hi), and adequate high end
response (but no dramatic high-end rise like on, say, a Denon DN-HP1000).

I think that these will do very well for a few reasons:

- The sound quality is detailed but will not cause ear fatigue
- The sound quality will not throw any curve balls for DJs
- The headphone is more durable than Sony/Pio
- The price is less than the O-One

I'll send you a set today - let me know what you think!!

Louis Dorio, Ortofon USA”

Ortofon O2 (with original thicker cushions)

Removable cords: No.
Cushion Replacement: Rim. Velour not available.
Isolation: Best of the four.
Comfort: Equal to the O-One.
Bass Extent: Fair.
Bass Quality: Good.
Midrange Quality: Can be a little glassy, but adequate at any volume.
Highs Extent: Fair.
Highs Quality: Excellent, smooth, refined, chill-inducing with the right content.
Bass to Mids: More bass than neutral with the stock earpads. Warm lower midrange.
Mids to Highs: Tame compared to the mids and with stock earpads the lower treble presence band still doesn’t make it too bright though it is there.
Imaging: Far inferior to the O-One, but surprisingly organized depth and lateral placement at high volumes.
Driver Matching: Excellent.
Power Handling: High.
DJing: Great. The extra kick to the lows really does help when mixing, and the overall tone is a appropriate match for the Xone headphone jack. Disco %$#@!

Ortofon O2 (with thinner cushions from my Ixos)

Removable cords: No.
Cushion Replacement: Rim.
Isolation: Lessened a bit.
Comfort: Lessened, but still better than the Ixos with original cushions due to cushion rim being forward of driver grill.
Bass Extent: Fair.
Bass Quality: Good.
Midrange Quality: Not as glassy.
Highs Extent: Fair.
Highs Quality: Even more chill-inducing.
Bass to Mids: Still a little too much bass, but more balanced.
Mids to Highs: More balanced, but still a little tame up top.
Imaging: Unchanged.
Driver Matching: Still excellent.
Power Handling: High.
DJing: Great, though I don’t see enough justification for using thinner cushions for that.

Ortofon O-One (with included leatherette cushions)

Removable cords: Yes.
Cushion Replacement: Bayonet.
Isolation: Average.
Comfort: Fine
Bass Extent: Deep.
Bass Quality: Excels at bloom, but can seem a little hollow with some content.
Midrange Quality: Fine.
Highs Extent: Good.
Highs Quality: After burn-in, smooth, refined, detailed, open, but can sound a little tinny.
Bass to Mids: Lower mids are possibly recessed. Center fill is less than O2.
Mids to Highs: Seems to have a slight disconnect due to S-Logic, but mostly neutral and an improvement over the similar Ultrasone 550.
Imaging: Superb.
Driver Matching: Excellent.
Power Handling: My brother gave these a workout, and his treble-loving ears didn’t notice any issues up top. These are Alex’s favorite. I like my hearing, thank you.
DJing: Good. I maybe wouldn’t want to crank them over a live system to ear-bleeding levels without earplugs.

Ortofon O-One (with included velour cushions)

Removable cords: Yes.
Cushion Replacement: Bayonet.
Isolation: Less than leatherette.
Comfort: Good.
Bass Extent: Hard to tell if it’s changed.
Bass Quality: Seems alright.
Midrange Quality: No significant change.
Highs Extent: Ditto.
Highs Quality: Maybe less tinny, which isn’t that much of a problem to begin with. Hyper detailed.
Bass to Mids: Bass and lower mids are now quieter than above spectrum.
Mids to Highs: A little bright.
Imaging: Still great.
Driver Matching: Still excellent.
Power Handling: Ditto.
DJing: Fair, unless you’re wearing ER-20 earplugs in which case I can see it improving tonally and the decreased isolation being less an issue. Otherwise, use the leatherettes for listening or mixing.

Numark PHX (with included leather cushions)

Removable cords: Yes.
Cushion Replacement: Threaded. Cheap.
Isolation: Worst of the four, but not much different than the Pioneer HDJ-1000.
Comfort: Ditto.
Bass Extent: Fair.
Bass Quality: Fair.
Midrange Quality: Great at extreme volumes, weird at lower ones.
Highs Extent: Good.
Highs Quality: Fine, but still weird.
Bass to Mids: Slightly excessive midrange.
Mids to Highs: It improves at extreme volumes.
Imaging: Imprecise but tapestry-like.
Driver Matching: Terrible in overall volume matching, neutrality matching, and phasing from top to bottom. Both pairs showed no significant attempt to closely match drivers.
Power Handling: Seems good. Indeed it improves sonically when cranked, but the matching issues become more pronounced.
Djing: Fair on a budget if you buy a few pairs and send the imbalanced ones back.

Numark PHX (with included velour cushions)

Removable cords: Yes.
Cushion Replacement: Threaded. Cheap.
Isolation: Slightly worse.
Comfort: Slightly better.
Bass Extent: Excellent.
Bass Quality: Excellent.
Midrange Quality: Gorgeous.
Highs Extent: Stunning.
Highs Quality: Not quite up to the quality of the mids and still a touch of unevenness.
Bass to Mids: Bass is recessed, mids are forward incidentally warming up the vocal range in comparison to the beat. Funny how that happens.
Mids to Highs: While the highs are louder with the velour, the mids are still forward. Sibilance well-integrates with the rest of a voice.
Imaging: The precision only improves to allow you to see just how cluttered and poor it is. Tracking rows of percussion often clump…it’s an impressionistic dream or a mess.
Driver Matching: Let’s be honest, Numark’s OEM probably is doing zero matching. If they did so (overall volume, response, and multi-point phasing match), they could charge double.
Power Handling: Why would I want to try when the whole point of the PHX with the velour is to create nice voices and sexy alliterated sibilance?
DJing: The leather cushions work better for that.

Ixos DJ1001 (with original thinner cushions)

Removable cords: No.
Cushion Replacement: Rim. Maybe Gemini or American DJ ones would work.
Isolation: Average.
Comfort: Poor. The driver grill is mounted flush with the ear cushion rim, making contact with the ear.
Bass Extent: Good.
Bass Quality: Good.
Midrange Quality: Good, but a bit powdery.
Highs Extent: Fair.
Highs Quality: Nothing offensive, but not spectacular.
Bass to Mids: Neutral.
Mids to Highs: Mids are very slightly forward, but highs do their job.
Imaging: Average?
Driver Matching: Much better than the PHX, but I didn’t notice astounding matching like the Ortofon/Ultrasones with phasing tests and stereo mic setup walk-around tests.
Power Handling: My original pair didn’t like the extreme volume tests.
DJing: Fair, but only because the ouch factor is diminished when they aren’t on all the time.

Ixos DJ1001 (with thicker cushions)

Removable cords: Not without a pair of scissors.
Cushion Replacement: Rim. Available from Ultrasone.
Isolation: Improved, now equal to the O2.
Comfort: Ditto.
Bass Extent: Excellent.
Bass Quality: Excellent.
Midrange Quality: Improved.
Highs Extent: I don’t know if it’s improved or even quite up to the O-One, let alone the PHX.
Highs Quality: Still not fully inspiring, but seems adequate if possibly a touch dry. Very clear out of a Pioneer jack.
Bass to Mids: Neutral.
Mids to Highs: Slightly improved balance.
Imaging: Above average, though the pain of wearing them with the thinner pads may be clouding my memory.
Driver Matching: The ear pads haven’t given me further insight.
Power Handling: No attempt made. Do you know how hard these were to find?
Djing: Good for private headphone-only quiet practice or record sessions. They could be gigged if you didn’t care about altering the sound from overdriving them.

Benjamin “Reticuli” Goulart
post #5 of 7
Here's the greek massive blind test mentioned. Download and unzip.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi, Benjamin,
thank you so much for your extensive response! (Oh God, now I feel guilty - It must have taken you a ton of time to write it...)

It made me think harder about the choices I had and provided some good knowledge I didn't have before. I am very grateful.

You got me dreaming about the Sony 7506/7509. I really need to discover how some of you guys here are able to buy these (from ebay?) outside USA. Most of the shops I tried before (Amazon, J&R, buy.com, etc) do not send eletronics abroad.

I didn't go for the Numark, mostly because I want (need) these cans to last me for the next couple of years (at least) and I knew I wasn't gonna be satisfied with the PHX for long.

Besides that, the store where I was gonna buy it didn't let me test a whole batch of them to choose which one I would like to have (it's actually no surprise; here in South America we're very unlikely to have this kind of service in stores).

I didn't go for the Denon DN-HP1000 either, mostly because I was afraid I would be buying the wrong set of cans for my use (DJ'ing is not the primary concern, although it's always a joy). I was able to make friends with a local though, and he offered to buy and send me those as "a gift" (or else I have to pay almost 100% as custom taxes) if I sent him the money via PayPal beforehand (in case I changed my mind and wanted to get the Denon's).

For now, I'll hold on to the super-beat-up Stanton (I actually like the way they sound) and set the money aside to buy a more adequate set as soon as possible. I'll try to read more posts here and dive into this eBay buying alternative (I'm kind of afraid of being conned in it, actually).

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you for your patience!
post #7 of 7
My pleasure. Mostly just copy and pasted :-)
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