Well I'm very impressed with the 850's!! Out of the box I really was taken back by how great they sound. Quite a few hours of burn-in and usage has lapsed and I'm now converted!
I'll be comparing the sound of sr850's to my Ath Ckm500's which I've been using over summer down here in Australia. I also have the Jaycar/Fa-003's and I use to have a pair of Ath Ad700's which are now passed on to my dear friend.
The setup is running off my computer via SSD/Foobar/Flac/Optical>Jaycar DAC>Cmoy BB>Superlux Samson SR850's:
(This First Impressions is only meant to be a reflection of my personal experience with the 850's!)
First Impression no.1: Nice solid construction, felt very well put together. No rattles or creaks and very light in my hands. (I felt the Ad700 were abit more delicate and flip/flop around abit) The colouring scheme is very understated. I personally love the look as it has that 'batman' feel to it. But seriously I love the look of the design as a whole!
First Impression no.2: These headphones are really easy to get on and off, the clamp force is fairly minimal fits my head very well and holds firmly in place. The ear pads don't bother me at all, infact I prefer them more than the Ad700. Again the clamp force is nowhere near as hard as the Jaycar/Fa-003's (Those things could squeeze time out of existance!).
First Impression no.3: The sound I heard after a few hours of pink noise burning was surprising! Full bodied, very clean and clear as reported (Amzaing for $40!). The sound is very detailed with excellent space and seperation. Semi-open sound is well executed!
- High's: I did not find the high's to be harsh nor simbilance, I did test this on some of my most simbilant songs and was happy to report that it did not occur. I feel the high's are more refined than the Ad700's. The 850's reach much higher than the Ckm500's with excellent control and sparkle. You will definately hear more detail's in the upper range with these, certain songs become alive with the extra detail these can's produce! I really like it!
- Mid's: I did notice the mid's were abit behind the other frequencies but it also depended on the song! Not as forward but not too far back, in most songs it mixes in quite well with the rest of the music. When listening to some power ballads, the male/female vocals stands out beautifully and you get a sense of the singers voice forward and central in your head/space and then you hear the lovely instruments almost immediately around you! It's often an engaging and emotional sense when these elements come together, making the song a wonderful experience. I remember often pausing what I was doing just to hear a beautiful passage of a certain song. I'm yet to make a final judgement on the mid's but my initial feeling is that the mid's are well behaved and not as forward compared to my Ckm500's, which are more forward and pronounced.
- Bass: I was so surprised with the bass on these, it's definately solid and engaging! You can definately hear it and feel it and isn't as shy as the mid's. The bass gives the music that extra quality and makes the sound much more complete. It does go quite low, testing it out on some Dubstep/progressive/chillstep/electronica definately is pleasing and more than enough to give that genre the attitude and authority it needs. The bass quality is not as awesome as the Ckm500's (which to me puts out some insane bass) but it is as tight and controlled. Sonically I was very satisfied with the bass and combined with those beautiful detailed high's I was in nirvana! With other genres like heavy metal/alternative/rock the bass is thick and fast, a few times I was air drumming to the beat! Note*- Bass Boost turned off, I tested it with full Bass Boost and it sounded great but I ultimately enjoyed the stock sound signature!
Final words: I love these headphones! I really do...for the money I spent on them ($40) The sound to me is highly comparable to my Ckm500's and best my Jaycar/Fa-003 & Ad700 by a long shot! I love how confident they sound with my music library and how much they've added to the overal experience. I've had these phone's on all night last night and really enjoyed the music I was hearing with the 850's. I think anyone wanting to try different phones or if you're on a strict budget I'd recommend trying these and see for yourself. I will be having a few friends around to test these in the next few days, can't wait to see their faces.
Note*- I haven't tried these unamped so to me the 850's sounded superb running out of my Jaycar Dac/Cmoy BB, volume knob is currently at 11 o'clock and is loud and clear enough for me!
Edited by volly - 2/21/13 at 7:47pm