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Lethal Audio Digital Stereo Headphones First Impression / Review Thread

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ok so I was jonesing to buy something during the Black Friday madness but between not seeing anything I really wanted and not being able to afford or get what I did want (darn Amazon and it's Canadian unfriendly attitude!!). So I was walking through Futureshop today and saw a headphone that looked suspiciously like the Skullcandy Aviators for about 1/3 the price ($69.95) and decided to give them a shot since Futureshop has a no hassle return policy. For those interested here is a link to the manufacturers website pointing to the headphone I bought. http://www.lethalaudioheadphones.com/headphones/5521/5521.html.


So lets get a few things out in the open right off the bat. I have no idea if these are Aviator knockoff's (they certainly share a similar design concept) and I don't own a pair of Aviator's nor intend on buying them as I am not a fan of skull marked products and don't have $200 laying around either. So all of my reviewing and impressions will be solely about this headphone versus a comparison between the "real thing and the knockoff". I can say that the headband is definitely different and the Lethal has chosen to go with an all phone friendly mic and control versus an iPhone only model. The cup is also in several pieces versus a solid one piece cap. Personally I like the styling of the Lethal’s much more than the Aviators, it has less bling and is more stately in my opinion.


As can be seen by my pictures the cable is a cloth covered cable. The manufacturer claims it is a tangle free cable. I am not sure about tangle free but it definitely is NOT a kink free cable and it feels a bit on the thin side when compared to something like my V-Moda M80, it also has a straight in jack which I am not as much a fan of. But the jack does have a small amount of strain relief. The ear cushions are a bit harder than I would prefer but strangely enough I have had minimal pain issues with these as they are only partially over ear which usually translates to sore ears because of my glasses.


There is ZERO markings telling you which is left and right, I actually had to use another headphone to figure out which way to wear these things (microphone control on the left ear for those who want to know). So I hope the manufacturer clues into the need to mark the cups L and R.


Isolation wise these are only good in quiet settings or when walking on quiet streets. I don't think they will cut it for transit use as they just let in way to much sound.


I also am finding these do not like non 3 band jack connections (either that or they really can't handle better amping) as they sound very good from my iPhone and bloated and weird from my i.Fuzen iphone amp and my desktop amp.


Some initial impressions of the sound. Note this is prior to burn in so my take on these will likely change as I burn them in.


Bass - The bass on these started out a bit heavy and uncontrolled with a fair amount of mid-bass and it was not very detailed. But as I used the headphone over the first 3-4 hours the bass has subsided and is not as heavy or mid-bass oriented. The bass is still not as textured as some of my other gear but is not bad. I think this is an area that will likely settle down after a night of burn in or at least I hope it does.


Mid-range - The mids are bit forward and warm sounding but not to warm in my opinion. The mids are not as detailed as I like but not bad. They are currently slightly colored by the mid-bass but not bad. Again I hope they improve with burn in.


Treble - The treble is rolled off so will not appeal to anyone who likes a lot of treble. Cymbals sound nice but are definitely not front and center. Having said that I liked some of the classical music I listened to a lot as the lower treble was very clear and transparent. Treble in my experience is the one area that takes the longest to settle down and reach full maturity though so again I am hopeful it will get better.


Over all I find these to be actually fairly neutral or flat with maybe a nod going to the midrange in terms of forwardness.


The soundstage is nice and the instrument separation is not bad. I will do a more thorough analysis of these areas as the headphones burn in and I have a chance to A/B test against my M-80's. But my initial impression is these are a very good value for their price. I actually am impressed enough I have contacted the manufacturer to see if I might be able to review a couple other headphones they have since there is little to no information on these guys as of yet.


Here are a few pictures taken from my iPhone.






Edited by dweaver - 11/26/11 at 11:48pm
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

I final quick update. After 24hrs of burnin I was not impressed enough with these to keep them as the bass started to become very muddy and they were having something happen in the midrange I found uncomfortable with. So I ended up taking them back and getting a refund. I am sure at their price they are not a horrible headphone but I just wasn't feeling up to the challenge of trying to burn them in completely and then do a full review process.


I will say this, for some genre's like classical they sounded pretty good. But for Rock which is where I think they are targeted at I was surprised at how much I disliked their sound.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

I know this is being a somewhat one sided conversation but just in case someone hits this thread using google or something I wanted to add one more comment.


I picked up a Lethal Audio IEM today since I can return it as well if I don't like it and I want to get word out about this product good or bad so other's will have an idea what these are about. Anyway I am not going to post any comments on this other product until it is fully burned in. But did notice something I think needs mentioning.


Both products use an iPhone/cell phone compatible jack with a microphone in it. This jack has the 3 bands on it compared to the 2 bands found on conventional stereo products. My experience has been that the 3 band jacks are very hardware dependant as to whether they sound right or not. In this case I am finding all Lethal Audio equipment sound like total garbage from my desktop amp at home. So my impressions or negative post above may have been a bit premature. Unfortunately I can not justify going back and re-purchasing the above headphone just to confirm anything.


So anyone looking to buy this, use my initial post as a first impression and keep in mind these really want a later model iPod device, iPhone, or cell phone that supports the 3 band jack. All older 2 band only devices might want to skip this product and possibly any Lethal Audio products that are deisgned for such devices.

post #4 of 7

Hey, i just got a pair of the lethal headphones almost just like the one in your picture, mine are brown though, rather than black. i'm not a big fan of the sound yet but I'm planning on modding them, for example, sound deadening in the right places behind the driver can really clear up muddy bass, one thing about these headphones though, when i first used them, i felt like there was a really large dome of plastic where the grill is on them, when i pulled the earpad off though, it almost looks like these are dual driver headphones, the larger 40mm driver in the baffle, and a smaller tweeter (i'm assuming) in the space that large dome of plastic makes, I'll upload pictures and my impressions after first mods and burn in once i finish this project. another problem i've noticed about these headphones is that unless i bend the metal on the headband, the earpads don't create a good seal at all, the top part crushes my head and the bottom half just hang off of my head with a 1/4-1/2 inch gap between the "leather" and my ear, so I might do a headband mod as well.

post #5 of 7

^ Hey has this Canadian OP heard of Lethals EARSUB lineup??? Some of them are no doubt duds but there are a few gems in there as well. I recently did a comparo of one of the sets in the Discovery Thread. Ya'll might want to check them out esp. since their price is so low.




C'mon dweaver, your fellow Canadian brothers seems to be really diggin' these. I know you loves to try new gears.... :ksc75smile:

post #6 of 7

Well, I've tried a bit of damping with the cups on these cans, it improved the sound a little, though they're definitely are dual driver, there's a small "crossover" glued to the back of the larger driver, but after cutting the wire leading to the smaller driver, a lot of the distortion disappeared and they sounded a lot better, I think there was some phase interference between the sound waves from each driver. There's still another kind of distortion though, a not quite hollow sound I can't seem to put my finger on, almost like there's a glass cup over each ear that I'm trying to listen through. I'll probably rehouse these and see how they sound in some cherry or mahogany cups, my intuition is saying open back cups would give the best sound so we'll see how that works.

post #7 of 7
Pulled those headphones comletely apart, the "main" driver has a REALLY thick diaphragm material, very solid, probably for big bass with the tweeter for highs. Plugged the big drivers into an amp and they act like really rich mini fullrange speakers, they don't sound that bad on their own. I might hack together an iem from the tweeters but probably not with great results. The bigger drivers might make a good headphone/speaker convertible setup. Time to get building.
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