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