Hey all, first time poster here. Just wanted to jump in and give a "first impressions" review of the Takstar HI2050 that finally arrived at my door today. I don't have much experience with headphones, but I'm seeing myself being pretty hooked into the hobby, fundage permitting).
I'll start by saying I haven't heard many "audiophile" cans. Some mid-range Sennheisers and various others are about the extent of my headphone experience. That being said, I know what I want out of sound and I will obsessively milk any piece of hardware I have for all it's worth. I got the HI2050 headphones because my Razer Orca headphones bit the dust when I botched a re-cable job. They were very good headphones for the price, very comfortable with nice bass, good soundstage and a very airy sound with vocals. They weren't neutral headphones by any means, but once burned in they gave a fun listening experience. I've heard some people dog on them because they are "gaming headphones", but I think that's a ridiculous claim. Build quality was a big issue though.
My head-fi setup as of now only consists of the Takstar HI2050 headphones running through a Blue Yeti USB mic (VERY good mic if you're looking for a USB recording solution). The mic works as a built-in amp/DAC combo, limited to 24-bit/48khz. Nothing to write home about, but it gets the job done with driving these headphones for now. I'm playing music through uLilith WASAPI with the head-fit VST (best crossfeed IMO).
I tested these with every kind of music I could think of, highlighting:
- Animals as Leaders
- Emerson Lake and Palmer
- Kathryn Calder (beautiful airy vocals, check her out on youtube)
- Fleetwood Mac
- Del the Funky Homosapien
- The Kilmanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble
- Consider the Source
- Aphex Twin
Okay, on to my impressions:
Build quality: Very good, especially considering how light they are. The aluminum forks really make this thing feel sturdy. The velour pads are somewhat cheap feeling, but the build/price/weight ratio here is great. Plastic cable is thick and feels plenty durable.
Comfort: I have a reasonably small head, and overall these fit great out of the box. Despite the cheap-ish feel of the velour pads, they are still very comfortable and fit nicely around my ears. The clamping force is a little tight, but I'm sure that will go away with some regular use.
Loudness: I wouldn't even have added this category, but it surprised me at how quiet these headphones were when connected directly into the audio jack on my computer. While listenable, it definitely wasn't loud enough to instill that "escape from reality" jamming experience. Amping is definitely recommended, especially given the semi-open nature of these headphones.
Sound: These are pretty neutral headphones to my somewhat untrained ears, with a rise at the high end of the spectrum. The bass isn't boomy at all like my Razer headphones; it's much more tight and controlled sounding, which is much better for most music IMO. The sibilance issues that others have claimed are there, but they're not ear-splitting. You can get rid of this with some EQ tweaking, but that affects the overall detailing of the sound so I'm hoping everyone is right in that it goes away with burn-in. I honestly didn't care for the sound when I first listened to them, I was very underwhelmed with the lack of airy sound and smallish soundstage. I can't tell if I'm changing or the headphones are changing (likely both) but I'm enjoying them more and more as I listen. They really seem to be opening up, only a few hours later. Likely psycho-acoustic, but noteworthy nonetheless. They sound a bit busy with any music that has an abundance of splashy cymbals, like a lot of metal and rock, and it makes it sound somewhat dirty. I think this is also due to the sibilance, so if it really does go away with burn-in, then this is a non-issue. The detail in these phones is great, I actually didn't recognize the intro to a Queens of the Stone Age song I've heard 100 times because there was so much more clarity than what I'm used to.
Overall: I'm very pleased with the quality of these headphones for the money. They are sounding smoother and prettier by the minute and I'm very much looking forward to how they sound once they're burned in. They likely won't compete with the big guys that everyone raves about, but I took a chance for $50 and I'm glad I did. I'll likely be adding some more budget-fi components to my budding hobby at some point, more than likely a cMoy amp and a HifimeDIY Sabre DAC. And of course any can I can get my hands on. Thanks for the read!