Just wanted to chime in here and give notice about a few new items I've discovered recently. Some are old news and a couple that aren't. First off is the Havi B3 Pro 1. After reading all it's praise and being very interested, I just wrote it off since I didn't believe it could be better than what I already own. Of course what I already own cost multiple times more than what the Havi costs so what's the point was what I was thinking. Then ericp pm's me and a couple others and says, you guys need to hear this thing. Well, that got my interest to turn into clicking the buy button within minutes. I've been listening to it now for the past week and I couldn't be more impressed. Everyone who's been saying good things about it is more than correct. Such good balance, 3D staging like you've rarely heard. This one is a true materpiece and I'm addicted. As much as I like the Ostry's, especially the KC06A, I think the Havi trumps it. That's my opinion anyway.
Next is the Philips Fidelio L2. I found it on Amazon Japan for less than what I paid for the L1 back in the day so I snatched it up since Dsnuts has been telling me how good it is. Well, lets say the flaws of the L1 have been fixed. The darkness has been lifted and they've made a livelier headphone. Sounds more open due to better, more extended treble. Same lovely midrange but with added sparkle to vocals and a snapier bass. This is a top notch portable semi-open headphone.
I finally jumped on the ZA Carbo Singolo's. Drblue love his so it's a no brainer to own at some point. I have to say that I find it to sound like how he has described them. Single armature driver with a warm sound. Bass is somewhere between the Tenore and Basso. This is surprising and must be heard to really know. Tigher than both and has a fullness not too many armatures can pull off, especially being a single unit. Treble is ever done so perfectly as in all ZA phones and of course the vocals are sublime which ZA also has this almost perfected. This one is warmer and not as analytical as the Doppios so for those who would like something warmer or more along the lines of the Tenore and Basso but with the armature speed and precision, then this might fit the bill.
Finally, I picked a couple that there's really nothing here on head-fi that mentions it. First is the Sony MDR-EX650. There is a thread on it but it seems dead. This earphone interested me because the housing is made of brass. I guess same as they use in trumpets. I picked up the brass color version but it also comes in a charcoal color I believe. The EX450's are made of aluminum or another metal so it didn't spark my interest. Anyway, the sound is consumer oriented with abundant bass but thankfully it's not flabby. Vocals are upfront and filled with energy. No sibilance though. Treble extends quite far and is splashy. Not ear cringing splashy either. Very easy to drive, made very well with a cloth covered cable. I actually dig the sound very much. Think of it as the newer Sony sound like the H-series but more consumer tuned. Good depth to the sound. I think many would enjoy this earphone for on the go with their smartphone.
Photo from the internet.
Lastly, I wanted to try out a bluetooth headphone but really couldn't justify paying over $100 for one. I've been close to buying the Sony MDR10BT from Amazon since it's usually around $150 but couldn't get myself to bite. I noticed that AT recently released a Street Monitoring series in Japan with a model of ATH-S700BT for just under $100 in Japan so I snatched it up. When it arrived, the manual was all in Japanese but I figured it was easy to pair so I gave it a try. I tried pairing it with 5 different devices and could not get it to work. Frustrated that I received a defective unit, I emailed Amazon Japan and AT US. Amazon basically told me I needed an AT representative to look at it and provide the name of the tech. advising it was defective. Something learned here and be aware when buying from overseas on this site. Never had any issues before though. AT US forwarded my email to AT Global and I got a reply back explaining the legalities of buying products intended for overseas, etc. but the man was kind enough to translate how to pair the bluetooth. Basically I didn't hold down the bluetooth button long enough. User error. Sorry for that lame story but now that it's working and I've never heard bluetooth headphones before, here are some impressions. Wired, these sound quite good. Bass is big and somewhat boomy. Basshead material. Vocals are rather good and upfront. I assumed this would have some harsh treble but it doesn't even come close. Very laid back but plenty enough there to add some shimmer to the music. Non-fatuguing sound except the bass could be for some. Overall, sounds quite nice wired. Bluetooth, the bass gets rather muddy, vocals take a seat back and treble sounds darker. The whole sound goes backwards a notch or two. Still, I find it worth it for those days mowing the lawn or walking around when wires get in the way. The headphones are very light and super comfortable. The cups go around your whole ears. Volume up and down buttons, the power button advances tracks with two taps, etc. For my first pair of bluetooth headphones, I don't regret purchasing it.
Photo from the internet.
That's my contribution for the day and of these I've recently aquired, the Havi just blows me away what you can have for $59 these days. L2 is amazing as well and the rest sound good enough IMO to check out.