Let me start of by saying thanks to everyone that gave me suggestions and feedback on what headphones to get. Without Head-Fi, i would have no doubt simply gone with a pair of Beats. With that said, let me also point out, I am NO audiophile and I love bass. I have gone through countless pairs of head phones and in ear monitors. Right now, I am....err I WAS using a pair of Bose AE 2 and TMA Ai Ai Ai.. I've been using the 580s for a little over a week now and the device used is an iphone 3g. So, on with the review
Let me just put this out there. The headphones feel solid. They don't feel like they're made of any cheap plastic or like they'll fall apart if they live a rough life. The connecting cable is nice and thick, and very long (this is actually a negative point for me).
The earpads, well these took a bit of getting used and breaking in. At first they felt very tight, and rigid. So much so that I was seriously contemplating returning them because they felt so uncomfortable. But after a few days of breaking them in they actually feel pleasant. Not too tight, not too loose and they seem to provide just enough sound isolation for everyday use.
Overall my major problems with the headphones is their size and weight, and non detachable cable. Coming from the Bose and Ai Ai Ais they feel big and heavy. It really hasn't presented a problem when I've been using them seated or reclined, but doing any sort of physical activity does present a little challenge. Not so much so that I would NOT use them, but lets just say it takes a little getting used to. As for the non detachable cable, I find that these cables ALWAYS develop shorts after extended use. Having a detachable cable makes repair/replacing very easy and convenient. It would also make getting a short cable a non issue for me. Definitely would have liked to see a detachable cable.
Like I said earlier, I love bass. I listen to mainly Dancehall, Hip Hop, RnB, Dubstep etc.... pretty much bass heavy music. These headphones are perfect. They have pretty much transformed my music library for me. Mixes that I listened to dozens of times before sound like completely new experiences. I can recall just yesterday I was listening to one mix in particular and while I had listened to it at LEAST 2 dozen times before, it sounded completely new to me. Bass was deep and rich and reminded me of being in a club. I really had no idea that bass could sound this close to being in a club, from just a pair of headphones.
The exceptional sound isn't limited to just bass, these cans transformed everything else for me as well. Mids, and highs were present and to my untrained n00b ears sounded as clear as I could expect a lowly mp3 recording to be. This was surprising as I've heard so many people complain about bass being muddy and drowning out everything else with other cans, so I was really expecting a similar experience with these. One of the problems I faced quite often with other headphones is the mids and highs gave me slight headaches after extended listening periods. I'm not sure what it was, but, that never happened with the 580s at all.
QUICK COMPARISON to BOSE AE2 & TMA Ai Ai Ai
In my humble opinion, the 580s beat both pairs in almost every category. Where the 580s fall behind is in comfort. The Bose AE2s really are exceptionally comfortable. I literally wore those almost 6 hours straight everyday and had no issues at all. With the 580s though I find myself having to take a 20 minute break every so often. However, when it comes to sound quality, I would say this is the correct order:
1. Ultrasone HFI-580
2. TMA Ai Ai Ai
3. Bose AE2
The TMAs sound good, and I've very pleased with my pair, but to me, they just didn't sound as CLEAR.
ALL IN ALL
At the end of the day, I really would recommend these to anyone considering a new pair of headphones. They're half the price of a pair of beats (pros or otherwise) and to MY ears sound better. So, for the people out there struggling with the choice, Beats by Dre Solos or Pros, or go with something you and most of your 'normal' (i.e. non head-fi) friends haven't heard of before, go with the 580s, you'll be VERY happy you did!
Edited by theMixFeed - 5/30/12 at 12:05pm