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Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones)
Last edited: 7/25/14
- Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones) 2Last edited: 7/11/14
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- Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones) 2
SoundMAGIC HP100/HP150 Review and Impressions Thread - Page 3
Gear mentioned in this thread:
You should be able to buy one from them.
A modified version of the review I posted on Amazon:
"...I've only owned them for a little over a week, but I'm not much of a believer in burn-in, so we're going from there.
The first thing that hit me was the clarity. Rarely have I heard such a clean sound. Though they're closed, there's no sense of congestion whatsoever. They're extremely clean and uncluttered, and have a spacious and airy sound to them. Vocals are a bit forward, but not really aggressive. Despite the astonishing clarity and cleanness of the sound, there is no hint of harsh or edgy highs. I'm not sure how SoundMAGIC did it, but they were um, clearly successful. I'm coming from Philips Citiscape Uptowns, and for a long time (read: five months) they've been my go-to for doing a lot of things right. I thought they were pretty clean and clear, but there is a dramatic difference between them and the HP100s. The Uptowns have a warmer sound signature, which in some cases implies better bass impact, but I've found them to be similar in that regard. While we're on the subject, these are not for bassheads. They're pretty close to neutral in my estimation, and have a very linear and clean bass. Fans of Sony XB500s and Denon D1100s need not look into these. However, with my relatively modest budget, I think I'd be hard pressed to find what I deem to be the perfect sound in a pair of headphones. These come really close, though. The sound of the HP100s is simply seductive.
A word on comfort. Initial comfort of the HP100s is very good. The pads are large, definitely circumaural (these are large headphones), and pillowy soft. However, the pads are not extremely deep, and I do find that the drivers press against the outer parts of my ears. This becomes an issue for me after about an hour and a half to two hours. Some adjustment can alleviate the issue slightly, but I usually end up removing them after that time. I would like to note that comfort is also a very high priority for me; in some cases it's as important as sound quality. For many people the comfort may not be an issue, and indeed that appears to be the case, from reading all the reviews I could scrounge on the Internet. So, YMMV. And this wasn't enough of an issue for me to dock stars from the rating.
Regarding aesthetics, accessories, et cetera. The HP100s come in a very compact case. I was actually a bit surprised at how small the shipping box was. The semi-hard case does remind one of the V-Moda cases in many respects: the color scheme, setup, etc. But it works well and holds the adapters, detachable (nice!) cable, and cleaning cloth in an efficient manner. The zipper feels decent, too, which is a small but important detail, for those of you who will be transporting the headphones often. I've read a couple reviews about how the outer metal cups are prone to scratching and fingerprints, and that may be true, but I tend to baby the headphones I own, and I keep these and others suspended from a headphone stand, so I haven't run into any blemish issues. I've also read of issues with sound cutting out, since they cable is on a single path and it has to run through all the hinges which allow the headphone cups to fold and rotate. That has not been my experience, but it's been only a short time, and I will probably update this if events warrant.
In sum: if you're looking for an incredibly clean sound in a pretty package for engaging, lovely listening sessions at home or on the go (perhaps in quieter places; passive noise attenuation is not extreme), I recommend these strongly. The beautiful sound signature lends itself well to all but the most bass-heavy music genres. I find myself staying up late just to hear the next song. Some headphones are doors to the music, and others are windows. The HP100s tear down the whole wall."
Get the SoundMAGICs, they would trump any Beats any day.
Now I am an enthusiast of the SoundMagic HP100, the 'cult' of the moment.
I was looking for an upgrade for my HD-25 1, and considered all the headphones in the sub 300$ department, including V-Moda, Audio-Technica, AKG, etc.
The HP100 have a shocking linearity over all the frequency spectrum, without any emphasis anywhere.
They have an exceptional clarity and transparency, with plenty of details without any minimal harshness.
The soundstage is impressive, very deep and wide, with clear instrumental separation.
It seems they have nothing to share with closed headphones.
They definitely require a high-end dac and amp to fully reveal their very high potential.
I'd say the HP100 are a HUGE step up from the HD-25 1, and I greatly prefer them over my HD-600.
The look is also very cool, I love those outer metal plates!
I think you have to spend a lot more than 200$ to find a decent competitor.
Now the HD-25 1 are in the drawer... (anyone want them?)
Edited by robotz - 12/27/12 at 2:58am
I really don't know why these aren't getting more attention. They sound fantastic!
I compared the HP100s to my K167s, and the HP100s easily outperform the AKGs to my ears. The HP100s are more refined, the highs are clearer and vocals stand out more. The K167s bothered me with what I can only describe as hollow, recessed vocals/mids. The bass on the HP100s is pretty much perfect IMO. I love feeling the bass more as opposed to hearing it. The sub bass of the HP100s is truly subterranean in it's depth. It's like feeling distant thunder. It digs very deep. Now, the K167's bass goes deep as well, but it is a bit overpowering to my ears and can be a little boomy at times. It's definitely not as tight as the HP100's bass.
Let's put it this way. The HP100s sound so good, that I am using them as a closed alternative to my HD800s! Now, I'm not saying they perform as well as the HD800s but I actually did swap back and forth between the two to compare them. The HD800s are quite a bit more refined, and can keep up with complex songs even when things get busy. The HP100s do a very good job of this as well, they just can't quite match the layering, separation and overall refinement of the HD800s. Of course, this is a $200 vs $1500 battle.
I am going to be comparing them to my A900x's later today... something tells me the HP100s aren't going anywhere.
- SoundMAGIC HP100/HP150 Review and Impressions Thread
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