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50mm driver open air full size cans pop out of nowhere, sound amazing

post #1 of 544
Thread Starter 

So I was walking by the computer store down at my block (I live in Hong Kong) and I these headphones showed up at their display out of nowhere:

SOMiC MH463 (link to Focalprice selling them: http://www.focalprice.com/EP0109B/SOMIC_MH463_35_mm_8__30000_Hz_Wired_Dynamic_Headphone_Black.html) (I'm not affiliated with Focalprice, just showing an international site selling these if you guys want to grab one.  Like I said, I bought mine locally)

edit: see this latest post for a place where you can apparently buy them for $31.35 http://www.head-fi.org/t/637699/50mm-driver-open-air-full-size-cans-pop-out-of-nowhere-sound-amazing#post_8902214

Three specifications caught my eye:

1. Open back (for open back soundstage)

2. 50mm drivers (about as big as they get)

3. The price: $69 (edit: see this post for a place where you can get them for $31.35 http://www.head-fi.org/t/637699/50mm-driver-open-air-full-size-cans-pop-out-of-nowhere-sound-amazing#post_8902214)

 

I bought them on impulse and boy am I glad that I did.

 

I don't have much experience with full size headphones (IEMs are my mainstay) but these may be the first cans to wow me over from IEMs.  I used to have a pair of Sennheiser HD580 but they collected dust and finally disappeared for good after my Etymotic ER-4P arrived.  Well my 4P have long since bitten the dust and I've found other phones that are more enjoyable, some of which are in my fledgling IEM review thread

http://www.head-fi.org/t/633102/budget-iems-review-4th-budget-review-sony-mh1c-posted-oh-boy

 

But these SOMiC are something else.  I wouldn't say these sound better than the HD580, but it is like revisiting high end open air headphones of that caliber after 10 years and finding it surprisingly to my liking.  In these ten years much has changed; I've recently acquired a much better DAC+amp in the Fiio E17, and I've learned to make use of parametric EQ based on PiccoloNamek's EQ tutorial to shape phones to my liking

http://www.head-fi.org/t/413900/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-a-tutorial

 

Here's an FR curve of these SOMiC I drew based on listening to sine sweeps through an equal loudness EQ as outlined here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/615417/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-advanced-tutorial-in-progress

Take note that the "FR curve" only serves to show the phone's deviations from my personal tastes and illustrate some of the high frequency peaks I've found.

1000


These have a not unpleasant warmth in the bass but I prefer my bass leaner but with more subbass punch, and the phones take to bass EQ very well with their large 50mm drivers;  despite the rolloff these reach down to 15Hz with real bass, not harmonic distortion so they will take to EQing up the subbass very well.  The highs are actually more linear than most phones I've heard but can be improved by tweaking the EQ to remove the peak I hear at 7700Hz (may not be the same for everybody), removing a bit of metallic taste.

 

The soundstage is expansive and may be what is drawing me to these phones the most.  Combined with their sonic quality, I am finding myself preferring these over my speakers even when I have the rare chance to use the latter.  These are one of the highest resolving cans I've heard.

 

As usual my introduction to phones can come across as sounding like these don't sound any good without EQing.  It's just that I'm too used to hearing my IEMs transform into sonic gems with EQ.  But less so with cans.  Until now--these phones sound great to start with and EQ like champs, making me prefer cans over IEMs for what may be the first time.

 

Sound without EQ: 8.5/10

Sound with EQ: 19/20

 

A few choice impressions from those who have got them so far:

 

Quote:

Just got mine. Opened them up. Nothing too fancy. Played some incubus through my odac/c421 setup and i am blown away! the quality for this price is just unheard of. The detailing,instrument separation, and soundstage is amazing. These are kind of fast. To be honest, i prefer them over the hd650. A little less bass but clearer. Time for some burn in!

 

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBEG View Post

So the concern about the ear pads is depth, right? Can you measure how deep the pads are Joe?
 


They're about 18mm deep.

 


Just got my MH463 today, and I have to say... very impressive for a $45 headphone biggrin.gif

 

The pads are removable, but I'm not sure where you'd get better replacement pads.
You could ofcourse make your own if you've got some sewing skills, a sewing machine and some fabric (like I do wink.gif)

 

Some pics for those curious minds: (bye-bye warranty.....)

 

700 700

700 700 700

 

Quote:
Positive notes on these cans.
-Absolutely great looking aesthetically
-soft plush padding around ears and on the headband
-adjustments + cans themselves are metal and aren't too heavy, nor too light. (there are adjustment clicks + levels to see if you're OCD on that)
-fairly flat response for these cans (for people who enjoy that)
-a very thick and very long cable + 3.5 to quarter inch gold plated adapter (which i must say looks really good for what you're paying for)
-great movement on the ear cups and will adjust accordingly gs1000.gif
-nice open air design to keep your ears "nice n fresh"
-sound leakage for these cans remind me of sennheisers - and does not leak as much as AKG Q701 / K701-702's
     * over all great build quality for 50ish bucks -


nitpick negatives
-moving my head left and right i hear some minor clickyness 
-band is currently tight on the head which might cause minor discomfort until weakened (presumably) 
-still contains factory smell
-feels a little quick for my taste (biased)
-minor peaks at higher frequency



these are only the current things ive noticed given 30 minutes after i opened them and took the pictures posted before.
As already mentioned in the beginning of this forum post, its fairly flat and definitely not really a "super heavy" bass headphone, but it is there. 
*Note, im currently using an E9 + E7 dac and amp combination for these"
the soundstage is fairly well presented and for 50 dollars i definitely have to say its worth the purchase.

i will continue to post more responses for these cans as soon as i can and feel free to leave any suggests/questions for me to answer - that is if i can.


Overall as an initial impression through-out, i'm impressed, 9/10 + i don't regret my purchase 1 bit.

 

Quote:

Some notes and quick comparisons against other phones (Technical Pro HPT990 and Koss Portapro), the Somics have maybe 20-30 hrs on them (burn+actual listening time) -

- There isn't much else I can add on to Joe's impressions as he pretty much hits the nail on the head in terms of how they sound =). Theyre warm, slightly bassy (not basshead bassy as mentioned, just above flat), with a fairly smooth top end and a nice amount of sparkle. They sound somewhat thick with the bit of midbass warmth they have going on. Midrange is forward and vocals are intimate but can sound a little bit "boxed in" on some tracks, despite the large soundstage.

 

- Immediate differences noticed when switching back and forth with the HPT990 - a competitor in terms of price, though it looks like theyre abit more expensive than the MH463 right now - The 990s have more of a upper mid to lower treble emphasis with a slightly recessed midrange compared to the 463, making them sound seemingly airier and abit more detailed. They both have some midbass warmth to them but to me the 463s warmth is more pronounced, which is probably why mids/vocals sound more forward, thick and intimate. Bass on the 990 extends down deeper into the sub-bass than the 463. The 990s sound like they have a wider soundstage despite them being semi-open vs the open 463; it must be the velour pads and airiness added on from the slightly more emphasized top end. The 463 is better with depth though and beats the 990 out in terms of forward projection. Both have fairly good imaging and separation. Both make for some solid gaming cans. I actually spent a lot of yesterday playing ACIII using the Somics and it was a great experience.

 

- I think the closest other headphone I have with a similar signature is the Koss Portapro. Mine is modded with KCS75 clips and "quarter-modded" foams, and they sound fairly close in terms of signature, but IMO the MH463 is technically superior; better detail, and larger spatial presentation. The Portapros also sound abit darker, and the bass is slower.

 

- On construction, its been mentioned already but the pads are pretty shallow and my big ears do tend to press on the pad lining, causing discomfort after a few hours of wearing them. A quick remedy to that could be to remove the red+black pad lining and inserting a more comfortable foam lining, or to stuff the undersides of the pads so they arent so shallow.

MDR-7506/V6 pleathers, Beyer, or Pearstone velours could fit, they look about the same size fwir. Shure SRH840 pads might be a possibility as well, I would try mine but theyre stretched out to heck thanks to my T50RPs redface.gif.

Also, there are some creaky points on the headphone, mainly where the cables go into the cups and where the plastic yoke goes in to the cups. Maybe a bit of graphite lube can fix that?

 

Quote:

Came home from work to find a package from Hong Kong.

 

Packaging of the 463s is so-so. Looks kinda nice, feels kinda cheap, only accessories to speak of is a plug adapter. Whatever, I'm not buying packaging so this doesn't bother or disappoint me.

 

Build quality is nice. Heavier than the SR850s and Uptowns. Cable is much better than the Uptowns'. I like that the cups swivel to lay flat, but as these are open phones I probably won't be traveling much with them.

 

Sound quality straight out of the box... holy crap. First song is Crossfade's acoustic of "Falling Away" side-to-side with the Philips Uptowns, and I'm a little stunned. I now definitely understand what people have said about closed headphones sounding 'closed in' compared to open headphones, but even so I actually like the Somic's sound more (I've been loving my Uptowns, so this is a surprise that a less-expensive pair of headphones sounds notably better). Very good first impression for sound! Bill Withers' "Use Me" (one of my all-time favorites) doesn't sound quite as open, but I think it's the recording; the Uptowns suited that song a little better (made it more intimate, I guess). Bass is more or less comparable with the Uptowns with maybe a little less punch. Gonna need to compare with some 5FDP for that. "Breath of Life" by Florence + Machine goes to the 463's, no contest: the openness adds this epic quality to the song that was meant to be there, but doesn't quite show with the Uptowns. On DJ Fresh's "Louder" (the one, the only, Doctor P & Flux P remix), the closed Uptowns definitely have more impact and sound a little better, even though they lose a little detail to the 463's.

 

Comfort: first impression is cramped ears. The ear pads definitely need to be thicker and deeper. Gonna find a way to make this happen. The Uptowns are orders of magnitude better for comfort, and I actually know the meaning of that phrase!

 

 

Overall, I'm really liking what I hear. Big thanks to Joe (and 3AM insomnia) for introducing me to these bad boys.

 

Part 1 of CashNotCredit's detailed review (Part 2 will be a youtube video review)


Edited by Joe Bloggs - 12/20/12 at 9:14am
post #2 of 544
Thread Starter 

One more point in their favour:  these are only 45ohm impedance and can be driven to listen levels at 25/60 at 0 gain on my Fiio E17, which is comparable to the Etymotic MC5 in voltage sensitivity.  These should be quite drivable unamped.

post #3 of 544
Thread Starter 

Just found a much cheaper place to buy them from on taobao

http://www.taobao-buying-agent.com/china-wholesale-13444102567.html

Says approximately US$31.35

 

The line in the google translation of the Chinese product description saying "you can rest assured to buy fake a compensable 10"?  What the Chinese is actually saying is that they are stressing these are genuine and that you would be compensated 10 times over if you get a fake.  I wouldn't worry about fakes anyway since these SOMiC guys are nobodies in terms of branding.

 

I found a good feedback on taobal-buying-agent from someone who used their service here

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/12105

 

And as for the actual item in taobao.com that t-b-a links to, the item has received 4.8/5 stars from 35 buyer ratings while the shop itself has received 4.8/5 stars from 2193 buyer ratings.

 

As for the price, I found that the raw unshipped price of the item at taobao.com corresponds to US$31, so expect to be hit with extra shipping fees from t-b-a but that's par for the course I guess.

 

 

Here's another place where they are available in the US for relatively cheap:

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Professional-Somic-MH463-3-5MM-Head-band-Music-DJ-Headphone-Earphone-Headset-MH463-free-shipping/623880419.html


Edited by Joe Bloggs - 12/4/12 at 8:22am
post #4 of 544

would you consider this a Superlux 668b beater?

post #5 of 544
Hmm... wide soundstage and metal plug? Makes me wonder how this would compare to the AD700.
post #6 of 544

For $30 I'm curious enough to buy... except that I have no experience from buying from chinese sites.

 

Anyone use that site before? What's the shipping like?

post #7 of 544
I just cancelled an $85 Klipsch X10 order after reading this. They sound like an awesome deal. I've been looking for an open-backed set for some time, and am definitely considering these. Thanks!
post #8 of 544

damn, the cheapest shipped to Aus on eBay: AU 59 bucks...

 

Has anyone used 'TaoBao Buying Agent' before?

post #9 of 544
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atomikn00b View Post

would you consider this a Superlux 668b beater?

 

I heard about the Superlux only after buying these SOMiC.  I have no idea how they compare sonically but these phones are still drawing me away from my usual IEMs after several days of break in from the "new toy effect".  They also look quite classy with a full metal mesh back (as opposed to the plastic back with metal mesh holes of the Superlux, which I suppose you could classify as "half-open") and what is claimed to be an aluminium housing.

 

I would add that just like the Superlux as reviewed here

http://www.geeksreviews.net/superlux-hd668b-a-tough-challenger-for-the-high-end-headphone/

the earpads on these are a little too thin to prevent the inside housing from pressing on your outer ear.  Unlike the Superlux though these have appropriate clamping pressure out of the box and I find them quite comfortable despite this shortcoming--I can usually wear these for an hour or two before noticing the housing pressing on the tip of my outer ears, and this is with glasses on.  As an indicator of their comfort level, I've been marathoning anime with these headphones (Fate/Zero season I and II, for anyone interested)--and have gotten up to episode 20 in 3 days with these on.  I have a big head such that I'm one click on one side from maximum extension on the headband.  Not sure where my ear size stands in relation to the grand scheme of things though.

post #10 of 544
HNG sells them on eBay for about $50. I just pulled the trigger on them. If they're even 1/2 as good as the 580 (and 45% as good as the HD600 by proxy), we're in for a treat.
post #11 of 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

 

The earpads on these are a little too thin to prevent the inside housing from pressing on your outer ear. 

 

Might a pad-swap be in order? Would it be possible for you to measure the length/width of the earpads that are currently on them? Judging from what I can perceive of their size, perhaps Brainwavz HM5 pads would fit them. Thicker pads (and maybe a bit of dampening material) would increase the bass response and tame the treble a little bit, making the headphone sound more like your EQ curve.
post #12 of 544

Eh, a couple days' lunch is worth the impulse buy. It'll be good comparing them to my other two low-cost headphones (SR850s and Citiscape Uptown).

 

I swear I'm done buying inexpensive headphones. I swear. o2smile.gif

post #13 of 544
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CashNotCredit View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

 

The earpads on these are a little too thin to prevent the inside housing from pressing on your outer ear. 

 

Might a pad-swap be in order? Would it be possible for you to measure the length/width of the earpads that are currently on them? Judging from what I can perceive of their size, perhaps Brainwavz HM5 pads would fit them. Thicker pads (and maybe a bit of dampening material) would increase the bass response and tame the treble a little bit, making the headphone sound more like your EQ curve.


Um sure? The pads measure about 7cm wide by 8cm tall, measured by the middle of the padding (which I assume would be the closest to the diameter of whatever holds the pads in place.  They don't look replaceable though?  At least I don't know how to pull them out.

 

My curve is an approximate frequency response curve, my EQ for them is a midbass cut followed by a subbass boost and selective cut of the highs (ie an inverse of the FR curve).

post #14 of 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post


Um sure? The pads measure about 7cm wide by 8cm tall, measured by the middle of the padding (which I assume would be the closest to the diameter of whatever holds the pads in place.  They don't look replaceable though?  At least I don't know how to pull them out.

 

My curve is an approximate frequency response curve, my EQ for them is a midbass cut followed by a subbass boost and selective cut of the highs (ie an inverse of the FR curve).

Oh, whoops. Then a thicker pad would probably extenuate the issues...but we could always try messing with dampening material. (I should probably just wait until they arrive to me, shouldn't I?)

post #15 of 544

Hm... gonna need some help ordering through taobao, it looks like the only method of payment I could use (paypal) is not accepted.

 

Joe? Mind helping a brother out? redface.gif

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