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Somic EFi-82 MT: Believe the Hype

post #1 of 320
Thread Starter 

In 2010, there was Superlux. In early 2012, there was Jaycar. Several months ago, there was JVC's HA-S line. Head-Fi's ability to find mid-fi headphones at downright laughable prices has always been commendable. But all too often, these headphones get bragged up as being better than flagship models of established audio brands, something experienced Head-Fiers rightly laugh at.

But can it happen?

Can an budget-fi headphone legitimately be mentioned in the same breath as headphones ten times its price, not as a "poor man's version", but as an equal?

I believe so.

 

 

 


Mind you, I have no experience in high-end gear. I'm 16, and my first vocational experience began last week. My parents aren't rich. 

But I do have my fair share of experience with mid-fi headphones. I can usually scrounge enough Birthmas money to eek out a great deal on a solid vintage headphone or an FOTM. 

The Somic EFi 82 MT is not a mid-fi headphone.

Got that?

The Somic EFi 82 MT is not a mid-fi headphone.

What is it? I don't know really. I lack the experience with high-end models to come out and declare that the Somic EFi-82 MT is an HD650 killer, or that it's going to put your Stax to shame, but I can say that it demolishes everything I've heard in Mid-Fi/ Budget Land.

 

 

Note: The one thing that you need to make these headphones sound as great as they should is to acquire a set of Shure SRH840 pads. They fit a little loose, but it's nothing bad. The remainder of this post is about the EFi-82 MT with SRH840 pads.

 

So without further ado, let's get started on how these bad boys sound.
 

 

Bass is deep and punchy. In the intro to Kanye West's Love Lockdown, the EFi presented all three subbass notes (two deep, one very deep) at an equal volume, the way they are supposed to be presented, something I have never heard done before. In contrast the Philips Uptown loses steam at the deep note, playing it more quietly than the other two. The extension here is top-notch. Mid-bass is a bit emphasized, but not in a distracting way. These headphones are "selective thumpers", getting a bit boomy in genres that are meant to be a bit boomy (modern rap and electronic music), but they won't make a bass-fest out of your Adele CD.

Vocals are just...wow. The treble allows a vocalist's breaths and hard consonants to isolate them slightly from the rest of the track (not sibilant, but a bit "sparkly"). The mids, in turn, bring them up to the forefront, but not at the expense of other parts of the frequency spectrum. It's the musical equivalent of depth of field. 

 

The treble has the potential to get, as mentioned, a bit sparkly if the mix calls for it. This thing will pick up bad treble mixing/mastering like it's no tomorrow, but on the right track, all individual pieces of the treble can be sonically isolated and pinpointed. 

The soundstage and positioning is top-notch. If I were to draw a diagram of where I perceived everything to be positioned, it would show that the EFI-82 MT has a listening angle of about 200 degrees, or slightly over my left and right shoulder.

To really illustrate how wonderful these things sound, here's a list of all of the new things that these headphones taught me about some of my favorite songs.

  1. Florence + The Machine - Spectrum: Florence has a ping-pong delay on her vocals throughout the track. 
  2. Il Volo- Beautiful Day: There's a strange click at the 0:06 mark.
  3. Flobots- Handlebars (I like their other stuff too): The violin is panned about 90% right for the whole song, but changes to the left side in the third verse.
  4. Kanye West (in general): Kanye West has some really cramped sounding mixes.
  5. Macy Gray- I Try: The vocals in the chorus are multiple takes, with every take hard-panned left or right.
  6. Ellie Goulding- Lights: The vocals in the chorus are stacked, with one take one octave below the other
  7. Fun. - Some Nights: There's a really cool snare roll at the :45 mark.
  8. Imagine Dragons - It's Time: There's one more clap than I thought there was in the main rhythm pattern, and there are some snaps too.

 

These are songs I know, love, and have heard dozens of times on mid-fi headphones. Yet, upon listening to many of my favorite songs once on the EFi 82 MT with SRH 840 pads, all of these new features became extremely evident.

These are bar none the greatest headphones I own, but like all FOTMs, it does have a few drawbacks.

For one, they do get hot after about 2-3 hours of listening with the SRH 840 pads.

For two, you probably won't be able to buy them on eBay. I was, but they're not on there now.

For three, you have to wait a whole month to get them shipped to your house from China.

For four, they look kind of dorky, but when have we cared about that?

However, the EFI 82 isn't just a great deal; it's a great headphone, no matter how you slice it.

post #2 of 320

Ehh. I can't get them anywhere other than alibaba or taobao. I'll give it a month or two.

post #3 of 320
Thread Starter 
I'll try to get in touch with the people I bought them from on eBay, provided that people are interested.
post #4 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by CashNotCredit View Post

I'll try to get in touch with the people I bought them from on eBay, provided that people are interested.

Given it's taobao price is ~£25 per unit and I have spare SRH840 pads, I wouldn't mind trying them out. I find it a little difficult to believe they beat out mid-fi though, since I would consider excellent headphones like the K550 and A900X to still be mid range.


Edited by Tangster - 1/21/13 at 1:43am
post #5 of 320
Thread Starter 
Excellent. I highly doubt that these would be counterfeited, seeing how obscure they are, so Taobao should be A-OK.

I consider mid-fi to be the AKG K240 and up and anything above the HD600 to be hi-fi, with things like the Orpheus and Stax being in a different league, so it looks like we have different definitions.
post #6 of 320

how does the shure pads affect the sound? are they just for confort?

I paid mine like 40$ shipped to canada on ebay,

 

i'll be getting them at mid-feb i guess

post #7 of 320
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xprime4 View Post

how does the shure pads affect the sound? are they just for confort?

I paid mine like 40$ shipped to canada on ebay,

 

i'll be getting them at mid-feb i guess

The Shure pads change the way that they rest on your head and add a bit of dampening. With the regular pads, the headphones rest on your ears a bit. With the Shure pads, however, it's entirely over-ear. I find that full-size pads (HM5 and 840) increase soundstage and improve positioning, and that the 840 pads specifically brighten up the treble a touch.

post #8 of 320
Thread Starter 

OK, folks.

I just e-mailed the eBay seller I bought them from (ec-wholesale), telling them about how these headphones have a bit of buzz around them now and asking them when/if they'll be getting them back in stock.

Hopefully, they'll be able to get them back on eBay soon.

 

Edit: M50 pads fit on these things (I only have one M50 pad, so no impressions), which means that my Turtle Beach X12 pads should too. The X12 pads are some of my favorite pads out there. They are very breathable and comfortable. I'll definitely put them on once I get back to my dorm room, where they are on my other Somics.


Edited by CashNotCredit - 1/21/13 at 11:05am
post #9 of 320

Alright dude.  Thanks for sharing and very nice write up.  Dsnuts and I purchased a pair each.  But we ended up getting the pro model but seems they share the same driver.  Will report back once I have a good listen.  

post #10 of 320
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyBai View Post

Alright dude.  Thanks for sharing and very nice write up.  Dsnuts and I purchased a pair each.  But we ended up getting the pro model but seems they share the same driver.  Will report back once I have a good listen.  

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

I heard that the Pros were kind of meh from the only dude who knew Somic from before this deal.

I just messaged the seller who sold me the MTs earlier today. If you can wait until tomorrow (due to the time difference), they'll probably get them for sale rather quickly, saving you $25+ and getting you a potentially better headphone!


Edited by CashNotCredit - 1/21/13 at 7:40pm
post #11 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by CashNotCredit View Post

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

I heard that the Pros were kind of meh from the only dude who knew Somic from before this deal.

I just messaged the seller who sold me the MTs earlier today. If you can wait until tomorrow (due to the time difference), they'll probably get them for sale rather quickly, saving you $25+ and getting you a potentially better headphone!

Ah crap, I already bought them.  

post #12 of 320
Thread Starter 

Wait. That was the original EFi-82. Apparently the PRO and the MT are good.

My bad!

But see if you can cancel that order.

Also: the X12 pads aren't great on it. These really need a BIG pad to shine. The Shures fit in the loosest way imaginable.

post #13 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by CashNotCredit View Post

Wait. That was the original EFi-82. Apparently the PRO and the MT are good.

My bad!

But see if you can cancel that order.

Also: the X12 pads aren't great on it. These really need a BIG pad to shine. The Shures fit in the loosest way imaginable.

Ok cool.  I'll see what I can do.  Thanks for the heads-up.  

post #14 of 320

Alright after some research, these seem to be the pro version with a tweaked and tested driver.  I like the idea of the leather pads too.  Not sure if it will be better or worse but I want to take the chance.  Cash, I live in MN. so we aren't that far from each other for postage so if you're willing after I receive them, lets test each others out and then we can give better impressions to people that might possibly buy them.  Plus it looks like the MT version might be discontinued now and might be harder to get.  

post #15 of 320
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyBai View Post

Alright after some research, these seem to be the pro version with a tweaked and tested driver.  I like the idea of the leather pads too.  Not sure if it will be better or worse but I want to take the chance.  Cash, I live in MN. so we aren't that far from each other for postage so if you're willing after I receive them, lets test each others out and then we can give better impressions to people that might possibly buy them.  Plus it looks like the MT version might be discontinued now and might be harder to get.  

The MT and the MH463 are Somic's flagships. I highly doubt it's discontinued, especially considering that the PRO came before the MT.

But yeah, that'd be cool. Let me know when you get them! 

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