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TekNMotion London Undergrounds Review (The Audiophile world's best kept secret under 60$. )

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
TekNMotion London Undergrounds
(The Audiophile world's best kept secret under 60$. )




Introduction
When I first listened to this headphone it was a prototype back in August of 2012. The people from the TekNmotion booth at the L.A. Head-Fi Meet were explaining to me how they wanted to build an audiophile grade headphone for the everyday dubstep listener, I saw the potential. The headphone they were suggesting that would be a "rival" - if you will – of the Beats, and this prototype was already 100% better than any of the beats I have heard (including the Studios).
So when they asked me to do a review for them, of course I accepted. I went in to this thinking I knew what these would sound like because I knew they wanted to make a bass can. However they created something else...

Specifications

Driver: 40mm
Freq. Response: 20hz-20khz
Ohms: 32
Sensitivity: 115dB
Ear Coupling: Demi-Aural Closed Back
Detachable cable

Build Quality (incl. Fit & Finish)
For $60 dont expect a super nice metal and leather build, it is mostly plastic, with a red Lycra-Mesh aerofoam padding. Very simple yet sturdy enough, you can use this on the go without being scared it will break.
DJ cup: The right cup of the Londons swivel for people that buy this headphones for DJing. It seems sturdy enough, going both forwards and backwards. I wish they had made it less for DJing and more for folding up to take on the go.
Appearance: The Londons look really nice. From what I remember the original color was silver and I remember suggesting a color change . The blue and red color design is appealing to the eyes. The blue is glossy too, so it makes it look all shiny and new all the time biggrin.gif.
Accessory-wise, it features detachable cables. It comes with 2 seperate cables( phone and normal audio cable) along with 2 adapters (mic and headphone for computer and nokia adapter). Some of the things I wish came with they would have included is a 1/4th adapter for home amps, and a carrying case to put them in when I go out. Luckly for me I have their computer headset so I had a one.

6/10.0


Ergonomics & Comfort

The TekNMotion is not the most comfortable headphone simply because the pads are on the smaller/ demi-aural side so for some people the headphone will be on-ear, and for others over-ear. I was lucky and its over-ear for me. The pads are soft, if you even notice they are on your head at all. They headphone fits my head quite perfectly so it doesnt strech too much and feels as if its not there. The headband padding is also red Lycra-Mesh aerofoam padding so it rest on your head very comfortablely.
In comparison to other headphones in its price range it has some of the best comfort I have experienced.

8.5/10.0



Right then, onto the main event!


Sound Quality


All testing was done with my HTC Arrive windows phone. This headphone doesnt need an amp and my FiiO E11 was acting up too.
Some songs i used in thie review were:
Parallax II By Between The Buried and Me (Metal)
6:00 By Dream Theater
One More Time, One More Chance by Masayoshi Yamazaki (Acoustic Japanese)
Believe in Myself By LiSA (J-pop/Female Vocals)
Hate by Baek Ji Young (K-Pop/Female Vocals)
Turtleneck And Chain by The Lonely Island (Rap)
Cold By Kanye West (Rap)
Cinema by Ben Banasi feat Skillrex (Dubstep)
Flute and Harp Concerto in C, K. 299 [complete] by Mozart (Classical)
Toccata & Fugue in d minor By Bach(Classical)
Wrinkles By Diamond Rio (Country)
You Don't Know What Love Is by Cherryholmes (Country)
Sub Bass: (7/10)
The sub bass on the Londons is to me, lacking. It doesn't extend deep enough, but it has enough to notice that its there. I was expecting there to be more sub bass for a bass headphone, which is the only reason I say that it is lacking.

Bass: (8/10)
Quality over Quantity. The guys over at TekNMotion told me (back when they had the prototype) that they wanted a quality punchy bass and they did it. But because they wanted quality instead of quantity, I can not deem this an everyday "MOAR" bass headphone. Which is what I usually think when it comes to Bass headphones such as the skull crushing XB1000s. However these headphones produced quite a punchy and detailed sound, you could hear all the notes of a very technical bass line, and you could hear the punches of a double kick.

Mids: (9/10)
Because I own a pair of DT880s, this was something new for me, to hear mids up where I should hear them, not in a reccessed dark valley. Both female and male vocals shine well with this headphone. I even heard something in with this headphone I never noticed with my Beyers; In the song You Don't Know What Love Is, I heard a banjo solo, in the background that I seem to have never heard before I got these. The mids are quite detailed and open, which is weird for a closed back headphone. There is also no bass leakage into the mids so even Rap music - which has a lot of bass - has no leakage into the mids and sounds quite nice.

Highs: (8.5/10)
The only reason I am not giving the highs a 9 is because these headphones have some sibilance in the highs. Other than that, the highs are very detailed. You can hear the differences between both a flute and a piccolo. Crashing cymbals are very crisp in sound. But that is not to say that they are cold in any way. In fact, the highs in the Londons sound very natural, and are quite peaceful and transparent. When needed, thay can also be quite warm and sweet/lush. Female vocals tend to get into the lower highs/ upper mids at times and the Londons did a great job reproducing them and making shivers run down my spine.
Sound Staging: (9.5/10)
Sound stage is a hard topic for me to rate, only because some people like a lot of sound stage (AKG fans) while others like a decent amount (Beyer fans, etc.). But this headphone's sound stage is something like if you go to a concert and you're front row on the barricade. So who you came to see is only about two feet in front of you. Well that is how this headphone sounds in terms of staging. When listening to most of my metal tracks it makes me want to start headbanging and moshing.
Overall Signature (9/10.0)

In a nutshell:
One word that can explain this headphone is Lush. But you can't just describe a headphone with one word right? The Londons produce a full-bodied sound that has punchy bass, exquisite mids, and thrilling highs that balance out the sound in an amazing transparent sound stage. It was trying to be a tough set of bass cans, but turned out being pretty mid-fi. I guess you could call it a sheep in wolf's clothing!




Pro & Cons

Pros:
Fairly neutral and balanced signature w/even output of frequencies from bass ~ mid-highs
Tightly-controlled and punchy bass without an extreme mid-bass hump
Fast and precise drivers deliver good PRaT
Good resolution of details with above-average clarity

Cons:
No 1/4” adapter
Some sibilance
Advertised as a Bass Can
Final Verdicts
I would recommend this beauty to anyone who is looking for a first time buy, in the under-$100 range, and likes having a neutral yet slightly bright sound. This is not so much a Bass can as it is an All Rounder.
They had set out to make a bass head can and made something in my opinion better than expected, and they definitely shut out the competition in the price range and even in price ranges as high as $200.

As always, all recommendations above are IMO. Audition for yourselves whenever possible. =D

Special thanks to TekNMotion for letting me try out and review what the created.
BTW, this happens to be the first full review I've ever posted to Head-Fi. Please feel free to let me know, along with your suggestions for improvement(s). Thanks to warrenpchi for helpping me out when I needed it.

P.S. I would like this to become an appreciation thread as well after you have read the review.
Edited by shiorisekine - 3/4/13 at 12:49am
post #2 of 9

Cool, not bad for a first review!  smile.gif  Though, if I can offer a tip, it might be better to separate the sections a little more with larger/bolded titles and stuff.

post #3 of 9

Interestingly, that graph looks eerily like the one for the DT880, despite your impressions of recessed mids in the Beyers (more so the InnerFidelity one than the HeadRoom one, but the former is not as easy to embed):

 

 

I'll of course trust your ears, since I've been surprised on several occasions with how headphones actually sound versus how they measure. I might have to keep an eye on this one. It's the most interesting ~$60 headphone I've seen in a while (or ever, to be frank). I could do without those wacky colors, though. Hopefully they release a more sober color scheme as an alternative.

 

Nice review, at any rate. Reminds me that I've got to get on writing my own review of the MA-350. I said I'd do it two weeks ago and it never happened.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

Interestingly, that graph looks eerily like the one for the DT880, despite your impressions of recessed mids in the Beyers (more so the InnerFidelity one than the HeadRoom one, but the former is not as easy to embed):




I'll of course trust your ears, since I've been surprised on several occasions with how headphones actually sound versus how they measure. 
I might have to keep an eye on this one. It's the most interesting ~$60 headphone I've seen in a while (or ever, to be frank). I could do without those wacky colors, though. Hopefully they release a more sober color scheme as an alternative.


Nice review, at any rate. Reminds me that I've got to get on writing my own review of the MA-350. I said I'd do it two weeks ago and it never happened.

Link me to that review when its up I shall read it . Also now that you mention it, it is very similar to the DT880 but that don't sound anything alike. I have both and they don't sound too similar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

Cool, not bad for a first review!  smile.gif   Though, if I can offer a tip, it might be better to separate the sections a little more with larger/bolded titles and stuff.

You're probably right warren Ill get on that.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

Interestingly, that graph looks eerily like the one for the DT880, despite your impressions of recessed mids in the Beyers (more so the InnerFidelity one than the HeadRoom one, but the former is not as easy to embed):

 

Hmm, also worth noting that the first graph was a manufacturer-supplied graph.  I'm not implying anything, just that different measurements will arise from different measurement tools.  Wonder if Tyll will graph this one, and whether his graph would show a similarity between it and the DT880.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

Nice review, at any rate. Reminds me that I've got to get on writing my own review of the MA-350. I said I'd do it two weeks ago and it never happened.

 

biggrin.gif  I'm so late with mine, that I might as well do a retrospective on the MA350 when their new line comes out.

post #6 of 9
Quote:

Originally Posted by shiorisekine View Post

Link me to that review when its up I shall read it . Also now that you mention it, it is very similar to the DT880 but that don't sound anything alike. I have both and they don't sound too similar.

 

Wait, just to be sure, you're saying that the graph looks alike - but that the signature is different - right? 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by shiorisekine View Post
 

You're probably right warren Ill get on that.

 

Yeah, you know, it just improves readability and what not.  smile.gif

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

Wait, just to be sure, you're saying that the graph looks alike - but that the signature is different - right? 
Yeah, they look alike but they don't sound the same, I am guessing its the sound stage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

Yeah, you know, it just improves readability and what not.  smile.gif

How does it look now?
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by shiorisekine View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

Yeah, you know, it just improves readability and what not.  smile.gif

How does it look now?

 

Much better!  smile.gif  Thanks for that!

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well for anyone that saw this and thought ''hey I might want a pair". http://www.amazon.com/TekNmotion-UnderGround-Basshead-Headset-Headphones/dp/B009S0E964/ its on sale. biggrin.gif
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