AudioHipster received the new HD 681 EVO in the studio last week, at first listen the bass was a bit much, and highs way too subdued, very skeptical at first so let them set for two hours playing. Upon returning, I heard a huge difference in sound, the bass tightened up, there was atantalizing almost 3D surround audio sound. The HD 681 EVO has a very open airy feel, and the highs came to life as well, which ultimately provides a very smooth, natural and much more transparent sound. Later that night I gave them another listen and I must say the sparkle transparent imagining really sounded nothing like the old 681 ...much better bass and punch, really a huge improvement in sound quality…you can hear every small detail in the music. I let my wife take a listen to James Blunt, and she was very impressed. She said the sound quality and placement of instruments along with Blunt’s vocal was the best she has ever heard. (A perfect soundstage for his Back to Bedlam LP.)
The sound coming from the headphones while she was listing was very articulate, you could hear every note minus the deep bass of course, so I’m thinking…man these are way open, so i put them back on at moderate volume, and all I could hear was beautiful music. My wife's lips was moving but I could not hear a word she was saying right in front of me, so even thou they are more open to the room, they isolate the listener more then the old 681.
Looking at the self-adjusting headband I was skeptical at first, just playing around you could pull them down push them up, and hear them adjust to your head, they even fit my 4-year-old just fine. The pads are much improved made out of "Leatherette" giving them a softer feel, a tad thicker, and really just what the old 681 needed just a tad more distance. I was happy to see this on the new EVO ...over all these are truly a big improvement, and have a soundstage all to their own, "a great headphone made even better," really much better.
Don't be fooled by the price, the initial US wholesale is only $24.50 and the suggested retail is $69. This puts HD 681 EVO headphone in the $50 street price range ...and by far kills any Dr. Dreaded Skull Beats looking like the cheep horrible sounding overpriced garbage they are. And, BTW you can pay $130 to $300 & up for literal garbage if you must have the overpriced label tattooed between your forehead…or you can order this overpriced candy... straight from China for a fraction of the media overdriven sticker price.
In conclusion, the Superlux HD 681 EVO is an extreme bargain, priced right and well worth much more than the MSRP... but most of all they sound unbelievably good... I would put these cans up with some costing 10 to 20 times the price. Cheers Doyen "engineer and owner at Audiohipster recording services"