I'm re-making this comparisson to make it more useful for people looking for budget open headphones.
What to expect from each one and how do they compare in terms of sound quality?
The setup used is pretty simple:
Laptop (foobar2000) >> Fiio E07K Andes Dac/Amp >> Takstar HI-2050
Laptop (foobar2000) >> Fiio E07K Andes Dac/Amp >> Pioneer Se-A1000
Fiio E07K gain was set at 0 Db and volume between 30 and 45
Sub-Bass (20Hz to 60Hz):
I've used SinGen 2.1 for this part of the test.
Both are really shy in this range of frequencies, you get practically no sound if you try to reproduce any sound below 40Hz with any of this headphones at normal listening levels.
From 40Hz to 60Hz both are shy and similar sounding being the Pioneers slightly more full and clean sounding to my ears.
In both cases, as you go up through the frequencies, the reproduction volume goes up rapidly from 20Hz to 60Hz.
Chesky - Bass resonance test (Volume 38-40)
Both again sound quite similar, being the Pioneers just a little bit more full sounding/boomy and the Takstars bass being a little bit more tight and precise.
The higher frequency details present on this track, that most of the times correspond to the player hitting the strings and the strings bouncing, are clear with both headphones, but sound more realistic with the Pioneers, they sound smoother, and timbres are better to my ears.
Livingston Taylor - Grandma's hands (Volume 38-40)
Here is where this headphones start to show some very important differences. While both sound good, the Pioneers are more airy, smoother and then sound less congested, but quite veiled. On the other side, the Takstars are more forward, and detailed. Its soundstage is smaller and then this are more intimate sounding headphones.
Mike Sheridan (ft. Maya Albana) - Med sma skridt (Volume 35)
While I wouldn't reccommend any of this two headphones for this kind of electronic music, the difference between them here is notably.
The Pioneers are usually known for having piercing highs. I think that is not completly true. In my opinion the Pioneers high frequency response is not flat, then tend to acentuate some sounds, but most of the times in a quite smooth way, which I guess make its sound a little bit bright (often a little bit harsh or sibilant, BUT JUST A LITTLE) when you are listening to bright recordings like this. To my ears, they aren't flat, but still natural sounding, i.e., timbres are not hardly afected by this.
On the other side, Takstars are bright, its frequency response is really extended, and then is not suitable for music like this. Timbres are really afected. In this track, voice sound mettalic and harshing (NOT JUST A LITTLE) , and some high frequency effects sounds on the front and not completely clear. The sound is after all congested, and the mettalic voice reproduction is really unpleasant (IMO)
Antonio Vivaldi - The Four Seasons (TELARC) (Volume 45)
Such a nice recording! This headphones shows its best here, but they sound really different. It is nice listening to the Pioneers because of its airy sound, nice soundstage and sense of space, but choosing this headphones you loose midrange detail (because this headphones are quite veiled)
Takstars instead, sound really engaging with its forward and detailed sound signature, and sacrifice a little sense of space with its smaller but more precise soundstage.
I prefer Takstars over Pioneers here.
Conclusions and final comments.
Sub-Bass: HI-2050 = Se-A1000 = shy or not existent
Bass quantity: Se-A1000 > Hi-2050
Bass naturalness: Se-A1000 > Hi-2050
Bass detail: Hi-2050 > Se-A1000
Takstar Hi-2050: Clear, detailed and forward.
Pioneer Se-A1000: Veiled, smooth sounding.
Takstar Hi-2050: Bright, very extended, not suitable for bad recordings neither for good recordings with a lot of energy over 4kHz (Pop, Electronic music, etc.)
Pioneer Se-A1000: Sweet sounding most of the time, nice detail and timbres, forgiving. Only a little bit sibilant with bright recordings.
Soundstage size and sense of space: Se-A1000 > Hi-2050
Soundstage precision: Hi-2050 > Se-A1000
PS. On the topic of EQing the Takstar HI 2050 to make them sound more forgiving and better as an all-rounder I've tried EQing my Takstars using Electri-Q, and made those adjustments (suggested by vodkex I think) to get rid of some of the peaks in the highs but while the headphone after EQing sound warmer and often voices sound more realistic, to me, the EQ is not 100% clean (Foobar2000 + VST + ElecriQ posihfopit) and the sound after EQing is less detailed. I think, this equalization is good for those who have this headphone and like listening to those sorts of music with too much energy over 4KHz.
Greetings from Argentina! (And I'm sorry if my english is not perfect)
Edited by Me x3 - 9/17/13 at 1:31pm