I have heard a wide array of headphones and IEM's. I find this to be a very fun hobby to fuel my love my music. Generally, there is the mindset that the more you spend, the better it is. Well, that is true to an extent. The reason I'm saying this is because I honestly think the HP50 is one of the best headphones that my ears have had the pleasure of listening to. I've heard the Sennheiser HD 800, HD 650, JH13 Pro, Westone ES5 and a few other top tier headphones or IEM's and though they all sounded draw droppingly amazing; they don't incorporate all of the traits and characteristics that the HP50 possesses.
The Sennheiser HD 800 and HD 650 are both power hungry beasts that require a beefy amplifier. Also, they're not ideal for portable use because of their open back nature and required power output. The JH13 Pro and Westone ES5 are both highly portable and block out a ton of noise but their sound is not as coherent and spacious as the HP50 which is also a portable headphone. The HP50 to my ears are just as strikingly clear and accurate as the top headphones that I have heard. Unless you need a super expansive soundstage, then there isn't much more those headphones have to offer other than costing more money to maintain.
Comfort wise, these are great. Zero comfort issues for me. My ears are small anyways and actually found them able to fit inside the Sennheiser Momentum without any comfort issues. The V-Moda Crossfade M-100 with stock pads however was highly uncomfortable for me until I threw on the XL pads. The HP50 is a very light headphone with a premium finish and look. I am very happy with the physical construction of this headphone.
To dive further into the sound characteristics of the HP50 I'll start it off with the bass. When I first heard these headphones coming from the Momentum and M-100, my expectations were severely skewed. I thought the HP50 were bass light. However as I continued to listen and analyze how the sound proportion in relation to the surrounding instruments of any bass instrument was conveyed through the HP50, I began to realize the HP50 was just accurately presenting the bass. There was no added boom or rumble that would please the general and naive population. The HP50's bass extends deep and it's incredibly controlled and textured.
Midrange is the most important frequency in my opinion and if that isn't rendered well I don't want anything to do with the headphone. Here, the HP 50's offers this in spades giving a well-proportioned, exceptionally balanced and crystal clear presentation. Also, it takes it further because of its spatial presentation being so expansive, the vocalists sound as if they are actually in front of you, personally singing to you. It's a sort of like euphoric 3D experience that you have to hear in order to understand. The RoomFeel tech is no gimmick.
I hate treble that is too prominent resulting in a harsh experience or treble that has packed its bags and left on a vacation resulting in a dull and boring experience. Transitioning its excellent performance from the bass and mids, the HP50 continues to deliver grade A performance in this frequency. The treble is well articulate with a hint of roll off to give a natural presentation and reduce listening fatigue. This is the treble that I personally lust for. It's there and present when needed and doesn't induce vocal sibilance or harsh transients. I can't fault anything here, honestly.
Soundstage and detail is what transforms the experience into almost being there. If the headphone doesn't render those two attributes well; it just sounds like a pair of headphones. The HP50 handles them excellently. The soundstage size as well as the instrument separation of the HP50 is not something that is normally associated with a closed back headphone. It really sounds like a open back headphone with a presentation that is completely out of my head and very coherent; sort of 3D like. Detail rendition is also exceptional capturing the subtle textures and cues to really make the instruments and musical environment sound as if it is actually in front of you.
For $300, these headphones are a steal.
- Incredible Sound
- BANG FOR BUCK
- Well built
- Looks very nice
- Wealthy amount of accessories that is included
- It may make you realize that you have spent too much on your more expensive headphones.
Edited by SonusAudio - 1/4/14 at 9:45pm