There was very little information about these phones. Just listed in Head.fi bassy phones category number 3. I was looking solid all-rounders, but with little price and bass should be there too, so I started looking for these. Noticed very soon, that these are quite hard to find from EU area, or price was ridiculous with postage. Then I saw, that US amazon sold these with 18$ and it would go below toll rate, which is low as 20 euro. There is obviously a chances that it goes pass toll even toll rate is exceeded with postage, if not normal post used. Anyway I ordered them friday and saturday got mail from Amazon.us that they have been sended to me. I was quite surprised when monday a guy from UPS called, that they have package to me. WOW, that is pretty fast from US to Finland. Much quicker than post inside EU or even inside our country. :D Earlier ordered package from Amazon.uk didn't have arrived then.
Lets quit this chit chat and concentrate to our discuss today. Maxell AMP-B over-ear phones.
Type: Dynamic, closed
Frequency response: 10hz-23khz
Max input: 500mW
Well, they are cheap and look pretty cheap. Black, covered with blue tribals. Maxell logo inside headband. Made of plastic, cushions are covered with fake leather. Looks trendy. Basic ***** in this department. Doesn't seem so flimsy as expected, cord may be weak link.
Normal setup. My Samsung Galaxy S2+ phone, no amps. EQ setting to Rock. We were good to go. First track. Boom boom, but everything else was horrible. Like mids and highs came from grave. Everything sounded hollow. Bass was there all right, but I didn't have any tracks just having nothing but bass. Double bass drums in fast metal songs gave hard time to Maxells. They could not keep up with them and were lagging behind, making song unlistenable. Like cheapo 15" sub in cars. Give them double bass drums and there is only heard unaccurate blasting without sense. Experience was simple horror. Oh well, 18$ + 12$ postage could been easily gone down in bar.
After first shock, there was time for think work, how to improve their sound. Lets check inside. There was some cotton cloth front of driver grills. So I took scissors and removed those away. Maybe it did little bit improved highs, but still total garbage with mids. But I was not going to give up with these so easily. I then hooked themup in my home theater amp, but nothing improved, so amping didn't help with sound.
Searching internet and Amazon customer reviews gave eventually hint, that might help. Someone replied that bass is not anymore so powerful when they got some age. So, that probably means burn-in might help improve their overall sound, if overwhelming bass which hides mids entirely goes little bit backward. I then hooked them up into my old Nokia phone and let it play all night. Morning I tried them and didn't noticed any difference. Was disappointed and almost give up on them, but when I have burn-in project with my JVC inears going on, which should need 50h+, decided to give these couple nights more. After 20h+, mids were still fuzzy and very behind bass and highs, but bass had indeed been settled down and it now could keep up with double bass drums. Gave another night hard bass dance music via spotify with 70% volume through iPad. Now they have 30h+ and like magic, overall sound has improved from unlistenable to okay all-rounder. These sound now okay with any genre I have throw them so far. Mids are still mediocre and little bit hollow, but that fuzzy veil is cleaned up and they have come more forward. Bass is not anymore hard blasting, but more accurate. Some details from songs can be now noticed. Out-of-box everything was just mushy. None of eq presets of my phone couldn't made them tolerable, but now they have been in my ears few hours and they just sounds okay. No eargasms, but nothing irritates me when listening music with these now. Soundstage has opened up and instruments can be heard separately. OoB drums, guitars, etc were just in same mashup.
Neutral, but artificial, leaning toward dark is what they are in now. Mids are generally hollow, bass is okay and accurate, highs are somewhat clear but artificial.
Some notices from Test track list:
Tina Turner - Goldeneye
Nice detail in instruments in this one. You can hear even that gnarly sounding instrument mixed behind. Tinas voice is hard to turn artificial. Other female voices suffer that more.
Depeche Mode - Heaven
Sounds okay, but dull. OoB big bass sounded nice in beginning of song, but when song had more instruments, it was mushy. Now it is opened up, but now song sounds pretty simple and not appealing.
Genesis - Land of confusion
Pop-rocky songs sounds now overall good, having that needed punch, but with guitars can be heard fine.
Overall, Simple pop songs sound more bland now. Listenable, but less fun. Metal/Rock has turned up and now are listenable with these phones. Phil Collins is now front man in this song, OoB he was hid in background.
Arch Enemy - My apocalypse
Double bass drums stays now in pace. OoB slowness is gone. Electric guitars are still little bit hollow for my taste. Pumping up volume helps with increasing blast and forgiving hollow guitars.
Nightwish - Slow, love, slow
Only jazzy song I have in my list. Dark moody song doesn't hurt with dark sound in beginning. Sounds nice, entertaining. When electric guitars comes up in end of song it kind of spoils experience.
Wiz Khalifa - Black and Yellow
Blast beat, simple synth backround. Nothing hard in this song. Wiz singing just sounds articial and plain dull.
In this moment - Whore
I use this song to hear nyances in vocalist output. She should sound very angry, but like cat in heat in beginning of song, but that is not noticeable with these. I use Motörheadphönes Triggers benchmark for this. "Bastards" makes she moan like horny nymphomaniac forgot tied in closet at gangbang orgy. Maxell make her sound only teengirl, which facebook update has not been noticed.
Out of box these cannot be recommended to anyone. After 30h+ these have become tolerable, from ***** to okay, but nothing spectacular cannot be expected from there. Overall these sounds dull, but does their job with every genre I listen. Some songs being better than other. Rating is 6/10. Oob right down to 4/10.
I think that I am pretty much done with these. Maybe sell them, maybe save them, but nothing induces to listen these more if there is something better on hands.