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Reviews by: Arkyle

Great bass on a budget, but still low-end.

Posted

Pros: Plenty of tight punchy bass, great looks, detachable cables, very affordable, comfortable, right cup swivels, wide soundstage.

Cons: Plasticky and squeaky, recessed and grainy mids, loose cable lock, not collapsible.

GREAT BASS ON A BUDGET Pioneer HDJ-500 review   (NOTE: this is a review of the HDJ-500, not the HDJ-500K. The difference is that the K model has a smartphone compatible 1 m cable to receive calls). Bass-head headphones are the most prominent models in the market today but unfortunately, as most of us know, a number of this bassy headphones while offering plenty of low end thump, the bass is simply bloated and not good. For a couple of months I've seen lots (and by lots I mean at least 90) of people wearing the cheapest headphone in Pioneer's current DJ headphone line, the HDJ-500; many of these might as well be fakes, but I still wondered about their popularity. After a...
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Good performance if you can find them at the right price

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Pros: Instrument separation, imaging, soundstage, clarity, sound quality under certain conditions

Cons: Size, thin and non-removable wires, short nozzles/tips, sound quality is heavily dependent on the source

I have owned the XBA-3 and XBA-1 beforehand and now I own the 1 and 4 only. As far as multi-driver IEMs go I don't think you'll find a more consumer oriented set than the Apple In-ears and the XBA line.   The package includes the earphones, the same fitting kit included with all the rest from the line (4 sizes of standard universal tips, and 3 sizes of "hybrid" tips that have a ring of foam inside the flap of the tip to provide more isolation), magnetic fake leather carrying case like the XBA-3's, and a cord manager. This is pretty much what you would expect for the price and is not as impressive when compared with something like the XBA-1 which are 1/4 the price and include...
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Amazing clarity for the money

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Pros: Extremely clear sound for less tha $100, Small and comfortable, semi-flat cord, super lightweight, Accesory set

Cons: No strain relief, thin cord, don't isolate that much noise, not bassy

I got a set of XBA-3s a few months ago and I liked them a lot, but I had been wary with them because of the somewhat steep price. Then I found at a local audio-store super discounted XBA-1s and I though those would be a really nice gift for my friend who still used crappy earbuds. I got them but I was very curious about how they sounded so I ended up opening them and what a pleasant surprise that was.   They retain the looks from Sony's XBA line, with sober colors and glossy paint. These come with the standard XBA ear-tip kit: 4 sizes of standard universal tips, and 3 sizes of "hybrid" tips (they have a ring of foam inside the flap of the tip to privide more isolation), a cord...
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Overpriced stylish headphones

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Pros: Build quaity, style, comfort

Cons: Overpriced for the sound

I got these as I needed a pair of portable decent sounding headphones. These fill that role pretty well.    The design is great! The dark matte finish is soft to the touch, the earcups are small and plastic but feel nice and solid, and the headband has enough padding. Even the box's design is exceptional!  The non-detachable cable is thick enough but still flexible, doesn't tangle or get in the way. It has a coiled section which is just for show since the coil has a pretty small radius and the section's lenght is just too small to be of practical use. The straight jack is golden plated with a golden stress relief spring which works wonderfully, although I wished the...
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Flat response. No, really, FLAT.

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Pros: The sound, comfortable, detachable cable, everything is replaceable, nice design, awesome price, forgiving with lower quality sources, low impedance

Cons: Hanger not included, not even a pouch, the 6.35 jack can be a problem

These are just insane. It has such a flat response, but they are not by any means boring. Every single frequency shines since the instrument separation is great. There is simply no distortion, even at really high volumes, which they can achieve very easily since they have a meager 50 Ohm impedance and very high sensitivity. If that wasn't enough, their best quality IMHO is their HUGE soundstage. Even while being so open, the bass in punchy and unlikely tight!    Everything is serviceable too, from the cable to the headband padding. The ear pads are big, cushy and don't get your ears too hot thanks to the open design of the cups themselves and the velour-type material....
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Comfortable headphones

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Pros: Good open bass, comfortable, good looks, detachable cable with volume control, 6.35 mm adapter, carrying pouch

Cons: Recessed highs, cups sound when moved

These were my first pair of "full size" headphones. Even so, these are not around their ear, but over the ear headphones. The pads can be replaced as usual with sennheiser, and are extremely comfortable, although they are not nearly as cool and soft as the 500's series. They are open back but they don't leak much sound which is impressive. They have a 32 Ohm impedance, but are not very efficient; they benefit A LOT with an amp. This helps a lot, specially with the highs which are recessed but are way better after burn-in. Mids are sweet and full too.   The included cable is HUGE, but thick and has volume control which is a very nice touch. Sennheiser includes a soft carrying...
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Extremely comfortable pair of portable headphones

Posted

Pros: So comfy you can barely feel them, great sound, high quality construction, tangle free modular cable, includes carrying case.

Cons: Leak tons of sound, can be problematic when taking on and off.

The first time I saw these was in the PS2 game Persona 3 trailer. I though those where some good looking headphones, but wasn't aware they were an actual model made by Audio Technica. I got this for a discounted price on Amazon some years later. They have a modular cable design so you can wear them with a sansa clip of iPod nano without the long wire. Both the principal and the extension are convered in cloth that doesn't transmit noise when moving around. The plugs are gold plated and the extension is L shaped. Everything comes in a nice soft carrying case.   The headphones themselves are made out of aluminum and are extremely good looking. The holder clip is amazing. the...
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AKG sound in a compact package

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Pros: Great sound, extremely portable, good construction

Cons: comfort comfort comfort

I got this as an impulse buy while I was living in Seoul. I already own the Audio Technica EM7 (which are amazing, BTW) but they were a mess when I had to take them on and off around Campus (although they are great for the street). Boy was I surprised. Their sound is very similar to the Koss PortaPro even when the driver is completely different. It is certainly fuller even when it doesn't seal as well as the PP. The bass is rich and relatively tight for an open design and the other frequencies are almost distorsion free. Unlike the porta pros, these won't trap your hair in the headband as once it's adjusted, it won't move ever again. They fold both flat and in a compact sennheiser PMX...
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Don't pay the MSRP

Posted

Pros: Pads are extremely comfortable, very easy to drive, somewhat flat response

Cons: Expensive, thin and delicate cable

I bought them a couple of years ago for around half the street price and for that price they are pretty good. The sound is neutral and I would describe it as "fun". Not meant for precision, but they are clear enough. The band is solidly built and the ear pads are a pleasure to feel. I had a problem with the cables; they are way too thin and had to repair them more than once.    They are a good pair for the price I paid, but they are not worth their MSRP; they are not worth your hard earned cash. They are old and the new replacement model is around the streets so give them a try, but as you might know, Bose isn't the best when it comes to audio, specially headphones.
Head-Fi.org › Arkyle › Reviews by Arkyle