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Over-Ear item created by joelpearce, Jun 27, 2010
Pros - Bass presence, percussion sounds, impact, decent detail, lifelike treble, bulletproof
Cons - Stock earpads (oh god the horror), lifelike treble unforgiving to sibilant vocalists, headband sizing sleeve decayed
Because headphones are credentials on this site I'll list a few that I own. I'm a sucker for budget performers. I'm running a Sabre U2 Asych DAC to an O2 Amp. Because measurements.
Yamaha HPH-200, M-Audio Q40, Sennheiser PC360, Samson SR850, Samson SR950
If I had to sum up the sound of the DBI 700 in a few words I'd have to choose...
Fun V or U balance with minimal compromise and unforgiving treble.
Once you get past the fact that the stock earpads are medieval torture devices and replace them with something less painful, you can start appreciating the headphones. Since sound seems to be the most interesting thing about them I'll jump straight to that. If you don't know they're nigh invincible already I don't know where you've been reading.
Very lifelike. Cymbals and other percussion have a unique closeness and sparkle. At first the cymbals sounded fake or grainy compared to other headphones. I thought about my experiences with cymbals in person and concluded that other headphones were wrong instead. Double bass drums have a remarkably powerful prat. Bass guitars benefit from the boosted treble in texture and harmonics.
Unfortunately, if a vocalist or mix is moderately sibilant it is painfully reproduced. The levels of sibilance aren't unrealistic, though. I think the phones are too honest for their own good. I had to lower my listening volume in comparison to my Sennheisers, which are extremely forgiving of such elements.
I tried to hate the sibilance, but its honesty to the music is slowly winning me over. I'm not saying that the 700s are neutral. They do, however, present a sound similar to a mouth-close-to-mic live performance with all the upsides and downsides included. Hopefully a pad swap and some foam pads over the driver instead of thin cloth will dull it a little... If not I'm damping the suckers.
Update: The treble's impoliteness seems be tamed a tiny bit by doing secondary burn in with Blue/Violet/Purple noise at HIGH volume. These headphones respond well to EQing. You'll find peaks around 8 and 10k.
Nothing really special. They're tastefully balanced and possessing the proper presence for the intended sound sig.
Punchy and fun midbass with enough subbass to balance things out. Very well executed. Detailed. These are NOT BASS LIGHT. I'd say they're halfway to bassheadphones. It's obvious in the sound, but not head rattling. The bass rarely bleeds into the mids and is, I think, at the point all consumer headphones should shoot for.
Pros - very sturdy build, great bass (extra nice with an amp, but isn't required), very closed
Cons - can get uncomfortable with extended listening, heavy cable
These are great value headphones for their price. You can find a set for around $50 online. I have a pair of these and a Grado SR225i and I enjoy them equally. I find their sound quality to be around that of the same level; though very different sounding.
Pros - Build like a tank, Great value for money, Good sound quality
Cons - The steel armored cable can cause the cable to break near the jack plug, not that comfortable
This is my first review, so please go easy on me.
When my old Sennheiser HD202's broke for the 8th time I was done with them. I wanted something else, something that could withstand my abuse. After reading and searching the forums I came across these headphones. And it seemed like my search was over as people were saying that they offered fantastic value for money. Normally the sell for 180USD but on eBay, you can get them for 40USD. Which is a steal considering how good these headphones are.
I do not know if these headphones sound better with an amp. People were saying they need an amp but they worked more than fine for me without an amp.
The audio quality is terrific for the price you are paying on eBay. I doubt you will find a better headphone for that price. And even still, I think you can compare it to much more expensive headphones (~200USD) and these headphones will still be able to keep up.
I listen to a lot of Metal, and boy, do these headphones deliver! Trance, rap and hiphop sound great as well. I feel that the mids are well represented, the highs are there but not overwhelming (they do their job well) and the bass is good. A lot of people were saying that these headphones have a very strong bass but I was not able to detect that. In my opinion the bass was strong but not too strong. It was just right.
Gaming with these headphones is very enjoyable as well. When playing FPS’s like COD2 you can hear people walking/running on the other side of walls.
I have not much to say about the design, except for the fact that I really like their tanky build. No, they aren't particularly styled but they have a certain cool 'roughness'.
These are not particularly comfortable headphones. You will feel them clamping on your head (especially in the beginning, they clamp seriously) and after an hour and a half you will want to take them off because they start to hurt your ears. This because your ears touch the drivers. Mine at least. but let it be known I have slightly floppy ears, so that might play a role as well.
The only real complaint I have is also the strong point of these headphones. The cable broke due to the weight of the steel armored cable that was pulling the cable down. This happened when my headphone was connected to my mp3 player in my pocket. Yes, they are indestructible but if you are planning on using them outside, I strongly recommend you remove the steel armored cable.
I loved these headphones, so much even that I fixed the jack plug twice. But after the cable broke near the jack plug for the third time I was done. Next time I will buy one and remove the cable immediately.
Pros - bass, forward, aggressive, balanced, fun, easy to drive, will never ever break
Cons - narrow soundstage, not especially polite, ugly, monstrous cord
I have been recommending these cans quite frequently over the past month or two on Head-fi, but I have yet to get a review of them up. This is my attempt to rectify that situation.
Ordinarily, if you want a pair of DBI Pro 700, you need to shell out about $200 directly from the company. They are primarily designed for use in music store listening stations, and one looks explains why. The cable is reinforced with rubberized steel, the entire casing is coated in plastic, and the driver is covered with a metal plate with holes. They are the same casings that German Maestro uses in their indestructible line, but DBI pro puts in their own copper-plated aluminum drivers, which gives them a very different sound signature.
When my pair first arrived, I noticed a few things. First, these are actually quite light. The cable is heavier than the headphones themselves, and they are unexpectedly comfortable. This comfort has increased as they've settled in, and they managed to get a decent seal with minimal discomfort. The cable is long enough to use with a portable player, or at a desk. I did find the pads were fairly shallow, which meant my ears pushed a little against the dustproof fabric. I have since replaced them with Beyerdynamic DT770 softskin pads, which haven't affected the sound significantly, but are more comfortable.
I have listened to the DBI Pro 700 quite a bit now, since they are my primary work headphones. I can throw them in my bag without worrying that they will be damaged. They isolate as well as any headphones I own, and they have a quite interesting sound signature, which I think is thanks to the metal drivers.
Coming from a pair of German Maestro cans, I was expecting a similar sound signature: light accurate bass, a wide airy soundstage, and a delicate midrange. Evidently the drivers make a big difference, because the DBI Pro 700 are almost the polar opposite of my German Maestro 450 Pros. The first thing that jumped out at me was bass. Lots of bass. Deep, rich, powerful bass. DBI claims that the difference between the 700 and 705 is that the 705 has increased bass response. I assure you, that doesn't mean that the 700 is bass light in any way. These handle Massive Attack's Angel with ease, with silky yet punchy waves of bass. They do just as well with The Chemical Brothers' Under the Influence, a song that forces many headphones to give out on those bass sweeps. Of course, monstrous bass is only good if it's under control. I also use Damien Rice's The Blower's Daughter to test bass, because uncontrolled bass hits much too hard when it arrives in the second verse. Here, there is not too much trouble, yet I wouldn't recommend these for people who primarily listen to jazz and classical.
Often, the real sacrifice with bassy cans comes in the midrange. Vocals and instruments get drowned out by a wall of bass that impresses at first but quickly becomes fatiguing. This is where the metal drivers really come into play with the DBI Pro 700. These cans do wonderful things with vocals. They manage to be quite balanced and accurate, while remaining quite aggressive. Jeff Buckley's Lilac Wine is almost always my first test track with new headphones, and his voice is incredible through these cans. They aren't as prominent as they are through some of my other headphones (especially the DT480), but astonishing for such aggressive headphones. A quick spin of Fiona Apple's Tymps shows that they handle female vocals just as well. Great piano and guitar as well.
As far as highs are concerned, I'd call the DBI Pro 700 nicely balanced. I don't like warm headphones, and I don't find these too rolled off at the upper end. At the same time, these don't display the same brightness as the Beyers I own, so there is never a hint of sibillance. As much as I love my DT990s, they get pretty harsh on poor recordings. That never happens with the DBIs.
"But wait," you say, "are these perfect headphones?" Well, not necessarily. Everything comes with a cost. In this case, there are a few things that will turn off some listeners. First, the bassiness can get a bit overwhelming. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them for rock and electronic genres, but they just don't sound natural for jazz and classical. Like Grados, the DBI Pros have a fairly narrow and aggressive sound stage. I did listen through Miles Davis' So What, though, and aside from a bit too much bass resonance, they sound pretty good. It also means they aren't especially refined. They rock hard, and refuse to apologize for it.
For $200, the DBI Pro hit a lot of right notes. They are punchy, accurate, fast, and aggressive. They have a nicely balanced signature and a pretty unique sound. They aren't perfect, but they are some of the best closed all-rounders I've heard. They benefit from some amplification, but they sound decent coming out of a portable player as well (a bit of that bass and clarity is lost)
But here's the crazy thing: When they pop up on Ebay, they don't sell for $200. They usually sell for around $40, which is not just a good deal--it's an insanely crazy good deal. These are headphones that sit with pride on the same table as my Beyerdynamic DT150, DT990/600, and Fostex T50RP. I would listen to these over my sold Grado 125i and Shure 840s on just about every recording. In fact, I'm pretty sold that $40 for these is the best possible bargain to be found in the headphone world. Grab a pair, and set up your own personal listening station.