SoundMAGIC HP100 Premium Over-the-Ear Folding Headphone

Average User Rating:
4.82143/5,
  1. Mshenay
    5.0/5,
    "Mid Fi Portable Master "
    Pros - Comfort, isolation, carrying case, detachable cord, clean sound, wonderful sound stage
    Cons - lack of lower mids and upper bass [easily fixed by the w1000x Pads], also needs to be modified for bass improvement,
    Sound Magic HP 100 ($165 Used)  
     
    Personal Back-Story  
     
    In the search for a can with the dt 880 sound and the isolation of a closed headphone I came across the sound magic hp 100!
     
    Pros: Comfort, isolation, carrying case, detachable cord, clean sound, wonderful sound stage
     
    Cons : lack of lower mids and upper bass [easily fixed by the w1000x Pads], also needs to be modified for bass improvement
     
    Build [5/5]
     
     
    Specs
    Closed operating principle
    Driver: Dynamic 53mm Neodymium Drivers
    - Frequency range: 10Hz~30KHz
    - Impedance: 32Ω (±10%)
    - Sensitivity: 95dB/mW @ 1KHz (±3dB)
    - Maximum input power: 100mW
    - Cable length: 1.2m (3.5ft) coiled
    - Connection: 3.5mm gold plated plug
    - Weight: 288g
     
    Ease of Use [Comfort/Fit/Isolation] [4.5/5]
    Perfect, fit’s like a glove. The comfort is wonderful and the isolation is impressive!
    Price to Performance : [5/5]
    For the price it performs just as well as the K550, not to mention a New Sound Magic costs the same as a Used K550. Either way it’s a great bargain!
     
    Complimentary Genre:  None, works equally well with all genres
     
    Sonic Test Process
     
    Source Win 7[Foobar2000 WASAPI] -> oDac -> MonoPrice Premium Coaxial Cables -> Matrix M Stage [Lme 49990 OpAmp]
     
    Headphone reference notes- I like to demo all headphones against my Beyerdynamic Dt 880, as they are a well know reference can.  Reference notes will always be in italics, and are included in the Video Reviews and Head Fi review posts.
     
    Reference points, will be in bold italics.  In each of the seven reference songs I will specify what parts of the song I am listening to, to evaluate the 3 parts of the spectrum.  In addition to other aspects of the overall sound presentation.
     
               In addition, I always like details  presented in all frequances
    Highs- looking for and evaluating air, nice extension and good energy and placement within sound stage
    Mids- looking for and considering weight, body and tone
    Bass- listening for, control, texture and punch/impact
     
              Sound Stage- reported after listening to all tracks
              Imaging –Track #3 and #4 are well mastered for 2D and 3D imaging
              Instrument Layering-reported after listening to all tracks
              Timbre- realism of sound, fun versus real
              Speed- ability to retain mirco-details  in ultra fast tonal shifts
    Music Auditioned [All Lossless quality, tracks vary from 16 to 24bit]
     
    Lisa Ekdahl [Sings Salvadore Poe] Of My Conceit {16bit 44100hrz sample}
              Vocal Jazz track,
    Highs-  The upper range of the vocals and guitar notes
    Mids- Lisa’s vocals, along with the lower notes on the guitar and piano
    Bass- a touch of bass in the vocals and the lowest guitar  notes.
     
    Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile [The Goat Rodeo Sessions ] Where’s my Bow? {16bit 44100hrz sample rate}
              This song is a new age classical composition.
    Highs- upper most range of the stringed instruments, primarily of the, Viola, Violin
    Mids- presented by all the stringed wood instruments
    Bass- focus primarily on the Cello 
     
    David Chesky- [Jazz In The New Harmonic]-Transcendental Tripping 
              New Age Jazz, Binaural  
    Imaging- a binaural recording, a wonderfully real 3D presentation
    Overall Balanced Sound Response  {Percussion}- looking for balance
    Highs-drums, cymbals,Brass horns
    Mids-Brass Horns,  upper mids of Double BassPiano 
    Bass-Double Bass
     
    Kenji Yamamoto-[Metroid Prime Sountrack[-Chozo Ruins {16bit 44000hrz sample} 
                  Ambient Orchestral Sound Track 
    Sound Stage- a very high energy and multi layered track, with so many individual pieces working together a large sound stage is crucial. In addition the tracks features a lot of fading sounds  
    Balanced Frequency- The mood of the track set by the balance of frequency, any coloration takes away from the collective beauty of the track as a whole.
     
    Benga [Invasion EP] Evolution {16bit 441000 hrz sample}
              Good ole Dub Step, -Will be Eq’d to determine how headphones handle eq
    Highs- all about the cymbals,
    Mids- Playful Brass horn like intro and outro, only notable mids
    Bass- the Bass Wobble is the focus here

    Metallica [Master Of Puppets] Welcome Home (Sanitarium) {16bit 44100hrz sample}
            Metal
    Speed- this track features a very simple layering of instruments, but the mirco details in the guitar solo's make or break the track. 
    Highs- guitar, cymbals classic metal tune, smooth sweet highs in the guitar
    Mids- guitars, vocals, also looking for speed in the quick tactile hits of the guitar riffs
    Bass-Bass Guitar R.I.P Cliff, only the best quality for his bass lines!
     
    Matisyahu- [Live At Stubb’s]- Exaltation
              Live Reggae –listening for the little bits of extra noise that are often present in live music [detail retention]
    Highs- Upper range of the guitar and the cymbals
    Mids- Vocals, guitar and upper range of the Bass Guitar also taking note of the drums
    Bass- all about that bass guitar and Kick Drum
     
    Sound
               
              Sound Signature- Very clean, a slight tilt towards the central and upper mids. A very nice Sub Bass extension, but lacks a little mid bass. Overall very crisp clean headphone with nice mids.   Very Lean yet Lusher than Neutral
                                 Again, adding the W1000x Stock pads, add a little meat to the sound, giving you fuller mids and bass with a slight increase in sound stage width and height!
     
    Dynamics- Excellent, quick and effortless
    Timbre- Very accurate, but a slight lack of mid bass… leads to an overly tight bass and mids. Low end sounds lack weight, leading to a leaner than life like timbre… but still very accurate. Not fake nor thin.
    The addition of w1000x Pads leads to a slight boost in the Mid bass, giving the bass a much more real timbre!
    Speed-  Very lean and quick, plenty of speed for metal! Yet lacks a little weight behind it’s speed.
              Sound Stage: 2D  image is very nice, instrument layering is good, nice sense of air in between instruments, how ever can get a little over whelmed with grandeur or elaborate tracks, anything featuring upwards of 8 or so instrumental layers. Lacks slightly in 3D space as well. 
     
    Highs- Excellent, great airy presentation and energy, very detailed as well.
    Mids-  Very smooth and detailed, vocals are silky smooth, yet very detailed, Guitars maintain a nice rich sound as well, although acoustic instruments can be a little too lean at times, still very pleasing.
    Bass- VERY Deep and tight sub bass, mid bass lacks ever so slighty but still has plenty of attack, just needs a little more body.
    [Modified with ATH w1000x Stock Pads] {+$50}
              Modification Improvements- The Stock W1000x Pads bring;
    • a little more focus to the entire sound stage
    • improved 2D and 3D imaging and instrument spacing
    • Slightly forward yet magically delicate mids
    • A gentle boost to mid bass body and attack  
     
    Amplification Need or Suggested – These do not need an amp, but they pair nicely with a warm solid state or hybrid tube.  
     
    Check out my Mid Fi SHOOT out thread for song by song Reviews, and check out my Blog for pictures :3 
  2. Mathewsa
    4.5/5,
    "Impressive $200 headphone "
    Pros - Sound Quality, Comfort, Build, Accessories, Style, Portability
    Cons - Fingerprint magnet, Ears may get sweaty after 2-3 hours of listening, sound leakage
    I'm just going to jump right into the review. 
     
    Specs:
    Driver: Dynamic 53mm
    Frequency response: 10hz-30khz
    Impedance: 32Ω
    Sensitivity: 95db at 1Khz/mw
    Max input power: 100mw
    Cable length: 1.2m (4m extended)
    Price: Around $200

    Build Quality: These headphones are built very well. The headband is a very strong, and slightly flexible. It is made up of a metal and plastic. it is about 65% metal, and 35% plastic. The hinges on the cup are plastic, and are held together by metal screws. The headphones are easy to adjust, with up to 9 different sizes. They do require a little effort though, but it helps the headband not change size when you are wearing them. The cable is a coiled cable. It is nice and thick, and is firm enough to hold its shape, and not become tangled with normal use. The cable is removable. The headphones do fold up, making them portable. 

    Comfort: These headphones are very comfortable. I have worn these headphones for over 8 hours, and have not have to adjust them at all. The pads are nice and squishy, using pleather for the pad material. The headphone pads themselves are a little shallow, but the extra padding inside the cup eliminates any discomfort from the ear laying against the driver grill. 
    The seal on the headphones is a bit above average, but these headphones do leak noise. At 85% volume, my brother could hear the music from 6 feet away, while watching T.V. At around 2 hours of listening, my ears did become sweaty, as the pads don't really allow ear flow. I used these to mow my lawn, and my ears were pretty sweaty. The pads just don't allow much air flow. Very little. The headband pads are nice and squishy as well, and form nicely to the top of the head. 

    Style: When you first look at these headphones, one may think "These headphones look silly." or "I would not want someone to see me with these on!". But when you put them on and look at them through the mirror, they look pretty nice. But the looks are subjective, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. The ear cups themselves are a glossy black color, with lines tanish color lines running through them, forming a grid. The SoundMAGIC logo is displayed, showing 2 quarter notes facing each other above it, and below it, the HP100 model name. (HP100) On the headband, you can see a blue square with an L in it, marking the left side, and a Red square with an R in it, marking the right side. On the inside of the headband, to the left, there is writing that says: "Designed and Manufactured by SoundMAGIC" To the right, it has an CE marking, and it says "Made in China". The cable is coiled, and black. 

    Accessories: In the box, the headphones come in a hard shell case, a carabiner, a coiled cable in a nice mesh pouch, a cleaning cloth, warranty card, an airline adapter, a 6.3mm jack screw-on and a VIP card in almost all chinese letters. The case is black, and slightly reflective. It has gray lines running through it, forming a grid-like pattern. The zipper is black, with 2 red lines running through it. The inside of the case is all red. The carabiner can be clipped on to the case, so you could clip the case onto a backpack or something. Being hardshell, it protects the headphones well. The cleaning cloth is brown, with the SoundMAGIC logo on it. It works like any other cleaning cloth. The warranty card is needed if you need to send the headphones back for a replacement. I'm not sure what the VIP card is for. All it says is which number model your headphones are. The mesh pouch holds the cable in it, and the cable stays in it nicely. The mesh pouch velcros onto the inside of the case. 

    Sound Quality: Overall, these headphones are pretty neutral, with a slight emphasis on the bass. I'll start with the bass. 
    The bass is nice and punchy, with great sub-bass performance. If the song calls for a little bass, only a little bit of bass is present. If the song calls for a lot of bass, the bass comes out. I find it very interesting, and I think it is great. 
    This isn't a bass head can, so bass heads may need to look elsewhere.
    The mids are not recessed, nor forward sounding. They represent female and male vocals both very well. 
    The soundstage is very wide, and while listen to orchestras, it sounds like the instruments are playing all around me. 
    The headphones are nice and detailed, clearly representing each instrument/ sound. 
    The treble is nice. It isn't too bright. There isn't really any syllabence, making it nice and easy to listen to. 
    They do not need an amp to be driven well, but will improve with one. 

    Overall, these headphones are a great pair of portable headphones, and I would highly recommend them. 
  3. lumberjake
    4.5/5,
    "A very good sounding closed back that doesn't get enough attention."
    Pros - Soundstage, detail, and balanced sound that isn't bass shy.
    Cons - none that I can find. Difficult to find.
    Read all the reviews here on headfi and you'll get a very accurate idea of what you'll hear.
    I have been buying portable earphones since the early 90s, mostly Sony and their $100 models.In the past several years I've gathered Klipsch S4(great budget gear) then the V moda M80 for my first headphone and its great in a warm smooth way with plenty of great bass for my taste, and because it was on sale the Klipsch X5 which opened my eyes with the astonishing detail it relayed, and this made me want an over ear that was somewhere between the M80 and the X5. I wanted detail but also deep bass and something neither had, soundstage!
    Like many, I was looking around the $200 level and the real contenders were the AKG K550, Beyer 770LE and Quart 8.35D oh and these of course. There just wasn't much written about the 8.35 and there were issues with comfort and soundstage so that was scratched. the Beyer was sounding appealing but it has scooped mids and harsher highs scratch. The AKGs have got real good reviews but that would depend if your head was huge because they are big and the bass, which isn't strong in the first place , disappaers without a good seal. I chose the Soundmagic after reading almost no negative feedback except one guy in Portugal that says they have a upper bass suck out, so I went for it.
    These are much more neutral than warm like my M80s which was what I wanted because while warmth is smooth and all I wanted to hear more fine detail and these deliver without being harsh at all. They are actually quite smooth considering their sound. The soundstage is huge compared to anything I've owned. Having everything seperated only aids in being able to detect finer sounds and layers. I read allot about how the M80s have "polite" treble and I can understand that description but frankly they need more sparkle and with the HP100 you get that. I can clearly hear the splash and crash of cymbals whereas before they were buried behind the warmth. The mids are neither forward or recessed and are crisp and sharp and not at all interfered with bass. The bass is awesome. Listenig to a song that isn't bassy and you get the impression they wouldnt be bassy because these are a bit on the clinical side, but the moment bass enters it is there in great proportion and again in a very detailed manner. You can here exactly how the bass sounds rather than just a oomph. Somehow these manage to deliver very deep bass that makes electronic music fun, literally vibrating the cups on your head!
    Bottom line is I am very happy. I think its difficult to pull off cans that have this kind of detail yet still can have incredible rumble. This is what I wanted and I am very pleased. Oh and the build seems solid with plenty of comfort and adjustments. They feel solid and the pivots aren't wimpy. The looks are neither here nor there for me as I buy them for sound, besides my M80s will be my portables. I'd put these against any headphone of this class.
  4. mrbigsby
    5.0/5,
    "Bigsby’s top cans for 2013: ep1 Soundmagic HP100- The Beyer Slayer, The Mid Monster, The Detail Demon"
    Pros - everything
    Cons - not much
    We are all different, and thus we all like different things.  But there are likely only so many possible combinations in the world. So if you happen to be like me and like sleek, low profile, comfy, feature filled, well deigned, well made, amazing sounding shiny bits… Then maybe these will also be your new favorite cans? 
     
    Lets start with the physical, as eventually you will have to admit this is where all love starts. Attraction. The box, like any first date is somewhat interesting, but really gives away nothing but a graph of presumable truths supported by a couple of obvious lies. Moving past the exterior is where the interest lies, inside the box.  Inside I found a great little low profile hard case reminiscent to (or the same as) the Vmoda case. How could it be the same? Well you may not have heard of Soundmagic, but you certainly have heard Soundmagic, they have been producing headphones for the big companies (even Byer!) for donkeys, In the shadows and without a word…Until now!
     
     

     
     
    Unzipping the case to reveal a familiar red lining I find the cans rested around a centrally located pouch on the inner case, my breath bated, heart a mess. I went into this expecting mid priced Chinese takeout and a movie. Before even hearing these things I’m thinking of taking them home? For good?!? I shook the thought and got realistic; this is a review not a purchase.  Picking up the cans I notice there is no attached cable, but a simple and unobvious jack input and locking mechanism.  I gripped them in one hand to open the pouch to get the cable out and noticed immediately the finishes were for real… If they ever make cars solely out of plastic, this is the kind I hope they use. And someone please tell my wife I want my coffin lined with this memory foam! In the pouch I found one of those silicon style cables, with a neat little termination and its curly, but light- not what I was expecting again.  Also inside can be found a nifty airplane adapter, gold jack adapter, and cool caribeena.
     
     

     
     
    Before I plugged it into the C421 and iphone I was using, I inspected a little further, unable to hide my grin.  These cans are portable, they are compact, and come with a case. But they are also sleek, low profile (the cups that hold those huge stonking drivers are somehow so narrow they almost disappear on the head!), and flexible! They do that DJ foldy thingy where they twist and flip and contort smoothly and comfortably, eventually spooning the headband in a tiny bundle of cool- presumably a useless mating dance, but never the less a big turn on. That’s not all… they have a trick Im not overly familiar with, they are double jointed? This classy, hot, little contortionist can pivot att the headband joins to angle the cups for any head- possibly even alien. And where’s the cable in all this? I don’t know? It certainly doesn’t hang out of the top of the cup and try to slip under the rug unnoticed as it were with most other cans. Its absent. Hidden somewhere in that aluminum and plastic I cant stop touching, then polishing, then touching (it hold fingerprints for ransom). Even hidden in the aluminum arms that only show when extended, hidden still impossibly inside that vastly rotating join? Amazing.
     
     

     
     
    I popped them on coyly. So light, so comfortable, so slim lined, it felt sinful.  There are adjustments every which way, and all incremental and firm. Not firm on your head at all, these are effortless, but the mechanics are firm. Each adjustment stays as you left it. More impressive still those aluminum ride height adjustments have an etched scale of numbers along them. I found myself toying with the cable while they were on my head, like a girl with something wicked on her mind, I knew I had to take this to the next level.
     
    Cable>C421 OP2227 [no boost]>Iphone 4s>Trentemoller rework with Thom York>eargasm.
    Im no cheap or easy date, which sounds presumptuous after the aforementioned audio quickie, but I must say I was far more than my usual brand of impressed. I paused not a third into the very first track, pulled my wallet and paid Billy (Noisy Motel). These were mine.
     
    Rock, jazz, electronica, hop hop, female vocalists of all sorts and eras, male crooners, 50’s radio jingles, Russian klezmer, death metal, The Beatles remasters…It doesn’t just handle them all, it renews them all! The name, which at first seemed a little less than cool, now seems completely accurate! A descriptive of the product or more precisely what it actually achieves.
    The signature glows in every respect, the perfect EQ for every genre you throw at it. As if theres a tiny man in there somewhere watching which track your about to select and then quickly adjusting the EQ to suit. The more I listened, the more the ridiculous idea of the tiny EQ man become plausible. So much so I found myself desperately trying to trick him.
     
    Ludacris. How can something with SO MUCH BASS for electronica (destroys any Beyer on the market), behave itself so well with other genres? How can every other aspect of the sound spectrum be so even-tempered and full? A perfect example is going from say any high quality bass heavy track you have, the biggest, the baddest you got, then switching over to The Bicycle Race by Queen… Odd I know, but if the constant kick drum in this track still sounds like an actual organic kick drum via bassy cans- you’ve got a miracle! This is seriously a new benchmark for headphones everywhere, in any price point.
    If you like that BIG bottom bass in the Beyer DT770 or DT990, but don’t apreciate the scooped mids. If you prefer an even and relatively “flat” (such a subjective term) sound signature but want a little more texture, detail, and bottom end in the mix. If you like “fun” headphones, but want something better- much much better. If you just crave an improved more modern and forward thinking sound in general. If you want all of the above in a sleek package that’s well made, beautifully finished, feature filled, uber comforatable, and comes with accessories and a free case…Your asking a bit much of any headphone on the market. Any headphone other than the Soundmagic HP100- my favorite cans, by a country mile in a hovercraft piloted by Swedish models in fluro body paint smoking cigars.
     
     

     
     
    Not trying them would be the worst move you ever made. Not buying them after you’ve auditioned the hell out of them would annoy you the next day- and every day after that. Trying them and then acting all cool like you didn’t like them, would make you look like a wanker to everyone else whos experienced them.  Don’t deny yourself happiness, don’t go against the grain on this one, resistance is futile.
     
     

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