Samson's SR850 studio reference headphones offer an excellent listening solution for musicians,...

SR850 Professional Studio Reference Headphones

Average User Rating:
3.85714/5,
  • Samson's SR850 studio reference headphones offer an excellent listening solution for musicians, sound engineers and general music enthusiasts. With outstanding bass response and clean, clear highs, the SR850s ensure complete comfort and accurate monitoring performance.The semi-open design of the SR850s provides an enhanced ambient listening environment, allowing appropriate bleed for better stereo imaging and a wider sound stage. The 50mm drivers also offer exceptional sound reproduction and wide dynamic range to instill confidence in your final mix or simply provide outstanding sound quality for your general listening pleasure.With a self-adjusting headband for a secure, natural fit, the SR850s provide total comfort for extended listening and monitoring sessions. And an 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch gold plated adapter is included for convenience and flexibility. When it comes to enjoying your music or mixing for a professional result, the SR850s combine comfort with professional performance.

Recent User Reviews

  1. PETEBULL
    4.0/5,
    "Murderous cans"
    Pros - Resolution; price
    Cons - Bad frequency balance; harsh treble; extreme fatigue
    These cans are rated "studio" which means that you probably have good equlization equipment to compensate for their murderous and sibilant elevation at 4-8KHz range. The sound is very detailed but fatiguing and there is no smoothness or finesse to it. Bass is a bit empty but sufficient. Upper treble is obscured by 8-10KHz so equalize once more, don't listen to them flat. Clamp is too strong and pleather pads provoke intense sweating. These headphones properly equalized and amplified turn into a magnifying glass or a microscope with which you may explore recordings on sub-level but you can't see landscapes with it if you get what I mean.
    Actually SR950 are even worse. The only difference is that they sacrifice resolution for more subbass extension to make even 10Hz audible but it aint worth it.
     
    Recommended parametric EQ:
    8000Hz@-10db@q2.7
    +
    5500Hz@-20db@q3
     
    Characteristics (subjective, 10 max):
    Resolution: .............................8.8
    Transparency: ........................8
    Frequency range: ...................8
     
    Balance (5 means equal):
    High relative to mid: ................8
    Low relative to mid: ................5
     
    Frequency accentuation brakedown:
    Bass is more: ........................low
    Mids are more: ......................middle
    Highs are more: ....................middle
     
    Qualitative characteristics:
    Bass tightness.......................7.5
    Highs smoothness..................4
  2. Theo Sudarja
    3.0/5,
    "Realistic Vocal / Mid, and Overall Frequency. But With Annoying Sibilance."
    Pros - Natural vocal / mid.
    Cons - Not flat. Sibilance, boosted high, mid-high frequency.

     
     

    Samson

    SR850

    Review

    Frequency Response; to my ears:
    1. Low: 0 (Neutral)
    2. Low-Mid: -2 (sounded a little bit thin)
    3. Mid: 0 (Neutral)
    4. High-Mid: +4 (sibilance)
    5. High: +4 (sibilance)
     
     
     
    Overall Impressions
    Compared to other headphones (several different prices) I've passed during research before deciding to buy. The SR850 sounded (ascending according to what I feel):
    • Open, Clear, Bright. Especially when compared to higher end headphones which often sounded darker. It makes those high end cans sound kinda muffled. SR850 is comparable to other bright sounded headphones i.e AKG's.
    • Detailed
    • Natural vocal. The fact, there are many headphone out there are much worse than SR850. This is the main reason why I bought SR850.
    • Powerful bass but not overpowering. There are many headphone I've tried that I can't push the volume louder, just simply because the bass is too overpowering since the beginning.
    • Overall, it is realistic & natural. But not flat.
    • Overall a little bit thin. Especially on vocal.
    • Sibilance
    • Comparable to < $200 AKG's.
    • Comparable to > $200 Audio Technica's
    • Comparable to < $100 Beyer Dynamics
    • Surpass other headphones in <$100 ( SR850 price range)
    • Sounded Wide, but a little bit fake reverb (echo). The 3D spatial is not that great, I can't pin-pointed each instrument. Maybe because the echoey reverb.
     
    What I don't like
    I found myself tinkering with EQ quite much. Especially trying to lower the high & mid high. Which a small inaccuracies in my EQ-ing might affect the overall the song original mood.
     
     
     
    Comparison
    Note:
    I may not comparing apples to apples.
    But I hope my experience can give you impression on how might SR850 sounded like.
     
    Compared to my Creative HQ1900 Headphones:
    Surprisingly creative is still a relevant competitor, in term of openness, brightness, and natural. But major lacking in the bass.
    Narrower (less reverb), with a little bit more pin-pointed 3D Spatial. Makes the SR850 sounded like a fake reverb effect (doesn't sound natural anymore) compared to HQ1900.
     
    Compared to my bookshelf speakers:
    Bookshelf speakers still win.
    3D spatial is incredible, Wide staging, with extremely accurate pin-pointed sound source. This is the only speaker that can gave me illusion of a center speaker (new sound source) emerging in the center of my front wall.
    You can pin-point easily how many vocalist, and where they are came from; whether they (vocalist) stacked in line, or spread in formations.
     
    To achieve the similar result; I've been tuning the cross-feed filter with my SR850. But haven't found the quite same experience. I still love my bookshelf.
     
     
     
    Conclusions
    SR850 sound quality surpass the all it peers in given price range. It definitely can compete with higher priced headphones.
    Given note that several higher priced headphone is not, definitely not the best sounding headphones after all. And for sure there's more flatter more natural cans out there I haven't found yet.
     
     
     
    Confusion Regarding Faked / Photoshopped Pleather Superlux Lookalike
    I have mine from online retailer; which the preview showing the faked superlux (pleather) with SR850 stamp on it. I received several days later an original SR850, with velour pads. The original one as in www.samsontech.com.
     
    Having reading Head-Fi I have enough confidence to buy one, knowing there are lots faked image of SR850 which believe as an early prototype of current SR850.
     
     



  3. ZigG
    3.5/5,
    "Overrated but OK for the price"
    Pros - Mildly better than the Sennheiser HD202.
    Cons - Sound/frequencies not differentiated enough. Hurt my ears due to pressure.
    I bought these for $75 Australian dollars. Australia is not competitive so that we pay top dollar here for just about everything. Unfortunately, US sellers don't sell to Australia due to some wholesale agreements or whatever.
     
    Now to the headphones: The headphones are overrated in that the frequencies are not separated enough. They lack some mid tone and that sweet treble. I can't hear the spit in the voice that I'd like to hear when someone gets close to a mic. Unfortunately, the frequencies get a bit blurred. I had some old Sennheisers 15 years ago that sounded amazing. The frequencies were all there. The sound was excellent as I could detect and hear ALL nuances needed for mastering. For bass-heavy stuff I used a Yamaha set of phones that also sounded amazing. Unfortunately, the Sennheiser broke, as did the Yamaha (the plastic broke). I then bought a set of Sennheiser HD202. Unfortunately, they suck. The sound lacks that refined, crystal clear treble, clear mids and punchy bass as the old ones did. The SR850 are mildly better than the Sennheiser HD202 in terms of 'sweetness' or 'softness' of the sound and cost me the same. The Sennheiser sounds very harsh, has more lower mids and the bass is not very clear. The Samson does better in this respect and has better definition. If you want to master vocals, I'd go with the Samson SR850 but the Sennheiser for guitar due to the added mid-range. Both are uncomfortable to wear and both hurt my ears. That's not good for mastering as it usually takes hours.
     
    I can't recommend any other headphones in that price range so that I am forced to use the Samson for now. They will do but it does make mastering tracks not as easy as when I had the Yamaha and old Sennheiser. Looks like things don't always improve over time.
    PETEBULL likes this.

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