Superlux HD 681

Average User Rating:
4.5/5,
  1. kiler
    4.5/5,
    "Budget DT990 : Same studio experience, V-Shaped Sound, killer treble"
    Pros - Good build quality / bass that extends down low / good soundstage / absolute killer for the price
    Cons - Treble can be too sharp / Questionable Aesthetics
     
    Hello! This time I have a completely different review from the ones I’ve been bringing you lately because I’m going to review a full sized headphone! This time we have the Superlux HD681 a full sized circumaural headphone from Taiwan, which reaches on to us with a little help from George from Gearbest! Thank you very much for the chance to review this product and check www.gearbest.com for somewhere to buy this product.
    As for a little introduction to the Superlux brand, lets just say that they are a brand with a known reputation for having full size headphones that mimic some popular designs from other brands such as BeyerDynamic or AKG in a much cheaper price. But the catch is the following: they always punch above their weight in terms of sound quality, so this HD681 which can be had for just 20$ will surely surprise a lot of you.
     

    Video Review

    [​IMG]

    Technical Data

     
    Talking about technical data and specifications, nothing like using the specifications provided by Superlux themselves:
     
     Specifications:
    GENERAL
    Type headphones
    Packaged Quantity 1
    Weight 7.8 oz
    Additional Features gold-plated plug
    ManufacturerAvlex Corporation
     
    HEADPHONES
    Headphones Type Headphones - binaural
    Headphones Form Factor On-ear
    Headphones Technology dynamic
    Sound Output Mode stereo
    Frequency Response 10 - 30000 Hz
    Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) 0.25% %
    Sensitivity 98 dB
    Impedance 32 Ohm
    Diaphragm 2 in
    Magnet Material neodymium
     
    MISCELLANEOUS
    Included Accessories headphones pouch
    Color Category black
     
     

    Packaging

     


     
     
     
     The packaging of the HD681 could be defined as Spartan and it is one that could be used to be in exhibition inside a music store. Its design makes it sit nicely in a stand , and we just have some plastic covering the cardboard where the HD681 sits. On the backside we can read some of the more important specifications of these headphones, but overall we can see that this is where Superlux decided to cut costs. Which should be fine if sound quality doesn’t take a hit.
     
     
     
     

    Accessories

     

     
     
    For a 20$ set of headphones we see that the included accessories aren’t bad: we get a carrying pouch and a 3.5mm to 6.3 mm adapter, which guarantees that the Superlux HD681 fit pretty much any audio systems. Other than that, we don’t have anything else apart from the headphones themselves, so its time to get a better look at the Superlux HD681.
     
     
     

    Build Quality and overall look

     
     

     
    These are the Superlux HD681. They sport a black and red color scheme and have a semi open design. As you can tell, they have a circumaural design with big ear cups made out of plastic, as is most of their build.
     
     

     
     
     
     
    On the right side you can find the Superlux logo, alongside 8 small vents that allow a bit of sound to leak from the cups. You can also read on the black on black letters “professional monitor” which would let us know that these are good for studio monitoring.
     

     
     
     
    As we go towards the left side, we can find the name HD681 (this model name), alongside an indication of 2x32 ohm, which tells us that each one of the drivers has 32 ohm of impedance.
     

     
     
    The cable is pretty well made and it is terminated with a 3.5mm gold plated plug, but here we see it with the 6.35mm screw on adapter. The rubber coating of it makes it feel really decent and that they will last.
     

     
     
    Going for the headband we can find the Superlux name on it, being made of some kind of leather, which is comfortable enough for long term use.
     

     
     
    The earpads are made out of cheap pleather, which would easily be my main concern with these headphones. While they are comfortable, they will get warm with long term use. But don’t be afraid since there are lots of aftermarket pads that will fit these headphones, such as the velour replacements sold by the manufacturer.
    All in all, the Superlux HD681 present a pretty solid build quality for the price and, since they are studio monitors, I’m sure they will be able to take a beating and don’t break a sweat, since the plastic used is of good quality. But what is a studio monitor without the sound? So we should progress onto the next section which is how good these headphones sound.
     
     
     
     
     

    Comfort/Isolation

     
     
    Like I’ve said before, these are circumaural headphones, which mean that they will completely go around your ears. These kind of headphones are usually more comfortable than headphones which just sit on top of your ears, and, since these are studio headphones, they need to be comfortable for somewhat long periods of time. The earpads are also really important in terms of comfort, and these are not the best. After two hours they really start to get warm which might make you want to take a break. They also won’t be suitable for people in warmer climates to use during long periods of time, since the pleather isn’t breathable. Other than the fact of warming up, they are super comfortable since they are light and easily adjustable to your head.
    As for the isolation, these have a semi-open design, which is a lot more open than some of the open headphones I’ve previously tested , making them have a pretty nice soundstage for the price. There is also a downside to this tho which is that they leak a good amount of sound, so they might not be suitable for public quiet places such as libraries, but they won’t bother someone sitting in the same room as you (in opposite sides). Without music playing you are able to tell what is going on in the room and even with music, if you have a television playing in the same room, you will be able to hear it all. But these are made to be worn in the studio so I’m sure that the semi open design choice was a good one.
     
     

    Sound

     
    Source – HifimeDIY Sabre Dac amped with Objective 2 DIY, Lumia 625, Sandisk Sansa Clip+
     
    Files Used –  256 to 320 kbps and FLAC
     
     
     
    As always, before using starting to review these, I let them play a variety of music for about 50 hours (having tried them when they first arrived). There wasn’t too much improvement from the burn-in, perhaps the piercing high end was a bit tamed.
     
    We are going to start by describing the HD681 overall sound signature. These are a studio headphone and if I had to compare them to any other headphone it would be the german made Beyerdynamic DT990. Both have heavy V-shaped sound signatures with the Superlux managing to have their treble peak in a place that might bother a lot of people more than the DT990 Pro. So I should start by saying that if you don’t like the DT990 cause you find them too bright, you might have to pass (or equalize) the HD681.
     
    The HD681 possesses a V Shaped sound with some emphasis on the lower and mid bass, alongside a high-end that might be too sharp for some. This kind of sound makes the HD681 perfect for music that might be bass heavy such as electronic music and rap, falling short on more vocal tracks.
     
    Starting with the lower end of the spectrum, I’m really impressed that the sub-bass is present at this extent, which I suppose is due to the big 50mm drivers that really help bring out the rumble. Even though the sub-bass is good, the quantity of bass is mostly centered around 50-100Hz range with some punch in the mid bass as well. The quantity of bass overall is pretty good and spot on with what is needed for a Studio headphone (enough punch and extension).
     
    The mids aren’t really where the Superlux headphones shine, mostly because they are the shadow of some really sparkly treble, but they are able to reproduce vocals decently well. Female vocals sound a bit raspy and you can notice it on tracks from artists like Adele. They are missing a bit of range, so to speak, and sound a bit flat.
     
    The treble is what really stands out in these headphones, because it is so prominent. It’s even harder to go unnoticed than the so claimed “killer treble” DT990 Pro. I think this is because even though the DT990 has lots of treble, it is a crystalline, pure treble, while the HD681 doesn’t achieve the same level of detail. Even then, the treble is pretty good, even more so if you are able to reduce it in an equalizer in order to bring forward the rest of the sound signature. I say this because while these headphones have a pretty good sound signature, it is hidden under the excessive treble. The excessive treble might also make some bad recordings show all of their flaws, such as noise on old records or low quality (bit-rate wise) ones.
     
    Like I said on the isolation part of the review, the fact that they are semi open and leak a bit of sound definitively helps on the soundstage of the HD681, which while detailed and easy to distinguish left and right, is a bit two dimensional. Even then, they are pretty good even to use while gaming.
     
    As for improvements while amping, I found out that the bass becomes more pronounced while amped, but even unamped these are pretty solid headphones and the amplifier certainly isn’t a must have.
    As for songs that I really enjoyed with these headphones:
    Run The Jewels – Legend Has it – El-P is an excellent producer and the sub bass that these put out while amped is really interesting.
    Deadmau5 – 4ware – The progressions sound good even with the big amounts of treble and with a good lower end.
     
     

    Conclusion

     
    Build Quality: 4/5
     
    Accessories: 4/5
     
    Comfort: 4/5
     
    Isolation: 4/5
     
    Sound Quality (bang for buck): 5/5
     
    The most important thing about the Superlux is that I managed to point out all the flaws as it were a more expensive headphone. And once you put into perspective how much it costs you really wake up to the enormous value of this offering, even though it isn’t the most beautiful or comfortable headphone you can buy. There isn’t anything near the price range (about 20$ in Gearbest) that can offer such a great sound quality and bring joy to your music sessions (barring in ear monitors or earphones). The build quality will also last, which means that the 20$ will most certainly be a wise investment and for the price, even if you hate treble, you should try these out. Worst case scenario you equalize the treble out of them or pass them onto a family member which will surely love your offering. Why get the HD201 if you can get these?
     
     
    References
    Price: RRP (21.00€) on http://www.gearbest.com/headsets/pp_270782.html?wid=21&lkid=10620793 (this is my affiliate code, if you want to you can buy them without supporting me).
     
    I would like to thank Gearbest for the opportunity to review and publish my unbiased opinion about these Headphones, it has been a fantastic experience working with you.
  2. IkuMiku96
    4.0/5,
    "The underdog of audiophile semi-open headphone (from my perspective)"
    Pros - Great low to mid frequency, deep yet tight bass (punchy), HD sound, semi-open, Extremely affordable for sound, Mod-able
    Cons - High pitch sharp, Cheap-feel, Looks unattractive for nowadays, Comfort is questionable
    *review this right after i have this headphone. burn in test not yet available
    **I will add more info after i receive velour pads ordered online. any changes in sound or improvement, will be added
    Lost my AKG K403, my very first HD headphone (to me). Very low on budget, found this, bought it, waited for a near month, worth the wait. (was aiming for portability but... this price is so really pushes me to this)
     
    This is my first over-ear audiophile headphone (well, not my first but for mainly music, this is my first) ever to buy and i didnt actually expected that if i didnt lost my AKG...

    *I would guess that this is the 2nd badge of the HD681. differentiable by the position of "2x32ohm" print*

    1. First Impression (well, i use Galaxy SIII camera, set ISO-800 just for less blurry. so, lots of noises)

    Well, the packaging is what i would say, an item from a junkyard store. I dont know if the rugged packaging is due to the shipping or is been like this, but for sure, the package is really cheap. and is exactly a piece of plastic bag wrapping a piece of cardboard (slice)
     
     

    Looks horrible
     

    Well, i didnt pay attentioned to the colour (just like my first phone...) when i bought this but truthly, this really doesnt look attracting. but personally, i kinda like the steampunk kinda style of the styling.
     

    This also provided with a carrying pouch to protect the headphone. Though i would say that the pouch is like a cloth bag for carrying wet clothes.
     

    By close up though, this headphone gives a fine detail to most of those pattern (though some imperfection of build is shown)

    2. Comfort
    Well, is not the worst but feels not too comfy. The pad is the worst feeling ever. My ear gets sweaty and hot (maybe because im not used to wear PU pads). Most says to change to other pads that fits to the AKG K240, preferably velour one. so i think i will. (will DT880 pad fits?)
    Definitely do not wear this on your neck as you may be choked (lol). is just that the headphone just 'closes'.

    Tight fit but not in the assumption of having your head sandwiched hard. But that tightness boosts the hotty and sweaty feel... Will try to loose it.

    3. Sound
    I would say, the sound is superb.
    The bass is kinda just a bit stronger than my preferred but can be tuned down just a bit. But for sure, entire bass frequency area is really amazing~ Is tight too~
    i tuned down to 62kHz@-2dB, 125@-1dB

    [edit]The mid part is great. For the first time, i dont have to eq up a bit for the mid.
    I can hear much more detail than before~

    Well, actually, after a bit more hours, i just realised, the mid part is just, well, "audiable". is just a bit more than enough but not in a way of satisfying mids.
    So, up a bit for 1dB or 2dB at 250Hz, 500Hz and 1kHz sounds more better. BUT that is just my preference. (the clicky navigation sound of the Windows when browsing is sounds more satisfying when eq-ed the mids up)
     
     
    The controversial part, Treble.
    Kinda sharp, but actually, not that much. maybe the 2nd badge did just a bit improve this. i eq this down, 2kHz@-2dB, 4kHz@-1dB, 8kHz@-2or3dB. after tuned, gives out some detail but also wash out some detail as well...

    [update] Well, what i just did, i kinda use a tissue paper and that really reduces the sharpness of the treble. Well, mainly because i just want my ears to be less sweaty when wearing but that really improve the treble.

    Yeah, looks messy for now. But i planned to change the pad to velour one anyways (almost one click away ordering dt880 velour pad, just a cheap one from Misodiko)
     

    How the tissue covers the whole pad, absorbing those bad treble
     

    Well, the tissues do their job well enough

    This sounds really great if you have retro songs from the 60-80's. Tried Pink Floyd - Money, omg soo warm and retro feeling~
    But, metal songs are to be avoided as the sharp treble will spoils the moment.

    4. Overall
    I dont know if this is actually an audiophile headphone (or even monitor) as this one has a bit coloured signature. but great to have though and pretty sounds natural to me

    The best for the price. Highly recommended for another collection. Later i will try to compare this to my local available headphones like Beyerdynamic DTX910, DT880, T1, Sennheiser HD598, AudioTechnica ATH-M30x, M40x, M50x, Sony MDR-100AAP, 1A if i have time.

    [update] is it just me, or DTX710 has more bass? also, HD 681 somewhat lacking of mids. i thought the bass of HD 681 is kinda more and stronger but, i didnt sense that once i tried DTX710, MDR-A1, MDR-100AAP. is like, well, the HD681 has deep bass but lacking compared to A1 and 100AAP. even DTX710 is somewhat a bit more stronger bass...
    is this kinda.. true...? or is my ears playing my mind... or did my HD 681 just gone burn-in so soon? (well, i enjoyed too much of Sony MDR-Z1R, with DSD as well, so mindblowing)
    [update2] i guess my mistake. yesterday i made my headphone loose enough that i just realised i've made some gaps between my head and the pad (back ear area), resulting less deep and underpowering bass. though, i really like this kind. will tighten once i receive my velour pads

    *I was thinking of buying Beyerdynamic DTX710 before but, even with great price, i cant afford it. so i buy this. but.... waited for so long to ship here... and, the wait worth it
    LazyListener likes this.
  3. Nymphonomaniac
    4.5/5,
    "Incredible value and details for the price. A very impressive monitor headphones that challenge higher priced ones."
    SO today is time to make a little review of a not so well keeped secret chinese monitor headphone Gem.
     

     
     
    I heard about the Superlux headphones here on headfi and was rather sceptical of the sound they can produce, I was like yeah they are dirt cheap and could be great value, but how good at this price the sound can be? It can't be a serious sounding monitor, can it?
    Well, when I finally see them at Gearbest store in sale for a more than ridiculous price I decided I have nothing to loose and who know as i'm a music producer perhaps I will really use them to mix some tracks...
    And I finally put them on my head and begin to listen to a violin quartet and was like:[​IMG]
    Okay, this headphones are not a legend for nothing, they deserve their most-buy reputation, this is serious cans with a serious sound, extremely neutral and detailed, light to wear and comfortable and I can really make great mix with them even if they cost third time less than my now gone Sony MDR-7609.
     
     
    CONSTRUCTION, PACKAGE & DESIGN:
     

     
     
    Package look like a dollar store joke and I was laughing first time I see it, thinking: their you go for your 20 boxes dumb head, what were you hoping for? A Miracle? Yes the package is a joke, it is not serious, it is a price cutter so you can buy a miracle! Just throw this in trash can and concentrate on headphones instead.The construction isn't bad at all for the price and make me think of AKG K240 on all aspect, HD681 just try less harder to look fancy with plastic piece but both are about the same construction taking apart the fact that the AKG have a detachable cable. So construction is all plastic but well assembled and extremely light tp wear wich make them very comfortable for long listening sessions. It do not use the kind of glossy plastic that is easy to break and I think durability isn't that bad because I do not instinctively fear to drop it on like with other plastic headphones I have. This type of construction, even if a little cheap, is incredible for the price. Clamping force is light and earcups are movable and take the form of your head.
     
    SPECS:
    1. Headphones Type
      Headphones - binaural
    2. Headphones Form Factor
      On-ear
    3. Headphones Technology
      dynamic
    4. Sound Output Mode
      stereo
    5. Frequency Response
      10 - 30000 Hz
    6. Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)
      0.25% %
    7. Sensitivity
      98 dB
    8. Impedance
      32 Ohm
    9. Diaphragm
      2 in
    10. Magnet Material
      neodymium

     

     
    SOUND IMPRESSIONS:
     
    So, it is write 2X 32OHM on the headphones cups wich make them 64Ohm and a little hard to drive with average music players. For this review I use my Ibasso DX80 as well as my SANSUI amp with Ibasso DX90 line out. The Superlux HD681 can't be drive properly with Xduoo X3 and even less with ONN X5 or Ruizu X02. You don't know what this headphones are capable off if you do not have an amp or powerfull mixer. The HD681 are more easy to drive than the 128 Ohm Superlux HD681B but to get full sound, bass and air between instruments you don't need to crank the volume, just to give them the right power so they can breathe properly. When use with a powerfull amp the real deal begin, we are now blessed with a magificent and detailed sound with very wide soundstage and fowards texture and treble. There lot of air between instrumentation and separation of them are great because of this. The Sansui AU-D5 amp give some welcome warm to this rather bright earphones too, when listening to classical this is really a great headphone, we heard every details of violin player including breathe and bow microdetails scrubbing texture, the acoustic guitar chord is full of sparkle and we feel the fingers pulling every rope. The HD681 really hit higher than their price range and sound exceptionnaly good for this very reason.
     
    LOWS:
    The Superlux HD681 aren't basshead headphones at all and have the typical sound that we want from  a monitor headphones wich mean detailed, neutral with a good instruments separation. Bass isn't very round and heavy, even if it dig deep and low it isn't the type of bass we feel, tough with a powerfull amp it come to life and have more weight, this headphones will not be appropriate for IDM or rap because of the airyness presentation of the soundspectrum. Still, right now as I listen to Jamie Saft New Standard jazz album, Steve Swallow bass is very well rendered and every note clearly audible, when the drum take more place it is less clearly presented tough because the toms decay can interfer with bass decay. Anyway, the HD681 love (piano!) jazz and play it with great precision and energy, some albums can sincerly sound memorable with them.
     
    MIDS:
    Now I listen to the excellent Aventine album by Agnes Obel, her voice float around me and have great warm, texture and autority. Instrumentation is more foward than her voice but in an immersive way and has the voice is in the center of it we don't feel it is veiled or too dark. Another time texture is a little agressive even if it isn't harsh for the ears. Microdetails are foward too and the overall sound presentation lack a little roundness or softness to be truely mesmerizing-this is were the ridiculous price tag show his greatness limit. Anyway, the HD681 medium frequencies are very realistic and far from being in the backseat and the texture is welcome for extra resolution that can give more dynamic to some music. Violin, piano and vocals sound very good with the HD681 and acoustic music is a real joy because of the analytical presentation showing everything that is going on in a track, for the better and the worst. Because of this extra texture some signers voice can hiss (Beth Gibbons does this).
     
    HIGHS:
    This headphones have LOT of treble to share and are on the bright side even if a relaxed version of it. We have plenty of texture, microdetails and treble sparkle here, sometime it can even be too much of it. For exemple, if you listening to an old vinyl recording the background hiss will be too fowards and perhaps spoil the clarity of instrumentation. But if the recording is perfectly clear this extra treble will give extra details and texture to instruments, you will eaisly pick everything you want from a track as the neutral presentation with foward treble will give as much importance to cymbals than bass and guitar. I guess with very complexe and dense tracks it can became overwhelming for a proper musicality as every sound will be be pickable by the ears. I consider this as a must for monitor headphones tough, wich are use exactly to be able to calibrate every sounds and instruments in your mix.
     
    CONCLUSION:
    The Superlux HD681 are incredible headphones that can be use by serious musician as well as audiophile on budget that want a realistic and analytical headphones. They outperform way pricier headphones and are extremely comfortable for long listening. If you want a little more bass you can try the HD681B wich have a little more but are even more hard to drive. Superlux really impress me with their budget friendly headphones and earphones that have a real hifi sound and really deserve the admiration they already have.
    You can find them here for an ultimately absurb 20$:
    http://www.gearbest.com/headsets/pp_270782.html
     
    LONG LIVE TO SUPERLUX!!!!
    bhazard likes this.
  4. Zulkr9
    4.0/5,
    "Awesome bang for the buck"
    Pros - Soundstage, pretty neutral, decent resolution.
    Cons - Bass falls off fairly quick, sounds dry and can be strident
    Who would have ever thought that cans that cost 20~ bucks could sound pretty good, well some how Superlux did it and this is the result. I have the Presonus HD 7 which is essentially the same headphone 


    Build
    At the price range I didn't really expect anything great, and not to my surprise they were very cheap feeling all round, they rattled and squeaked, the plastics felt incredibly cheap, they sort of make me cringe, the headband and pads were pleather and unlike high quality pleather they don't even feel a bit like leather. They feel light and flimsy overall, despite all these problems I didn't have any issues with them while I was chugging them around (took them to a few lan parties and tournaments) they held their own despite feeling so flimsy. I think despite the fact they feel so fragile and cheap I think they can take some abuse. The headphone scores a 4/10 in this category, but because of the low price ill bump that up to 6/10.

    Comfort
    It uses the AKG auto adjust system from the K240 (this thing looks like a K240 knock-off, literally), I find because of that there is uniform pressure on the headband thus on hotspot are present making it pretty comfy for the top of my head and the clamping force is moderate so it doesn't put too much pressure against the ears, they would have been much more comfortable if the phones came with better pads, in terms of comfort the pads are pretty thin and hard making them lackluster for long listening sessions. If it weren't for the pads they would score a solid 9/10 on comfort because of the head band, the low-moderate clamp force and the lightness of the headphone itself makes it easy wear, but because of the hard and thin pads, which cause a bit of discomfort and my ears also touch against the drivers Im taking about 2 points off of it making it a 7/10.

    Aesthetics 
     An Akg K240 look alike with cheap materials and horrible pleather make this headphone not very pleasing to the eye, I mean its not ugly but its not really a looker either. A solid 6/10 over here as well.
     
    Sound 
    This was pretty surprising in terms of over all sound quality , I had initially got this as a replacement for my dying DT990 for use for Counterstrike in lan. Before it was fully burnt in it was quite thin and brittle sounding without much body in the lower end of the audio spectrum, but it had amazing resolution for the money I paid, they also imaged pretty well as footsteps were clear and easy to pick up in CS:GO (sound is very important in this game), slowly after some burn in I started listening to some songs and the headphone started to open up and I have to say that I was quite surprised by the audio quality I got for the bargain basement I paid for it. The bass was present had decent impact and was also tight sounding, didn't extend very well though and I personally would prefer a bit more bass, the mids were a bit dry but had nice detail and air to it, the highs were well extended and a bit emphasized and forward, they had plenty of detail and resolution but did get stirdent if the recording wasn't good and made these cans very revealing. 8.5/10 in perspective with price and 7/10 overall.


    Conclusion
     
    If you look beyond the terrible feeling of this headphone and the creeks and rattles of the poor build, you will find a pretty resolute and detailed sound that does gaming and music pretty well, although this doesn't really play to my preferences as I do like darker headphones I can't help but admit that I did enjoy my time with these and playing Counterstrike was a joy as the lightness of these didn't cause fatigue during long sessions, the pads however were a irritating ( I eventually used my beyer pads from my dead 990). I think these are a superb value and anyone looking for cans under a hundred dollars should definitely give these a try, and Im certain that most won't be disappointed.
    thekrautdog likes this.
  5. Miiksu
    4.0/5,
    "Beast after damping mod!"
    Pros - Great soundstage, deep bass and punchy, crisp and intimate treble. Cheap.
    Cons - Require damping mod atleast for the high treble. Need sturdier ear pads.
    Without mods it's quite decent headphone but after modding it becomes very good. High priority is to get treble down atleast. I have been using cotton wool pad and three layer of thin active carbon filter paper to reduce treble. And bass needs also little dampering too. I have been using one cotton wool pad inside each cup to reduce bass and making it more punchier. Build quality is not super. I'ts plastic and quite easy to broke but also easy to repair. Also it's very cheap headphone so no big deal if it's get broken :) Also it's comfortable headphone, lightweight, gentle clamping. 
  6. drkrazyrich
    4.5/5,
    "FANTASTIC"
    Pros - PRICE TO SOUND SECOND TO NONE
    Cons - TOO BIG TO CARRY AROUND OR FOR PORTABLE USE
    AWESOME SOUND can't beat these for price and they re tough too .My teens love em and steal them on me all the time to watch movies with or listen to music ,me too LOL .Long cord can get tangled around things not it self so much tho and comfy to wear too.The bad too big to wear out or carry around ,these are made for home use .PLEASE NOTE since these are an open design you ll still hear the TV and people around you in the back ground so if you want total quiet try one of their closed back options !
  7. Teska
    4.5/5,
    "So I bought the 681 B cause I thought it stood for "black" ! (Edit because of filter mod)"
    Pros - Cheap, good basic sound, cheap, decent build quality, cheap, includes carrying bag, cheap, self-adjusting headband and did I mention it's cheap ?
    Cons - Harsh highs (solved by the filter mod), a bit tight clamping, all plastic (but makes it light) and not solid feeling.
    I'm member on a forum for bassguitar players and since a few years the Superlux HD681 are the most spoken of headphones on there. Because of the price vs basic sound quality. After I bought the DT770 pro it seemed funny ordering this one on top, for comparisment and good for recording too.
    Because I really dislike the one with the red rings I bought the one with silver rings, not realizing that it has a different sound. But it looked cooler, that's a lot to be said here...
    Let's roll !
     
    Build quality:
    Okay, so what does one expect from €19,95 headphones ? They're made entirely out of plastic, but don't look too cheap. They have some thight clamping force and the self-adjusting system seemed to work fine, only not really smooth. But overall decent build headphones with easily removable earpads and even service friendly. The cord is thicker than the one on my AKG K271 so even there I don 't see any problem. It's a AKG clone, but Superlux gave it some own style-elements.
     
    Comfort:
    A self-adjusting system is always nice, but it does have a thight clamping force. I solved this by pulling it over a box and leave it like that for a day. Now the clamping force is normal for my head. With the AKG velours pads comfort didn't aprove, I acually prefer the stock pads, they have more clearance around my ears. Got no problem with them being sweaty too, allthough it has been extremely hot around here the last few weeks. The Superlux HD681 is quite light, which adds on comfort. Overall suitable for long term usage.
     
    Sound quality (before filter mod) :
    So, dare one speak of sound quality on €19,95 headphones ? At first I was disapointed... a lot ! Couldn't understand why all these guys were bragging about it on the bassguitar forum. I'll try to paint the picture:
    Bass: The bass was very decent, nice punchy drumkick, bassguitar present in the mix. Not really deep bass, but well noticeable. It's more like a low-mid bass, somewhere around 80hz or so. But in metal (what I'm working on at the moment) the 80 hz region is very important. So I would call the bass sound "sufficient".
    Mids: Mids where very clear from the beginning. The guitars really slammed me in the mixes I'd allready did with the DT770. But seems the Superlux puches mid foreward a bit. Cause when I lowered the volume of the guitars they became recessed in the mix. So I would call the mids a bit "over the top".
    Highs: Here was where I could really hear this thing had only cost me €19,95 ! Too much highs ! Harsh highs ! Non-musical highs... really not good in this department. It sound like it has its own treble boost build in. So I definetly cal the highs "harsh".
    Of course, since I have the B version, that's voiced like a K240, I have the "Balanced" version. Nothing balanced about the highs though...
     
    But then I read on this forum and on Rock Grotto that these Superlux headphones started to sound better if they had some playtime. And I found the mod with the filters to take away the treble boost feel. I have been playing these headphones for days now and I really hear the highs getting a better sound. Still too much, but better sounding. A friend of mine, who's into electronics, is looking into the filter mod and I will get them in there for sure. If the highs soften this headphones simply have a very usable sound. So I will comment further on sound after the filters have been added.
     
    EDIT 21st September 2013: a few days ago I've done the mod with the filter that softens the harsh highs. The Superlux are different headphones now ! Now they're really "balanced", even very close to my AKG K271. Incredible how $8 of components can chance cheap (sounding) headphones into expensive (sounding) ones.
     
    Sound quality (after filter mod):
    Bass: They are not bass-heavy headphones, but the bass is okay. It's not deep, more like a 80hz and up bassrespons. But it's compareable with the 7 times more expensive AKG. So don't expect punch in the basrespons, but it is very useable.
    Mids: The installed filter takes care of the highs and in some amount the mids are also tempered. They're real sweet mids now, just as I like them on my AKG K271. Before the filter the mids were a bit over the top, puching vocals and guitars foreward. This has been solved beautifully by these filters. Now the mids are nicely balanced and dependable.
    Highs: Allright ! Here we are... the difference in unbelieveable ! Gone are the harch highs, welcome to the new sweet, musical highs that suddely make these $25 headphones sound scary close to the 7 times as expensive AKG K271.
     
    Soundstage:
    As far as I understand it, soundstage is all about stereo imaging and instrument placement. Well, that's not one of the strong points of these headphone. The sound sits a lot "inside the head" making it difficult to place the instruments. The stereo image is a bit rough, could be because of the forwarded mids and the harsh highs. But hey, what do you expect from €19,95 headphones that says "studio monitor". I cannot image one will use these for mixing, but I believe it would be a decent phone for guitar or bass recordings.
     
    Conclusion:
    At this point it's hard to say because I 'm planning on the filter mod. But out of the box I think these headphones can satisfy many music-lovers. It's fairly neutral sounding, besides the overexaggerated highs, and many won 't even mind the highs. I read a lot of reviews where people say the HD681 can, with some mods, sound like $150 headphones, but I seriously doubt that. It is no match for the DT770 pro or the K271 studio. Not by a long run.
     
    Conclusion after the filter mod:
    These headphones were $25 and the filters have cost me about $8. This makes it a $33 headphone. After the filter mod the sound is truely balanced and really does have a "studio monitor" feel over it. It is definitly useable in the studio for recordings, allthough the open build will cause problems. Now I have to agree with all those who claim this Superlux HD sounds like a $150 HP after the filters are in place. At this moment it even is a match for my $200 AKG K271. Or it's at least surprisingly close.
    After these filters I had to upgrade "Rating" from 3 stars to 4 and half stars and "Audio Quality" till max.
     
    Here are some pictures of the B version with the AKG velours pads:
     


     

     

     

     

  8. KSinY
    5.0/5,
    "Simply awesome budget monitor headphone"
    Pros - light weight, good clarity and high bass
    Cons - stiff and sweaty ear pads, wire length option and portability
    When the package reached, my first impression is... honestly cheap. Simply a plastic wrapped with a hard cupboard holding the HD681 which i understand because of considering the budget. The headphone comes along with a 6.3 mm plug adapter and carrying bag. Then I hold the headphone, surprisingly light weight and it fits my head quite well (my head is quite small). Unfortunately I realise the ear pads are quite hard and if used a long time it will become sweaty (tropical country :D).

    For musics, so far all genre is good to go, and with amp and tuning equalizer the result will be more impressive. I'm just a normal home user who enjoy music but not in professional way so it is consider extra good for me except the wire is a bit too long for me (which i dont need too long). So i coil it and I think it is not a very big deal with it. In terms of portability, HD681 is not very suitable for mobility use as it looks too much adopted in studio monitor (the design is cool wearing in indoor) and big size. 

    Overall, considering the price and output quality, it is still the best bang for bucks (in my country ;P) like other Superlux headphones and earbuds.

    Recommend for users love enjoy any genre musics indoor with simple way (not DJ style) and replace its ear pads (velour pads or others).

    Peace V
  9. spinnin
    4.5/5,
    "Remarkable"
    Pros - Sound quality, accurate reproduction, comfortable, price
    Cons - Not portable, fugly
    Reading reviews is one thing, as we all have our own subjective opinions, but when something receives a majority of praise, I think it's worth a try.
     
    When the 681's arrived, I wasn't impressed with the packaging, but they looked as I expected them to look. They feel pretty durable and the look is retro, I can't see myself taking these outside since they don't fold up and they are kind of fugly.
     
    Looks aside, the sound from these is nothing short of amazing. 
     
    I'm running them out of my Dell Inspiron 530 desktop (Core 2 Quad) with a Behringer UCA222 in the signal path. The files are all WAV or FLAC. 
     
    The 681's are very easy to drive, I don't feel the need to hook up my Fiio E05 or my Fiio E11. I'm getting plenty of volume, with room to spare, from the desktop.
     
    I've been listening to a very wide variety of music and the 681's are working very well with everything. Acoustic, Folk, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Progressive Metal, Industrial, Hip Hop, Rap, they all sound really amazing on these Headphones.
     
    I'm really glad I took a chance on these.
     
    Compared to other Headphones that are in the same bracket, like the Panasonic RP-HTF600-S Stereo Headphones and the Monoprice 8323, I believe they aren't in the same league, as far as performance. I realize the 681's are a semi-open design, but so are the HTF600's. I'm not putting the 8323's or the HTF600's down, as they are very good headphones in their own right, but I overwhelmingly prefer the sound of the 681's.
     
    The 8323 and the HTF600's are more portable but the Panasonic's don't really fold either but the cups rotate a little, whereas the 8323's fold up in the smallest portable package of the three.
     
    So, the details the 681's produce are spot on, to me. I don't have a higher end set up to compare them to, as the only other headphones I own are Sennheiser PX100's, PX200's, and Audio-Technica ATH-M50's. 
     
    Out of all those sets, I really prefer the 681's. I don't find they are lacking in any aspect. The bass is deep, fast, and tight. The midrange is fabulous, the vocals and instruments sound SO good. I don't feel the treble is too bright or forward or harsh. These headphones seem to reproduce exactly what you feed them, and that is no small feat.
     
    Since they are "semi-open" the sound isn't contained, so others can hear what you are listening to and the sound from the surrounding environment creeps in without much resistance. This is another reason I don't see the 681's as ideal for use on a commute or in an office environment, unless you need to be aware of your surroundings. I don't think you have to crank the volume up much to get a really decent level of sound with these either.
     
    I do appreciate the reviews on equipment submitted by everyone else on head-fi. This is a great resource and it was very helpful in my search for some decent setups.
     
    As with anything else, this is just my opinion of the 681's. Your mileage may vary.
  10. Judge Buff
    5.0/5,
    "$35 Wonder Cans"
    Pros - Soundstage, clarity, balanced sig with good bass, price
    Cons - They aren't perfect... The ear pads are not the best. Not for the huge-headed, but what cans are?
    People are dissing these for their looks?!? If you are buying any full-sized cans because of their sexy factor, you need to reexamine your priorities. If you haven't heard these, I'd bet you take them home when you do. For the tiny bit of $$ you'll pay, these are absolutely the best sounding cans you can purchase. College students, people on fixed-incomes and the thrifty audiophile will especially love these. Replace the pads with velour ones, if you want. The cans will still sound good and they may be more comfortable. As good as they sound and as cheap as they are, who cares how they look? If that's an issue, turn off the light when you listen to them. Lets face it, some Grados look like radio operator headphones from the 1920s, but they are graded on their sound first. These should be, too.