Coby's CVH47 Lightweight Stereo Headphones are a simple yet functional way to meet your audio needs. Its open-air design and adjustable headband provides customizable comfort. High-performance 30mm drivers are designed for optimum quality listening.
Cons - We are unworthy, Routine Ephiphany Dulls its Brilliance, Low Price Biases Buyer
Everyone has "that" song. The song that helped define their life, that they could easily divide their life in half without batting an eye - before the song and after the song. The song itself might not even be particularly memorable - it could have just been playing during a life-altering moment and be inextricably linked to it in one's mind for eternity. It could signify a coming of age or a midlife crisis. A person could be doing anything - performing heart surgery or diffusing a bomb - and when that song comes on nothing else exists but the song and maybe an air guitar that spontaneously generated in their hands.
This is something really unique to music. While you may have an art afficionado or literature buff here and there similarly affected by a particular painting or limerick, music - while it affects everyone differently, has a certain universal appeal that is truly unique. I always thought this phenomenon was limited to the source material - give me the song and its my jam, whether I hear it on a pair of laptop speakers or a Marshall stack. But then I came across something truly extraordinary - a device for musical playback that could make every song - well, "that" song.
$2. It sure is a lot of money as a child, when candy is the only currency that matters and money can get it. For adults, not so much. It can hardly buy a cup of coffee. Yet for $2 (shipped, via Amazon Prime) you can have a box of awesome delivered to your door.
The Coby CVH47 may not look like much. Its form-after-function utilitarian styling leaves one wanting in today's age of flash-in-the-pan glitz-and-glamour razzmatazz showboating artsy-fartsy namby-pamby luxury gear. Lightweight plastic and gently curved metal was once all a man could ask for in a generation of understated elegance. Nowadays if it isn't bedazzled with Swarovski crystals and swaddled in velvet it is not worth coveting. The Coby's truly herald from a different age, a time where you got by with hard work, sweat and tears. Ever since Abraham Lincoln put a stop to all that, this is a value that has been lost to subsequent generations. Coby hearkens back to a lost chapter in our history when things weren't so darn complicated. Remotes didn't have so many buttons because you had to walk up to the TV and there were only 4 channels, and there was no cereal "aisle" with hundreds of cartoon animals peddling fluorescent glow-in-the-dark sugar cubes to kids because milk hadn't been invented yet. Coby looks back at this time wistfully and says "what would their headphone sound like?" If this time makes you wistful and nostalgic, grow up - emotions are meant to be bottled up. But these headphones may be right for you. Think about a time without synonyms- because there was only one word for everything. A time of simplicity - when everything could be cured with an aspirin and a stiff one - including ED. Shouldn't your headphones too?
Coby's CVH47 work scientifically. From fully coated dynamic drivers to sound waves that propagate and form "audio", these are state-of-the-art. If Thomas Edison had known just what he was foreshadowing when he invented the light bulb, he probably would have invented the CVH47 instead. I wrote Coby quite a few times and have never heard anything back, so I suppose frequency response is never. Distortion is well below the threshold of information I'm capable of finding through the internet. But enough of the numbers - how does it sound?
Graph. Flat! Extension.
There are few sounds that have ever graced my ears - a newborn kitten sneezing, a muted bell sounding on a light tower over the rise of a tempestuous sea lapping up against beleaguered banks - that ever really stick with you, that encapsulate those little things in life that happen then are gone and yet remain. With the Coby CVH47, every note echoes in your subconscious long after its superb decay has faded out. The devlish rhythms serrate your soul and shock your senses like the scent of rain on long-barren earth. Who can resist the wiles of such a headphone? It is as the unlisted instrument in every piece it plays. It is the fifth Beatle and the third Simon and Garfunkel. It does not impart its own signature on the music that passes through it yet the imprint it leaves is indelible. It is subtle as a witty turn-of-phrase and bombastic as a punk rock anthem. It is the big bang and water trickling over rocks, a shout and and echo, a sigh and a triumphant rebel yell. It obliterates all in its path while leaving them untouched. In short - it is everything and it is nothing, an antilogy wrapped in an allegory couched in a simile. It gets so wrapped up with one's emotional being that they are stricken with acute alexithymia, and any halfhearted attempt at description degrades it. While listening to the CVH47 I was sometimes so overcome that I had to retire to my outdoor Japanese rock garden to contemplate life while I brushed my ponytail and whispered to myself. That it had this effect is truly astonishing, as I live in a high rise and am bald.
Into the Sunset
So where does Coby go from here? How does one improve on what amounts to perfection? Coby CEO Young Dong has a few ideas. "For one, we need to do kickstarter. Another area of improvement is DSD. HRTF. Sean Olive." Coby must also play the "lifestyle" card if it wants to compete with the likes of Beats and Mr Speakers. A high-profile posthumous endorsement deal with Michael Jackson is imminent if the rumours are to be believed. Respected producers like Phil Spector are also starting to sing the CVH47's praises.
In light of the impeccable performance and unseemly value of this product, I feel behooved to bestow upon it an award of such rarity that it has never before been given. I speak of course, about the "double rainbow during a solar eclipse" award. The Coby CVH47 has earned a vaunted spot in the pantheon of hi-fi, and will not be displaced until the fact that I must write regular articles that portray this hobby as moving ever forward lest I lose my precarious niche journalism job forces my hand.
Financial/moral Considerations - I stole the $2 to buy these headphones from a blind homeless man
Rig - Sansa Clip -> Coby CVH47
These headphones cost 1.95 including shipping from Amazon with a Prime account. Link to Amazon I got them to use the headband for a DIY fixup of a vintage phone. But I figured I should write a review since they're so darn cheap.
They come in a plastic bubble like thing. The plastic seems relatively sturdy and protected the phones well. It is also see through, which is nice so you can see all the glory of the product enclosed. There was also some cardboard inside. Regular cardboard, nothing special. The graphics printed on it were a little dated and lacked the color and creative vision that might have grabbed me and made me more excited about the purchase.
They feature a metal headband strap, which seems strong enough to do the job. They're probably more durable than Beats and Bose from what I've read, I don't think they'd break even if you went Tyll Hertsens™ on them. The plastic is cheap and makes very unpleasant high pitched "tip, tip" noises when you hit them with your fingernails, instead of the deeper "tap, tap" you would expect to hear from a quality plastic. It was easy to break the plastic arm next to the metal headband to remove this metal strap for my project, so these aren't a good choice for your angry 5 year old kids. Only if they know their manners. The good thing is they cost less than 2 dollars.
They look like super crappy headphones. Which is kind of charming in that "I don't give a dam" grunge kind of way. They'd go well with your sister's old beat up jeans and too small hoody. And
They're really light so that's nice, but the angle of the (fixed) earcup/baffle is straight vertical if not angled out the wrong way, so it only makes contact with my ears on the top of the baffle, and then the rest angles away from my ear, so that there is a gap of a finger's width at the bottom end (where the cable comes out). This causes some unnecessary pressure on this contact point up top because the weight isn't well distributed. It also negatively effects the sound.
The most important thing when buying 2 dollar headphones is how they sound. They sound exactly like you would expect 2 dollar headphones to sound although they do have some pleasant surprises. They're not very harsh, there are a lot of very expensive audiophile headphones which exhibit much more harshness. These are fairly smooth except for a peak of some sort in the upper midrange, but it's not bad. The overall frequency response is a mountain shape (upside down V) which starts at 80hz or higher and climbs slowly upward until it peaks in the upper midrange and then starts it's decline, extending to 10khz or something probably. Coby does not publish FR range specs on their website for obvious reasons. I doubt they are flat in the upper midrange very long, most frequencies are quieter than the upper mids, they are not even flat throughout the whole vocal range. Lower mids are recessed as they begin The Great Rolloff. They also suffer from overall SQ because of the way they fit hanging away from my ears, this gap contributes to the upper midrange peak, lack of any bass whatsoever and lack of richness and warmth.
They are also fairly resonant. They kind of sound like the drivers were installed backwards and everything is bouncing off the curved plastic enclosure before getting to you.
The treble sounds like it is being filtered through a thick paper wall. It is extremely veiled, thick, really grainy, and for the most part nonexistent. There is a complete lack of air and precision. Cymbals sound like they are miniaturized and made of soft plastic or some kind of hard papery substance. There's no simmer or sizzle at all. I get the feeling that I may be missing entire instruments that exist in the treble regions. Like bells and things.
The midrange also sounds like it is coming from behind something. It is muffled and tends to get smeared into other instruments. Listening to Led Zeppelin, his voice sounds like he's singing right next to the electric guitar sometimes so that the two sounds blend together a bit. It has some characteristics of natural tone, it has some warmth and it's not terribly shrill with male vocals, though it tends to be a bit shrill with female vocals. Lhasa De Sala's voice sounds a lot smaller and less rich than it should. There is a sense that you're getting a little piece of the vocal range, with the top and bottom cut off, as if the vocalist is singing through a little slot in a wall that only lets the middle bit of vocal frequencies through. But vocals do have a degree of naturalness to them, and they do manage to portray some of the breathy qualities of vocals. I think the tone could be worse, it depends on the album. Daniel Lanois' voice is portrayed much better than Lhasa's voice and is acceptable. But overall it leaves a lot to be desired and after listening for an extended period of time, the amount of ringing and resonance in the midrange becomes quite fatiguing and I get a callaustraphobic feeling, like I want to get out of this tiny resonant chamber my head is trapped inside. The resonant notes in the upper midrange in this song are much more echoey and resonant than they should be, as the Coby's add their own resonance to the reverb in the recording.
The bass isn't part of the picture with these phones. Bass guitar can hardly be heard. If you had a recording of a hundred elephants farting in unison in a big gymnasium, I think through these headphones it would come across like a squirrel fart high up in a tree. When I switch to my Yamaha orthos I realize that there are entire bass notes which do not exist on the Coby's. It is able to portray a kind of a "puff puff" type sound with bass drum hits and some bass guitar notes, but it's more of a generic impact, and not discernible as a particular note or instrument. It sounds like a baby banging on a small Fischer price version of the real thing. Listening to Daniel Lanois' album "Shine", whose first song has a very deep bass note, the Coby's do actually capture the upper end of this note, which is surprising. But it sounds strange, it has a different tone then it should, it again sounds like some kind of kids toy- a toy bass guitar that makes sounds when you push big plastic buttons where the strings should be. There are further bass notes in this song where the Coby's capture the upper parts of certain bass notes, but the lower notes in the melody are non existent or fade as they go deeper.
Separation and Imaging
Separation and imaging are decent for the price. Some parts of the frequency range have some issues where notes get blended together, namely the heart of the midrange and lower midrange to the "bass", which is effectively all this headphone produces. But there's a degree of separation and imaging in the upper midrange and treble. I can clearly hear cymbals here and a vocalist somewhere else. Imaging is better when there isn't too much going on at once. When 2 notes occupy similar frequency ranges on the same channel (left/right) they get blended together and tend to occupy the same position in the soundscape, which can be so bad that is damages the integrity of each instrument.
Horrible. It's not just inside my head, it's inside of the inside of my head. Like I had headphones implanted an inch inside my head from each side, and these implanted headphones have tiny soundstage. Some of the treble manages to get outside my ears a bit, but the vocals dive deep inside my eardrums with all their resonant fury and I desperately want to get them out.
Decent, not great. I have the volume on my ipod at 50-70%. for their size, they should be more sensitive I think.
Save up for the KSC-75. Don't buy these unless you want some crap earphones to toss around. Not bad for 2 dollars to be honest. But they have horrible extension on both ends, cutting off entire instruments in the bass and treble, with a slightly peaky, resonant midrange that is fairly smooth, but isn't entirely natural sounding. A very narrow band of the midrange is the best, or shall I say, only functioning aspect of this headphone, which while resonant isn't terribly offensive. But if a voice doesn't occupy this narrow band it's not a super fun time. They have poor comfort and severe durability issues.
I think their saving grace is the lack of harshness, which means I'd be comfortable with a kid using these, as I don't think they'd damage his/her ears. I would be a bit afraid of the unnatural, resonant midrange damaging his/her brain, however, and I wouldn't want my kid's brain to be developing under these circumstances for fear they may not develop proper perception, or they might just go crazy altogether.
My Macbook Pro laptop's built in speakers are better in every way including bass response, if that tells you anything. They have a more natural midrange and more extension on both ends.