General Information

F58C1F69-42E8-487C-8FC9-402419C1D516.jpeg

Dekoni Audio is proud to announce the partnership with Fostex Japan in releasing the Dekoni Blue Headphone to the US market. Coming in Dekoni’s Signature Blue color with the Dekoni Livery, the Blue is similar to the T50RP MK III in shape but very different in the way it sounds. Utilizing the Fostex Planar Magnetic Drivers and Body, the addition of the Dekoni Hybrid Ear Pads and other proprietary changes makes this headphone a better version of the original by being less fatiguing and smoother all around with an extended bass response.

Dekoni Audio is known for the unsurpassed ear pads it has developed for an array of HiFI Audiophile headphones, and the development of the Dekoni Blue did not go without the addition of a new ear pad to the line-up. The Dekoni Blue comes with a specially designed Hybrid Ear Pad that has the isolation of Sheepskin on the outside, Velour on the face of the ear pad for comfort, and Dekoni’s Fenestrated Sheepskin on the inside of the ear pad for a smooth transition of sound from speaker to ear. Part of the design of the pad is meant to deal with the issue of the original T50RP driver causing fatigue to the listener after a short period of listening, by reducing the high frequency peak common to this headphone in its stock configuration. Other changes have been made internally to extend the bass response while maintaining a solid low end and tight core sound. Already receiving rave reviews, the Dekoni Blue is launching with an extra set of Dekoni Audio Elite Velour Earpads that utilize the Premium Slow rebound, high density memory foam Dekoni is known for.

Official Discussion thread:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/dekoni-audio-blue-official-fostex-t50-rp-headphones.873064/

Currently, only available for sale in the USA and Japan.
IMG_1093.JPG

Latest reviews

rev92

100+ Head-Fier
Dekoni Blue
Pros: Great looks
Well made
Effortless to listen to
Relaxed
Very comfortable
Fostex T50RP heritage
Good soundstage
Cons: Not a final word when it comes to detail and resolution
Packaging is very basic
Cable is just decent
Very touch competition
dscf0632.jpg

Dekoni Blue is a modification of the Fostex T50RP MK3, which is the only mod of this model officially approved by Fostex. The price is set at $299, but right now you can get them for $249.





Introduction​

Dekoni has been around for quite some time now, offering the best aftermarket earpads on the market. Then an idea came – let’s create something different than the earpads – and that’s how the Blue came to life.

As I said in the beginning, this is the only modification of T50RP that has been officially approved by Fostex.

Packaging

dscf0192sz.jpg


Basic.

The unboxing experience of the Dekoni Blue is very simple and modest. All you’ll find is the box, headphones, and the cable with an adapter. The box is pretty ordinary, but it has a great color and cool esthetics, making it a good looking addition for your shelf.
I really can’t say anything else, this is very basic and gets the job done, but don’t expect a fascinating experience while getting these out of the box.

Cable​


The cable included in the box is 2m long and it has a 6.3mm jack connector, but you’re getting a 3.5mm adapter in the box. The plug going into the headphones is an angled connector with a locking mechanism. While it’s great for security, it is too hard to unplug. You basically have to pull the cable really hard, which may cause problems in the long-term, so I recommend not to unplug the cable too often.

Other than that, it’s a pretty ordinary, black and rather thick cable that is not great, but not terrible either. It gets the job done, doesn’t really get in the way, but it surely won’t impress anybody.

dscf0531.jpg


The cable is pretty standard.

Build quality and comfort​

dscf0565.jpg
As you should have expected from Dekoni – the earpads are absolutely stunning.

Now into some great things – these are fantastically made. I’m digging the blue color of the earcups, with that contrasty orange “Fostex” written on the headband.
Even though the majority of the headphone is made of plastic, it feels robust and very reliable. If you’re looking for a pair of headphones that you won’t have to really care about, I don’t think you can find anything significantly better.

As far as comfort is concerned – these are some of the most comfortable closed-back headphones I’ve ever used in my life. The included Elite hybrid earpads are super plushy, superb to the touch and quite simply the best earpads included with a pair of headphones ever. Dekoni is known for their earpads, so this shouldn’t really surprise anybody.

The Blue is not the lightest headphone around, nor it is the heaviest, but I find the weight to be just right. Clamping force is moderate to strong out of the box, but thanks to those extraordinary earpads it only helps with a great and secure fit, not causing any problems with the comfort whatsoever.

Tech​

dscf0617.jpg


Blue.

Dekoni Blue is a modified Fostex T50RP MK3, and it’s a true modification, rather than completely changing the original. What’s changed you’ll ask?

For sure the first that you can see is the changed design, with that gorgeous blue color on the earcups. I believe that it’s a great change from a rather boring and plain original.
Other than that, the only two things that have been changed are the earpads and the inner baffle being redesigned. As far as the earpads go, you know my opinion already – these are absolutely mind-blowing.
The inner baffle on the other hand has been changed to switch the tonality a bit, creating a more personalized headphone by Dekoni.

Sound​

dscf0615.jpg


Studio heritage, made for an effortless experience.

I’ll start this part by saying, that if you’re looking for an absolutely best all-rounder and the best bang for your buck headphone in this price range, Dekoni Blue definitely isn’t that. In terms of raw technical performance and being universally tuned, the Hifiman Deva is a much better product for you.

The bass is definitely the star of the show, and you’ll hear it from the first moment. It’s big, rounded and very forward. Bassheads are going to be quite pleased, but I strongly recommend plugging those into a strong amplifier, as it helps to tighten up the low frequencies a lot. Other than that, the bass is addictive, strong and just fun to listen to, but nowhere natural or neutral. Put some Post Malone or any electronic music into them though, and you’ll be in for a treat.
What’s surprised me the most, was that the bass is more reminiscent of a dynamic driver construction, providing a great punch and physicality, which is rather rare for planar magnetic headphones.

dscf0173.jpg


Fostex T50RP has been around for a while now.


The midrange is yet again – very pleasing. It is warm, lush and smooth with a hint of energy in the higher region. Thanks to that, these are great for long listening sessions, where you’ll really appreciate the fantastic comfort and this very smooth, easy tone of the Blue.
While not the most detailed pair of headphones out there (well, not even close to being close), those are great to just sit, relax and listen to some music without paying too much attention to what you’re hearing. I tend to reach out for them after listening to my Hifiman Ananda, which is a detail monster, with a much more focus on the classic “audiophile” qualities in music.

The treble is yet again rather smooth and clean, with just a touch of spiciness to it. While I won’t describe the Blue as dark sounding, it is noticeably calmer and less detailed than any of my other headphones. That makes it a great companion for long listening sessions once again.
Don’t get me wrong though – these are not muffled. The treble region focuses more on a smooth and pleasing approach with a moderate detail retrieval, but I won’t call it withdrawn by any means. There’s still sparkliness to it, and there’s actually one thing that the Dekoni Blue is great at – recreating the timbre of the cymbals. They somehow can easily reproduce this thick, bold and rich sound that is fast and clean at the same time – that’s impressive.

dscf0625.jpg


I absolutely love the color.


The soundstage is quite surprising actually. While being narrow and condensed, it has an impressive depth to it with excellent imaging. The fact that it’s narrow isn’t really weird – it’s a closed-back headphone at the end of the day. But it’s a rather interesting feeling, having all the sounds really close to you when left and right is concerned, with a really good depth towards you.
Of course, it doesn’t sound as open and airy as open-back offerings, but having only closed-back headphones in mind, I’d actually call the Blue’s soundstage great.

To summarize – Dekoni Blue is a great secondary headphone to have in your arsenal. While it’s not universal when it comes to tuning, it provides a fun, fatigue-free and very comfortable listening experience that is easy to appreciate.

Summary​

dscf0632.jpg


Dekoni Blue is easy to like, and it won’t kill your wallet.



The legend is alive. Dekoni Blue is a very good modification of the vastly popular T50RP by Fostex, providing a great build quality, comfort, and that smooth, easy tone. If you have a good, neutral open-back headphone for your daily use but you’re looking for a secondary pair that’ll give you a chill and easy time with your music, the Dekoni Blue is a good choice.




Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
  • Headphones – Hifiman Ananda, Hifiman HE400i 2020, Hifiman Deva, AKG K501, Audeze LCD3
  • Sources– Cayin N3Pro, Cayin N6ii, JDSLabs Atom stack, SMSL SU-9 + SH-9, Feliks Audio Echo MK II
  • Like
Reactions: ehjie

voja

100+ Head-Fier
I'm blue da ba dee da ba daa (Da ba dee da ba daa, da ba dee da ba daa, da ba dee da ba daa)
Pros: Build quality
Comfort
Fatigue-free and fun
Lightweight
Built upon base model of T50RP MK3, which means the modding freedom is unlimited (spare pars market too)
Cons: Some may find it lacking in bass definition - however, if you have a stronger amplifier, the bass should be more defined

Now, the following are neither pros, nor cons, they are aspects that may or may not be what you are looking for:
Warm sound signature, V-shaped sound signature
If you have been following the headphone scene back in 2018, then you are probably familiar with the Dekoni Blue. Fostex’s T50RP is probably the most modded headphone model in history, and Dekoni took part of that as well.

Dekoni originally announced their partnership with Fostex back in May, 2018, however, the headphone was actually previewed way back in February. It would go on to gain its biggest audience from Massdrop (now Drop). The Blue has been released at several different price points and variants - since its release, the prices varied from $170 - $300. The original offering at Massdrop (Drop) included a set of extra Elite Velour pads.

However, what makes Dekoni’s Blue model different from the other modded T50RP MK3’s is the fact that it’s an official partnership with Fostex. What this essentially means is that Fostex directly manufactures the Blue model for Dekoni Audio. I believe this is the first and only official partnership that Fostex made for the T50RP MK3 - all the other well known mods were done by the company selling them, this includes: Mr. Speakers’ (Dan Clark Audio) “Mad Dog” and “Alpha Dog”, “Argon” by Mod House, Cascadia Audio’s “Talos”, and Mayflower Electronic’s T50RP mods, and others.

dsBk7E1.jpg


Unboxing experience

The unboxing experience is quite straight to the point - a nicely designed (and matching blue) cardboard box, and headphones wrapped in bubble wrap inside. I would best describe the contents and the whole presentation as minimal - just as you would expect from a Fostex T50RP.

Formal format of what you get inside (this may depend on what variant you are buying, this is the stock one):
1x Dekoni Blue headphone (with Elite Hybrid earpads)
1x 2m cable (6.3mm jack)
1x 3.5mm adaptor

WSW1WJ7.jpg


Build quality

Originally aimed for studio use, the Fostex T50RP was made to be lightweight and durable - something that can be worn without much weight to it, while also withstanding regular wear. Since Dekoni used the T50RP MKIII as its base model, it follows the very same characteristics as the original.

Starting from the top, the headband is made of high quality faux leather. It offers an exceptional amount of padding (I will cover the headband in more detail in the “Comfort” section), and is also stitched along the edges - which will ensure that there is no peeling at the edges.

Moving further down, the headband is screwed in place to a plastic piece, and right below it is another plastic piece that holds the height adjustment sliders. Both of these parts are made of high quality plastic.
Now, you may notice that Dekoni Blue shares many things with the Fostex T50RP MK3, and this is because it uses the T50RP MK3 as its base model excluding the ear-pads, which Dekoni replaced with their high quality Elite Hybrid pads, everything is basically the same.

This means that the Blue features the same metal height adjustment sliders, the same lock-mechanism for the cable connector, and the same exposed braided cables.

Speaking of the cable, it’s my least favorite part. I am personally not very impressed with the quality of it. Unfortunately, it’s no different than many headphone cables today. Anybody who has seen me on forums knows how much I brag about the quality of Sennheiser HD598’s cable. That is mainly because it is what I perceive as the standard of what a rubber cable should feel like.

The stock cable is impossible to store away. I usually tie cables around my hand and push the plug through the center - essentially tying the cable and leaving it as a “circle”. However, this is impossible to do. with the Blue’s stock cable… The cable keeps returning to its original shape and turns into a whole mess. This essentially means that you will have two meters of cable just hanging out there… which isn’t ideal. Another issue that comes with the stubborn nature of this cable is that the connector in the lock mechanism can get pushed up.

sdRTj0j.jpg


Design

Like the name suggests - the Blue’s main design characteristic is the authentic Dekoni blue. This essentially makes it stand out from the original black and orange aesthetic. Dekoni Blue is anything but bland - it features branding on several places. The first thing you will notice is the big “Dekoni” branding on top of the headband - the printing is of high quality and is printed on top of the headband’s faux leather.

While Dekoni didn’t change the Fostex logo on the sides, they did change the printing on the ear-cups and the color of the height adjustment sliders.

It’s no secret that the T50RP has held its authentic design ever since it was first implemented. The 1st generation of the T50 series actually featured a round ear-cup design, and it wouldn’t be until the 2nd generation that Fostex would introduce the now iconic design - round ear-cup base with an elevated square at the back. Ever since the 2nd generation, Fostex has remained the iconic design of the RP-series.

In terms of the actual color-scheme, Fostex only introduced the black and orange color combination with the 3rd generation. Of course, the main cosmetic difference that Dekoni made was the color-scheme. The height adjustment sliders were changed from the original silver finish to a black finish. In similar fashion, instead of the classic “T50RP” label and Fostex’s RP logo on the ear-cups, Dekoni changed it up - it features Dekoni Audio’s logo, large “Blue” label” and a visual of a sound wave.

Dekoni Blue keeps the same good old design with minor aesthetic changes.

piNwBtR.jpg


Comfort

Comfort being Dekoni’s main focus field, it’s not surprising that it’s one of the main selling points of this headphone.
The headband itself has light cushioning - and this is something that may or may not be a problem. I myself don’t have any problems or discomfort with it, and that’s mainly due to the fact that my hair acts as a cushion between the headband and my head. However, if you are bald, this may be something that can present a problem.

And of course, the highlight of this headphone - the pads. Dekoni Blue has Dekoni’s most premium series - the Elite Hybrid. This series utilizes sheepskin on the outside, velour on the face, and fenestrated (perforated) sheepskin on the inside of the pads. The general ideology of this combination is as follows:
The sheepskin on the outside is mean the provide better isolation and a better lower frequency response. The velour on the face is meant to provide a breathability and comfort, while letting the sound signature to be more open by letting sound travel through it. Finally, the fenestrated sheepskin on the inside is meant to let the sound travel through it and essentially “enter” the ear-pads themselves - this results to a more open sound and also gives better breathability.

To put things into better perspective, let’s talk about how they handle long listening sessions. At no surprise, the Blue didn’t show any signs of discomfort - even after listening sessions that consisted of several albums and multiple hours of music. In fact, it was rather my incapability to stay seated in one place that caused me to take a break and walk around. The ear-pads did not get warm or sweaty, and there also weren’t any hotspots. The velour material is very comfortable and pleasant to the skin - it reminds me of a very soft and cozy sweater. However, Dekoni Blue is not one of those headphones that disappears on your head, you are aware of it at all times.

The clamp force is neither too strong, nor too weak. What is important to me is that the headphone can stay in place while I move around. Generally there are two types of people:
Those who enjoy sitting back in a chair and dissolve in the music, and those who tend to live the music and move around. I am the latter type, I like to move my head and dance around, that’s just how I enjoy music. This being said, I am happy that the clamp force could keep them on my head, and that I didn’t have to lift them up every two minutes.

Dekoni Audio being a company that specializes in producing ear-pads, the comfort aspect is one of the main focus fields. Even if you find yourself unhappy with the headband, the spare parts market for the T50RP is so wide that you will have no problem finding one that will suit you - this basically goes for everything regarding this headphone.


History of planar-magnetic headphones & the important role that Fostex played in it


Fostex RP has a very interesting history, and it has a lot to do the technology used. While manufacturers like Audeze and Hifiman were making planar-magnetic (isodynamic/orthodynamic) headphones in high-end market, Fostex focused on producing affordable planar-magnetic headphones - that’s essentially where it found its potential.

Being more curious about the widely unknown history of Fostex’s RP range, I found out that Fostex is given very little credit for its importance in the planar-magnetic field. After some hours of digging into the history of planar-magnetic headphones, I was barely able to source the first ever planar-magnetic headphone. Surprisingly enough, in 1972 Wharfedale produced the world’s first planar-magnetic headphone: the Wharfedale ID1. Who would’ve thought that a manufacturer like Wharfedale, a company that is most well known for their speakers, produced the world’s first planar magnetic set of headphones.

Wharfedale ID1


After that, I had a difficult time tracking down exactly which models were released between 1972 and later, however, I did find some notable information:

1974/1975 - Fostex launches its T50v0 model - making it the world’s second planar-magnetic headphone. It would only be sold until 1976 - the v0 series is generally less documented. From my research, the only headphone in the v0 series was the T50v0 - making it the first T50 from Fostex.

Fostex T50v0


The T50v0 would lead Fostex to become an OEM for other companies, and produce headphone models that are based off of the T50v0. These models would be:


1977
- NAD RP18 (it had two variations of the drivers: mylar diaphragm, and the kapton diaphragm)

Nad RP18



1977
- Aiwa HP-500

Aiwa HP-500



70’s
- Sansui SS100

11346785.jpg



1974
- Audio Technica launches its first headphone series - the AT-700 series.
*I cannot confirm whether the AT-700 series featured planar-magnetic technology, but I did find information that Audio Technica was among other manufacturers who were involved in the planar magnetic headphone market


1975/1976
- Yamaha launches its first planar-magnetic headphone: the HP-1. The HP-1 was designed by the well known Mario Bellini. Yamaha was apparently doing far better than other manufacturers in terms of sales for their orthodynamic headphones. This is mainly due to the fact that they utilized efficient marketing and follow-up series

Yamaha HP-1



Yamaha followed up with the following models:

1978 - YH-1000

Yamaha YH-1000



1982
- YH-100

Yamaha line-up (middle - YH-100)

Yamaha YH-1 (left), Yamaha YH-100 (middle), Yamaha YH-1000 (right)


1985
- YHD-1

Yamaha YHD-1



Mid 70’s
- YH1
Yamaha YH-1



1977
- Fostex launches T10, T20, T30, and the T50 models (v1) - notable feature of the 1st generation were the round ear-cups & ear-pads, and round driver

Fostex 1st Generation



1978
- Bang & Olufsen releases the U70 - designed by B&O’s well famed designer Jacob Jensen

11346775.jpg



1980s
- Fostex finally introduces its Regular Phase (RP) technology (v2) - notable feature of the 2nd generation was the change of the ear-cup construction and the headband. This generation introduced the rubber headband and also started featuring the iconic “RP” logo on the ear-cups.

Fostex T20RP v2

Fostex T40RP



2002-2006
- Fostex launches T20RP MK2, T40RP MK2, T50RP - notable feature of the third generation was the change to a square-shaped driver. This would be a significant change, as though it completely changed the sound signature, but also all future models would implement the square-shaped driver. This generation followed the same rubber headband as the previous one.

Fostex T20RP MK2


All of this being said, there’s no doubt that there were several planar-magnetic headphones in the early years. However most of them didn’t see much success - mainly due to the difficult process of manufacturing these headphones, it wasn’t cost efficient for the manufacturers.
This is why Fostex played a major role in the planar magnetic field. Besides Yamaha, it truly brought the planar-magnetic technology to the commercial market. Fostex’s RP series was widely used in studios, that’s how it raised to fame.
You can also notice that most of the early planar-magnetic headphones were produced for a limited time - meaning that many companies decided to leave the field of planar-magnetic headphones.

The most interesting part is that Fostex was founded in 1973, which is only a year or two prior to the release of the T50v0. Nowadays, names like Hifiman and Audeze are the ones that people generally associate with “planar-magnetic”, however those companies were founded more than three decades later - Hifiman in 2003, Audeze in 2008 - making Fostex one of the first companies to seriously step in the planar-magnetic headphone market.


Sound

If there is anything that the Dekoni Blue is recognized for, it’s the lower frequency response. While I didn’t have a chance to hear the original Fostex T50RP MK3, I can definitely say that Dekoni’s marketing was pretty accurate - the overall sound signature is leaning toward the warm side of the spectrum.

gn8VlUl.jpg


Lows

One of the biggest misconceptions about the Blue, is that it’s a basshead headphone. I personally wouldn’t agree with this, and it’s definitely something that I saw many people referring to. Let’s go to the roots, what does “basshead” mean? I would consider “basshead” to be a headphone that can deliver sub-bass rumble, has tight punch and powerful impact delivery, and overall have a “controlled” bass.

“Why So Serious?” by Hans Zimmer is one of my standard testing tracks for sub-frequency response and sub-bass rumble. The dark track from Zimmer’s masterpiece score for The Dark Knight has several points where you can hear the deep low frequencies, however, it is around the 3:26 minute mark where there is a drop. During this drop you should be hearing sub-bass rumble pulsating.
While Dekoni Blue is capable of reproducing the sub-frequency tone, it doesn’t rumble.

“Had Some Drinks” by Two Feet is a track where you can clearly test how the headphone holds up with both bass quantity and sub-bass rumble. There is no question about the Blue filling space with sound (quantity), however, it doesn’t rumble. I will later explain why I think this is, and it has much more to do with the technical nature of the T50RP, rather than the sound signature.

M.O.O.N’s eponymous EP is a very enjoyable electronic album. The third track, “Hydrogen”, is the one that puts both the quality and definition to the test. The kick should remain clean and tight - the Blue rather represents it with more quantity and less definition. The kick has more presence and thus isn’t tight, it “takes up” more space in the mix.

In similar fashion, “Smoking Mirrors” by Lee Curtiss, should remain a clean beat. Although the clap isn’t in sync at all times, there are parts where the clap meets the kick, and this results to a clean uniform impact. However, Blue lets the kick go on even when the clap meets the kick, this is what I would refer to as “slow decay”.

One particular album where I enjoyed this type of bass response is “Music to listen to….” (too long album title) by Bring Me The Horizon.

The low region is definitely different from what I have heard up until this point. It is a bass response that has more presence, but doesn’t have much definition (doesn’t have tight punch and as powerful impact/delivery). The lower frequencies usually fill the mix with bass presence, this “takes up” more space in the mix. Another thing is that the Dekoni Blue definitely doesn’t rumble (unless turnt up to extreme volumes), here is why this is - if you ever saw a T50RP driver, you know that it is square-shaped and not of a very large size. This small sized speaker driver has limited capability to deliver these low frequencies, whereas larger planar-magnetic headphones (Hifiman, Audeze, Rosson Audio, Abyss, etc.) have the advantage of extended lower frequency response.

fV0fUHH.jpg


Mids

The mid-range is best described as warm - the exact quality Dekoni was going for in terms of tonality in this model.
“Forget Her” by Jeff Buckley, a track that is leaning towards the brighter side, is a perfect one to listen for sibilance or piercing peaks. This can particularly be heard when Jeff hits the “s” or “sh” peaks -Blue tames these peaks down and stays far away from sibilance.

I found this also to be the case in the heavy metal genre - a genre that is known for being on the edge and being bright. “Crazy Train” by Ozzie Osbourne, “When a Blind Man Cries” and “Enter Sandman” by Metallica, and multiple songs by AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, and Judas Priest, are all examples where this can be heard well. At no point did I encounter the Blue to hint any sign of sparkle, which essentially proves that Dekoni Audio’s description of what they did with the Blue is indeed correct: “The Dekoni Blue is warmer, smoother, and less fatiguing than its predecessor, making for hours of comfortable listening sessions”

I found myself enjoying some female artists such as Nina Simone, Freya Ridings, Demi Lovato, Sia, and even Gloria Gaynor. In particular, “Poison” from Freya Ridings and “Anyone” by Demi Lovato were two songs where I particularly enjoyed the upper mid-range.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen is a classic. While the overall presentation sounded good with the guitars, drums, and the piano, Freddie’s voice did sound a tad too warm and a bit recessed at the 2:17 minute mark - where Freddie sings “…face the truth”.

“Soldier of Fortune” by Deep Purple is another favorite of mine. Specifically the guitar introduction -the upper end sounds very nice and pleasant. The guitar plucks at the very beginning have pretty good timbre and tonality, just like a real guitar should sound like - yes, maybe the sparkle isn’t there, but they can very much be felt, which is definitely something I look for.

“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” by Led Zeppelin is a highly dynamic and slightly intense track. The guitars here also sound superb - even when the track gets very busy and crowded, the Blue manages to keep up with the guitars. The same goes for Robert Plant’s vocals, but his voice is a little distant in the original recording.

All and all, the Dekoni Blue sounds the best in tracks that aren’t too busy, it is more than capable of keeping up with a very good guitar solo. The warm signature results to a fatigue-free listening experience, but this does take away from the details in the upper mid-range. I mainly found my comfort zone with the Dekoni Blue in modern music, especially mainstream pop and r&b.


Highs


The Blue keeps the high-range nice and clear. It keeps a good balance of detail and staying away from sibilance and brightness. As long as you are not listening to older and less mastered tracks, you won’t face any type of piercing or fatigue.

“Stop Trying to Be God” by Travis Scott is my standard testing track for sibilance. While I am not listening to Travis’s vocals, I am listening to Stevie Wonder’s harmonica at the outro of this track. What I always look out for is the clarity and tonality of the peak at 5:59 minute mark. I was very happy to hear that the Blue can deliver a very clean sounding performance and be exactly on the edge of sparkle. The harmonica’s peak note is pretty bearable and gives that satisfying ear feeling that you get from a good treble response.

Even with very harsh and not the most ideally recorded tracks like “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” by Joan Baez, Blue doesn’t result to fatigue. It’s a particularly easy recording where the peaks are happening quite often, but the Blue tames it down to a level that is listenable and bearable.

Whether it’s modern pop, r&b, or even hip-hop/rap, the percussion always stays crips. In “Montreal” by The Weekend you can hear that the snare sound very clean and has the top-end that it is meant to have - it sounds tight and compliments the rest of the mix. “Still Dre”, “The Next Episode”, and even “Forgot About Dre” all share the same quality. The Blue presents the high-end from the percussion with a clean sound, the snare hits always sound in place and are more forward in the mix.

NitIpSA.jpg


Conclusion

Dekoni Audio said everything that needed to be said about this headphone: “The Dekoni Blue is a Fun Headphone with a great bass extension and smoothed out high end”. As you can notice, Dekoni was honest with the marketing and didn’t claim any bold or absurd claims.

The true qualities of the Blue lie in its comfort, bass response that fills the mix with its presence, and the fairly pleasant high-range with a roll-off that is caused by the warm sound signature. The Blue is best suited for tracks that aren’t too busy. If the track is too busy, especially if it has a lot of low end, the mix can be overwhelmed with the bass presence, hence why I personally enjoyed less busy tracks. Clean 808s sound very good with the Blue, which is the reason why I preferred to listen to some modern mainstream tracks.

The low end of the Dekoni Blue is heavily focused on quantity - it will fill the mix with the presence of lower frequencies. If I was to describe Blue’s bass response it would be compared to that of a mallet drumstick - gentle and soft without much definition. I always perceive it as soft bass and visualize it as something very fluffy and soft. On the other hand, the opposite of that would be a tighter bass response; and it could be compared to that of a wooden drumstick, which is tight, fast, and sharp. Both of these are quite different, the first one is more relaxing, while the latter is more noticeable & audible.

My main preference in terms of music were clean tracks that didn’t have too much going on. Here are some particular tracks and albums that I greatly enjoyed listening to:

Partynextdoor - Spiteful
Sia - Greatest
The Weeknd - Montreal
Jaden - Syre (album)
Daft Punk - Tron: Legacy (album)
The Weeknd - After Hours (album)
Peter Green - The End of the Game (Expanded) (album)
Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city (Deluxe)
Joni Mitchell - Blue (album)
Céline Dion - Falling Into You (album)

I can safely say that the Dekoni Blue will be a headphone that I will use for entertainment purposes (movies, games). The Dekoni Blue is a very comfortable headphone with a fun v-shaped sound signature - while I personally am not drawn towards warmth (I prefer the buzz and feel from the high frequencies), it can certainly satisfy somebody who likes a warm sound signature and someone who likes bass presence. I can also see the Dekoni Blue as a headphone that you throw on while you are doing something and not entirely focusing on what you are listening to. Dekoni Blue doesn’t distract with it’s sound signature, and this is the main characteristic of the combination of a warm sound signature and less defined bass region.

Below you can go through several links that I used for the history section. A lot of them are quite interesting, but there are a lot of sources…
Regardless, here they are:
https://www.headphonesty.com/2019/07/how-to-mod-the-fostex-t50rp-mk3/
https://www.google.com/search?q=T40...ECA8QAw&biw=1280&bih=700#imgrc=QGanlMOvu4Oe3M
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/fostex-t40-review-pics-and-questions-56k.142542/
http://www.preservationsound.com/2011/01/fostex-rp-headphones-1977/
https://www.fostex.jp/products/t50rpmk3n/
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/headphone-history-timeline.821423/
https://www.google.com/search?q=Yam...ECBIQAw&biw=1280&bih=700#imgrc=FABbu4TehyBNRM
https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/fm2aai/review_fostex_t50v0_1974_worlds_first_planar/
https://www.google.com/search?q=Wha...ECA4QAw&biw=1280&bih=700#imgrc=mTtxk4OecSsbHM
https://avatars.mds.yandex.net/get-...0abd6c239_5c17633c4dc8fc00aaeacb0c/scale_2400
https://spectrum.ieee.org/consumer-...lectronics-hall-of-fame-yamaha-hp1-headphones
http://www.just-hifi.com/Orthodynamic-Roundup_10478992-2.html
https://forum.headphones.com/t/headphone-driver-pictures-thread/6401
https://systematicsound.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/fostex-t50/
https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/88zj58/the_somewhat_rare_and_mystical_vintage/
http://overearmania.com/2019/04/15/nad-rp18/
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/sansui-ss-100.897225/
https://www.beoworld.org/prod_details.asp?pid=917
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/orthodynamic-roundup.111193/
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/planar-obsession-old-fostex-t50.94407/

Attachments

  • Wharfedale ID1.jpg
    Wharfedale ID1.jpg
    31.7 KB · Views: 0
  • Fostex T50v0.jpg
    Fostex T50v0.jpg
    114.8 KB · Views: 0
  • Nad RP18.jpg
    Nad RP18.jpg
    4.9 MB · Views: 0
  • Aiwa HP-500.JPG
    Aiwa HP-500.JPG
    22.1 KB · Views: 0
  • Yamaha HP-1.jpeg
    Yamaha HP-1.jpeg
    118.4 KB · Views: 0
  • Yamaha YH-1000.jpg
    Yamaha YH-1000.jpg
    18.6 KB · Views: 0
  • Yamaha line-up (middle - YH-100).jpeg
    Yamaha line-up (middle - YH-100).jpeg
    192.2 KB · Views: 0
  • Yamaha YHD-1.jpg
    Yamaha YHD-1.jpg
    31.7 KB · Views: 0
  • Yamaha YH-1.jpg
    Yamaha YH-1.jpg
    17.4 KB · Views: 0
  • Fostex 1st Generation.png
    Fostex 1st Generation.png
    1.8 MB · Views: 0
  • B&O U70.jpg
    B&O U70.jpg
    65.6 KB · Views: 0
  • Fostex T20RP v2.jpg
    Fostex T20RP v2.jpg
    84.9 KB · Views: 0
  • Fostex T40RP.jpg
    Fostex T40RP.jpg
    40.7 KB · Views: 0
  • Fostex T20RP MK2.jpg
    Fostex T20RP MK2.jpg
    189.9 KB · Views: 0
  • Sansui SS-100.jpg
    Sansui SS-100.jpg
    129.4 KB · Views: 0
Last edited:

JoshG1217

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: bass, comfort
Cons: look goofy, cable
So, after hearing these and buying them at RMAF this year, I sold my DT 1770's, which I loved and had modded to improve the sound. Why did I do that? One main reason: the bass. I enjoy the 1770's and they were my first real audiophile headphone. They are built like tanks, and sound great, but the Dekoni's have the most articulate bass I have ever heard. Do they look as good? No, they are kinda goofy design, but they are lighter, and the pads are super comfortable. Cranking the bass up, it is just so well defined without being muddy or boomy, not that the 1770 is boomy. This just does what the 1770 does sonically a little bit better--not a ton better, but enough that I reach for these over my 1770, so 1770 didn't stick around. I still love Beyer, but these are just legit headphones. I would like a better cable for them, but at $199, I'll buy an aftermarket cable.

Buy them!
  • Like
Reactions: gimmeheadroom

Comments

DanDorn

100+ Head-Fier
Big congrats and kudos to Dekoni for a superb job on these. After listening to the Blue at CanJam NYC 2018, I made a mental note to buy once they became available. Bottom line for me: These are, without a doubt, the best T50RP modding effort ever. And I've owned or tried many over the years. I don't know what you guys did (and perhaps it was very simple and basic) but you succeeded.
 
Big congrats and kudos to Dekoni for a superb job on these. After listening to the Blue at CanJam NYC 2018, I made a mental note to buy once they became available. Bottom line for me: These are, without a doubt, the best T50RP modding effort ever. And I've owned or tried many over the years. I don't know what you guys did (and perhaps it was very simple and basic) but you succeeded.
Thanks for the fantastic compliments @DanDorn! They are now available, with a $50 off instant rebate to boot! Comments like yours really help us get our company off the ground.
 
Top