Meet the new studio workhorse. Designed for audio professionals who make a living with their craft, the CB-1 Closed Back Studio Monitor headphones deliver absolute sonic neutrality. Music producers and audio engineers will appreciate the accuracy and fidelity these headphones deliver.
· Over-ear closed Back
· 50 mm Driver
· 15 Hz – 30 kHz
· 32 ohm
· 97 db +/- 3 db
· 1,600 mW at 1 kHz
· 3 m Cable
· 3.5 mm Plug
· 13.2 oz
· 1/4" Adapter
· MSRP: £61.05
Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:
The CB-1 come in a very nice looking dark brown/gold box, the front folds open and you are presented with the CB-1 in a plastic intray. On the back of the box you have all the specs, and on the front you get an outline drawing of the headphones. To be honest the outer packaging is very nice, the inner plastic tray is a little cheap but for the price I cannot complain.
The build quality is perfectly acceptable for the price, yes they are mainly plastic but all the swivel mechanism and extender arms feel well built. Yes you don’t really want to throw them around too much but for a bit of home and portable use they will hold up just fine. They also fold up quite small which is good, and the cable is detachable. They have a standard 3.5mm socket for the cable, with their own locking system, but the hole for the locking system is big and most straight 3.5mm jacks will fit. Both cables are sturdy with excellent strain relief, and I cannot see any issues with them failing prematurely.
Accessory wise you get 2 cables, 1 long 3m straight cable, and another shorter coiled one. Both cables have thread for the included 3.5 to 6.3mm adaptor. I would have liked to see a cloth carry case, but overall nothing missing accessory wise.
Comfort and Isolation:
I have a small head, and have to have the arms extended to number 6 out of 7, so they won’t fit larger heads, but I found the headband to have sufficient padding for longer listening sessions. The earpads and soft and plush, they are small but still cover my ears properly, and are fully circumaural, again those with bigger ears may have issues. The earpads are deep as well, keeping your ears well away from the driver which makes them very comfortable. The earpads are easily replaceable too.
Isolation is fairly average, they are fully closed back and seal out some noise, but do have some bass vents that will leak a very minimal amount of sound, and also let in some. They are however fine for most scenarios where ultimate isolation isn’t required.
Split into the usual categories, with a conclusion at the end.
The lows on the CB-1 are very full and for the most part well behaved. It is not boosted massively, and stays in line with the rest of the spectrum, but it does let you know it’s there. It extends right down to around 35hz with ease, has great articulation but maybe not the best speed and attack for heavy metal. What I like about these is that the bass has real kick and power behind it but is not drowning out the mid-range. I believe there is enough bass to satisfy all but the most extreme bass heads.
The mids unfortunately are not the CB-1’s strong point, if there is one place to fault them this is it. Now the mids are there, and are not drowned out by the bass, but the lower mids do sit a little far back in the mix for my tastes. They have a lower mid dip that sucks the life out of certain male vocals, however going up to the upper mids there is a slight emphasis and female vocals sound better but there is a slight hint of sibilance. There is a good amount of detail in the mids, it is just a shame about the dip.
The highs are very good at lower volumes, maintaining very good separation and a good level of detail. Different cymbal strokes are easily told apart and the extension is very good, I like that they are not rolled off or too laid back. They sit about perfect in the mix quantity wise, and for the price the quality is good too. Turning up the volume a bit does induce some splashiness up top, they become a bit congested and don’t fare as well.
Soundstage has better height than width and depth, width wise it is only just outside the cups, but the placement is accurate, as is the imaging. Instrument separation is also very good on these, with enough air to pick out single bits in the recording.
Conclusion: Well for £61 you get a very comfortable, and good sounding headphone, the sound has a mild U sound signature, and the highs are not the most refined at slightly louder volumes, but for the asking price these are a very good headphone. You can slightly tune the sound with EQ, but even stock they have good bass impact and extension, detailed upper mids and well defined highs.
Sound Perfection Rating: 7/10 (lower mids a little recessed, but overall very enjoyable)
Sound: Thank goodness for quality sound under the $100 price point! The overall balance is very neutral. The overall theme and highlight is clarity! The sound is fed directly into the ears, and there isn't much soundstage, but it is noticable. The bass is not very impactful for closed back headphones, but it is tight and well balance with good extension. The bass is much like that of a closed set of headphones. The mids are smooth, and somewhat forward. The highs are detailed and a little more forward than the mids. I would not hesitate to use these for monitoring. They can become a bit congested in complex tracks, but surprising little for closed cans under $100. Honestly, I have not heard more clear and balanced closed headphones at this price point. I HIGHLY recommend them simply for the sound quality.
Comfort: They do clamp about as much as my HD558s, which bothers me, but honestly even the HD700 clamp bothers me so whatever..... The pads are very nice: well padded, and full of soft leathery-ness. The headband is well shaped to get lots of contact area on the head, and is padded enough for me with no protrusions. My problem lies in the fact that the earcups/pads are not big enough for my ears, but I believe these are supposed to be kinda like some denon/fostex round cans where the pad can tough your ear somewhat. My massive ears hate these pads almost immediately due to size.
Build: kinda cheap plastic folding hinges and adjustability parts, but they work more than fine. Everything else is up to par for me.
Features: no logos, 2 removable, kinda proprietary cables, but they do another set of cables including a flat one if you want.
Comparatively, they have a less bassy flavor than my g4me zeros, and sound less cheap than my monoprice 8323 with HM5 angled pleathers. The bass not as big and boomy as the Monoprice either. It is hard to compare them to much else. They are a different flavor from my G4ME ZEROS, but surely objectively better. They have more detail, and balance.
Update: I find the HyperX Cloud II to be more comfortable all around, but they are not as clear, nor as balanced. The CB-1 is better for studio, but I surely enjoy the HyperX more for most other things.
Recommended song for the CB-1's: Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough.
The percussion and bass on this song work very well with the CB-1's, and the detail ain't bad either.
I certainly give these my approval if you find the pads comfortable! They are more than worth the money for the sound quality! These are a deal!
Pros: Bass and mids, price, comfort, swappable pads and cables
Cons: Isolation, Durability, Grainy Treble
The Status Audio CB-1s are a rebranded version of the discontinued Somic V2s. Designed in Brooklyn and built in China, these headphones bear a loose resemblance to a de-badged version of the Sony and Audio Technica headphones in the same category that they're competing with. They have a similar neutral-but-slightly V-shaped sound to Emu Purplehearts.
Comfort - These are some of the most comfortable closed headphones I've found to date, embarrassing far more expensive competitors. Some of the best stock pads ever. I'm a tall fellow, and my ears fit fully inside without touching. Build - You get what you pay for. The headband sliders are a poor quality plastic that tends to crack, and can break with even normal use. Mine broke after a year. They're taped at this point. Isolation - Good enough for regular portable use but not enough for loud trains or planes.
Sound - I'll try to describe it as best as I can.
Treble - 7/10 - Decent detail but could be better extended above 10 khz. Slight graininess, which many closed headphones tend to have. They are a bit uneven. However, at low volumes they are quite pleasant and have a nice sparkle. Unforgiving toward poorly produced music but well-recorded albums will be fine.
Mids - 8/10 - Vocals are present and guitar upper harmonics have a nice lacquer to them. Again, slightly grainy. A good amp and low volumes eliminate that issue.
Bass - 9/10 - Good extension, tactile quality, without being muddy. Regardless of price, it's pretty good.
Soundstage - 5/10 - There is a 3-dimensional nature to the sound, and there are sounds that seem to come from outside the headphone, but it's closed and it will ultimately have a small stage you'd expect from closed.
Imaging - 5/10 - I feel I am not totally qualified to judge this as this is something that seems to only happen with sufficiently good dacs and amps, which I doubt I have. To me it sounds like these are hard-panned a bit into left-middle-right with less happening in the space between those three points.
I bought the CB-1s as a newbie looking for a good portable set. Took a blind leap of faith on them as they had not been vetted by a lot of reviewers yet, and I'd say it worked out. Years later, looking back at them... these are still good for the price. In fact I've seen them as low as $40 at times so I'm tempted to say they're the BEST for that price. I still use them as my portable pair, despite having heard much more expensive setups. These are still comfort kings and the sound quality difference is small enough for me, that I have yet to be won over to anything else.