Takstar Pro 82

General Information

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Takstar Pro 82 Review, impressions and discussion thread

Features:

• Ø40mm new NdFeB driver features high sensitivity, wide response range and large
dynamic
• Adopts high polymer coating diaphragm, pure bass, penetrating mids and exquisite
highs
• Soft and comfortable headband and ear pads for long time listening without stress
• Ergonomic design fits different head shapes
• Designed with 3 level bass adjustment function, user can adjust the bass according
to the music style to exert the best performance

Specifications:
• Transducer Principle: Dynamic
• Driver Diameter: Ø40mm
• Impedance: 32Ω±15%
• Frequency Response: 10Hz-20KHz
• Sensitivity: 96±3dB at 1KHz
• Max. Power: 50mW
• Rated Power: 20mW
• Cable: Ø4mmX2.2m
• Adapter Plug: Ø3.5mm+6.3mm
• Net Weight: 237g (w/o cable)

Latest reviews

Pros: - V2 has a great balanced sound
- Pads are replaceable
- Can run balanced out of the box (may need rewiring depending on source)
- Very comfortable for most users
Cons: - QA issues especially on its Cooler Master cousin
- V1 treble may be harsh to certain users
The TL;DR

Months ago, I had over 15 pages of notes on the Takstar Pro 82. I realized that I was finding myself agreeing with the majority of people’s opinions. And why shouldn’t I? The headphone is very comfortable (unless you sweat a lot like I do), has arguably the best U-shaped frequency response I have listened to, has a price-to-performance ratio that can laugh in the face of multi-thousand dollar flagships, and it can run balanced out of the box. Never in my life have I been impressed with a headphone that cost under a hundred USD. Takstar may not be an “audiophile” brand name, but this headphone is truly audiophile gear at a sensible price.

And that is all you probably need to hear from me. Go ahead and hit that back button if you want to, but stick around if you want to read on for some personal experiences of this headphone. And if you live in a desert like I do and want pads that breathe better than pleather but want the stock experience well...

MADLAD Pad Rolling

Because I live in a desert and because I can feel like the A/C on at 60 degrees Fahrenheit is barely cool enough, the pleather pads often made me sweat a lot while wearing the Pro 82 with the stock pads. So I set out on a journey to discover the best non-pleather pads that breathe well in hot weather while keeping as much of the stock sound as possible.

- Brainwavz Micro Suede pads for Sony MDR V6: The micro suede (more like microfiber) isolates very well. They are also the warmest non-pleather pads I have tried. On the Pro 82, you will get close the stock sound if you take the stock pads’ mounting rings, snap them on the headphones on their own, then wrapping the pads around. It helps calm down the V1 treble just enough for me to enjoy it. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TJG9Z6Y
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- Brainwavz Micro Suede cooling pads: So that cooling gel honestly…does not do a whole lot but they do feel cooler longer than the first micro suede pads. These worked well on the V1 as to put the treble further away from the ears. I liked how they sounded with the MH751 with a larger sound stage. Be ready for a larger dip on the upper-midrange frequencies. And the biggest issue with these pads is that they cost 40 USD. That’s 2/3rd of the Pro 82 on AliExpress. https://www.amazon.com/Brainwavz-Earpads-SteelSeries-Headsets-Headphones/dp/B07S8N8S62

- Arctis Fabric pads – These worked best with the Cooler Master headphones but a modification is required. You will need to attach some foam around the baffle plates where the pad mounting rings are placed. Without those, the pads will make your headset sound tinny and gross. When you get the foam rings on though, the sound stage is widened a bit and the bass takes just a slight bump. I wouldn’t use these on the other Pro 82 sets. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07537RVWL
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- Krone Kalpasmos cloth hybrid pads: These are the closest you will get to stock sound outside of the stock pads. You will need the foam filter and the mounting rings for that to happen though. These have stayed on my V2 since I got them and I don’t think they’ll be coming off anytime soon. The older ones had a cheaper fabric that wore down quickly, but it seems they upgraded the material around June 2019.
https://www.amazon.com/Krone-Kalpasmos-Replacement-Compatible-Cooling-Gel/dp/B07JN7FR3W

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Personal experiences with the three headphones

Pro 82 V1:
- The treble can be harsh especially if the recording has high amounts of treble. Adding some foam or felt inside the cups can help dampen that. I spent weeks trying to filter the treble properly but it wasn’t until I used the Brainwavz MDR V6 pads where I found a tuning to my preference.

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Pro 82 V2:
- Mine arrived with a slight issue on the 2.5mm TRRS jack losing connection. This mostly happened on my balanced cable while the stock cable seemed (mostly) fine. Easily rectified by installing a new 2.5mm TRRS jack.
- My favorite of the bunch – “Perfectly balanced as all things should be” well, for me.

Cooler Master MH751/2
- My first headset had two left side mounting rings attached to the pads, making an uneven seal
- First headset had issues with the internal cable that connected the left and right channels not even two weeks into the headphone.
- Second headset held out much longer but just a few days ago (Monday September 16) the 3.5mm jack is starting to lose connection. UGH!
- The slightly larger cups give the MH its bass boost
- The second headset seemed to sound more even on the sound than the first one…the first one always sounded a tad more V-shaped over the second one. Of course it didn’t help that in one of my repair jobs, I damaged one of the vents that happens to be hidden where the mounting holes were inside the cups later on. Oops.

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- They’re now discontinued or at least sold out as of the time of this review. Stick with the Pro 82 or buy Takstar’s new own gaming headset.

Other thoughts

- You can dismantle the headsets. If I can tear down every bit of the headphone right down to the headband’s cushions you can too.
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- I think they’re good for about any purpose you can have for a headphone: movies, gaming, work concentration/distraction, sound editing, monitoring, music creation, general reality escape, etc.
- There’s been discussion about the wiring of the TRRS jack and some gear did not work properly with the Pro 82 unless the internal PCB or cable got rewired. If you have balanced cables for the Sennheiser HD598/558 headphones, you’ll be good to go as I discovered they’re wired the same way internally. Check out the discussion here: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/tak...scussion-thread.849965/page-188#post-15067551
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- used all three headphones with:
o Topping DX7s – my main setup via USB
o EVGA Nu Audio (stock and with Burson V6 op-amps) – probably the most treble-heavy
o Creative Sound Blaster AE-5
o Sound Blaster E5
o Sound Blaster G5x
o Creative’s Super X-fi
o Earstudio ES100
o Microsoft Zunes – anyone remember those?
o NAD 7120 Stereo Receiver (yes, that one from the 80’s – one of the few manufactured in Japan if I have my history right)

- The only one where I felt the treble peaked out a bit was the Nu Audio with stock Op-Amps. Everything else was just fine.

- The bass switches on the V1 and V2…leave them closed.


Drive-By Comparisons

- Sennheiser HD600 – Darker, less sound stage but sometimes can sound less crowded than the Pro 82. Remove that foam on the HD600 if you want to lift a bit of that famous “veil”.

- NAD HP50 – A personal favorite of mine. A bit more even-sounding even with its warm tilt (which can be fixed with the right pads). The Pro 82 definitely has better sound stage and fitting as the NAD can feel like a vise grip.

- Koss KSC75 – Probably the only headphone to outrun the Pro 82 on Price-to-Performance and lots of potential to unlock by modifications. The Pro 82 still takes the sound stage advantage given that the P82 is an over-headphone while the KSC75 are on-ear.

- Koss KPH30i – Less treble, less mids, and more bass give this headphone a better long-term listening experience for those who find the treble fatiguing on the Pro 82. The Pro 82 I think is just plain better in just about everything else.

- Neumann NDH20 – If you’re into the latest Harman curve (I am not), you will love these more than the Pro 82. Built like a tank. I don’t know if anyone modified them to go balanced or even get a different cable in its way-too-deep insertion point.

- Sendy Avia – Oddly more closed sounding than the Pro 82. Slightly better transparency. Detail retrieval is on par with V1. Midrange felt…weird although vocals were very lifelike. I liked the headphone quite a bit.

- Focal Clear – Every bit of sound is clearer here over the Pro 82 (pun intended) but sound stage feels very intimate. One of these costs as much as approximately two dozen Pro 82 pairs. I love my Clear headphones, but if I bought a Pro 82 first would I have kept the Clear? Hmm…

- Sennheiser HD598 – Unless you MUST have the sound super spaced-out, don’t bother

- KZ AS12 IEM – If you think the V1 has harsh treble, wait until you try these without foam tips – HOO BOY.

Conclusion
What more is there to say? I love these headphones! They may be imperfect and have some QA issues, but audiophiles and filthy casuals alike ought to give these a chance.

This is the first review I ever posted for a set of headphones. Many of you are probably more experienced at this than me so feel free to leave me feedback if you have any, even if it is throwing shade.
Pros: Engaging and detailed sound, Good imaging, Bass ports are fun to play with, Supreme comfort, Solid Build Quality
Cons: Little weak mids, Upper mids and treble can sound metallic and piercing at times, Maybe slightly overemphasized treble, Pads can start to feel a bit sweaty
Takstar is a relatively unfamiliar manufacturer to me. Pro 82 was their first headphones that brought my attention because they seemed to be the headphone on Head-Fi at the time when i discovered them. I managed to find them for a good price from Aliexpress (50€ including shipping) and decided to give them a try.

After listening them for a few months i think im ready to give my honest, non-hyped review about them.

(Keep in mind that english is not my main language and there are probably few typos here and there, i try to correct them later)

Accessories

Pro 82 comes in a very official looking case. To be honest i dont think is this level of luxury even necessary with 70-80€/$ headphone, heh. You might get robbed by carrying this thing around.

Box doesnt really include anything special besides headphones, manual, cable, warranty card, authenticity certification, carrying pouc, 3,5mm adapter and so on.

Design and build quality

Build quality is above average for the price in my opinion. They are mostly made of plastic but its not the cheapest plastic possible. Earcups are made of some sort of metal/aluminum just like headband adjustments which have also some plastic underneath. Headband feels very flexible. They have also removable cable like most headphones nowadays. They use the same connector that Sennheiser HD 500- and Audio Technica ATH-series uses. Build is probably slightly flimsier than M40X or something similar but they feel pretty durable overall. Pro 82 is also fairly portable, i would like them to have folding design but they are easy to carry around because of their light weight and compact size.

Design is pretty much ripped off from Sony MDR-1A and Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 but i have to say that i dig it more than their predecessors which was more Beyerdynamic-inspired. I like that they kept design plain and simple.

Comfort and isolation

I highly doubt that anyone would call these headphones uncomfortable. They are very light in weight and pads feel so soft against my ears that its sometimes hard to take them off. Zeos from Z Reviews said something like ”these are the first headphones that are so comfortable that taking them off makes my face feel less comfortable” and i can sort of agree with that, you can certainly wear these for hours without feeling any discomfort. Pads can start to feel a bit hot in warmer conditions and you may have to take them off from time to time just to let your ears cool off a bit but otherwise no complaints.

Isolation is also very good. They cancel ambient noise quite effectively just by wearing them and when you start to play music even at moderate volume its hard to hear much anything happening around you. People have been ringing my doorbell while im wearing these and i had no clue about that until they called me and asked me to open the door, lol.

Sound

Does Pro 82 live up to its hype in terms of sound?

(Some people claim that there are two(?) different versions available of these headphones, ”old” version and ”new” version. Only thing that seems to separate them from each other is the cable lenght, ”old” has 2.2m cable vs ”new” has 1.4m. Although there have been discussion about that they seem to have also a slight difference in sound quality. I cant say anything about that, my pair seems to be from the older batch.)

Pro 82 is quite balanced and neutral-ish sounding headphone with a slightly U-shaped signature meaning that low- and high-end is boosted a little bit. Ive found the overall sound signature pretty interesting because its kind of analytical and fun at the same time. These are being marketed as ”studio monitors” and while they probably manage that job better than many other headphones i think that they suit better for pure musical enjoyment, and i will tell you later why. There is certain type of mellow and lushy feeling to keep things interesting, its definitely not your typical ”flat monitor sound” but a bit more exciting. More casual listeners might find them sounding dull and too analytical but people who prefer detail and clarity over coloration will probably like these.

Talking about details, Pro 82 reveals surprising amounts of detail considering their price range. They are detail cannons. In certain songs i can hear things like guitar picks scratching against strings, fingers sliding across the fretboard, singer taking a breath before starting to sing, quiet hissing on the mix and other hidden tiny details in the background.

Clarity is also on a good level. Instruments that tend to sound sometimes a bit muddy with some headphones like guitars are clean and accurate. But at the same time clarity feels little artificial, like the headphone is trying to force as much clarity as possible. I dont always really get a feeling that im listening to real instruments. Overall sound coloration leans towards darker and warmer signature.

Ive also noticed that Pro 82 can be kind of picky about recordings, sometimes they sound almost perfect whereas some albums or tracks make my hand to reach for other headphones. Someone might call this transparency but i dont honestly think that its the case. Pro 82 sounds good to me overall but there is also some... issues.

Here is a graph from DIY-Audioheaven and it shows pretty much perfectly how Pro 82 sounds to me: https://diyaudioheaven.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/fr-black-1.png?w=614

(I want to point out that my claims are not based on the graph only and that ive had long listening sessions during last few months and compared Pro 82 to many other headphones)

Bass

Bass is probably the starlight of the sound signature, its clean, accurate, and fast, maybe slightly above neutral in quantity. Very smooth and mellow sounding. Its not the most hard hitting bass though and people who are used to more bass-heavy headphones might find it lacking but i dont find myself carving more. Its just doing what its supposed to do, its not in-your-face but still very present in the sound signature. Mid- and upper bass have a pleasant punch and kick but bass does roll-off meaning that they cant reach the lowest lows. Sound signature is still very suitable for bass-oriented genres like EDM or hip hop, just dont expect anything crazy. Im actually a huge fan of the bass on these.

But it doesnt end there, Takstar were thinking people who want more and added bassports to the back of the headphones. As far as i know they are supposed to increase airflow to the aircups and give that way stronger bass response and it does work but not perfectly.

It has 3 levels that can be described as plenty of bass (closed) slightly more bass (opens a little hole) and way too much bass (opens a second bigger hole below that).

Second position gives a slight boost to the mid-bass (maybe little to the sub-bass as well) and slightly changes the sound signature. I like it in certain situations, it makes bass punch harder and adds more body and fullness to the overall sound and makes the overall listening experience more enjoyable and funnier to listen to. it can also help to solve some minor issues with these headphones (but more about that later). Third position is just... horrible. Bass starts to cover up everything and making the sound muddy and rumbling which makes them completely unlistenable to me. Sounds like some 12-year old decided to play with the EQ-settings. They probably should have added two little holes instead of one little and one big hole but its fortunately optional feature so im not going to complain about it. On the other hand even the second position is a bit too much for me in certain tracks.

Mids

Being U-shaped headphone mids dont necessarily stand out. I would actually almost call these borderline V-shaped headphones. Many reviewers have said that mids are a bit recessed and they can indeed sound little pushed down in certain spots making the whole midrange a bit non-present and unnatural sounding.

Lower midrange is only slightly recessed making mids lack body but not by much. This is where ive found the bassports to be very useful. I quickly noticed that with bassports closed guitars sounded a bit too grainy and tinny and didnt really stand out in certain rock- or metal tracks, opening the first bassport masks that quite well and adds more body to them. This helps also with male vocals which can sound sometimes a bit thin and distant/non-present because their voices dont have as much lower ”oomph” on them. Some people might argue that bassport ruin all the clarity and detail, maybe slightly so but mainly it just makes midrange sound just a tad more fuller and warmer (and off course pumps up the bass a bit). At least it makes certain songs much more enjoyable to listen to which is sometimes more important to me but im not saying that opening the ports will always sound good or that they are needed all the time.

Vocal clarity is also one stars of the show here, especially female vocals sound very pleasing and lively but they seem to lack upper vocal range a bit making their voices sound kind of lower or "thicker" than they really are. There can be some sibilance in the vocals but its usually very mild. Upper midrange seems to be more forward and can sound a bit piercing, i noticed that especially during my first listening sessions with Pro 82 but i dont really pay much attention to it anymore unless im listening on slightly higher volumes or longer periods of time, maybe im just getting used to it. There can be some noticeable graininess in certain tracks, that is most likely due to dip/fall at 2khz which gets covered by lower treble which gives upper midrange a bit muddy or distorted sound at times. This however is very track dependant. I think that this dip gives the midrange that sort of non-present feeling on it.

I would not call midrange as the strongest point of these headphones but energetic and detailed delivery of instruments (and bassports) still almost makes me forget it and for me its one of the main features that makes Pro 82 such a fun headphone to listen to. You might wont notice any of this on a daily listening without comparing them to other headphones with more even midrange.

Highs

Pro 82 has a powerful, very energitic and sparkly treble. Im not sure have i heard as much extending treble on any other headphone at this price range. I think that M40X is pretty comparable to it but because i dont have a pair on hand at the moment its hard to say.

But treble is kind of their curse and blessing. Treble is responsible of the energy and liveliness on the sound signature but at the same time it feels a little bit too aggressive and forced, almost overemphasized and sometimes it clearly effects even on the midrange in a negative way by covering parts of it. In top of that treble can sound metallic just like the upper midrange to the point that switching the song (or headphones) feels like a good idea. I like the energy and sparkliness on it but sometimes its just a bit too much. Its not always there but when it pops up its annoying enough. Bassports are sometimes the best way to calm down the treble a little bit.

Fortunately i havent noticed any serious sibilance, Pro 82 does pretty good job on avoiding it which is surprising considering how hyped the treble can sometimes be compared to other frequencies. But treble/midrange-ratio is not balanced enough for my liking, be aware that these headphones might annoy you at first in this area, at least they did it for me.

Soundstage

Soundstage is not obviously super wide (which is expected from a closed headphone) but what it lacks in width it fills with accuracy. Pro 82 has a very good sound separation/imaging which is so good at times that it makes the soundstage sound larger than it actually is giving you a ”out of head”-experience. I found myself constantly looking around me while listening because i heard something that sounded coming outside the headphones, lol. I think that their slightly angled drivers have something to do with this. They definitely deserve five stars in this area.

But there is a one strange thing ive noticed on it, sometimes the stereo imaging of Pro 82 can sound a bit imbalanced and give you an impression that the sound is leaning very slightly towards the left channel for example like the center image is missing. This seems to be very track dependant thing though, sometimes i can listen to whole album without noticing anything concrete but when it strikes its a bit confusing. Its even more noticeable when i started to compare Pro 82 to my other headphones. Someone would say that ”they are just true to the original mix” and maybe that is true, who knows. But i still find it somewhat strange that some tracks would be supposed to sound like that. Faulty pair came to my mind as well but ive found few other owners experiencing the same ”issue” so i dont really think that its the case. Not a dealbreaker for me but its sometimes a bit annoying. Maybe a manufacturing error? Extremely transparent stereo imaging? Just my imagination? I dont know.

Amplification

Do they need any? In my opinion, no, not really. They go quite loud and have sounded good on pretty much any device ive connected them with and i didnt really notice any major differences between them including my phone, pc-motherboard and Creative AE-5. Off course they sounded better through Creative than a phone but not in a mind blowing way. This off course depends heavily on your equipment, if youre phone, pc or amp device is older or cheaper than mine you might find different results. I know that some people claim that Pro 82 benefits from a high quality dac/amp but i would recommend to take this claim with a grain of salt.

Genre pairing (coming soon)

Comparisons to other headphones (coming soon)

Conclusion



As much as i like the way Pro 82 sounds i still have to say that they are not perfect headphone to me even at this price range... but at the same time pretty close to it. I do think that their sound has some (minor) issues and i dont find them sounding phenomenal in every single track and they make me to reach for other headphones from time to time.

But i have still really enjoyed them enough that i would be lying by calling them a bad headphone, i think that they are a pretty unique sounding headphones and definitely one of the best sub-100€ closed backs ive tried and they are very comparable to many headphones costing about twice as much making them an excellent budget buy. Sure they have their own flaws but i can partially forgive them considering their price range

Are they ”pro monitors”? Im not an audio professional but i dont think so, they sound more like a toy than a tool to me. They are just too playful by their nature, yes, they are analytical and precise but more in a fun way. They sound kind of an combination of a monitor- and casual headphones. But if youre looking for a middle ground between the two i would not hesitate to give these a try. In top of that they are easy to drive, have amazing comfort and portability. These are my ”on the go”-headphones and im not afraid to wear them in public beacause they actually look quite nice as well. Im interested to see what Takstar is planning for their next flagship model, if they try a bit harder their next headphone might be 5/5 but Pro 82 deserves a very fair 4/5 from me.
Pros: Really nice signature that has good sub bass and crisp but not perfect highs.
Good soundstage for closed back headphone
Good detail for a headphone at this price ($60-$100)
Ok build
Scales up well.
The legendary Takstar box and accesories
Detachable cable
Overall styling despite being lifted (silver edition)
Cons: Make sure you get the pro 82 with brighter drivers
First level bass boost is ok but I would recommend not using it , plenty of bass for me without it.
The smell of the box and headphones ( vinegar is your friend)
Might not be very good with tubes but scales up well with solid state amps
I'm not going to do a full review but these are my thoughts. There is a white box version of these and a black box version. The white box version pro 82 has the longer cable, thicker earpads, a 1/4 inch adapter and a brighter (and to my ears) a much better sound. I don't find either headphone is particularly comfortable although my ears may be larger than average.The pleather is nice and soft but I feel a little cramped against the drivers. The black box version of the pro 82 sounds dull and lifeless compared to the brighter more lively white box drivers. Other much more experienced audiophiles much preferred the darker black box drivers, I don't understand. The bright drivers to me, only very occasionally sound harsh with an o2 amp. I would say there is some grainyness in the treble ( might still be breaking in) but when these sound good, they are magic, with the combination of sub bass and crisp but imperfect highs. The darker drivers may not have grainyness but the magic is gone. The pro 82 is one of a few closed backed headphones I have owned including the pro 80. This is a list of all the headphones I have owned, open and closed, to me the Takstar pro82 sounds best overall. I have owned the Takstar pro 80, Koss portapro, ksc75, jvc flats, sennheiser px100, Vmoda m100, superlux 668b, Pioneer se-a1000, Philips shp-9500. The jvs flats and superlux 668b even with mods are totally overated. The Phillips shp-9500 was excellent but too thin sounding for me, I never fell in love. I think I'm in love with my pro 82. I feel the pro 82s with the brighter drivers are great for everything from edm to male vocals , acoustic and electric guitars and classical music. Female vocals may be a weakness. The pro 82s will be my beaters for lying down in bed or portable use when I'm not using my hd6'xxs ( still waiting for massdrop).

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