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Torque Audio t402v supra/circum aural headphones with modi:fit technology

Rating:
3.875/5,
  1. yage
    Elegant design, excellent performance
    Written by yage
    Published Nov 7, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Superb build quality; easygoing, relaxed tonal character
    Cons - Might sound a little polite for some tastes
    First off, thanks to @TorqueAudio for letting me review a pre-production pair. Although it may differ in some minor cosmetics, I've been assured it's sonically identical to the final shipping product.
     
    Introduction
     
    Hi-fi is a very personal hobby. Sometimes, our tastes change based on the genre of music we're listening to, our current mood, or perhaps the phase of the moon. In any case, I think it's not uncommon for those of the head-fi persuasion to possess many different headphones, each to be savored at a particular time and/or place. Torque Audio seems to have some refreshingly elegant solutions to this fun, sometimes vexing, and most certainly economically unsustainable conundrum. For example, the frequency response of their line of in-ear monitors can be customized myriad ways to fit different tastes. Now they bring that same spirit to full-size headphones with the t402v and modi:fi technology. The basic premise is simple: allow the listener to tailor the bass response according to their preference with a simple turn of the earpad. So how does this decidedly analog method fare in the 21st century? Let's find out.
     
    Description
     
    From the packaging to its construction, the t402v exudes class and sophistication in abundance. The headband is wrapped in leather and the aluminum earcups have a tasteful brushed accent to provide some tactile spice. Overall, Torque has done a superlative job in crafting a headphone you'd be proud to own. A thoughtful touch is the dampening material around the inside of the metal suspension ring and also in the opening for the height adjustment, all working to silence mechanical noise.
     
    The connecting cord has an inline control for your iDevices with a built-in mic and plugs into the left earcup. Cord length is good for desktop or mobile use but might fall a bit short for home listening. The construction seems to be sturdy and stylish - with a transparent rubber coating over two-tone nylon sleeving.
     
    The headband is lightly padded, mainly at the top. Clamping force for my head was comfortable enough for an entire album's worth of songs, which is generally when I take a listening break.
     
    Torque includes two sets of ear pads for over-ear or on-ear listening, each with four distinct sets of ports to tune the bass response. The foam is pliant and comfortable - neither too soft nor too hard.  Both sets of pads are square. The over ears feel positively cavernous. This could be a problem in obtaining a good seal all around for those with smaller heads. I found that I had to rotate the headphones forward and backward a little bit on my head in order to find the best position.
     
    The included carrying case is used to hold the earpads during shipment. Leaving out the foam shipping insert, you can stuff the t402v's inside with the over-ear pads on the earcups, but the headphones won't lay flat that way, increasing bulk. The satchel can be used to store the the cord within the case to keep everything from getting tangled up.
     
    Use
     
    The ear pads attach to the earcups via strategically placed magnets. The trick here is to make sure you've got the pad mounted flush on all four sides. The bass port on the earcup is located on the side closest to the headband. Just match up the color you want to the bass port and let the ear pad slide into place. Yellow offers the most bass, with blue, red, and black decreasing the bass output until it's more or less 'flat'.
     
    Sound leakage with the over-ear pad seems to be a little bit more than the NAD Viso HP50's that I primarily use for general listening while in the office. If you listen at a moderate volume - say, around your standard conversational level - it probably won't be too much of an issue in a quiet office setting. Curiously, the on-ear pads seem to leak much less, so you do have options if you feel you're generating too much noise.
     
    Listening
     
    I tried all the different ports and quickly settled on either red or black depending on mood for both sets of pads. The on-ears definitely had a warmer tonal character than the over-ear pads, even on the black setting, at the expense of some top end extension. Yet the on-ears also presented a more dynamic soundscape - vocals in particular sounding more open. The on-ear pads also seemed to be a little sensitive to placement - it took some trial and error to get what I felt was the best sound out of them. I ended up using the over-ear pads for most of the review period, but would sometimes swap in the on-ear pads for a more immediate sound.
     
    Out of my Meridian Explorer 2 and using the lowest bass setting, the t402v offered up a spacious, slightly laid-back, warmish presentation. This especially suited modern pop and rock. I like to use Florence + The Machine as a torture test of sorts for harshness in the presence region. On "Ship to Wreck" from her latest album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (CD, Republic, B0023122-02), Florence Welch's vocals soared with a clarity that didn't end up beating my eardrums into submission. Bass sounded dynamic and tuneful, with a bias towards tone rather than detail. Drums had nice body but their impact were just a tad softened. The t402v's didn't disappoint on "Demons" either, from The National's Trouble Will Find Me (4AD, CAD3315CD). Matt Berninger's baritone never veered into chestiness and the 'phones also clearly delineated the backing vocals from the rest of the mix.
     
    The ability to tune the bass came in handy at times. For the final movement of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 (Chesky CD 2), massed strings sounded slightly hollowed out and artificial on the black setting, though on other setups they do tend to be on the dry side. When I traded black for red on the over-ear pads, some balance was restored. Strings now had a nice flow to them. Earl Wild's playing was rendered with good tone and touch and a pleasant bloom around the notes. The Torque 'phones also seemed to capture a fair degree of the ambiance from Walthhamstow Town Hall, lending the entire performance a more dimensional quality. I also preferred red over black on "I'm Old Fashioned" from Blue Train (Blue Note, 53428). Coltrane's tenor sax sounded more substantive with a little low-end bump and Paul Chambers' bass had a pleasing round tone, though was a little exaggerated in level. Still, I felt it was a good trade-off. The t402v's also didn't gloss over Philly Joe Jones' fine brush work on the snare, nor the subtle throatiness of Curtis Fuller's trombone.
     
    What was most surprising was that the t402v's livened up on my home setup, which consists of a CI Audio VHP-1 / VAC-1 headphone amp and Ayre C-5xeMP disc player. They sounded more dynamic and vibrant, with drums in particular taking on increased punch. I must admit that the VHP-1 / Ayre combo does sound a bit warmer and more tonally saturated than the headphone out on the Explorer 2. It seems that the t402v's will reward listeners with better performance as they move up to higher spec kit.
     
    Comparison
     
    As I mentioned above, the NAD Viso HP50's are my current go-to for sealed headphones. The HP50's are certainly not as luxe in appearance, though in terms of sonic performance I feel they pull just slightly ahead. For example, on "Ship to Wreck" the HP50's provide a little more texture to the bass line and more sheen to cymbals. On Rachmaninoff's second piano concerto, the strings sounded a tad richer in tone through the NAD, though I preferred the way the t402v's rendered the piano. I also appreciated the t402v over-ear pad's more relaxed presentation - sometimes you want to come to the music instead of the other way around. Both are great choices for long listening sessions.
     
    Conclusion
     
    I think Torque Audio has a worthy contender in the full-size sealed headphone category with the t402v. Not only is it a beauty to behold and a joy to listen to, but it is transparent enough to scale with better equipment. Torque really did their homework with the t402v and set the bar high for the competition. I can't wait to hear what they come up with next.
     
     
    Associated Equipment
     
    Headphones - NAD Viso HP50
    Amplification - Meridian Explorer 2, CI Audio VHP-1 / VAC-1
    Sources - Ayre C-5xeMP, Meridian Explorer 2
    Cabling - Analysis Plus Copper Oval-In and Pro Oval Studio balanced, Analysis Plus Pro Power Oval, Blue Jeans MSA-1
    Power - AudioQuest JitterBug, Bryston BIT-15
      TorqueAudio likes this.
    1. Deviltooth
      Superb review, very well written.
      Deviltooth, Nov 7, 2015
    2. yage
      Thanks!
      yage, Nov 8, 2015
  2. Army-Firedawg
    Fun sound that's built like a tank
    Written by Army-Firedawg
    Published Oct 31, 2015
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Built like a tank, tuneable bass
    Cons - Not for the critical listener, recessed highs
      20151028_235820_HDR.jpg
     
     
     
     I must first start this by giving a large thank you to @TorqueAudio for selecting me to be a participant in their reviewer tour for their brand new T402v pre-production model.  I greatly appreciate the opportunity to demo and review your new headphones, so again thank you.
        Before I begin the review on the T402v one must understand the group that these are geared for, which is the main stream media/consumer crowd. This quite often I had to remind myself of for it’s a realm I rarely go in depth with but it was a great experience nonetheless.
     
    20151028_235052_HDR.jpg
     
    20151028_235246_HDR.jpg
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    The Opening Experience
     
        The initial handshake presented with meeting someone the first time. Will it be a firm handshake that demands respect, or will it be a limp one that will be forgotten about once you part ways? In the case of Torque Audio’s T402v I was given a great firm and proud handshake.
    The product was presented very nicely but did have a little too much activity on the box for my taste. Upon opening it you have a wonderfully presentation in front of you that begins with a greeting card (that’s also the warranty and product info.) from Torque which is presented proudly on top of the headphones that are placed inside precision cut foam to protect it. Beneath the headphones you open up the bottom half which contains the traveler's pouch that’s holding the two pads that come with the T402v’s; circumaural (over-ear) and supra-aural (on-ear). As well as another pouch that holds the very nicely built mic cable.
    I must say that the way these were packaged and presented to me really left me excited to put them on my head and begin listening to them.
     
                                                                                                      20151028_235347_HDR.jpg
     
     
    Construction
     
        So how is the build quality on these? Not to be dishonest I was a little worried about the build for I’ve learned most mainstream geared equipment isn’t exactly made to last. The T402v’s however absolutely do not fall into that stereotype.
    These are built very solidly using a very little plastic and being gracious with aluminum. The headband is built to take copious amounts of abuse, in fact on the website there’s even a picture of a person “wringing” out the headband to show its durability, I did not administer this test. The ear cups swivel very smoothly to one side but they “taughted” up when rotated to the other as well as the cups came off, so I don’t believe they are designed to rotate a full 180 degrees.
    The cable is very well built and put together. Despite it not being a tangle free cable they never tangled up on me or even kinked up for that matter, however I just had them for 5 short days and I can honestly see them gaining memory over time. The microphone I didn’t like at all; the people I was talking to said I sounded very distant and almost as if in a well. In addition to that the volume buttons weren’t the easiest to press.
     
                                                                                                         20151028_235524_HDR.jpg
     
     
    Comfort
     
        Something I don’t think is given a lot of thoughts about when sound and then looks is the focal points. And with the T402v’s I think this was somewhat apparent. Initially they’re respectably comfortable with a slightly above normal clamping force. With the circumaural pads my glasses were pushed forward and pushing them back was difficult so I often had to remove my them. The supra-aural pads I could only wear for about 1 ½ hours before they became to uncomfortable for me to wear at all, which doesn’t sound like much but I personally can’t wear on-ear because they usually become too painful after only 30 min to I tip my hat to these pads.
        Though overall I still find these to be respectably comfortable and wouldn’t unrecommend them to anyone based on comfort.
     
                                                                                                         20151028_235419_HDR.jpg
     
     
    Sound
     
        The most important aspect of an audio piece is the representation of the audio. Per the Torque master himself these are “intentionally tuned for ‘consumers’ or the ‘masses’” which did give me some worry for my mind immediately went to the Beats and Bose sound. But worry and personal bias aside I gave these a true unbiased listen for the entirety of my 5 days with them.
        Though I found these to have a rather small soundstage overall as well as the instrument separation could use some work, the positional cues were awesome. Quite often I felt nicely enveloped in the performance I was listening to especially if I was using it as background music or just relaxing. Now when I was critically listening to it is where I I couldn’t enjoy it as much. Being designed specifically for the mainstream audience I can’t count off too much for this because more often than not the general listener just wants to hear and enjoy the beat of the music instead of nitpicking every minute detail.
        Critical listening aside these are absolutely a fun headphone to listen to and no matter if I’m listening to “The Pride” by Five Finger Death Punch or “Wayfaring Stranger” by Trace Adkins, I always felt the “get up and dance” vib. Which is awesome to have in any headphone but certainly one for the masses.
        So onto the more individual aspects and I think you’ll learn more about these by dissecting each frequency range. ALSO the most indistinguishable high point that are present in the T402v is the fact that these have different filters inside the ear cups and are changed as easily as rotating them. The summary given below is the general synopsis I gathered from the 4 filters though each one will alter your personal experience. The 4 filters are as follows from least filtration to most (bass):
     
    1. Black (No filter): The one I used the vast majority of the time and provides the least bias towards the bass punch
    2. Red: The only other filter I would utilize, this one provides a nice touch of bass punch when you’re wanting a little more “umph” in your music without going to out of control.
    3. Blue: Where I feel the bass lovers will start, this filter definitely tones up the feels. I sometimes used this but I’m not a fan of too much bass
    4. Yellow: Super bass mode activate, I didn’t use this filter but to test it for this one greatly increased the bass hit to Beats levels. I’m confident bass heads will be more or less tied to this filter for they’ll definitely get their fix.


     
    Treble
     
        The highs of the T402v is very predominately recessed. Across the board the highs didn’t impress me much at all. While listening to the song “Diva Dance” from the movie The Fifth Element as I’m sure you know she gets way up there into the almost piercing levels. While listening to her with these the most I got was a ‘umm is that it”? So I wasn’t that impressed with the treble at all on these.
     
    Mids
     
        The saving grace of the T402v from an audiophile perspective. The vocals are very clean very intimate. They’re also very forward so you can easily pick out the artist away from the surrounding and often overwhelming instruments. The male vocals especially shine due to the prominent bass bias the exist on these so artists like Trace Adkins, ZZ Top etc… really shine. However female artists usually don’t get the same love because of the very recessed treble.
     
    Bass
     
        The immediate focal point of the T402v. One cannot listen to these and not instantly realize that, so bass heads definitely take note for these play wonderful with hard rock and rap (especially rap) and have a very nice hit to it. Now, on that not the bass does also have its quirks. The sub bass when one actually feels the bass I found to be quite lacking, especially on songs I greatly enjoy getting that. Also the decay is very drawn out and extended which I believe is what hurts the separation of other notes.
        Something to keep in mind though, and something I’ve learned personally, is that the mainstream consumer actually enjoys this sound and isn’t necessarily something to defer from. For again these are specifically designed to appeal towards the mainstream crowd, and I believe they hit that nail on the head.
     
                                                                                                      20151028_235133_HDR.jpg
                     
     
    Conclusion
     
        The Torque Audio T402v is absolutely a front runner in the mainstream consumer market and one that goes against the current in terms of design and build. Toque definitely but a great focus on the build quality and design over pure profit margin and from personally talking with them my opinion on this is solidified. Are these a top notch audiophile headphone? No, but these do however make a great pair to just enjoy and jam to the beat to without having to worry about breaking it or wishing you brought a different pair.due to the tank like build and interchangeable filters.
        Also a quick final note is to restate that this was a pre-production model that Torque Audio sent me so your experience may be somewhat different, primarily I was told in the aesthetics.
     
    Till next time my friends, also make sure to check out my Unboxing and Review videos!
     
     
  3. grizzlybeast
    TORQUE t402V supra/circumaural headphone - Review
    Written by grizzlybeast
    Published Oct 24, 2015
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Perfectly executed design. Comfortable lightweight fit. Fun dynamic sound thats not too harsh. Full satisfying bass
    Cons - Not for the midrange purist. Bass can be loose and lack control depending on setting. Sound quality is not for the critical listener.

    TORQUE t402V supra/circumaural headphone - Review

     
     
    Disclaimer:
    I was eager to get my hands on a pair to hear such innovation but have no personal ties with Torque. 
     

    I N T R O  ​

     I have received what is a pre-production unit for review. I was told the following things about this headphone. 
    1. Only some of the accents in the aesthetics will change
    2. The sonic attributes are final
    3. “One thing to note is that these headphones are intentionally tuned for “consumers” or the “masses” _ chief designer and Engineer for Torque. So to be expected is a V shaped headphone with booming bass and an engaging sound signature.
    4. Its MSRP is 399.00 USD. 
     
    Like others I saw the solicitation for reviewers and jumped on the opportunity to review them. I may have bitten off a little more than I can chew because this headphone is complicated, simple, unique, and innovative all in one sweep. They market these headphones as customizable and may be the most customizable over ear headphones I have ever heard of.  
     
    I have decided to stick to certain genres in my listening tests and occasionally going outside of those genres to see how well rounded they are. I listen to a crap ton of hip hop instrumentals, experimental hip hop, electronic, chill trap,  underground glitch hop, with bass drops and all the exciting climaxes etc, hard drums, with synths and modern sounding instruments. I also listened to reggae, and pop remixes by underground artists. There were little dabs in post rock and contemporary christian music.  I don’t think most of the masses will have portable DACs etc( and neither do I) so I tested a lot of this from the normal headphone out of my Samsung. At home I listened from my desktop which expectedly sounds a whole lot better. So lets get in to the review. 
     

     ​

    D E S I G N  ​

    SAM_1725.jpg
     
    Geez where to start with this thing!!!. I will be upfront and say that I thought they looked pretty  dope in the pictures etc. In person they do not disappoint. I try to stay away from superlatives and saying my favorites etc but I can’t help myself from blurting out my personal tastes. I love the design! Compared to the slew of portable offerings out there, I find this design almost perfectly executed. If there are design flaws then you will need a microscope to find them.
     
    The cable is a detachable 1.4m reinforced mylar shielded wire that is a slightly longer than most portable cords but remains kink and tangle free during use. It is terminated in the standard apple connector with the extra ring for mic which makes a lot of sense for its portable application. I just wish there was a compatible 1/4 inch adapter to use with it so I can jam out at home. A simple solution is to use the cable backwards and that works fine. I also don’t think these are android compatible for android. Using Spotify from my phone, the middle button (Torque logo) can go to the next song (instead of muting it ) but there is no ability to control the volume. When listening from my iPad Air , which sounds better than my phone, I can turn the volume up and down, and the Torque logo mutes the song. iOS system … check. Android system… half check. 
    SAM_1750.jpg
     
     
    The cups are square shaped and the “40mm proprietary bio-cell membrane diaphragm transducers” are housed in plastic surrounded by a brushed metal. The very pliable steel spring headband has a small bit of memory foam but seems to be very durable. In my hands this feels like a supremely solid product with a minimalist, yet highly practical design. 
     
    The headphones come with a set of over ear and on ear pads that each have 4 different bass settings for a possibility of 8 different sound options. No matter what pad you put on they look great on the head with its sleek design. The pads detach and re-attach to the cups in with magnets. This reminds me of the MH40 in that regards but is even easier if that is possible. They can pop off a little too easy at times but for the most part I had no issues with the pads staying on the housing.  To change the bass settings you simply place the color setting of your desired bass level over the bass port in front of the driver. Please see my amateur video below. I wasn’t expecting it to be that easy.
    SAM_1745.jpg
     
     
    Ingenious!!​

     ​

    C O M F O R T​

    SAM_1751.jpg SAM_1728.jpg
    (pad depth,  pad opening compared to the dt1770)​
     ​
     ​
    They do great in this area as well. I got to try the Momentum 2 over ear headphones and these are equally comfortable if not more so. My ears barely touch the the ear pad cloth covering the drivers and fit inside with minimal tucking of my lobes. I just have to do a quick adjusting to get the pads around my ears right and I am good to go. The headband adjusts with clicks (sorry for you OCD guys) but there are no lines to enable you to match both sides. I guess you can count the clicks if you want to : ). This thing is mostly metal but those sensitive to weight fret not. Its a relatively light weight set of cans
     
    Once the headphones are in place there is reasonable amount of clamp force to keep them secure. I have a big head and find the clamp force just a tad strong. Soon after the music plays and gets my toes tapping I am ignorant of any comfort issues. Actually it barely crossed my mind when I thought of how to describe it in this section. Don’t worry no death lock on your cranium. The spring steel flexes enough not to juice your melon.
     
    DJ’s may find this headphone practical for a few reasons including the fit. Much moving around doesn’t flip these headphones off of the head and they easily twist to allow one cup to stay on. They don’t fold but they do swivel and can lay flat as in the picture above. 
     
    Both pads are equally soft. The foam inside of the pads are far from stiff yet they offer good support and padding. I can’t ask for more from a portable headphone. 

     

    A C C E S S O R I E S ​

    These headphones come in a white box that have everything packaged inside. Please see the pics below for the unboxing. 
    MY CAMERA ISN'T THAT GREAT BUT THIS SHOULD WORK
    The pads are in the pouch with the ear openings facing up. If you are concerned to be exact then above is how the pads were in the foam. ​
    ^This would be upside down where the drivers show their customizable options. ​
    Then simply let the magnets on the cup frames do the work when applying the pads. Very easy and ingenious. ​
     ​
     


    You get a set of on ear and over ear pads, a black headphone pouch, manual, and iOS  compatible cord. 

     

    A M P I N G​

    The Torque t402v needs no amping whats so ever. It gets very loud straight from my weak phone and I haven’t even maxed out the volume of my iPad or phone yet. I get a little annoyed when playing music from my phone because it always gives me a warning that listening above the recommended volume can cause ear damage. My other headphones don’t need to obey that warning but these might. I play it right at the recommended volume and find it plenty loud. 
     
    Sourcing may be another story. I can detect the differences in sound quality between devices but nothing super fancy is warranted here. 

     

    I S O L A T I O N   /   L E A K A G E​

    They are portable headphones with all kinds of bass setting options. There seems to be a little vent on the side of the headphone housing. The pads also come off of the housing so easy. The odds seem stacked up against any hopes of them performing well in this area and yet they do fairly well. I was sitting here jamming out and my chair was creaking. Well my wife got annoyed and said I was making a loud noise. I said “what babe, whats making a noise”. She said “the chair from you moving so much”. So she wasn’t complaining about the headphone noise and I couldn’t hear the chair creaking so loudly. I have had other cans that perform a bit better in both areas but these do above average and are truly portable using either pad. Just don’t go to a pub and compare them to iems like I did and you will be fine. I got the chance to listen to these while my wife was driving us on our commute and I had no issues with the road noises disturbing my listening.

     

    S O U N D

    Since I have the chance I will describe this headphones total package, sound and all with one word I choose… Entertaining. Excuse me for those who hate boxing, but allow me to make an analogy. There are those boxers that dance around the ring and rack up points as they display their tactfully, polished, and athletic ability. They are precise but sometimes make for a boring fight. The majority of the crowd, even the biggest boxing fans, want to see a fight with heavy punchers that have enough skill to make it look like something they can’t do themselves. This headphone is like those heavy hitters and brings the entertainment to the masses. It’s heavy hitting nature brings your music to life. Either you can look at it as holding back no punches, or casting a spell on your limbs as they move to the music with the snake charming sound signature of the Torque that is no doubt V -shaped. Lets get into describing each section of the spectrum for further insight.

     

    H I G H S / T R E B L E​

    The treble of this headphone sparkles, shimmers, and dances with what I believe to be an appreciably solid texture. There is little hissing but tons of plucking, snapping, and popping. It’s crisp in distinction with good dynamics even though it can sound a little grainy. It’s pretty much a non factor and probably not worth mentioning as that slight bit of graininess is to be expected at this price range. While I think the treble is boosted, it rarely ever hurt my ears. In all honesty the treble is probably my favorite part of the sound signature. It’s extension is adequate and it has an acceptable amount of detail. The treble seems to be tuned as to allow the total package to appear well separated and have a good amount of space in the music. When I owned the HD 8 DJ I felt its bass was too dominant and I now realize this experience was only heightened by its relative lack of treble. I should have known that I couldn’t expect the midrange to weather the bass storm but I was naive and complained about the midrange too. The boosted treble on the Torque t402v now makes much sense to me and I have come to appreciate the purpose of these sound signatures. I distinctly remember the Vmoda M100 piercing my ears more than the Torque does but noted how its sound was spread out with some help of its treble. The same thing is going on here in the Torque yet its not a super spread out headphone. Its dynamic top end helps its sense of instrument separation and renewed my appreciation of how important treble is for rhythm keeping. I rarely found it to be harsh, piercing or too sibilant.  Those high hats and snares sound electric. I think Torque did the tuning here spot on. The fidelity and transparency in the highs aren’t going to wow, in fact its not for critical listening but its dynamic vitality gives it a good amount of tangibility while rarely being offensive. Its a bit lack luster over all because its not all glossed up, clean and airy but its transients are fun and it its just a hair above or at neutral. 

     

    M I D R A N G E​

    I want to leave this section short. Even when browsing over the review you will see it sandwiched between the lengthy descriptions of the opposite ends of the spectrum for a reason. The midrange is not all lost but it is either overwhelmed by the bass ( irregardless of tuning) or outshone by the treble. I don’t expect this headphone to be praised here because it is a little dry and withdrawn. When peering into the guts it will be hard to find the glory. To be fair the glory in the midrange isn’t all gone and I found it quite enjoyable on some songs, particularly females. I just had to make a conscious effort to focus on them. Not too bad in my opinion. Even when playing a bass light song you hear how its not for the midrange purist. However, I can still easily enjoy the vocals in the songs I selected since I know my relationship with the t402v is casual. There is some crowding and a lack of clarity here that keeps me from calling it a transparent phone no matter how much I appreciate the treble. It is without a doubt that there are tons of headphones that have a way bigger dip in the midrange than these. So I totally understand this as  mostly practical. I found some of the pad settings to bleed more in to the midrange than others so lets get into that in the next section. 
     

    B A S S ​

    This section is highly dependent on what setting you select. I personally found that some settings offer better sound quality for the headphone overall. Without a doubt some peoples opinions will differ from mine, or they will find what I selected as my favorite setting to be the worst one or unlistenable. So this section will be even more subjective than the others. It is clear to me though that no matter what bass setting you select the bass is going to be boosted. On all settings the kick drums have a very solid punch and the mid bass is consistently present. This should satisfy those that like a dynamic and fun sound. This is with no mistake a bass head set of cans. 

     ​

    B A S S   S E T T I N G S 

    The following description is from testing with the over ear pads. ​
     ​
    BLACK- LEAST BASS
    RED - MORE BASS
    BLUE - EVEN MORE BASS
    YELLOW - THE MOST BASS
     
     
     
    BLACK 
    The black setting while the least in quantity seems to be the least controlled to my ears.  I am not going to conclude this setting as bass head in quantity though, its not quite there but intentionally flirts near that line of crossing over. It consistently provides weight but sometimes sounds as if the sub bass is lacking relative to the upper and mid bass. I believe this setting performs the upper bass better than it does the mid bass and sub bass. I can still hear the sub bass but it leaves me the impression that the all important 30 - 50 hz is very bloated and loose. I started to hear its strength and focus from 80 hz and up. Also there is a lost sense of transparency with this setting. 
     
    RED
    This setting has my favorite balance of bass quantity. It’s above neutral like I desire, more in quantity than the black setting, and starts to gain control. I still find this setting kind of loose but its a bit easier to enjoy the sub bass on this setting. For me the red setting renders the black setting useless. Even some lower priced headphones may have a tighter focus than the red setting but it bangs and bucks with modest physicality. I can most definitely enjoy most of my music with the red setting. 
     
    BLUE 
    This is my favorite setting. In my opinion most of the weight and focus is more apparent. It could be all placebo and bias but traces of overall clarity seem to reappear. Yes the bass increase is very noticeable but the rumble sustains of bass lines sound the most satisfying and controlled to me here. I would take the quality of this section and have a purple color in balance if I could (blue quantity and red quantity). I do reiterate that this is my opinion as some may find this setting awful. My inner bass loving soul was gravitating towards this setting the most. It just felt right to me.
     
    YELLOW
    I am guilty of liking this setting an ignoring all of its fidelity destroying qualities. I told you I came here to be entertained. Not some technically astute and polite finger strokes of a faint violin being lured out of a recording while the bass is on vacation. This setting definitely looses control again as if the blue was the threshold of its maximum amount of fidelity. But it does make its uses in noisier environments. It was funny that when these cans were listened to on yellow at the somewhat noisy pub, one listener thought it wasn’t that much more bass than the black setting. I gave them a listen myself as if I had been hearing them wrong all along and low and behold, I did find the yellow setting to have more bass than the black but only barely. I think all of us found it to sound better than the black setting. When I came back home to my much quieter listening space it was extremely easy to hear the yellow as the loudest thumping setting. It has a pleasurable amount of weight but could go for a tighter composure. 
     
    The bass overall to me is bass head level and about average in quality compared to other offerings like the p7, momentum and others. I think it offers more physicality and dynamic action than most of them with good weight but its not going to be your tightest, or loosest either for that matter. 

     

    O N   E A R   P A D S ​

    I hope an on ear lover does this section more justice than me. The on ear pads are very comfortable even though I prefer the over ear pads more. The looks are quite admirable in person with the on ear pads and would win my admiration over any on ear I have seen. 
     
    The sound is very similar to the over ear obviously but the treble is a bit less in quantity and sounds less more constricted in sound stage. You can loosely follow the descriptions above for the various bass settings available. The midrange however in this setting seems more forward at times since the highs are tamed and may offer a more relaxing listen. I do find the sound quality better on the over ears for sure.
     
    The even shorter story is that both options make for a solid portable entry. I suspect people will be swapping pads morstly based on their sound signatures. For those that love on ear headphones this should be a solid consideration. 
     

     

    C O N C L U S I O N​

    While this headphone may only give a little for those that want to listen critically and accurately, it has tons to offer elsewhere. As a bass head I would want my bass to be just a little bit more controlled at those high volumes but that is usually found in higher priced offerings or in ear headphones that give little soundstage satisfaction. The few other over ear bass head options I have tried with slightly tighter bass have hole punched my ear drums with razor sharp treble. This headphone isn’t a total sonic package that can play all genres but is a package full of useful, non-gimmicky, down to business options. You will be hard pressed to find a better design in or around $399 that is as comfortable, durable, and as option assorted. I wouldn’t mind having this headphone, no doubt it would get some use. There is a lot to like here from these headphones that directly connect me to my musics rhythm right out of my phone jack.  I can dig it. 
     
     
    Subjective  Ratings
     
     
    Treble quantity - way too dark(+),  way too bright (+++++)+++-
    Treble quality+++
    Mid range quantity++-
    Mid range quality+++
    Bass quantity ( ++- is neutral)ranges from +++ to ++++
    Bass quality+++
    Bass control++-
    Soundstage+++
    Instrument separation+++-
    Transparency++-

      nick n, Hawaiibadboy and xingfei like this.
    1. onyxwulf
      Good review thank you.  These just dropped on Massdrop so was trying to figure out if worth price or not and I think I will pass.
      onyxwulf, May 25, 2016
  4. Hisoundfi
    Original design, Premium product. The Torque Audio t402v supra/circum aural headphones with modi:fit technology
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Oct 23, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Premium all around build quality and design, Innovative ear pads and tuning system, Two year warranty, Universally easy to drive.
    Cons - On ear pads tuning could be better, Overall tuning is bass forward
    At the time this review was written, The Torque Audio t402v was on a pre-order sale for $399.99 with a twenty percent pre-order discount code on their website. Here is a link to the listing of their product:
    20151023_201035.jpg
    http://torque.audio/product/t402v/
     
    Introduction
    I am very excited about all the new releases of audio products recently. The technology is rapidly advancing, and the science of mastering headphones and IEMs is improving on a regular basis. Feedback on products and advancements in the science of sound reproduction over the years has given manufacturers insight as to what materials and designs will maximize the listening experience. Because of this, audio enthusiasts are in a quasi-renaissance where new manufacturers, consumers and reviewers are hearing about the “next big thing” on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even a daily basis.
     
    While hybrid technology is getting a lot of attention (combinations of dynamic and armature drivers) the realm of single dynamics is still evolving. Diaphragm and housing materials can radically differ the sound characteristics of an earphone. One of the most popular diaphragm materials is biocellulose. This was first used in one of the most famous headphones of all time, the Sony MDR-R10, and most recently in very popular releases like the VSONIC GR07 series. It is a pretty fascinating material definitely worth researching the next time you are web surfing.
     
    Another popular tweak manufacturers are currently doing is implementing technology that allows the customer to change the sound of their earphones. This is usually done with in ear monitors via tuning filters that changes the way the drivers are vented. With full size headphones this technology has not been explored too often as of yet.
     
    Torque is a relatively new company that has ties to Kickstarter in efforts to get their products started. I reached out to them after reading about their products on Kickstarter and Head-Fi. After hearing about their unique bass filtering system and biocellulose drivers, I reached out to them to see if I could offer a review in exchange for a chance to try one of their products. There was just too much cool technology in them to not see what their products were all about. Today I have the honor of sharing my experience with the t402v headphone.
     
    Disclaimer
    I was given a loaner pair of t402v in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am not affiliated with Torque Audio in any way.
     
    Review
    The t402v headphone come in a white box with black and orange letters and accents. There is a very nice picture of the product on the front of the box, and a picture of the removable tuning pads in the lower right corner.
    20151002_110940.jpg
     
    The back of the box features a description of the product in five different languages (including english). There is a more detailed description and picture of the modi:fit system along with supporting graphs that show how the pad position changes the sound of the headphones. I will explain this in further detail later in the review.
    20151002_110950.jpg
     
    Features and Accessories
    ● new 40mm proprietary bio-cell membrane diaphragm transducers
    ● patent pending modi:fi technology allows 4 adjustable low frequency setting
    ● includes on-ear and over-ear ear-pads
    ● professional grade SoftRide memory foam for comfort
    ● 4 way stretch lux vinyl enhanced seal
    ● 3 way articulation for ergonomic fit
    ● spring steel reinforced headband for durability
    ● polyurethane internal damper plate for resonance reduction
    ● oxygen free copper conductor for improved signal conductivity
    ● detachable 1.4m extra long reinforced mylar shielded cable
    ● right angle 3.5mm stereo input
    ● in-line iOS compatible remote to control your music
    ● microphone for phone and voice commands
    ● 2 year warranty (when purchased from authorized dealer)
     
    The t402 also comes with a neoprene carrying case to pack and transport the headphones, and a smaller mesh case to store and transport the removable pads.
    20151023_200710.jpg
     
    Build
    The t402v is a phenomenally built pair of headphones. When I first took them out of the box I was really impressed with the quality materials that have been used. The headband features reinforced spring steel that is covered in a synthetic leather/vinyl material that is stitched into place and branded with the Torque logo on top. There is foam underneath the covering where the headphone makes contact with the user’s head. The lines are clean and symmetric, and look very high end.
    20151023_200828.jpg
     
    The headband connects to what appears to be an aluminum band on each side with right and left markers on each channel. The headphone adjusts to fit various sized heads via a curved metal bar that leads to the cups. The bar slides up and down from the internal workings of the headband and clicks into place. The headphones are easy to adjust the size and solid in holding whatever position you adjust them to.
    20151023_200935.jpg
     
    The t402v cups are attached to a swiveling square frame. There is a hinge where the adjustment bar meets this frame, which allows the pads to angle forwards and backwards. This hinge also allows the headphones to be laid flat with the cup facing down/up. The cups are also hinged on the frame to allow the cups to swivel up and down. The connections are solid and swivels/hinges are pretty seamless and very nicely done. I get no unwarranted popping, crackling, or squeaking from any of the hinged connections. I find this to be a great accomplishment. Most headphones with this many components and moving parts almost always has some kind of noise, while the t402v has none.
    20151023_201054.jpg
     
    The cups of the t402v aren’t necessarily cups at all. They are flat plates with rounded corners. They are made of metal and feature a brushed nickel finish with polished edges. There is a molded Torque Audio logo on each side. The cups on the t402v are incredibly well done, and look exquisite.
    20151023_201149.jpg
     
    Torque audio’s magic lies in its pads. Not only are they phenomenally designed, they are of extraordinary quality as well. The t402v offers two separate pairs of pads. One is a smaller pair designed for a more portable on ear use, and a pair of over the ear pads that would be more suited for home use from what I’ve experienced while using them. They are a square shape that rounds off at the corners much similar to the cup design.
    20151023_201547.jpg
     
    The design in how the pads connect to the cups is GENIUS. The cups have specially placed magnets that attach the custom pads to the cups. If you want to change the pads on the t402v, all you have to do is pull the pads off and attach the other pads. The magnets do the work of creating a seal. The amount of magnetism is great for making it easy to swap pads. I will say that people who have a tendency to wear their headphones around their neck when not in use should be aware that an incidental bump or snag could pull the pads from the cups.
    20151023_201316.jpg
     
    The cable connects to the headphone via the bottom of the left channel cup. It has a 3.5mm straight plug design where the cable connects to the headphones, and a ninety degree plug where the cable connects to the source. Strain reliefs are pretty much non existent, and I see the possibility of shorts in the cable taking place over the course of extended use. The good news is that if this were to happen, 3.5mm cables are readily available at cheap prices, so even if this did happen it could easily be replaced at minimal cost.
    20151023_201720.jpg
     
    The length of the cable is approximately four feet long and appears to be made of silver plated copper. It seems to be very durable and has a considerable amount of stiffness and memory. The t402v features a three button microphone and remote with volume control for Iphone. When testing it all buttons and microphone worked great. The 3.5mm jack makes it easy to replace if needed or wanted.
    20151023_202014.jpg
     
    Comfort
    With both sets of pads the t402v was a little hot on the ears due to the memory foam and synthetic leather skin. Keeping things from getting sweaty was easily done by taking a couple minute break when things started to get stuffy.
    20151023_202118_HDR.jpg
     
    I consider myself to have an average size head. With that being said, I find the clamping force of the t402v to be a bit much with the on-ear pads, and perfect with the over-ear pads.
     
    modi:fit Technology
    Being able to shape the sound of my headphones without having to get the toolbox and modding them is important to me. Torque has given users an opportunity to do that with their modi:fit system. The t402 pads have a uniquely designed pad with a foam padding and sectioned off venting system that allows the user to change the headphone’s bass response. While I feel that the t402 is a consumer tuned bass response even in the most lean bass setting, the t402v has four options for both sets of pads:
    20151002_110956.jpg
     
    Yellow: Most bass of all options
    Blue: More bass
    Red: Less bass
    Black: Least bass of all options
     
    Sound Review
    I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-G3 with the latest firmware for portable and smartphone use, and either my Shanling H3 or Sony Walkman F806/Cayin C5 amplifier for a high fidelity portable use. For desktop use I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a HIFIMEDIY Sabre ES9023 USB DAC/Bravo Audio Ocean Tube amplifier with a Mullard 12AU7 tube for higher impedance, and a Fiio E18 USB DAC & Amplifier in both high and low gain. Both were run at 24 bit, 96000 Hz. I also tested them with other DAPs and amplifiers as well. I used Google Music downloaded in its highest download quality (320 KBPS) and I also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I also used purchased and downloaded tracks in MP3, FLAC, WAV and DSD. I make sure that any gear I test has sufficient playtime before writing a review.
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
    “Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
    “Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
    “Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
    “One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
    “And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to asses and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Source Selection
    The t402v will sound great with just about any source you use. You won’t need to go out and buy a high powered source to get good performance out of the t402v. Although a portable amplifier did slightly improve dynamics, they are incredibly enjoyable through my LG G3. I didn’t find anything necessarily beneficial when switching to something more powerful than my Shanling H3 or F806/Cayin C5. Because of their tuning, the t402v is pretty forgiving with lower sample rates.
     
    Sound Signature
    Because of the adjustable bass tuning pads I will generalize this portion. The t402v is a great earphone that brings a consumer friendly bass response in combination with some very good midrange and treble response. Because the sound differs depending on what pads you use I will explain the sound for each type of ear pad.
     
    Smaller (on ear) pads
    The sound changed for me considerably when changing over to the on ear pads. With this configuration the t402v was a much bassier, warmer, smoother and less detailed headphone as compared to the other option. The overall sound is not nearly as detailed as the over ear pads, and soundstage suffers. Midrange is slightly to moderately veiled. Both male and female vocals are weighted. Treble is very smooth and still relatively detailed. I won’t say that the sound presentation is horrible with the on ear pads, but there is room for improvement in terms of overall fidelity. If I were to compare the sound of the t402v to another pair of on ear headphones I’ve heard before it would be the Sony MDR-X10. It’s going to work with modern genres in the on ear pad configuration, but there will be a noticeable difference in fidelity as compared to other top performers in this price range. If you are aiming for higher fidelity, the over the ear pad configuration of the t402v  is the way to go.
     
    I will say that the on ear setup is better geared for use in noisy environments and commuting. Their slimmer profile, superior isolation, bassy and smoother signature makes them a fun headphone for when I am on the go.
     
    As far as bass tuning configurations are considered, the t402v goes from bassy and smooth with the leanest setting to really bassy and smooth in the highest bass setting.
     
    Full size (over ear) pads
    This was by far my favorite way of wearing them.Their bass is slightly forward even in the leanest setting, and has a mid bass forward tuning that is high resolution. Despite the forward presence, it manages to avoid distortion or mid bass bleed. Midrange sounds are touch back in the mix but with very good clarity and separation with the black pads. There is a warm tilt as compared to more neutral headphones like the Sennheiser HD600. Male voices (especially deeper voices) were a little unnatural. Female voices weren’t impacted by their tuning and sounded excellent. Overall dynamics are really well done. Treble is excellent. It is crisp, detailed and with excellent separation and no harshness whatsoever. With the over ear pads, dynamics and resolution are the t402v’s biggest strengths.
     
    Increasing the amount of bass by adjusting the pad position increases the overall bass presence, but also increases the amount of midbass even more, impacting the overall resolution of the headphones. I could go into detail on each one, but the best way to sum it up would be to say that the leanest bass setting was the most natural and engaging sound, and the highest bass setting put quite a bit of slam but also a considerable amount of veil over the midrange. The higher the bass was set, the more bloated and congested things sounded to my ears. Personally, I really enjoy the lesser bass tunings, and have no purpose for the two increased bass settings, Your mileage may vary.
     
    Conclusion
    Normally at the end of a review I would do a comparison to some other earphones, but this is a unique pair of cans that does things that all of my other headphones can’t. Instead, I will conclude this review by saying that I was very impressed with the creativity and original design. They have an innovative and superior build quality. They are a versatile headphone that will fit many people’s various lifestyles and applications. They took premium materials and built a premium product.
    20151023_200211.jpg
     
    Thanks for reading and Happy listening!


                                                                                               
    1. twister6
      Really enjoyable review!
      twister6, Oct 23, 2015
    2. x RELIC x
      Great review, enjoyed it!
      x RELIC x, Oct 23, 2015