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Fostex x Massdrop TH-X00 Review

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jude, Nov 24, 2015.
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  1. Whitigir
    Supposedly changing the foams around the drivers will allow the tuning of sound characteristics on these fostex. Density primarily, then different diameters :).
  2. tomatoshoe
    Oh really. [​IMG]
  3. akatyay
    Received TH-X00 number 1010 yesterday.  
    Tried them with the stock pads: decidedly not bad, bass is a bit bloom-y but the high's are controlled and the mid-range is clear albeit a bit recessed.  Soundstage kinda small for my tastes
    Tried them with Alpha pads (this took some finagling to fit on there): Even better, bass is a bit tighter (I see why people consider this a bass-head headphone), mid-range still recessed but clear.  Highs still good, but a bit sibilant on certain songs.  Soundstage has improved considerably (likely due to the greater pad depth).  Sound leakage is wayyyy less.
    Long story short: good headphones, try them with Alpha pads.  Wood grain and polish is absolutely gorgeous.
    If anyone is interested, I can compare them to the following: Ether, Alpha Prime, HD650, MadDogs 3.2, K7xx
    Listening done out of a Grace Design m9xx, will try them out on my Oppo HA-1 tonight or tomorrow.
    Barra likes this.
  4. cocolinho
    Would love to see short comparison with AP & MD 3.2
    I hope they are more airy than MD which were too closed sounding to me.
  5. akatyay
    Compared to the AP: AP has better mids (I've added some dampeners to mine from the "doggie treats" package and this tamed the highs/mids a bit).  X00 has better bass (even though I like the planar bass texture on the AP and the AP is by no means lacking on this front).  Highs are a toss-up, X00 definitely has some air (again, with the Alpha pads) while the AP is a little more closed but perhaps more accurate.  Soundstage is also a toss-up, X00 is wider but AP is deeper.  Both very coherent headphones.
    Verdict? AP slightly edges out the X00 due to the vocals (once modified a bit) but X00 is a very capable closed back headphone for $400.
    Compared to the MD 3.2: X00 smokes it in overall presentation and musicality.  MD 3.2 again provides good texture on the lows, but X00 has better bass, equal mids, and better highs.  X00 has better soundstage too.  MD 3.2 does have great separation of instruments.  
    Verdict? X00 by a good margin, probably going to sell my MD 3.2 as a result.  Definitely a bit more air in the X00 (with the Alpha pads).
    Let me know if you have any specific questions or if there are any tracks I should specifically A/B when I get home.
    cocolinho likes this.
  6. sahmen
    X00 vs Ether vs Hd650?
  7. piaudio
    Seem to target detailed retrieval? Meze Classic 99 seems to fit everything afaik by reading an article with lot of great characters you can hear with their wood cup too. I'm still finding myself pounding if Classic 99 worth that price?
  8. akatyay
    This one is tough.  
    HD650 is stock, Ether is stock, X00 has Alpha pads:
    Lows/Bass: Ether has good lows, always an appropriate amount that the track calls for.  HD650 is a bit tame on the bass (not quite as aggressive in the initial impact) but the quantity is there and lends to the warm sound signature.  X00 has the best bass of the bunch (with Alpha Pads) in quantity and impact but can definitely be fatiguing very quickly.   
    Mids/Vocals: Ether and HD650 are the winners here.  X00 is definitely a step behind in vocal presentation and accuracy.  However, this isn't *that* bad considering the Ether and HD650 probably have some of the absolute best vocals in the world (at least of the cans I own and based on other folks' reactions).  X00 vocals are fine for $400.
    Highs/any sharpness: Ether and HD650 are both smoothed out a little bit (HD650 more than the Ether).  Ether tends to sound a bit "lean" whereas the X00 sounds a bit "sharp." Both Ether and X00 are great when the track itself is mastered well. HD650 (as we all know) is smooth and laid-back, but at the cost of some detail and separation.  Can't really rank them on the highs, but probably Ether > X00 > HD650
    Soundstage: Ether has a great soundstage, realistic and deep.  HD650 has an OK soundstage, decent depth and decent width.  X00 can't win here as it's closed, but decent soundstage for a closed set of cans.
    If I had to rank them overall: Ether > HD650 >( this one is fairly close) X00
    Take my impressions with a grain of salt as the Ether and HD650s are my 2 favorite headphones, the X00 is absolutely gorgeous and great sounding, but it cannot compete with these two open goliaths. 
    thearth likes this.
  9. onefatsurfer
    These things sound so good with bass-heavy music.  Saw these guys in New Orleans earlier this year, they sound phenomenal with the X00's

  10. cocolinho
    Thank you for your reply.
    Not surprised by this except for "equal mids". My memory tells me mids were very forward on the MD
    I'm sure I will love THX00 a lot! Thanks again
  11. Sonido
    My go to bass slam test song

  12. sahmen
    You don't say!  I've been listening to some Erykah Badu tunes this morning, these are tunes that I have not heard for more than 12 years now, but the X00 has given them so much new energy and life (particularly in the lower frequencies), that I am simply having a hard time tearing myself away from my rig to go to the office, even though I do have to go to the office today...
    Funny thing is, I am already familiar with these bass riffs and grooves, and yet today these same riffs and grooves seem to be possessed by some new "voodoo," which I have never heard in them before - they're rocking with this euphoric but clean, deep, and tactile slam which is all kinds of crazy!!! This is simply serious trouble (good trouble, anyway), because I need to put the damn cans away and go to the office...! Dammit!
    Before the Badu tunes, I tried some others from Patricia Barber's "Modern Cool," and Keith Jarrett's "At the Blue Note" live series, and this bad boy passed all tests with flying colors...
    This is really serious trouble....
  13. aak57
    I'm glad to see that Alpha Pads are a good match for these, I'm not really a fan of how the stock pads feel and the alpha pads have always been super comfy for me.  The sonic changes from the alphas seem welcome as well.
  14. sahmen
    Thanks for your review, and no worries, I really understand the "grain of salt" part, especially since these X00s are fresh out of the box.  I wish I could hear your thoughts again, after several weeks of burn-in, that is, if you're going to give them enough play time for them to really burn in...
  15. akatyay
    The "equal mids" was more in response to the musicality/enjoyment I found in the mids.  The X00 are definitely recessed, and the MD forward, but that's more of a presentation comparison rather than the actual "quality" of mids (which I personally enjoy on both the X00 and MD).  
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