Pioneer SE-A1000 (Sennheiser HD 650 for $45?)
Jun 30, 2013 at 10:09 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1,082


500+ Head-Fier
Jul 6, 2012
Tampa, Florida
The Pioneer SE A1000. Most likely not heard of from most people here. The thing about that fact, is that its a sad fact. A very sad fact indeed. When it comes to a phone under $100. You are most likely thinking. ew. There cant possibly be anything good under $100.
Or youre thinking. I already have an HD 800, why would I need anything else? $1,000 headphone wont nearly be a close match to a phone coming in at $55. So you pass on that sub market. But heres the declaration. What If I told you this phone only costs $55..... and then your wondering ok? $55... must be crap. Youre now thinking I have my JVC set that costs $50. Its the best thing under $100, everyone hear on headfi recommends it. So Im good there.
Problem there, again let me say it. The Pioneer SE A1000 is underrated and unheard of.  Most likely only 20% of you have heard of this phone. Thankly for Warrenpchi saved me from the darkness, and brought me into the light. He told me to try out his little secret. His $50 steal, the one to rule them all. And you may be thinking. No way. No way is this possible. But to a great truth. He was correct. No BS anywhere. It is amazing, and jaw dropping. In his words he states,
"Actually... I'll let y'all in on a little secret. There's a headphone out there called a Pioneer SE-A1000 that is pretty darned good. I would characterize it as the love child of a an HD 650 and an SR-80 (that tramp). Almost no one here knows about it, and as a result it has had to fend for itself out in the open consumer market. And because the rank and file Amazon customer doesn't know good sound at all, the price has now dropped below $60 (from its MSRP of $149). Poor thing..."
And yes indeed a poor thing. It is the long lost prodigy we here at headfi have been waiting for. A new uprising in quality. After listening to this phone. It came to my attention that It was very much similar to the HD 650. Actually performing better in the mids in my opinion. This headphone is nothing short of spectacular, and would amaze any audiophile on this forum.
So go ahead.... pay $500 for your HD 650, or spend $55 and find something that could just be..... that much better...... just might......... give it a try..... you wont be let down..... its a promise.
( Oh an if it makes you feel better these were released at a MSRP of $220. But dropped to $50 due ti no recognition ) So you know they aren't cheap quality and perform higher than the $220 price and especially the mindblowing price of $55 ) 

Pioneer SE-A1000Sennhesier HD 650. 
As you see in the above graphs. You can get a feel for the comparison between the two phones. Yuo cna jusge off the charts. But make a final approach with your ears.
Jun 30, 2013 at 10:25 PM Post #2 of 1,082
There's plenty of great sub $100 headphone, depending on your preference there's Grado's SR60/80 or Koss Portapro, or JVC S500, etc, etc.
As for the A1000, thanks for reminding me. I was going to buy it a few months ago but forgot about it.
Jun 30, 2013 at 10:27 PM Post #3 of 1,082
Yes. I do agree about the multiple great phones under $100. But after the studying and grouping on the Defeat Zardak thread. ( with the above phones mentioned ) we have all come to conclude the SEA1000 are in a different league. Plain and simple. :)
Jun 30, 2013 at 10:31 PM Post #4 of 1,082
I hope it's that good, because all I have plan of it is gaming. I was going to go with the AD700 but this was cheaper.
Jun 30, 2013 at 10:51 PM Post #5 of 1,082
LOL, I've been trying to get people to notice these cans for AGES! 
  Heck, even Anax thought they were "decent" at the last SF meet back in February.  I've since learned that's rather high praise coming from him. 
  Had I known that all I had to do was start a thread about it...
Anyway, the one and only Achilles heal of these cans seems to be the fit.  It was designed for gargantuan heads (e.g. Modok), and most of us who have them complain about the loose fit.  Basically, the problem here is that the elastic straps are way too loose.  As a result the unit falls off of your head like it was born to do that.
Luckily, there is a simple mod that can be done to alleviate that.  So without further ado, I present to you the Super Simple SE-A1000 Headband Mod.

The mod is all done by re-tensioning the elastic strap within the headband's junction box.  If you've ever had to make a new hole in a belt because you lost weight, this will be much of the same.
1.  Start by unscrewing the four little screws (*** DON'T LOSE THESE!) as shown in the pic below:

2.  Now remove the junction box cover and you'll see that the elastic strap is just a nylon ribbon with a hole cauterized into the center.  This hole is then threaded onto an internal post as shown below:

3.  All we have to do is lift the elastic strap off of that post, pull it down further, and cauterize a new hole into it.  If you want to use a soldering iron, you can.  But as this doesn't require a lot of heat, I simply used an awl held over a candle flame for about 10 seconds.  As for how much further you want to pull them down, you'll have to take a guess here.  For me, pulling each side down another 1.25" seems to have done the trick.  IMPORTANT:  Be sure that those little black elastic nylon strips don't get sucked back into the comfort strap!

Once you've cauterized a new hole, just thread that new hole onto the internal post.
4.  Now re-cap the junction box, screw it up (you didn't lose those screws did you?), and you're all done.  It's a super clean mod, and no one will ever know that it was done.

6.  Repeat as desired for the other side and you're all done!  Hope this helps fellas! 
  Happy listening!
Jun 30, 2013 at 11:11 PM Post #8 of 1,082
I just ordered a pair. I hope the highs aren't ear piercing like most audiophile headphones.
Jun 30, 2013 at 11:18 PM Post #9 of 1,082
Wow, kinda want to tell Beagle about this. He and I were chatting about the SE-A1000 - and the lack of interest in it - around this time last year. Boy will he be surprised to see this all of a sudden.
Ordering a pair and following up with Warren,s mod.

Once the mod is performed, these easily become the most comfortable cans I have.  Almost zero clamping force, with comfortable/breathable pads to boot.  For the money, I don't see how one could go wrong adding these to their stable.
Great, cant wait to grow the club :wink: La Pichu&Warren Club de Fantastique 

  Thanks for putting up this thread BTW!
I just ordered a pair. I hope the highs aren't ear piercing like most audiophile headphones.

I would say no they're not.  They're definitely not like AKGs or Beyers if that's what you're asking.  There's a nice - and almost refined - crispness to the upper mids... just enough to not feel stifling or dark.
Jun 30, 2013 at 11:22 PM Post #10 of 1,082
  Thanks for putting up this thread BTW!
Yeah, No problem. After hearing them, there was know way noone else should miss out on this opportunity. You waited to long to expose them man XD, the time was soon to come. 


Jun 30, 2013 at 11:48 PM Post #12 of 1,082
They should have put some sort of screw mechanism on the outside of those junction boxes, with a post that the nylon can be twisted around. Then people could adjust the tension at will by turning the screw, provided the posts held your settings firm. Maybe something like that would be too fiddly to assemble with automated equipment or something, or else would cost too much or introduce a point of failure into the design.
In any event, these threads always make me think hmm...only $60? Maybe I could find a use for something like that.don't need another headphone at the moment, but then, if this one's really as good as you guys say, it'd be a shame if only a few people knew about it. And if it took off, I'd be getting on the train early for once, instead of arriving long after it's left the station and there's nothing new to say....
Gah! I'll watch this thread, anyway, and see where it goes. I love seeing the birth of a new budget contender. It's like discovering a really good prospect on Friday Night Fights or ShoBox.
Jun 30, 2013 at 11:50 PM Post #13 of 1,082
. Ive only listened to the 650, through the O2 DAC/AMP set. But yet,  Ive had multiple people throughout the forums and the internet admit and explain to me that they are up with the Sennhesier 650 in sound. Only difference is they have the airyness of the Grado Series. I truthfully enjoy the sound of the Pioneer more. You'll need to try it yourself to get what Im coming from.
Jun 30, 2013 at 11:54 PM Post #14 of 1,082
Already since I posted this thread. 5 have sold on Amazon. I havent seen the stock change for that phone since I started watching it. And for it to sell 5 in abotu an hour is pretty good. Im expecting some impressions in the coming week :)
Jul 1, 2013 at 12:14 AM Post #15 of 1,082
In case any of y'all want to audition it, I'll have them with me at the upcoming L.A. meet on July 20th (check my sig for details).

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