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Review: Fashion vs. Function-Phiaton MS400, B&W P5, Monster Beats Solo, V-Moda Crossfade, Sony XB700, HD25-1

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  1. davewave
    This is phenomenal listening, analysis, and writing. Bravo!

    Everyone is asking about omissions. For my part I would have liked to see the TMA-1 and Beyer T50p. Did these not meet your inclusion criteria or did you just not have them available?

    Thanks again for the outstanding contribution! 
  2. loremipsum
    Why are we considering the XB700 a portable headphone? I saw somebody wearing them once and they're huge
  3. grokit
    For me anything that folds flat, comes with a travel case, and has a 1/8" termination is a portable headphone that I could at least throw into a suitcase.
  4. Jcvalenz
    Couldn't agree more with the quality of the hd25s to always sound good compared to other cans, even full sized ones. Not necessarily better but still good... very easy to drive too. For me, they replaced a set of UM2 iems. No regrets at all, not even on isolation.
  5. Jcvalenz
    By the way, thanks a lot for a very interesting review ljokerl.
  6. ljokerl Contributor
    I've had some experience with the FA-003 and it's really not something I can see myself wearing outside. The ESW9 has been reviewed already in my portable shootout thread and I don't have it anymore. The PRO650 I do have  and will review eventually but it's not something I even bring  outside, either, thought it fits my criteria for inclusion in the long portable thread.

    I have a Bose on-ear though I think it's of the previous generation and needs a new cord. One of these days I'll get around to fixing it and maybe then it'll be included (though not in this review).

    The TMA-1 and T50P are two sets I'd like to have reviewed myself but purchasing two more high-end cans for review wasn't something I could justify. I have (many) other reasonably-priced portables such as the AKG Q460 and Philips O'Neill 'The Stretch' but I didn't feel those belonged as one is not exactly mainstream and the other is not exactly hi-fi.

    I've seen quite a few of them around my college campus and that's good enough for me. As far as I'm concerned, for inclusion in the long portable headphone review a headphone must meet at least one of the following criteria:
    1. Supraaural ear coupling (e.g. HD25-1, Beyer DT235, etc)
    2. Flat-folding or collapsible form factor (e.g. Grados, most DJ cans, etc)
    3. Cable designed for portable use - <5 ft in length and terminated with a 1/8 jack (Sony XB series, V-Moda Crossfade, Denon D1001k, etc)
    Well, I'm more of an IEM person (boo... hiss...) but being used to the isolation of my customs I could still use the HD25 and B&W P5 comfortably on the go. The rest are just too unwieldy and not isolating enough compared to what I'm used to with IEMs so I know exactly what you mean.
  7. Negakinu
    Thanks for this beautiful write up! Nice, clear and informative with an attractive layout. I wish Head-Fi could sticky threads like this one. 
    I own the HD25-1 II and agree on all your findings. I do however have even less love for the Monster than you. I enjoy my XB700 much more. Hell, I even enjoy my $15, modded KSC75 (opened up the foam pads, attached the drivers to the Portapro headband) more. And I am not kidding. [​IMG]
    I am very curious how you would rate the TMA-1 compared to these headphones. I have A/B'ed them against my HD25-1 II and didn't have much good to say about them. Much too warm, I would go as far to describe them as veiled, and they lack sparkle and clarity. Only thing they have going for them compared to the Sennheiser is the boom. Maybe some electronic music lovers might enjoy their mids more as well. They do look spectacular though (in my opinion) and the coiled cable around the drivers is a nice touch. They're more comfortable than my HD25 as well. But that's probably because I have pretty big ears. [​IMG]
    Anyway, thanks for the write up! Much appreciated! 
  8. Severanth
    Just wanted to say a thank you.
    Appreciate the effort and work put in to help newcomers like myself get a clearer foundation in what these headphones do and don't have to offer.  
  9. Mochan


    To note, although the two look almost like twins lost at birth, the TMA doesn't sound like the HD25 at all. It's funny but I often say that the TMA-1 is what the HD25 would have been if Sennheiser made it... And before you say anything yes I know the Hd25 was made by Senn. It just doesn't sound like it was: it's forward sound is a bit of a departure from the typical Senn consumer house sound.

    By the way I winder why the HD25 is included in this lineup, it is neither Particularly bassy nor a fashionista phone by any stretch.
  10. Mochan


    I found the HAS doesn't sound quite the same as the Solo HD Red. The HAS is less congested-sounding but doesn't have near the level of bass the HDs do. The HAS also has a brighter, and more metallic tone to it compared to the Solos which have an earthier tone. However the Solo does have this weird plasticky tone to it which is really my only complaint with the set.
  11. Mochan


    The t50p would have been a great can to review against, I absolutely love these. They are far better than the TMA-1 in my opinion and also far better than the HD25-1ii. They have absolutely the sweetest treble I have ever heard outside of flagship can level (or anything above $500) and hey they do better than some if those as well.

    Very very smooth, relaxing sound. A little bass-lit for my typical bass head sensibilities but nonetheless they sound awesome. They are also quite portable although the inability to fold means you carry them in the largish carry-case. My major ding with them is the double-sided entry cable. Wish they were single-entry.
  12. bubsdaddy
    OK...this caused me to A/B the two a bit. Turns out you are right. The Solo HD Red has much better bass in quantity and quality. Also, I noticed the metallic sound you referred to when listening to piano music.
  13. swbf2cheater
    If phiaton ever releases a set of portables exactly like the ms400 but with a better soundstage and clarity, I Would never buy another portable set again ( unless I design my own hehe )
  14. RPGWiZaRD
    Wow, the best headphone review I've ever read, your review is detailed to the maximum and very easy to grasp for a head-fier (but probably more difficult so for newcomers :p). I fully agree on all your points about XB500 vs XB700 (this guy really knows what he's talking about) which you also provided a very extended and detailed comparision, I still prefer XB500 (whit some EQing for better clarity) though because I like the added warmth especially to the mids that seem less recessed and the punchier bass. Hmm I didn't expect that MS400 was such a warm sounding headphone.
  15. Armaegis


    I wonder if they'll ever design an open headphone...
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