Soundmagic HP150/HP151 Impressions Thread
Nov 20, 2020 at 10:52 AM Post #751 of 767

PurpleAngel

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I am interested in the Soundmagic HP151.
Can I find better headphones under $ 150 or is it still one of the better choices?
Do they need any mods to sound good?
To me they are about as good as anything else, in their price range.
I own them and have no problem with recommending them.
 
Nov 20, 2020 at 5:01 PM Post #752 of 767

495709

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I am interested in the Soundmagic HP151.

Can I find better headphones under $ 150 or is it still one of the better choices?

Do they need any mods to sound good?
Still one of the better choices definitely.I have them on now and can't really see how anything under 200 will be much better.There are mods,but I have mine as stock and would'nt want to change anything.
 
Nov 21, 2020 at 7:30 AM Post #753 of 767

theMUKe

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I am interested in the Soundmagic HP151.

Can I find better headphones under $ 150 or is it still one of the better choices?

Do they need any mods to sound good?

They are pretty decent and have a good wide soundstage. But I found them just a tiny bit thin sounding and slightly treblely. I have put thicker pads on mine and that makes them a bit better. For 150 USD they are reasonably good value I would say.

Overall I still prefer some other (slightly more expensive) headphones. That's why I am planning to sell my HP151.
 
Nov 22, 2020 at 12:51 AM Post #754 of 767

DecentLevi

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If you're on a super budget go for the Neu HX-6000. Available only from Japan online, but those babies punch far, FAR above their pricepoint at $30 and to me far surpassing every mod of the HP-100 I've heard yet. Flatter F.R., more natural / lifelike sound for faithful reproduction and crisp details but without that hyper-resolving / fatiguing quality existing in the HP-100, 150/151 and especially their newest HP-1000 which to me was among the worst headphones I've ever heard; and that includes two separate pairs and on 4 separate systems. The HP-150 does have a somewhat more realistic F.R. (darker), but for me after 5 years toying with various mods of these I've closed the door on SoundMagic. Mods help somewhat to darken the sound and tighten the bass but especially when comparing them to serious contenders I realize it's still somewhat piercing on top with inadequate sub-bass; the 150 having more but still rolled off.

The HX-6000 retain the same tonality of the HP-150's but with better texture and bass that reaches deeper. Though not needed, these also benefit from an internal mod (cotton damping pads) and ferrite beads on the cable. It's a somewhat clinical sound though so for me I rely on them as studio monitors for mixing.

Also consider the Sennheiser HD-380 pro for a little more if you like good bass quality and moderate detail. The bass on that thing is not even in the same galaxy as a modded HP-150, the 380 has shown me EXACTLY what I've been missing in the bass department over the years and it's astonishing the level of bass detail that simply does not exist at all on any of the SoundMagics. Not that the S.M. don't have any bass, but you'll hear a night/day difference between the two and never go back. It sounds harsh but believe me I speak from 5 years with their models and connected to about 15 different systems. Also consider Fostex TH-900 and a used Sennheiser HD-250 or 300.
 
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Nov 22, 2020 at 3:55 AM Post #755 of 767

495709

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If you're on a super budget go for the Neu HX-6000. Available only from Japan online, but those babies punch far, FAR above their pricepoint at $30 and to me far surpassing every mod of the HP-100 I've heard yet. Flatter F.R., more natural / lifelike sound for faithful reproduction and crisp details but without that hyper-resolving / fatiguing quality existing in the HP-100, 150/151 and especially their newest HP-1000 which to me was among the worst headphones I've ever heard; and that includes two separate pairs and on 4 separate systems. The HP-150 does have a somewhat more realistic F.R. (darker), but for me after 5 years toying with various mods of these I've closed the door on SoundMagic. Mods help somewhat to darken the sound and tighten the bass but especially when comparing them to serious contenders I realize it's still somewhat piercing on top with inadequate sub-bass; the 150 having more but still rolled off.

The HX-6000 retain the same tonality of the HP-150's but with better texture and bass that reaches deeper. Though not needed, these also benefit from an internal mod (cotton damping pads) and ferrite beads on the cable. It's a somewhat clinical sound though so for me I rely on them as studio monitors for mixing.

Also consider the Sennheiser HD-380 pro for a little more if you like good bass quality and moderate detail. The bass on that thing is not even in the same galaxy as a modded HP-150, the 380 has shown me EXACTLY what I've been missing in the bass department over the years and it's astonishing the level of bass detail that simply does not exist at all on any of the SoundMagics. Not that the S.M. don't have any bass, but you'll hear a night/day difference between the two and never go back. It sounds harsh but believe me I speak from 5 years with their models and connected to about 15 different systems. Also consider Fostex TH-900 and a used Sennheiser HD-250 or 300.
I am on the lookout for a new pair of reasonably priced closed backs,and had totally overlooked the sennheisers.From what you say looks like it could be exactly what I am looking for.Between the hd300 and 380 which would be best in your opinion.Can you comment on the earpad comfort?
I was going down the beyer dt150/250 route but might give the hd380 a go.
 
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Nov 22, 2020 at 4:44 AM Post #756 of 767

DecentLevi

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The HD-380 are quite something. They pair well with almost any amp as long as it's got enough juice since they're about as hard to drive as the HD-600's. IMO they don't need any mods, isolate very well and sound great for any genre but for me it's my go-to for electronic music because that great bass punch and kick is hard to come by at their price. Treble is accurate but not overdone or tiring in any way. But what kind of music do you need a headphone for, and what are your sonic preferences? Bright, neutral, weighty, dark, laid back, etc.?

For the Sennheiser models below HD-380 I tried them a few years ago but don't remember too clearly though.

For acoustic and analog genres I always use openbacks like HD-600 or Stax electrostats. For me, closedbacks are strictly for electronic music AKA "EDM" (techno, IDM) or studio monitoring.
 
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Jan 1, 2021 at 4:55 PM Post #757 of 767

harry501501

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I've had both the hp100/150 and the current set I have is HP151. I bought the 151 used from eBay and made the mistake of not properly checking they sounded right so missed the return period. The glorious sub-bass and even mid-bass are non-existent on the HP151 (I have)... so they've definitely got driver issues and failed at some point. The seller is lucky I didn't try them properly.

I loved the sound of the hp100 and hp150 but they both failed on me too. On one the cable frayed then stopped working and the other the headband snapped while putting them on. You'll also see used sets on eBay a lot in pieces being sold for parts usually the same headband snapping) or used but with frayed cables. It's a shame their headphone range has so many build issues. From the hp100 on there have been the same QC issues that continued in the range.

Admittedly I haven't had the same build issues with their IEMs. I have e10, es12, e11, e50, e80 and just got the old PL50 for £20 which sounds amazing.
 
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Apr 18, 2021 at 8:13 PM Post #759 of 767

PurpleAngel

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Headband on my Soundmagic HP151 headphones is starting to show wear and tear.
Are there any options for replacement?
 
Apr 18, 2021 at 11:47 PM Post #761 of 767

PurpleAngel

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How does the HP151 compare to the ESW9 soundwise?
ESW9 is more like a nice quality balanced sound.
HP151 is more like fiesta sound.
But have not used my ESW9 in a long time, so memory might be a little rusty.
 
Apr 20, 2021 at 3:44 AM Post #763 of 767

495709

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Headband on my Soundmagic HP151 headphones is starting to show wear and tear.
Are there any options for replacement?
Hi.I had the same problem,and purchased from Amazon uk the following headband cover -

Geekria Headband Cover Compatible with Bose QuietComfort 35 II, QC35, QuietComfort 25, QC25 Headphones/Headband Protector/Headband Cover Cushion Pad Repair Part, Easy DIY Installation .​

Fits nice,and just the right length.Let me know if youwant me to send an image of the cover on the headphones - mine are the hp200s.
 
Apr 21, 2021 at 10:17 AM Post #764 of 767

PurpleAngel

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Hi.I had the same problem,and purchased from Amazon uk the following headband cover -

Geekria Headband Cover Compatible with Bose QuietComfort 35 II, QC35, QuietComfort 25, QC25 Headphones/Headband Protector/Headband Cover Cushion Pad Repair Part, Easy DIY Installation .​

Fits nice,and just the right length.Let me know if youwant me to send an image of the cover on the headphones - mine are the hp200s.
Thank you.
 
Aug 11, 2021 at 9:13 PM Post #765 of 767

PurpleAngel

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My HP151 headphones just broke (one of the arms holding the cup), so it's fixable.
They are not as rugged as my Beyerdynamics, so not really surprised something broke.

Also just noticed that Soundmagic website does not seem to list the HP151/HP200/HP1000 headphones as current product, assuming they are discontinued :frowning2:
 

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