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Takstar Pro 82 Review, impressions and discussion thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by BenF, May 14, 2017.

Which headphones do you want Pro 82 to be compared with?

Poll closed Jun 13, 2017.
  1. Brainwavz HM5/Yoga CD-990/NVX XPT100

  2. ATH-ES700

  3. Isk HP2011

  4. JVC HA-S400

  5. JVC HA-S680

  6. JVC HARX900

  7. Bosshifi B8

  8. B&O H6

  9. B&O H7

  10. Creative Aurvana Live!

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. Miguelbazil
    Hey, I just received my Takstar 82 Pro, and I was wondering if I would really need an amp to make proper use of them, when I have the Sabre 9018 DAC.
    Roderick likes this.
  2. Tweeters
    To me they sound great straight from my phone, better with an amp but it's not a huge difference
  3. BenF
    Which 9018 DAC do you have? If it's the hifimediy one, you may better off with the cheaper 9023 one.
  4. Miguelbazil
    Yeah, I have the hifime one, had it for a while. Unless it was really inferior to the 9023, I wasn't planning on changing the DAC. My only issue is that the AMPs suggested by you previously are rather expensive, or not easily available on Europe. Is there any alternative that doesn't go above, let's say, 70€, that is actually worth the money?
  5. OscarPaz
    Oi Miguel, how do you like them? :thumbsup::thumbsdown:
  6. Miguelbazil
    I'm not at home at the moment, and I still want to give them a more proper listen. Also, be aware that:
    a) I'm faaaar from an audio specialist
    b) My gear is very low quality when compared to a lot of other users (and I come from a Senn HD419, so it's not exactly a high quality comparison)

    So far, my first impressions are quite positive, although I'm still getting used to them. Since they came from the Headphoniaks store (I'm in Portugal, so it was very fast to arrive here, Spain to Portugal is a matter of 2-3 days), they came in that pretty black box like in the review (I can add a pic or two later). The box was surprisingly light, but still a nice addition. They come very well padded in there, so that's a plus. The headphones themselves have good quality/price ratio in their build, at least for me. Once more, coming from the very cheaply built HD419, this was quite the upgrade. I really liked the cable, especially with the adapter. I might have to try to use these in my cheap mini amp from my electric guitar. I haven't played in a lot of months (and quite honestly, i SUCK at it), but with these to remove the worst of the noise for my neighbors, I might pick it up a bit to see how they fare.

    Now, let me say that I haven't spent a lot of time listening to music. Most of my time at night is spent gaming, and I'm aware that these are not exactly gaming headphones. However, I can say the following:
    1. They are comfortable headphones, at least during my 2h usage during the night, although I'm still getting used to them being tighter than my previous ones (which barely sticked to my ears with any sort of movement), but I'm sure they will give in a bit.In any case, they aren't headache-inducing tight at all, rather balanced;
    2. The sound isolation is quite good, although they don't completely isolate sound from the outside, it's still quite strong. They seem appropriate to use in a house with some noise around, as they drown it rather decently;
    3. The sound clarity is, indeed, a great upgrade from my previous ones, it's very noticeable that they sound very clear, and I think I understand now what BenF means that they will show the weaknesses of my sound set up, thus, why I mentioned if there was an amp of DAC that would be a noticeable upgrade to my current one without being too expensive. I like my hifymediy sabre 9018, but I was just wondering if I could get more without blowing my pocket (which has been heavily blown this month, and I do mean HEAVILY);
    4. Bass is nice, not bloated at all (it kinda makes me feel the previous ones had a rather bloatishy bass, which I didn't notice at the time), but without any of the boosts, it kinda felt like it wasn't as punchy as I was used to. I activated the Bass Boost of 3dB, and while it did lose a bit of that more clear sound, it did give me a bit more punch without ruining the rest of the sound. When I get more used to the pair, or if my setup changes, I might just turn the bass boost off. I never realized I was such a bass head, but I'm hoping it's just a matter of being used to it anyway;
    5. I can't tell you much about the mids and highs, as I never really dug into listening with more attention to details, and I still need to listen to some proper quality sound before I have a more clear opinion on these, but I feel they are definitely superior to the HD419. Maybe with some better quality sounds I end up forming a different opinion on the bass boost, for example. For now, I use spotify mostly, I'm not a flac user of any sort, as I know my set up won't really make proper use of it. I did enjoy what I listened to on spotify, but I do realize now that, since I'm more of a rock-based user, these might not be the best headphones, but to hell with that, with the bass boost I enjoyed my experience;
    6. Gaming and Discord were actually rather pleasant surprises. I usually turn off music on games because they become too repetitive, but all the native sounds of what I played were clear and nice to listen to. I still want to do a more proper play on Rise of the Tomb Raider to actually listen to everything in detail (people on discord kinda ruin that since I have to turn sound down on the game to chat with them), but I will give them a proper listen today.
    Note: sibilance is present, but it's very light and you won't notice it much, unless you're REALLY sensitive to it... Kinda like ghosting on monitors, or IPS glow, unless you're really sensitive to any of it, you won't notice them on most material nowadays.

    So far, I consider them a good purchase, definitely quite some notches above my previous ones in a lot of senses. I was used to something very different, so I won't form any sort of final opinion without at least a couple of weeks of use. One thing is for sure, if you are a proper bass head, these are not the right headphones for you. I'm a rather flexible guy, and I tend to adapt rather well to differences with proper time because I tend to look into the bright side of things. If you lack that ability, then forget it if you're not used to the more clear type of sound. However, if you are either flexible enough to try something a bit different, or if you really are looking into a pair of headphones with these characteristics, then by all means, these are way worth the price.

    Once more, take all of this with a proper grain of salt, my personal experience is VERY limited.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
    trellus, OscarPaz and BenF like this.
  7. BenF
    I've had three 9018 DACs from Hifimediy.
    This one stopped working very shortly, they sent a replacement - which stopped working within minutes too.
    Don't remember much about SQ

    Sounds pretty veiled, SQ isn't as good as the 9023 model.

    Sounds better than the USB model above (optical DACs usually do), but still inferior to 9023 model

    This 42$ 9023 model sounds great, although they've made some "improvements", so it can go either way:

    Here is a great amp for under 50$:
    It's gain is too high, so it's not suitable for easy-to-drive headphones. Even on Pro 82 I don't go above 10AM.
    For 89$/99$, you can have a B-stock O2 amp:
    It's as good as Oppo HA-2's internal amp, which is the highest praise I can give an amp.
    No coloration whatsoever, just pristine sound.
    A big plus - it has the High/Low gain selector, and you can even choose the gain settings you want (1x/3.3x is recommended for usage with DACs).
    OscarPaz and Miguelbazil like this.
  8. Miguelbazil
    Mine is specifically this one: https://hifimediy.com/Sabre-9018-DAC

    I doubt the sound will be much different from the ones you've mentioned. Will probably veil the sound a bit. I'll try connecting the headphones directly to the Board and see what sound I get from it anyway. In order to go for the 9023, I would have to sell my current one first, for sure.

    This price, since it has no added customs and shipping, is actually affordable for me. 43€ would be a lot doable, even if in a month.

    My problem with the O2 (and I confirmed this before) is that it comes from the US. So, besides paying 21$ shipping on top of the 99$ (confirmed on the site), I'll probably end up paying 30% on top of it all for customs taxes (at that tax, it would be around a whooping 132€), which makes it a huge no (and thus, why I mentioned something that could be obtained in Europe).

    This is something that most people tend to forget, the European market is a lot harder on taxes and the likes, so we don't benefit from the lower prices a lot of other places have when importing. Whenever I buy something, I have to think that I may end up paying 30% on top of it all. I very seldom buy something from the US because of shipping + taxes. The only thing I bought in those conditions was a key set from Massdrop, because I truly wanted it, and had no other way to get that (and I don't intend on repeating it in the next few years). In this case, due to the current conditions, I would not be able to afford it, at least comfortably.

    So I might consider going for the NS 02E because it's that much more affordable for me :)


    One point I forgot to mention, I have an EVGA Z87 Stinger board, which actually has an integrated 7.1 audio system with a creative chip (Creative Sound Core3D Quad-Core Audio Processor). Would that be a better option as the default?

    I will be honest on one thing... I f***in HATE creative's drivers/middleware. It's atrocious, crash and error prone, and previously I've even lost sound on it, which forced me to reinstall everything from the beginning. I still can't understand how can a professional sound company produce such terrible middleware... But if you tell me it's a better option, then I'm fine with using it for the time being.

    One thing is for sure, their bass boost is punchy, alright. I can have the headphone's bass boost off and use theirs, which allows me to control it through a slider. I'm not touching the crystalizer (it ruins the highs, brings the sibilance to the front a lot) nor the software surround (it takes away some of the details and richness of the sound). But the bass boost, even when slight, really brings up the bass ability of this headset.

    Also, I tried going back to my previous headset... NOPE! Not going back anymore!
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
    OscarPaz likes this.
  9. BenF
    Comparing with computer's sound card is not going to be useful, your EVGA Z87 Stinger board is optimized for games, not music - hence 7.1
    If you can get your hands on HTC 10/U11 or LG V20/V30, that will be a better comparison. If the DAC doesn't sound at least as good, it needs to be replaced.
    You don't need to use FLACs, Youtube is enough. Here are some clips that you can use:

    Keep in mind that you will have to buy O2 sooner than later anyway, as it will be usable with a lot more headphones and produces SQ on a whole different level.
    NS-02E is a good start, but you will get tired of its coloration. It's useful to cover bad sounding headphones with sucked out mids, but on good headphones SS amps are the best.
    And because of constant high gain, it may be difficult to set the exact volume you want.
    You can buy the 89$ version of O2 (without batteries) - this will bring total cost down to around 120 euro. Don't know if it's low enough, but it's an option to keep in mind.

    Miguelbazil likes this.
  10. Miguelbazil
    I'll have to think about the O2 and if I can find a way to get it, even if second hand, just to knock that price down further. I understand perfectly what you mean when you say I'll eventually have to get it, but I've blown over 600€ this month alone on extra material I needed (these headphones included), so 120€ still hurts. Maybe a Christmas present, mayhaps.

    Also, that midnight in harlem sounds amazing on these. Great stuff!
  11. OscarPaz
    @BenF, a bit out of the topic of this thread, but could you please elaborate a bit on this?
    I guess that your take is that Hi-Res files versus standard Red Book resolution makes no difference at all, which I'm pretty confident about too. If there are any audible differences, they are indeed very minor and subtle; and if not, it's very likely due to a better mastering work of the Hi-Res product than to the format itself.
    But after some testings, I can tell that I can feel differences between those MP3/AAC encodings not using the higher bitrate (i.e. below 320/256 kbps) and CD quality, the latter sounding more vivid and real, with noticeable improved dynamics and depth, more punchy, more layered, and with a better representation of lows and highs. Especially on the Pro 82, which are quite transparent to the audio source (and also quite revealing in the highs).
    Of course, you need to be super-focused on the listening to hear any of these improvements. In a regular listening session, if you're in front of the computer typing or reading news, or just thinking about something else, you probably won't notice any change whatsoever.

    I actually don't know what the average audio quality of YouTube is, if they always reencode (recompress) the source file you upload to the platform. A quick Google search says it's usually played at about 128 kbps AAC. I know there are some videos that can't be played on a mobile device because of their higher audio quality (sound demos from Zeos' reviews, for instance).
  12. Daize
    Just wondering here @BenF and @Miguelbazil - since you're on a computer, wouldn't you need to replace the DAC at some point anyway, having to buy a DAC besides the amp (e.g. the O2) - wouldn't it be better to just save up and get e.g. the Oppo HA-2 and be 'done' with that?
  13. Miguelbazil
    @Daize in theory, yes, you'd be right, just buy the 2 in 1 and be done with it. However...

    400€? No thanks... It'd be way cheaper for me to replace the DAC (losing maybe 10€ in the process if I sell my current one and buy the 9023) and buy the O2 (and pay 120-130€), it'd still be waaaaay cheaper than the Ha-2. Unless you know of some place, in Europe or China, where I wouldn't have to sell my kidneys and a lung to get it.

    Be aware that I'm not a super-high-quality kind of guy. I'm a price/quality/performance one. I never paid anything close to what I'm currently paying for sound... So no one is going to see me pay those values in the next few years :wink:
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  14. Miguelbazil
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