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. BenF
    Meatier bass, better extended yet controlled treble and improved soundstage are exactly the improvements I heard with O2.

    You are lacking synergy with your DAC. Try SMSL Idea with O2, and forget about the "recessed" mids. Idea makes the mids sound "thicker", which results in a less recessed presentation.
    Also - tuning foams will have a similar effect on the mids, and you'll be able to dial in exactly how much of this effect you want.
    Tuning Pro 82 with easy mods
    The foams do not cancel the need for Idea though - they will not give you the full magical sound of Idea+O2.
    They can be an temporary solution until you buy Idea, and you can still try tuning Pro 82 even after getting the full combo.
    We all hear differently, and have different sound preferences, so easily tuning Pro 82 is always an advantage, regardless of the DAC/Amp used.

    Absolutely not! 6.5x would cause clipping with a 2VRMS DAC.

    Sabaj DA3 sounds great, but is too unstable. I'll give it a few more day before making a final decision on it.
    So far, it looks like it will have to go back.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    trellus likes this.
  2. Myrra
    I pretty understand people are confused, looking for a cheapo plastic wonder. But BenF did a honest job here and I appreciate it. If I regarded this as a typical hypethread, I wouldn't even bother to comment at all. As for the much more expensive headphones -- my opinion is such owners have their audio senses refined in some way and moreover, there is a little comparison base. You need to keep coherence with a reviewer's experience thus there has to be common ground as big as possible. So I would gladly see more comparison with cheaper ones :) Maybe the poor soul praising his Porta Pro would be saved from wasting money. Moreover we are talking about monitor headphones which are not aimed at such audience (and usually not advertised).

    Surely I too would not recommend these headphones to everyone. If somebody likes neutrality and details, than maybe. This implies you probably takes care about the rest of your "music chain". If so, Pro 82 fits nicely, if not, its not a complete waste of money, but won't show up their qualities. I think it's important to clarify this, confusing be it or not.
    BenF likes this.
  3. BenF
    I am the machinist of this hype train. If I am going against my own hype and telling people to put some extra thought before buying the product I'm hyping - maybe they should listen.

    You have to learn to disregard the prices of headphones - they are a very poor indication of SQ.
    Last September I've spent a few days auditioning 45 headphones, mostly priced in the $300-$1000 region, with some notable exceptions (Utopia, Abyss 1266, TH900MK2, FAD LAB1, FAD PF9, CA Andromeda, JH 13v2, JH 16v2)
    There have been quite a few sub-$1000 (three zeros, not two) headphones, that not only wouldn't beat Pro 82, but would be embarrassed by my modded Pro 80 (aka Pro 81).

    Takstar has mispriced these headphones, and it may cause people who are expecting a typical 70$ headphone to buy it.
    A typical 70$ is supposed to sound very good out of every 3.5mm hole you can find, because people buying cheap headphones either can't afford a decent DAC/Amp, or choose not to use one.
    Pro 82 is extremely transparent, on a level that is hard to find outside electrostats.
    When you are listening to Pro 82, what you are really listening to is the rest of your sound chain.
    It is also quite hard to drive - only 96dB.
    That does not result in a great sound with underpowered low quality sources.

    I have tried Pro 82 with a 200$ Moto G3 (2015) - it does get loud enough (barely) on most songs, but not always. It does sound like a good 70$ headphone, but you wouldn't believe it's the same headphone that is being compared with 5-10-20 times more expensive ones.
    With a 700$ HTC 10 Pro 82 sounds a lot better than with Moto G3, but it's still light years behind Idea+O2 (180$).

    TLDR: If you don't have a decent DAC/Amp, don't buy Pro 82, or you'll end up being disappointed.
    If you are looking for a "beginner's" headphone, Bosshifi B8 is a much better option, that will still scale up when you do get a decent DAC/Amp.
    If you think you are about to get on the wrong hype train - check how long this train has been going. Usually the hype disappears as soon as the first large group of readers receives their orders and derails the train.
    If you are reading about a headphone (or any other product, really), and end up confused - either don't buy it, or ask constructive questions.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    trellus, OscarPaz and elkosith like this.
  4. heavyharmonies
    Back at the office this week, so I've had a day and a half to A-B these with my daily Driver Fostex TH-X00 Mahogany (my initial impressions of the Pro 82 were done in a vacuum; no A-B possible).

    The Pro 82 are not better than the Fostex across the board, but in some areas I prefer the Pro 82, and some areas the Fostex. I originally said that the Pro 82 has a nice wide soundstage... it doesn't, at least not in comparison to the Fostex. The Fostex has a considerably wider soundstage. That said, there is a sense of "immediacy" or liveliness that the Pro 82 provides, that the Fostex does not; the latter sounds a little more "disconnected" (for lack of a better word) across the soundstage.

    I think I prefer the mids on the Fostex, but prefer the treble on the Pro82. The mids on the Pro 82 can get a little tinny at times, depending on the source material, but I may be able to EQ the mids a bit.

    The Pro 82 are definitely lighter and more comfortable, although the Fostex are no slouch in that area since I'm using Brainwavz Sheepskin Leather pads with them.

    Will the Pro 82 replace the Fostex for daily listening? The jury is still out. However, the simple fact that $75 headphones are giving $350 headphones strong competition speaks volumes.

    Worst-case scenario: I think the Pro 82 will make GREAT portable phones for my outdoor walks during the summer. I've been looking for good outdoor cans, as earbuds get annoying.
    J Mirra, trellus and BenF like this.
  5. Miguelbazil
    Then I guess I was able to pinpoint the major effects of the O2, I'm happy to be able understand the sound properly.

    If the Idea is more stable and probably more portable, that's all I need to know. Will order it still today.

    They were already on their way, should still take a week or two to arrive. When I read up on the whole thread and tried the Pro 82 for the first time, I knew I'd go the full way. The pads were cheap enough to be ordered early, the rest had to wait :wink:

    This is the only point I don't fully agree with you. I said it before, and I'll say it again, I think the 82 Pro are amazing even without the DAC/Amp. People need to listen to proper sources though, and they need to be aware of this. If they use the proper source and give the cans a couple of days, they will surely appreciate the quality of these, even if only with the first bass hole open.
    I didn't have a good chain for months, and I still loved them. But I loved them because I knew what I wanted and that it would take time to get used to their sound signature. And this comes from someone that had a pair of 40€ Sennheiser that was more boomy bass than anything, so it's possible. You just keep that first hole open for a couple of days until you don't :)

    However, I do agree that people need to know that they need proper chain to make the best use of them. If it wasn't for Xiaomi's internal software boosting sound, I wouldn't like these as much on my phone, I just had a listen with and without, and it makes a difference. And you warned people that this can happen, so no fault on your side. But would I say "don't buy it" because of it? Hell no! People would be missing out on something great. Are these perfect? No, there's no such thing. They have a well understood sound signature, people need to consider what they want. But are they great for their price? Absolutely. And they even scale properly, to sweeten the deal. So I'd say that these are great starter headphones. They sound better than most sub 100$ cans, while still providing the chance to output even better SQ with proper investment, all while not requiring thousands of dollars in the process. 250$ and you get amazing SQ, and a chain that can actually take other headphones on top of it if you want to move up? That's proper starter material to me :)

    In fact, writing this is all is making me realize why I said I didn't feel the 125€ of the Amp... It's because I've been listening to them with good sound sources and apparently they were already being well driven in terms of "power". That's why I felt the gains were not as amazing as I expected. Coupled with my expectations from the previous jump from the HD to these, and you have the recipe. But I was able to detect the changes on the sound, so that already speaks a lot to me since I never even cared about SQ until now. And something tells me you need good cans to do this if you're someone with lack of knowledge.
    nomad1, trellus and BenF like this.
  6. BenF
  7. BenF
    Comparison with Sony MDR-1A and Beyerdynamic DT-1350 (by Myrra)
    If you love ("love", not "like") ATH-M50X, chances are Pro 82 won't be to your liking.
  8. BenF
    My statement about 1000$ DACs and amps was for the other headphones - the ones in the $500+ and $1000+ range.
    A typical headphone user with TOTL headphones spends on average at least 2-3 times as much on DAC/Amps for that headphone.

    Take a look at @ahmadfaizadnan's review:
    Comparison with Fostex TH-900, Fostex TH-X00 Purpleheart, Sennheiser 800/6xx, Beyerdynamic T90 (by Ahmadfaizadnan)
    He is using a 2500$ DAC and 1800$ amp for his HD800 (these are the prices I googled, may be wrong).
    That's a 4300$ setup for a 1000$ (previously 1400$) headphone
    And don't think that any random 4300$ setup will sound great with HD800 - you must find the right combo, synergy is critical.

    Ironically, it still works with Pro 82 - you need to spend 180$ to get the perfect sound out of a 70$ headphone - over 2.5 times as much...
    I'm sure Pro 82 sounds great on his 4300$ setup, but it's not guaranteed to sound better or even as good as with Idea+O2 - you can't put a price on synergy...
    Would be super cool if he could A/B these 2 setups with Pro 82 :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
    I need to know if I should start saving up.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  9. liztor21
    Just received my Pro82 from aliexpress - MH Recording Music Store, fast shipping, nice package.
    I also own the PRO80, I use them since 4years, so I really look forward to the PRO82.

    At first glance they seem more quality made, very lightweight, and really comfortable to wear.

    The sound is also great but it needs to be burned in of course.

    I think adding The bass switch was not so important, switching to +1 makes the bass a little muddy and unnecessary.
    For me the highs seem to be more harsh on the Pro82, the mids are OK for me.
  10. bunkbail
    @BenF You must like the iDEA+O2 a lot. May I ask, what are the most expensive DAC and amplifier have you ever listened to?
  11. BenF
    Amps: Oppo HA-1, Beyerdynamic A2, Caying HA-1A MK2. I own none of these, used them to audition some of the 45 headphones I mentioned earlier.
    DACs: Oppo HA-2 (own 2 of these), Oppo HA-2SE, NFB.11-32, GO V2, GO 1000, maybe a couple more in the 300$-400$ range, never went above 500$ for a DAC yet.

    IDEA+O2 are perfect for Pro 82 - but it doesn't mean that it's a perfection combination for other headphones.
    O2 is still my amp of choice for most headphones, including TH900MK2.
    But Idea is not a great fit for TH900MK2 - last thing the already warm TH900MK2 needs, is the extra warmth provided by Idea.
    Oppo HA-2 and HA-2SE do a much better job with the Fostex.
  12. OscarPaz
    Not trying to be polemical, but this discussion reminded me of a recent research paper (published just some months ago) that some readers of this thread may find interesting to read/know about:
    No correlation between headphone frequency response and retail price
    The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 141, EL526 (2017)

    And for a second thought, here is Tyll's take on it:
  13. OscarPaz
    @BenF: If I recall properly, you advised on the use of the tuning foams based on listenings direct from the HA-2.
    Now with this IDEA+O2 combo, do you still use those foam disks?
  14. BenF
    Isn't it funny how Pro 82 keeps winning in some areas/losing in some other areas, no matter how pricey the other headphone is - 350$, 1000$, 1500$ - the outcome is the same - win some, lose some. :jecklinsmile:
    My guess is that Pro 82 keeps scaling up with better equipment, and people with pricier headphones usually have better equipment.

    EDIT: I may have resolved the issue described below, need to do more research.
    Will post results next week in a separate post.

    OMG!!! :scream::scream::scream:
    You have described my biggest problem with TH900MK2. I've been relentlessly trying to make it sound better, so I won't feel like I've made a terrible 1700$ mistake.
    I've poured another $300+ into TH900MK2 (mostly buying pads - will post pad comparison in the appropriate thread), and was able to improve the sound over stock configuration.
    But now, at $2000+ total cost, TH900MK2 still sounds like it's trying to emulate the experience of listening to great speakers, while stock Pro 82 provides the experience of being at the performance.

    What exactly is the problem? The Fostex often exaggerates the soundstage
    With Pro 82, a studio performance sounds like a studio performance, a concert hall sounds like a concert hall, and a stadium sounds like a stadium.
    Fostex tries to give the stadium width to performances that don't call for it.
    Pro 82 always provides the correct stage size with razor-sharp imaging, and totally uncolored tonality helps to transfer me right into the performance venue.
    Fostex's exaggerated soundstage results in poor imaging, and the warm-ish coloration in the mids puts the last nail in the coffin - I just can't ignore the fact that I'm listening to a recording.

    I think the problem is the cups. Fostex is using much bigger cups - Pro 82's cups are much smaller in comparison, they don't utilize the full length and width of the pads, nor do they go as deep.
    Fostex has 5-10 times more space in the cups, and it's just too much for a 50mm driver.
    (I've used some extra pads to put all the cups at approximately the same height)

    This probably could be resolved by putting some extra damping material in the cups to reduce the available space.

    If I'll have some free time, I'll try to post some performances that really bother me with TH900MK2.

    SMSL Idea + O2 will cure that right away. And if you'll still want more mids - tuning foams to the rescue!

    Overall, an excellent comparison, I have added it to the post #2.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    ahmadfaizadnan likes this.
  15. oldmate
    As opposed to any other headphone connected to a chain.

    Most of them belong to you!!

    I'm not confused. I've asked for comparisons with the MDR1A and M50X and so far there has been none. That link you referred me to re the MDR1A - did you even read it?? How could that possibly be considered a comparison, seriously.

    Anyway let's see if the more well known reviewers on Head.Fi start posting their reviews and if this is the bargain it's made out to be we should not have to wait long.

    To put this headphone into proper perspective it needs to be compared to say all popular closed back headphones under say $400 USD and it needs reviews like this one for example;


    These are the type of reviews that people want to read and moreover trust before parting with their cash.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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