Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Good sound, good looks, let down by some design flaws
on 15 November 2014
Buying headphones online is tricky isn't it? Everyone's opinion is subjective. So I'll try to be as clear as I can.
- The Exodus headphones look stunning - classy, tasteful, expensive. They also have a solidity to them, they feel robust. Natural wood, canvas, metal. Lovely.
- Sound quality is, in my opinion, excellent. I'm especially keen on the sub-bass (not just the punchy bass prevalent on dance beats etc, I mean the really low *throb* you rarely hear using earbuds and often don't even hear on some over-ear headphones. It's rich and warm on these ones, and you can not only hear the really deep notes rumbling and throbbing, but you can make out the detailed shape of the notes too. I found treble to be just fine, but midrange can be a little harsh at higher volumes. Overall though, I was blown away by the sound.
- Value for money - hard to see what more you would get by spending hundreds more for top-end cans... these ones are as high quality as I'll ever need.
- The design of the Exodus headphones has a couple of major problems. As others have pointed out, the headphones are kept in place by a piece of elastic that hugs your head. I found this to be too tight, causing the headphones to clamp too tightly to my ears. After an hour it was like having my head in a vice. And as a I wear glasses my ears got really uncomfortable. OK for an hour, but after that even taking the phones off my head was a painful experience in itself.
- Note also that, due to that elastic, you will suffer from 'headphone hair' pretty badly with these - i.e. a ridge of flattened hair across your head when you remove them. Not a biggie, but some people will find that irritating.
- Maybe it's just the shape of my head, but I found that these headphones make me look a bit silly. That lovely wooden band is pretty big when on, and runs like a gigantic halo an inch out from hour head all the way round and down beyond your ears, while the elastic tightens to a couple of diagonal lines across your head. Discrete they ain't. Maybe I'm being overly self-conscious here, but compared to other headphones that just hug your headline, the Exodus cans look more obtrusive.
- That elastic strap also gets in the way if you like to wear your headphones hanging around your neck when not listening - instead of hooking round your neck the two cans sit only halfway round, and it never feels comfortable or secure.
- The relative heaviness of the headphones makes them less ideal for travel - not a big issue, but worth bearing in mind.
- Many headphones have a single wire feeding into the left side - the Exodus has a more old-fashioned design with both sides wired. Again not a major concern, but I found this slightly less convenient when taking the phones off or on.
Summary: Most of these negatives are not fatal flaws, but in the end the discomfort I felt with the 'head clamp' issue forced me to switch to a different type (House of Marley Positive Vibrations - similar price bracket and 99% of the sound quality, but with all of the above design flaws eliminated).