Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than beats, but average compared to the best of the rest., 17 May 2012
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This review is from: headphones Soul SL150 BW (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
OK, so I'm a BASS head, I love the rolling bass of Old Skool DnB and Jungle (Such as Mad Ragga Jon & Stetly - Fall Down (Dubplate "Dreamscape 10" Mix), the uplifting beats of Old Skool Trance (Mark EG & M-Zone stuff) and the chilled bass "riddims" of Reggae. My daily headphones are the awesome Sennheiser HD650 Reference Headphone, matched with a Graham Slee Solo amp (& VDAC). I use these everyday, working from home. The HD650's are not cheap, but the price really reflects how amazing they sound matched with supreme comfort! Among these, I have a large collection of other headphones, from Koss Porta Pro Stereo Headphones ( my ultra portable favorites), Beyerdynamic , Sony, Sennheiser and many others. Some recent closed back headphones I've bought were the:

> Audio-Technica ATH M50 - Headphones ( ear-cup ): I haven't had these long, but they became my instant favorite. They're the cheapest, but they sound awesome with amazing clarity and huge bass (even directly from my Desire HD). I found the headband slightly uncomfortable, so I purchased a replacement Sennheiser HD650 foam headband, placed it on these and now they're perfect.
> Sennheiser HD 25-1 II Closed Headphone for ENG/DJ use with split headband, 1.5m steel cable/70 ohms right angle: Offer great sound and fairly bassy, but not as pumping as the M50's (without an amp anyway) and they clamp down too hard on my head and become uncomfortable.
> V-Moda Crossfade LP2 Remote Over-Ear Headphones with Inline Volume Control - Matte Black Metal: These are probably my most favorite in terms of style, offering interchangeable and custom made plates for the headphones (These were also worn by the DJ in Gatecrasher). The sound is great with loads of bass, but it's slightly veiled. I prefer the clarity and comfort of the M50's.
> Crossfade M-80 Shadow On-Ear Headphones: the LP2's little brother, but on-ear. Again, with great styling, sound slightly clearer, but with a touch less bass than the LP2.

I've also briefly owned some Beats by Dre, but returned them after realising how poor they sounded. Since returning those, I was quite apprehensive about other headphones endorsed by celebrities that were not made by quality headphone manufacturers, but when these appeared on the vine newsletter, I couldn't resist to check them out.

Make no mistake, these are extremely stylish headphones. They are predominantly high quality glossy plastic, which is a fingerprint magnet (hence the included cleaning cloth), but they don't feel cheap and fold nicely into a fairly compact and nicely designed semi-hard case. The headband doesn't flex and I've read a few reports that they break in the same place as the beats (just above the hinge), so their durability could be questionable, I'm sure they'd be fine if you look after them. The ear pads are super soft, as is the headband, ensuring a comfortable fit. Sound isolation is fairly good; sound leakage does occur, but it's nothing too drastic. For durability, I'd say they are no match for the Kevlar made V-Moda headphones, these seriously feel like quality indestructible headphones, with great styling.

Eager to test the sound quality, I hooked these up to my Desire HD (with and without my FiiO E11 amp) and played some DnB / Jungle: DJ Crystl - Let It Roll, Reggae: Xavhann - Lions Of Judah (Earth Riddim) and RNB: LL Cool J - Headsprung, I immediately noticed the sound produced from these headphones is heavily coloured towards the lower frequencies and bass. As a bass head, It's not that there's too much bass for me, it's just that it's uncontrolled and overpowers the mid and higher frequencies, creating a thinner sound-stage with minimal separation and a veiled, muddy, hollow and distant sound. Almost like you're listening to music behind a closed door. Changing the EQ to bring out those higher frequencies helped quite a lot, but it still left a them sounding distant and lacking definition. They do sound much better than the Beats by Dre, but headphones, such as my Audio-Technica ATH-M50 really are a huge step above both of these (even my KOSS PortaPro have much better clarity). Listening to these, it's like that closed door, just flew wide open. The M50's have a flatter response, offering a wider and clearer sound-stage and all frequencies are well defined from crisp highs, neutral mids, to warm, controlled (and sometimes ear vibrating) bass. Honestly, the bass rocks on the M50's, it's like two subwoofers stuck to your head, almost vibrating your brain (even without a headphone amp), but it's more controlled and doesn't affect the rest of the frequencies. I also tested these headphones with my PC setup (Graham Slee SOLO Amp & VDAC), and whilst they sounded clearer, their sound signature was still heavily coloured to the low end.

Are these good value? Compared to those other headphones I have, then I have to say no! I kind of understand those fans that would pay a premium to sport something endorsed by their favorite Artist / Rapper / Celebrity. If my favorite DJ's endorsed headphones, ....erm I'd probably buy ummm... OK, no I wouldn't, well maybe If they choose a decent OEM before bringing them to the table. Quincy Jones springs to mind, with AKG models, such as the Q701's, a mere re-badged K701, but those are pretty good sounding headphones.

Overall, the style conscious, untrained bass heads and Ludacris fanatics, may love these - they're better sounding than some competing "celeb" models, such as the beats, but they may not satisfy a true audiophile. I recommend taking a look at the Audio-Technica ATH-M50, Sennheiser HD25-1 II, or for those looking for cool styling matched with great sound quality, then the V-Moda LP2 or M80 are the headphones you should consider. If you're looking for headphones for the home, your budget is quite a bit larger and you don't mind purchasing a desktop headphone amp and DAC, then I'll forever recommend the Sennheiser HD650 - these are open back, so leak like crazy, but they are seriously musical bliss in headphone heaven!
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Review Details

Item

4.4 out of 5 stars (10 customer reviews)
5 star:
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£98.99
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Reviewer

KMW
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Location: England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 949