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Fostex TH900 Flagship Premium Reference Headphones

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Price: £925.00 FREE UK delivery.
Only 2 left in stock.
Dispatched and sold by Planet Gizmo in certified Frustration-Free Packaging.
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  • Unique Neodymium magnetic circuitry for wider dynamic range.
  • Fostex "Biodyna" diaphragm for fine and high resolution sound reproduction
  • Japanese Cherry Birch (Betula Grossa) housings with traditional "Urushi" lacquer
  • The cord is made of 7N grade (99.99999%) OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) and duralumin plug case for higher durability
  • Comes with an elegant headphone stand.
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£925.00 FREE UK delivery. Only 2 left in stock. Dispatched and sold by Planet Gizmo in certified Frustration-Free Packaging.

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Product details

  • Product Dimensions: 33.5 x 40.4 x 16.5 cm ; 395 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 3.3 Kg
  • Delivery Destinations: Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
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  • Item model number: AMS-TH-900
  • ASIN: B007G8UMP2
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 11 Jan. 2013
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Product Description

The Fostex TH-900 is the first high-end headphones form Fostex featuring the newly designed driver unit with1.5 tesla (15,000 gauss) magnetic circuit and bio-dynamic 50mm diaphragm, traditional Japanese lacquered "Urushi" finished craftsmanship housing and selected 7N OFC cable. All coming together to achieve the sonic goal of a wider stereo field, high resolution and transparent reproduction. Type: Dynamic Driver: 50mm dia Nd magnet Impedance: 25 ohm Sensitivity: 100dB / mW Maximum Input: 1,800 mW Reproduction Frequency: 5 - 45k Hz Weight: 400g (excluding the cord) Cord: 3m Y type 7N-OFC Plug: 6.3mm dia gold coating stereo phone plug Accessories Included: Headphone stand


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I have owned quite a few high end headphones, from the Sony R10 to the Stax 009 and I wanted something for my new Astell and Kern AK100. I hooked the Fostex TH 900 up to the player via the ALO AUDIO Rx MK3-B amplifier which I ordered in from America. I wanted a decent portable rig outside of my STAX headphones setup.

The Fostex TH900 are a very impressive pair of headphones which are relatively easy to drive, although the better the partnering equipment the better they sound. The TH900 feature a rather complex, newly designed driver unit with a 1.5 tesla (15,000 gauss) magnetic circuit and bio-dynamic 50mm Biodyna diaphragm. The housings are made of Japanese Cherry Birch (Betula Grossa), the Japanese specialty with rigid and dense texture for maximum acoustic performance.

The TH900 at times sound surprisingly like the Sony R10, with a more powerful bass frequency response and slightly more suppressed mid's. They aren't quite as beautiful sounding as the iconic R10 for classical or acoustic music/female vocals, but have enough character to make their own mark.

The build quality of the headphones is exceptional. The company use Japanese lacquered URUSHI finished housing and a quality 7N OFC cable, which is a pleasant surprise. More importantly, the cable is able to let the drivers truly sing, depending on the partnering equipment. This makes a change as almost every headphone I have owned, I have to change the cable - if anyone has owned the Sennheiser HD800, they will know what I mean.

These are a very capable headphone and while they don't handle specific music genres as beautifully as the Sony R10, I believe them to be more versatile. No matter what music you listen to, these headphones can handle it.
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Best headphones ever made!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews
63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great but often overlooked compared to more popular flagships. 22 July 2014
By Jacob - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I like sound, but in the past have never been a full-size headphone wearer. I always found there were too many compromises to be made. To that extent, I focused on building a nice home theater system for music and movies and a pair of in-ear monitors for listening when out and about. However, I recently found myself in situations where listening to the home theater system was not possible and sought to find a pair of full-size headphones that could properly reproduce my experiences.

Before trying the Fostex TH-900, I bought and returned the Audeze LCD-3 and Oppo PM-1. I briefly auditioned the Sennheiser HD800. My in-ear monitors consist of the Sennheiser IE800 and Shure SE846.

The fit and finish of the TH-900 is great. They feel solid, are very comfortable in both the headband and earcups, and provide sufficient adjustment in both headband size and earcup swivel to fit my head. The cable is nicely wrapped and terminated. The lacquer finish on the earcups is a nice touch, but I do find the red color to be a little garish for my taste. My only real complaints on the fit are that the earpads are made of a synthetic leather that although soft and supple, isn't anywhere near as soft as some of the real lambskin earpads I've worn before. The pads also aren't particularly deep, so they don't quite seal to the same extent as other closed headphones. The headphone is terminated in an unbalanced 1/4" plug and the cables are not detachable, so those seeking balanced connections will require some sort of aftermarket modification. If you want to use these with a portable source you'll need to supply your own adapter. They were obviously designed for home use, but they did sound quite good when I tried them directly out of my iPhone.

I was initially hesitant to try these because I generally dislike the way closed headphones sound and had heard from others that they were excessively V-shaped, with a recessed midrange and overly pronounced bass and treble. Listening to the people that said that was a mistake because I get none of those impressions from these.

Despite being closed, these offer very little in the way of isolation, perhaps due to the somewhat loose nature of the seal. They don't sound like closed headphones at all, and if listening blind I would almost surely identify them as open. The soundstage is very open and provides a convincing placement of sound from side to side.

There's a bit more treble than I'm used to from my Shure IEMs, but it is very well extended and detailed. It's not excessively smoothed over as with some other headphones yet I have zero problems with sibilance, which is something that I'm very sensitive to. It also doesn't sound splashy or brittle like my Sennheiser IE800.

The bass is probably the highpoint of these headphones. I'm no basshead, but one of my main complaints with other headphones was that very low frequency content, say 30 Hz and below, was in many cases entirely inaudible in situations where I knew it should be present. I view that as an entirely unacceptable flaw, and unfortunately one that's way too common as the bass roll-off often starts early and continues relentlessly on a downward trend. The Fostex have no issue playing very low with authority. Very low bass is also well defined and the headphones have no issue rapidly transitioning between low bass frequencies. The headphones are also free of any excessive midbass push but still have plenty of impact at midbass frequencies. It's rare to find headphones that can play the entire bass spectrum with both speed and authority, but these can do it easily.

The midrange is present and well-defined. I don't find it particularly recessed in any way, and this is despite using Shure IEMs that are often known for their midrange. The bass to midrange transition, which is another area to easily ruin a headphone, is very smooth and at no time does the upper bass seem to overwhelm the lower midrange frequencies.

For comparison, the Sennheiser HD800 that I auditioned seemed overly bright. Bass definition and extension were both good but I found them lacking in power down low. They may have been more detailed as a consequence of the brightness, but they also came across as harsh with some recordings.

The Oppo PM-1 had an interesting sound that I liked a lot in many ways, but they roll off very quickly at both extremes. I could live with the treble roll-off but the bass roll-off was unacceptable. The pluck sound of many stringed instruments sounded very, very real and was easily the highpoint of these. Supposedly, new earpads are being developed in conjunction with the as of yet unreleased PM-2 that will provide a different sound for the PM-1.

The Audeze LCD-3 also sounded very good, but I disagree with those who claim it's the world's greatest headphone. Despite being open, I felt the soundstage wasn't any more impressive than the Fostex. Detail was very good but not excellent, some areas sounded smoothed over. The bass did go very low and with great definition and clarity, but the quantity was less than that of the Fostex. Impact was also generally good but still less than that of the Fostex. Comfort was a significant issue; even at the loosest adjustment the earpads pressed so tightly into my head that I could hear my heartbeat. Overall, the comfort issue plus the greater bass quantity of the Fostex is what tipped the scales in their favor. For those who claim the LCD-3 need lots of power to sound good, I was driving them from the speaker taps of a stereo amplifier, so power was not an issue.

No headphone is perfect, but the Fostex TH-900 offer me the least number of compromises. I've been very satisfied with my purchase.
45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rocking favorite 26 Oct. 2013
By JCG - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I own(ed) the following so-called "pinacle" headphones: Sennheiser HD800, Hifiman HE500 & HE6 (sold) and Stax 007MkIIs, 009.

Each of those have their particular (and peculiar) strengths and weakness, but to me the TH900s are my goto set for just pure rocking fun.

If you know/own/had the Denon D2000/5000 or D7000s, you will understand where the TH900 is coming from (Fostex was involved in those designs according to folklore).

The experts call these out for being (slightly?) colored, but to me they resemble the perfect balance between a fun headset and the sonically pure/correct. Particularly good (arguably the best?) with electronic, pop, rock and prog rock genres, although no slouch at others.

I also like the Hifimans, but the Fostex rules in comfort. MUCH lighter and being closed back, means I can spend late nights with these for a few hours without waking she who must be obeyed.

Of course, amplification and dac plays a role - I (currently) drive the TH900s with a Burson Soloist and D160 dac - an almost perfect match imho. As usual - YMMV. Saying that, these are amongst the easiest to drive headphones - so they'll sound good even from a phone/DAP.

Re price vs performance- I'm not convinced that they are totally worth the $1.7k asking price, but as in everything audiophile, the law of diminishing returns does apply. (A used set at around 25% off might be more like it if you're lucky enough to come across one).

Highly recommended!
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best closed-back headphones money can buy 4 Nov. 2015
By Trevor Burnham - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Check all that apply:

1. You love music.
2. You want to be able to crank up the volume without disturbing your roommates/officemates.
3. Money is no option.

If all of these apply to you, look no further. The Fostex TH900 is superb in every regard: comfort, build quality, and of course sound.

I work in an open office environment, with a lot of background chatter, so I've always sought headphones that could let me focus on my music while I work throughout the day. Comfort, isolation, and sound quality are my three priorities, in that order. Previously, I wore the Beyerdynamic T5p, which is also excellent, but which unfortunately broke after 3 years of regular use. The T5p has a loose, flimsy feel to it, so it wasn't entirely surprising, though it was disappointing to have to seek out a replacement. The TH900 came highly recommended by the audiophile community (moreso than the T5p), and I was delighted by what I found: A headphone with all the virtues of the T5p that feels built to last a lifetime.

Comfort-wise, the TH900 is superb, with incredibly soft synthetic leather cups and a spring mechanism that distributes their weight evenly around your ears. Despite their bulk and pressure, they feel light and breathable. I find most headphones exhausting after an hour, tops. But I could wear the TH900 all day long.

The wooden cups give the TH900 excellent isolation—about the best you'll get in a full-sized headphone (as opposed to an in-ear). I can turn up my music to near-piercing levels without bothering the colleague at the desk next to mine.

And perhaps it goes without saying that the sound quality is amazing. The TH900 is never shrill, which makes it ideal for extended listening.

For the opinion of an audiophile who is far less easily impressed than I am, I'd recommend reading David Mahler's review of the TH900 in his famous "Battle of the Flagship Headphones" article. As he sums it up: "The TH900 is a very versatile headphone, capable of sounding good with every genre." Coming from him—a connoisseur of luxury headphones—that's strong praise.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavenly sound. 17 Oct. 2013
By pervysage - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
These are my first pair of "flagship" headphones and they are amazing. Previously I've had a pair of AKG K702 65th Anniversary's and Philips Fidelio X1's and the TH900's simply blow them out of the water.

These things have some real nice bass impact that is very controlled and not bloaty. The imaging and detail retrieval is probably the best you can get from a closed headphone and easily surpasses the open headphones I mentioned up top. I am hearing things in my music library that I never heard from even the AKG's which are supposed to be top notch.

These things can easily be driven from a mobile device or straight from your computer's headphone port.... HOWEVER, if you want to get the best out of them, obviously a good amp and DAC are recommended.

Not only do they sound good but they are a beautiful piece of eye candy... the earcups look great and I often find myself admiring them just hanging on the INCLUDED headphone stand which was a nice little extra as I didn't have a stand before.

Build quality is solid, the included cable is super long (which some people might not like) but in my bedroom setup it's great. I can have the headphones on and be laying in bed at the other end of my small bedroom.

Overall I have no complaints about the quality of the headphones themselves. They are pretty pricey though, so if you can get a good deal on them, don't hesitate to jump on it. You won't be sorry.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime Closed phones 20 Dec. 2014
By StephenB - Published on Amazon.com
I have these and a pair of Sennheiser HD800's. Also have a pair of B&W PM-1's. I use the Senn's during the day because they are slightly less coloured, the Fostex when the family are asleep and I need a closed phone. I use the PM-1's when I want to feel the music and I'm on my own. I would recommend these phones unreservedly. You are IN the music. I have never had a better set up, and I have spent a LOT of money over the years. Buy and enjoy - they are expensive but if you love your music and you want something as near as possible to the quality of a completely open phone, you won't regret it for a moment. (Yes I do use a dedicated phone amp)
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