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on 13 November 2012
Best Closed 'Hifi' Sound Up To £300 - I know it's quite a statement, that's just my experience so far. I can't claim to have tested all the closed back headphones in this price range but I have tested quite a lot. Beyerdynamic DT770 (80Ohm), V-Moda M-100, Denon AH-D2000, Sennheiser HD25-1 II, Philips Fidelio L1, GermanMAESTRO GMP 8.35D, AKG K550, Beyerdynamic DT770 Limited Edition (32Ohm).

Now that last one is really rather amazing but it is £300 and there is still something that I prefer from the SoundMAGIC as I keep coming back to it.

Now I call the HP100 one of the best 'Hifi' headphones because what it excels at is detail, especially in the high frequencies, which most lesser headphones from shy away from. Some may dislike the slight emphasis towards the upper midrange and treble, but it is very revealing and generally very smooth at the same time. The best bit about the HP100 is that it does high end really well but bass possibly even better while remaining extremely balanced. The bass goes extremely deep and kicks hard for a sound like this. Considering it's price this is one of the best value bits of audio equipment I've ever heard.

I see a few people giving this headphone low scores due to manufacturing issues, now I think this is rather unfair considering that the manufacturer has great customer service and a 2 year warranty. I suspect that most people just demanded their money back through Amazon and then gave a poor score - well shame on them because they gave up a truly stunning pair of headphones. To anyone looking at getting the HP100 who is concerns about the poor scores, just ignore them.Not only would SoundMAGIC replace the headphone if there were any issues like this but they have worked made alterations to new versions of the HP to eradicate any issues like this, so buy with confidence - and no I don't have anything to do with SoundMAGIC.
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on 29 April 2013
I've been waiting for stock of the HP100 to arrive in the UK for months now. Looking at reviews from the end of last year it appears there were some initial quality problems. I called the UK distributor and they told me there were some problems with the initial batch and that SoundMAGIC have been taking some time to iron these out.

Being SoundMAGIC's first attempt at a full size headphone I was honestly a little concerned that the HP100 would be a bit rough around the edges, but it's definitely not the case. The quality of the finish is very high - they have a sturdy metal headband (with a smooth adjustment mechanism that satisfyingly clicks into place), big comfortable pads and lots of nice little extras (the carry case is excellent). I have absolutely no concerns about quality. It's a headphone that I expect to still own in 10 or 15 years time.

Once run-in the sound is smooth and full. Bass extension is deep and well defined. The mids are beautifully detailed, making female vocals and acoustic instruments sound remarkably lifelike. The top end is very clean and accurate, without becoming clinical. Overall the sound is superbly balanced. It's the kind of sound you expect from high end headphones costing many hundreds of pounds more.

The HP100 is very impressive and amazing value for money. A truly high end headphone that I vigorously recommend to anyone willing to listen!
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on 16 March 2013
Some reviews have been unfairly critical of the looks of the Soundmagic HP100's. They are soundly constructed and extremely comfortable to wear, even for extended periods. The cups are large, covering all but the largest ears. They perform brilliantly, quite the best I have sampled below £200. The high frequency is clear and neutral, vocals sound pin sharp and well focused. The bass is spacious and deep, certainly not under powered.

To get the best out of the HP100's use a good Headphone amp or even better the Dragonfly USB DAC. The detail the phones relay are terrific in HD recordings, quite a revelation infact. They are especially impressive in large orchestral works and good fun in most rock and pop genres. All in all brilliant value for money and highly recommended.
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on 23 October 2012
I bought the SoundMAGIC HP100 Closed Back Headphones after some careful research comparing with the Shure SRH-840 and the Audio-Technica ATH-M50. Reviews suggested that HP100 is more balanced than these two, and after comparing myself (friends own these other two) I would choose the HP100 every time.

The HP100 has a silky smooth presentation, while being able to dig up all the detail. Bass is deep and well controlled. It's a very grown up and polished sounding headphone. This is incredible considering it's SoundMAGIC's first full size model.

The headphone build is very strong, with a metal headband and sturdy replaceable cabling. The replaceable cable connects securely with the earcup via a bayonet style connector.

Overall the HP100 is a well thought out package and I can highly recommend.
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on 21 August 2013
I adore these. Easily the best value headphones I have heard around this price.

In my opinion they destroy Sennheiser HD558s which I also own.

Extremely detailed, extremely comfortable and a wide soundstage for a closed back headphone.

Versatile, but do rather punish poor source material and poor amplification, so will always be
slightly niche. Fold up a bit easily, but's that's only a tiny gripe.

The sort of cult product that owners feel passionately about.
If I could give more stars I would.
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on 9 November 2012
SoundMAGIC HP100 Closed Back Headphones

Nicely packed in sturdy carry case. Looks good, feels good and comfy on the ears, with better than average noise isolation. Sound stage is wide, almost like an open headphone. Sound signature clear, airy, well imaged and refined. Neutral, but not boring, as the treble retains it's character, without painful brightness. Bass is deep but well controlled, never overlapping into the midrange, which is crystal clear. I listen to mainly Jazz and Classical, and vocals and smaller scale works sound very good. With large scale orchestral music the wide sound stage tends to be exaggerated at the extremes, so that the centre stage can sound a bit sucked in and less clearly heard. For example, cellos and violins can sound exaggerated compared to woodwind and violas, though the ear sometimes adjusts.
Solo and Chamber music are particularly successful-the interplay of the strings in Mozart's Clarinet Quintet is easy to follow, without having to strain to concentrate on the individual lines, whilst the clarinet retains all it's sonorous individuality,(King- Hyperion). Burn in period is about 24 hours and I had had these for just over three weeks when the sound suddenly dropped to about a quarter volume on the right. Rotating the ear cup slightly brought it back, but the problem then kept recurring, whenever there was slight movement of the cup.
Such a shame, as I was enjoying these cans-but excellent Amazon have given a refund. I wonder if there is a general issue with SoundMAGIC build quality, as others have had problems, especially with their 'in-ear' phones.

EDIT (Sept 2013): As a follow up, several months ago I purchased a replacement HP100 and, so far, no problems. So can now give a cautious recommendation. When it works it's very good, and overall, because of my personal bad experience with the first faulty product, 4 stars seems a reasonable rating.
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on 8 May 2014
These headphones are really comfortable and the quality of the audio are amazing.

Bad thing is the cable being 1.2m. For me this bothers me when i am at home listening to music from my computer. The cable is quite hard to stretch out being coiled and you may find this may drag you down slightly.

Overall these headphones are very good.
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on 21 December 2015
Had these for nearly 3 years now. Love them. I was drawn to their transparent sound (http://www.headfonia.com/soundmagics-hp100-the-late-new-discovery/) as opposed to overly warm or bass-heavy cans some companies put out. I want to hear what the artist intended. These do that extremely well in my opinion. I use them at my desk at work everyday (I'm not commuting with them) so I've had zero issues with build quality. I don't expect any trouble on that front either though, they seem rock solid to me -- but commuting is hard work on ANY wired headphones.
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on 19 December 2014
It's a real shame I have to give these headphones a two star rating since they are perfect in every way... apart for build quality. I have consistently had the left hand overhead clamp break on two separate models, after only one year of use. This also doesn't seem to have been rectified in the HP150's either since I have seen a review detailing my exact same issue with these headphones.
TL;DR Don't buy them unless you have more money than sense.
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on 8 October 2012
When i first put the head phones on i was impressed with the feel and the comfort but when i put music through them i noticed the right ear was much quieter than the left. On further experimenting (re-adjusting the headband) i noticed the sound came back and when i readjusted them further the sound would cut out again. Mine seem to have a loose connection so i've sent them back but when they were working they were very good. I've had a pair of bose tri port (around the ear) headphones and these were on par with those. if not a little better. I'm no audiophile but i think the fact they don't completely seal over your ears (soundmagic hp100) allows you to turn the volume up more than you could on my previous (bose) headphones and that seemed to allow you to hear more of the track you were listening to without getting a headache. the way the head phones fold and can be readjusted would be well suited for a travelling DJ, as the headband can be altered so it still holds them on your head when you're bent over/looking down. if you're not a dj/avid traveller then these features may seem like overkill. more features can sometimes mean more to go wrong; given mine weren't working properly when they arrived, this may be the case for these cans.
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