You know, the kind of listener that can detect even the faintest nuances in a piece of music — and then dive into why it’s great…or not great. Not everyone is like you. Most of us are sadly satisfied with our meager headsets that came with our iPhone.
In this article, I want to share with you a pair of headphones that will enhance your music to a level that perhaps you’ve never heard before.
Before we get started the specifics of these amazing headphones, let’s check out what the web has to say about these things. Cnet, one of the top review websites in the world has said these are “Quite possibly the best-sounding headphones in the world” and has included them in their “Audiophiliac’s top 10 (full-size) headphones for 2015.”
In addition to these raving works, the have also won numerous awards including:
Audio-Video Magazine Best Hi-End Headphones 2016 Award
SoundStage 2015 Product of the Year
Rocky Mountain International HiFi Press Award
Headphone.guru 2016 Product of the Year
TAS Editor’s Choice Award 2017
CES 2016 Innovations Awards Honoree
So, now that we know the world thinks these are great headphones. Let’s dive into WHY these headphones are so great.
Before we check out the groundbreaking technologies that make up the HiFiMan HE1000, let’s check out the design.
These headphones are a thing of beauty and match the price tag that comes along with it.
The headband is made to be reliable, yet have a sleek look. The main part of the band is a thin metal band with a leather-like band that circles the top of your head for comfort with plenty of specifically designed gaps or holes to keep everything ventilated.
Additionally, the version two of the HE1000 made improvements to fit more head sized than the previous version. They accomplished this by providing length in the headband design.
Headphones: Making our way down to the over the ear speakers, you’ll see a beautifully designed (and patented) CNC milled metal casing that hold this great sounding technology. Just by looking at the pictures, you can see these headphones are a piece of beauty carefully refined by the HiFiMan craftsmen.
These are the kind of headphone you want to show off to friends when they come offer…they are that great looking!
At first glance, you’ll notice the “shade-like” design of the ear casings. This is the patented “Window Shade” System designed by HiFiMan that brings a completely different sound to the listener’s ear. It has the ability to protect the drive while taking advantage of what an open-back design headphones offers.
In addition, compared to the first generation (HE1000), the Version two ear cups was designed even smaller (11mm) for a sleeker look and feel. You’ll also find that the ear cups are shaped to better fit your ears. Even the material of the ear pads, specifically the part that touches your head have been outfitted with a Polyester matter to “increase sound transparency.” In terms of weight, the HE1000V2 comes in at 60g lighter than it’s predecessor at 420g.
Ground Breaking Technology
The team at HiFiMan have engineered the diaphragm in these headphone to an amazing nanometer thickness. — a groundbreaking technology and the first time it’s every been done. HiFiMan mentions that the process of doing this is a very challenging thing to do, but is part of why the HiFiMan HE1000 versions 2 outputs such amazing sound.
As you can see in the photo, the diaphragm is a nanometer thick while the conductor is even smaller at a mere sub-micron size.
The Advanced Asymmetrical Magnetic Circuit Driver
When HiFiMan went about making these headphone, they didn’t just “slap” them together.
In fact: These headphones were in the making for seven years!
The advanced asymmetrical magnetic circuit is a technology that enables sound to get to the listener better than traditional drivers.
User-Replaceable Cord/Connector Flexible Design
The team at HifiMan knew that their audience loves flexibility when it comes to their audio. Whether they want to plug into an amplifier, directly into a sound system or into their smartphone, they’ve provided all the flexibility needed. With the ability to use 3.55mm, 4-pin XLR connector or ever quarter inch connectors, it’s easy for you to switch to whatever device you prefer.
Pro Tip: In fact, when it comes to working with amplifiers, the version two now works even better than it’s predecessor,
This also is a great advantage if, in the worst case scenario, the cord breaks. Having to just replace the cord and not the whole system is HUGE!
The HiFiMan 1000 V2 in Use
When it comes to using these bad boys, users have great things to say about them. In all ranges, it’s said to have great sound, whether it’s the bass, mid levels or treble.
It has been said that when first using the HE-1000 V2, you may need to “break it in” to get the very best sounds out of it. As of yet, there has really not been any negative feedback on these headphones.
But, that could have something to do with the price. You get a great headphone, but it also isn’t accessible for many people to give a review.
If you’re looking for a fantastic pair of high quality, luxurious pair of headphones, then the HiFiMan HE-1000 Version 2 headphones are the perfect pair. From its groundbreaking technology, it’s stylish design, they would be great for any audiophile critics or listening enthusiast. What’ more…they’ll look fantastic on the shelf.
They come well built and with high praise from reviewers. If you were a fan of the Version One headset, then you will love the sound and feel of these.
So…take a seat, lean back and enjoy the beautiful sound that comes from the HiFiMan HE-1000 V2 headphones.
With 70 years of experience in the professional sound industry, Sennheiser rarely puts out a less than great product. You can feel they’re motto (“The Pursuit of Perfect Sound”) shine through in their products.
Let’s dive right in…
A Detailed and Dynamic Design
Learning from their great success on the previous version, the HD 800, Sennheiser implemented some of the same great design and ergonomic engineering into the HD 800 S modes.
Here’s the break down.
Hand-Crafted in Germany
Germany is somewhat known for their experience in the world of technological advancement — especially in the audio industry. Using a combination of hand-crafted processes and some of the best production technology, Sennheiser consistently outputs a quality product.
Will get into more details further down, but as a quick overview, the HD 800 S headphones are constructed of high-class matte black parts, one of the biggest transducer in the industry, hand crafted ear pads, a metal headband and high precision headphone connectors.
Ergonomically Designed for Comfort
When it came to designing the HD 800 S, they not only considered the quality of sound, but took great pains to ensure that you, the user would have a comfortable experience.
In fact, there are THREE features that contribute to your listening comfort:
Perfectly Shaped Ear Cups
The ear cups are designed out of a special material called Leona, which is a very light, non-resonant material. This material not only enhances the sound, but is also very strong while providing a comfortable listening experience.
Vibration Free Headband
Sennheiser once again get’s bonus points for it’s durable designs, something they are known for. The HD 800 S is made with a metalband and surrounded by resonance dampening polymers giving it’s unique vibration free benefit. Vibrations are not something you want distracting you.
Extreme Comfort Cushions
To top it all off, these open-back headphones are made with some extremely comfortable microfiber ear cushions ensuring that you enjoy hours of annoyance free listening time.
Behind the HD 800 S Sound Quality
I’d like to take a moment and see what’s behind the great sounds quality of the HD 800 S models.
Like many manufacturers, Sennheiser has implemented some proprietary technology into many of their products — the HD 800 S did not get left out.
the patented Ring Radiator Transducer
The Ring Radiator transducer was actually first seen in the HD 800 model where it performed very well. This technology is truly innovative at it’s core.
In fact, this 56 millimeter diameter drive is one of the largest drivers to EVER be used in a pair of dynamic headphones. In most traditional drivers, you’ll only find that the transducer makes the use of only one contact point. This helps bring down potential distortion by keeping the oscillating surface in check.
But, with the 800 HD S, the engineering team have actually implemented TWO contact points on either side of the ring. A 42 mm magnet structure actually drives the 40 mm aluminum voice coil.
All of these features combined, gives the 800 HD S a remarkable performance. The transducer is also surrounded by stainless steal adding to the quality and durability.
An Open-Back Architectural Design
If you’re looking for a noise isolating experience, then the 800 HD S are likely not going to be your first choice. Because of their open-back design, they do let exterior and environmental sounds in.
But, as you may already know, the disadvantage of open-back in those areas, shines bright in other areas.
With the open back design you allows you to experience superb sound clarity, high resolution and a satisfying dynamic experience.
Combine this with the specially angled transducers and Sennheiser’s patented absorber technology (which was first implemented in the previous version) and you get a unique sound that provides a wide and open listening experience while keeping those hi and low frequency ranges in check — giving a balanced, yet exceptional sound.
Pro-Tip: The Patented Absorber technology is actually pretty cool and work on the knowledge that most of us can’t distinguish hi and low frequencies at the same time. By absorbing the energy of resonance and eliminating the “masking effect,” the human ear is now able to distinguish more detail.
In a word?
These Sennheiser 800 HS S achieves a studio quality sound that is simply natural, clear and true.
When you order the 800 HD S, you’ll find a balanced cable included. They are also removable from the head set, making storing and replacement much easier. In fact, one of the great features of this cable system is that they provide such high connectivity options. Now with two connection leads (the 6.3mm connected and a 4 pin XLR), you’ll be able to use a headphone amplifier to get even better audio.
A Protective Case?
From what I’ve seen, there doesn’t seem to be any protective case. There are two ways to look at this.
These are considered an in-studio audio headset and therefore will stay next to you computer or other audio equipment. And considering the open back feature, this is a fair argument.
However, considering the price point of these headphones, it would be nice to have something to keep them in — even if it’s just for moving or storing.
Pros & Cons
High-end Engineering and High quality build
Superb Sound Stage
Improvement over the HD 800 Version
Some consider the price too high for the value
Bass is good, but not great if you’re super picky about your bass audio
In wrapping this up…YES, these are a bit expensive. But as one user implied: Many people spend this much money on a computer that is outdated within a few years — but having a good pair of headphones like the 800 HD S is well worth it.
The Sennheiser 800 HD S proves to provide a very clear and open sound and really have the potential to bring the detail of that bass guitar or the high clear notes of that harp right into the room.
If you’re serious about music (AKA, you’re an audiophile…then these are a great investment.)
Sennheiser has been in headphone game for a while now.
Why is this important?
Simply because they have years of knowledge and technology to bring to any new product they develop. As a company that is well versed in the audio scene, they knew that they needed to start with a super crazy durable design for the DJ audience.
The HD 8’s are one of the first, if the not the very first headphones that are specifically tuned for DJ use by Sennheiser. While the HD 25’s have been used by DJ’s out in the field, that is not what they we’re specifically designed for.
Note: Hopefully in the future, we’ll put out a HD8 vs HD7 article.
A Super Durable Design
Taking their queue from some of the best DJ’s in the world, Sennheiser developed the HD 8 DJ Over-Ear Headphones to withstand the rigors of daily, professional use for years to come.
That’s one reason why the engineering team made these with a…
Metal Machined Architecture Design
What makes the HD 8 DJ Headphones so durable is the strategically placed machined metal reinforcement parts throughout. Not only does this help with the durability — but it actually has a positive affect on the sound quality.
But it doesn’t stop with the machined metal…
Even the plastic parts you find on this set are made of a high quality material.
In addition, the headband material is covered in a thick layer of rubber… giving you an even more comfortable experience.
With all these added features for durability, you might think these would look like a tank. But the design team at Sennheiser developed the HD 8 DJ headphones to not only uphold to the rigors of use — but look fantastic and very ergonomically.
Side Note:These may fit a bit snuggly. Depending on your situation, this could be a positive or a negative. For a DJ, it’s a good things as you don’t want anything to fall off while on the job.
Check out this Video review by LinusTechTips!
Soft Headphone Comfort
When you’re a DJ, it’s pretty important that you’re also comfortable. One of the most important aspects of a pair of headphone are whether or not your ears hurt after a long time of use.
Well, you don’t need to worry about that. The Sennheiser HD 8 DJ headphones are designed with very soft, yet durable headphone cushions with a elliptical design giving you a great fit and should remain comfortable throughout your event.
It’s like a pillow for your ears!
But wait… there’s a bonus.
Sennheiser also includes Velour pads that you can switch out with their standard leatherette cushions. One particular reviewer with the Velour pads said he got even better comfort AND audio quality.
Another review mentioned that these sit quite well around the neck area as well. Having worked in the wedding industry a while, I know that DJs have to pause and talk to people quite a bit.
Now that we’ve covered how insanely strong and comfortable these guys are…let’s get more specific.
This is where Sennheiser really has the DJ in mind.
…. the 210 Degree Flexibility
This is a features that you’re going to LOVE!
As a DJ, you have a lot of multitasking to do. With the 210 degree swivel joints (which by the way are also made of metal), you’ll be able to monitor your track and make adjustments on the fly that much easier.
This is truly a feature you don’t want to be without as a DJ
The Twist Lock Connection Cable
These headphone come with not one, but TWO twist lock connection headphone kevlar enforced cords. These two options give you the freedom to pick what style you want:
A coiled, stretchable 1.5m audio cable for a 3.5mm jack — giving you flexibility up to 3.0m. This cable is a singled sided coiled cable that can actually be connected to either headphone depending on your preference.
A standard, straight for regular use playback which also comes in at 3.0m and 3.5mm jack. It can also be connected into either right or left earphone cup.
You’ll also receive a 6.3mm adaptor plug for more flexibility.
Signature Sennheiser Sound Reproduction with GREAT beat matching!
Let’s not forget one of the most important aspects of these headphones — the proprietary acoustics system that Sennheiser is so well known for!
The Pursuit of Perfect Sound
Paired with a design that is perfect for DJs, the sounds comes through clear even in environments with background noise. The engineering team specifically designed these headphones to play at a high and loud SPL (up to 115DB), giving you a great experience even in a louder background environment.
Not only this..
but when you combine it with the high noise isolation technology you’re able to hears your music tracks in even better in the noisy environments like parties and weddings.
The Sennheiser HD 8 DJ Headphones give you a satisfying 95 Ohm impedance making it compatible with most DJ equipment.
You’ll also enjoy a perfect beat matching experience that is able to deliver a good quality at almost every range. It’s overall sounds is said to be well rounded and makes those bass notes sound pretty good. Listening to them over a length of time also provides a great experience.
The Sennheiser HD 8 DJ headphones also come with a solid protective case. While this may take up a bit more room in your DJ equipment, they are actually not a bad size and for the amount of money you’re spending it may be a good idea to keep them protected.
The design team really believe in the construction of these DJ headphones, as they included a two year warranty. That’s great news for any buyer!
Pros & Cons
Ergonomically designed – Fits the head great!
DJ design specific
Great noise isolation
Can be a bit snug
HD8 DJ Specs
8 - 30
Sound pressure level (SPL)
THD Total Harmonic Distortion
coiled 1.5m-3.0 - straight 3.0m
Weight w/o cable
Should I Buy These?
In wrapping this up, there is ONE thing I want to point out.
These headphones are some of the highest rated for the DJ industry.
In fact: There aren’t a ton of products out there that have so many 5 star reviews in relation to 1 star reviews. Even the one star Sennheiser HD 8 DJ reviews I saw wouldn’t convince many people not to get them. Perhaps, that’s why one reviewer said it was the “BMW of Headphones.”
At the end of the day, Sennheiser really delivered with the HD 8 DJ headphones. They took what they were good at (great audio) and paired it with the knowledge and experience of professional DJs.
A fantastic sound and VERY durable headset that has been said to be the best over-all DJ headphones.
If you’re on the fence…it’s time to make the leap.
With the rise in popularity of wireless headphones, the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear Headphone is an award winning, highly reviewed headset that would make any gamer, DJ or even casual listener happy. If you’re in the market for a high quality headset for your gaming needs or events, then this is a solid choice.
Let’s dig into the details…
Crossfade Wireless Design
Upon first glance, one can see that these were specifically designed for a certain segment of users. With it’s sharp edges, chrome looking accents and bold structure, the design team at V-Moda wanted more than a great listening experience — they wanted them to look incredible as well.
What makes the build quality so unique is that they are made of very high quality material. The exterior of the ear cups are made of a 3d printed shields with the option to engrave and 3d print your logo or name — giving you that “custom look.”
The frames that hold the ear cups are made of steel, ensuring a long lasting product that will uphold to the regular use of gaming or DJ use. In addition, the headband is made of a STEELFLEX wrapped in a vegan leather.
In fact: The STEELFLEX headband is so strong, you could bend it completely flat up to 10 times and it wouldn’t break. We don’t suggest you try it, but knowing that it could go through some rough environment is a huge bonus for any professional. The team at V-Moda has even gone as far as testing this up to military standards and was tested beyond military-level quality MIL-STD-810G.
It even has the ability to withstand harsh weather environments whether it be humidity, high and low temperatures, salty environments and more. As one reviewer said, it’s “built like a tank.”
No design aspect of these headphones was held back. In fact, there was 5+ years of research and development that went into the comfort and feel of these headphones!
The CrossFade Wireless headphones are made with metal patented frames that are designed to fit the contours of your facial features, all while minimizing that annoying gap that so many headphones designs cause.
With the ergo-soft (interchangeable) memory cushions and the over-ear design, you will enjoy hours of game play or listening to music in comfort and isolation. However, if you require more room for your ears, you may find that the XL cushions are a better experience. At $20, they are not a bad upgrade.
Wired and Non-Wired
The V-Moda Crossfade Wireless headset allows for use in both wired and unwired mode. In terms of pumping out that DJ music, this gives you great flexibility and more real-estate for a cleaner (cordless) environment.
The engineering team took great pains to deliver a superior product that delivers quality audio in not only the wired but non-wired use as well. They were able to deliver all this while still maintaining the same great look and feel that V-Moda is known for.
Pro Tip:While using the wireless feature is great, for the DJ who may be more finely “tuned” to their music, they may want to consider running it with the wire for even more superior audio.
If you’re serious about your audio, the auto analog switch will give you a demand zero latency pure analog audio by switching off all the battery and bluetooth functions. In this setting, you’ll enjoy a zero latency and no artificial EQ. This is necessary if you really need that accuracy during your event, game or other use. You will also be able to hook up to a Hi-Fi AMP/DAC.
With dual ports built in, you can use either a USB connection or the standard 3.5mm jack plug. We know by now these headphones are made of some of the best quality material and design — and the cable is no exception. This cable is so good it can bend over 1 million times and NOT break. Super crazy right? This is partially accomplished through its 45 degree plug design.
Award Winning Audio
What is exceptional about the V-Moda CrossFade Wireless Over-Ear headphones is that whether you’re in wireless mode or wired mode, they deliver a fantastic listening experience. The engineering team at V-moda did this by improving their signature Crossfade M-100 sound and maintaining it in both the wired and unwired modes.
You’ll find that no matter what you’re listening too, these headphones are great in nearly every range — especially in the mid and bass. They give you a clean and crystal clear sound. You’re not limited to one style either, as this headset sounds good in just about any genre.
Adding to the great audio experience is the patent pending 50mm Dual-Diaphragm Driver manufactured by Crossfade. This technology enables the inner and outer rings keep the bass from leaking over to the mid and high ranges.
In addition, with it’s analog noise isolation, outside noises like cars, the weather or other ambient noise won’t be an annoying distraction. The over-ear was also made to minimize sound leakage.
Note: There has been some feedback that the wireless isn’t quite as good as the wired. This is mainly due to the perfect EQ in wired mode. But most users likely won’t see a big difference.
The bluetooth technology on these headphones delivers an amazing 33 feet range. For compatible gaming this is good, but for the DJs who may need to walk away from their station at times, this is fantastic. The CrossFade Wireless Headphones also allow for simultaneous device pairing — providing you the ability to sync to your DJ board, phone, smart watch or even computer.
Pro Tip:Not all gaming console are wireless compatible as of yet. Check manufacturer to make sure.
There is a built-in voice recognition microphone that is perfect for those multi-player games, taking calls or giving commands to Siri. Because of the flexibility the wire and non-wired feature offer you, you can also plug in 3rd party microphones (like the BoomPro Mic, making your gaming experience that much better.
Included with your headset is the 1-Button SpeakEasy™ Mic cable allowing you the take and receive calls on the fly and is universally compatible with all the major phones like Apple and Android. If you want to take it one step further, you can also purchase the optional BoomPro™, SharePlay™, 3-button SpeakEasy™ Mic&Remote add-ons. This is great adding more functionality for game play, Skype and more.
The battery life on these Crossfade wireless headphones are an incredible 12 hours in wireless mode and unlimited in wired mode.
Love that wireless mode?
Well, with only 30 minutes of charging you’ll get over 3 hours of playback time. Increase that charge to 60 minutes and you get twice the amount.
Give is a full charge of 110 minutes, and you’ll get 10-12 hours. This is more than most people need in a single time. But if you’re traveling or caught without a charging area, this is very useful.
Crossfade Wireless Case
Even though these headphones are built to withstand a great amount of handling, they come with a durable case to keep them in pristine condition. This case is made specifically for the Crossfade Wireless model and includes space for all the necessary cables and accessories. With it’s Exoskeleton V-STRAP, storing and wrapping your USB and audio cables will be no problem. Last, but not least a carabiner clip is includes to attach to your gaming or DJ equipment.
Even though 3d printing has been around for more than 30 years, we’re now seeing it’s application in everyday products like the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear Headphones.
If you want to take your headphones to the next level, you can design your personal logo using a variety of materials including precious metals like 14k gold, platinum, rhodium and even fiber! This process is done in an 11 stage process that starts in Italy and ends here in the USA.
Exoskeleton carry case
Reinforced 1-Button SpeakEasy™ Microphone & Mic cable
Elegant V-Micro USB Cable
1-Year Premier Warranty
50% Immortal Life Program Replacement
Over-Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
5 - 30000Hz
Low-Power CSR BlueCore featuring Hi-Fi ACC+ ACC MP3 SBC codecs and OTA
Up to 12 hours music playblack (depending on volume/music)
107 dB @ 1kHz 1mW
-42dB @ 1kHz
292g (with standard aluminum shields)
Headphone design (operating principle)
Headphone frequency response
5 - 50.000 Hz
Nominal sound pressure level
Circumaural (around the ear)
Net weight (without packaging
Pros & Cons
Audio may not be as good in wireless mode, but most listeners may not notice the difference.
Price may be high compared to similar competition.
Some negative feedback on customer service through email. (Phone calls seem to be better in the even of a problem.)
Flexibility of wired and non wired
Much better than competition.
The V-Moda Crossfade Wireless Headphones are a beautiful piece of engineering and can be enjoyed by just about any user — even outside the gaming and DJ environment. If you’re looking for a solid listening experience, but don’t want to break the bank with some of the higher end hi-fi models, then these are worth your consideration.
If you’re a fan of high quality luxury headphones, then you’re likely familiar with the Beyerdynamic brand. If not, then I think you’ll be excited to learn about this forward thinking and innovative headphone company and their great new design; the Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation Audiophile Stereo Headphones.
Beyerdynamic, a company with origins dating back to 1924 making home theatre systems, now specializes in high quality headphones, microphones and other conference systems around the world.
Beyerdyanmic is not simply a product company, but is truly an innovative technology company that prides itself on new and exciting development in their products. Nearly all of their products are engineered and made in Germany — and most of them by hand.
What’s in a Name?
Among all of Beyerdynamic’s home products, the T1 2nd Generation is at the top in terms of quality and engineering. T1 or (Tesla) actually stands for “top sound quality and precise workmanship” according to their website. As their flagship product, they’ve worked hard to make sure the T1’s deliver incredibly clear audio with a frequency range that is fine tuned.
More specifically the “T” in T1 stands for Tesla, which is a unit of measure for the magnetic flux density. In the T1 2nd Generation headphones, Beyerdynamic dialed these measurements in at 1.0 Tesla — giving you twice the volume of conventional models.
It’s amazing how much that Tesla guys influences our everyday lives! Right?
The look and feel?
In addition to the T1 2nd gen designed with the best technology, they are also pleasant to wear. The design team has taken great care to make sure they both sound, feel and LOOK great!
Weight: When it comes to headphones, weight can be either a good thing or a bad thing. More weight is good, because you know that the head phones are made with higher quality materials like your magnet. Unfortunately, if they are too heavy they can become burdensome on your head or ears making the experience unpleasant.
However, according to other those who have used them, at 13oz they seem to be at just the right weight in terms of quality and comfort.
Headphones: The headphone are a work of art and technology. In fact, the Beyerdynamic team won the international design prize “Red Dot design award” for their innovative headphone design in 2010. What makes them so appealing is the fine metallic grill that covers the open ear cups. Additionally, you’ll find the memory phone cushion under the unique hollow fibre design allowing your ears to be comfortable for long period of listening.
Note on the hollow fibre:If you’ve ever listened to music of a long period of time, then you probably know that your ears can heat up and get moist over time. With the T1 2nd generation design, you won’t have to worry about that. With their soft hallow fibre material, it wisks away that moisture and heat.
And speaking of awards, their T1 line also won a Best Buy award among high end headphones.
The drives in the ear cups are designed to point into your ear canal for each side. This of course makes it important that you put the T1’s on correctly for the best listening experience — with left going in left and right going in right.
Another feature to note is the “semi-open” design. It allows some features only achieve with open-back, but still allows the audio substance you’re looking for in a closed back headphone.
Case: When it comes to protecting your headphones, the design team includes a durable, yet practical black case. It is made of a hard hinged shell and a somewhat soft exterior. While not as beautiful at the 1st generation, which included a great looking aluminum case, it’s said to be better in terms of travel and storage. It was specifically designed so you could enjoy your headphones on the go and display them next to your hi-fi system at home.
Cable: The standard cable is textile-covered with a screwable jack plug. The cable itself is made with industry quality OCC Copper conductors. The combination of the jack plug, the textile covered cord and the copper conductors ensures that you have a seamless, secure and one of a kind audio experiences.
Another move that the Beyerdynamic T1 team made for the 2nd generation was to make the audio cable detachable. This allows you to plug the set into a balanced headphone amp. The balanced cable comes as an option with the T1 2nd gen as a 3m connector ($145 option) — the same as the standard cable included. If for some reason you want to use 3rd party connectors, it shouldn’t be a problem, as the headphone jack is a 3.5m into the headphone end.
Pro Tip: If you own an audio amplifier, you also have the option with the detachable audio cable to use a 4-pin XLR connector.
Headband: Compared to the first generation, the materials are slightly different. The first T1 version included a real leather head band material. Unfortunately, with constant use and “ the environment” over time the coloring and texture changes.
Enhancements: Based on the feedback from their customer base on the previous version, the team at Beyerdynamic was able to fine tune the 2nd generation with even more “warmth and musicality.” Beyerdynamic did this by improving the bass response of the previous model.
Tonality: Probably among the most important features is the sound or tonality that comes from these Beyerdynamic T1 Headphones.
According to several places it does take up to a week or 35 to 100 hours to properly break them in and get the optimal audio.
No matter the music genre or frequency, the tonality of these headphones are impressive. From the low ranges, mid ranges to even the high ranges. Instruments specifically comes out very details and beautiful. Of course, you’re going to get the best audio only connected to a high quality headphone amp.
BeyerDynamic T1 2nd Gen Specs:
Highly efficient Tesla technology drivers
Spacious, transparent and powerful sound
Extraordinary impulse fidelity
High impedance (600 Ohms)
Three metre long double-sided, detachable cable, OCC 7N copper conductors, textile braided
Connection cable with 3.5 mm jack plug and screwd-on 6.35 mm jack adapter
Breathable, super-soft ear cushions with memory foam
High-grade protein-coated leatherette headband
Luxury grade hard carry case included
Hand crafted “Made in Germany”
Pros and Cons
With every high quality head set, there are some pros and cons. Many times, it likely has to do with the price involved — as these headphones do not come cheap. But for the true audiophile listener, price is not always the first consideration.
Here are some pros and cons of the Beyerdynamic T1 Headphones found by users across the internet:
• The second generation has a fuller sound.
• Great sound stage.
• The increase in bass is noticeably better int he T1 2nd Gen.
• Very comfortable compared to previous version.
• Ability to render very high detail
• While the audio is fantastic, it may take a while to break in. This is specifically noted in the bass notes.
• A possible concern with the amount to magnetism being used and its affect on the brain. This is up for debate on whether this is a good or bad thing.
• Some pro users may want a longer length of cord.
Not only are these headphones built by an amazing, forward thinking company but they deliver in almost every way. In terms of price, they seem to be in a competitive price range. If you’re looking for a solid listening experience from all ranges — then the Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation is certainly worth considering.
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Thanks to the following sites for their help: whathifi.com, hometheatrehifi.com, and Beyerdynamic website.
If you are in the general consumer market, there are a lot of things you might expect to buy for $3,000-$6,000. You can get a nice used car for that price. You could fully remodel and upgrade your kitchen or add a small room to your house
… or you could buy a set of headphones.
Okay, so maybe a pair of $3,000 earphones isn’t on the typical listener’s wish list (most people don’t even realize headphones that expensive exist). But if you work in the audio and recording industry, a set of STAX SR-009 Electrostatic Earspeakers could be worth every penny.
…if you are a well-to-do consumer, spoiling yourself with a pair of electrostatic earphones could just be one of the best investments you make when it comes to audio technology.
Let’s check out this SR-009 review video by the great people over at Head-FI on the STAX SR-009 headphones:
How Electrostatic Technology Transforms the Listening Experience
The big buzzword with the STAX SR-009 Electrostatic Earspeakers is “electrostatic.”
Electrostatic technology is the newest thing in the audio world. This is the very leading edge of audio science, and it can change how you listen.
Let’s talk about how it works so you can understand what justifies a $3,000+ price tag for a pair of headphones.
All of us have occasionally forgotten to add a dryer sheet to our wash. You pull your clothes fresh out of the dryer, and you hear the crackle of static electricity. And of course you get static cling—your clothes all stick to each other and to you.
You don’t want static electricity in your clothes, but it turns out you do want it integrated into your headphones—in a controlled manner of course.
That is the foundational principle of electrostatic technology.
Imagine this: You have an ultra-thin diaphragm film (less than two microns in width) which weighs practically nothing. You suspend it between two perforated metal conductive plates. A charge is applied to the plates. This charge transfers to the diaphragm film without touching it, which in turn produces vibrations in the film. These vibrations become sound, which travels to your ears.
What is really mind-blowing about this technology is the fact that the film has almost no mass. Because of this and the fact that the film never makes contact with the plates, it is free to vibrate almost instantaneously. It is completely responsive to the charges.
Breathtaking clarity of sound without any delays or interference. This is the closest to pure sound you are ever going to hear through technology.
Your existing headphones work using a stiff cone, coil, and magnet. This system isn’t nearly as responsive; it is literally antiquated. It also makes your headphones really heavy and uncomfortable to wear. Both of those are major annoyances if you work in the audio industry and wear earphones all day.
Electrostatic technology is the first major update to audio technology in around two hundred years, but it is still in its infancy. So when you listen to music with STAX SR-009 earphones, you are literally getting a preview of the sound of the future.
There are a few different choices out there right now if you want to purchase electrostatic earphones. But the STAX SR-009 is right on the cutting edge. Check out these impressive features and specifications:
Cable: Silver-coated 6N (99.9999%) copper, 2.5m in length
Weight: 1.3 pounds with cable, 1 pound without
Warranty: 1 year on parts and labor
The diaphragm is made out of high polymer ultra-thin super-engineered plastics for superior tonal quality and a high dynamic range.
The metal plates used in the electrodes have been processed using ultra-precision etching. This works at the atomic level to produce the best resonance.
Aluminum is the main metal used in the production of the STAX SR-009. It is lightweight and sturdy, guaranteeing that these earphones will transmit high-quality sound while standing up to plenty of wear and tear.
Both earphones contain the electrostatic technology that I previously described. Because there is no heavy cone, magnet, and coil as in traditional headphones, these earphones are extremely lightweight.
Adding to the comfortable design, the ear pads are made out of a combination of synthetic and real lamb leather. This keeps them extra cozy and provides you with the cushioning you need to enjoy hours of music. The head band arc is adjustable with a 10-step slider. You are not going to find comfort or durability like this anywhere else.
The cable is made out of 99.9999% pure copper wire coated with a silver finish. It is a high-quality component which features the same sturdy build as the rest of the STAX SR-009. You won’t have to worry about it fraying or losing conductivity.
The overall sound quality is incredible all through the range from the deepest bass notes up to the highest, clearest trebles. The sounds are so realistic you can easily mistake them for being in the room with you. Sounds that blend together on other earphones can be picked out individually on these. Listen to a symphony and you’ll hear every instrument—and every violin string.
Sounds are reproduced accurately. All audio technology introduces some degree of distortion into sounds as they are processed. The electrostatic technology in the SR-009 earphones reproduce sounds with an astounding degree of precision—it sounds as close to the “real thing” as you are ever going to get. Basically, sound quality is so neutral that these phones do not really impart any special “characteristics.” If accuracy is what you are after, that is a good thing.
SR-009 adapts to different amps. Because these earphones are so neutral, you can use them with any high-quality amp you want. You will notice there are distinct changes to the sound with every amp you use; that is because the SR-009 earphones are so true to the sounds they are fed.
STAX SR-009 earphones are lightweight and comfortable. You can forget you are wearing them sometimes.
The materials and build of the STAX SR-009 are incredibly durable. Purchase these and you are making a long-term investment. They look and feel like they cost $3,000+.
Some STAX SR-009 reviewers have complained that the sounds of the STAX SR-009 are a little “bright.” You may discover however that this perception is simply the result of your ears adjusting to the detailed, clear sounds emerging from these electrostatic earphones. The perception may pass within a few days of listening.
If you are looking for noise isolation, sadly you won’t find it here. The SR-009 is pretty much useless in this respect. If you are need earphones which can block out external noise, check out some of the other recommended products on our site.
While the STAX SR-009 earphones work with a variety of amps, you do need specialized ones. Conventional amplifiers are not compatible with electrostatic earphones.
The price tag obviously is the biggest drawback. Shelling out $3,000 for a pair of earphones is no walk in the park. But if you are a professional, this equipment can take your audio work to a new level.
When you purchase the STAX SR-009, you get the earphones and the cable, which may not sound like a lot, but the box itself actually is quite something. It’s a padded case made out of a special type of wood called paulownia. This wood is lightweight and cushions the earphones during shipping; it is also insect-proof and protects the phones from excessive heat and humidity. You’ll definitely want to hang onto it for long-term storage.
The STAX SR-009 Offers Unparalleled Transparency and Detail in Sound
If you are shopping in the $3,000+ price range for a pair of earphones, then you already are probably something of a sonic expert. Whether you have firsthand experience with electrostatic technology or not, you already recognize that the STAX SR-009 earphones are an evolutionary leap into the future of audio.
Again, if noise isolation is a concern, or if you dislike “bright” sounds, then you may want to consider another product (Check out our KSE 1500 Review and see if they fit what you need).
But if neither of these are an issue for you, you are going to be hard-pressed to find another pair of earphones that compete with the STAX SR-009 when it comes to transparency and detail. If you are an audio professional this is an investment in your career. Whether you are a pro or simply a dedicated music appreciator, these earphones will take your listening experience to a new echelon.
Here are a couple Amazon.com review excerpts which sum up the STAX SR-009 experience:
“Well, I think it is pretty much a perfect headphone. Simply amazing. I cannot find any defects in the sound, at least with good amplification. They look good and they are comfortable. You simply cannot beat electrostatic technology done well, and done well it is.” – Amazon Customer
“The 009s are truly amazing headphones. I smile every time I put them on. They are so transparent, had beautiful midrange and vocals, yet kick in the bass like the best Planars (LCD3s). Forget the Senn HD800s, or pretty much all others IMO. These will be an end game if you can afford them. They do need a good front and a decent amp. Best headphone in the world? I would say a resounding YES!” – Kaiti
When you think of buying a pair of earphones, your first reaction is probably not taking your credit card and swiping it for $3,000.
However, if you’re familiar with SHURE earphones, then this price point may not come as a surprise to you. When it comes to microphones and earphones, SHURE is one of the world’s leading, high quality manufactures.
This KSE 1500 review is aimed at those looking for a superior listening experience in their audio.
But who are these earphones for? Theoretically, anyone. But realistically (unless you have the budget and want the best listening experience of your music, even then you’ll likely need a special smartphone app to play your music at the right frequency) they are for those who are professionals in the audio and recording industry. It’s for those who need the absolute best listening experience and also need to be mobile.
How was the KSE 1500 made?
These earphones is a labor of love over the past eight years from the team over at SHURE. Which, according to the guys over at Head-Fi, is a fantastic thought in that no one could have predicted that at the time of development the market for these types of earphones would be in such demand today. With cool code names like “kelp” and “lighthouse” (during their secret development years), these hi-end earphones were eventually given the name KSE 1500 earphones (though I think “Kelp” has a special ring to it…don’t you?)
The history and story behind these earphones is very interesting and deserves and more in-depth explanation. You can watch the full video KSE 1500 review from Head-Fi, it’s development history and more technical explanation of the technology below.
To fully understand the technology and genius behind the KSE 1500 earphones, we need to explain what electrostatic earphones are and what makes them different from normal earphones.
We’re about to get very technical, so hang in there.
Electrostatic earphones are manufactured with a static (or non-moving), very thin diaphragm film. This diaphragm is place between two perforated metals. When an electric charge is applied to the two metal conductive plates (also called statters) , it causes the diaphragm film to vibrate, thus creating sound. Because it is nearly massless, the diaphragm has the ability to move very quickly.
The science itself is actually the same as static that causes items to stick to your clothes. The idea here, is that we are able to produce sounds with out physically touching the diaphragm. The electric charge is applied perfectly evenly across the film.
This gives us a listening experience that is beyond anything a traditional headphone could provide!
In comparison, most earphones are created using a coil, a magnet and a stiff cone that results in significant movement when a charge is applied. This is actually very useful technology for sound, but hasn’t has a meaningful update since the 1800s.
With the KSE1500, this changes (and others like the STAX SR-009 well). In an electrostatic headphone, the only thing that moves is the thin film (diaphragm) between the two metal plates.
This is the beauty of the technology — it’s just pure sound coming in your ears — and nothing else.
The film in the KSE1500 is so thin and light, it’s actually lighter than the air around it. This also makes electrostatic earphones physically light because there are no magnets, cones or coils. Here are some of the advantages to purchasing an electrostatic pair of earphones:
Force comes from Electric field vs a magnetic field.
Zero energy storage
Electrostatic technology has actually be around for many years in microphones. Only in recent years, have they been reverse engineering this technology into listening products like the KSE1500 earphones. Because of the intricate size, ultra sensitivity and precise tuning manufacturing, the price is justified. The KSE1500 is the first application of this technology in a sound isolating earphone featuring a MicroDriver design.
It features a high correlation to the source audio. This goes a long way in providing much higher detail and audio quality — basically there are less obstacles between you and the sound.
We’ll go more in-depth below, but it boasts a 4-band parametric EQ with 5 presets and 4 customizable settings to control your audio playback.
As with many portable devices, it comes with an internal USB rechargeable battery. This gives you the ability to listen while still connected to your computer.
Due to it’s electrostatic and quality design, the earphones are very light-weight.
It’s Sound isolating technologies also blocks up to 37DB of ambient noise. – What this does for you is that is cuts out nearly all ambient noise around you including air conditioners, people talking around you, possibly the traffic rumbling outside and similar noises at this level. This noise reduction is exactly what you need if you’re reviewing a recording session outside the studio. In a real sense, the KSE1500 truly gives you a mobile quality studio sound.
We’ll dive in deeper into this, but it has a cable that was designed specifically for these earphones and has the ability to isolate each conductor.
A well thought-out design layout for easy navigation
Compatible with all popular devices, both Apple and Android. It has evened partnered with Apple to access their interface giving them the ability to connect directly with the lighting cable.
The KSE 1500 earphones themselves are presented in a sleek ergonomic form that fits the ear nicely. They are touted to be “the worlds’ first electrostatic Sound isolating earphones.” The internal electrostatic components are surrounded by a clear light-weight plastic molding and has a closed back, something different than most other electrostatic earphones.
According to Head-Fi, because of this closed system it doesn’t quite provide the quality of the large electrostatic earphones like the STAX system. In each earpiece you will find the electrostatic technology — the ultra thin diaphragm and two metal plates as mentioned earlier.
This technology makes it virtually weightless and provides a significantly better sound quality than the dynamic or armature counterparts. The earphones are permanently connected to the headphone’s rounded cable. Now as you probably already know, these earphones can’t be plugged into just any “device.”
They also come with their own amplifier that you can then connect with other devices like your iPhone or PC.
The amplifier itself is a beautiful piece of technology. It features a convenient USB plugin for the internal rechargeable battery. This same USB input also gives you access to all your IOS, Android, Mac and PC devices. At the bast of the amplifier you will find a switch letting you choose between line and USB.At the top, is the input for your 6-pin LEMO connector cable and also a 3.5mm (1/8”) analog input.
Don’t be fooled by it’s simple design — with merely two points of control, you can access everything you need to adjust to your preferences. You have easy access to the main menu from the large dial on top and the low-profile button on the side.
You’ll find that the menu is easy to see and clear in it’s presentation. According to the Shure website, the interface has the advantage of these three things:
Easy monitoring of settings – right on the front screen you can view the source input, input level meter, volume of output, battery level and EQ settings. I like how the colors are very vibrant and clear.
Five EQ Presets Preloaded – Whether you want digital processing or want to bypass it straight to analog altogether, this amplifier has just about everything. It comes with 5 EQ presets that include the following: Low Boost, Flat, De-ess and Loudness. You can also customize these 5 presets if you’d like. With these features, you really have limitless options in how your tracks sounds. Too much bass? No problem. Too rich of a sound? The EQ’s got you covered. Just remember, that when you run your audio through the equalizer it does covert it to ADC and then back into DAC.
Detailed Personal Control – Not to be limited by the 5 presets, you’re also given 4 completely customizable EQ presets for your own listening pleasure.
Speaking strictly on design, the KSE1500 was made to be “on the move” with it’s size comparable to your smartphone. This is really a “first” in this technology — portability and sound quality on this size and level hasn’t really even been done quite like this. This was years in the making.
Probably one of the most important features of the amplifier is it’s ability to convert analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog. In “audio” lingo, they call these devices DACs or “Digital Analog Converter.” It even meets the high requirement of Japan Audio Society. It also has the ability to connect digitally to your iDevices – by passing the analog option.
Getting down the “nitty-gritty,” you’ll enjoy a range of sampling rates including; 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96 kHz. You can also charge it with a portable battery pack as long as it meet the following requirements; USP-powered: 5 V/0.5 A to 1 A. It’s battery life ranges from 7 (EQ mode) hours to 10 hours (BYPASS EQ mode). It’s size is also perfect at 182.-g (or 6.43oz.) and dimensions of 111 x 59 x 21 mm.
While most electrostatic earphones uses flat cables, the KSE 1500 uses a unique customized round cable. Because of the nature of the voltage that makes it way through these cables, it’s a common practice to manufacture them with flat cables.
As you may have guessed, this use of a round cable took many years for the team at SHURE to design. This was done because of the KSE 1500 application as an in-ear monitor and probably the desire to make it as low-profile and portable as possible.
In addition, SHURE designed it with re-enforced Kevlar to withstand the active use of it’s wearers (I mean they use this stuff in bullet proof vests… just sayin’). The cable features a 6-pin LEMO connector that was uniquely designed to pair with the amplifier and each ear piece.
In bringing this review to a close, it’s not hard to miss what an amazing piece of technology these headphones are. This groundbreaking innovation is likely only it it’s beginning stages. Perhaps one day, it’ll even be available at a price point where many can enjoy such rich audio.
However, that day is far off and the only question is whether this electrostatic earphone system is the right choice for you. If you are a professional in the audio/visual industry or take your music listening seriously, then these electrostatic headphones are definitely something you want in your “arsenal.” However, if you’re not convinced, I went out and pulled a few things other people had to say about the product.
“This is perhaps, for me, the most significant product release since the Seinnheiser HD 800.” – Jude, Head-Fi
“They are in my opinion the most detailed, best sounding IEMs I have ever heard. So, if you are looking for the best, you need not go further.” – D. Sedik, Amazon
“The sound of these headphones is in a league of its own. The clarity and separation is amazing. The sound is so clear and balanced, I can make out all of the instruments even when there are other sounds present at the same time. Simply amazing. This is a breakthrough product.” – Amazon reviewer