In Quest Of Neutral Headphones [Reviews / Measurements]

Discussion in 'Audio Science' started by Magnetostatic_Tubephile, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Magnetostatic_Tubephile

    Magnetostatic_Tubephile Friend

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    Since both HD650 and HD600 are now covered, HD660S review is incoming to get a complete overview on the Senn HD6XX series. Stay tuned. :)
     
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  2. Magnetostatic_Tubephile

    Magnetostatic_Tubephile Friend

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    Fostex TH-7 (stock)

    NOTE: Fostex TH-7 is commonly recognized as a solid entry-level headphone with semi-portable closed-back design and relatively balanced take on tonality. Depending on where you are located, it can be obtained for 2x less than Audio-Technica ATH-M50X, Sennheiser HD55X/HD58X series and the likes.

    [​IMG]

    MEASUREMENT COMMENTARY:
    • Due to rather on-ear nature of the headphone and stiff dummy ears on the measurement rig, some manual side pressure had to be applied on cups to achieve proper seal.
    • Published data assumes realistic (good but not perfect) seal, translating into roughly average bass presence and some wiggling around 15-25Hz range. As usual with on-ears - the better the seal, the more pronounced and deeper the bass response.
    • Channel balance is acceptable for an entry-level headphone, especially an on-ear one. Your results may differ depending on how you position the headphone on your head though.
    • The overall tonal balance is really quite nice. Subjectively, the broad emphasis around midbass dominates over the emphasis in low treble.

    [​IMG]

    HIGHLIGHTS:
    1. Slightly U-shaped but overall balanced frequency response. Connect this with quite boomy ('entertaining') bass and you get an interesting headphone that can turn many randos to headphone hobby.
    2. Good materials used, incl. the protective case.
    3. Very affordable for what you get.

    WHAT TO COUNT WITH:
    1. Compromised timbre - boomy in bass, a bit hard and flat sounding in mids, splashy and at times even screechy in treble.
    2. Unless you have very small ears, consider TH-7 as an on-ear headphone with insufficient comfort level for long listening sessions.
    3. Very flat, in-your-head soundstage.
    4. Quite ambivalent design - not ideal for home listening (small ear pads, short cable), not ideal for portable listening (quite large in size, non-foldable, dual-entry cabling, very large protective case).
    5. Technically speaking not quite an audiophile-level experience. You only get a hint of a truly good sound.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019 at 10:16 AM
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