Saturday, August 25, 2012

What I heard at the Jaben roadshow.

My main purpose at the Jaben roadshow is to audition all the top end headphones which you normally can't get to listen to, and I must say, I sure achieved my goal! I'll share some of my thoughts on what I tried but don't expect much details. I stop listening once I feel that the headphone is not to my liking. Additionally, note that I used the O2 amp to power all the headphones, so there's no additional coloration added to the sound signature, and that all headphones are properly powered.

Beyerdynamics T1 and Sennheiser HD800
These 2 flagships are 2 of the more well known flagships there and I skip them over because I've listened to them quite often in the past and didn't want to waste my time on them again. The T1 headphones are my current top choice flagship that I'm getting as it has what I mostly want: Great clarity, tame highs, and amazing details. I would have like more bass but you can't always get what you want. The T1 is also pretty uncomfortable for a full-size headphones. The HD800 is actually very similar in sound signature to the T1 with even better detail resolution, and it's really really comfortable on the head. Unfortunately, there's a lot of sibilance in the highs and that killed the deal for me.

Sennheiser HD700
After reading Headphonia's review, I bought the HD700 might be able to displace the T1 as my all time favorite headphones. Note that it's brand new and not burned in, though the sound shouldn't change much. My final verdict is that it is a better version of the AKG 550; It's muddy, and not to my liking. It may be cheaper than the HD800 but given a chance between the 2, I'll choose the HD800.

Denon D7100
This is a very surprising headphones for me. When my first song starts, I was pretty impressed by how the melody sounds but when the singer starts singing, I was shocked. The singing is so..... echoey! It sounded like the singer was singing in a cave, it just sounded weird. Definitely not what I'm looking for.

Grado PS1000
This headphone is pretty old, but I've never had the chance to audition it because everytime it's in stock, it will be sold out in the blink of an eye. So I manage to lay my hands on it at the show but I was pretty underwhelmed by what I heard. Nothing about it stood out, and I actually prefer the PS500 to iit.

Fostex TH900
I saved this for last because it is the headphones that I'm most impressed by. It's also the most pricey out of the headphones that I've tried. However, part of the price is due to the beautifully done urushi cups. By itself, those cups will cost close to 1K so you're buying an art piece in addition to a pair of headphones. The sound signature is similar to the T1, but the sound is more forward. I'll be doing a more detailed audition together with the T1 when I'm ready to put down my money for a headphones.

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