Best Headphones With Detachable Cable – Planet HiFi

best headphones with detachable cable and high impedance

headphones with detachable cables should be preferred over those with only bluetooth connections (2), to avoid losing sound quality (4). Despite the advances achieved by bluetooth 5 (8), there is still today a concession in terms of security (1) and sound quality (5) due to its differential speed of information transfer (3) and pairing (7). ).

also, these best headphones with detachable cable enjoy high impedance levels (10) (11) of 300 ohms or more (9) and do not work with active noise cancellation technology (12), an important technology in many areas (13), as do many bluetooth devices (6).

Reading: Headphone detachable cable

Similarly, we should also prefer wired headphones that include magnetostatic transducer technology (14) (15) which is somewhat better and more challenging (16) (17) than a more common dynamic transducer technology (18). ) (19). therefore, with the above considerations in mind, we can move on to the definitions.

this is the list of the best headphones with detachable cable

  • beyerdynamic dt 1990 pro
  • sennheiser hd 800 s
  • neumann ndh 20
  • dan clark audio aeon flow 2
  • mackie mc-450
  • sennheiser hd 600

The best detachable cable unit currently is the beyerdynamic dt 1990 pro. it’s excellently made, sits comfortably over your ears and offers a great sound experience that can even be adjusted with the included ear pads.

however, the audio-technica ath-msr7b is our favorite for mobile use, for travelers. it’s perfect for smartphones with a headphone output that doesn’t exactly show its power, thanks to its non-critical power rating. still, it offers a wonderfully balanced sound image.

As more and more users store their music collection primarily on their smartphone or other mobile device so they can play it from there, whether at home or on the go, we’ve divided our test into high-fidelity headphones that are They are mainly used in stationary mode and those that can be plugged into the mobile device, covered in another article.

Due to different technical requirements and conditions (especially impedance), the two classes of headphones cannot be directly compared with each other in a meaningful way.

We have tested 20 for the living room and 19 for the smartphone.

this test is not about bluetooth headphones and those with active noise cancellation, because with both categories you have to make trade-offs in terms of sound. for these headphones we have separate test reports for you.

impedance, sensitivity and symmetry

Impedance is the AC resistance (alternating current resistance ) of an earphone. in interaction with the source device, it affects volume and sound.

high-quality studio headphones typically work with an impedance of around 300 ohms, sometimes even higher.

Mobile devices like audio players or smartphones, on the other hand, work best with headphones with an impedance of around 30 ohms or less due to the limited power of the amplifier.

stationary hi-fi devices with a headphone output, on the other hand, typically require an impedance of about 100 ohms between the two ends, but can generally handle higher impedances.

The sensitivity of a headphone is similar: it indicates the maximum sound pressure that the headphone can produce with a power of 1 milliwatt and it is also a parameter for the attainable volume, but above all for the dynamic range.

With conventional patch cables, in asymmetrical design, the lines for the left and right channel share the shield, which is also often used for signal return transport. with balanced cables, each channel has its own forward and return line, as well as its own shield. if the source, i.e. the amplifier, is also balanced, this leads to better channel separation, so the left and right channels can no longer interfere with each other.

headset selection

closed, open, or semi-open: that’s almost a matter of faith when it comes to headphones. what this distinction means is the construction of the headphones, whether they are open, closed or semi-open on the outside.

clear differences in sound depending on the design of the headphones.

Open-back headphones are known for a particularly fine and balanced sound, while closed-back headphones are a prerequisite for powerful, contoured bass, but on the other hand have to contend with sound coloration.

enjoying music with closed capsule headphones definitely isolates the listener from the outside world; on the contrary, the outside world is also spared the listener’s musical escapades, which can be beneficial for the peace of the house.

Another distinguishing feature has more to do with ease of use. Both the open and closed models have cushions that enclose the ear and rest against the head, known as around-the-ear or over-the-ear headphones.

the others rest their cushions directly on the ears and are called circumaural or supraaural. some manufacturers offer both variants, we have listened carefully, to see if there are any differences in sound other than wearing comfort.

transducer technology

In addition to the closed, open and semi-open principle, as well as over-ear and over-ear, we have now also represented two different converter technologies.

On the one hand, there are the dynamic transducers, probably the most common technology: here, the diaphragm and the coil for the drive form a firmly assembled unit. the coil is immersed in a magnetic gap and moves to the beat of the music. this movement is transferred to the diaphragm, which then transmits the sound to the ear.

In the magnetostatic transducer, the coil windings are vapor-deposited on the diaphragm and thus are virtually a component of the entire diaphragm surface. this membrane is stretched between two magnets and also moves as soon as the musical electrons flow through the coil.

magnetostatic transducers offer the best sound quality

The diaphragm of magnetostats and their relatives, electrostatic transducers, is much lighter than in dynamic systems and is also conducted over the entire surface. therefore, you can follow even the finest drive coil instructions, and only those. it is virtually free of unwanted partial oscillations that are not contained in the music.

however, designing a magnetostatic transducer is challenging and generally cannot be done as cheaply as dynamic transducers

how the test was done

We allow each earphone a certain amount of recording time before the listening test. we consider the circulating information of several days or even weeks to be exaggerated, after only a few hours, the sound does not change much anymore.

on the contrary: if we assume that a device, be it headphones, speakers or even electronic devices, will have to function for days or weeks, we must therefore assume that these devices are subject to an equally rapid aging process.


That’s why we test every model on a high-quality stereo system and a dedicated headphone amp. listeners, who are primarily mobile, must also prove their potential in a mobile music player and smartphone.

Because not all hi-fi headphones can cope with the low impedance of smartphone output, we have excluded listeners with an impedance of 100 ohms or more from mobile use. the same applies, in our opinion, to headphones with an open design, which makes a seamless music experience outside almost impossible. Since the transitions here are also seamless, the quality of workmanship, equipment, and sound are definitely included in the evaluation.

the best hifi headphones with detachable cable

We listened to all the headphones in a test round in comparison and tested them with two music genres: one is instrumental and new age, and the other is pop. I always use vangelis and lana del rey in tests.

Personal preferences are largely left out of the final sound evaluation. instead, we have tried to give as accurate a description of the sound characteristics as possible. in doing so, we refrain from evaluation, because it is inevitably subjective.

With headphones, which are primarily designed for stationary use, what matters is not so much exclusion from the environment, but uncompromising listening pleasure, ideally within your own four walls. so it doesn’t matter if the outside world shares your taste for music or if you want to isolate yourself from outside noise.

whether closed, open, or semi-open, the design of the earphone and transducer is driven solely by the best possible music reproduction. impedances and sensitivities only play a role here if we have to select the player accordingly. however, there will be examples that will also work well on smartphones or other mobile players, as the transition is often seamless.

brief summary: our recommendations

our favourite

beyerdynamic dt 1990 pro

the beyerdynamic dt 1990 pro is one of the best open-back headphones and it’s also extremely affordable.

with the dt 1990 pro, beyerdynamic has made a real statement: originally designed as a very strong workhorse for studio use, open-back headphones have enjoyed great popularity among music lovers since the beginning of their career .

It comes with two pairs of ear tips, each of which allows for a slightly different pitch of the sound. the dt 1990 pro is one of the best and most durable headphones on the market, and it’s not even very expensive.

second position

sennheiser hd 800 s: very expensive, but the best overall quality

if this review was just about quality, this would have been the winner. however, we also consider price efficiency: how you can enjoy the best specifications at the lowest possible price.

the sennheiser hd 800 s is almost sinfully expensive, but it also falls into the luxury category. overall it has the best specs, but it’s too expensive.

the sennheiser hd 800 s is the evolution of the highly praised hd 800. a little tweaking here, a little optimization there, taking the wishes of hd 800 owners to heart and putting them into practice: the result is a gem which literally allows you to immerse yourself in the music from the first moment that generously covers your ears until the end.

Of course, there are headphones out there that cost several times the HD 800’s already exuberant price tag, but the music experience is only enhanced by nuance. money saved in this way is therefore better spent on proper software and enjoyed with the hd 800 s.

neumann ndh 20

The ndh 20 was originally conceived as a powerful tool in the recording studio.

See also: Human Headphones Review – They&39re Just Awful — GYMCADDY

neumann has been known for decades for its excellent studio microphones. studio speakers and now headphones have been added in recent decades. The NDH 20 was originally a German brand and is now also available in the US.

the best in customization options

dan clark audio aeon stream 2

the aeon flow 2 can be customized with the included filters.

the dan clark audio aeon flow 2 works on the magnetostatic converter principle. Although Dan Clark himself has already tweaked it to produce a great sound, the proud owner can still tweak the sound with three different filters.

It sells for just under $1,000 and so is certainly not one of the cheapest headsets out there. however the aeon is of high quality workmanship and luxuriously equipped, the sound is beyond question.

efficient price

mackie mc-450

the mc-450 has an open design and with its fresh and lively way of playing it conveys a good portion of fun.

the mackie mc-450 is an open headphone, making it more suitable for indoors than outdoors. is generously equipped, a total of three connection cables are included, one even with a microphone for use with a smartphone. On the go, headphones and accessories can be stored in the hard case. the sound is quite bright, although it hardly lacks depth.

comparison table

test winner: beyerdynamic dt 1990 pro

Actually, the beyerdynamic dt 1990 pro, as the name suggests, was designed for professional use in the studio; therefore, it is solidly built. the ear cushions are filled with memory foam so that they fit perfectly to the shape of the head around the ear: in this way, the listener guarantees its owner a comfortable fit even during longer listening sessions, even if they are left on sideways in the middle.

the beyerdynamic dt 1990 pro is one of the best open-back headphones and it’s extremely affordable.

the dt 1990 pro follows the open capsule design principle. Unlike high-end headphones, the connection cable only plugs into one capsule, namely the left one. both are due to professional use: both plug-in connection cable and single-sided cable routing; after all, you don’t want to get tangled up in the mess of cables in the recording studio or similar work environment. also, if the cable is routed on one side, you can immediately see how it should be placed around the receiver.

The downside is that the right pod has a slightly longer supply line that needs to be threaded through the mount from the left. anyone with such sensitive hearing that they actually hear a difference between the channels here should choose one of the alternatives.

fully equipped, solidly built

as a work tool should be, the dt 1990 pro is delivered in a hard case with a resistant surface. In addition to the headphones, there is still room for both connection cables, because in addition to the smooth cable, a coiled cable is also included. As standard, both cables have a small 3.5-millimeter plug into which the 6.35-millimeter adapter can be screwed. This adapter is also included in the scope of delivery, as is a second pair of ear tips. however, they are not intended as replacement parts, but instead set different accents in terms of sound.

good equipment and comfortable seat

The comfort created by the two cushions is equally good for both: they cover the ears generously and are also so thick that the ears do not hit or irritate anywhere. the dt 1990 pro as a working device has a higher contact pressure than, for example, the sennheiser hd 800 s.

The generously padded ear cushions and headband distribute pressure so evenly that the dt 1990 pro is comfortable to wear even during longer listening sessions, which is no doubt due to the fact that the ear cushions the ears are stuffed with memory foam.


hearing test

The dt 1990 pro manages to reproduce extremely well in three dimensions, and not only with this recording. the impression of sitting in front of the musician at a concert or in the recording studio is also supported by the headphones that respond quickly to the smallest details. so you can literally feel the plucking of the guitar strings and the vocal is not only sonorous, but also has the distinctive nuances that make it sound rough and snappy at times. the dt 1990s with this cushion is actually a very analytical headphone, however it didn’t dissect the music, it always plays dynamically, with a fast beat but as a unified whole.

after a few hours of analytical listening with a fun factor, we swapped the upholstery for the edt 1990vb, for balanced sound, whatever that means. then we found out immediately, although the exchange procedure is not easy, at least as long as one does not have a certain routine.

alternative pads to adjust the sound

even if a brief abs comparison is not possible, the difference in sound characteristics is quickly noticeable: the dt 1990 now comes with more pressure in the bass and fundamental range (although we hadn’t missed anything so far) , in any case, the b-pad takes some of the sharpness out of the tips without rounding them completely. the sound becomes a bit more pleasant, more relaxed, but without losing any of its speed and impulsiveness.

there’s no question about it, the dt 1990 pro is a truly exceptional talent and one of the most harmonious headphones we’ve heard so far in terms of tone. its strength lies in assuming the best musical structures appropriately without the music as a total work of art suffering. furthermore, the dt 1990 pro is available at almost a bargain price, at least given the experience that headphones that are twice as expensive don’t sound twice as good, let alone twice as well made. /p>


Now you might think that because of the hard case and the small 3.5 millimeter jack, the dt 1990 pro is also suitable for taking on the go. On the one hand, the open design of the capsules speaks against this, on the other hand, the beyerdynamic with an impedance of 250 ohms is one of the most demanding headphones in terms of source. on the other hand, it has a considerable degree of efficiency, so at least you can play games on the smartphone, but it falls well short of its capabilities, unless you add an external headphone amplifier to the smartphone. but then the environment also listens. however, that is the only flaw, if it is.

alternative headphones with detachable cables

The headphone market is huge, and in addition to the well-known brands, there are always new players in the field. therefore, we have selected some really cool alternatives to our favorites for you, which may feature very special abilities or equipment features, as well as special sound features.

sennheiser hd 800 s: expensive but very good

the hd 800 s is almost outrageously expensive, but it also falls into the category of “luxury items”.

the sennheiser hd 800 s is the ultimate high-end headphone, which is why only minor changes were made to it during its production run. while the predecessor hd 800 caused a sensation, the hd 800 s is better, which of course is also reflected in the price.

just a reminder: for a hd 800 s you get almost three units of our current favorite headphones with detachable cable, so the sennheiser must have a lot to offer, which is half justified for the price. however, it also has what it takes to become a prestigious object without wanting to neglect its musical qualities.

  • In addition to the standard connection cable, there is also one for balanced connection to a dedicated headphone amplifier.
  • The Sennheiser HD 800 S is the evolution of the HD 800.</li
  • the hd 800 s is stored in a sturdy fabric-lined box, the two cables from the scope of delivery can also be accommodated in it.
  • as it should be, the connection cables are connected individually, the headphones they are much lighter than they look and extremely comfortable with the large ear cups.
  • In addition to the standard connection cable, there is also one for balanced connection to a dedicated headphone amplifier.
  • the sennheiser hd 800 s is the evolution of the hd 800, that is, an improved model.

unlike most of its competitors, even the cheapest ones, the hd 800 s doesn’t come with a carry bag or hard case in the usual sense. It is a solid wooden case, lined with soft fabric, which provides adequate accommodation for the HD 800 S.

the sennheiser is definitely not designed for mobile devices, there’s just a large 6.35mm jack plug and the 300 ohm impedance should bring some smartphone output stages to their knees.

In addition to the connection cable with a 6.35 millimeter jack plug plugged on both sides, there is also one with a symmetrical plug, which is mainly intended for connection to high-quality amplifiers, a large 6 jack adapter, 35 millimeters to the small 3 .5 for mobile devices is not included.

The large, very comfortable ear pods, on the other hand, are an ergonomic delight, and not just for large ears.

the sennheiser is so generously built that you don’t even think about taking it with you on the train when it’s folded somehow, apart from the fact that it immediately catches the eye due to its eye-catching exterior.

When you put the receiver on, it’s unusually airy around the ears for headphones, and that’s what it sounds like. it gives music the space it immediately needs. the hd 800 s succeeds in drawing us towards the sound, in other words, really in the middle and not there. offers amazing resolution without particularly emphasizing details, it just reproduces them.

in terms of tone, the hd 800 s, as our favorite with the balanced cushions, is warm, with a fine base tone, rich low end without overdoing it, and a very finely broken mid-high range without ever sounding spiky or even upset. sennheiser turns music into a work of art in which some subtleties are discovered little by little, but always as part of the total work of art.

neumann ndh 20

Even if it is actually intended as a work device for studio and home recording, it still has some qualities that your friends outside the professional sector should also find. one of them is certainly the high level of comfort, but the most important thing is probably the sound quality of the neumann ndh 20.

plastic is scarce on the ndh 20, the receiver is made almost entirely of metal, which also explains the very high weight of almost 400 grams. however, the headband is so well padded and the ear cups are so large over the ears that the weight is well distributed. the upholstery also provides a very good seal against outside noise, which is particularly important for monitoring. after all, you don’t want to be disturbed while listening to your work. The cushions also provide a touch of individual adjustment because they are filled with memory foam so that they adapt optimally to the individual head shape and stay that way for some time.

  • The ear pads are made of memory foam and are very comfortable even for longer listening sessions.
  • A smooth, coiled cable as well as an adapter are also included in the scope of delivery . as a carrying bag for everything.
  • the connecting cables are plugged in and locked against removal.
  • the joints of the ndh 20 are made entirely of metal, and the distinctive logo is known to experts of the proven neumann microphones.
  • the ndh 20 is mainly used in recording studios

Two plug-in cables are included: one straight and one coiled. the coiled cable is often used when the distance to the hearing source must be kept variable within a certain range. therefore, when you move away from the source, the cable will give way, when you get closer, it will come back together without hanging. the ndh 20 fits together with the two cables and an adapter in the supplied carrying bag. It’s not designed for travel, but neither are headphones.

the ndh 20 vote is less perfunctory than the layman would sometimes suppose with the addition of “study”. the most noticeable feature in the first listening session is the very natural voice reproduction. Neumann headphones manage to give Diana Krall’s or Enya’s vocals almost some intimacy. the same applies to the acoustic instruments that are often used there, such as piano and guitar.

There are no annoying sibilant highs, unless they’re immortalized on the recording. the saxophone sounds particularly authentic and is so subtle and sovereign that you almost feel it instead of hearing it. where others like to turn up the level to hide the lack of depth, the bass simply rolls out of the ndh 20 and into the ear.

in terms of spatial imaging the ndh 20 has to admit defeat to listeners like the dt 1990 pro or even the hd 800 s even though the sennheiser costs almost three times as much and here we look at not only sound but also the relationship between quality and price

Anyone who has always wanted to listen to the sound engineer over their shoulder while listening to music, or simply wants to enjoy music pure and in all its facets, is sure to be well served with the NDH 20. It costs nothing and due Processing is an acquisition for life.

dan clark audio aeon stream 2

the aeon flow 2 can be customized with the provided filters.

Despite its rather massive appearance at first glance, the aeon flow 2 isn’t particularly heavy. The ear-friendly, oval-shaped capsules and ear cushions ensure a comfortable fit, and when the adjustable headband adjusts to the correct head size, nothing stands in the way of longer listening sessions.

almost nothing, because we cannot deny that the aeon needs a powerful amplifier to fully develop its sound quality. it can be a hi-fi device, whose headphone output can possibly be adapted, or a separate headphone amplifier. therefore, the aeon is not suitable for mobile devices.

  • filters can be inserted in a very short time.
  • the aeon flow 2 is a development of headphone specialist dan clark.
  • the connection cable is plugged in on both sides, special high-quality plugs are used here.
  • in addition to the connection cable and adapter, the aeon flow 2 comes with three sets of filters to adjust the sound. everything fits neatly into the carrying case.
  • filters can be inserted in no time.
  • the aeon flow 2 is a development of headphone specialist dan clark.

The effort is well worth it, however, rarely do we have the pleasure of playing on headphones so casually and naturally. the aeon reproduces the entire frequency spectrum with no audible bias. it offers a clean reproduction of the mid-high range and, therefore, an almost three-dimensional space.

the aeon also boldly takes on the low-frequency range with a similar ease and sovereignty that we were able to admire with the neumann. The piano on some of the Vangelis recordings sounds a bit freer and airier, with more ambiance than on Neumann’s. the aeon knows how to convince immediately, and only in direct comparison with other favorites does a certain desire to experiment arise in order to test the supplied filters.

filters can be clearly distinguished and used even more easily. however, one should refrain from changing actions hastily, because individual coordination requires time and leisure. so put on your first filters and listen to music for a long time. then insert the second one and hear the same pieces intensely again. you can continue this to the third set of filters to find the ideal settings for the aeon 2 stream.

However, you can also tune the headphones according to the music or even according to your own mood, there are almost unimaginable possibilities, so for some, the problem of the headphones should end for the time being with the purchase of the flow of aeon 2 .

mackie mc-450: if price matters

the mc-450 has an open construction, with its lively and fresh playing style, it conveys a good portion of fun.

mackie actually makes studio electronics. however, a good studio also needs reliable headphones to be able to check the recording or mix directly. After the first successful placements in the economy segment, the manufacturer has now managed to catch up with the mc-450.

See also: How to Connect Bluetooth Headphones to Oculus Quest 2 – Home Automation

Speaking of connections: the mackie mc-450 can easily be connected to a cell phone due to its low impedance and high sensitivity. the matching cable with in-line microphone, which is included in the scope of delivery, underlines the mobile ambitions of the headset. however, you won’t have much fun outdoors with the open build, so we see the most good piece in the fixed indoor headset.

However, those who use their smartphone or other mobile device for recording will of course find the ideal companion in the Mackie MC-450, although the closed MC-350 should certainly figure better here.

However, it certainly doesn’t hurt if all options are open in terms of connectivity, especially as the mackie comes with a roomy hard case in which all cables and adapters, including headphones of course, are safe. and protected. hosted.

In addition to the extremely extensive equipment, the mackie mc-450 can also convince in terms of sound. they quickly become the lively, dynamic type of headphones and are especially fun with modern music. it reproduces vocals aptly, but with strong s-sounds, it often does too well and sounds correspondingly spiky. it doesn’t go uncompromisingly deep into the bass cellar, but it also doesn’t try to cover this shortfall with a higher level of upper bass.

Overall, with the mackie mc-450 you get a complete, worry-free package at a really low price. Those who tend to walk the classical path musically will be better served by the Sennheiser HD 600. As for equipment, there are hardly any alternatives to the Mackie at this price point.

sennheiser hd600

The Sennheiser HD 600 has been on the market for some time, a sign that the engineers did a lot of things right when developing these open-back headphones. in fact, the listener sits so comfortably from the start that you can no longer feel it at all. the velor cushions enclose the ears generously and also distribute the already moderate pressure exerted by the temple over a large area.

The connection cable is plugged in on both sides and, as is customary in the high-end sector, is routed separately on the left and right from the headset to the socket. clear color coding from plugs to capsules makes it impossible to mix channels.

  • the hd 600 is housed in a solid case.
  • correspondingly, the connection cable plugs into both sides.
  • the old heathered design brings back memories of times gone by, the 2019 version is kept simple in black.
  • there is only one connection cable with 35mm jack and a 6.35mm adapter.
  • the sennheiser hd 600 has been on the market for a long time, and there is a new design since 2021, fortunately without any impact on the sound.

the hd 600 ships in a sturdy cardboard box, but you won’t find a hard case or similar carrying option for everyday use. the sennheiser is not designed for mobile devices. this is also guaranteed by the very high impedance of 300 ohms, where most mobile devices with their limited output can fail miserably: the hd 600 must be connected to the hifi system or, if desired, to a separate headphone amplifier .

Here it can really unfold: it sounds big and, with its three-dimensional sound reproduction, creates a wide and deep stage. It sounds extremely authentic and you quickly forget that you’re even wearing headphones. despite his relaxed and light playing style, whose tonality is a bit reminiscent of the hd 800, he also still goes for dynamism.

Recordings of large classical orchestras in particular can unmask some test subjects. although many headphones, especially the more expensive ones, manage to reproduce very long tutti without distortion, if you then put the hd 600 on, you often just hear finer nuances and more detail, and not separated with acoustic clips, but rather confidently and like a just poured.

of course the hd 600 is also fully suitable for modern music styles. for a listener with an open build, it goes uncannily deep into the basement of the bass, so it does the music justice in a crisp and precise rather than rugged way. however, the bass has to be at the source, because nothing thickens.

the new edition of the hd 600 in 2021 shows with a new design that sennheiser is also taking into account the changed taste, everything remains as before. however, the price is quite stable, so the headphones are no longer our price advice, which in no way disqualifies them as a good investment.

fostex th 900 mk ii

We received two devices of the fostex th 900 mkii for testing: the red lacquered standard model and the sapphire blue edition version, a mere 300 units to be precise. the special blue model is correspondingly more expensive, currently you have to pay between 200 and 400 dollars more. the high-gloss finish is just as impressive as all the headphones. only the best materials are used for the th 900 mkii: the best cherry wood for the capsules, the best protein leather for all the upholstery, and precision-milled aluminum for the forks and joints. Despite the high material usage, the Fostex weighs just over 400 grams less than we initially assumed. The weight is optimally distributed by the finely adjustable, well-padded headband and the thick, soft ear cushions, so that the th 900 mkii does not get in the way even after hours of listening.

  • the processing of the bow mechanism is beyond question.
  • the fostex th900 mk2 is available in two versions: painted in red and as a special limited edition painted in blue.

In addition to the quality of processing, the equipment is also of the highest level: although it does not have a hard case, the Fostex comes with a solid stand on which the jewel can be beautifully presented when it is not in your ears. so that the fine high-gloss lacquer does not lose its shine due to unpleasant dust grains, a soft leather bag is included in which the headphones and the connection cable disappear completely.

In terms of sound, the spirits differ: to top it off, the two brothers are tuned differently: the blue anniversary edition of the th 900 mkii has a more neutral tuning than the red version. bass and treble are a bit more subdued than on the standard red model. however, this does not detract from the perfectly spatially reproduced sound: with the right recording, the fostex, whether red or blue, places the musicians acoustically precisely on the imaginary stage.

Unlike its open sibling, the th 909, the th 900 mkii in red shows a bit more oomph, provides more bite in the treble, and a louder, drier, more precise bass, just the way it should be.

there’s no doubt about it, the th 900 mkii is a really fun device that conveys a huge joy to play and always remains solid and colorless in terms of tone. the fostex is one of the best closed back headphones – the red one, mind you, because the blue one is exhausted and not as much fun due to its more neutral coordination.

sandyaudio aiva

manufacturer sendyaudio is still fairly unknown here – mistakenly, after all, the aiva is not a headphone like any other. instead of dynamic drivers, magnetostatic drivers are used here: this is technically more complex, but if implemented well, it’s a special kind of sound experience.


  • the sandyaudio aiva is still quite new on the market, one of the best affordable headphones with a magnetostatic converter.
  • the scope of delivery also includes a hard case, the connection cable for plug in, then put away in the cloth bag.
  • The design takes some getting used to.
  • The ear pods are made of solid wood.
  • /ul>

    The fact that the patch cord is coiled may make electrical sense, but the thin, transparent insulation does not. however, with one cable and two adapters, you have all connection situations fully under control: the starting point is the mounted symmetrical pentaconn connector, to which a small 3.5-millimeter jack can be plugged with an adapter cable, which in turn can be connected to the 6 connector, 35 millimeters expands.

    Weighing in at nearly 450 grams (a pound), the aiva is certainly not one of the lightweights, which is certainly not entirely due to the high proportion of metal in the frame’s construction. overall, the headphones are of high build quality and are moreover sustainable, because even the adjustable headband can be easily replaced if necessary after loosening two screws. Despite its weight, it sits comfortably on your head and ears, which are generously covered by the large, soft cushions.

    Then there’s the familiar airy, light sound experience of large-area thin membranes, with a pleasing fundamental range and finely resolved mids. right at the bottom of the basement it steps back, the same thing happens at the other end of the frequency band, even if this is only noticeable in direct comparison with the corresponding coordinated competition.

    the aiva pampers you with a spacious and harmonious scenic image. with proper recording, the musicians place themselves neatly in the depth and width of the acoustically represented space. The Aiva is currently one of the cheapest ways to enjoy the great sound that high-end headphones can deliver.

    fostex th909

    the fostex th 909 is, so to speak, the open version of the th 900 mkii, also the edition with blue lacquered capsules made of cherry wood. in this case, there is no difference in sound with the standard version painted in red. If you like the look of the blue special edition better, it’s time to get your hands on it: it’s limited to 300 units in the us. uu.

    the fostex th 909 also conveys a huge spatial representation of what happens in the music and in this respect it is on a par with sennheiser’s hd 800 s, also of open construction. In terms of tone, it is very similar to closed blue and therefore somewhat more reserved in the bass than, for example, the Sennheiser.

    the mid-high range is a little more present in the th 909, but without sounding sharp or even annoying in the upper registers. in any case, the fostex th 909 is also worth listening to, which is recommended anyway if you want to spend that much money on headphones.


    hifiman can already refer to a great experience in the production of headphones that work with magnetostatic transducers. The Ananda is priced above the entry-level Sundara and, along with this, significantly below the manufacturer’s main class. in terms of sound, it is above the other two headphones in our test, which work on the same transducer principle, namely the quad era-1 and the aiva from sendyaudio, both in terms of tonality and spatial representation of sound. musical events. however, the ananda has to admit clear negative points compared to the mentioned competitors: both are slightly better equipped, but what weighs more is that the two cheaper competitors are much better processed.

    however, if you only value the airy, spherical sound of a magnetostatic device and can live with the somewhat lax workmanship, the ananda comes very close to the ideal.

    quad epoch-1

    the era-1 quad is the third of the group that works with magnetostatic converters. for this and in view of the excellent workmanship, it is surprisingly economical. In terms of equipment, it’s no slouch either: in addition to the hard case and two connection cables, the complete package also includes two pairs of ear tips, which, like our favourite, allow fine tuning of the sound.

    the era-1 also offers an amazing spatial representation of the music, it plays very open and airy, especially in the mid-high range, it offers a somewhat warmer sound overall than ananda for example, but still thus it does not lack the necessary brightness in the upper registers. With the smooth and perforated upholstery, the mids are slightly more muffled compared to the mixed suede and leatherette upholstery, giving the listener a slight sonic character. cushions can be easily repositioned.

    Unfortunately, the headband is too big, at least for us. for a perfect fit over the ears, we have to lift the earphones slightly. this is annoying, especially since there are many people whose heads are even smaller, or the shape of the head is unfortunately impossible for the era-1 quad. if the quad era-1 suits you (be sure to try it out beforehand), you’ll get headphones with fine sound tuning and excellent workmanship.

    akg k712 pro

    the akg k712 pro is a clone of the k702 that has been around for a long time and is still available. you also have to like the 712 pro, or rather its tuning. In a direct comparison with most of the other models in the test, the low frequency range is lost, which doesn’t mean the 712 Pro doesn’t deliver bass, it just exercises a lot of restraint here.

    Voices, whether from male or female performers, benefit from this concentration on the mid-high range, and the spatial reproduction of the soundstage is also extremely accurate for the akg. Due to its low weight, which is also very well distributed when worn, it sits very comfortably on the ears and invites you to listen for a long time, as long as you can do without the punch on the bass.

    ultrasound pro 1480i

    The Ultrasone Pro 1480i is the first affordable headset with an open design from a German manufacturer. in terms of sound, his focus is less on styles that mix with a lot of bass, his specialty is classical music and especially vocal. here it is in top form.

    Similarly, you should hear the pro 580i from the same series, which we may also test in detail soon.

    shure srh1440

    shure srh1440 works on the open principle and is one of the most powerful open headphones in this price range. Due to the design, it doesn’t go down as deep into the basement of the bass, but it is extremely accurate and provides an impressive spatial image.

    The kit includes a set of spare ear pads and a spare plug-in cable. the srh1440 is quite bright, with a very good mid-high resolution. it also provides an amazingly wide stage and lets the music literally breathe. Due to its open design, it is not suitable for deep bass fetishists: the bass is reproduced in a rich and contoured way, but it does not reach the depth of its closed colleagues.

    the shure is definitely more than adequate to enjoy cultured music at a modest price.

    sennheiser hd 660s

    sennheiser hd 660 s: a bit dull at first, even compared to the hd 600, which plays much more freely. The HD 660 plays more muted in the treble than the 800S, which can no longer be argued with stress-free high-frequency reproduction. that changes a bit when you turn up the level, it seems to be quite picky impedance/sensitivity wise. All in all, we’d prefer the hd 600 here, especially since it’s also available in an at least externally revised 2021 version, if you don’t like the marbled design.

    fostex t50rp mk3

    the semi-open system of the fostex t50rp mk3 has a very balanced sound. unfortunately, if there is no good player, the headphones sound too low.

    therefore, the smartphone is not the ideal solution for fostex, so we cannot recommend it. if you don’t mind, you get a lot of ears for the unbeatable price of $150.

    philips fidelio x2

    the philips fidelio x2 is also an open listener, but in terms of deciding which is better, it’s nothing like the akg and it’s better.

    rather it covers the lower frequency ranges and offers a stronger bass.

    warranty with philips is always better, which is why we decided that philips should qualify on our list.

    akg k702

    I didn’t like the bass reproduction on this device

    the akg k702 is open and invites the people sitting next to you on the train to listen. in terms of sound, especially the classical pieces are reproduced very well. reproduction is neutral and harmonious.

    however, in terms of bass reproduction, it doesn’t come close to our favorites, so it’s discarded.

    See also: The JDS Labs Objective 2 Review – All Things Must Pass – Home Studio Basics

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