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Audio46 is looking for our next YouTube star and we think it’s you.

Do you light-up on camera? Do you love headphones? Could you battle for or against headphone burn-in in a heartbeat? Then we want you.

Even if you aren’t all of those things (maybe just a fan of Audio 46) we want you too!

SEEKING: Individuals who are interested in purchasing a headphone to make a ONE TIME appearance on our channel. We will be choosing more than one personality. Audiophiles, tech geeks, and all-around headphone enthusiasts you’ll be excited to know you’ll receive a voucher for up to 25% off of your headphone purchase. It could in fact be made that day (*restrictions apply, see below).

Apply now for a chance to experience Audio46 to the fullest. As our guest reviewer you’ll get the chance to perform hearing tests, product reviews, and more on behalf of Audio 46 to our eager, growing, and engaged following of 10K on YouTube.

Responsibilities:

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Have Fun!

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Please send in a brief message about why you should be our next YouTube star and the headphone you are interested in reviewing along with a clear head shot (does not need to be professional) to info@audio46.com with subject line “Audio46 Next YouTube Star.”

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*Please note those selected to participate will be contacted directly and required to sign a release.

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Focal Listen Wireless vs. Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT Headphone Comparison

Focal Listen Wireless and Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT headphone comparison

Manufacturers Focal and Audio Technica both have brand new wireless over-ear headphones out on the market which begs the question… which one is better? The headphone experts at Audio46 are always on the case and we’re definitely up to the challenge of putting these two high-quality wireless headphones up for comparison to see which is the better buy.

 

Tech Specs Comparison Chart

Considering these are both wireless over-ear headphones at the same price point we should begin by looking at the specifications on a side by side comparison chart. This can help us narrow down which headphones might have better features and options for the same price. Let’s take a look.

Focal Listen Wireless Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT
Headphone Type closed-back / over-ear closed-back / over-ear
Driver Type Dynamic Dynamic
Frequency Response 15Hz – 22kHz 5Hz – 40kHz
Impedance 32 Ohms 35 Ohms
Sensitivity 122dB SPL 100 dB/mW
Battery Life up to 20hrs up to 15hrs
Aux Input Analog 3.5mm Included Digital USB Type B Inlcuded
Microphone Yes / 2 Built-In Yes / 1 Built-In
Bluetooth Version Bluetooth 4.1 Bluetooth 4.2
NFC Wireless Connect N/A YES
Wireless Range Approx 50 feet Approx 33 feet
Supported Codecs aptX aptX HD, aptX, AAC, SBC
Carrying Case Soft Case Soft Case

Focal Listen Wireless – Features and Sound

As you can see, the Focal Listen Wireless headphone has some great specs. The frequency range tops out at 22kHz, has a range of up to 50 feet and lasts up to 20 hours on a charge. The Listen Wireless uses a 40mm titanium/mylar driver and features 2 built-in microphones. The double microphone system, called “Clear Voice Capture” is designed to improve voice reception during phone calls.

The sound of the Focal Listen Wireless is engineered for many different types of music but works best with pop, rock, electronic and hip-hop. The combination of the 22kHz top-end and punchy bass makes for an exciting music experience. In addition to the pleasant multi-genre friendly sound signature you’ll find that the Listen Wireless headphone gets quite good volume for a Bluetooth headphone.

Audio Technica – Features and Sound

The Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT on the other hand has a very wide frequency range. Designed for audiophile listening on the go, the ATH-DSR7BT is a premium over-ear, closed-back headphone with a frequency range of 5Hz to 40,000Hz. The ATH-DSR7BT is unique in that it can only connect to sources via digital wireless or USB wired connection. This headphone does not have an analog aux cable option as it would reduce the overall quality of the sound.

The ATH-DSR7BT uses exclusive 45mm True Motion Drivers that bring the digital signal directly from the source without adding an analog conversion. The result is a crisp, clear reproduction of the original source material. The ATH-DSR7BT wireless headphone also works well with many genres but has the benefit of sounding great with symphonic and jazz genres as well. Any type of music recorded digitally will sound exceptional too. The digital nature of the ATH-DSR7BT allow incredible detail and accurate reproduction of any track you listen to.

Final Comparison

The Focal Listen Wireless and Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT both have their pros and cons. Based on features alone you might find the ATH-DSR7BT to be the better of the two. But the Listen Wireless has a fun sound signature and style that many music fans are going to love. Whether you’re a choosy audiophile looking for the best sound possible or an everyday listener either headphone will definitely please your sonic hunger. Priced at just under $300, the ATH-DSR7BT and the Listen Wireless are the best wireless, over-ear headphones in that price range. If you’re looking for the latest in Bluetooth headphones for not too much money stop by Audio46 Headphone Store and compare these two amazing headphones and decide for yourself.

ORDER ONLINE

Get the best price for the Focal Listen Wireless Headphone at Audio46 Headphone Store

Focal Listen Wireless Headphone

 

 

Get the best price for the Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT at Audio46 Headphone Store

Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT Headphone

Audio Technica ATH-SR7BT Wireless Headphone Review – Possibly The Best Wireless Headphone of 2017

Audio Technica has been on a roll this year with many new headphones. They’ve covered much ground with several new in-ear headphones as well as over-ear headphones. The best part is that Audio Technica is breaking new ground in terms of sound quality and design The Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT Wireless headphone is a prime example of this ground breaking headphone technology. Just like the recently released ATH-DSR9BT, the DSR7BT uses a special Direct To Drive digital technology enabling crystal clear sound via Bluetooth or NFC connection. Audio46 has one of the first of the DSR7BT headphones to hit the streets so let’s treat it to a full review to see if it’s worth the hype.

Audio Technica ATH-SR7BT Wireless Headphone Review

IN THE BOX

Inside the box you’ll get the fine looking ATH-SR7BT headphone, user manual, carrying bag, and extended USB cable for charging and connecting to your computer for hi-res digital audio.

The Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT comes with Manual, Carrying Bag and USB Cable.

BUILD

Design / Style

The Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT wireless headphone is built really well. In the vain of the ATH-MSR7 headphone, the DSR7BT has comfortable earpads and headband. The headphone frame feels solid and adjusting the best fit is easy. The dark grey color is sophisticated and not flashy. Just based on image alone it looks like a desirable piece of audio technology.

The controls on the DSR7BT headphone are minimal and easy to use. Flipping the on switch automatically engages Bluetooth pairing mode which will either search for a new device or connect to a previously connected device. Play and Pause are an all-in-one sensor and the volume switch doubles as a track switch. You can also make calls from your smartphone using the built in microphone.

Durability / Portability / Comfort

The Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT wireless headphone is designed for maximum comfort. This relatively sturdy headphone has that classic Audio Technica build and quality that audiophiles have come to expect with their award winning headphones. The DSR7BT folds flat and stores in the provided carrying bag for easy transportation to any destination. All in all the DSR7BT meets all my expectations for a durable, portable and comfortable headphone that’s sure to last many years.

Other Features

The big deal about the latest Audio Technica wireless headphones is the Direct to Drive Digital Technology. Inside the ATH-DSR7BT headphone the digital signal is received and routed directly to the 45mm drivers without an additional D/A converter. In addition, the DSR7BT uses aptX, AAC, SBC and Qualcomm aptX HD codecs for the best digital sound possible. You can also get pure Hi-Res Audio sound by using the provided USB cable which plugs right into your computer’s USB port.

Another notable thing about the ATH-DSR7BT headphone is that there’s no aux cable. That means there’s no 3.5mm (1/8″) port available on this headphone. It’s out there on the fringe with only Bluetooth, NFC or USB digital connections. It’s quite a bold move. The rechargeable battery lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge. Not bad for a high quality, hi-res wireless headphone.

Connect the ATH-DSR7BT direct to your computer via USB for Hi-Res Audio

SOUND

The Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT wireless headphone shines in all the important categories but it’s the sound that makes this headphone a contender for best new headphone of 2017. For starters the SR7BT has a frequency range of 5Hz to 40,000Hz giving you the feel of high resolution even when simply streaming compressed tracks. But when you hook this thing up to a player capable of aptX codec audio, the range and clarity kick up exponentially. Uncompressed files, even Flac files sound amazing with a clarity you never thought possible in a Bluetooth headphone.

The best way to describe the overall sound of this headphone is luxurious. The bass is full and yet not too heavy. The mid-frequencies are crisp and ready to go no matter what genre you’re listening to. The top-end is pleasing to the ear in an indescribable way. They’re not harsh but rather harmonic and beautiful. Hi-Res files sound even better of course making this an amazing wireless headphone for the price.

SUMMARY

To sum it up the Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT hits all the right spots for a wireless over-ear headphone. It’s durable, comfortable, built with precision and sounds incredible. It’s very similar to the ATH-DSR9BT with less of the extras like a hard case. But the DSR7BT has the advantage as a high quality, wireless audiophile headphone for under $300. Considering these things altogether the ATH-DSR7BT might just be one of the best headphones of the year.

Come on over to Audio46 Headphone Store and see for yourself what this new headphone from Audio Technica has to offer. You can always get the best price online at Audio46 by using the checkout code “welcome46“.

Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT wireless headphone with Pure Digital Drive

SPECIFICATIONS

Type – Dynamic
Driver – Diameter 45 mm
Frequency Response – 5 – 40,000 Hz
Sensitivity – 100 dB/mW
Impedance – 35 ohms
Battery – 3.7V rechargeable lithium polymer battery
Battery Life – Approx. 15 hours continuous use (1,000 hours standby)
Charging Time – Approx. 4 hours (for 0-100% charge) Depending on environmental conditions
Weight – 300 g (10.6 oz), without cable
Accessories Included – 2.0 m (6.6′) USB charging cable, carrying pouch
Type (Microphone) – condenser
Sensitivity (Microphone) -44 dB (1V/Pa a 1 kHz)
Frequency Response (Microphone) 50 – 4,000 Hz
Polar Pattern (Microphone) omnidirectional

The Audio Technica ATH-DSR7BT is designed with comfort in mind

Audio Technica SR9 Review

Audio Technica SR9 Review

Having been released a while ago, but just now reaching my review desk, the Audio Technica SR9 is begging for a review.  Here at Audio46, we’re unabashed fans of everything Audio Technica.  But with a price of $449, how does this headphone sound?

Audio Technica SR9 Review

Audio Technica SR9 ReviewThe SR9 comes with two 4 ft (1.2 m) detachable cables.  One cable sports a built-in mic and remote, and both cables utilize A2DC connections.  Also included is a hard carrying case.

Not unlike the much-lauded MSR7 in appearance and feel, the SR9 exudes a certain air of quality.  The headphones are solidly built, with thick, durable cables that won’t disappoint.  And they’re also built with a lay-flat design for easy transport.

Pleather padding on the earcups and headband offer a high level of comfort, too.

Specs

Frequency Range:  5-45,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance:  47 ohms
Sound Pressure Level:  97 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion: NA

These specs reveal a headphone with a surprisingly wide frequency range.  The impedance was also a bit shocking, as well – I was expecting something along the lines of 32 ohms or less.  In all honesty, though, while not as efficient, 47 ohms is still apt enough for mobile use.

Volume shouldn’t be an issue, as 97 dB is fairly close to standard Sound Pressure Level.  Finally, total harmonic distortion isn’t given by the good folks at Audio Technica, but I’d posit that it’s somewhere around the <0.2% mark.

Low End

With strong, emotive bass and decent detail, the low end on the SR9 offers an impressive listening experience.  This is helped along by a competent sense of control, minimizing any bleed and keeping the sound clean.  In all, this part of the frequency range is powerful without being too overpowering.

Mids

The midrange provides good detail and fidelity for the price.  While there may be the slightest amount of distortion in the upper mids, it’s hardly a deal breaker.  Only noticeable with some vocals, this slight hiccup is hardly enough to condemn these otherwise-immaculate mids.

High End

Bright with tons of detail, the high end on the SR9 is the real selling point of this headphone.  While the strong high end can wax just a tad bit piercing on the highest high notes, the sound is never too uncomfortable.

Soundstage

With good placement and depth, the soundstage here is incredibly lifelike.  More than a match for symphonies or complicated tracks, the realism of the SR9 livens up just about any track you can throw at it.

Other Observations

Comfort is much more noticeable as opposed to other Audio Technica models.  The headband is a bit wider than the one on the MSR7 – a sole point of contention for many of us here at Audio46.  Where the SR9 is concerned, though, fatigue is very much a non-issue.  But you may want to have food and water stocked up somewhere nearby, because these things are difficult to part with once you have a listen.

Recommendations

There are plenty of bass-heavy models from Sennheiser and Audeze that one could choose from.  But no other headphone at this price really offers the balance of highs and lows like the SR9.  Truth be told, this headphone will shine with just about any genre you throw at it, but the lifelike sound and even-keeled profile will definitely entice beginner audiophiles.

Final Analysis

At a price of $449, the Audio Technica SR9 offers and impressive mix of balanced sound and lifelike soundstage.  Add to this equation some fantastic build quality and next-level comfort, and you’ve got a recipe for sonic bliss.

See more in the Audio Technica Store at Audio46!

Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote Review

Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote Review

I’ve always been a fan of Beyerdynamic’s high end headphones, so I’ve been itching to get my hands on the new Xelento Remote. This high-end earphone retails for a cool $999, and if Beyerdynamic’s past successes are any indication, this earphone is destined to sound amazing. But does it live up to that expectation? And how does it stack up to the competition?

Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote Review

Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote Review

The Xelento comes packaged with some accessories, including two silver plated cables (one of which sports a remote), ten pairs of eartips, a carrying case, a cable clip, and some a quick-start guide.

With a strong, durable build, the earpieces seem like they could take a fair amount of abuse.  The 4 ft (1.3 m) detachable cables are equally solid.  Comfort is amazing, thanks to the ergonomic design of the earpieces.  Rest assured, these babies won’t be causing you any ear fatigue.

Specs

Frequency Range:  8-48,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance:  16 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL):  110 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD):  NA

As you can see from the specs, the Xelento boasts an expansive frequency range.  The low impedance is perfect for portable devices and smartphones.  Sound pressure level is decent, so volume shouldn’t be a problem.  Lastly, distortion isn’t rated by Beyerdynamic, but the overwhelmingly clean sound leads me to believe it lands somewhere around the <0.1% mark.

Low End

The low end on the Xelento is marked by a decent bass – not too stong, but still lively. Ample detail also makes an appearance here, and good control minimizes bleed. The lack of any real distortion or bleed leads to a clean, articulate low end – just what I would expect from Beyerdynamic.

Mids

There’s some great detail at play in the mids. Again, this part of the frequency range is void of any distortion or compression, leading to a clean and articulate sound for instrumentation or vocals. All in all, this is a very competent midrange.

High End

A tad bit bright but sparkling with detail, the highs of the Xelento are well-executed. Some trickier tracks revealed an earphone with a tendency to sound a bit peaky where the highest high notes are concerned – especially with shrill violins. However, this may just be byproduct of extreme accuracy – as exacting as those high notes sound, the Xelento’s high end never becomes too uncomfortable.

Soundstage

With good depth and good placement, the Beyerdynamic Xelento offers an very impressive soundstage. There’s a certain realism to the sound that I’ve seen in only a few other top-notch earphones (like the Shure SE846, and some of the high-end Final Audio products).

Other Observations

Thanks to some next-level clarity and separation, the sound on this earphone remains fairly roomy at all times. There’s a huge impression of separation and space, even with simpler compositions.

Fit remains comfortable yet light no matter how long I use these earphones. Even after an hour or two, there’s no fatigue or discomfort.

Efficiency is another hallmark of the Xelento. At just ?????? ohms, this earphone requires only a fraction of the power needed to drive other models. Saving myself battery life while reducing my playback volume to a measly 40%, what’s not to love?

Recommendations

For those seeking rich dynamic sound, the Beyerdynamic Xelento is a shoe-in. The sheer amount of detail and fantastic soundstage easily place this earphone in competition with the more established Shure SE846. While both of these earphones retail for the same price, the Shure may have a slight edge where midrange fidelity is concerned. However, the Xelento sports a roomier sound with greater separation.

Personally, I’d opt for the Xelento, but only because I prefer being able to hear every layer of detail in a track, as opposed to slightly more true-to-life upper mids. Really, though, it all boils down to personal preference. I highly recommend prospective buyers audition

Final Analysis

The Beyerdynamic Xelento will strike you as a hard-hitting, highly-accurate beast. And with ample detail and a spacious, dynamic sound, I’d expect nothing less. To be sure, the price tag may be a bit staggering for the casual consumer, but dedicated audiophiles will be more than happy to audition this competent earphone alongside the more mainstream Shure SE846.

Hi-Res Earphones With Balanced Bass – Final Audio E3000 Earphone Review

The headphone masters at Final Audio have two new earphones on the market, the E2000 and E3000. Each headphone has a similar design and look but have slightly different sound signatures to suit the preferences of audiophiles specific tastes. The E3000 in particular is one of the most talked about and favored of these two in-ear headphones and at a price of just under $55 there’s a rush to find out exactly what makes this earphone so good. Let’s take a closer look and see what the Final Audio E3000 has under the hood.

Final Audio E3000 Earphone Review

Design / Features

The Final Audio E3000 features a machined stainless steel housing with a shiny mirrored finish. On the back of the earphone housing is a unique stainless steel mesh backing designed to extend the reproduction of low frequencies while preventing excessive sound leakage with an inner filter. The E3000 also features a special flexible cable designed to reduce noise and offers a better more comfortable fit.

One other design feature worth mentioning in the Final Audio E3000 is a burn-in or aging time. Because of the apertures on the stainless steel backing, the E3000 has an average burn-in time of 150-200 hours of regular use wherein the sound of the earphone actually “sweetens” or improves.

Included In The Box

The E3000 includes optional earhooks that can be used to keep them firmly in place for active listeners. In addition, the Final Audio E3000 earphone includes a handy carrying pouch for storage and 5 sets of ear tips for the perfect fit and ideal sound isolation.

Sound Signature

Both of the Final Audio E Series earphones are designed with audiophiles in mind who are looking for hi-res sound at an affordable price. The big difference in the E3000 is the slight boost in the bass. This added boost gives extra life to music genres like EDM, hip-hop, rock and pop. As with the E2000, the E3000 hi-res earphone also adds a nice amount of soundstage that expands the depth of your music listening experience.

Final Review

In conclusion, the Final Audio E3000 hi-res earphone responds well to compressed and uncompressed / lossless files like wav flac and m4a as well as streaming files from services like Spotify. The compact size and stainless steel design make the E3000 an incredible audiophile style earphone that you can take anywhere. Music fans seeking balanced bass earphones will definitely find the E3000 to be the perfect amount of high fidelity sound without detracting from the overal mix. At just under $55, the Final Audio E3000 is an earphone that will deliver great sound without breaking the budget.

Buy the Final Audio E3000 Hi-Res Earphone at Audio46 Headphone Store

Fiio X1 (2nd Gen) – The Affordable, Portable Hi-Res Music Player

Portable lossless media players can get expensive. Some brands have players that cost thousands of dollars. But finding a nice, portable, hi-resolution music player doesn’t have to break the bank. Fiio is a manufacturer that has several high-quality lossless music players and their most affordable model is the X1 at just under $100. This handy device is small enough to fit in your pocket and can hold up to 256 Gigabytes of your favorite music. Let’s take a closer look at the Fiio X1 (2nd Generation) music player.

Fiio X1 (2nd Gen) – The Affordable, Portable Hi-Res Music Player

The Fiio X1 (2nd Generation) High-Resolution Lossless Music Player is a compact, portable device designed to store and play your music files on the go. The X1 Digital Audio Player uses the Texas Instruments PCM5242 DAC chip for exceptional sound quality and an Intersil ISL28291 sound buffer. It has 1 MicroSD slot capable of handling as much as 256GB of storage. Plus this handy little player can play APE, FLAC, WAV, AIFF and ALAC hi-res file formats. The X1 (2nd Gen) can also play low-res formats like MP2, MP3, AAC, WMA, and OGG.

All the controls you need are easily accessible on the X1 (2nd Gen). You have Play, Pause, Volume, Scroll Wheel, Select Track and Back buttons for quick access to your music library. Also on the X1 you have a standard 3.5mm (1/8″) jack for headphones as well as Bluetooth capabilities for wireless headphones. And the built in rechargeable battery lasts up to 15 hours.

Stream music wireless to your headphones or speakers via Bluetooth 4.0

 

The Fiio X1 (2nd Gen) has a several other useful features as well. For starters the X1 has an In-Vehicle mode that reacts to the start and stop of the vehicle. When your vehicle starts, so does the Fiio X1. And when you turn off your car, the X1 shuts down. The Fiio X1 also features a deep-sleep standby mode which means you can access and play your music quickly without having to reboot. Shutting down in-between uses is not necessary as the X1 music player will initiate deep-sleep mode when not in use. And finally Fiio has added in-line control to the X1 player which means you can start and stop tracks as well as control volume with most headphone in-line controls (excluding Apple).

The Fiio X1 (2nd Gen) music player is packed with features and yet only weighs 102g (3.6oz). The 2 inch color display features a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels and the sturdy aluminum alloy body measures just 97mm x 55.5mm x 12mm. You can get the Fiio X1 music player in 3 sophisticated colors… Silver, Rose Gold or Black.

Take a look at the full specs of the amazing and affordable pocket sized hi-resolution player from Fiio and decide for yourself. It’s easily one of the best portable music players and it’s just under $100. Get your Fiio X1 Hi-Res Player for the cheapest price at Audio46

 

Fiio X1 (2nd Gen) The Affordable, Portable Hi-Res Music Player

 

 

Connections
Output Line / Headphone: 1/8″ / 3.5 mm
Headphone Impedance Range 16 to 100 Ohms
Line Output
THD + N ≤0.003% (1 kHz)
Frequency Response 5 Hz to 60 kHz
Crosstalk ≥101 dB (10 kOhms / 1 kHz)
Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) ≥115 dBA
Dynamic Range ≥107 dB
Line Output Level 1.7 Vrms (10 kOhms / 1 kHz)
Headphone Output
Output Power Output Power 1: >100 mW (16 Ohms / THD+N <1%)
Output Power 2: ≥70 mW (32 Ohms / THD+N <1%)
Output Power 3: ≥8 mW (300 Ohms /THD+N <1%)
Frequency Response 5 Hz to 60 kHz
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) ≥113 dBA
Output Impedance 4.0 V p-p
Maximum Output Current >130 mA (for reference)
Power and Battery Options
Power USB Charger: 5 VDC, 2A (recommended)
Computer USB Port: 5 VDC, 500 mA
Battery Charge Display Red light indicates, green light turns on after fully charged
Battery Display Yes
Battery Capacity 1800 mAh, 3.7 V
Battery Type Lithium-ion polymer (LiPo)
Battery Life >12 h (Volume: 39, 27 Ohm)
Charging Time Supported Audio Formats
Audio Formats Lossless
APE (Fast): 192 kHz/24 bit
APE (Normal): 96 kHz/24 bit
APE (High): 96 kHz/24 bit
FLAC: 192 kHz/24 bit
WAV: 192 kHz/32 bit
AIFF: 192 kHz/32 bit
AIF:192 kHz/24 bit
WMA Lossless: 48 kHz/24 bit (to be supported by future update)
Apple Lossless: 192 kHz/24 bit

Lossy Compression
MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG
General Specifications
Model Name X1 (Gen 2) / FX1221
Color Black
Material of Construction Aluminum Alloy
Chipset SOC: JZ4760B
DAC: PCM5242
LPF: OPA2322
OP: ISL28291
Memory Capacity 256 GB via microSD Card
Display 2.0″ / 50.8 mm TFT screen, 320 x 240 pixels
Volume Control 100-step digital potentiometer
Equalizer 7-band equalizer (±6 dB)
Balance Control 5 dB
Dimensions (L x H x D) 3.8 x 2.2 x 0.5″ / 97.0 x 55.5 x 12.0 mm
Weight 3.6 oz / 102.0 g
Packaging Info
Package Weight 0.55 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 6.9 x 3.8 x 1.6″

Sony MDR-1000X Review

Sony MDR-1000X Review

The highly anticipated Sony MDR-1000X is here and has already been touted as one the best in sound and active noise cancelling technology. We’ve got our hands on the sought after travel companion and are ready to give you the dish in our Sony MDR-1000X review.

Sony MDR-1000X Review

Sony MDR-1000X Review – Packaging

I can not even begin to tell you (but obviously I still am) how impressed I am by the compact design of the Sony MD-1000X – box and carry case included. The carry case is way thinner than I was expecting. It could easily slide into a backpack, messenger bag, or an average-size purse. The inside of the hard grade carry case is lined with a soft fabric to protect the headphones. There’s also a small pocket for safely storing the included in-flight adapter, headphone cable, and micro USB cable.

Sony MDR-1000X Review – Build & Design

The headphones feel durable and comfortable. The frame is a bit heavier than I’d prefer, but overall it is still light enough to wear for extended periods of time on your head. The ear cups have a smooth layer of leather over them and are sealed around the edges by hard-grade material. The headband/extender situation features a metal slider and a small patch of padding directly under the top portion of the headband.

The ear cushions are padded, but shallow. There’s enough padding to wear the headphones for a long time, but probably not as long as the wear time with Sony H.ear On or Sennheiser PXC 550. Also, even with the sliders in a fully closed position the headphones come a little too far down on my head. The ear cups end up resting on the location where my neck meets my jaw. I also have a pretty tiny head. If you’re head is average size then this probably won’t be a problem.

Sony MDR-1000X Review – Features

A few extremely cool and notable features include the ability to easily hear and talk through your audio by cupping your palm over the right ear cup. This is what Sony calls Sense Engine. This feature tailors the amount of noise-cancelling specifically for you and your ear. It works by placing microphones on the outside and inside of the ear cups. The exterior microphones gauge the noise level of your surrounding environment while the interior microphones analyze your personal characteristics and wearing style (glasses or nah?), then optimizes the sound for you. Activating this feature is quite easy. You simply hold down the noise cancelling button which initializes the optimizer. You’ll know because the voice activated assistant tells you so. Then you’ll hear a few different notes and pitches that calibrate your ear’s response. The headphones then say optimizer finished. The noise cancelling is then better tailored for your ear. Users can further adjust the settings to ambient or voice modes which allow more of your environment in through the ear cups or just voices, respectively. The right ear cup is also built with touch controls. The smart gestures are pretty standard, with a double tap to pause/play, a swipe forward to skip forward a track and backwards to skip back.

Noise Cancelling Ability & Comparison to Competitors

Sony MDR-1000X ReviewThe noise cancelling ability on these headphones are really good. I listened to these headphones with the door open while street construction was going on and the sound of the drill was significantly reduced. For those of you who are a bit sensitive to noise-cancelling the ANC may be too strong. If the ANC is too much you can activate the NC optimizer for a more suitable amount of ANC fit for you. But if you’re all about ANC, you’ll love these headphones. MDR-1000X definitely edges out the defending champion of ANC, Bose QC 35. It’s much more powerful and allows for customization. The QC 35 doesn’t calibrate and adjust ANC to your liking, nor are you able to turn it off when the headphones are paired to your smart device. In addition, there’s the current legal sitch in which Bose allegedly sold customer information without consent and the fact that their firmware is reportedly rendering some QC 35s useless. If the ANC is too much you can activate the NC optimizer for a more suitable amount of ANC fit for you.

As for connectivity, the headphones use Bluetooth and Qualcomm aptX technology to ensure a solid connection and clean transmission from your device to your ears.

Sony MDR-1000X Review – Sound

These cans are certified Hi-Res and Hi-Res they do deliver. Working in conjunction with LDAC technology, the headphone provides stellar audio even when connected wirelessly. LDAC is able to do so by streaming your high resolution audio over at the maximum transfer rate of 990 kbps which is approximately three times more data than conventional Bluetooth audio.

The bass line is rich and a bit punchy, yet controlled. There isn’t any sloppy spilling of your bass all over your lush mids and glittering highs. The mid-range is relaxed and full. The highs are detailed and salient – floating above the rest of your audio without sounding too far away. It’s all a pretty sweet and smooth blend. The headphone has a pretty open soundstage, especially for being a wireless headset. That being said, tracks heavy in instrumentation or even vocals sound beautiful and realistic.

In comparison to the Bose QC 35, the bass is more accurate and the overall audio quality more refined.

You can also use the headset to make and take calls. The microphone is a bit sensitive and picks up some of the ambient noise around you. But for the most part, the MDR-1000X sounds like any other wireless headphone in this category when making calls so, I wouldn’t call this any sort of deal breaker.

Sony MDR-1000X Review – Overview

Sony MDR-1000X is a great headphone for tuning out the world around you. The active noise cancellation is strong, but if too much ANC makes you sick, you may want to opt for a headphone with less impressive ANC capability. The build is durable and comfortable. Though, if you have a small head the bottom of the ear cups end up applying a little bit of pressure on your jaw line. But if none of the aforementioned are issues for you, the Sony MDR-1000X is well worth the investment. The sound quality is pristine offering a rich low end as well as accuracy and detail across lows, mids, and highs. If you’d like a cheaper alternative there’s the Sony H.ear On which is also high resolution, but a step down from the MDR-1000X.

The Sony MDR-1000X is listed for the best available price at Audio 46’s Sony Shop for $399.99.

The Sony H.ear On is also available at the Audio 46 Sony Shop for $349.99.

Another viable contender is the Sennheiser PXC 550. It’s available for at the Audio 46 Sennheiser Shop for $399.99.

Sony MDR-1000X Review – Specs

*with unit turned on

Driver: 70 mm, Dynamic

Impedance: 46 ohm

Frequency Response Range: 4 Hz – 40,000 Hz

Sensitivity: 103 dB/mW

Battery: 3.7V Lithium-Ion

Run Time: 20 Hours

Charge Time: 4 Hours

Weight: 0.60 lbs

Audio Technica ATH -ADG1X vs Sennheiser Game Zero Comparison Review

Audio Technica ATH -ADG1X vs Sennheiser Game Zero Comparison Review

Here at Audio46, we often receive requests to compare specific headphones.  While some models clearly out-class others, gaming headphones provide a very competitive landscape for casual consumers and discerning listeners alike.  This dilemma readily surfaces in the case of the Audio Technica ATH-ADG1X vs the Sennheiser Game Zero.  Priced at $299 and $279, respectively, these two models offer remarkably similar listening experiences.  So which one is right for you?

Audio Technica ATH -ADG1X vs Sennheiser Game Zero Comparison Review

Audio Technica ATH -ADG1X vs Sennheiser Game Zero Comparison Review

Both the Audio Technica ADG1X and the Sennheiser Game Zero utilize a decent amount of plastic in their respective builds.  While the Audio Technica opts for a goose-neck microphone, the Sennheiser features a more rigid boom-mic.  The Game Zero offers a more common fit with a traditional headband, and uses plenty of pleather padding on the headband and earcups for extended comfort.  The ADG1X, by comparison, features a wing-type headband with velour padding on the earcups – offering a similar level of comfort, but perhaps less bass impact.

Both headphones employ an open-back design for greater depth and a more realistic sound, at the expense of isolation.  While the resultant sound will seem more lifelike with either headphone, ambient noise may distract from the overall experience.  As such, both models are better suited to quieter gaming environments.

While the Sennheiser’s boom mic works as an automatic switch for turning the mic on and off, the Audio Technica sports a more traditional control built into the cable.

Sennheiser’s Game Zero offers interchangeable cables designed for multiple systems – with a 4 ft (1.2 m) cable for consoles, and a 6.6 ft (2 m) cable for PC applications.  The Audio Technica ADG1X features a fixed 4 ft cable that terminates in a standard 3.5 stereo jack, but offers a second 6.6 ft extension terminating in separate plugs for audio and microphone ports on a computer.

Specs

Sennheiser Game Zero Specs
Frequency Range:  15-28000 Hz
Impedance:  50 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL):  108 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD):  <0.1%

Audio Technica ATH-ADG1X Specs
Frequency Range:  5-35000 Hz
Impedance:  48 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL):  99 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD):  NA

As you can see from these specifications, both models offer similar numbers, though the frequency range on the ADG1X does seem a good deal wider.  Nominal impedance remains fairly neck-and-neck.  While both models might benefit from some amplification, neither requires it.  Sound Pressure and volume are decent on both models, though the Game Zero may offer a bit higher volume in general.  Finally, though Audio Technica doesn’t give a rating for Total Harmonic Distortion on the ADG1X, the level of clarity is still on par with that of the Game Zero.

Low End

In the low end, the Audio Technica offers a bit more detail, but at the expense of greater bass impact.  That distinction easily goes to the Sennheiser, making up for a lack of detail with plenty of “oomph” in the low end.  Here the Sennheiser is further helped along by the pleather-padded earcups, which help to extend that bass response.

Mids

Both headphones offer decent performance in the midrange, though the ADG1X may have a slight edge in terms of sheer detail.  The Game Zero, while offering a similar level of clarity, just doesn’t seem as rich or articulate.

Highs

While the Sennheiser Game Zero offers a smoother high end, the bright sound of the Audio Technica ADG1X can verge on piercing at times.  Not a deal breaker by any means, the divergent sounds clearly mark some limitations in use, but may appeal to different listeners in their own right, as well.

Soundstage

Either headphone will supply a much-appreciated level of depth and placement to any music (or sound affect), but the extra detail present in the ADG1X may offer a more grandiose listening experience.  On the other hand, the rich bass response in the Game Zero may give the impression of greater dynamic range, while simultaneously adding some extra depth to the soundstage.

Recommendations

For those gamers seeking a headphone for gaming as well as casual listening, the Audio Technica ATH-ADG1X offers a smarter choice.  While adequately suited for either endeavor, this particular headphone will excel at games relying on impressive musical scores.

Not to be dismissed entirely, the Sennheiser Game Zero still offers some mighty-impressive bass.  This particular strength makes the Zero an optimal choice for games using plenty of explosions, gunfire, and other sound effects.  Pairing that booming bass with an immersive soundstage, you’re bound to get sucked into whatever world you’re exploring.

Final Analysis

Sporting similar prices around $300, the Sennheiser Game Zero and Audio Technica ATH-ADG1X offer very different listening experiences.  The Game Zero offers clear benefit to those who play games with more emphasis on combat effects or dramatic musical cues.  However, the ADG1X seems more apt for grand musical scores and epic overture.

Check out the Sennheiser Store at Audio46!

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FiiO X5 II vs X5 III Comparison Review

FiiO X5 II vs X5 III Comparison Review

Recently, Audio46 gotten a lot of questions regarding the new FiiO X5 III portable player and how it stacks up against its predecessor, the FiiO X5 II.  At a price of $399, the X5 III is only marginally more expensive than the older version.  But are the improvements worth the extra cash?

FiiO X5 II vs X5 III Comparison Review

 

 

FiiO X5 II vs X5 III Comparison Review

The FiiO X5 II and X5 III offer almost identical proportions, though the X5 III offers slightly less weight.   While the X5 II offers an older iPod-esque scroll wheel and screen, the entire front plate of the newer version is dominated by a large touchscreen.

Where the older X5 II utilized dual microSD card slots, the new X5 III offers 32 GB of internal storage, the same two dual microSD slots, and built-in wifi for streaming.  There’s also bluetooth connectivity with the newer model, opening up further wireless functions.

Controls, though switched around on the newer model, are much the same as they were on the FiiO X5 II.  Even without reading a manual, it was still quite easy for me to pick up the new controls.

Sound

Perhaps the most obvious difference at first listen, the X5 III sounds more exacting in terms of detail.  If there are imperfections in any recording the X5 III will draw attention to them.  While this won’t be an issue for high-quality tracks, the X5 II is decidedly more forgiving when it comes to these lo-fi tunes.

Compatibility

Compatibility between the two models remains relatively neck-and-neck.  Although the older FiiO X5 II could handle DSD files with ease, its replacement offers even more compatibility with this type of file – and with richer variants, too.

As far as headphones go, the older X5 can handle any impedance up to 300 ohms (purportedly), while the newer X5 III maxes out at 150 ohms.  In our tests, though, we found using that any headphone over 100 ohms pretty much required an amp to keep sound quality up to snuff.

Other Observations

The newer X5 III packs dual processors for a richer sound.  And that sound is nothing short of miraculous – for higher quality recordings.  More lo-fi tracks really start to show their faults when played through the hyper-detailed X5 III.

I’d  still recommend the X5 II for people who listen to older recordings.  I have a TON of Dinah Washington material in my music library, but due to these songs being older recordings, playing them on the X5 III is a pretty lousy experience.

Bluetooth and Wifi on the new X5 III are a dream to use.  This will probably be the biggest reason for most FiiO fans to upgrade, and they should know that the process is easy and straightforward, without the run-around you get from some devices.

Final Analysis

At $399, the new FiiO X5 III offers more connectivity, more storage, and more detail than it’s predecessor.  Those preferring older lo-fi tunes may wish to hold onto their older FiiO X5 II, but for everyone else, the X5 III is the smarter, faster, and more detailed choice.

See more in the FiiO Store at Audio46!

Sennheiser PXC 480 vs Audio Technica ATH-MSR7NC Comparison Review

Sennheiser PXC 480 vs Audio Technica ATH-MSR7NC Comparison Review

Here at Audio46, we often meet customers who need some direction in regards to specific kinds of headphones.  From gaming to critical listening to travel, specific needs require specific recommendations.  Take noise-cancelling headphones as an example.  For higher-end noise-cancelling headphones, both the Sennheiser PXC 480 and the Audio Technica ATH-MSR7NC sport a $299 price tag.  But which one fits your listening needs?

Sennheiser PXC 480 vs Audio Technica ATH-MSR7NC Comparison Review

Sennheiser PXC 480 vs Audio Technica ATH-MSR7NC Comparison Review

Aside from their common price, the PXC 480 and MSR7NC have many similarities.  While both headphones utilize plenty of plastic and aluminum in their construction, they still sport unique designs.  Both employ a built-in battery for longer continuous playback – the Senneheiser offers 50 hours of battery life while the Audio Technica offers a little less at 30 hours.

Both headphones make use of a folding design for easier transport.  With ample pleather padding on the earpads and headband, comfort is decent between both models.  Many fans of the first MSR7 will notice that the narrow headband hasn’t changed on this newer noise-cancelling version.  Likewise, the Sennheiser PXC 480’s headband is equally thin – and possibly just as uncomfortable during longer listening sessions.

The PXC 480 comes with a 4.5 ft (1.4 m) smartphone-compatible cable.  In comparison, the MSR7NC includes two cables – one standard 4 ft (1.2 m) audio cable and one 4ft (1.2 m) smartphone-compatible cable.  Both headphones also come with power cables for charging the onboard batteries.

Specs

Sennheiser PXC 480 Specs
Frequency Range: 17-23,000 Hz
Impedance: 45 ohms (passive)/150 ohms (active)
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 109 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <0.5%

Audio Technica ATH-MSR7NC Specs
Frequency Range: 5-40,000 Hz
Impedance: 35 ohms (passive)/150 ohms (active)
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 104 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): NA

As evidenced by these specifications, the greatest difference between these two headphones in terms of technical details is frequency range.  With a whopping 5-40,000 Hertz frequency range, the MSR7NC comes out on top here…at least, on paper.  Impedance and volume are roughly the same between both models.  While Audio Technica doesn’t give a rating for the MSR7NC’s Total Harmonic Distortion, I’d peg it as being close to the PXC 480’s <0.5%.

Low End

Characterized by fair detail and a good deal of bass, too, the low end on the PXC 480 comes across as lively, without being too overpowered.  It sounds natural enough, and the overall sound here is clean and accurate.

In comparison, the MSR7NC may suffer from the slightest bit of bleed.  Still, there’s tons of detail here – maybe just a little more so than in the PXC 480.  Bass is equally decent, with plenty of oomph but never sounding overstated.

Mids

Carrying the slightest bit of compression in the mids, the PXC 480 has a tendency to pinch some vocals.  Instrumentation doesn’t suffer as much, and most listeners will be more than willing to forgive Sennheiser for the small imperfections.

Where the PXC 480 drops the ball, though, the MSR7NC has you covered.  In the Audio Technica model, mids are cleaner with neither distortion nor compression.  Again, slightly more detail seems to rise to the surface as I listen to the MSR7NC, giving it a slight edge over the Sennheiser.

High End

Somewhat bright in the high end, the PXC 480 offers a good amount of detail while keeping everything else in check.  While the sound never gets too uncomfortable or piercing, some finer nuances may be missing from the top of the frequency range.

On the other hand, the MSR7NC may sound similarly bright, but with tons of details that seem to sparkle.  Nothing is missing from the Audio Technica model, with exacting detail making this headphone a perfect choice for classical or acoustic music.

Soundstage

Where soundstage is concerned, the Sennheiser rocks plenty of depth but suffers from poor placement.  As a result, instruments can seem somewhat jumbled and out of place as you listen.  While this won’t be an issue with every track you throw at it, the PXC 480 may not be the best headphone for more intricate listening choices.

The Audio Technica MSR7NC, by contrast, offers a decent level of depth and placement.  Here the sense of soundstage is more realistic, helped along by tons of detail and an air of contrast.

Other Observations

The Sennheiser PXC 480’s natural dynamic sound may be more at home with heavier rock and hip hop.

And with it’s stronger emphasis on mids and highs, the Audio Technica MSR7NC may be a better option for classical music or more critical listening.

Recommendations

For most casual listeners who need bass and a well-controlled high end, the Sennheiser PXC 480 is the obvious choice.  With a longer battery life and a more consumer-friendly sound, it’s clearly a crowd-pleaser.

Of course, that isn’t to say that the Audio Technica MSR7NC won’t have its fans.  Personally, I preferred the sound of the Audio Technica, and anyone seeking a more analytic sound will revel in its performance.  Likewise, those looking for more emphasis on midrange or high-end detail (or soundstage) would do well to consider the MSR7NC.

Final Analysis

For $299, both the Sennheiser PXC 480 and the Audio Technica ATH-MSR7NC offer impressive listening experiences.  For those seeking a bassier sound that would complimetn rock or hip hop, the Sennheiser will offer a better fit.  In comparison, the Audio Technica’s sound delivers more emphasis on the mids and highs – a perfect formula for critical listeners and classical fans.

Check out the Sennheiser Store at Audio46!

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Sennheiser HD 579 vs HD 599 Comparison Review

Sennheiser HD 579 vs HD 599 Comparison Review

Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding the Sennheiser HD 579 and HD 599.  While word has spread that both headphones offer a truly impressive listening experience, many folks are at a loss as to which one they should buy.  Well, Audio46 is not going to push either one on you, but we will give you the pros and cons of both models.  Then you can decide for yourself:  which one really tickles your fancy?

Sennheiser HD 579 vs HD 599 Comparison Review

Sennheiser HD 579 vs HD 599 Comparison ReviewFor most of us, the HD 579 and HD 599 will appear remarkably similar.  While the higher end 599 does sport a color scheme more akin to it’s direct predecessor, the HD 598, both the 599 and the 579 utilize similar materials.  With a mostly plastic build, weight stays low, reducing fatigue.  Meanwhile, velour earpads and leatherette headbands offer plenty of comfort.

Both headphones wear like a dream, and in a blind test with no music playing, you’d be hard-pressed to tell one from the other.  However, in terms of accessories, the higher-end 599 does come with a second detachable cable – one that ends in a 1/4” stereo plug.

Obviously, then, we should admit that the HD 599 is probably the more serious of the two headphones, but we’ll have to go “under the hood” to see where these two contenders truly start to diverge.

Specs

HD 579 Specs
Frequency Range:  15-28,500 Hz
Impedance:  50 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL):  106 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD):  < 0.2%

HD 599 Specs
Frequency Range:  12-38,500 Hz
Impedance:  50 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL):  106 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD):  < 0.1%

Both the 579 and 599 offer a decent frequency range, but the specs reveal greater coverage with the HD 599.  Likewise, while nominal impedance and sound pressure level remain the same for both models, the HD 599 sports lower distortion (and thus a cleaner sound).  Both headphones could potentially work with a portable music player, but both would also benefit from some amplification.

Low End

The HD 579 really shines where lows are concerned, offering a clean and articulate sound with plenty of detail and well-controlled bass.  By comparison, the HD 599 offers a bit more detail and more intense bass.  Unfortunately, that same intense bass has a tendency to overwhelm other parts of the frequency range.

Mids

Midrange on the HD 579 is overshadowed by a slight amount of compression in the upper mids.  Despite this, it still offers a cleaner sound than the HD 599.  While the 599 might offer tiny bit more detail, the increased compression tends to pinch and drag down vocals in the mids.

High End

Here we see the lower-end HD 579 lose to the over-engineered HD 599.  While the 579 offers a decent (if somewhat subdued) listening experience, the high end on the 599 is practically perfection.  The HD 579 tends to smooth out the high end, leading to a loss of some finer details.  In contrast, the HD 599 offers all of those details – without ever becoming piercing or uncomfortable.

Soundstage

Soundstage on both headphones is almost too close to call.  While both sport amazing placement, depth remains wanting.  The resultant sound from either headphone will allow you to hear each instrument occupying a sense of space.  However, the lack of depth on either pair of cans can result in an almost-oppressive listening experience, with the music seemingly bearing down upon you from just a few feet away.

Other Observations

The longer I switch between the two models, the more I prefer the comfort of the HD 599.  It may offer a slightly wider fit (thus better accommodating my giant head).  Or maybe my mind is playing tricks on me…

Critical listeners will love the HD 579.  Really, this is one of the better Sennheiser headphones released in the past couple years.  I know people love the HD 800s and the Momentum hype, but the HD 579 is truly and impressive headphone.

Still, there’s something about the HD 599, too.  The dynamic sound is going to be a home-run for the younger crowd who comprise a good part of the Sennheiser customer base.

Recommendations

All right – let’s get down to brass tacks.  The Sennehesier HD 579 retails for $199, while the HD 599 retails for $249.  Despite this relatively small difference in price, these two headphones offer wildly different listening experiences.

For those seeking a more critical and even-keeled sound with decent lows and highs, but a beefed-up midrange, the HD 579 is a Sure Thing.

Fans of rock and hip-hop – or anyone who prefers a more dynamic sound in a headphone – would be better off opting for the more expensive (but more intense) HD 599.  Here, the intense lows and highs offer a somewhat less exacting sound, but one that is infinitely more emotive.

Final Analysis

Despite a small price difference, the Sennheiser HD 579 and HD 599 offer two completely different sounds.  While the cheaper HD 579 will astound critical listeners, casual music buffs and headphone junkies alike will appreciate the more dynamic chops of the HD 599.

Snag the Sennheiser HD 579 and HD 599 at an unbeatable price using discount code “46welcomes” at checkout.

Check out more headphones like these in the Sennheiser Store at Audio46!