Fostex has just introduced the first semi-open, wood headphones in its RP series. We put the new sound design to the test.
IN THE BOX
-3.5 mm (4-pole) – 3.5mm (3 pole stereo) with 1.5 m cable
-6.4 mm Stereo adapter
-Soft Carry Bag
The Fostex T60RP leather ear pads fit firmly and comfortably. They do a good job of sealing any space around the ears. The sliders are a little rigid to move, but once the headphones are adjusted to your fit, they have a stable hold. The leather headband also feels nice and snug.
These headphones have semi-open ear cups, which supposedly offer the best compromise between open-ear transparency and listening privacy. This is true for the T60RP. The sound escape is not as significant as completely open headphones, but there is still a small amount of leakage. At the same time, the transparency produced by the semi-open design is decent.
The ear cups have wood housing made from African mahogany, which is a softer wood compared to, say, denser African ebony. Some would claim that the softer wood often produces a smoother treble effect. In this case, I would agree. Treble violins and cymbals, for example, are soft while maintaining clarity.
Fostex owns a technology called a Regular Phase (RP) diaphragm, which is designed to give sharper audio reproduction for more accurate monitoring. Made for professional use, this means a better critical listening experience. I found this to be true with the Fostex T60RP, as the sound is quite articulate.
The high resistance to input power (300m W) allows you to can crank up these headphones with an amp or high quality player without blowing out the speakers. With an impedence of 50 Ohms, you will want an amp if listening through your phone, as the volume is not loud enough for direct connection.
Fostex T60RP has detachable connectors and can handle balanced connections, which ultimately means crisper sound if connected to a balanced amp. Unfortunately, the balanced connections are not included in the box, but they can be purchased as a separate accessory.
The headphones are equipped with an OFC conductor for cable, producing a higher resolution and good sound separation.
BASS, MIDS and TREBLE
The bass is clear and tight, but not as deep and warm as some would prefer. The treble is fantastic, having a very smooth and sweet quality. No harshness at all. Funk and pop sound the best on these, but they might no be full-bodied enough for hip-hop. The soundstage and imaging is nice; classical music works well. Pianos sound really beautiful and nuanced. Acoustic instruments are pretty clear but don’t have the most detailed timbre, so they’re not perfect for folk or country. The mids are well defined, rich and full. Electric guitars have a great presence, and rock music shines. Drums sound spacious and have good detail as well. Vocals have a pleasing closeness to them, providing a real feeling of intimacy with the vocalist.
In general, I wasn’t blown away by the sound for the price, but if you’re particular about your treble and you like a warm sounding midrange, you’ll find the Fostex T60RP to be a pleasant listen.
Type: semi-open dynamic
Frequency range: 15-35,000Hz
Impedence: 50 ohms
Sensitivity: 92 dB/mW
Max input: 3,000 mW
Weight: Approx. 380 g
Connection: 3.5 mm (4-pole) – 3.5 mm (3 pole) stereo, 6.4 mm Stereo adapter
Cable: 1.5 m
Optional cables sold separately: ET-RP2.5BL; ET-RP4.4BL; ET-RPXLR