Some Of The Biggest Brands In The World Had Their Products (Part 8) - Sennheiser HD700, Focal Spirit One, TDK TH-EC250

12/10/2012 3:45:54 PM

Sennheiser HD700 - Headphone perfection

Sennheiser is well known for its superior audio products and studio level equipment. Imagine my surprise when one of their high-range headphones came in for a review, specifically its second highest end model, the HD700. No prizes as to who gets to review such a winning audio product.

Studio styling

It is very obvious that the HD700 is specifically designed for use in studios. The no-nonsense and advance acoustic design speaks of total professionalism. The guys at PC.com Labs quickly deduced that this is no ordinary headphones. And how right they are when the sales team told us of the extraordinary price tag. The futuristic look and feel of the driver housing comes in hard plastic with a brushed metal scheme finishing, while the material used for the ear-cups and head-band are soft, velvet like with hardened foam to ensure maximum comfort. The only thing metal about the headset is the fine aluminium-like mesh used on the main driver unit frame and the ventilation zones of the open-aire chambers. The metal parts serve the purpose of creating a better sound stage for the HD700, specifically in terms of audio output performance.

True audio excitement

When it comes to audio performance, the HD700 delivers in spades! The Patent-Pending open-aire chamber it uses along with its ultra-wide soundstage and angled transducers produce a soundstage that is usually found in a sound room with a full accompaniment of high-end speakers and powered amps. With its specially-tuned high efficient drivers, which had been designed to deliver high sound pressure levels and a flat frequency response, the performance of the HD700 is superior bar-none. Never have I heard music and sound effects on a pair of headphones like those of the Sennheiser. It completely blew my expectations out of the water.


If I ever manage to purchase a pair of headphones like the HD700, I'd never take it out of the house/office. Why you ask? It is painfully obvious that the HD700 is not meant for outdoor use. The design and performance screams of being in the studio monitor class, which means it is solely for audio tuning and studio recording. Or, in my case, for home/ office use only. While the sound levels of the HD700 are unmatched, it can also be heard outside of the sealed ear-casings. This is because the design of the cups and driver housing, which does a wonderful job of preventing ambient sound from coming in, does not seal in the sounds of whatever you're playing within. Anyone can listen in on the music you're playing, even if the audio volumes are on the low settings. So, I have to stress this out again, the HD700 is not for commuting or library use.

True heavyweight

Something has got to give if high-end sound performance is to be had on a headphone set. While the size is not an issue at all, the weight can be a problem for those who love to rest their headsets on the neck. Initially not noticeable, the HD700 will start weighing down in a couple of hours. Also, the drivers will warm up after some hours of use but it really isn't a problem since it does help with making the sound warmer and exceptionally full­bodied. Again, this is all for a great sound-performing headphones!


·         Price: $999.95      

·         Dimensions (H x W x D) : 236.22 x 149.86 x 317.5mm

·         Weight: 1.58kg

·         Frequency response: 10 - 42,000Hz

·         Impedence: 150 Ohms

·         Ear coupling: Around-the-ear

·         Transducer principle: Dynamic, open-aire

·         Sound pressure level: 105 dB (1kHz, 1V)

·         Total harmonic distortion: <0.03%

·         Connector: 1/4-inch jack

·         Cable length: 3m


·         Redefined headphone performance that is unmatched!

·         Value:        9/10

·         Features: 10/10

·         Performance: 10/10

·         Design: 10/10

·         Usability: 10/10

·         Score:       9.8/10


Focal Spirit One - The Spirit within

Focal Spirit One - The Spirit within

Focal is a big name when it comes to high performance sound systems and not exactly something you would associate with consumer headphones. Well, they've taken the leap into that particular market with the Spirit One. We had an issue with the first review unit that arrived due to a faulty cable but once it was replaced, all is good and right with the world.

Very comfy

The Spirit One features some very comfortable fake leather earpieces. The amount of pressure on the head is just enough to create a proper seal to keep music in and environmental sounds out. Larger pads also prevent it from putting pressure on the ears of people who wear glasses, which is a very considerate design element. Visually it's also quite striking with the brushed aluminium parts complementing the matte plastic. The cable is nice to look at but somehow there's a feeling that it's a bit on the short side.

The sound of music

When you listen to a product that is audio engineers who are responsible for high quality audio systems, there is a slight shift towards higher expectations. Fortunately Focal doesn't disappoint. There's no overwhelming bass that people seem to put so much emphasis on these days. Rather, the sounds are nice and crisp with the thumping complements the music instead of overpowering it. This might disappoint some music lovers who prefer the rhythmic thumping found in certain genres but it will appeal to a wider audience because of the more balanced output. Orchestral music is every bit as pleasurable to listen to as rock and roll or even the statacco of gunfire in video games. Either way, it's definitely worth the investment.


·         Weight: 225g

·         Drivers: 40mm Mylar

·         Frequency response:        6Hz - 22kHz

·         Impedence: 32 Ohms


·         Nice pair of headphones, wish they were cheaper.

·         Value:        9/10

·         Features: 9/10

·         Performance: 9/10

·         Design: 9/10

·         Usability: 9/10

·         Score:       9.0/10

TDK TH-EC250 - Decent Pair

TDK TH-EC250 - Decent Pair

When presented with this in-ear phones for review, I had been a bit apprehensive. I am one of those persons who is uncomfortable with something stuck in my ear, thus I am happier with open-chamber headphones than anything else. However I opened my mind (and my ears) and tried on this pair of earphones.

Pretty looks

The design of the earphone is quite interesting, and I might say pretty. The earphones itself comes in multiple colour and what I got this time around is the Black colour option. One other part of the earphones that I like is the cables itself. TDK managed to design a cable that is somewhat anti­tangle. It is the way the copper cable is coiled in the earphones itself.

We didn't need to do a full on un-tanglement while we were using it, but it did minimise the problem - especially when it goes into the storage space of a pocket.

Music performer

We played back several sample of music through the earphones, and we (in this case me) had been pleasantly surprised by the performance. While you can't expect full-room bass performance, we are glad that it managed to bring out the mid-range and high notes from the songs we played back nicely. This is, of course, without any breaking or shattering when the song is played through the earphones.


·         Speaker type: Dynamic

·         Drivers: 9.2 mm

·         Frequency response: 20

·         Impedence: 16.00

·         Plug: 3.5 mm gold plated


·         Not bad for earphones

·         Value: 8/10

·         Features: 8/10

·         Performance: 8/10

·         Design: 8/10

·         Usability: 8/10

·         Score: 8.0/10


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