This Beats buster makes a lot of bass, but it's not thick or muddy. The DX 160 iE ($120) bass definition is excellent, and this headphone's sound clicked with
rock, jazz, electronica, and classical music. Midrange detailing is excellent,
but treble clarity is somewhat lacking.
The Hifiman RE-400's sound is so well-balanced
and pure, you might not at first realize how good it is. Its unforced clarity
is easy to listen to for hours on end, probably because there's no boosted
treble or trickery of any kind; the RE-400 ($99) just goes about its business sounding accurate and natural.
While Audio-Technica claims there's no
difference between the sound of the original ATH-M50 and the updated version,
we think the new ATH-M50x ($239) sounds clearer with more detailed bass, midrange, and treble.
The SR325e ($295) looks a lot
like Grado's traditional designs, but the sound-producing elements are
refreshed, so an Audiophiliac review is in the works. This open-back design
produces a more spacious sound than most closed-back headphones.
For audiophiles craving ultimate
transparency, the KS-H3 ($875) will be a mind-blowing experience. Voices, acoustic guitars,
pianos, horns, and percussion instruments sound more like themselves than they
do over other headphones.