Pro-Ject Audio Systems Hear It One headphones

The Good The Pro-Ject Audio Systems Hear It One headphones are light for a full-size model, have an accurate tonal balance, and come with a two-year parts-and-labor warranty.

The Bad Very similar design to models that cost less; don't fold up for compact storage; no inline remote/mic; the cable doesn't detach, so it isn't user-replaceable.

The Bottom Line Pro-Ject Audio Systems' first headphones sound decent, but their $129 price tag is out of line given the nothing-special build quality.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Sound 7.0
  • Value 6.0
6.3 Overall

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Pro-Ject Audio Systems Hear It One
Pro-Ject Audio Systems Hear It One headphones
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Review

Good-sounding headphones just need a price trim

Pro-Ject Audio Systems is best known as a leading manufacturer of affordable audiophile turntables, but now, with the $129 Hear It One, the company has entered the headphone market. You'd expect, then, to get an affordable pair of audiophile headphones -- and you mostly do. But while the company's debut model sounds decent and is comfortably lightweight, the headphone space has become extremely competitive, and the Hear It One design doesn't do quite enough to distinguish itself to measure up to its $129 price tag.

Design and features
The Hear It Ones may be classified as full-size, over-the-ear headphones, but the earcups are smaller than the ones on the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 monitor headphones. If you have big ears the Hear It One's oval-shaped pads won't completely cover your ears. The headphones are unusually light, just 6.5 ounces, but the moderately high earpad pressure made for a fairly uncomfortable fit after a few hours of use, and the faux leather pads might make your ears sweat in warm weather. The closed-back design does a fair job of hushing environmental noise, and people nearby won't hear much sound "leaking." The mix of faux leather, glossy black plastic, and real aluminum caps on the earcups is attractive, but the Hear It Ones look like a near twin of the $30 Incipio f38 and $70 Fischer Audio FA-004 v2 headphones. (Note: the Hear It Ones do weigh more than the Incipio f38s -- 0.42 pound versus 0.36 pound -- so it's quite possible that the Hear It One model has higher-grade drivers and other components).

Like the Incipio and Fischer Audio models, the Pro-Ject's Hear It One model has earcups that slide up and down over steel wires that exit a plastic housing to compensate for differently sized and shaped heads, but a gentle twist of the cups revealed some play, and that didn't inspire confidence in the headphones' long-term durability. Then again, the Hear It Ones come with a two-year parts-and-labor warranty, and that's double the coverage of most headphones in this price range. It features 38mm drivers, which have a rated impedance of 32 ohms. It's an efficient design, so the Hear It One can play nice and loud with an iPod or phone.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $129
  • Brand Pro-Ject Audio Systems
  • Color black
  • Headphones Ear-Parts Type Full-size
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
See full specs

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