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>> Hi. I'm David Carnoy, executive editor for CNET.com, and I'm here to give you a look at an interesting pair of headphones from Nixon. Now, Nixon is best known for its high-fashion watches, wallets, handbags, and other items. But it's now moving into the headphone market with a few select models. The one I've got here is called the "Master Blaster," and not surprisingly, these full-size headphones make something of a fashion statement. We were also impressed with the build quality, from the padded, real leather headband and ear cushions to the machined metal earcups that pivot on cleverly designed ball and socket mount. One of the first things you'll notice is that the entire outer rim of the right earcup is a volume control, which we liked. These headphones come with a skinny, braided, cloth-covered, five-foot long headphone cable that's terminated with iPhone compatible 3.5-millimeter plugs at both ends. The cable is removable from the earphones, and it connects to the left channel earcup. While we appreciated the Master Blasters unique style, we weren't totally thrilled with the fit of the headphones. Yes, everybody's head is a little bit different, but we felt the ear pads applied a little bit too much pressure against our ears. It was only mildly annoying over the first five or ten minutes, but after an hour or so, the headphones became downright uncomfortable. The pads themselves are relatively firm, and it was the excessive pressure that caused the discomfort. When you listen, there's an undeniable immediacy and the bass goes fairly deep, but thanks to the headphone's bright tonal balance, we were always more aware of the top end detailing. For you iPod owners, it's worth noting that these headphones are a little harder to drive than a pair of in-ear headphones. We didn't have a problem listening to our iPod. The sound was punchy, powerful, and extremely detailed, but if you really like to crank your sounds, chances are the Master Blaster will come up short for portable use. That said, we were more concerned that the below par comfort will be more of a deal breaker for some buyers, especially when you consider the somewhat high price tag of $200.00. I'm David Carnoy, and those are the Nixon Master Blaster headphones.
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