Sitting next to me as I type this is a large box of various headphone review units from a Taiwanese company called Superlux. While not a mainstream marque in the world of personal audio, the name still sounds vaguely familiar, unless I’m getting them mixed up with a brand of vacuum cleaner.
Another day, another headphone review. Such is the life of a gadget blogger. Ho hum. I stick my hand in at random and pull out the HD330s. Without much anticipation I cue up a couple of music tracks on my Technoodling-issued Nationite personal audio player and lean back.
And promptly proceed to almost fall out of my chair. Whoa. These sound good! I scramble for the accompanying press kit to check out the price. Judging from the excellent sound flowing into my ears, surely these must be in the P5,000-7,000 range. I’ve auditioned some pretty pricey headphones that didn’t sound this good. I run my finger down the list … HD330 … HD330 …. where is it …
And I almost fall out of my chair again. Two thousand bucks? Seriously? Wow.
Even more excited now, I start throwing some particularly challenging music tracks at it. I marvel at how easily it handles elephantine, absolutely gargantuan bass lines while simultaneously managing to project crystal clear vocals and synths. Not an easy feat at all. Yet nothing sounds fatiguing or distorted; everything is musical. Plus, because of the semi-closed nature of the earcups, I can still faintly hear the outside world, which adds to the simulation of me listening to a good pair of loudspeakers rather than the claustrophobic effect of total isolation.
After a couple of hours of this, I start to fumble around for nits to pick just so that this isn’t totally a puff piece review.
For one, these aren’t the most stylish headphones on earth.Possibly better used in the privacy of one’s home. The Beats by Dr, Dre crowd would probably not even give these a second glance. (Though with sound quality like this, they don’t know what they’re missing).
The build quality, upon closer inspection, isn’t exactly luxurious. It took me a bit of adjustment with the headband to improve on an initially tight fit. The earpads aren’t quite plush, and that’s definitely not real leather. Also, a telephone cord-style cable is something I detest in earphones as I find they tend to lose their shape over time.
And lastly, the soundstage (i.e. the sense of realism, depth and wideness in the stereo field) isn’t quite as expansive as some other headsets I’ve heard. With a truly great pair of cans, the stereo field seems to actually extend beyond the physical confines of the earpieces – but the fact that I’m expecting to hear that kind of excellence from headphones at this price point is testament to how surprisingly good I find the rest of the sound to be.
But as I said, these are all nits that I had to pick in order to turn in a balanced review. I’m still wearing the HD330s as I type this. And dang, they sound good.
Watch for further reviews as my fellow editors and I work our way through the rest of the Superlux stash.
Philippine SRP: P2,000
Visit Superlux Philippines on Facebook for retailer info.
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