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Headphones

This page is currently a work in progress, it is not the complete list of headphones we stock or have access to and does not cover some of the lines we stock (including closed back headphones, wireless headphones and so on).


Counterfeit headphone warning

Please be aware that over the last few years there has been a huge influx of copy headphones into the UK market, often being sold through various famous name online outlets. These are often so convincing cosmetically, even down to the packaging, that the manufacturers themselves can only tell by disassembling them or auditioning them. We have heard some of these copies and the quality varied from being disappointing to unlistenable.


It is for this reason that we only buy our headphones from the official UK distributors to guarantee authenticity. As ever if the price seems to good to be true then there’s probably a catch!



Grado Prestige E Series

        

The Prestige range of headphones are simply great fun. Their appearance might be rather retro, but the sound is anything but. All the models in the range have an infectious ability to draw you into the music and get your foot tapping. They have a very airy and open mid band and top end, with voices sounding especially impressively life like. As you go up the range the main benefit is additional detail which comes from improvements to the wiring, housing, cushion and so on.


Whilst they may not look like the most comfortable design, they are surprisingly easy to wear for fairly long periods and you can even adjust the pressure on the ears (by bending the hoop) as well as the usual adjustment of height of the earcups. These headphone are also ideal if you are using them whilst working as the stay on your head better when you look down than some others on the market.


Cable length: 2 metre

Standard jack plug: 3.5mm jack (with 6.35mm adaptor included) for the SR-60i and the SR-80i, the models above these come with 6.35mm plugs and adaptors to work with 3.5mm sockets.

Basic specifications: SPL 98dB, impedance 32Ohm


Grado SR-60e: £79.95

Grado SR-80e: £99.95

Grado SR-125e: £149.95

Grado SR-225e: £199.95

Grado SR-325e: £299.95


For a limited time you can purchase any of the above with the Grado carry case for £20 extra.




Sennheiser HD500 series

     

Above: from left to right, HD518, HD558 and HD598


The HD500 series spans three models, all of which have cushions that extend around the ear making them very comfortable to wear for long periods. They also able to produce high output levels from portable devices as they are very efficient.


The range starts with the HD518 which have a rich and slightly dark sound, with extended and weighty bass. I feel they are especially suited to people using lower quality files on portable devices as they are kind to the various negative artefacts of compressed music files.


In comparison the HD558 are much more open and transparent, with a sound that is less boxy and with greater dynamic resolution. For me these off the best value of this series, as they are a much more neutral sounding design than the cheaper HD518 and offer a fairly large amount of the improvements found in the HD598.


The HD598 are quite radically different in appearance, with their cream and high gloss burl wood finish making them really stand out. Sonically they build upon the HD558 by being even more open, with improved resolution and a more seductive mid band which is especially noticeable on voices. The headband and cushions are also more luxurious, giving even greater comfort.


Whilst all the models in this range are very sensitive and therefore easy to drive with portable devices, the HD558 and HD598 are even more so, making them absolutely ideal for portable use as well as home use.


Cable length: 3 metre

Standard jack plug: 6.35mm plugs (supplied with  adaptors to work with 3.5mm sockets).

Basic specifications:, SPL HD518: 108dB, HD558 & HD598: 112dB. Impedance 50 Ohm


Sennheiser HD 518: £119.99

Sennheiser HD 558: £159.99

Sennheiser HD 598: £199.99


Sennheiser HD700

The HD700 headphones feature trickle down technology from the range topping HD800, and it’s clear in the feel, build quality and sonic presentation. Like the HD800 they produce a wide soundstage, with good detailing. They actually have a slightly richer sound than the HD800 and so are a little easier to partner with matching systems, with a slightly less spotlight mid range. The result is a very comfortable and listenable set of headphones, with good resolution and a large out of the head sound.


Sennheiser HD700 headphones: £499.99



Grado Professional Series

The Grado Professional series are instantly recognisable by their distinctive and substantial metal housings. Underneath lies a Mahogany sleeve, with the two materials working together to help damp and reduce resonance. The two models in this range have a very neutral presentation, but one that doesn’t become bland or sterile.


The PS500 has excellent transient bite, a slightly forward (but very pleasantly so) mid band, with great bass extension and tonality. The resolution is also quite stunning, their ability to resolve reverb and acoustic artefacts that other headphones often miss has to be heard to be believed.


The PS1000 adds even more scale and solidity to the sound, and the larger earpads are even more comfortable allowing very extended listening sessions with ease.


Cable length: 2 metre

Standard jack plug: 6.35mm plug

Basic specifications: SPL 98dB, impedance 32 Ohm


Grado PS500 £599.95

Grado PS1000 £1,699.95



Stax SRS-2170 ‘Basic’

The SRS-2170 Basic is the entry level Stax electrostatic system that comes with full size SR-207 ‘earspeakers’. All Stax headphone packages include an energiser, in the case the SRM-252S (which is effectively a headphone amplifier that generates the voltage needed to power the electrostatic element). The benefits of electrostatic drive units is their very low mass, meaning that they are exceptionally good at resolving detail and have a very open and transparent sound.


Cable length: 2.5 metres

Connections: line level RCA phono


Stax SRS-2170 Earspeaker System: £745.00


Items from above system can be bought separately:

Stax SR-207 Earspeakers: £345.00

Stax SRM-252S Energiser: £445.00



Sennheiser HD800

The HD800 is the current pinnacle of the Sennheiser range and as you’d expect represents what they consider to state of the art design. These are large headphones, but thanks to their almost skeletal design they are less bulky to wear than they might appear. Sennheiser claim that they have used the biggest transducers ever used in headphones and it certainly shows, as the earpads go around the ear with plenty of space to spare making them very comfortable to wear for extended periods.


Sonically they are exactly what you’d expect a top end Sennheiser to be, they have a very clean sound and are neutral with a slight tip up towards higher frequencies. The resulting treble is explicit but not tiring and the lack of grain (assuming your source and headphone amplifier are up to it) is very welcome. If you are expecting to be blown away on first listen then you may be disappointed, their strengths go deeper than a cursory listen might show. The openness and freedom are perhaps their greatest strengths, but there’s also an incredible ability to start and stop notes - pauses in music are dealt with superbly.


They are a high impedance (300 Ohm) headphone, so are not really suited for use with the average mp3 player as you may struggle to get sufficient volume, however in reality I suspect anyone considering these headphones would be using a dedicated headphone amplifier anyway.


Cable length: 2 metre

Standard jack plug: 6.35mm plug

Basic specifications: SPL 102dB, impedance 300 Ohm


Sennheiser HD800 headphones: £1,099.99



Stax  SRS-3170 ‘Classic’

The SRS-3170 Classic package combines the SR-307 Earspeakers with the SRM-323S energiser. Over the entry level SRS-2170 package the gains are most noticeably in dynamics, bass extension and scale of sound.


Cable length: 2.5 metres

Connections: line level RCA phono


Stax SRS-3170 Earspeaker System: £1,195.00


Items from above system can be bought separately:

Stax SR-307 Earspeakers: £395.00

Stax SRM-323S Energiser: £845.00



Stax SRS-4170 ‘Signature’

The SRS-4170 features the SR-407 Earspeakers powered by the SRM-006t valve energiser. This uses a pair of 6FQ7/6CG7 dual triodes and features two RCA inputs and one balanced pair. The sound has a lack of grain and hash as you’d expect from a valve design and it has a wonderful mid band quality that really allows the electrostatic drivers to shine.


Cable length: 2.5 metres

Connections: 2 x line level RCA phono, 1 x  Balanced XLR


Stax SRS-4170 Earspeaker System: £1,695.00


Items from above system can be bought separately:

Stax SR-407 Earspeakers: £495.00

Stax SRM-006t Energiser: £1,295.00



Stax SR-007 mk2 ‘Omega’



The SR-007mk2 package includes the SR-007 mk2 headphones combined with the SRM-007t valve energiser (not pictured). These Earpseakers have a rigid resin and aluminium housing to fight resonance and also provide great comfort. The energiser uses four 6FQ7/6CG7 dual triodes in a balanced arrangement.


It’s a available in two different versions, a ‘standard’ one and a ‘Kimik’ version. The Kimik adds selected New Old Stock valves that have been cryogenically treated and with gold plated pins. EAT valve dampers are fitted and the bias and balance are adjusted over a period of 5 days running ensuring the best stereo imaging and sound quality.


Cable length: 2.5 metres

Connections: 2 x line level RCA phono, 1 x  Balanced XLR


Stax SR-007mk2 Earspeaker System: £3,195.00

Stax SR-007mk2 Kimik Earspeaker System: £3,495.00


Items from above system can be bought separately:

Stax SR-007 Earspeakers: £1,995.00

Stax SRM-007t Energiser: £1,995.00

Stax SRM-007t Kimik Energiser: £2,295.00



Stax SRM-009

The SR-009 is the new flagship Earspeaker from Stax which uses an exceptionally thin diaphragm material and a new electrode design that Stax call ‘MLER’ (Multi Layer ElectRodes). I will add further comments about the sound of this headphone when time allows, but I must add that this is the most astonishing headphone I’ve heard - it takes the legendary transparency and realism that Stax headphones are famous for and elevates it to another level.


The SR-009 is photographed above with the SRM-007t Energiser, for pricing and more details please see the SR-007 system detailed above.


Stax SR-007 Earspeakers (excluding energiser): £3,695.00






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