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California Headphones


California Headphones Laredo





First of all a big thank you to californiaheadphones.com for making this review possible, and secondly, California Headphones are doing a Kick-start event for their headphones if you are interested, http://kck.st/MqSszu

Specs.
Dynamic driver, 40mm
Frequency range: 20Hz 20KHz
Impedance: 32 Ohm
Sensitivity: 123 dB/mW
Price: $99.95



Build quality and accessories.
The build quality is excellent, with high quality materials such as metal and real leather, well put together and a retro aviator look. The 120cm cable is soft and cloth covered, and it terminates in a straight jack. There is also a built in splitter in the cable so that another set of headphones can be connected straight to it. The housing is made of stamped metal with die cast hinges and the earpads and headband are covered with real leather, there is a true premium feel to the Laredos. There are no accessories included, not that you need any to use them, but a pouch or a case would be nice.

Comfort and fit.
The Laredos are light and comfortable to use even for longer listening sessions. The headband can be adjusted for length. The on ears design means that isolation from ambient noise is not that good, but once the music starts playing the isolation is fully acceptable. There are no microphonic noises from the cloth covered cable.



Sound quality.
The Laredos sound very good straight out of the box, and only change very slightly with burn in. They offer a natural yet powerful sound with pronounced and detailed mids, my personal favourite among sound signatures.
The low end is powerful with great impact and nice texture, the mids are natural sounding with good detail and up front, the highs are also natural sounding if a little rolled off. The soundstage is about average, but nicely layered with very good positioning.

My favourite tracks sound absolutely spot on, vocals and guitars sound excellent and very true to life, while there still is a nice punch in the low end when needed. As I already said, they have a sound signature that happens to be my personal favourite, if I would compare them to IEMs, they would be very close to the PFE 232s, which by coincidence are my all time favourites. I may be biased, but to my ears the Laredos are absolutely brilliant!



To sum up.
The good, excellent sound, excellent build quality, cool retro aviator look.
The bad, nothing really.

Verdict.
The Laredos are superb for the asking price. Highly recommended!





Colour Your World by Urbanz


Colour Your World by Urbanz Dual Ear Cup





First of all, thank you to CYWbyUrbanz.com for making this review possible.

Specs.
Dual dynamic drivers, 40mm and 15mm
Frequency range: 20Hz 20KHz
Impedance: 32 Ohm (40mm driver) 8 Ohm (15mm driver)
Sensitivity: 108 dB/mW
Price: 49.99

Build quality and accessories.
The build quality is great, materials used are good and well put together. The 150cm cable is soft with a nice rubbery feeling to it, and it terminates in a 45 degree jack that has a built in splitter so that another set of headphones can be connected straight to the jack. The housing is mainly made of plastic and with the glossy finish and soft earpads and metal headband they look very nice and most of all very retro. There are no accessories included, not that you need any to use them, but a pouch or a case would be nice.

Comfort and fit.
The Duals are light and comfortable to use even for longer listening sessions. The headband can be adjusted for length. The on ears design means that isolation from ambient noise is not that good, but once the music starts playing the isolation is fully acceptable. There are no microphonic noises from the cable.



Sound quality.
The Duals need a bit of time to settle, after they have been burned in they offer a very powerful and slightly warm sound that is very fun and engaging.
The low end is powerful with great impact and nice texture, the mids are natural sounding with good detail, the highs are also natural sounding if a little rolled off. The strongest point is the huge and very well layered soundstage, with its excellent width and positioning.
I found the Duals to sound best on moderate or lower volume, the bass is tight and punchy, but with higher volume it may become a bit too strong, unless you are a basshead.
Don't get me wrong though, the fact that they sound very good at low volume is a refreshing and very good thing.

My favourite tracks sound grreat, powerful and full of energy, and very airy and fun. Especially fun, the overall presentation of the Duals is clearly aimed at sounding engaging and fun. For the asking price the Duals are very good, and if you are a basshead, they are superb!



To sum up.
The good, the very nice sound and most of all the soundstage, sound per , and cool retro looks.
The bad, not really much to complain about at this price point.

Verdict.
The Duals are very good for the asking price. Highly recommended.





Ferrari



Ferrari by Logic3 T350



First of all, a big thank you to Logic3 for making this review possible.



Specs.
Active noise cancelling
Closed back design, 40mm driver
Frequency range: 20 Hz – 20 KHz
Impedance: 32 Ohm
Sensitivity: 110 dB/mW
Colour: Black or beige
Price: Approx. £299



Build quality and accessories.
The build quality is extraordinary, I don’t think I have seen any headphone built to this standard before. The materials used are aluminium, leather and plastic, put together in a very stylish design. The one sided detachable cable is cloth covered and 120 cm long, and it terminates in a straight jack.
The included accessories are, three different cables (pure audio cable and headset cable with mic for android and iphone), a 3.5 to 6.3 mm jack adapter, a flight adapter and very nice hard case with built in accessory case. Excellent accessory kit, and especially the case is superb!



Comfort and fit.
The T350s are very comfortable to wear, the big and soft leather earcups have just the right amount of pressure to stay put without being too tight. The soft headband adds to the comfort as well, and they do not feel heavy at all even if the scales tells a different story. There are next to no microphonic noises from the cable. As for isolation, the T350s are active noise cancelling, which means that there is a slight background hiss that cancels out low frequency rumble from a jet engine, as an example.



Sound quality.
The T350s do not really change drastically over time with burn in.
The sound signature is warm, yet impressively detailed. The bass is very tight and precise, mids are sweet and full of detail, and the highs are clear and expansive, the soundstage is large and well layered for a closed back headphone.

My test tracks, and all other tracks I have tried with them sound impressive, full of detail and very precise, yet very dynamic and musical. They sound great with all music, and can be easily driven by an mp3 player as well as a high end system.

The active noise cancelling is powered by two “AAA” batteries and turned on or off on the right hand earcup. The noise cancelling needs to be active for any sound to come from the T350s, as with most other NC headphones, the downside being that when the batteries go the sound goes too. The noise cancelling works really well for low frequency continuous rumble, as it is intended, but struggles with high pitched and sudden bursts of noise. This is by no means a fault or shortcoming of the T350s, as a Ferrari dealer would put it, “they all do that sir”.



To sum up.
The good: superb sound quality, outstanding build quality and design, excellent hard case and accessories.
The bad: cannot be used without the noise cancelling feature.

Verdict: If you are a frequent flyer or just after some really nice sounding headphones that cancel background noise, the Ferrari T350s should be on your short list. Highly recommended!





German Maestro


German Maestro GMP 435s





First of all, thank you to Hifiheadphones.co.uk for making this review possible.

Specs.
Open back design
Frequency range: 20 Hz 27 KHz
Impedance: 35 Ohm
Sensitivity: n/a
Colour: Black and silver
Price: 189

Build quality and accessories.
The build quality is superb, and it is backed up by a three year manufacturers warranty as well. Very impressive!
The housing is made of plastic, as is the headband. The earcups are covered in leatherette and feature a unique five way floating suspension. The part coiled cable is 300 cm long with a straight jack, and comes with a 3.5 to 6.3 mm jack adapter. Apart from the adapter there are no accessories included, a bit like buying a BMW or MB, you have to spec everything as extras.

Comfort and fit.
The GMP 435s are very comfortable to wear, and at 240 gram they are not too heavy for longer listening sessions either. The five way floating earcups are very comfortable and the headband applies just the right pressure for ultimate comfort as well as perfect fit.
There are no microphonic noises from the cable.



Sound quality.
Colour me impressed, the 499 Sony Z1000s that I reviewed some time ago have got a real contender in the 310 cheaper GMP 435s. The sound character is nearly identical, natural, big and full of detail.

The GMP435s, just like the Z1000s, are more about quality than quantity when it comes to the presentation, the attack and sub bass is very precise, the mids are smooth and buttery, and the highs are airy and clear. The soundstage is very nicely layered and expansive in a 3D way.
The sound signature is natural and accurate but without sacrificing the fun.

My test tracks, and all other tracks I have tried with them sound impressive, very precise and engaging. I know this is getting tedious already, but just as with the Z1000s I was especially impressed by the guitar sound the GMP 435s can reproduce, Mr Gilmour and Mr Knopfler are sounding their absolute best. The GMP 435s are very refined and absolutely top class sounding, with these you will be enjoying your personal concert every day, wherever you are.
They can be easily driven by a mp3 player as well as a high-end system.



To sum up.
The good: excellent sound quality and build quality.
The bad: nothing really, the lack of a pouch possibly.

Verdict: In two words, highly recommended!





Hifiman


Hifiman HE-300





Specs.
Open dynamic driver, 50 mm
Frequency range: 15 Hz 22 KHz
Impedance: 50 Ohm
Sensitivity: 93 dB/mW
Colour: Silver
Price: $249


Build quality and accessories.
The build quality is excellent. The housing is made of plastic with metal enforcement, and the headband is metal covered in soft leather. The braided cable is detachable and 300 cm long with a straight jack.
The included accessories are, a 3.5 to 6.3 mm jack adapter and a soft pouch.

Comfort and fit.
The HE-300s are very comfortable to wear, and at 270 gram they do not feel too heavy either. The headband is nicely padded and applies just the right pressure for ultimate comfort as well as perfect fit. The padding on the earmuff is very soft and well sealing around the ear, but since they are open back design they do not really offer any isolation from outside noise..
There are no microphonic noises from the cable.



Sound quality.
The HE-300s do not really change drastically over time with burn in.

The HE-300s have a warm and smooth sound signature, the attack and sub bass is very good, the mids are smooth and lush, and the highs are slightly in the background due to the overall warmness of the presentation. The soundstage is very nicely layered but not really that large, more like a small intimate jazz club venue.
The warm sound means that the HE-300's may not be the ideal headphones for accurate monitoring, but they certainly offer a very nice sound.

My test tracks sound very good and laid back, one can listen to the HE-300's for hours on end without any kind of listening fatigue.
They can be driven by a mp3 player as well as a high-end system, but the more power they are fed, the better they sound. One thing to consider about open back headphones is that they leak sound out of the back, so everyone within earshot will hear what you are listening to.



To sum up.
The good: very nice sound and stylish looks.
The bad: not readily available to buy.

Verdict: If you like a warm and smooth sound then the Hifiman HE-300's should be high up on your list. Highly recommended!


Jaybird


Jaybird Sportsband 2





First of all, thank you to advancedmp3players.co.uk for making this review possible.

Specs.
Bluetooth headset
Dynamic driver
Frequency range: n/a
Impedance: 32 Ohm
Sensitivity: 117 dB/mW
Battery: music 8h, calling 11h, standby 250h, charging 2.5h
Colour: black, blue, red, white, etc. Nine different colours to choose from.
Price: 99

Build quality and accessories.
The SB2's are made from high quality plastic, the headband adjuster is aluminium and the buttons on the right earpad are moisture sealed. The SB2's are built for heavy duty and it shows and feels, excellent build quality.
The accessories included are, two pairs of spare ear cushions, a USB charging cable and a quick guide. Everything needed, but a pouch or a case would have been nice to include.



If your player lacks bluetooth, you can purchase a separate adapter, shown in the picture, for 49.

Comfort and fit.
The SB2s are light and comfortable to use even for longer listening sessions. The headband can be adjusted for length. The on ears design means that isolation from ambient noise is not that good, but once the music starts playing the isolation is fully acceptable.
Last but not least, the lack of cables is a real freedom and comfort boost.

Sound quality.
The SB2s connect to your player, or smartphone by wireless bluetooth, the pairing is quick and easy. I tried them with a Samsung Galaxy 5 as well as with my usual review sources, with the bluetooth adapter.



There are controls for volume, play/pause and next (ff)/prev (rew) on the right-hand side earpad.

The SB2's sound very good, and when one takes into account that the sound is wirelessly transmitted the sound is spectacular. The bass is full and punchy, without colouring the mids that are very natural sounding, the highs are crisp and clearly audible. The soundstage is very big and quite nicely layered.
My favourite tracks sound very good, with just the right amount of detail and musicality in the blend.

Just keep in mind that the SB2s are not meant for critical listening or Hi-Fi monitoring, they are meant for sporting and general listening on the go, for which they are excellent.

To sum up.
The good, very good sound, call and music management, stylish design, wireless
The bad, nothing really stands out as bad



Verdict.
Wireless earphones, yeah right, they cant sound good, can they? Thats what I thought when I was presented with the SB2s, how wrong I was. They are great for listening on the go and most of all they give a real sense of freedom without tangling cables, and of course you can answer and make calls without any problems. Highly recommended.





Jays


Jays v-Jays





This time we have a pair of supra aural headphones for reviewing.
Being made in Sweden, could the v-Jays be the Volvo T5 of portable music? Lets find out.
The RRP is set to 59.99, and being recently released they seem to sell around that price.

Build quality is very good.
The cabling is modular with a length of 60 cm/23.5 in and a /70 cm/27.5 in extension, the cable is soft and has a nice quality feeling to it. Accessory pack consists of two spare ear cushions. Nothing more than the absolute neccesity, but there really isnt any need for more, even if a pouch of some sort would have been nice to include.

The v-Jays = comfort.
They are extremely light at 59g, the headband has two joints and adjusting sliders which allows them to be folded for transport and storage. The ear cushions/speaker units are mounted with ball joints to ensure the best comfort to your ears.

How about the sound?
In one word, fun! They have a powerful sound with a wide and deep soundstage that can very well rival the sound of much more expensive and bigger headphones. The low end is meaty and can punch hard when needed, the mids are quite laidback but still detailed and natural sounding, the highs are bright and expansive. My favourite tracks feel very airy and dynamic, I get swept away with the music.

To sum up.
The sound they produce is engaging and fun, designwise they look really nice, build quality is very good, they are light to wear and the comfort is absolutely top class.
The main drawback is the lack of an accessory pouch and it can be hard to tell left from right due to the styled marking on the inner side of the headband.

I do highly recommend the v-Jays, they can very well stand their ground against more expensive headphones.