Massdrop x Fostex TR-X00 Mahogany Headphonessearch
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Massdrop x Fostex TR-X00 Mahogany Headphones

Massdrop x Fostex TR-X00 Mahogany Headphones

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(56 reviews)
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Verified Purchaser
Very good 'phones in most ways. The soundstage is quite open, especially for a closed-back headphone. The sound quality is top-notch and the bass really comes through. Plus they're gorgeous. They don't isolate you from external noise very much, but BFD - they weren't intended to. My biggest complaint is that those same lovely earcups really resonate with, and amplify the sound made by, the cord touching / rubbing anything. It's quite loud and intrusive. If you sit very still while listening, you're set. If you turn / nod / bob your head, or move your arms, or the long-ass heavy cord falls, you really hear it.
Verified Purchaser
So just some context, I'm still fairly new to the hi-fi audio but have found myself diving fairly deep at decent pace. I currently trade between the AKG k702, DT990, HD6XX, and now the TR-X00 and power them using the JDS Labs Element, Modi2u+Magni2u or Modi2u+Valhalla 2 (tube).
Comfort: Pretty darn good, they felt comfortable right off the bat. They have low clamping pressure, soft (fairly breathable) earpads, and not nearly as heavy as I assumed they'd be with the wood. Headband, though light on padding, is also surprisingly comfortable. They aren't at the level that you forget they're there but you're not gonna be rushing to take them off when nothing is playing.
Looks: Just look at that mohagany... gorgeous, though you might not feel comfortable wearing them out in public as subtle they are not. I also really wish they came with a different cable, it's just unwieldy, but at least it's removable.
Sound: This is where they really get me. The bass/sub-bass extension is just fantastic and feels punchy and clear without much bleed into the mids. The treble is definitely present but not harsh and sibilant like some other headphones *cough* DT990 *cough* I know. The mids are slightly recessed but clear. Overall they're just so enjoyable for me to listen too for just about everything I've thrown at them. They really sound amazing on tubes but are so easy to drive that they even sound great on my iphone 7+. The one thing I would change would be the soundstage, I just wish it was a bit wider though that might be asking a bit much of a <$1k pair of closed backs.
Value: They're without a doubt the most (to me) enjoyable <$1k pair of headphones I have had the privilege of listening to, not to mention their look and feel just being top-notch.
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So I use the Element as my desktop amp/dac typically with my AKG k702 mostly for the soundstage on the k702. For music I pretty much always use the fostex now, I got some ZMF Ori pads for them which has improved the soundstage and made for an excellent listening experience and for gaming they provide just enough bass thump and the imaging is truly amazing. I use my hd6xx and fostex with my modi>valhalla setup most of the time for listening to music though just cause I’m to lazy to move my cans around a lot and the k702 have a permant home at my desk. I’ve never used my hd6xx on the Element actually. Maybe I’ll try it out and get back to you.
Calebthelion
thx for the reply
Verified Purchaser
Fantastic and fun headphones. Very easy to feed, it's great with my Naim UnitiQute and fantastic with my Pioneer U-05S!
Verified Purchaser
Very happy with the price vs quality. The online yt reviews are pretty much spot on.
Verified Purchaser
Best sounding closed back headphone I have heard under 500 dollars, the cable is long and unweildy, and pads get slightly uncomfortable to me after a few hours , had to buy a different cable to fit my phone from AmXzon ( Sennheiser cables seem to work as long it's a low profile plug ) . Bass is very punchy and fun without bleeding too much into the midrange, Mids and treble are very clear without harshness , Sounds better on Tube than solid state and scales well with better headphone amps , This my new favorite closed back, good job to whoever made this drop happen
Verified Purchaser
I've been using the X00, on and off, for 3 years. I swap them out for listening with other headphones and earphones, including Beyer T1, Shure 1840, Emu (ebony), ZMF Ori (red sandalwood), and 64 ears V8 - so, my reflections are based on these other sounds too.
For another perspective, here is a more audiophile oriented review I wrote on reddit a couple of years back: https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/3xb60j/thx00_review/
The X00 being my cheapest headphones at this time, perform admirably compared with the others. As such, I believe they are good value, though not necessarily priced well for absolute beginners given the 2018 pricing at this time. The X00 certainly does punch above its price tier, though, and I feel they sound better than more expensive headphones such as Fostex's own 900 and stuff like Night Hawk.
The X00 are warm, with great bass, easy & intimate mids, clear but rolled-off highs. They are less V-shaped compared with other headphones from Fostex and Denon based on the same dynamic driver, and IMO, has a much better sound than modern Fostex offerings which tend to have bloated bass, being poorly balanced. The sound signature is a huge improvement on Fostex's own house-sound, from a hi-fi perspective - fun, punchy, warm, somewhat lush, but not OTT or too coloured.
Resolution and separation is middle of the road, but then again they are used side-by-side with the Beyer T1. Sound-stage is surprisingly wide and relatively deep for a closed headphone, but it's not airy and certainly not at the quality of higher end open-phones.
The sound then, is for musical enjoyment rather than critical listening or monitoring. The X00 sets a good example for dynamic sound!
The X00 is easy to drive too, certainly much much much less power hungry compared to my T1 and Ori, and only marginally more demanding of portable power than IEMs. For example, I am getting great results using the X00 on my Pixel 2 phone via a HTC usb c DAC dongle, and of course it works well with my Sony and HiFi-Man digital players too. Still, the sound does benefit from good amping, even if it doesn't scale up like Senn's and Beyer's.
The build quality was rather nice. The wood cups were fantastic, and as you can see in the photo below, the mahogany was well selected with decorative grain. For a sub-500 headphone, really couldn't ask for better.
What I didn't like about the X00 are two things - the cable and the ear pads. The stock cable was terribly difficult to use, being prone to twists and tangling. I ended up getting my X00 recabled with much nicer copper wiring (internal and braided external). Now that the cable is replaceable, not an issue any longer. Though, the X00 does sound tighter and more resolving with a cabling upgrade. The ear pads...well, that's subjective. I have big ears, and the partial fit configuration of the earpads are not the most comfortable - but also not uncomfortable enough to shell out more money for aftermarket pads.
All in all, one of the nicest headphones under <$1000. A worthwhile buy even for audiophiles and more advanced headphone enthusiasts.
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Verified Purchaser
first time feel so satisfied with massdrop's shipment. but I take one star off cuz, when wearing for it like over 1h or 2, if one gets used to beyerdynamic or AKG's design, my head starts to feel like squeezed so badly. But the rest 4 stars are for the overall sound quality and the look. the outer shell of x00 is amazing, since that a lot of Japan hifi brands were using wood for the outer shell, it is quite challenging for fostex to deliver a competitive sound among all those pieces, but I have to say it succeeded, or at least I am happy with the sound. I have owned dt1990, t90 t70 from beyerdynamic, k701, q701 and k7xx from AKG, as well as a few more products from sony and shure including Z7, xba-z5, 1000xm2, WF1000x and se846. So I have really listened to a variety of headphones including those highly praised like z1r, HD800 and some electrostatic headsets, personally speaking I prefer electronic music, orchestra and a bit of vocals, and tr-x00 is so special that, even it shares with sony z7 the same closed back design, x00's soundstage is , from the way i see it, much better, than z7's, considering first the intensity of the sound and spatial distribution of instruments, i really perfer x00 over z7. and this one is just even more powerful than 1990, deliver the true enthusiasm from music and one can easily tell that. the bass is more than enough but still keeps a good distance from the most vocal, so to speak the vertical sound-stage is great, while we are not comparing it with q701 or hd800 since they are all open-backs. i have to say x00 is so good that i havent really find any kind of music that doesn't fit its style. but of course, it needs some decent amp/DAC depending on what you really want. could be a bit hard to fully drive it but its just good to have one.
Verified Purchaser
Really good bass without feeling veiled. Also who doesn’t love wood? Removable cable is a nice idea but I wish the cable was shorter, lighter, and terminated in a 3.5mm instead of quarter inch. Still great regardless. Here’s my modded one in an Amazon Basics case.
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Ares78
What did you use to shape the foam? Razor blade I'm guessing.
Megazine
Didn’t have to shape any foam.
Verified Purchaser
I've had my pair for a couple weeks and I love them they are fantastic for movies and good for gaming. They need an amp to get everything out of them and it doesn't need that much. The only thing for me anyway is the highs are a little bit sharp so I use my amp to turn it down and after that they are super. The bass is very punchy and especially the sub bass has a rolling thunder affect ( great for action movies) and the mids are just perfect. I hadn't changed the pads and I don't plan to they are just fine and the clamp is almost non-existent they float on your head. All round a great headphone and it's hard to beat.
Verified Purchaser
These are awesome. Great looking, quite comfortable, and incredible sound. The whole soundstage is great but the bass in particular really stands out. I've had zero problems over the past almost 3 years.
Verified Purchaser
I would give these a 3, but they DO sound SO good, but there are faults, for $420 I expect a bit more than I received. They are beautiful, and have great sound, but cables make the most hellish zipping sound if you touch them to anything, that resonate through the cups, so watch what cables you choose, because they accept the same as the 6xx's do, so there are plenty of aftermarket cables, that are not built like they were for a 70's vacuum cleaner (and probably longer than most). I was curious as to what kind of dampening there was, after multiple zipping incidents, and, to my utter surprise, and it shouldn't really because Fostex puts out a lot of headphones with the same thing missing, there was just bare wood! No dampening material, no Dynamat type, no fiber fill, nothing... it explains the zipping thing. I have performed the level one Lawton mod on them, not the pads, got some ZMF with the fenstrated leather and they sound AWESOME. The mod took about 30 minutes, and I left the foam out, for now, at his (Mark Lawton) suggestion, and am trying them before I just place it in, without using the tape, to see if they sound better. Also getting some nice Litz braided cables, with NO zipping cover, they aren't an issue on my Sennhiesers, so I bought them with covers. I would recommend these, but also modding them... just 25 cents worth of dampening in the back would have taken care of this... but I know from the T50rp's that this must be SOP for Fostex.
Verified Purchaser
best headphones for under 500 dolla
Verified Purchaser
Screw that holds the Cups to the Headband is almost as small as a screw that holds the arm to your eyeglasses ! It will break. Mine did. Not an easy fix. Googling that revealed it happened to many people. My cups had an ugly blemish on them. Blame the wood I guess. Hit and miss on that. Pads are pretty crappy. Might break in if you throw a baseball at them for a while. Replaced them with Sheepskin. Good sound for music. Mids are a bit muddy but handles Lows very well. Maybe they should get that price to $250 ?
Verified Purchaser
Three stars for price to performance ratio.
To summarize these headphones: they look better than they sound, and they sound better than they fit. This is not to say that they sound bad, just that they look very nice. The fit, however... eh, not so good. Both my DT-880s and Elex headphones are adjusted to the smallest setting - I guess I just have a small head - but Fostex's smallest setting is too large. Having the cups hanging so low was uncomfortable, so I found two pieces of foam originally intended to size a bicycle helmet, and attached them to the underside of the headband with velcro cable ties. Not pretty by any means, but they are much more wearable. The earpads do an excellent job of sealing out external sounds, but at the expense of being not at all breathable, and due to heat and dampness I actually experience relief when removing the headphones.
Microphonics are a problem, as the wood cups are pretty much big resonators for the cables. The slightest motion rubs the cables against the wearer's clothing, and that friction gets amplified directly into the ear cups.
Of note is the metal barrel between the cable and the 1/4" TRS plug. This is a serious, heavy piece of hardware that means business! It stands out in contrast to the headphone frame, which is of average quality. Fostex seems to have invested most of their design and manufacturing resources in the mahogany cups, which are indeed beautiful.
With respect to sound performance and overall usability, I'll talk about the cons first, then finish with the pros. I carefully compared these to my Massdrop x Focal Elex headphones during multiple listening sessions over a period of several days, first using a FiiO X3 gen 2 player with a Schiit Magni 3, then my Onkyo C7030 with Massdrop x Cavalli tube hybrid amp. For acoustic and art music (i.e., "classical" music), Elex was the clear winner, faithfully realizing the music with elegant ease. At their price point, the Fostex cans were a tiny bit disappointing: the instruments seemed to be good imitations of instruments rather than the real thing, and the music was slightly thick, muddy, and indistinct. My $175 DT-880 Premium 32 ohms sound just as good as these TR-X00s. On the other hand, the Fostex handled electric/electronic music quite well, and it was almost too close to call between these and the Elex. Fostex presented a strong, pleasing bass and an overall engaging musical synergy.
A big plus for these cans is their low impedance driveability. Using a downsizing adapter I can enjoy internet video directly from my tablet without maxing out the volume control.
Another pro is of course the removable cable. Three meters is a little excessive for my purposes. I look forward to cable manufacturers getting into the TR-X00 market. One request, if anyone's listening, is to work on the tactile and more objective properties of cables. Gimmicks for improving the sound quality seem to have been done to death, and many reviewers agree that the miniscule gain is not worth the exorbitant cost. An affordable, attractive, well-made cable that lies/coils/folds effortlessly and comfortably and does not kink and feels pleasant to the touch would certainly be a big hit with me, and probably with many listeners. The cables included with my Elex are about as close as I have found yet that meet that ideal.
Overall, I have few regrets with this set of phones. They are a nice complement to my open and semi-open back cans.
If you have a large head and the money and want a gorgeous-looking pair of closed-back phones with juicy bass that does a nice job with rock, pop, and EDM, get this one.
AllegroMaestoso
I noticed you made some comparisons with the Elex. What do these do better than the Elex; Only bass?
Megazine
What I found after some recent very careful comparison using a variety of music on the same CD deck and headphone amp was that the mahoganies outperformed my Elex with a bigger, thicker, heavier sound (overall, not just in the bass range) in most nonacoustic genres. However, the more dense and satisfying sound came at the expense of detail and clarity; some elements of the music were partly muffled or hidden. Also, being close-backed, my Fostex are better at cutting the noise from the furnace/AC in my house. In most situations, I'll reach for my Focals when I want to hear every note with utterly intelligent clarity and precision - usually "classical" orchestral and chamber music. When I'm in the mood for mind-melting heavy bass and big rock, blues, soul, or funk sounds, it's time to plug in the TR-X00s. Jazz can be just as nice with either headphones. Cheers and happy listening.
Verified Purchaser
Wonderful headphones.
Verified Purchaser
Yeah, these are excellent and finally come with a detachable cable. Great amount of bass but not overwhelming. Impressive how well they present bass without overwhelming the rest of the mix. Comparing these to my open-ear HE-4xx, these have much better soundstage. Just make sure you cop the Brainwavz sheepskin leather angled pads. You won't regret it.
Verified Purchaser
Not the bass cannons a bass head would look for, like my JVC-SZ2000s, but if you want to hear the finer details of a smooth bass roll off of an amazing sub bass without it punching you in the head and drowning out the rest of the track then these are worth every penny.
Verified Purchaser
Great headphones and they are some of the most beautiful cans out there! I am one of the few that has all 3 (ebony, mahogany and the purpleheart). The Purplehearts won me over so I had to get all 3 to see the differences. They really are all different. These aren't as bass heavy as the purplehearts, but I'd still call them a basshead type headphone. They do a great job with a lot of different music types. They do have very clear mids and work better with rock music than the purplehearts.
I think out of the 3 I may like the ebony the best, but to be honest you can't go wrong either way. I guess I would say that if you're into rock / metal, get these. Rap / EDM / Bass heavy music, get the purplehearts. The Ebony are something different. They seem to be the most close to neutral out of the 3. So each of them is good in their own way. I love all three of these guys. So well crafted, they look like a work of art. I drool every time I look at them!
Verified Purchaser
This is truly an excellent set of headphones and it's made even better by the addition of removable cables. Highly recommended!
Verified Purchaser
Great sound, deep bass and gorgeous!
Verified Purchaser
These should really be 5 stars with the sound quality and comfort of them; however, my pair has a pretty significant twist in one of the cables. Because the cables are not detachable from the earcups, I’m stuck with a twist on the right side where it hangs around my collarbone. This slip up is persistantly annoying and even unsightly, but they sure as hell make up for it in sound quality. This isn’t a very light pair, but the quality of materials and leather make them comfortable all the same.
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if the review's 4 weeks old, it's probably for the old version.
jasdfhg
whoops,
didn't know there was version change
Verified Purchaser
Smooth top end notes, a luscious middle and tight yet firm bottom end. What else can I say, a sophisticated sound profile that enables the subtleties to shine through. If this was a whiskey it would be a Speyside single malt.