Here’s a real super deal for the holidays, especially if you have audiophiles around. I don’t review headphones much, simply because I don’t like the emails I get from outraged consumers who say they’ve paid out $120 or whatever in a pair of Sennheiser headphones that gave out on the day the warranty ended. Value for money when it comes to headphones as with mobile phones has a lot to do with plain old luck. All I do is play with a toy for a few hours and sometimes a week. All I can say is write down your relevant dates on your iPad’s careener and then go buy yourself a Square-Deal warranty.
Anyway, as far as it goes until your warranty ends, here’s a sure thing! Status Audio are a direct-to-the-consumer company. Their engineers created HD One headphones. They’re not beautifully designed and they don’t come in a bunch of colors like Skull Candy. There are no sweetheart deals to connect you to Spotify or a coupon for a mobile. There won’t be any trendy ads on television or paid celebrity shills. These headphones were manufactured in the USA with a single, sincere goal in mind: Offer up clean, quality sound with a classic look and leave the fashion contours and detailing for established rivals. Indeed, there’s nothing that comes close for $70 from rivals. For the time being, you can go to the HD One headphones site, enter promo code HDONE20 at checkout and get your good deal.
There are a couple of advantages over traditional headphones also. One is the detachable, anti-tangle headphone cable. My youngest son, for example, is always playing along with tunes on his Fender Stratocaster. Ever excitable, he tends to fall into head-banging mode, his head yanking the cable this way and that. Sooner or later it breaks. Now, having a busted cable won’t render the headphones useless. A trip to Best Buy or Radio Shack and it’s replaceable in a snap! There’s also a one-button inline microphone and remote so you can easily answer calls and control music playback because it’s compatible with all smartphones
Sound-wise, its 40mm drivers push out a warm deep, articulated bass that doesn’t rely on fuzzy treble tones. Its mid-range is surprisingly sensitive, and some sweetly defined highs. I did my usual test using Herbert Von Karajan and the Berliner Symphony playing Franz Josef Haydn’s ‘Variations in F Minor’ and the phones passed with flying colors.
It’s wide stereo image is not up there with the very best and brightest, but the HD Ones deserve a great deal of credit for being eclectic enough to allow individual elements of music to show themselves off and especially worthwhile for use with so many eccentrically sound-engineered video games that work within vast spatial locations.
Kudos also to the soft, but durable matte finish that may feel uncomfortably like rubber but doesn’t reflect light. Easy to clean, it doesn’t get sweat-sticky enough to leak into its wires. All of it, the company insists, as a result of good, time-consuming research.
“We really just listened to consumers,” says Status Audio’s founder and CEO James Bertuzzi. “Product reviews, internet forums, you name it — the sentiment towards these big headphone brands was often very negative, mostly in the realm of cost vs. performance. We knew if we made something in earnest, for the intelligent listener that doesn’t follow the tide of established brands, it would be well-received. Consumers want performance. Nothing else”. Sounds great, doesn’t?
They are not available in retail stores. Order directly from the website.