These are big. Huge even. I was kind of scratching my head when I tried to do a Bus Ride Impression with the Fostex TH-X00. These are not exactly the types of cans that you will tote along when traveling unless perhaps you are in a plane ride for at least 4 hours, then maybe, maybe it will be fine. Nah, not really. These are not portable.
For starters, the headband is about an inch wide and about 1/4 inch thick. Cups houses the 50mm dynamic transducers which already gives you an idea how big the cups are. Attached on the cups are solid, non-detachable 10 ft. thick cables which are already a weight on its own.
But, the TH-X00 is damn GORGEOUS!
I know I am not supposed to be conned into buying cans merely by the looks of it, but dang these are perhaps one of the prettiest cans I have seen in my existence. The purpleheart cups are finished in gloss, which made my heart skip a beat. Man, these are awesomely lovely.
However, no decent audiophile (emphasis on AUDIOPHILE) will be hooked into buying a gear on looks alone, so let’s take a stab on how these sexy gals fare in terms of sound quality:
Mother Nature’s Son
Intro of guitars and banjo is very crisp, highly detailed. Emphasis can be clearly seen on 241hz to 850hz frequencies in the intro with a little peaking on the upper frequencies. Mid bass seems to be the strength of TH-X00 for the track as it was very smooth with a very nice extension towards the sub bass.
I tried to tickle my fancy by playing to the strength of these cans. I have heard the Mahogany version of the TH-X00 and I know for a fact that these cans are for bassheads. True enough, TH-X00 Purpleheart held up to what has been expected of it: bass. From sub bass to mid bass the TH-X00 is relentless. One will be fed with the urbane rumble of the bass throughout the track. The best part of it is in spite of the implacable bass lines, no bleeding was ever heard in the track. These is exactly what bassheads should be looking for in their gears. Guitars on the intro were never drowned by the bass guitar and the drums, Gwen Steffani’s voice is crystal.
Alanis Morisette’s voice stepped in a bit more forward than the rest of the frequencies at the beginning of the track. Bass guitar sounded impeccable and velvety. Guitars were excellent to accentuate the track but seems to be laid back compared to the rest of the instruments. The track sounded very exquisite with the TH-X00
Again these are not the cans you would normally take in a bus ride, but if you do, it can offer a good isolation once playing. It has a good seal given the plush cups (not as plush as the Alpha pads though), it should be enough for an unperturbed listening experience on the road.
Which goes to my issue with the cans. Definitely not portable as it is not as lightweight as I hope it to be. Thick, long cables are such a drag and the cups are quite big. But in a desktop setup, these are spectacular. I expect that if these are driven by the right amplifier, these should yield even more astounding results (albeit these are easy to drive).