Top positive review
Bang for your buck.
February 10, 2018
I am a self-professed headphone junkie and my collection ranges from high end brands like Etymotic Research, Sony HD, and Sennheiser HD down to Beats, Jaybird, and Bose. I have on-ear, over-ear and in-ear headphones. Some are reference level, while others have significant DSP coloration. Also, I have purchased all my headphones, so I have absolutely no allegiance to any manufacture.
I’m using my Sony NW-ZX300 DAP as my source player and I have turned off all DSP features so I can hear exactly what each of these headphones have to offer. Since I love all genres of music, I tested each headphone across Metal, Rock, HipHop, RAP, Soul, Country and Classical music.
Since this are on-ear headphones, I have dug up a couple of my favorite, but similar headphones to compare these to. I have decided to use Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones ($180.00) and Sennheiser HD1 On-Ear Wireless Headphones with ANC ($260.00). I would have compared these to Beats, but I have returned every pair I have ever tried.
I will try to compare this group objectively based on size, comfort, stability, controls, sound quality and finally value. So, let’s get to the comparison.
Physical Size) The Bose are much lighter and compact when folded, while the Ghostek are largest and heaviest. The Ghostek and Sennheiser are about the same size folded. Winner is the Bose.
Comfort) While on-ear headphones are notorious for heating up and becoming too uncomfortable, I found the Ghostek no exception here. I believe it comes down to the all leather cup always maintaining contact with my ears. The Bose are a joy to wear, because they are light and have a fabric center section. I can wear the Bose all day long with no discomfort. The Sennheiser eliminates the over heating issue by only placing the ear cups on the outer ear edge and leaving some space in between the ear and the driver. But I have to admit that the Sennheiser’s require time and manipulation to make them comfortable. Out of the box the Sennheiser’s clamped like a vise and the ear-cup pads were entirely too stiff. They are getting better with age, but the Bose and Ghostek felt great right out of the box. Winner is the Bose. Second goes to Ghostek.
Stability) Winner is the Bose because of their weight and perfect amount of clamping force. The rest just felt less stable due to their weight. Second place is a tie between Ghostek and Sennheiser.
Controls) Switching between the Ghostek and Sennheiser headphones I kept finding my self seeking the controls, while the Bose controls were easily located. Winner is the Bose. Second place is a tie between Ghostek and Sennheiser.
Sound Quality) While the Bose has excelled so far, I cannot give them the win here. The Bose headphones sound somewhat subdued when compared to than the others. I find that they are passable for most genre, but never really shine. The Ghostek have beautiful responsiveness with any percussion and the bass is right on the mark, but I found some of the mid-range colorized. One particulate weakness was any music with piano notes seemed to sound more like an electric keyboard than a real piano. This really puzzled me since they were great sounding with everything else. The Sennheiser’s, on the other hand, will bring a smile to your face (if you can make them comfortable). They also have a more open sound-stage than the others. They sound like the expensive headphones that they are. Winner is the Sennheiser. Second place goes to Ghostek.
Value) The Sennheiser’s come with Active Noise Cancellation, but to be honest, it is not as effective as any of my premium over-ear headphones with ANC. I would rather have had these without ANC and at a cheaper price.
The Bose’s headphones offer all day comfort, but the sound quality isn’t there to me. However, I do keep them around as they are my go to cans when I’m working around the house or my work shop.
Now we come to the Ghostek which placed consistently in second place. I really liked these with any kind of Rock or HipHop genres and were very good with everything else. This is an exceptional value for the sound quality.