FS: Headphone Samson SR 950 Over ear Headphones


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Abhinav Rakesh

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Review from Recording Magzine
The SR950 is a closed-back dynamic headphone with 50 mm drivers and Neodymium magnets. Like the SR850, it offers a comfortable fit with velour-padded earpads and a self-adjusting headband, and has the same 8.25' straight cable with minijack and screw-on 1/4" adaptor. It’s also a 32 ohm headphone and gives the listener plenty of volume from even the wimpiest sources.
Its closed earcups are substantially larger than the SR850’s and seal tight to the ears; there’s very little bleed unless you’re listening at dangerous SPL. It’s slightly heavier than the SR850 as well, with a weight of nearly 11 ounces. The headband and earpads are comfortable enough so the extra weight doesn’t get fatiguing for several hours.
The SR950’s stated frequency response (again, with no tolerances given) is 10 Hz to 25 kHz, and the frequency plot in the manual shows an intriguing curve with significant (up to 6 dB) smooth bumps below 100 Hz and from 5 to 20 kHz, centered on 10 kHz or so. I was curious to hear how these phones sounded with that sort of response...

The SR950: Listening After the neutral clarity of the SR850, the SR950’s sound was a real surprise, and the word I’d use to describe the experience is “fun”. The SR950 has a lot of high mids and presence, and a whole lot of yummy, clear, powerful bass. That makes it a blast (literally!) to listen to when working with
any sort of music that has a lot of critical information in the low end—not just EDM, hip hop, or electronica, but also a lot of jazz that relies heavily on string bass and piano.

Vocals are exceptionally forward and dramatic in these phones. You can pick out intonation issues, lip smacks, and other details with ease, and know when things need to be fixed. The highs aren’t as extended as on the SR850 but there’s plenty there, and that bump around 10 kHz means you feel what there is with more energy. The soundstage is dramatically separated into Left and Right, with less of a sense of implied “phantom center” than some phones provide. I attribute this at least partly to the isolation that the SR950 provides, which is pretty impressive. It’s not until you take them off and the real world once again intrudes on your consciousness that you realize just how little of it was filtering through into your ears; specialized isolation headphones will seal things out more effectively, but you’d have to hunt pretty hard to find a pair of iso headphones that are this much fun to listen to. This frequency response is really
geared toward excitement, with the mids a bit laid back behind the kick-ass bass and lush treble. I can see these phones becoming popular for recreational listening and for a check on popular trends in modern headphone design as well as for detailed work in the studio; they do have more of a nod toward the big-bass/clearhighs sound that’s popular today than many studio phones.

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