Headphones Made By the People for the People

An online community partnered with Fostex to create a new pair of headphones, designed by enthusiasts.
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tyler@magneticmag.com
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An online community partnered with Fostex to create a new pair of headphones, designed by enthusiasts.

Imagine if you were able to put audiophile enthusiasts in a room with brilliant engineers, what would they come up with? That's essentially what happened when Massdrop, an online community for enthusiasts, partnered with Fostex to create the new TH-X00 Headphones. Through the process of collaborating with the community, over 15 elements of the product from sound signature (detailed bass, forward mids, smooth highs), to frame material (magnesium alloy), to earcup material (mahogany hardwood) came together to create the ultimate audiophile headphone. From the rise of crowd sourcing and crowd funding have come marvelous innovations, but how did they do when creating a pair of headphones? 

Luckily, I had the opportunity to test these headphones and in all honestly I was very impressed. When the box arrived it was very light, which is always a plus for headphones if they're still solid and built well. The box itself was extremely clean, the simple Fostex TH-X00 label on the front overlaying an all black box with technical specifications on the back. It opens to reveal the TH-X00 headphones, which Fostex and Massdrop greatly succeeded with making them look fantastic. The mahogany hardwood ear cup material instantly stood out to me, this is a unique and great looking pair of headphones. The solid 3m braided Y cable allows for easy and reliable use with amps and audio interfaces. In the box comes a gold-coated stereo plug for use with computers or phones. After I took the headphones out of the box and plugged them into my audio interface, it was time to finally put them on. 

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Without a doubt these are some of the most comfortable to wear headphones I've ever worn. They fit over the ear, and can be adjusted to fit any size head. The first day I received them I literally wore them for almost 8 hours straight and completely forgot that they were on my ears. And they don't just feel good, they sound great too! Music that plays through the TH-X00's is silky smooth. Most headphones would unintentionally create extreme ear fatigue and start to both hurt your ears from being on too long and from playing music with rough frequencies. The TH-X00 is something you can listen to for hours without experiencing any of that type of pain. 

Overall my experience with the TH-X00 was great and I am a huge fan of the backstory where a community of enthusiasts partnered with an audio company to create something innovative. At just $399 these headphones are highly competitive for anyone interested in music. If you are looking for new headphones, I would definitely give these a chance, you won't be disappointed.