SITEX 2012 - TVs & AV Products Buying Guide

Headphones - Audio-Technica & Beyerdynamic

Buying Tips: Headphones

Deciding on a pair of headphones can be a challenging proposition. Firstly, one has to decide between smaller in-ears and circumarual headphones. Then there are confounding terms like dynamic drivers and balanced armature drivers to contend with. What do they all mean, and which works best for you? Essentially, IEMs (in-ear monitors) are tiny little buds which fit directly into your ear canal. They are light, highly portable, and they provide passive noise isolation as well. We'd recommend using IEMs if you listen to a whole lot of music whilst you're on the go.

Circumaural or full-sized headphones, on the other hand, are noticeably heavier but they do provide a fuller and more immersive listening experience. Since they cover the entire ear, their noise isolation capabilities are more superior than IEMs too. Although they are getting increasingly popular, as worn by younger commuters and teens, wearers might suffer from 'head fatigue' after extended use due to the pressure from the cups and headband.

There is a fair amount of contention as to whether dynamic or balanced armature drivers offer better audio quality. In our experience, both driver types have their own unique benefits and drawbacks. Dynamic transducers, sometimes known as moving-coil drivers, generate sound based on air vibrations produced by the moving diaphragm actuated by a voice coil and magnet. A single driver in this case is capable of covering a wide sound spectrum. They are also generally warmer and 'bassier' since bass levels are dictated by air reverberations. Some also argue that dynamic drivers sound more natural too.

Balanced armature (BA) types, on the other hand, depend less on air vibrations which also makes them more susceptible to less punchy bass response. In most cases, audio fidelity from BA drivers is typically more clinical although other armature types are often needed to cover the entire audible spectrum effectively. That said, never trust the specifications alone when it comes to IEMs or headphones. Always conduct a sound-check before making a purchase. Bottom line is, let your ears decide!


Audio-Technica (Hall 5, Harvey Norman - Booth 5C10, Song Brothers - Booth 5D20)



Audio Technica ATH-M50 (White Edition)

Audio Technica's M50 is now available in white. This pair of distinguished studio monitoring headphones is equipped with generous 45mm aperture drivers capable of a punchy sonic resolution. The snowy M50 is also fitted with cushioned ear cups and an adjustable headband for added comfort. It's yours for only $198, exclusively at SITEX 2012. 

  • Sitex Price: $198
  • Usual Price: $268


Audio Technica CKM-55

Looking for a pair of all-purpose earphones? Audio Technica's CKM-55 has been widely compared to the Klipsch Image S4, and it's not hard to see why. Both models are known for their comfortable build and fairly accurate acoustic delivery. Best of all, you get another pair free when you purchase the CKM-55 at SITEX. 

  • Sitex Price: $78
  • Promotion: Buy One Get One Free

Click here for Song Brothers brochures.


Beyerdynamic (Song Brothers, Hall 5, Booth 5D20)


Beyerdynamic T50p

The major selling point of the Beyerdynamic T50p is its Tesla technology to achieve a very powerful magnetic drive and clean audio reproduction with a low degree of total harmonic distortion. The efficiency over a low-resistance 32 ohm coils makes the T50p ideal for mobile devices too. The T50p ships in a nylon case, complete with mini pouches to hold the 6.35mm jack and in-flight adapters.

  • Sitex Price: $330
  • Usual Price: $369
  • Promotion: Free MMX41 headphones
  • More Information: HWM Review


Click here for Song Brothers brochures.
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