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atrash

Status Audio SM-OB1 open back headphones review

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Posted · Original PosterOP

All pictures taken with Lumia 950XL in a badly lit room. This is my first review btw so please forgive me for any mistakes. Also english is not my first language.

 

 

 

 

So I browsed through the LTT audio subforum earlier this month and I saw @Kloaked thread asking about Status Audio headphones, specifically the SM-OB1. He ended up getting the Superlux HD681-Evo instead but my interest piqued with Status Audio offerings, especially with their price and the warranty they offered, so I ordered the SM-OB1 myself. I’ve never owned any open back headphones before and my daily driver is a pair of Shure SE215 LTD so it’ll be interesting to compare between these two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owh, the price is £52.50 at time of purchase which is about $73 including shipping. (20% discount by using code on the website) (It shipped from UK btw)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoiler

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Spoiler

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The packaging is really simple and it only comes with extra 1/4 inch adaptor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Build quality

 

 

 

 

 

My first impression when I unboxed it was how noticeable the headphones weight was. Seriously it feels really solid and sturdy, reminds me of Shure SRH840 kind of sturdy. Weigh almost the same too.

 

 

Headband is made out of metal with some kind of soft thin pvc layer covering the top part, and soft memory foam for padding. The ear cups are cloth (removable),deep (barely touching my somewhat small but protruding ears) and nicely padded, comfortable enough to be used while wearing glasses. The headband adjustment has a really satisfying click. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoiler

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Me wearing the headphones.

 

 

 

 

 

The driver body has steel grill with plastic linings. I can't even tell which parts of it are metal or plastic just because it feels weighty and cold to touch. Can't say enough how sturdy the headphone is. Cable is thick, pretty long (around 3m I think) and non removable. The jack has metal body with a spring cable strain relief.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoiler

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Sound quality

 

 

 

 

 

I only have the Shure SE215 LTD I own and some faint memory of testing Shure SRH840 and SRH1540 (my dream headphone) at Selfridges and various stores I can compare with/based on. 

 

 

 

 

 

First thing first, this thing leak sound like a proper open back headphones. I could place it flat on the table or hold the open rear side near to my ear and still be able to listen any songs played through it clearly. 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not that well versed to describe the sound in audio terms but I can say that it sounds almost like my SE215 LTD and SRH1540 but with wider soundstage (obviously), bass are not as pronounced as SE215 but very well controlled (it'll still get boom boom enough if I crank up the volume), highs are a touch clearer/crisper than SE215 (which I find the SE215 somewhat lacking for my taste), and the mids are probably the same or just slightly recessed. But in my mind, the sound signature genuinely reminds me of SRH1540 but airier (correct me if I'm wrong). 

 

 

 

 

 

I listen to variety of songs but mostly rock genre. Here are some of the bands/singers I tested with the SM-OB1. Songs are either from my own high quality cd rip/digital download collection or Spotify Premium. Tested using ITunes and Spotify on RMBP. All eq are set to flat/off.

 

 

 

 

 

Circa Survive (local) - If any of you ever listened to this band, they have a really complex instruments playing and with this headphone, I'm listening to instruments I've never really noticed before. 

 

 

Lifehouse (local) - Jason's Wade fantastic guitar sounded much crisper and his voice is also clearer. My favourite band btw.

 

 

Sia (local) - It fells like she's singing straight into my soul. LOL. But seriously, listening to her older album 'We Are Born -2010' was a real joy as her unique raspy, high cute voice sounded much more mellow and natural and the bass in some of her more upbeat songs are really uplifting. Better than my SE215 for sure.

 

 

The Corrs (spotify) - Had to use spotify because I couldn't play the flac files I own on ITunes, but I do know their unplugged album is really good and this time, it feels like I'm at the concert. Andrea's voice and Sharon's violin really came alive and I can clearly pickup the backing orchestra play too.

 

 

Other bands tested: Third Eye Blind, Thornley, Switchfoot, Submersed, David Cook and many more. (non of the mainstream pop stuffs sorry)

 

 

 

 

 

One thing I gotta say, even though it is an open back headphone, I'm surprised that it is not shy on bass when it needs to be but not too overwhelming either.

 

 

 

 

 

In my opinion after 8 hours straight using it, I can safely say I prefer it more than my Shure SE215 LTD, BUT only for home listening in my totally quiet room. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

£52.50 absolutely well spent even though it was an impulse buy. I think my desire to get the SRH1540 might finally start to wane off after getting this headphone (until I have the money to buy one because it's so expensive here LOL). Time will tell if the headphone build will last but I'm a really careful person anyway. I think this headphone is really good for the kind of music genres I listen to. I totally recommend anyone on budget and wanted to try open back headphones to try this pair.

 

 

 

 

 

Feel free to ask me anything in the thread except technical audio stuffs. LOL

 

 

 

 

 

Link to the website: http://thestatusaudio.com

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to thank @Kloaked for bringing up the headphone brand in the forum (never heard of the brand ever prior to that) and I actually followed your review formatting so I hope you don't mind.

 

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What was the comfort overall? We're the pads comfy enough for you? Clamping force was okay? Didn't feel too heavy on your head?

I may have to get a pair this summer. I know there's a cheaper model of this from the company that actually makes it but it has branding literally all over it. I'd pay the extra bucks Soni don't have to paint it myself, ha.

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Are you a ninja?


Bloodshed and the Fenris-Wolf:

| CPU:  Ryzen 9 3900x | CPU Cooler:  Dark Rock Pro 4 | Paste:  Kryonaut | Motherboard:  ASUS ROG x570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) | RAM:  G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 64 GB (4 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 | Boot Drive:  Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME | Storage Drives:  Crucial MX500 500 GB M.2-2280+Western Digital WD Blue 2 TB 2.5"+Toshiba N300 8 TB 3.5" 7200RPM+Toshiba X300 4 TB 3.5" | GPU:  ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2080 Ti AMP Extreme Core | Case:  Cooler Master MasterBox MB511 RGB | PSU:  EVGA SuperNOVA G2 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply w/CableMod E-Series Cable Kit (Black/Red) | Case Fans:  2 Corsair SP140 49.49 CFM 140 mm Fans | Displays:  BenQ PD2700U 27.0" 3840x2160 60 Hz+Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ 27.0" 2560x1440 165 Hz+MSI Optix MAG322CR 31.5" 1920x1080 180 Hz | Mouse:  Corsair M65 RGB ELITE | Keyboard:  Ducky Shine 7 Blackout - MK Exclusive First Release - RGB LED Double Shot PBT Mechanical Keyboard with Silent Red Switches | Mousepad:  Gaya Entertainment Oversized Gaming Mousepad Doom | Audio:  AKG K712 PRO Headphones+Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone+Kingston HyperX Cloud II 7.1 Channel Headset+iBasso IT01 Dynamic Driver Audiophile In-Ear Monitors/Earbuds (Black)+Pair of Mackie MR624s(came with stands+isolation pads) | OS:  Windows 10 Pro |



Bifröst(ROG Zephyrus M GU502):

| CPU:  i7-9750h | RAM:  32GB Dual Channel 2666mhz CL 19(Stock+Samsung 16GB DDR4 PC4-21300, 2666MHZ, 260 PIN SODIMM, 1.2V, CL 19 ) | Storage:  1TB SSD with Optane | GPU:  Nvidia RTX 2060 | Display:  144hz 3ms | Mouse:  Corsair M65 Pro |

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Posted · Original PosterOP

What was the comfort overall? We're the pads comfy enough for you? Clamping force was okay? Didn't feel too heavy on your head?

I may have to get a pair this summer. I know there's a cheaper model of this from the company that actually makes it but it has branding literally all over it. I'd pay the extra bucks Soni don't have to paint it myself, ha.

The pads are pretty comfortable.I used it for at least 7hours straight last night no problem.

The clamping is decently tight without crushing my glasses but it will still slide off the head if i pretend I'm Taylor Hawkins on the drum.

The weight is something I'm not used too because I'm more of iem guy. Weight distribution is about 50/50 between headband and ear cups but padding at the top is wide and soft enough to not dig into my skull. Because the build is really sturdy,no creaking at all so think I need to break it in first to get the right clamping force.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Are you a ninja?

Well I'm asian so probably yeah..LOL

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Well I'm asian so probably yeah..LOL

Pic 5.


Bloodshed and the Fenris-Wolf:

| CPU:  Ryzen 9 3900x | CPU Cooler:  Dark Rock Pro 4 | Paste:  Kryonaut | Motherboard:  ASUS ROG x570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) | RAM:  G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 64 GB (4 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 | Boot Drive:  Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME | Storage Drives:  Crucial MX500 500 GB M.2-2280+Western Digital WD Blue 2 TB 2.5"+Toshiba N300 8 TB 3.5" 7200RPM+Toshiba X300 4 TB 3.5" | GPU:  ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2080 Ti AMP Extreme Core | Case:  Cooler Master MasterBox MB511 RGB | PSU:  EVGA SuperNOVA G2 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply w/CableMod E-Series Cable Kit (Black/Red) | Case Fans:  2 Corsair SP140 49.49 CFM 140 mm Fans | Displays:  BenQ PD2700U 27.0" 3840x2160 60 Hz+Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ 27.0" 2560x1440 165 Hz+MSI Optix MAG322CR 31.5" 1920x1080 180 Hz | Mouse:  Corsair M65 RGB ELITE | Keyboard:  Ducky Shine 7 Blackout - MK Exclusive First Release - RGB LED Double Shot PBT Mechanical Keyboard with Silent Red Switches | Mousepad:  Gaya Entertainment Oversized Gaming Mousepad Doom | Audio:  AKG K712 PRO Headphones+Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone+Kingston HyperX Cloud II 7.1 Channel Headset+iBasso IT01 Dynamic Driver Audiophile In-Ear Monitors/Earbuds (Black)+Pair of Mackie MR624s(came with stands+isolation pads) | OS:  Windows 10 Pro |



Bifröst(ROG Zephyrus M GU502):

| CPU:  i7-9750h | RAM:  32GB Dual Channel 2666mhz CL 19(Stock+Samsung 16GB DDR4 PC4-21300, 2666MHZ, 260 PIN SODIMM, 1.2V, CL 19 ) | Storage:  1TB SSD with Optane | GPU:  Nvidia RTX 2060 | Display:  144hz 3ms | Mouse:  Corsair M65 Pro |

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Pic 5.

My beards are patchy because I haven't shaved for weeks hence why I wore the snood.

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My beards are patchy because I haven't shaved for weeks hence why I wore the snood.

Oh, I'm Norwegian.  Mine goes straight Viking.  xD  I thought you were really into some MKX or CS:GO.


Bloodshed and the Fenris-Wolf:

| CPU:  Ryzen 9 3900x | CPU Cooler:  Dark Rock Pro 4 | Paste:  Kryonaut | Motherboard:  ASUS ROG x570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) | RAM:  G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 64 GB (4 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 | Boot Drive:  Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME | Storage Drives:  Crucial MX500 500 GB M.2-2280+Western Digital WD Blue 2 TB 2.5"+Toshiba N300 8 TB 3.5" 7200RPM+Toshiba X300 4 TB 3.5" | GPU:  ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2080 Ti AMP Extreme Core | Case:  Cooler Master MasterBox MB511 RGB | PSU:  EVGA SuperNOVA G2 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply w/CableMod E-Series Cable Kit (Black/Red) | Case Fans:  2 Corsair SP140 49.49 CFM 140 mm Fans | Displays:  BenQ PD2700U 27.0" 3840x2160 60 Hz+Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ 27.0" 2560x1440 165 Hz+MSI Optix MAG322CR 31.5" 1920x1080 180 Hz | Mouse:  Corsair M65 RGB ELITE | Keyboard:  Ducky Shine 7 Blackout - MK Exclusive First Release - RGB LED Double Shot PBT Mechanical Keyboard with Silent Red Switches | Mousepad:  Gaya Entertainment Oversized Gaming Mousepad Doom | Audio:  AKG K712 PRO Headphones+Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone+Kingston HyperX Cloud II 7.1 Channel Headset+iBasso IT01 Dynamic Driver Audiophile In-Ear Monitors/Earbuds (Black)+Pair of Mackie MR624s(came with stands+isolation pads) | OS:  Windows 10 Pro |



Bifröst(ROG Zephyrus M GU502):

| CPU:  i7-9750h | RAM:  32GB Dual Channel 2666mhz CL 19(Stock+Samsung 16GB DDR4 PC4-21300, 2666MHZ, 260 PIN SODIMM, 1.2V, CL 19 ) | Storage:  1TB SSD with Optane | GPU:  Nvidia RTX 2060 | Display:  144hz 3ms | Mouse:  Corsair M65 Pro |

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