The headphone with its super bulky changeable cable.There is something wrong with you if you are in this head-fi arena yet don’t know or never heard about this Taiwanese’s brand, Superlux. This is a very good headphone and microphone (Audio) company which mainly made very good audio product with a very friendly and beautiful price tag. Personally, I have no experience with most of the Superlux headphone except HD 381F and HD661 (from my first impression,I will arrange doing another review with it as soon as possible) while I am still not familiar with audiophile and sound anyway (which I am still not doing good and naturally until now honestly), while I am having my Creative Aurvana Live! (CAL!),I hardly admire or easy with Superlux HD661 sound when doing comparison with, same goes on when I compared the HD381F with Soundmagic E10, despite of reading from all of the reading available in the internet, I am not really into Superlux sound signature which sometime for me, HD661 high always have some unnatural feel to my ears, the clamping force of it is really hard and causing uncomfortable even under short period of listening time (I know this can be solved with clamp it to something bigger than your head). For me,CAL! sound is much more enjoyable and clean,although bass is not that good,deep and punchy as HD661, I will do a review again and confirm with my readers for HD661 sound especially when compared to HD631 and CAL! if my friend permit to do so as he is staying at different place which need 8 hours of bus transportation from my place.
All right, I guess I am going too far again,lets stick to the big boy in this review, I just hope that readers can understand what I have encountered with Superlux headphone before. So I have the chance to review the HD631 when I requested to Superlux Malaysia but sadly,nothing come free but only with a nice price, so thanks again for the generous, I bought this headphone and do review with it, with a good buyer Joe Lim (Big thanks and how surprise that she is a girl). Before we started, I have to CLARIFY THAT :
1) This headphone have exceeded 200 hours of burn in period,after 50 hours of burn in,I don’t noticed any changes in sound.
2) All of the review and opinion,is all based with my sound preference and my very personal opinion and sense of mine, sound is very subjective.
3) I am using Bravo tube amp (V2) and a local made Ess Sabre ES9023 DAC (which is very superb and I will do another review with it shortly),and an Objective 2 amp ( my main workhorse), compared with approximately another 3 sets of superb entry level headphone.
4)The music file I use here is all lossless file playing through Foobar 2000 software (Unless stated)
Superlux HD631 is Superlux latest DJ headphone which now, should be the most expensive headphone in its own range(Malaysia). Which easily sitting around in RM280 to RM300 price range. Spec are belowed (Direct translated in to English):
Driver : Φ51 mm，Neodymium
Sensitivity: 101 dB SPL (1mW)
Frequency Range: 20-20,000 Hz
Maximum Power Handling: 3000 mW
Impedance: 40 Ω
Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.25% @ 1kHz / 1V
Pad: Synthetic leather
Cord Length: Seperatable 3m Coil Cable，Single sided
Adapter: Gold Plated 3.5 mm plug
Headphone pad tension to ears: Approx 5 Newton
Nett Weight not including the coil cable: 260 g ( 9.16 oz)
This headphone which I get is a review unit (Paid for a good price),surprisingly,this headphone’s packaging is nothing more than simple and cheap,with a normal box and whatsoever. But this is normal given the price, I think we will only look at the packaging when we very first receive the headphone,after that,we will never touched the box again if without special occasion. Given 3.5 to 6.25mm Gold Plug and a manual book,cable clip with a red colour headphone sleeve. Build quality for me is excellent especially considered the price tag,built firmly and quite tough.
I don’t have any problem with the packaging anyway. But what I really don’t like here is the super duper bulky and heavy cable,it is a coil cable so normally it won’t be appeared that long,without extend the ‘spring’ of the coil cable,it appeared to be almost same length as normal headphone,but you have to bear the extra weight of the cable. This is a very heavy headphone already without the cable,with the cable,it is even heavier. So anyone whom think will need a lightweight or ‘on the go’ headphone,obviously have to look elsewhere.
Physically it is really beautiful with shiny chrome,for me,looked real beautiful and handsome. Build quality is on par with those big brand in similar price if not better.
Comfort and Isolation
I think everyone will have big problem with this HD631 when come to comfort,the comfort is really a super big issue with this headphone. Like other Superlux Headphone,it clamp very hard to your head,which will cause minor pain to your head, and might cause some headache if you use it more than 10 minutes. So don’t let this push you away,there is a easy way to make it exert comfortable or just enough pressure on your head, you can clamp it to something bigger than your head, just like the original packaging box and leave it there for few hours or days, until you think it is nice to your head. So after this act,it is now much more comfortable,but because of the weight of this headphone, I can’t call it comfortable, but definitely far from being uncomfortable.
This is a closed headphone,so sound won’t leak out,isolate wise is beyond average, at least when I play some music,I am isolated from the world already.
It can be super good feature headphone but it is most important factor when come to sound, Sound justify all. I amped it with Objective 2 headphone amplifier, before burned in,the bass is muddy and not really shown,treble is somehow ‘loss’, so for my first impression is, this sound closed,really closed,no spacious,no airy,music won’t flow smooth,is really heavy weight sound,you can always feel there is something lies between you and music,the vocal sound is never sweet, never sound good,in fact,to my ears, sounded unnatural. treble cut off. Detail somehow is not impressive, sound plasticky.
After burned in period,sadly,nothing change much.despite sound signature is not that plasticky right now,but do a blind test you still will know that this is definitely a closed headphone. Sounded really closed,so you think that it will be good for RnB and Hip hop music,to my ears, the bass of it is not that impressive.Yes,you can feel the bass is there if there is any,punchy but with no good of extension and depth. I just can’t believe my ears, I invited my audio buddy and basically he get the same result as I do.
Hotel California – The Eagles (Hell Freezes Over)
From what my audio buddy told,it has no good sense of sound stage and detail here. Imaging is real bad, you can’t get the instrument position right. The sound of the cymbal is not accurate and crisp, ambience wise,is not good. Vocal is average,but the presentation is boring and not fun,sound is not passionate. The lower end is ok but guitar sound flat and dull. I am agreed with him, with additional that i can’t hear the plucking of the guitar, and vocal and whole song is not enjoyable.
Night Flight – Vanessa Mae ( The Best of Vanessa Mae)
The violin sound for me is not sweet, and somehow dead,boring and lifeless. bass take away most part in a bad way. You can’t hear more with this headphone. Sadly but the violin sound is not clear,lack clarity. Quite muddy.
So maybe this genre of music just can’t done right by HD631,what about some RnB song with some bass in it?
Opera 2 – Vitas
The high of Vitas’ vocal is quite challenging for headphone. Obviously,you can feel that instrument sound louder than the vocal,and vocal of Vitas sound a bit more rough and dirty,in another word,not clear, especially when the chorus slide in,the high is not nice,something like….not power enough to go that high.From my another setup, Vitas vocal can make your spirit ‘vanished’ for few second when he start to sing high,but what HD631 give me is really annoying and not enjoyable.
心酸的情歌 – 彭佳慧 （绝对收藏 Sony CD1)
I understand the problem of HD631 when playing any songs which need good vocal performance,it sound weird at high (when singer start to raise the key note),sound encore and dirty,clarity is not there. Basically music louder than vocal. You can’t feel the soul of a sad love song.
Danza Kuduro – Don Omar & Lucenzo (Fast 5 soundtrack)
The starting bass of this track is ok,but I still think that the bass is not hitting real hit, not that kind of punch to your head bass, I am aiming high on the bass region of this headphone because of the DJ name. The bass is not big and full body,is small but quite present, with good sense of softness. But the vocal of the rapper, is not enjoyable,the sound will easily get tired.
Mocking Bird – Eminem (Curtain Calls :The Hits)
What can I say? Sound quite muddy, you can hear what Eminem say, but sound quite weighty not only on music but also vocal. Dynamic wise,is not there.
Family Affair – Mary J.Blidge (No More Drama)
When music started,you can get reasonable low region respond in the music,bass goes reasonable deep but decay quite fast,definitely not big body bass. Vocal sound quite backward. In another word,this song is still quite fun to listen under this headphone
Don’t get me wrong,I am fine with recommending good headphone, I will not be getting proud or honor if I step on another headphone, I told what I feel,I am trying pretty hard to find the good of the headphone, but with the price,I really have much more better headphone to recommend, especially with lower price. I am expecting something good from this headphone,which cost almost 2 HD668B,and much more expensive than HD681,HD661, I expect something that would justify its price factor. I am thinking to get one HD631 for myself since first day i browse through Superlux website, this headphone is not mine,I am just ‘borrow’ it to review. I am not aying that this is a bad headphone, but with the price you paid,I think you will get better headphone out there from contender of the big brand out there. I can’t really found one good point that HD631 that can excel others with good point. Seriously, I like Superlux although I don’t owned one,I have at least introduce it to one person (but he bought 2 Superluxes), and for few time almost getting a pair for myself,I just appreciate what Superlux bring to us in past, a super good price headphone come with excellent price tag, which appeared to almost everyone,sadly,not the same case for HD631,for me,although very sorry tosay, but I can’t tell lie, what I can say is maybe the sound signature is not what I like,definitely better than those fake Beats anyway,the customizable cable is really come in handy,and it is 3.5mm female to male, so really easy to find replacement part. Anyway,with the price to sound ratio, I am sorry but to say, I won’t be recommend this headphone.