TDK launched a slew of audio accessories last week and though I wasn’t able to attend the event, they gladly sent over one of their high-end headphones, the TDK ST-800, for me to try out and test.

I have to admit that I’m not very familiar with TDK except of course that they’ve been making really affordable blank CD-Rs and cassette tapes for as long as I can remember.

So when they delivered this TDK ST-800 HiFi headphones, I was a bit surprised at the packaging. The headphones are definitely premium and targets those who prefer more power and performance than the usual headphones around.

The on-ear headphones are huge, a little on the heavy side with a bit of a short (around 1.5m long) cable which is protected by a thick, woven thread. If you need more length, they included an extension cord about 2 meters long in the box.

The headphones’ exterior are covered by leather stitched around the sides with the headband made of metal (most probably stainless steel) and some plastic. The ear cups have thick padding and protected by thin, smooth leather.

The headphones come with a built-in equalizer that’s attached into the cord. As such, you will also need some battery to power it up — using two AAA batteries tucked inside the left ear-cup. The volume control is found on the right ear-cup which you dial around to get the desired volume (pretty slick feature I’ve never seen in any other headphones).

Sound quality is pretty good, not the best we’ve tried but certainly nice. The bass is good in the middle but somewhat distorted at higher volume. It’s clear and crisp at the low end and at high volume could be ear-shattering.

The EQ plays a role in adjusting sound quality. It allows you to adjust treble and bass but that’s it. Switching it off is no problem while playing music but there’s a couple seconds of delay when you turn it On (probably while it’s powering up).

The TDK ST-800 has an output power of 250mW x 2, a frequency response 20-20KHz, input impedance of 32Ohms and a sensitivity of 1KHz for 111 +/- 3dB.

The volume dial will not work when the EQ is Off and the plate on the cup also turns the headphone to mute by pressing it down. Despite its weight, the ST800 feels comfortable to use but my ears become warm over time.

The TDK ST800 was announced back in January and was released a couple of month ago in the Philippines. The suggested retail price of the ST800 is about Php5,000 Php6,500. The TDK Life on Record Headphones are available in Astroplus and Digital Walker stores nationwide.


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