These days China is just spewing out one great audio product after another; some at top prices such as Hifiman with top sq to boot and others, such as Superlux going for the bang for buck hunters with superior quality for stupidly low prices. Either way if you are looking East my friend you maybe onto a winner.

It still is a hit and miss market mind you and I have some samples I am not too fussed on and I was never a fan of the thin sounding HD6 series Superlux’s although the IEM was a not bad. Mind you what they did though was catch my attention for at $50 or less. At this level of pricing you are usually talking starter kit at best, but it seems not anymore.

The Takstar TS-671, for bang for buck detail hunters could be a game changer. I say detail hunters only. For bassheads go for a beer or something because this headphone is not for you. If you want home listening, massive headphones, massive sound stage and prefer your music a little more on the bright side of neutral then this headphone plays better than the luxes I have heard so far, namely the 668b and the 669.

Ok so lets look at what we got before we talk more about why I kind of like this headphone.

Package and build

This is one big headphone. Be under no doubt it is made for the home listening setup and not for mobility. Yet it does not feel that heavy. I do feel there is a sense of balancing on your head though like some some odd deportment class since it is so high off your head but the middle headband fastener is very comfortable and does a great job of keeping everything in place.

The build is quite definitely plastic but looks solid enough around the joints and I dont think it will fall apart that easily.

Being equipped with velour as opposed to pleather is an edge over the Lux full size cans for me. The Lux pleather was too hard and cheap and very off putting when I initially got them and instantly the velour of the takstar was a winner with less sweat and a more comfortable fit. Let us not get too carried away though since this is not AKG K701 quality velour. Its a tad rough to the touch with essence of blanket rather than fine woven soft cloth but at this price level it is more than acceptable and much comfier for my ears.

The over all look of the can pays homage to AKG and ATH but is just different enough in fit and finish to actually carry off a bit of originality which I do appreciate. Clones are all well and good but just leaves you yearning for the real thing and the real sq to boot. Being different points to some sort of principle and integrity in my book anyhow. The cups themselves are open full size over the ear so plenty of room. They have a slight side to side swivel to them but you can lay them flat. The cable is twisted coiled single side (left side) which is handy and not something I expected for a headphone of this size.

Overall a big headphone but light and easy to work enough to work with on your head.

Specs:

Type: Full size, over the ear, dynamic, open
Driver: 53mm
Impedance: 120ohm
Sensitivity: 105db
Frequency response: 12hz – 25khz
Power handling: 500mW

The sound

Now looking at the marketing fluff this is being portrayed as a’hifi’ ‘headphone. What does that mean to me? Well perhaps more graceful? Analytical? Studio and reference? Those are the connotations I got in my mind as I slipped them on and to be honest I was not that far off. Rated at 120ohm with a 105db sensitivity I would suggest pairing this up with an amp to maximize potential. For this session I listened to them connected to a Go Vibe Vulcan+ amp and the HM602 with a mix of 320kb and flac for my pleasure. I think ti could benefit with being paired with a warm amp, tubed preferably if you have one because this is not a dark sounding headphone.

Is 53mm big enough for you??

These are not bass head cans, not in a million years. But it does convey a massive presentation with an uber large sound stage. The star of this show is quite clearly the 53mm drivers nestled in the big cups. The headphones are big on the outside and big on the inside and I love that. It the single over riding impression I got from using them for the last 4 days and what I am remembering about them right now. I am not talking precision Stax like imaging or LCD-2 like subterranean rumbling here but just sheer size alone. This is not intimate, its grandiose and over the top.

Now for overall tonality this is a neutral to bright headphone and as such is more at home with orchestral, acoustic and atmospheric playback and I am going to say probably not bad at movies either. Anything really that needs space to breathe. Now when you say bright let me just say I heard only a little sibilance in my playback. Using a Hifiman HM602 (custom eq), Go Vibe Vulcan+ amp setup, the treble was kind of hot at times, particularly on synth laced fast tracks and some guitar shredding but it never rasped back at me in a way that made me want to wash my ears out. It could though get a little fatiguing so that is why I am saying hot for now but it did sparkle on some tracks nicely when needed.

Here are some examples of that hotness working for and against though to give you an idea of where this headphone is suited.

One of my favorite reference albums is Safri Duo’s – Origins and here I felt this huge sound stage monster could roam free and that they did very well indeed. I really enjoyed Origins, the lead track and it conveyed a real cinematic feel to the sq which is what this track is all about – atmosphere. When these cans hit their stride they can give a much beefier sound than the lux’es and their reach is far and beyond the lux which can at times feel constricted.

Switch to Within Temptation – The Unforgiving and Sinead and Sharon’s soaring vocals combined with the synths and background cymbal work just got a little too spiky at times for me to have a comfortable and smooth experience like the hot but warm Tesla treble of the T50p

Sadly the bass is a tad too light which limits these headphones in terms of genre application, but don’t let that put you off having a go with these. They do lack slam and I suspect that any FR chart will show roll off at the low end. They are not thin by any means but with a 53mm driver I was left looking for a bit more than what I got. I wonder if a pleather pad over the velour would give it a dark beefy sq – worth a thought. Mind you less bass means you are focusing on the music and not the rythmn as much so this will suit me and my detail phase I have been in for the last year or so. I would not say this is a very forward headphone, the mids do quite well to compete with the sparkle in the top end but do get a tad lost in the big presentation. They can come across as a bit dry in my humble opinion. They are ok but nothing breathtaking.

Something to note regarding using my beastly Go Vibe Vulcan+ amp.When switching the sound stage on the amp to active the cups really do appreciate the enhanced width. I mean if there ever was a button designed for these headphones then the sound stage button on the Vulcan was made for it.

So is it flavor of the month time again?

It depends on what you like honestly. This will not appeal to analog loving bassheads and if you have a sensitive ear then you might find it a bit much. But if you are a concert, jazz or acoustic listening detail freak with a love of big open sound stages, airy presentations and don’t mind the fact that you look like a robot with it on your head (for pity sake think of the children and stay indoors!) then you might find yourself with good headphone.

All this for less than $50 or less? Really? Honest?

Setup:

Go Vibe Vulcan+ Headphone Amplifier
Hifiman HM602
Flac – Within Temptation – The Unforgiving
Mp3 320k – Sabri Duo – Origins

About The Author

I think I am old, some would agree, some would disagree....

  • Anonymous

    Hi Marcus,
    Nice site! I think this is my first comment here.

    My friend Bram said nice things about the Takstar. Actually he listened to a Bingle which looks like rebranded Takstars. This is definitely on to-audition list.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Mike, welcome to our humble site :) Always enjoy a trip to headfonia! They have quite a range at Takstar with varying results, hoping our guy comes through with a few more as I would think something with smoother highs and the same big sound stage would be a winner.

  • Dinkoy09

    Possibly a budget valued M50?

    • Anonymous

      On the opposite side of the M50, not a basshead can at all to be honest, huge sound stage, big highs, thin or no bass.

  • 443330

    Hey Marcus how would you compare these to the ATH-AD700’s and the Superlux HD668B’s or any of the other Superlux hps? I am really interested in this as a pair for gaming. Most likely would be using them with a Asus Xonar DG soundcard.
    Also have you reviewed these yet? Takstar HI-2050
    I am really interested in a cheap pair of headphones for gaming so they would have to have a massive sound stage. Sorry for the jumbled post its late here and I am quite tired. Would really like to hear your suggestions.
    Cheers

    • Anonymous

      These have the biggest sound stage by far though a little light on the bass side, but in gaming this might not be a deal breaker. If your looking for cheap but big soundstage this is it .

      • Cam

        Hey so which would you recommend using an Asus Xonar DG sound card for the best positional audio for gaming?

        The Takstar TS-671
        Type: Full size, over the ear, dynamic, open
        Driver: 53mm
        Impedance: 120ohm
        Sensitivity: 105db
        Frequency response: 12hz – 25khz
        Power handling: 500mW

        Or these Takstar HI-2050
        • Type: Wired, open design
        • Transducer Principle: Dynamic
        • Wearing Style: Head worn
        • Frequency Response: 15Hz-25kHz
        • Sensitivity: 92dB±3dB 
        • Driver Diameter: Ø53mm
        • Max.Input Power: 500mW
        • Rated Power: 250mW
        • Impedance: 60Ω
        • Connector: stereo Ø3.5mm + Ø6.3mm gold plated
        • Cable: Ø4mm x 2.2m + 1.8m extension cable
        • Net Weight: 325g

        I am a newb when it comes to headphones but from my limited knowledge the Takstar HI-2050 with its 60 ohms is half that of the Takstar TS-671 wouldn’t that mean its easier to drive? Or would the Asus Xonar DG be powerful enough for the 120 ohms of the TS-671? 
        Ah they appear almost identical to me. I really need some advice choosing between these two.

      • Cam

        Hey so which would you recommend using an Asus Xonar DG sound card for the best positional audio for gaming?

        The Takstar TS-671
        Type: Full size, over the ear, dynamic, open
        Driver: 53mm
        Impedance: 120ohm
        Sensitivity: 105db
        Frequency response: 12hz – 25khz
        Power handling: 500mW

        Or these Takstar HI-2050
        • Type: Wired, open design
        • Transducer Principle: Dynamic
        • Wearing Style: Head worn
        • Frequency Response: 15Hz-25kHz
        • Sensitivity: 92dB±3dB 
        • Driver Diameter: Ø53mm
        • Max.Input Power: 500mW
        • Rated Power: 250mW
        • Impedance: 60Ω
        • Connector: stereo Ø3.5mm + Ø6.3mm gold plated
        • Cable: Ø4mm x 2.2m + 1.8m extension cable
        • Net Weight: 325g

        I am a newb when it comes to headphones but from my limited knowledge the Takstar HI-2050 with its 60 ohms is half that of the Takstar TS-671 wouldn’t that mean its easier to drive? Or would the Asus Xonar DG be powerful enough for the 120 ohms of the TS-671? 
        Ah they appear almost identical to me. I really need some advice choosing between these two.

      • Cam

        Hey so which would you recommend using an Asus Xonar DG sound card for the best positional audio for gaming?

        The Takstar TS-671
        Type: Full size, over the ear, dynamic, open
        Driver: 53mm
        Impedance: 120ohm
        Sensitivity: 105db
        Frequency response: 12hz – 25khz
        Power handling: 500mW

        Or these Takstar HI-2050
        • Type: Wired, open design
        • Transducer Principle: Dynamic
        • Wearing Style: Head worn
        • Frequency Response: 15Hz-25kHz
        • Sensitivity: 92dB±3dB 
        • Driver Diameter: Ø53mm
        • Max.Input Power: 500mW
        • Rated Power: 250mW
        • Impedance: 60Ω
        • Connector: stereo Ø3.5mm + Ø6.3mm gold plated
        • Cable: Ø4mm x 2.2m + 1.8m extension cable
        • Net Weight: 325g

        I am a newb when it comes to headphones but from my limited knowledge the Takstar HI-2050 with its 60 ohms is half that of the Takstar TS-671 wouldn’t that mean its easier to drive? Or would the Asus Xonar DG be powerful enough for the 120 ohms of the TS-671? 
        Ah they appear almost identical to me. I really need some advice choosing between these two.

      • Cam

        Hey so which would you recommend using an Asus Xonar DG sound card for the best positional audio for gaming?

        The Takstar TS-671
        Type: Full size, over the ear, dynamic, open
        Driver: 53mm
        Impedance: 120ohm
        Sensitivity: 105db
        Frequency response: 12hz – 25khz
        Power handling: 500mW

        Or these Takstar HI-2050
        • Type: Wired, open design
        • Transducer Principle: Dynamic
        • Wearing Style: Head worn
        • Frequency Response: 15Hz-25kHz
        • Sensitivity: 92dB±3dB 
        • Driver Diameter: Ø53mm
        • Max.Input Power: 500mW
        • Rated Power: 250mW
        • Impedance: 60Ω
        • Connector: stereo Ø3.5mm + Ø6.3mm gold plated
        • Cable: Ø4mm x 2.2m + 1.8m extension cable
        • Net Weight: 325g

        I am a newb when it comes to headphones but from my limited knowledge the Takstar HI-2050 with its 60 ohms is half that of the Takstar TS-671 wouldn’t that mean its easier to drive? Or would the Asus Xonar DG be powerful enough for the 120 ohms of the TS-671? 
        Ah they appear almost identical to me. I really need some advice choosing between these two.

        • Anonymous

          Perhaps you can post the spec of the Xonar also? Having not heard the 2050 I would be unsure which one is better to be honest with you but having heard and reviewed the TS0671 I would say that sound stage is the biggest asset. Now if bass also is a key demand then this might come across as a bit shallow but overall in gaming I am told accuracy, separation and sound stage are more critical.

          • Cam

            Audio Performance
            Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) (Front-out) :105
            dBInput Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) :103
            dBOutput THD+N at 1kHz (Front-out) :<0.0025 %(-92 dB)
            Input THD+N at 1kHz :<0.0022 %(-93 dB)
            Frequency Response (-3dB, 24bit/96KHz input) :10 Hz to 48 KHz
            Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage :Bus Compatibility
            PCIChipsetAudio Processor :C-Media CMI8786
            High-Definition Sound Processor (Max. 96KHz/24bit)
            Sample Rate and Resolution
            Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution :44.1K/48K/96KHz @ 16bit/24bit
            Analog Recording Sample Rate and Resolution :44.1K/48K/96KHz @ 16bit/24bit
            S/PDIF Digital Output :44.1K/48K/96KHz @ 16bit/24bitI/O
            PortsAnalog Output Jack : 3 x 3.5mm
            RCA jackAnalog Input Jack : 1 x 3.5mm
            RCA jack1 x Digital
            S/PDIF Output : 1 x Front-Panel Header
            Other line-level analog input (for CD-IN/TV Tuner) : 4-pin header on the card
            Special Features
            Smart Volume Normalizer™Xear 3D™
            Virtual Speaker ShifterMagic Voice™
            Karaoke FunctionsFlexBass™
            10 -band Equalizer
            27 Environment EffectsGX2.5
            Gaming Audio EngineVocalFX™

          • Cam

            That didn’t go as planned here’s a link to the Asus specs.
            http://www.asus.com/Multimedia/Audio_Cards/Xonar_DG/#specifications
            At the moment I am of the belief the TS-671’s will be better for gaming, how did I come to this conclusion? 
            Hah, don’t laugh by looking at the manufacturers website. This is the recommendations for the TS-671’s 
            CD, MP3, computer games, TVwhere as for the HI-2050 Home entertainment, theatreSo im still not exactly sure which to get for gaming. I don’t need much bass these are going to be purely for gaming.I am guessing it would be trivial to try and compare the two headphones by their specifications?

          • Anonymous

            I would say based on my own listening experience they are pretty accurate with the gaming and TV. CD is hit and miss simply depending on the CD right? The 2050 I have heard less about so that would be a bit of a guess IMHO. If you don’t need bass then get the 671.

          • Cam

            So you think the Asus Xonar DG would be fine to run them? Would just like to say thanks for all your help.
            Really appreciated. :)

          • Anonymous

            I cant give you a 100% yes since I have not heard the Xonar DG and not much a sound card guy preferring an external amp. If in doubt buy a FiiO E10 and your ready to rock :)

          • 443330

            Hey Marcus sorry for the 101 questions heh but have you heard of these? JVC HARX RX900?
            I have heard they are another great budget buy but I am not sure if they would be better than the TS-671’s in the gaming derpartment. 

          • Anonymous

            I have not heard it myself actually but a few column inches make it seem like a relatively good cheap can but gravitate towards the low end with a loss of detail at the high end.

          • Anonymous

            Tidied that up :)

  • Kiwi

    Hi Marcus,
    Excellent review. 
    Would just like some advice between choosing either ATH-AD700’s or these Takstar TS-671’s
    How would you compare their sound stages and which would be the best for accuracy and positioning as I would be using them only for fps gaming.
    Cheers. :)

    • Anonymous

      Hi Kiwi and many thanks! Its really the Takstar for me on sound stage and the AD700 on accuracy and positioning. The extra dimes, dollars and cents on the AD700 though means you would expect that so if it is budget king your after then the Takstar but the AD700 is the long term investment.

      • Kiwi

        I always thought sound stage and positioning went hand in hand. But this is not the case?

        How much better is the AD700’s at accuracy and positioning than the TS671’s and is it enough to warrant 3x the cost?

        I guess I am just after confirmation that if I did buy the TS671’s I wouldn’t be missing out on much. Yet I am still tempted to purchase the AD700’s

        • Anonymous

          Not always – a big sound stage might still not be accurate – positioning is imaging which is not the same as sound stage. For instance the HD800 has a huge sound stage but often people complain that the image separation is too extreme or almost false. As for how much better that is going to be very tricky unless I run them side by side but the AD700 might be the more balanced option.

  • Whoelse

    Superlux is Taiwan not China :)

    • headfonics

      It has its HQ in Taiwan but they have offices and development units scattered across China.

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