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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

NVX XPT100: Good thing comes in big packages

Continued from Aesthetics

XPT100 is NVX's reference headphone, designed especially for studio monitoring. Not much has really been known about this product since its introduction in August of 2012. While the headphone certainly comes with a lot of accessories: a big case, 2 pairs of ear pads, and 2 cables, does it also come with a good sound quality?

PRO: Well-balanced linear tonality, low distortion, and a good extension in the treble & the low end.

CON: Slight dips at 300 Hz & 8 kHz.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #1: The angled ear pad definitely changes the tonality of XPT100. While the deep-null at 8 kHz is more emphasized, the overall tonality becomes a lot smoother. Users may choose between the two different sound signatures, but personally, I prefer the angled pads due to better fitting.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #2: Although two vents on the side of the housing equalizes the bass response, the foam inserted behind the driver(not shown on the graph) does not change the sound much, other than slightly damping the resonances in the mid-range.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #3: I am quite fascinated by the overall design of XTP100's front baffle, driver, and its ear pad coupling mechanism. While the appearance of the front baffle & the driver closely resembles that of Sennheiser HD650, the ear pads are connected to the baffle with a twist-and-lock, just like  how AKG K702 is designed. There has definitely been an engineering effort of gathering the best of both worlds, and it actually pays off.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #4: Since when manufacturers start to remove internal damping materials from closed-back headphones? In order to save production cost, almost all of headphone companies decrease the quality of their products by getting rid of damping materials. On the other hand, XPT100's housing is filled with damping material, preventing any kind of unwanted cabinet resonance from occurring. I've never seen such care since Sony's classic MDR-series headphones.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #5: Angled ear pads yield slightly better linearity when it comes down to Dr. Sean Olive's reference target.

IN CONCLUSION: NVX XPT100 not only comes with a bunch of accessories, but also exhibits a good acoustic performance and an uncompromising built quality. Consequently, users are given with more options to choose, and may actively figure out their optimum sound which suits their needs. The people at NVX have kept their philosophy true to their heart, and their reference studio monitor, XPT100, proves it.

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  1. Ah.. yet another FA003 clone.
    There are already so many clones out there it isn't even funny any more Fisher-Audio, Brainwavz, Jaycar, Studiospares, Lindy.
    Do these differ from these other clones (except for accessories and colour scheme)

  2. I just read your article and found it very helpful for those who are looking to buy the best headphone but still not everyone is able to buy such a costly pair of headphones. Well, if you are on a tight budget and looking to buy the best one under a tight budget then it is recommended to take a look at this list of headphones under $100. I bet you will find the best one for your needs on this link.