Superlux HD 681 Dynamic Semi-Open Headphones
- 50mm Neodymium Drivers Circumaural
- Semi-Open Design
The Superlux HD 681 are the greatest cheap audiophile headphones we’ve tried. These over-ears offer a semi-open back design, unlike the other headphones on this list. This enclosure allows them to generate more prolonged and accurate low-bass while also leaking less audio at higher levels.
The passive soundstage of these comfy headphones is excellent, seeming broad, spacious, and natural. Their relatively neutral and well-balanced sound profile is excellent for most types of audio content, and they can provide music reasonably consistently, though if you wear glasses or have thick hair, you may notice a dip in bass. They come with a 1/8″ to 1/4″ converter, which is useful when using them with a mixer.
However, the build quality is cheap and plasticky, and they don’t feel very durable. Because their treble range is highlighted, sibilants such as cymbals can be somewhat piercing, causing ear fatigue over time. However, some people may enjoy this sound because it can draw attention to flaws in your audio.
The Superlux HD 681 are a nice, low-cost neutral listening alternative. They produce a pleasing audio reproduction that accommodates well to instruments and vocals, with slightly more extended bass than the HD 668. They have a relatively flat mid-range, but the spike in the high-mid/low-treble makes them sound slightly sharp, especially with tunes that are already a touch bright. Unfortunately, they don’t have the same immersive Soundstage as some of the other totally open-back headphones, but the HD 681, like the HD 668B, has good sound quality for both casual and neutral listeners.
Superlux HD668B Dynamic Semi-Open Headphones
- Natural, spatial and accurate sound. Connectivity Technology: Wired
- Silvery, clear cymbals
- Pleasantly natural trebles
The Superlux HD 668B are cheap critical listening headphones with superb sound. They leak enough to be bothersome to those around you and allow in a lot of ambient noise, so they won’t work well for other applications. They’re also a little large and heavy to transport. When it comes to sound, however, they produce an almost unrivaled audio reproduction at this price range.
The Superlux HD 668B are a nice, low-cost neutral listening alternative. They produce a pleasant and tight bass that doesn’t drown out the instruments and voices. They feature a very flat mid-range, but a tiny bump in the high-mid/low-treble, which makes them sound a little sharp on some recordings, especially those that are already bright. Unfortunately, they don’t have the same expansive soundstage as some of the other totally open-back headphones, but the HD668’s sound quality is adequate for both casual and neutral listeners.
Superlux HD-681 EVO
- HD681 EVO meet the requirements of stage and studio professionals, who also loved listening Philharmonic grade headphones.
The Superlux HD 681 EVO is a significantly improved version of the Superlux HD 681. They sound similar, albeit the EVO has a little more bass. For the level of audio reproduction they provide, they’re also inexpensive and affordable headphones. They don’t have the best build quality, unfortunately. They have a cheap, flimsy feel about them, and their semi-open form means they won’t work in all contexts.
The Superlux HD 681 EVO, like the HD 681, is a good and affordable neutral listening option. They have a somewhat stronger bass response than the HD 681. Instruments and vocals that aren’t overpowered by the greater bass are likewise adequately reproduced. However, while being semi-open, they do not offer the most vast soundstage, and their bass varies slightly depending on where they are placed. This makes them a little unreliable, but their sound quality is adequate for even the most apathetic listeners.