If you have been a regular reader of Mobile Magazine for some time, then you’ll know that I’ve had the opportunity to try out more than my fair share of premium earbuds. I liked the V-Moda Vibe Modaphones and I appreciated the more affordable price point of the Radius Atomic Bass. These are all great for listening to music on the road, but what if you want a more quality experience at home. What if you want deejay-style “cans” rather than the in-ear style earphones?
Well, you’re in luck. Today, I’m taking a look at the Ultrasone DJ1 S-Logic Headphones. As its name implies, the DJ1 is meant to be a DJ-quality set of headphones that will work with just about any genre of music. The heavy padding and over-the-ear style should ensure a more comfortable fit, right?
In terms of features, you get a foldable, closed-back style design with S-Logic Natural Surround Sound technology and MU Metal shielding. The S-Logic technology is meant to provide you with an “out of your head” experience. With most headphones, you feel as if the music is “in your head” rather than coming from an outside source.
The frequency range is 10Hz-22kHz, the impedance is 32 Ohm, and the sound pressure level is 104 dB. You get a pair of 50mm Mylar drivers, a 3-meter coiled cable length, and a 6.3mm screwable gold-plated plug that fits over the standard 3.5mm stereo mini plug. Also included in the box are an instruction manual, velvet-like carrying bag, and a demo CD.
My initial impressions are quite positive. You can tell that Ultrasone has paid a lot of attention in creating a well-built product. There is a lot of padding on the headband and the ear muffs are large enough to fully encompass my ears. The plentiful padding on the ear muffs make for a comfortable experience as well. The simple black and silver color scheme makes for a more professional look too.
Since these do completely block your ears from the outside the world, they are great for providing passive noise isolation. When I had them on with music playing at a reasonable volume, I really couldn’t hear anything else. With utter isolation does lead to sweaty ears syndrome after even a short period of use. It would have been nice to see some sort of venting to alleviate this concern.
For ease of transport, the Ultrasone DJ1 headphones can be folded up as depicted here. I found it a little awkward to do this, however, since the ear muffs have to flipped to face the other direction after you fold them in. I’ll probably grow more accustomed to this over time.
Regarding sound quality, I have to say that these headphones are incredibly balanced and they seem to be “intelligent” in determining what aspects of the song to enhance and which to minimize. When I was listening to bass-heavy hip hop music, the lower tones were played up to great effect, but switching to rock where bass is less important, the mid-tones were enhanced accordingly. It doesn’t matter what you throw at these headphones; it’ll cater to your tastes.
I’m not completely convinced about the S-Logic Natural Surround Sound Plus technology, however. While not quite as pronounced as some other headphones, the music still sounded like it was “inside my head” rather than being played from an exterior source. It’s an improvement, but it’s not quite as obvious as I had expected.
Retailing for close to $200, the Ultrasone DJ1 S-Logic Headphones are not going to be the cheapest offering on the shelf, but this product is of substantially higher quality than the sub-$100 headphones that you may be able to find at your local retailer. I’d place them on a higher level than the Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Solo (also about $200), but I’m not sure if they outperform the “real” Monster Beats by Dr. Dre (about $320).
The range of response was truly impressive, as I was able to really enjoy any kind of music played through these headphones. From the subtle notes of classical music to the fast-paced electronica of the Prodigy, the DJ1 took it all in stride and accommodated them accordingly. The construction is great and there is more than enough padding to keep you comfortable.
If I had just one complaint, it’s that the ear muff isolation does lead to “sweaty ear” syndrome, so brace yourself for that scenario. I’m also guessing that prolonged and repeated use of the folding mechanism could lead to some significant wear and tear (and possible breakage) over time, but I can’t say for sure.
Overall Rating: 9.0/10