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Phonon SMB-02 review by Stephen Shirk

 

Once I tried the Phonon SMB-02 headphones, I was immediately hearing things consistently with how I hear them in my well tuned studio control room. Sometimes I think I hear even more detail in the SMB-02′s than I do in the studio. There was very little adjustment time needed to get familiar with what the Phonon SMB-02′s were telling me. Once I integrated the SMB-02′s into my listening and mix evaluation process, I was completing mixes quicker and with more confidence.

So what is the sonic difference the Phonon SMB-02′s provide over other headphones I’ve used? The sound is pure and un-hyped. Meaning, it is not coloring the sound to give it more bass or thump than what the creator originally intended. And it is not brighter in the high frequencies to make things sound more shimmery or glossy. The SMB-02′s are clear and neutral. That’s not to say that you won’t hear deep, rich bass tones or sparkling highs with these headphones. The Phonon SMB-02′s give it ALL to you in spades, if that was what was intended in the final mix/master the artist created

The Phonon SMB-02′s deliver an incredibly wide stereo image. With headphones I used before, instruments and sounds that I panned hard left or right felt…well,sounded left or right. But they felt like they were coming from exactly where the headphones sat on my ears. With the SMB-02′s, the stereo image feels wider than the headphones themselves. Sources panned across the left -to-right stereo spectrum can be placed with pinpoint accuracy in the stereo field.

Stephen Shirk, Shirk Studios

read the full review here

http://www.hearya.com/2015/12/11/phonon-smb-02-headphones-gear-review-gift-suggestion/

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DJ Deep on the Phonon 4000

"The Phonon 4000 headphones are priceless in my opinion as they are
very dynamic, loud and "bass-friendly" for dj use in clubs, while at
the same time they are very tight and precise in their sound
definition allowing producers to work on Music production while on the
road as a real pro monitoring référence tool "

DJ Deep

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Resident Advisor review of the 4000

the Phonon 4400 are the new 4000s

Mark Smith, Resident Advisor

The 4000s' true strengths are its sound, price and portability, making them ideal for travel and casual usage.

A huge part of the reason why the 4000s are easy to wear is the way they sound. The low-end is rich without feeling woofy or unnatural, and the soundstage is refreshingly wide for an enclosed model.

In an effort to get a rough idea of the 4000s' frequency response curve, I A-B tested them against the 770s using Sonarwork's (highly recommended) headphone calibration plug-in, which effectively flattens the 770's hyped top-end and scooped low-mids. The comparison emphazised even further the 4000s' wide soundstage, which felt vivid and 3D while remaining faithful to the parameters of the production

I also compared the 4000s with AIAIAI's TMA-2 and Sennheiser's ubiquitous HD-25s, while running vinyl through Rane's MP2015 mixer. It was here that I got a clearer sense of the 4000's strengths. While the TMA-2 and HD25 were more in-your-face, you also had a far greater sense of how they were colouring the music, even to the point of it feeling claustrophobic. The 4000s in comparison felt a lot more genuine, clean and open, with a more satisfying sense of velocity, making them a joy to use for long periods. The low-end in particular has a sense of vitality and air about it that's fairly unusual for a headphone in this price bracket.

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Best Wired Portable Headphones: High Snobiety

 

Their answer to portability comes in the form of the Phonon 4000, a compact version of the SMB-02 built using the same 40mm driver on a travel-friendly foldable chassis that grips well. That grip allows for a strong seal when used outdoors, providing fantastic dynamics, in a package even more durable than its older brother. The fit of the Phonon 4000 is just right. It’s worth noting that the Phonon 4000 features the same heavy-duty cabling found on the SMB-02; it’s thicker than most portable headphone cables and super durable. Highly recommended.

Full article here

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Best Wired Portable Headphones, High Snobiety

As seen on HighSnobiety

In 2014, I introduced readers to Phonon, a Japanese audio company that developed what many consider to be the most well-tuned pair of headphones today: Phonon SMB-02. Some, like New York’s famed Stereo Exchange, consider the SMB-02 the “holy grail” of headphones, delivering pristine sound unparalleled at its $350 price point. My review agreed with their assessment, adding that low volume detail made the SMB-02 my top pick of the year and the perfect choice for studio and home/office use.

But the Phonon SMB-02 is not a portable headphone. They’re certainly usable outside the home or studio, but you’ll find that external elements of city noise will make their way into the soundstage, and they’re simply not close-fitting enough to provide a “lock” while wearing.

Their answer to portability comes in the form of the Phonon 4000, a compact version of the SMB-02 built using the same 40mm driver on a travel-friendly foldable chassis that grips well. That grip allows for a strong seal when used outdoors, providing fantastic dynamics, in a package even more durable than its older brother. The fit of the Phonon 4000 is just right. It’s worth noting that the Phonon 4000 features the same heavy-duty cabling found on the SMB-02; it’s thicker than most portable headphone cables and super durable. Highly recommended.

See the full article on HIGHSNOBIETY here

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