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Get to know the HA-RX900

HATS-Front Image
HATS-Side Image

Depicted more or less naked here, the speaker element of the is normally guarded by a thin mesh, removable so you can wipe it down if it gets too dirty.

Speaker Image

Aside from a thin circle of mesh material, the backs of the s are relatively featureless.

Back Image

Not the most bizarre we've seen, but definitely one of the more unique bands out there. That huge pad bears most of the weight of your somewhat hefty cans. The plastic bit arcing over the band houses the wires, and looks very strange.

Band Image

Users looking for a mobile headset will be disappointed, as the monstrously large 11.48-foot cable makes the near-impossible to take anywhere without tripping.

Cable Connectivity Image

At the end of that brobdingnagian cable is a standard 1/8th inch plug, which should work with most anything.

To their credit, the s are well-built given their price range, and use a lot of rubber to protect their sensitive solder points.

Cord Guards Image

In addition to your new set of cans, the packaging for the includes a couple papers. That's pretty much it.

In the Box Image

Without a remote in the cable to provide a potential breakage point, the s are actually tougher than most headphones to break, as they are made from a heavy-duty plastic construction, and protect their weak points relatively well. Should something break, however, you cannot replace them without taking serious risks.

Very strange at best, and ugly at worst, these cans are certainly unique. Perhaps its a small blessing that it's so inconvenient to take these headphones to the streets, because yeesh they're unattractive.

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While listening to the , you'll notice that most sounds come out relatively at the same volume as others, though higher frequency sounds are ever so slightly more quiet. There is a strange underemphasis between 1 and 2.5kHz (where the highest of high voices, and the highest notes on a piano or guitar live). It's a bad blemish, but not uncommon for headphones below $100.

Frequency Response Graph

Your music may sound a little weird, but it could be a lot worse.

[Click here for more information on our frequency response test.](/content/How-We-Test-149.htm#Frequency_Response) Overall, the s have a low level of distortion, and should not be audible to any human. Very good marks here.
Distortion Graph
[Click here for more information on our frequency response test.](/content/How-We-Test-149.htm#Distortion) While listening to your music, you shouldn't notice any swings in channel preference from left to right in any sound. There _are_ some minor tracking errors, but they're basically inaudible unless you're maxing out your headphones' volume.
Tracking Graph

Minor, near-imperceptible channel preference errors.

[Click here for more information on our frequency response test.](/content/How-We-Test-149.htm#Tracking) If you're in a slightly noisy room, you can expect your s to block out a significant amount of high-frequency noise, though they don't do a great job of keeping out the low frequency sounds. It's probably best to what you can to reduce noise around you as much as you can, but these can take care of some on their own.
Isolation Graph

These cans block out the high end fairly well, but don't expect them to block out low engine noise.

[Click here for more information on our isolation test.](/content/How-We-Test-149.htm#Isolation) Despite its fair noise attenuation, these cans leak quite a bit of sound, so if you're listening in a room with other people, keep the volume at a reasonable level to prevent it from escaping the ear cups. [Click here for more information on our leakage test.](/content/How-We-Test-149.htm#Leakage) Though you could theoretically blast your music at a level of 117.8dB before hitting a 3% level of distortion, we advise all readers thinking of blowing out their ear drums to [reconsider cranking the volume up to 11](https://headphones.reviewed.com/News/Noise-Induced-Hearing-Loss-and-You.htm). [Click here for more on our maximum usable volume test](/content/How-We-Test-149.htm#Maximum Usable Volume) Once you plop the s on your head, you'll definitely feel the heft of the cans, but their weight is distributed fairly well. The band is made of cloth and foam, so it won't dig into your scalp, and the ear pads are soft.
Short-Term Use Image

Over time, the fit doesn't really change much, so identical marks here.

All in all, there really isn't much of anything you can do to customize these cans, as they are rather inflexible when it comes to that sort of thing. There aren't any new cable options, adapters, or faceplates for the s.

Because the 11+ foot cable is so huge and cumbersome, you'll find that it often gets in the way of your movement, even if it does allow you to venture further from your source of media. The regular ol' 1/8th inch plug at the end of it should work with any standard jack of the same type.

The s are simply not that portable at all, given their size and length of cord. We don't really see people taking these out on the street all too often.

Aside form removing the ear pads in order to give them a good wipe-down, there isn't much you can do to maintain or repair your cans. It's not uncommon for more affordable headphones to lack a means for upkeep.

On-ear headphones are wildly different by design, and the Koss Porta Pros are very much the same: they are far lighter and smaller, they can be folded up, and they use cheap foam to guard their small drivers. On the other hand, the are quite large, heavy, and encircle your entire ear.

Despite the fact that there are differences in how erratic each frequency response is, both are actually fairly similar in many ways, though the Porta Pros give you a bit more bass.

Neither really has a huge issue with distortion, but the Porta Pros have more (technically).

Both have very inaudible channel preference errors, but the Porta Pros have an ever-so-slight preference to the left channel.

Because the Porta Pros were not meant to attenuate any noise, the s' average noise attenuation is leagues better.

This one's tough, as everyone has differently shaped ears and heads. There are no major issues or faults with either set of headphones, though those with longer hair might get a few strands stuck in the Porta Pros' band occasionally, and some might find the heft of the to be annoying. See if you can't try them on for yourself first.

This one comes down to intended use, as the is more suited to be used next to a computer, while the Porta Pros are better used on the go. Neither have a remote for smartphone use, but the Porta Pros are built for mobile use.

For the at-home listener, many people elect to go the open-backed route, which has become quite popular. Instead of having a completely sealed case, the back of the ear cup is open to the air, allowing greater movement of the driver aspect. While this also makes the ATH-AD700 inherently less durable, the increase in sound quality is appreciable.

Though both have their issues, the frequency response of the is slightly more erratic overall than that of the ATH-AD700s.

Neither set of cans has a problem with distortion.

Neither pair of headphones has a bad tracking performance, but the ATH-AD700 has a minorly-audible blemish in the high end.

By the very nature of the designs of closed-back and open-back headphones, the ATH-AD700s don't attenuate any noise at all, and they really weren't intended to.

Both sets of headphones are very comfortable, but the paddle-band of the ATH-AD700 is crazy-comfortable. Definitely see if you can try each set on, however, as comfort is subjective.

While both sets of headphones can be found at varying prices, both have good audio quality, and both do well at a computer. However, if there's typically a bunch of noise around you, you'll probably want to stick with the s. If not, then the ATH-AD700s are a great bet with somewhat better audio quality.

As both are closed-back over-ears, the main differences in overall design are the bands, and build material of the two. The metal MDR-V6s use a traditional-style band, while the plastic s employ a more comfortable cloth head band.

In contrast to the s' erratic response, the Sony MDR-V6s have an extremely flat response here, with very few shifts in emphasis or underemphasis.

Both sets of cans have a low distortion measure.

Neither set of cans have any shifts in channel preference that a human being should be able to hear.

Both have decent noise attenuation, but the MDR-V6s block out a wider range of frequencies from the outside world.

This is another one of those times when you're just going to have to go out and try each on, because not only are both comfortable to most people, but there are subtle differences that could make or break your experience with either set of cans.

While there are many subjective factors that could lead you to buy one pair of headphones over the other, if you're looking for audio performance, it's hard to beat the MDR-V6s for under $100. However, not everybody finds the MDR-V6s as comfortable as the . See if you can give each a shot before purchasing.

Headphones that come in at a sub-$100 price point are generally a mixed bag, as there are some that function quite well, and a bunch that don't. The s are some that have their decided advantages, and work pretty well for the amount of money you'd shell out to get them. Sure, they're not even close to perfect, but we're not aware of many casual music listeners that need that level of performance.

Performance-wise, the frequency response of the isn't all that bad, despite how erratic it is. They'll work just fine for listening to music at your computer if you're on a budget. However, their performance isn't exactly something you'd want to mix tracks on, or use as a set of reference headphones.

If you're a little short on cash, and you're looking to grab a set of headphones that punches a little out of their price range, the s aren't a bad way to go if this is your first set of headphones that aren't Apple earbuds. However, these are certainly not for everyone, and audiophiles probably won't consider these to be even close to some more expensive models in terms of performance.

Meet the tester

Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas

Staff Writer, Imaging

@cthomas8888

A seasoned writer and professional photographer, Chris reviews cameras, headphones, smartphones, laptops, and lenses. Educated in Political Science and Linguistics, Chris can often be found building a robot army, snowboarding, or getting ink.

See all of Chris Thomas's reviews

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