PRODUCT BUILD AND FIT
The 808 Audio Over Ear headband consists of a thin metal band that provides the inward pressure for the headband. This is then backed by a hard plastic band to make it aesthetically consistent with the rest of the headphones. The plastic flexes enough for the headphone to fit most people but it does feel like it might snap if too much pressure was accidentally put on it, which is why I think a hardshell case would have been better for a product like this.
The earpads and the headband both use pleather cushions with a nice soft feel which provides really nice pressure relief. Usually wearing headphones would require me to take off my glasses as the pressure of the headband would cause my head to hurt after a while, but the cushions of the 808 Audio Over Ears do a good enough job of relieving headband pressure that I have no problem wearing them for long listening sessions with my glasses on. Unfortunately the earpads don’t seem like they are replaceable, but that is the norm at this price range.
OPERATION AND SOUND QUALITY
It seems like everyone’s throwing around the terms “studio quality” or “hear it like artists intended”, and in reality, this term seems to have become a marketing gimmick. Sadly the 808 Audio Over Ear Headphones are no exception. The 808 Audio slogan claims that they offer “studio quality sound” which isn’t true as the sound signature of the 808 Audio Over Ear Headphones aren’t suitable for use in the studio.
In a studio you would want to use a source that outputs sound as it is (a sound signature audiophiles would call flat or reference) but if you were to use a coloured source as a reference, mixing with that would add colour to your mix and skew your end result. The 808 Audio Over Ear Headphones don’t offer this “reference” type sound but instead have a sub bass boost and a slight treble peak. This surprisingly makes them sound really engaging as it brings the tones which are less noticeable and occasionally hidden by other headphones with a more balanced sound. In a sound signature like this, background tones are the star while mids and vocals are pushed further back in the soundstage.
We find the 808 Over Ears excel in digital genres where mids, vocals specifically, are the main focus. I had a complete field day with my Infected Mushrooms collection Skrillex albums. The bass itself is dynamic and punchy. It does feel loose and slow though on many tracks as the sub bass boost extends the decay of the bass. This means that, on quick bass riffs, the tone is often never given a chance to end off before the next one begins. The mids and vocals do rather well to express themselves fairly well even with the bass boost, and rarely does it seem like they are overwhelmed or overshadowed by the bass. The only real problem with the mids only occurs on bassy tracks and that is that it doesn’t feel as dynamic as the bass.
This isn’t necessarily the mids’ fault as the sub bass boost actually adds extra dynamics into the bass making it feel more full-bodied then it is in reality. This, in turn makes the mids feel less dynamic and it feels like they are less flatter than they should be. This problem mostly applies to vocals and generally only occurs on bass heavy genres that have vocals. Bass light genres like country and rock remain unaffected by this problem as the sub bass boost generally isn’t large enough to bring sub bass out of line with the rest of the sound. The treble is slightly exaggerated to keep it relatively in line with the boosted bass which keeps the sound. This does make the treble feel a little sharp and overly metallic sometimes but this only happens on rare occasions and generally adds to the musicality of the sound.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
At first glance it seems like the 808 Audio Over Ear Headphone takes a lot of design cues from the original Beats line. This is not much of a surprise considering the success behind the Beats line and its marketing strategies. While the 808 Audio Over Ear Headphone does not offer groundbreaking quality at its price range, it does offer a fairly niche sound that is perfect for those who crave more bass and wants to hear more of those backend tones which usually support the mids. Even though it doesn’t truly offer studio sound signature, it does offer an extremely fun and energetic sound that is great for someone who’s starting out in the audio hobby.