Stepping back just a bit, everything about these headphones speaks of quality, starting at the attractive exterior hard case that has a full description of features and included components surrounding the box.
Once you open the box, a hard black headphone case with blue trim around the zipper is found, this case in itself being no less than professional grade with carrying handle and moulded interior.
In addition to the HD-8 DJs and addition velour cushions that we spoke of, there are two separate cables, one being a Kevlar straight cable 3m in length with a 3.5mm straight plug, and the other being Kevlar coiled 1.5m in length and able to stretch to 3 metres. The cable can be inserted into the bottom of either earpiece and twists in place so the cord is secure and can’t be tripped over and pulled out accidentally during a set. thought we were kidding when we stated these were comfortable?
Of course there is also an included 6.3mm adapter plug and HD-8 Quick Guide, the Quick Guide explaining HD-8 placement and adjusting, replacement of the ear cups and proper securing of the cable. Cabling is the second negative we discovered as the HD-8’s are ideal for everyday use, however, the cables are much too long for use with a smart phone.
Regardless of how well a headset is built and how great they look, it all means nothing if the proper rendering of sound isn’t there. Our receipt of the HD-8 DJ’s coincided with our introduction to a new and upcoming band named July Talk, and in fact, everything we were looking for could be found in the few songs this band has created to date. Peter Dreimanis has that low raspy voice that brings us back to times of Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, while Leah Fay has that high-pitched innocence that Siobhan Fahey once brought to a little known band called Shakespeare Sister . Actually, the combination of both Peter and Leah reminds me of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush singing, ‘Don’t Give Up‘. July Talk performing that song would be incredible.
If you own the HD8 DJ’s now, or if you elect to buy them, listen to the song, ‘Guns and Ammunition‘ as it was played live at The Edge in Toronto. Right off, the guitar seems to punch with every pick, the bass in his voice gets right through to you immediately, then it’s brought right back up with the innocence and tempo of her return; it’s like running to the edge only to return to safety. You are there in the studio; that’s what makes the HD8 DJs so unique. Let’s try another with ‘I’ve Rationed Well‘, or better yet ‘Venus Stopped The Train‘.
Sitting back and listening to a large number of songs, we found the lows to be very powerful, the mids, very clear and highs very fresh without being to crisp. As much as we loved the natural reproduction of vocals, the HD8’s were definitely made for the DJ scene as they have the best bass response we have heard in some time and there is little, or indicernable distortion when this headset is cranked. Our test system consisted of the Sony STR-DA1800ES and, in trying to push the headset volume to see what we could find, there was no way we could hit full volume. Here is the boss judging the HD8 DJ’s for himself…