Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rant #3: Jaben Jakarta

Last Saturday I'm turned 25 years old, so I though I will go and treat myself a nice new full-sized headphone. Jaben got this birthday special offer, so I'm going to use that. Jaben Jakarta is located at Senayan Trade Center, very easy for me to reach just about 30 minutes by public bus (not counting traffic jam). I got to Jaben Jakarta store at 6.30 PM, give or take.

Jaben Jakarta store is rather small, but very cozy. They welcomed me warmly, and after I told them that I was looking for open full-sized headphone, they offer me to listen to some of their demo headphones. I tried an Alessandro MS1i. I rather excited because this is my first time listening to Alessandro, my one-time experience with Grado SR60i didn't impress me much, I found SR60i too bright for me. So gingerly, I put the MS1i, dial the volume pot on my FiiO E10 to zero, play a song and carefully set the volume up. Boy, how I supprised.

MS1i didn't sounded like what I remember SR60i back then. The treble is crystal clear, the vocal is forward and the bass is punchy. Both male and female vocals are so airy and so free that listening to my Audio-Technica SJ33 I felt boxed. Guitar sounded so crisp, and the vocal is forward, just how I liked it.
The sound-stage (or head-stage if you like) is way bigger than the SR60i on my memory. I don't know the pad they used, but it's different to the one SR60i has. Comfortable enough, the headphone just sit on my head. But I don't like how the pad touched my ears. It got rather itchy after several songs lol.

Next I asked for another open headphone to listen to and they gave me Goldring DR150. So, this is the headphone called poor-man's Sennheiser HD650, I thought. I put it on my head, put some song to play, and Holy Sh*t!!! I never knew Fatoumata Diawara's Kanou has those nice bass! And her vocals...so nice!!! Not as airy as MS1i, but with enough breath to it. Compared to MS1i, DR150 is less airy, but also less sibilant. DR150 bass also way bigger than MS1i bass. DR150 made MS1i sounded thin. Not that MS1i is bad, but generally I prefer darker sound-signature myself. I like my male vocals a touch of dark and heavy, and my female vocal to be as clean as possible. Looking from other side, MS1i vocals is sounded much more effortless, while DR150 is rather heavy.

It's a mantra to audiophile and music lovers crowd that before you buy an equipment, try as much as possible to listen other equipments, so I asked for another headphone. Jaben folk told me that the other headphone on my price range that they have are closed back, but I told them I don't mind, so they gave me Shure 440 to listen. OMG! Such high-class customer service!!! Really love Jaben....

How Shure 440 sounded? As a closed back, it doesn't has nice air or breath than Goldring and Alessandro has, but Shure has this nice clear vocal. Vocal is forwarder than MS1i (really, what pad they put on those MS1i?) and very, very clear. I can hear Adele breath when she sang Someone Like You, Live at The Royal Albert Hall. But the sound-stage isn't as nice as neither MS1i nor DR150. Both MS1i and DR150 got better layering, and better 3 dimensional space. The bass is rather weak, tad weaker than MS1i, but much clearer. I think that because of less mid-bass. And also very clean, making DR150 sounded like it had a veil on it.

So, after trading and comparing one to another, I put my choice on Goldring DR150. I want a headphone with good sound-stage and layering, and smoother sound, both are things that my Audio-Technica SJ33 lack. Not that my Audio-Technica bad, actually it's very good and very fun to listen to. I just want more refined sound, and more comfortable for home listening.

Because it's my birthday, Jaben give me some discount. Actually they as me to choose: price discount or gift (it's an Sony Jienna IEM and Jaben headphone stand), but I choose price discount. Why? because those money could go to Brainwavz HM5 when they came here fufufufufufu......

 For you who want to buy or try a nice set of headphone, go to Jaben. They are very friendly, and very warm, and they let you try almost all headphones and amplifiers that they had. They got some very nice offering (like birthday specials, bundle specials), even starting bundle special (they let you pay 60% first, then the 40% twice on two month schedule), and sometime a lucky draw (where they give out a headphone or IEM to a lucky guest).
They even offering me to try the Shure 1440, the newest Shure open headphone (which very expensive), and I had to swallow my saliva and politely reject the offer. After paying my headphone, I rather hurriedly haul my ass out before they offers me another scary headphone to try on. No, my wallet can't suffer those price.

All my rant above actually just an impression, because I only listen them for some time, and don't treat them as a review. I only write my review if I can get my paw on those headphone long enough, maybe several weeks. Right now I'm burning my new Goldring DR150, and I plan to write a review on them after they got enough time to settle to their sound. Thanks for reading this rant of me, lets meet again on the next post!