Let it be said at once: This is not the headphones that you just take with you on the ride, jogging or on the train. They cannot be driven by any portable player, but needs its own specially adapted amplifier. They are also not suitable for DJ use. If, however, you’re after some of the best that are available for pure music enjoyment at home in your living room as an alternative to expensive speakers, you should definitely read on…
Stax is the name behind the exclusive Japanese electrostatic headphones. Nothing about them is cheap. It uses expensive, high electrostatic panels in each part of the headphone, and as if that were not enough, the electron states a very difficult burden than traditional headphones. To prevent people from connecting headphones incorrectly to an amplifier, and at worst destroy them, Stax uses a special DIN connector on the end instead of the typical 3.5 or 6.3 mm jack. This is a safety so you don’t join them with anything other than a Stax amplifier. One advantage, because you know that a custom amplifier is safer, a disadvantage because you cannot use the amp you like best, regardless of brand.
Stax SRS-4107 consists of headphone model SR-407 and amplifier SRM 006ts and costs exactly the same as if you buy the components by themselves. The products have risen somewhat in price this year because the yen is at a premium, and now costs about $3000. It seems staggering expensive. But if you instead would spend $3000 on a pair of speakers – as many do – then you should know that the sound quality you get from really good headphones far surpasses that of speakers.
The electrostatic headphones SR-407 combined with the custom tube amplifier SRM 006ts from Stax is retro system SRS 4170th Sure is expensive, but here you have to compare to what you get from speakers at the same price. And let it be said right away: There is no room for speakers at this price, which is near this sound!
Because when it comes to reproducing the music’s full truth, there is nothing like Stax. The immensely coherent soundstage provides space for all instruments. The dynamics are superb, with every little violin pick-clear as day, surrounded by the very air. The bass is deep and airy at once, and no matter how you look at it, it sounds fantastic.
The headphones do not play as loud as the traditional dynamic type, and since they do not color anything, a slight music production sounds just like it. Today’s loudness inflamed pop music can thus sounds somewhat boring. But this is not Stax Fault!
Are they worth the money? You may decide for yourself. All I can say is that it is the best sounding headphones I have ever tried.