Ultrasone PROline 750

People say you can’t mix on headphones, and yeah, they’re right. But I can’t mix without them, either. Before mixing, I listen to every track for glitches — and headphones magnify problems that are tough to hear over speakers.
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But there are headphones and there are HEADPHONES, and these high-end babies are, well, high-end. The closed cup design is so effective they almost seem like noise-cancelling phones; they don’t leak into my vocals, but they also don’t have that “vise on the head” feel. I find no closed cup headphones truly “comfortable,” but I can handle these for hours.

The package is deluxe: A set of extra ear pads, coil and straight cords (which unscrew for easy replacement, as do the ear pads), a demo CD, soft pouch, and a 1/4"-to-mini adapter. But perhaps the main claim to fame is Ultrasone’s “S-Logic Natural Surround Process.” This isn’t about 5.1, but creates a more open stereo field than the usual “sound is being rammed into my ear” headphone effect. In a nutshell, the driver is offset so that the sound gets to bounce around your ear a bit rather than jump directly into the ear canal. I indeed noticed a “bigger,” but not exaggerated, stereo field. Coupled with the extraordinary detail, it was easy to pick out individual instruments from recordings with a busy midrange.

The 750 takes a little getting used to; there’s a perception of less bass compared to standard cans, which often seem to have more bass compared to speakers. In fact, listening to the 750 comes closer to the “speaker experience” than other headphones I’ve tried.

My only caution: The high end is really extended, so listen to data compressed formats like MP3 at your own risk — you’ll hear the violence done to the sound in excruciating detail. But for real world listening, the 750 justifies the stiff price tag.