SoundMagic HP200 Headphones – Review
I’m really happy I got to hear these headphones as they kind of took me by surprise. I can tell you that the don’t get the attention they deserve.
Build Quality & Looks
These headphones are mostly made of plastic, but it seems to be of good quality. It doesn’t have a cheap feel or looks at all. It seems well built and is also quite comfortable. The headband seems to distribute the weight so it doesn’t create a pressure point on your head as some other headphones do. Also the clamping force didn’t bother me for a second since I’ve put them on.
SoundMagic HP200 are very comfortable and are quite nice for long listening sessions. If you get busy, you might even forget that you have them on the head.
The cable is kind of short in my opinion. Another thing that I didn’t like was that it comes with a 3.5 jack instead of 6.3. It does have an adapter but let’s be serious. All the serious amplifiers on the market have a 6.3 jack output or 4 pin xlr balanced. Now, you can argue that it is great for portable use. Well, ok, but these headphones are open, so the isolation isn’t for portable usage as sound leaks out and in.
Another thing I have noticed was that the cable isn’t that durable. After a few days of usage, some of the isolation pealed off, uncovering the wires.
The package includes an adapter from the 3.5 to 6.3 jack.
Speaking about portable use, these headphones come with a hard storage case and they have pivotable cups to fold them easier.
- 53 mm dynamic drivers with neodymium magnets
- Folding construction
- Metal grills and extender arms
- Hard plastic casing
- Memory foam headband
- Large earpads
- Frequency range: 15 Hz – 35 kHz
- DC resistance: 20 Ohms +/- 10%
- Sensitivity: 98 +/- 3 dB at 1 kHz/mW
- Maximum input power: 100 mW
- Detachable 3.94 ft (1.2 m) cable with 1/8 in (3.5 mm) gold-plated plug
- 11.29 oz (320 g)
- 9.84 ft (3 m) extension cable
- 1/8 in (3.5 mm) to 1/4 in (6.3 mm) adapter
- Flight adapter
- Hard carry case
If you want to see the measurements, you can check it out at innerfidelity.
The first thing I noticed was the open nature of the sound. The second thing was the saxophone which was quite detailed, textured and added to the open nature of the soundstage. The other instruments played lively and detailed in the scene.
The song begun showing all the details from the orchestra, mainly from the artists who were still finding their position. The imaging/instrument separation on HP200 is great and instrument has a very well defined space, making it very easy to concentrate / pinpoint on a specific instrument from the orchestra. The soundstage is again very airy and opened, showing good depth and height, but could use a little more width. The instruments are detailed and dynamic but they would use a little more texture and soul. Overall, the song was very enjoyable.
The guitars are sparkling around with life in the background. The sparkle is very nice and comes mainly from the attack on the notes. The decay/extension are a little short and not as full as with other headphones, but the effect is overall quite nice. The voices are integrating well in the scene, but they would use a little more body and presence.
The guitar from the beginning that started just on the right channel and then continued on both throughout the song is very sparkly and energetic especially because the strong attack these headphones have on the beginning of each note. The result was very nice, leading to a sparkling guitar that tickles your eardrums, also giving energy to the song.
The HP200 took me by surprise on this song. Edith’s voice was very nicely presented in a clear and musical manner. The instruments were lively and blended in with the voice in a very authentic atmosphere that managed to teleport me in time.
These headphones are quite fast. I ended up headbanging on this song with the HP200. The drums were strong, detailed and along with the guitars gave strong energy to the song. The electric guitars would have used a little more weight, but they were awesome nevertheless through their size and presence in the scene.
The bass is good. It doesn’t draw your attention too much, but it does a good job overall. It has good depth, speed, control and punch. I would also say that it’s quite clean, even on the sub bass. I didn’t hear distortions or anything like this, and this is quite an achievement for an opened headphone at this price.
The midrange is quite detailed and dynamic and I was quite impressed by these 2 features. However, I would like a little more presence here, a little more soul, but with the right gear you can wake the midrange to life and when you do that, these headphones will sound just awesome! While the mids are quite clean, they could use slightly more purity.
The treble is quite sparkly and full of life. It presents very good details, even if sometimes I heard a little sibilance. These being said, overall I didn’t feel that these headphones are too bright and they do a good job in this region as well. Actually with the right gear, meaning that when you wake up the midrange, you will get a wonderfully extended treble as well.
The sound on HP200 is airy and has an opened sound signature. The height and depth of the soundstage are quite spacious. However, I could feel that the driver of these headphones are directly on your ears, as the cups are small and don’t have any angle. This resulted in a smaller width compared to the height and depth. However, overall, these headphones sound airy and opened and they do a very good job in this department.
Imaging & Instrument Separation
The imaging was quite a surprise on HP200 and they really punch above their price. Every instrument / voice is placed very well into the scene and you can concentrate easily on different instruments throughout the songs.
The transients are quite fast and energetic through a strong attack and fast decay. The decay / extension ends a little too quick, but overall this leads to an energetic experience.
This is another area where the HP200 excels. I was quite surprised when hearing subtle sounds in the songs, subtle stuff that I am used to hear with much more expensive gear.
These headphones are overall neutral but with a hint of brightness. The midrange is also slightly recessed making them a little dry.
SoundMagic HP200 managed to impress me with their performance. In my opinion, these headphones punch above their price range. In some aspects it reminds me of HD600 but it has better bass depth, more detailed treble and a livelier sound overall, while the senns would have a smoother and a more natural midrange.
SoundMagic managed to create a very good product for the money, a product that can compete with well known headphones and that I wholeheartedly recommend.
- Good bass depth with good control, strong punch, good extension with no distorsions
- Detailed midrange
- Sparkly and detailed treble
- Fast and energetic transients
- Very good imaging and instrument separation
- Airy and opened soundstage
- Very good details
- The midrange could use a little more presence and purity
- Treble could sometimes be a little bright
- The decay is fast but sometimes takes away a little from the extension of the notes