Closed Cans Shootout: M-50, ESW-9, T50P, HD25-1, Beats Studio, SRH-840, SRH-750DJ, K181DJ, and DJ1Pro.
The DJ1Pro is unique, being the only Ultrasone headphone in this comparison, and the only one with Ultrasone’s S-Logic technology.
Initially, I didn’t really get the DJ1Pro’s sound. While it has a good amount of bass, its punch didn’t has the focus that all the other headphones had. And I’m not talking about tight either, because the bass is definitely tight and has a good definition.
It’s a bit difficult to explain the effect of the S-Logic presentation, but let me try it anyway. On other non S-Logic headphones, the music feels directed right toward my ears. As on a shooting target, the music is directed right on the bulls eye. However, with S-Logic, the headphones feels like it intentionally shoots the music to anywhere but the center spot. This is what I mean by the lack of focus in the DJ1Pro’s bass. The more I listen to it, the more I realize that the entire presentation is also intentionally unfocused.
Listening to a Black Dragon recabled Ultrasone Pro900 headphone that I have on loan, and the same S-Logic effect is also happening there. So it seems that the effect is not limited to the DJ1Pro. With the S-Logic effect, though I do get the impression of a bigger soundstage, but I’m not standing at the front side of the stage. Rather, it feels like as if I’m standing to the side of the stage, or even at the backstage. This is what I mean by lacking focus, and the music is diffused. When I say diffused or lacking focus, I don’t mean that the DJ1Pro lacks clarity or detail, or that the bass is boomy without a control, but more in the context of the S-Logic presentation. The S-Logic actually feels as if some active DSP effect is working the background — that’s probably the best description I can give to it.
I realize that the S-Logic is designed to create the illusion of a bigger soundstage. But whenever I’m listening to high end Avantgard or Magnepan speakers with their holographic soundstage imaging, the music still maintains a good focus to the listener in the midst of that big soundstage. Speakers are known to have a sweet spot — where you want to place your listening chairs. Yet the S-Logic sounds like its taken the listening chair far from where the sweet spot should be. Even on live concerts on open spaces and halls, where the soundstage is huge, the music is ultimately focused on the audience, and the S-Logic is unconventional in that it avoids that presentation intentionally.
It took me a while to get used to the S-Logic presentation, but eventually I was able to get what the S-Logic is all about. It’s weird how the brain is able to adapt to the different presentation. Moving on from the non S-Logic cans to the DJ1Pro, I felt that it lacked midrange body, and that the treble was glaring in a weird kind of way. But after my brain has adjusted to this S-Logic realm, I felt that the frequency balance is quite flat, and the midrange doesn’t feel recessed as it was before, and the treble no longer had that glare.
I know that for most of you, what I wrote probably didn’t make sense, and may sound like an attempt to defend the Ultrasone S-Logic. I actually would just recommend most people to go with a regular non S-Logic headphone, since you have plenty of good alternatives within the DJ1Pro’s $269 price tag. The ATH M-50 has a much better sound in overall than the DJ1Pro do, and you don’t have to adjust to the S-Logic’s unconventional presentation. The SRH-750DJ and the AKG K181DJ are also two DJ headphones that I would recommend before the DJ1Pro. As it is, the DJ1Pro is quite an unconventional headphone that I would only recommend to people who has a lot of headphone experience and want to try out the S-Logic sound.
- 05/28/2012 • AKG’s New Reference: The K550
- 01/03/2012 • Old Champ: The AKG K1000
- 11/10/2010 • Old School Trio: AKG K701, Beyerdynamics DT880, Sennheiser HD650
- 10/07/2010 • Ultra Portable Shootout: PX100, PX200, PortaPro, K404, V-Jays, Tracks, Oldskool, and HD238
- 03/06/2010 • AKG K500, K501
- 09/26/2009 • AKG K340 Bass Heavy Version