IzoPhones-60 – The New T34

Disclaimer: MyST supplied gave me a go at the IzoPhones-60 for a few good weeks. I think they dented my pine floor. They go for about 1300$ USD. You can find more about them here.

My MySTtory (history with MyST) goes back to 2012 when Musica Acoustics asked me to check out the original MyST PortaDAC 1866. I’m still a fan. TENTO’s PortaDAC 1866 sounds killer for everything but low-Ω earphones and headphones.

Everything and Fit

But IzoPhones-60 is something specialer. Special-est are its stripped-from-parking-pylon-support fulcrums, which could double as the BMW windscreen-cracker if you’re down on your luck. The headphones slide freely up and down on it. The headband is wrapped in thick, rough-and-tumble nylon. The faux-swayed leather padding that covers your bald spot is somewhat less impressive. Kind of cool is how it freely slides left and right at your beck. Heavy-duty elastic thongs fasten it to the headband.

The ear pads are hot-swappable. They are frictioned into place by the sort of elastic ring you see in heavy-duty waterproof camera cases. Actually, I wasn’t sure they were properly swappable. But in reviewing things, I go against the normal code of conduct. I yanked and pulled and twisted. As it turns out, four fingers prised under the lip of the pad, and a thumb on the metal cup is all that’s needed to pop them out. Since they lack both guiding pins and bayonets, there’s no need to double-check that you’ve got them going in right. Brute force is a simple thing. 

The cups rotate 360º around their axes, and those axes themselves rotate 360º around the thick-as-your finger fulcrums. If you can’t get the IzoPhones-60 to fit, see a specialist.

The cable that comes packed in looks, and feels, like an IEM thing. Thin, light, and practically invisible in all but amazing light, it’s a bit of a downer when you think of what you paid. But it works wonderfully. Because it’s so light, it won’t flop around or off your desk. And it makes no noise at all when tapped. Best of all, it attaches to each cup in 3,5mm stereo plugs. If you want to use something else, your options are myriad.

Here is what I think unfortunate about how the IzoPhones-60 are built/fit. 

1. Every elastic ring similar to the ones that hold the IzoPhone-60’s pads into their cups eventually cracks and rots away. Most have gone the way of the Yugo after about a year, at most. The ones that last longer come into frequent contact with water, which, I reckon shouldn’t come into contact with your IzoPhones-60. 
2. The IzoPhones-60 clamps. I’ve got a narrow head. From the side, that head looks like a sail. When most normal-headed folk complain about clamping pressure, I chuckle. But, the IzoPhones-60 clamps like a mother. Sail-headed people, too, will say it. The good news is that the band can be stretched out. The bad news is that because the IzoPhones-60 is so damn tough, you will first have to purchase a gym membership before you can soften up that band.
3. While the IzoPhones-60 is tough as nails, its got all the polish of a wartime industrial prototype Viking sewing machine. Impressive? You betcha. Gotta-have-it draw? Not so much.
#1 probably won’t be a problem unless you frequently store the pads in a de-humidifier or something. BTW, that’s stupid.
#2 will cause you discomfort at least until you can de-spring a ThighMaster between your pinky fingers. 
#3 If you’re holding your breath for German levels of polish and attention to detail, I give you eight minutes before you asphyxiate. Those of you whose first vehicle was a T-34: you’re golden.

That’s the entire non-sound story of the IzoPhones-60. 

As for sound…
Well, I’m dually impressed; you might even say that I’ve become addicted. What set me up for this addiction is my predilection for a massaged studio sound. I like it long and flat, and detailed. But, if possible, I like a rounder, fuller bass, and a high range that doesn’t squeak too much.

And in an nutshell, the above perfectly describes what comes out of the IzoPhones-60. 

It continues after the click

IzoPhones-60 – The New T34
4.3 (86.67%) 6 votes

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

7 Comments

  • Reply April 3, 2015

    cs098

    hifiman comparisons please. he-6, he 560.

    And I want to compare this to the ether and he-1000.

    God damn it, now there’s another planar I have to consider.

    • Reply April 4, 2015

      ohm image

      Sorry cs098, I have no plans to purchase a HE560 or HE1000. IzoPhones-60 is a solid product. Thanks for the comment.

      • Reply June 11, 2015

        GrizzlybEast

        I know I am a bit late but can you give a rough idea of whether this 3d soundstage you mention will cast larger than the hd800 or another headphone you have heard with a large soundstage?
        I wish there were some TOTL comparisons
        Good job on the review by the way. I really mean it!

        • Reply January 31, 2016

          ohm image

          It is now way too late for this comment. I am sorry. Alas, I don’t use HD800 and won’t invest in one for the simple reason that I dislike how it looks.

          That said, 3D and large are not necessarily interchangeable. 3D can just mean really vivid X,Y,Z positional detail while large can be wide or tall or even deep but lack detail within those bounds.

          As this is too late, I no longer have the same phones here. However, I will be following up the review this week with other MyST phones.

    • Reply April 17, 2015

      Czy6412

      It looks quite similar to a modded HE6, so I guess the sound signature could be the same.

  • Reply April 5, 2015

    Barun C

    Nice Review. Had a few Questions

    1. Did you use balanced or single output?
    2. Does it come with single/balanced or both options in the box?
    3. Except for velour are their any leather ear pad option?
    4. Are the bass anywhere close to electrostats in terms of tonality and quality?
    5. Are you going to review Mr.Speakers Either?

    • Reply April 5, 2015

      ohm image

      Hey Barun C.

      1. You mean input? You can use whatever you want.
      2. I have no idea if it even has a box. I borrowed this unit from a member of Headfi and it came as you see it plus the cable I mentioned.
      3. I have no idea, but I doubt it.
      4. Bass quantity is a bit larger, but similar roundness and speed as electrostats.
      5. Good question.

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