Review: MyST OrtoPhones – Uplifting

Disclaimer I: MyST have been very kind in loaning both IzoPhones-30 models and OrtoPhones for the months it’s taken to finish this review. Many thanks. OrtoPhones planar magnetic headphones go for 1500$. You can find out all about them here.

NOTE: every MyST headphone I have tried has gone around the world a number of times. It appears that whilst travelling between the USA and Japan, one of the headband yokes came undone. I am told this is not normal. 

Not sound

Apart from a much nicer looking fascia and clearer model branding markers, Myst OrtoPhones fits and feels just like every other MyST headphone IzoPhones. Its drivers are restrained between thicker, more intrusive baffles: circular vents drilled in concentric rings from the centre. This design may account for some of the audible difference between OrtoPhones and IzoPhones. That, and a different driver.

IzoPhones tilt

For your reference, please check out my IzoPhones reviews:

IzoPhones-60 – The new T34
IzoPhones-30 and 30S – Kaizen

Not sound summary

Both OrtoPhones’s sturdy baffles and its clearer branding feel and look high end – at least in comparison to any IzoPhones. It’s from the same factory, so it’s got the same clampy headband (which can be pressed into a more comfy shape), driver yokes, swivelling cups, and cables.

No MyST headphone will win a beauty competition. Their machine work is all tough and rumble; it will go through your car’s windscreen if thrown with enough muscle. If a thief sneaks into your flat at night, gird up your loins and whip out your MyST phones and stab their eyes in with the adjustment posts. You’re a boss.

It looks as if MyST also have a black IzoPhones-30. I’m of the firm opinion that they should extend the black option across the line. It is beautiful. Add to that MyST’s elegent 3,5mm TS/TRS cable connection system. And that OrtoPhones and IzoPhones utilse the same pads. Switching from one model to the next is easy as pie. For these non-sound reasons I wish more people knew about MyST headphones.

Sound after the jump:

IzoPhones driver baffle inside

Sound after the jump:

Review: MyST OrtoPhones – Uplifting
4.17 (83.33%) 12 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.

12 Comments

  • Reply February 18, 2016

    Barun C

    Thanks Nathan for another very enjoyable read. Hope these Orthos get more attention at head-fi forums.

    • Reply February 18, 2016

      ohm image

      I hope so.

      • Reply February 20, 2016

        GrizzlybEast

        I am certainly following these reviews… i just wish there were comparisons to some more popular headphones. Not many people will really understand how they compare to HEX, Ether, ZMF Omnis, Audezes, Oppos… yada yada. You really need a popular headphone besides the super technical HD800 to allow people to cross over. A bridge headphone between the known and unknown.

        Can you provide any point of reference of the mentioned or any Orthodynamic headphone?

        • Reply February 21, 2016

          dalethorn

          Seems like a good idea, if this headphone hasn’t already been returned.

        • Reply February 22, 2016

          ohm image

          Well, I have to disagree. If in order to make a proper review, I have to own an Audeze, ZMF, etc., and so on, I need to invest 10.000$ at least in headphones. No way.

          I already mentioned IzoPhones VS Oppo. I’m not going to purchase a HD800. I’m not going to purchase an Audeze headphone. I’m especially not going to purchase a Hifiman.

          • Reply February 22, 2016

            GrizzlybEast

            No offense but that was a thoughtless response. That’s not what I was suggesting. Rather, if you have heard any other popular Ortho it would give a useful point of reference. That is what will help a reader establish a bearing of your perpective. If you haven’t then so be it. That doesn’t take away from the legitimacy of your review.

            I never said said that comparisons would make it a proper review. There is nothing that qualifies a review as being proper.

            Of note: I guarantee some of the orthos out there would be more comfortable than that thing. If you ever want to borrow one for a comparison hit me up and I’ll gladly lend you one or point you to someone that will. I love seeing new hps one up what we are currently being offered in hopes of someone making a better price to performance option.

            • Reply February 22, 2016

              dalethorn

              I’ve had a few orthos now, and the only one I liked was MrSpeakers Mad Dog, which is really just a mod. The LCD2 was very flat/neutral in most respects, but also flat in the sense of lack of sparkle. I’d like to see someone translate some of these reviews for dynamics-only users, so I can understand better how they sound.

              • Reply February 22, 2016

                GrizzlybEast

                The Dharma is a good reference as well. I liked it but it’s bass response was horrible. Everything else was well… Dynamic.

                • Reply February 22, 2016

                  dalethorn

                  I’d guess then that orthos are much more difficult to make and/or tune. For a long time Audeze and HiFiMan were the only major players, and now we have a few more.

            • Reply February 23, 2016

              ohm image

              I’m sorry you found it a thoughtless response. Making comparisons based on memory is faulty. While I have done that, I shouldn’t. It’s not fair to readers or to manufacturers. Which means that to eliminate as many variables as possible (while still working a subjective angle, i.e., reviewing without test equipment), I would need to have those other headphones on hand to compare.

              I simply can’t compare headphones that I don’t have, or whose profiles I didn’t record via test equipment. The good news is that I am saving up to invest in a headphone test rig which will allow me to save data that can be used as reference in the future.

              But I was honest: I will not buy a HiFiman, I will not buy a HD800, I will not buy an Audeze, and I simply can’t put solid review weight behind vague impressions of gear I once used.

              I can remember that both the [LCD-3 and] LCD-2 for instance, were warmer sounding than the IzoPhones and OrtoPhones, but saying anything more than that would be dishonest.

              Anyway, thank you for your reply. I’m sorry if I came off aggressive. It wasn’t my intent. I simply don’t feel comfortable deeply referencing headphones I once heard or once owned, or borrowed for a few weeks in any more than very vague terms.

              [Edit]

              • Reply February 23, 2016

                GrizzlybEast

                Thanks for keeping it real. I understand not comparing from memory. I wish I could hear a pair. Been lookin at em but was too scared when I did have funds. Thanks for responding. I guess my main curiosity is the bass extension of the ortophones vs the other models since there is no graph for this model. The other models show poor bass extension on the graphs. Anywho I’m talking too much as always. Thanks for the review.

              • Reply February 27, 2016

                Roman Zaytsev

                I think audeze more warm and have no same fast attack as in Orto (not Ortho in this case :))
                MyST more fast and detailed but not so bassy.

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