Stax Omega2 Mk2 Review

First of all I would like to thank Budi for making this review possible.

As the flagship STAX headphone, the Omega2 is the most perfect headphone I’ve ever listened to. All of us can start from different headphone preferences, and ultimately we would end up with the Omega2 as the ultimate end of all headphone. At this level, there is no more dynamic vs electrostatic debate. The Omega2 reigns supreme at the top of the food chain.

While the lesser Lambda frame Staxes are great, they do have some flaws that make them quite polarizing. Play some live recording on the Lambda frames and you’ll be impressed with the wide open sensation of the music. Play some closed mic-ed studio recording, and most of the time the Stax magic won’t work. I’ve reviewed the top Lambda model, the SR-404 Limited Edition along with the SR-404 Signature and the SR-Lambda Pro, and overall I don’t feel that they are genuinely better than top dynamic headphones like the HD800 or the Beyerdynamic T1.

However, with the Stax Omega 2 MK2 , all the doubts I had with Electrostatics simply vanish. If only the Omega2 doesn’t come with such a high pricetag, and require multi-thousand dollar amplifiers. *sigh*


Stax Omega2 Mk2 Review
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33 Comments

  • Reply August 8, 2010

    Matt

    You made it sound like the omega 2 was the end of the road at the beginning of the article but by the end you made it sounds like you prefer the hd800? Was there any definitive winner in your book?

    • Reply August 9, 2010

      Mike

      Hi Matt, I'm glad you asked that question. Sometimes writing reviews, gosh, are not easy, and I may lead people to the wrong impression. I probably need to edit my conclusion there.

      I pointed out that the Omega2 has a limited extension (top and bottom) in comparison to the HD800. Detail is also less, and the thing with the soundstage coming from all around you but not the front. But I also said this:

      Despite the shortcomings on extension and detail level, the presentation of the music is far easier to like than the HD800. The frequency balance might not be too flat, yet it sounds very good on the ears, and I think that’s all that matters.

      I also want to quote the introduction part, where I said:

      As the flagship STAX headphone, the Omega2 is the most perfect headphone I’ve ever listened to. All of us can start from different headphone preferences, and ultimately we would end up with the Omega2 as the ultimate end of all headphone. At this level, there is no more dynamic vs electrostatic debate. The Omega2 reigns supreme at the top of the food chain.

      I think that's the highest praise I've given any headphone. Despite the technical shortcomings, what matters is how it plays the music. I can tell you that if I play a random playlist to ten people, 8 of 10 will probably choose the O2 over the HD800. It's just that good.

      The conclusion is not very positive, true, and that's probably what gives you the negative impression. Should've ended the article a different way. Again, thanks for the question. I do appreciate you asking that.

      • Reply August 12, 2010

        Matt

        Thanks for the detailed response Mike. I think the new ending does a great job of summing it up.

    • Reply August 9, 2010

      Mike

      I added some stuff to the conclusion, to avoid further confusion. I also added some small stuff to the part about the Frequency Balance.

      • Reply August 10, 2010

        Jose

        Very nice review Mike. Thanks for doing such a great job every time!

        • Reply August 10, 2010

          Mike

          Thanks Jose. We strive because of support from people like you. 🙂

  • Reply August 16, 2010

    Ian

    Thanks for a great review. I've always wanted to try Stax gear but been frightened off by the cost which you mentioned in the concluding paragraphs. Just waiting to see comments over the next few months for a couple of new developments:

    * New headphone from Stax – SR5-7 – http://www.stax.co.jp/Export/SR507e.html

    * Woo Audio's Electrostatic Energiser – http://www.wooaudio.com/products/wee.html

  • Reply August 21, 2010

    manaox

    Nice review Mike, thanks for taking the time to write a detailed review and comparison.

    • Reply August 21, 2010

      Mike

      Hey dude, haven't seen you back here for a while. Been busy with other things?

  • Reply August 24, 2010

    Budi

    Mike, thought I may want to chip in a bit. Your article said that Mk2 solely available in black. This is not particularly correct. The black Mk2 is for export product whereas for domestic Japan, the Mk2 still comes in champagne color housing and brown cable. Just wanted to clarify

    • Reply August 24, 2010

      Mike

      Thanks for the info, I'll add it in!

  • Reply August 25, 2010

    Budi

    Mike, my apology, it actually comes in silver color for domestic market. Attached is the link http://www.stax.co.jp/Japan/sr-007a.html

    Export market remains the same ,black on black pads/cable. Once again my apology

    • Reply August 26, 2010

      Mike

      Thanks dude. I didn’t even check the website because I thought you’re the O2 expert. 😛

  • Reply September 30, 2011

    Ahok

    Tried this yesterday, (soooo late lol)
    and im pretty much agree with mike, that this is a more preferable headphone to most people, because its signature is easier to preceive for many people, 
    and played most genre yesterday, from rock, to classical to j-pop, 
    all songs played by the omega2 flawlessly, 

    I also have the chance to audition the SR-009 (yeah), side by side with the SR-007Mk2, 
    driven from the SRM-007tII, 
    even though the technicalities on the SR-009 is slightly better, slightly here means the difference is really small, (a bit better soundstage and extension), 
    I prefer the darker sounding SR-007Mk2, as its very relaxing to hear, the brighter and less bodied SR-009 is not as relaxed as the 007Mk2

    • Reply September 30, 2011

      Anonymous

      Awesome review there man. 😉

      You know after the LCD-2 is released I think it would take a lot of people away from the O2. Tonally very similar (the version 1 at least), and though it’s not quite electrostatic-smooth like the O2, the bass is just phenomenal, and it doesn’t require a $2000 amplifier to drive. And at the end, bass remains the #1 problem I see with Stax headphones. Especially more that our music these days tend to be beats-heavy.

      • Reply September 30, 2011

        Ahok

        yeah, LCD-2Mk1 is very similar tonally wise to the O2Mk2, 

        the LCD-2 is a steal for its price, for its phenomenal bass, simplicity of its setup, and the level of sound it produces, 

        i think the LCD2 is more suited to nowadays beaty music than the O2, which has narrower genre bandwith, although i have no problem playing j-pop music on the O2Mk2, 😀

  • Reply January 23, 2012

    Chevrol1

    This review is a joke.
    How many times did he wrote “black background”?
    What is a black background, is it absence of noise or what? If so, how many headphones noise by them themselves?
    ” you know that you’re still not using the best amplifier there is for the Omega2.” -about SRM-717.
    Ok, says who? Any independent test results that confirm this?
    Actually, Omega2 might be the best headphone in the world, I don’t know, but this kind of bullshit and nonsense isn’t useful for anyone.

    • Reply January 23, 2012

      Mike

      Yes I was just joking and this article is a total bullshit.

  • Reply February 7, 2014

    STARSTERN

    the same amp that you suggest for the audeze lcd 2-3 ,is also suggested by you to pair the stax Omega2 sroo9 ?

    in other words its BHSE or alo 6 or somthing else ?

    • Reply February 7, 2014

      Dave Ulrich

      Electrostats usually require a special amplifier

    • Reply February 7, 2014

      Mike

      No the Stax headphones need a different type of amp.

  • Reply February 7, 2014

    STARSTERN

    which one you suggest ?

    • Reply February 7, 2014

      Mike

      I like the WA5 + WEE combo

  • Reply February 7, 2014

    STARSTERN

    sound wise they do better then BHSE ?
    just bringing that one up again ,since seen many prefer that for their stax

    • Reply February 7, 2014

      Mike

      Yes best set up I’ve heard

      • Reply February 8, 2014

        STARSTERN

        thank you ;
        recently have came across ,some reviews saying that lcd-xc by audeze with the wright amp ,they get almost the same quality sound ,as stax 009 with paired BHSE ,i asked them and waiting whether respond will come ,my question ,stax 009 as electrostatic can only be better in transparency and detail ,but sometimes thats a minus ‘since it gives a very analytic touch to the listener ,while audeze lcd x should be the better in the sound signature that you always prefer ,’which is warmness and joy ” am i wright ?

        • Reply February 10, 2014

          Mike

          The Stax sound is unique and it’s a nice sound to listen to. The problem is ultimately Stax just can’t deliver a decent bass even from the BHSE. Planars are taking over as it’s very easy to get the bass out of planars.
          And what music these days don’t require bass?

          • Reply February 11, 2014

            STARSTERN

            BHSE with Psvane EL34PH’s tubes !?

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