The PS1000e weighs 1.25 lbs (567 gm) not including the double-entry non-detachable cable, which is terminated with a 1/4 inch (6.35 mm) plug. My headphone came with a 6.35 to 3.5 mm adapter, and a long (~12 ft) heavy-duty extension cable. My average-size head fits perfectly with the gimbals set just 1/4 inch from the minimum size. The maximum setting is 3/4 inch larger on each side from where my head fits, so the total range of adjustment is one inch on each side. The leather-clad headband padding is minimal, so users who are very sensitive to pressure on top of their heads may want to wrap some additional padding there. The 32-ohm impedance suggests a high sensitivity, and the PS1000e is sensitive enough to play loudly with even my lower-volume music tracks, on iPods, iPhones, and similar devices.
Transducer Type: Dynamic
Operating Principle: Open Air
Frequency Response: 5 – 50,000 hz
SPL 1mW: 99.8 dB
Normal Impedance: 32 ohms
Driver Matched dB: .05 dB
Included Accessories: Headphones, warranty, Grado story-sheet, 3.5mm mini adapter, extension cable.
The PS1000e sounds a little bright to me, with a reduced mid-to-lower bass that adds to the sensation of brightness. The main areas of emphasis are around 2-3 khz and 7 khz, but experienced users of the SR60 through SR325 will feel right at home with this sound. There is some emphasis in the lower midrange around 200 hz, but the steep rolloff below there means that the mid-to-lower bass impact will feel pretty light. Most Headfonia reviewers mention layering of the bass sound, which is more-or-less the opposite of a “one-note” bass, but to make such a judgement requires a decent amount of bass to start with. The PS1000e bass is shy enough that I get a sense of greater bass detail compared to certain other headphones, and that’s because the bass has less tendency for boominess or muddy sound, simply because it’s recessed.
The PS1000e’s treble should be comparable to headphones like the Beyerdynamic T90 or T1, but somewhere in-between in my opinion in the sense that the T1 is less tonally accurate, and the T90 slightly more accurate. Noting the music examples listed below, the higher midrange is good in not having a problem with nasality (Boz Scaggs), but less good in the lower midrange (Porcupine Tree). My only headphone amps are small portables such as the various DragonFly DACs, the Portaphile Micro, Decware Zen Head, Oppo HA-2, several FiiOs, and the Lehmann Traveler. I’ve borrowed a few tube amps here and there, but I don’t feel I need them most of the time, since I usually avoid the brighter headphones. In the case of the PS1000e, a tube amp with a strong AC power supply might be a good bet, since tube amps often provide a more ‘liquid’ sound to the brighter headphones, i.e. less harshness and/or ‘grainy’ sound, and more weight on the low end.
The following music examples illustrate certain strengths and weaknesses that I’ve found with the PS1000e. In most cases these impressions aren’t absolute – they’re relative to where the PS1000e’s sound fits into the spectrum of well-known headphones, according to each user’s experiences.
Antonin Dvorak (Alsop-Baltimore Symphony): At approximately 0:40 of Movement No.2 begins a counterpoint between 2 instruments – one followed by the other – a woodwind and a horn, but not necessarily in that order. Resolved clearly.
Ben Goldberg – Root and Branch (Jazz): The horns and clarinet have a rich tone, the bass is detailed but light, and the percussion is crisp.
Boz Scaggs – Lowdown (1976): Great test for nasality in the midrange. Test passed OK.
Chris Isaak – Wicked Game (Pop/Rock): A high treble energy recording. Crispy, but otherwise detailed and fairly smooth.
Chromatics – I’m On Fire (Synth-Pop, female lead): Realistic tambourine sound. Some headphones don’t play this accurately.
Cranes – Adoration (Goth-Rock): Opens with some realistic piano notes, and the percussion and voice work to create an enchanting atmospheric effect.
David Hazeltine – Fur Elise (Jazz): Wire-brush-on-cymbal harmonics are very extended and detailed.
Ed Palermo – Crazy (Pop Vocal): Big band, pop, country, and jazz vocal with Ed Palermo. Good demo for instrumental tone and ambiance, especially the saxophone lead at 2:51.
Hubert Kah – The Picture (New Wave): Natural voice and good electronic effects. Bass synth has good detail but light weight.
Marc Johnson – Prayer Beads (Acoustic): Upright bass has excellent string tone but light weight.
Michael Buble – Nice ‘n Easy (Jazz): Prominent but well-recorded voice. Massed instruments are well-separated. The bass line is mostly absent since the bass tone is subtle and the weight is very light.
Porcupine Tree – Trains (Pop-Rock): Fairly bright – there are a series of “clip-clop” effects starting at 3:19 that should sound like they were made with wooden blocks, but the reproduction lacks the ‘wooden’ tonality.
Sophie Milman – Lonely in New York (Jazz): Sibilants are prominent but not bad. Instruments (horn, violin, piano, percussion etc.) have decent musical tone.
Tiger Okoshi – Bootsman’s Little House (Jazz): The close-up trumpet is bright, with a significant “bite”. The piano is also closely mic’d. Overall, good musical tone.
Tutt-Keltner – Drum Improvisation (Jazz): Excellent percussion detail, but drums suffer in some cases from lack of weight.