Friday, 31 January 2014

iLuv iHP 635 review - really bad, not even a contender in extreme budget category

Pros: Nice design, inline smartphone remote, foldability

Cons: bloated, muddy mid-bass, very recessed mids, muddy and veiled sound, transparency and soundstage totally unseen, durability is an issue (my friend's pair broke after 1 month at the hinges, which are just poor quality plastics upon inspection)

     Today I am here with anban iLuv iHP 635 review. First of all, I would like to say that this pair of cans provide really crap sound quality for their price, despite what iLuv claims on the box or on the manual that comes with the headphones. The only really good plus point I can find is in the design, which is quite nice, and in the earpads, which are extremely soft, providing maximum comfort for an on-ear pair. However, the super strong clamping effect on the head makes you feel squashed and uncomfortable, and the white trimming around the earcups as part of the design even starts coming off  after less than a week.

See the white trimming around the earcups and along the sides of the headband? they start to come off really easily.

The packaging box

     I tried these headphones when my friend bought them, and when I tried them expecting something good, I was shocked (in a really bad way. I immediately threw them off my head and mentally put them under the "you just got conned of your money, man" category.). They cost S$79.90.

     The sound quality was extremely muddy and mixed up, and with the bass not cohesive with the rest of the music, I felt I was listening to 2 different tracks at once. The sound also had a dark veil to them. The mid-bass was extremely bloated and the mids were severely recessed, and the mids were further muddied by the extreme bloat. Treble was also quite recessed. The soundstaging and transparency was totally wasted due to the bass, which overwhelmed and muddied the music. I tried these with piano solos/sonatas and the lower  notes of the piano were so emphasised while the mids could not even be heard. I have seen budget cans such as the Monoprice 8323, which costs US$21.59, and has better foldability, detachable cables and great sound exceeding some headphones in the $100 range. Needless to say, these are really bad. I threw them off my head and onto the table in front of my friend, like a true audiophile should. I soon plucked up enough courage to go through the torturing process of listening to it to at least get a decent idea of the sound and how I should review it.

     Even then, getting it onto my head was extremely hard. I had to literally pull them apart, and when I put them onto my head, they squashed my head to the ends of the universe (as you may have just figured out, I truely hate this pair of cans).

     For that kind of price, you can get either a Sony MDR-ZX300 or a Sony MDR-ZX310, both retailing for S$55. They sound a lot better, look a lot better, are a lot more comfy and pack into your bag a lot better. I will review the MDR-ZX300 in my next review. At the around the same price (S$109.90), you can also get a stylish HD 229 from Sennheiser with much better sound quality.

     In conclusion, I vehemently recommend against buying this pair of cans. They are nothing but a waste of your time and money. They are just another fashion accessory vying for a piece of the fashion market.