Excerpts taken from the Tone Audio Publications feature, naming the Phonon SMB-02 the first recipient of the Exceptional Value Award for 2014. See full review at the bottom of this page.
Available in the U.S. only at Stereo Exchange:
The Phonon SMB-02 Headphones
"Listening to the gentle, guitar and bass opening to Meshell Ndegeocello’s version of “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” the Phonon SMB-02 headphones instantly impress, with a nice, big, wide soundstage and natural sound. And this is just via my iPod with 256kb/sec MP3 files. Listening to the same album again, ripped from vinyl is another world entirely, expanding in every direction. With the MP3 files, the soundfield is confined to the space directly through my ears and while sounding good, I am fully aware of headphones on my head. High quality digital files expand the boundaries considerably and it’s easy to forget about the phones and concentrate on the music. A similar result is realized with high resolution files from HD Tracks."
"The SMB-02s are very easy to drive, and are highly compatible with your favorite smartphone, tablet or laptop, which should have more than enough power to produce adequate sound pressure levels.
Unlike some more demanding phones, this feature alone makes the SMB-02s a perfect choice for the personal listening enthusiast that wants high quality headphone sound, but isn’t ready to make the jump to a dedicated headphone amplifier right away."
"Auditioning the Phonon SMB-02 headphones with a wide range of source material and headphone amplifiers, they prove to be one of the finest all around choices we’ve experienced. While many headphone enthusiasts collect a stable of headphones, with some being better at one aspect of sound reproduction than others, the SMB-02s true strengths are that they perform a wide range of tasks incredibly well.
Combining that with the fact that they are easy to drive, and offer a high degree of musical satisfaction with even an iPod or smartphone as a musical source, makes them an excellent (perhaps one of the best) choices for someone wanting one great pair of headphones. And for now, US buyers can only get them in New York at Stereo Exchange, so I suggest giving them a call to get your own pair. Even those with a major stable of phones will want to add the SMB-02 to their collection.
And for this reason, we award the Phonon SMB-02 headphones our first Exceptional Value Award for 2014."
Read the full feature article:
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