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Friday

GOLDRING DR150-An open ear



HEADPHONES are not products you would expect from a popular audio streaming hi-fi manufacturer, but here’s one – the Goldring DR150. The name is more commonly associated with vinyl playback, but going by its performance here, things might just change.

The DR150 is the top model in the range, with the DR100 and DR50 further down the line. The DR150 is fashioned mostly from plastic, which may not instil confidence initially, but feels sufficiently sturdy, to take the abuse of regular use.

Encouragingly, the DR150 comes with a hefty, detachable three-metre cable, made by QED. Fixed terminations at both ends are the mini-jack type (ideal for portable player use), and a quality ¼-inch stereo adaptor is included as well.

The cans, when new, exert quite a lot of clamping force, but constant use will gradually flex the plastic and lessen this. That said, the lightness and some well-placed padding make this a very comfortable pair of cans.

The DR150s were thrown into action with a fair bit of equipment, spending time in the company of Pocket Amp 2 Version 2 and Darkvoice THA 332 headphone amplifiers running WAV and MP3 files off the PC, as well as CDs and SACDs via a modified Marantz CD63KIS and Marantz DV7600 players.

These are an amazing pair of headphones, considering the price. Just allow them plenty of run-in time to smoothen an initially sibilant treble.

Sonically, it’s a good all-around performer that punches above its weight. It has a clean overall presentation, but not to the point of being overly clinical. Detail retrieval is good with decent separation of instruments but it is not as openly transparent as pricier competitors.

The DR150 may not possess truly deep audio streaming bass, but has the ability to thump it out within its parameters with excellent control and punch.

The mid-range has good presence with audio streaming higher frequencies rendered well and the treble is not excessively highlighted – in fact, there is a very balanced audio streaming sound throughout.

The DR150 may not have the finesse or the ultimate resolution of pricier designs from other manufacturers, but it is one of the better cans that you can get your hands on.

At the price, though, you’re unlikely to find anything that can beat this. One definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for an affordable pair of quality headphones.

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