Decent sound quality and portability at a low price
TDK's ST-100 headphones offer decent sound quality for a low price. With a portable design and reasonable audio quality, these entry-level headphones are a solid option for users looking to upgrade from their default MP3 player ear buds without spending a lot of money.
- Sweet highs, rich mid-range, folding design
- Poor bass, flat overall sound, weak soundstage
TDK's ST-100 headphones won't wow you with their audio quality, however for the price they offer a decent-sounding, portable alternative to your stock MP3 player ear buds.
Price$ 19.95 (AUD)
Sound quality is about what you'd expect for a pair of headphones at this price point, although the larger over-the-ear design gives the ST-100s a certain advantage over ear buds. They have a fairly rich mid-range, with good detail and a generally pleasing tone; acoustic music in particular sounded great. There was some minor distortion at times.
Treble notes were also fairly impressive, with a sweet sound and fairly good extension. However, the bass was disappointing. It sounded hollow and lacked any kind of punch or definition. It also didn't extend particularly low; this gave the music a fairly flat sound.
We were a little disappointed with the separation: there was little in the way of division between individual elements of the sound and everything tended to blend together a little. This also meant the soundstage was lacking, with a basic two-dimensional presentation that really didn't do anything to immerse you in the music.
While the mid-range had a nice tone, it wasn't particularly fun and the lack of any power in the bass meant most music lacked impact and energy. It is noteworthy that the listed frequency response for this model is only 100-18,000 Hz, which is a far cry from the 20-20,000 Hz you'll find on some better-sounding models. The ST-100 headphones are quite small for an over-the-ear model. They have small pleather cups with a thin silver and black band. We found them comfortable for long listening sessions, although our ears did get a little warm.
One nifty thing about the design is that the cups can fold up, making these headphones ideal for taking on the road with you. Often you'll have to sacrifice sound quality for portability, but that is not the case here. The cups are also extendable so they can be easily adjusted if you don't like the fit.
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