Wednesday, March 23, 2011

CAD MH310 / Superlux HD-662F Review

There is almost no info available about the new CAD MH310 headphones right now - but I just got three pair today.

Here's the available spiel on the CAD cans:

"CAD MH310 Closed-Back Studio Headphones Details

The CAD MH310 is a closed back, circumaural, precision built monitor headphone equipped with 50mm neodymium drivers offering extended frequency response while delivering exceptional detail and clarity. Exceptionally comfortable, the MH310s are designed with a self-adjusting headband with closed-back leatherette ear cushions that allow for hours of comfortable, fatigue free listening.
CAD MH310 Closed-Back Studio Headphones Features

* Frequency response: 10Hz-30kHz
* Sensitivity: 98 +/- 3dB
* High output, Neodymium 50mm drivers
* 2.5 Meter (98”) cord with 1/4" and 1/8" plugs
* Impedence: 30 ohms
* Foam cushions for maximum comfort and sound isolation
* Carrying pouch
* One year Limited Warranty"

So, with just about zero information anywhere online on these, I had to start searching for some super-similar styles with the same specs (use that line to test for sibilance the next time you set up a vocal mic).

The closest I came up with was the brand-new Superlux HD-662F. Superlux is the new up-and-comer big-bang-for-the-buck headphone brand made in Taiwan. "Close" isn't even the word for the match I got - except for the branding, the CAD and Superlux seem nearly identical. The Superlux HD-662 series are all closed-back, and they offer good isolation. There are three styles: the 662 (red trim-well balanced), the 662-F (white trim-true bass), and the 662-B (blue trim-bass punch).

The CAD MH310 has white trim, so it's probably the HD-662F. Here I have removed one of the ear cushions to get a better look inside:

Here's a shot someone took of the guts of an AKG (left) and a Superlux (right)...not sure of the exact models used, however:

So it sure looks like the CAD is a rebranded Superlux.

There are a few differences from the original description, once you have the item in front of you: The Superlux is from Taiwan, the CAD box says Made in China. The specs have changed, too - from 10Hz-30KHz to 20Hz-20KHz...darn, I lost some frequency response during shipping! That's perfectly fine with me in this case, because humans generally CAN'T HEAR down to 10Hz (that is bass you feel in your chest at a live show, not something that comes out of 50mm/2-inch drivers) or up to 30KHz.

So it also looks like CAD has put the specs into...perSPECtive. More real-world.

AND my paperwork has the one year warranty upped to a two year warranty. Nice.


I'm currently "burning-in" a pair right now, I'll be able to comment on those after 100+ hours of burn. My first comments will be on a fresh, unburned set:

These offer pretty good isolation, though not quite as good as some of my vintage cans. Probably thinner-walled plastic in the cups. Might be room for some modding, there (I was thinking that something like fiberglass lining the inside would do some good, I dunno). Comments/suggestions?

They clamp pretty well on my head, around the ears (circumaural), which is a must for tracking, to reduce leakage from the headphone. I am used to this style of headphones, as all of my vintage ones for tracking and my AKG K240-M's for mixing are this type. I like the solid feel of these. Those who aren't used to circumaural headphones may feel a bit claustrophobic in them.

These have a very similar design to the AKG K240's, but the curved metal rods that connect the earpieces (not sure what these are actually called - the headband/s?) are extremely resonant on the CADs...they vibrate/ring at around 80Hz, while the same parts on the AKGs are isolated and do not ring at all. Not that you're going to go around flicking these with your fingernail making them vibrate very often, but it does seem to be a negative as far as using them for a quality reference. If your source material happened to have lots of 80Hz in it, the CAD headphones would probably ring (sympathetic vibration). I will probably add some sort of damping to eliminate the resonance.

Now for the sound quality: VERY NICE. Certainly beyond the price (these list for $99 currently, generally go for about $69, and can be found for as little as $49). I am used to mostly "flat" sound...I use my AKG's for monitoring, so the sound that they output must be as close to the original source material as possible - that's why I chose the AKG's.

The CAD's add a bit of "smile" eq to the source (similar to what a listener might add on their own with a separate equalizer): a bass bump, and some high-end peaks around 6KHz, as shown in this Superlux frequency response chart:

Though I might like to hear a little bit more midrange definition, I must say I really enjoy listening on these headphones! The bass is very full and present, while not being overdone or flabby. The treble is natural and clear, not harsh.

I was able to hear ALL of the test tones 20Hz-20KHz from the Alan Parsons "Sound Check" cd through these headphones, and although the highest and lowest tones were much quieter than the rest, they were most certainly audible.

Please keep in mind that I am only making an assumption that these are rebranded Superlux headphones. I do not have any Superlux HD662-F's yet to make a "for-certain" call. But from the photos and specs online, it seems a safe assumption they are the same...who knows? CAD may have had some alterations done to the Superlux design, to make these their own. Time will tell.

But I must say that I approve of these headphones! Comfortable fit, quality build, nice isolation, and a great listening experience. A GREAT bang-for-the-buck, in my opinion.



doyen said...

After going thru lots of cheep cans and ragging out 100$ and up cans in the studio, i came across the HD-662F and by far is is the best can for the money in a closed ear good can give to the drummer and crank... and know they are going to hear everything in top high fidelity... just pleasing to hear every detail. I am using this headphone more and more. Doyen AudioHipster

T. T. of NY said...

Superlux HD-662F is a can with highly detail sounding characteristic which replay every playing instruments faithfully. The bass sounding much accurate than many cans I have been tried. Since got one, I ditched other brand's can, and only use this one to listen music. Compared with Hd662f, those highly praised cans such as Sennheiser HD-5XX(include the HD-595), all Boses', Sony MDR series and many other cans costing several hundreds are all on muddy side. Its sounding is unbelievable detail, transparent, neutral and very well-balanced in highs, lows,and mids. Though, it is a closed can but has sounding characteristic like that of open one,(amazing, right?) That is good, because it won't bother others when listen to music in loud. Hd-662F is a can sounding so special that every serious classic, Jazz, New Age, Chill out, and even Rocks music lover must have one pair on hand and you won't regret. It is a Just-Right can. Ask Doyen of, he offers excellent services over there.
cannot recommend more.

Jamsmith said...

Whoo Hoo! New post! I was wondering. some great Closed Headphones on here I had never heard. Thanks!!

intercad said...

Home building designs, & CAD programs?

Solidworks Training

Anonymous said...

I ordered a pair of Superlux 662F, because I got really tired of the disappointing sound quality of my Sony MDR-V55's that I purchased last month.
I'll post a few short sentences about what the sound quality as soon as I receive them, which should hopefully be in around two weeks.
John Smith

Anonymous said...

I have to say that the Superlux 662F headphones have a very good sound straight out of the box. It seems that this is something that is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve nowadays. I had to go through three headphones before happily ending up with this one.
The sound of the Superlux 662F is more direct than broad or spacious. It is also quite nicely balanced. The vocals, pianos, basses, hi-hats and cymbals are correctly placed without having one instrument dominating over the others. The bass is not exaggerated, which is a characteristic that someone like me,a grown up, would appreciate. I'm not a kid anymore who gets easily fascinated, and rates a headphone merely by its "boom, boom, boom" quality.
All in all, I recommend these headphones.

John Smith

Anonymous said...

"....the curved metal rods that connect the earpieces (not sure what these are actually called - the headband/s?) are extremely resonant on the CADs...they vibrate/ring at around 80Hz...."

The simplest remedy to this problem is to bind both rods in the center on top together with scotch tape. The vibration becomes virtually non-existent after that.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant to bind both rods loosely.

Anonymous said...

This is about CAD MH 310 and everyone comments about superlux, useless.

Anonymous said...

The point of the article is that the CAD headphones are probably the same as Superlux, just sold under a different Superlux comments are not "useless".

glyphlightbrand said...

While the sound is pretty decent, the noise isolation IMO is not "amazing" I was expecting better out of 662f and the material they use slides on OVER the earcup edge so it actually comes off easier than it should.

For example, my previous headset Kraken V2 pro at the exact EQ settings I could leave my volume level at 25-32 and could barely hear anyone stomping on floor above me in a thin walled apartment building, the 662f on the other hand I have to have volume cranked to 55 or so to achieve "almost" the same noise isolation cloud stinger 57, so, noise isolation on these really is not that good, if they would have made the material "slip in" like one could do on the 681/688 it might have helped the sound isolation better.

Not impressed, better clarity than the stingers when not playing other things like whitenoise/pinknoise in background, but, if I do play something else it seems to "mix" the sound up too easily with 662f, cost me just under $70 shipped for a brand new set here in Canada December/January 2017/2018...should have went with the cloud2/cloudx as they are supposed to be amazing sound isolation.

Kraken V2 actually quite great isolation, but, the quality of workmanship on their earpad design is terrible (not even last me 1 year and no way to maintain their cleanliness)

At least the 662 come with a free 6.5/3.5mm adapter so could use when plugging into a guitar amp or something like that.

IMO biggest gripe is just that, the material they use should slip behind/into the earcup so it stays "put" and not slip off so easy which basically destroys any type of sound isolation, maybe thicken the earpad make a bit softer so can form a better seal and for it being supposedly som 10k-30k range, the sounds feeding into them seem to not layer up very well, however, they are good sounding, pretty comfortable, and besides a small issue with having to press the jack a bit on one side (maybe was loose?) quality is also quite good (they should also maybe use a bit thicker cabling more rubbery style well ^.^