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American Audio HP 700 Headphones
Reviewer: Gizmo • Date: May 2010 • Price: £30/$70/€29 • Link: American Audio




I'll be honest - I've included these because I had them laying around and American Audio asked me to. That said, it's worth checking out an entry level pair to see how they compare to the established player. And in doing so, I discovered some interesting things, as well as a picture of an old friend on the box (hey Skillz!).

American Audio HP700 headphones

In The Box:
The obligatory soft bag and screw fit adaptor (which bizarrely doesn't fit the non-screw fit cable). But there was also a nice surprise in the shape of a right angle adaptor - the only one on the group, and very useful for some mixers and DJ styles.

Looks: In all honesty, they don't look substantially different to most of the group. The core set that adhere to the headphone design blueprint all look very similar to me. The only comment I really have to make here is that the slightly shinier silver finish does tend to make them look a little cheaper.

American Audio HP700 headphones

Build Quality:
This is an interesting point hat made their inclusion worthwhile. They appear to share exactly the same headband as the Ultrasone, Ortofon O2 and Stanton Pro DJ 2000. So the cheapest in the group shared a main component with some of the most expensive. Thankfully, I'd say the HP700s are over specced for the price.

The price/quality ratio comes into play however with the bit that connects the hinge to the earpiece. While others in the test have this bit very neatly covered to protect the cable, the HP700 is open. If this were covered, it would be hard to tell these apart from other costing more money.

American Audio HP700 headphones

Sound Quality:
This is where the price difference really kicks in. While not sounding bad per se (I could happily use them as DJ cans but not for audiophile listening), they do have a distinctly hollow sound, lacking real definition in the mids and top end. The bass is definitely there though.

American Audio HP700 headphones

Isolation:
Not very good I'm afraid. The ear pieces are oval shaped for your ears and you have to be sure that they're the right way round or else they sort of sit on your ears instead of over them. But I do have big ears so that doesn't exactly help. Things would be improved if the ear piece material was softer as they would mould to your head a little better.

And forget using them in public. They leach so much noise that even the most tollerent of passenger would end up inserting them where the sun don't shine.

American Audio HP700 headphones

Comfort and Stability:
Provided you seat the ear pieces in the right place, they're just fine. The slightly firmer pad makes them a little less secure for the more animated DJ though.

Compactness: As compact as all the others of this kind - small enough to happily fit in the supplied bag in a corner of your bag.

Value for money: Coming in at £25-30 (my US visitors seem to be getting reamed at $70), one mustn't expect audio sex from the HP700s. But considering the overall build, they're pretty good. If they break though, you're likely to bin them and buy a new pair. Consider them disposable.

Summary

Including these HP700s in this test was a very good exercise. It showed me that many headphones share common components, and that you really don't have to spend many hundreds of your local currency to get a perfectly serviceable pair of headphones.

Granted - the sound isn't going to set your world on fire, but you could quite happily rock a night wearing these. Worth a look for noobs and as a backup perhaps.

Hype:
Price - overall build
Gripe: Sound quality - isolation



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