Is It Just Me? Samson SR850

I got my SingXer SA1 going just today. No I don’t have my real source yet, but I’ve got my DISH/Sirius XM aux out plugged into it just so I can listen to it.

This thing makes my old Samson SR850 headphones sound good. They don’t have the low end impact of my P7 headphones, but damn. These, SR850 have always sounded very muddled on everything I’ve plugged them into, until now. I think I paid $80, might have been $60 for studio use, many years ago. They look like an AKG kind of deal. They’re just all plastic, & super light weight. They say 32ohm.

What I didn’t expect is I’m max on volume on the SA1 to get up to my listening level with both my P7s & these SR850s. Sounds fantastic but I would not have expected to be at max volume. Both are SE of course. No balanced cans yet.

If folks didn’t know, DISH/Sirius XM has a very wide variety of music, just audio channels, & crystal clear. I’m not sure what the format/bit rate is but I’m guessing it’s Red Book at minimum. The DAC in the DISH box seems adequate at this time into my SA1.

I can’t say I hear a lot of soundstage on these two headphones I have, but I have no compliant for SQ of either on this set up.

I wonder if one could do some mod upgrades on these Samson SR850 headphones & make them even better?

Merry Christmas/Happy New Year

That delicious class A control. It does wonders for a lot of headphones. It’s a hard sell trying to get people to believe it but it’s very real and it sounds like you’re hooked already! When you hear it you just instantly know. Those Samsons look like AKG cups so you can throw some brainwavz XL micro suedes on there and get a nice bass bump and the added pad depth will increase the stage size quite a bit. For $20 they’re not a bad deal.

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Awesome. I think I can afford that. I looked up the SR850, & they’re going for $50 now. I’ve had them for so many years collecting dust. I thought I would try them just to try something different than my P7s. As it turns out I like the SR850s better than the P7s for comfort. They would be more comfy with micro suede pads. They may also have more air than the P7s. They are way lighter & way less clamp too. I listened to music for a few hours today.

Wonderfully comfy pads. Great value.
Have them on my K340’s. Likely to put them on more.

Update: Samson SR850 headphone pads are not like AKG pads, unless AKG pads are sleeve over cup.

I started to remove one of my Samson pads & discovered it has a cup sleeve & not an insert edge ring. I don’t have any AKG 600/700/800 series to verify what type pad it takes. I assume it is an edge ring type, rather than a cup sleeve.

Can someone verify this?

On another note, plugged into my tablet, I now hear static in the background I hadn’t heard or rather noticed before on the SR850s. On another note, I no longer think the SR850 are lacking low end impact. They’re just not hyped at all on the low end. Note: there isn’t any static with SR850s plugged into the SA1.

I’d highly recommend some blind testing. If you can’t here a difference, you’ll save a lot of money buying more gear (if sound quality is the goal, aesthetics is also a perfectly valid reason to buy gear).

Re: tablet’s static, very few phones/laptops/tablets have decent audio outputs, and most of them are Apple, LG, or Sony. My iPad Pro can drive an Aeon RT for all but the most demanding tracks.

Update right now: The static I was hearing is in the movie, Matrix. On my P7s I can hear it come in & out depending on the scene of the movie especially with the Nebuchadnezzar, but on my SR850 it’s constant almost, but not 100%. This makes me think the SR850 are higher efficiency than the P7s, yet the P7s are a tad louder/lower ohm perhaps, or being a tight clamp closed back seem louder. Though the static might be the difference between a $50 headphone & a $450 headphone. However on Matrix Reloaded the static is much less prevalent even on the SR850s. Still I hear no static with either on my SA1.

Ive been listening to my Tannoys for several months, but my aunt moved in & has parkinsons the doctor says. My Samson SR850 headphones have been literally lying on the floor by the trash can in my room.

So I can’t listen to my Tannoys like I used to. Thus I decided to try headphones. I got a pair of HD599SE. I compared them to my B&W P7s on my Singxer SA1. They sound quite different. B&Ws are a tad louder of course being 32ohm vs the Senn’s 50ohm, but the Senn’s are less present in the mids & bass, but they’re open backs vs the B&W’s closed back. They both sound good to me, but the B&W’s on high impedance vs the Senn’s on low impedance the sound is much closer to eachother across the board. Now comes the twist. The old Samson SR850s. I picked them up off the floor & compared them back to back with the Senn’s. Guess what? The cheapy Samson SR850’s sound just as good as the Sennheiser HD599SE, but the Samson’s have a tadutt better bass presence. The Senn’s are a tad smoother maybe, but not much. That might be due to the Samson’s being 32ohm & a tad louder. I think the Samson are $60 to $80. I gave $180 for the Senn’s. WTF? The Samson’s oh high impedance make them even closer to the Senn’s on low impedance. Correction: Samson SR850 are $50 at Sweetwater, but they are not as comfortable with stock pads as the HD599’s are.