If you haven’t heard about Takstar before, that company is actually the OEM for HyperX headphones. Also, if you may be familiar with the Cooler Master MH751 model – that one is actually based on Takstar Pro 82. They basically look the same with a different touch here and there. I reviewed those Cooler Masters before, but I was curious about many claims that original Takstar Pro 82 sounds better. But let’s start with some practical things first.
BUILD AND FUNCTIONALITY
The cord is detachable, around 1.6 m long and you also get a neat carrying pouch in the box. The headband is padded with some nice and soft faux leather. Earpads are also very soft and thick. The grip is not that strong but they fit around my ears perfectly and feel really comfy and cozy, even after prolonged use. On the side, you can notice small knobs that are used to open bass ports. Closed provides the least bass, slightly opened produces more of it, and fully opened the most.
We’ll start our sound talks with the mentioned ports. When closed you get nicely behaved bass with decent speed, control, and texture. It’s neither overwhelming nor lean. It might appear kind of week if you’re used to a much more common V-shaped frequency response. If you open it halfway, the bass becomes louder but also less precise. When opened completely, the same thing happens, you get even more bass but it’s even boomier. I will not get too much into this because you can try it for yourself. Personally I prefer it completely closed as the other two are muddying bass lines.
Going up the frequency range, we have some clean and very nicely separated mids that are on the lean side. The high spectrum is also very clean and sparkly but quite pronounced which is adding to that whole feeling of leanness and brightness. You can hear plenty of details in that upper register and you always feel like tracks are being lit by strong light, hearing all of the tiny atmospheric details very easily. But sometimes that upper register focus will show you the ugly side of lesser recordings or provoke sibilance in voices. And there you go – you got yourself a very analytical sounding pair of cans.
The soundstage is very decent for closed headphones and different tones are well separated. Dynamically speaking they’re OK, but they’re probably not gonna make you jump and tap your foot. At their best Pro 82 add some edge and zest to the music so I enjoyed them quite a bit with some songs. That said, every now and then they make a song sound dry. I found myself wishing to dial down those highs and craving for a warm hug of some Sennheisers for example. EQ-ing them helped with that and I could town down these high frequencies to some extent and make them sound not as bright. But anything above a few decibels of attenuation will simply kill the sound and make it lifeless. Those pronounced highs that lead to excess brightness are also a thing that is giving that lively and positively edgy character to Pro 82s. They don’t have natural fullness or fluidity so if you take away too much of that spark, you will effectively kill their lively character and just make them sound flat and boring.
Pro 82s are not difficult to drive and you can even hook them to your smartphone. But you will not hear all the energy, speed, and drive they’re capable of if you do that. I had great success pairing them with lively sounding DACs like Dragonfly Black, Loxjie D10, or FX-Audio DAC-X7.
Compared to AKG K92, Takstars are just much more comfortable. I could use them for hours without a problem while K92s will start hurting my ears very quickly. Regarding the sound quality, they are taking a different approach. Pro 82s are very precise and analytical, while K92s are much more fluid and warmer sounding. Takstar can clearly reveal more details and make vocals very textured and husky, while AKG can give much more body to lower midrange and make everything sound juicy and thick, but also tube-like and muddy sometimes. Bass precision and speed are similar and so is the high register clarity. The soundstage is clearly wider on Takstars, instruments are better separated with more space in-between. AKGs are more cramped and cluttered in comparison.
Compared to Cooler Master MH751, Pro 82 sounds cleaner and more precise for some reason. It doesn’t stand to logic since MH751 is actually a modification of Pro 82 but it is what it is. A possible explanation would be the use of different inner materials, different acoustic chambers, or simply slightly different tuning of the drivers.
When you count in the price, which starts at ~ $55, it’s really hard to complain much here. Takstar Pro 82s are very comfortable headphones. They are analytical sounding, but they offer very precise sound and layering. I’m still to find anything to beat them at a similar price.
|TAKSTAR PRO 82 – CHARACTERISTICS|
| Driver Diameter: 40 mm
Frequency Response: 10Hz – 20KHz
Sensitivity: 96 ± 3dB at 1KHz
Max. Power: 20 mW
Rated Power: 10 mW
Cable: 1.6 m
Adapter Plug: 3.5 mm + 6.3 mm
Net Weight: 235 g (w/o cable)