On a recent flight from Hong Kong back to the states, I had an exhaustively long opportunity to test out the HPX6000 phones from Behringer. These fall into the over the ear category but unlike many of the â€œcan-styleâ€ phones, that totally surround your ear, these distribute a slight amount of pressure around and on your ear.
This allows some air-circulation so your ears don’t get all hot and sweaty. During this forced extended listening session, I had them on for quite a long stretch. It took a while to find the the sweet spot, but when I did they stayed in place and were quite comfortable. The adjustable headband holds them just tight enough against the head to prevent slippingâ€”but it’s so tight as to bend eyeglass bows. Let’s give them a solid 8 out of 10 in the comfort category (I’ve yet to find a 9 or 10).
On the downside, the open ear piece design doesn’t block ambient noise as much asÂ the headphones that cup the ear.
As to the sound quality, personally, I like the way they sound, but this is so subjective. During this extended flight test, I listened to almost everything on my iPhone, from spoken-word podcasts to a playlist that started with Fernando Ortega and Chuck Mangione and progressed to Pink Floyd, Joan Osborne and Peter Gabriel. The playback apps I used were the iTunes player and the Audio Xciter app from Aphex (which cut through the ambient noise better than plain old iTunes). With the standard iOS player, the sound quality was good. With the Aphex app, it was better, with deeper, clearer, more pronounced bass and greater intelligibility on the highs.
Back on the ground, it was immediately obvious that the listening experience is far more enjoyable when NOT blasting about the atmosphere in a pressurized tube with screaming kids and flight attendants squawking safety instruction in three languages through a PA that’s one grade lower than a BK drive through. With the EQ set on “Flat,” the bass is solid and well-defined without the least bit of muddiness. The mids and highs are crisp and balanced across the frequency rangeâ€”thereâ€™s nothing missing.
As to their usefulness in the DJ booth, you’ll have to make that decision. If you need to able to cue in really loud environments, this may not be what you want. On the other hand, I was able to drive these loud enough to override the sound of 4 jet engines, so your board should be able to provide you all the cue volume you need.
The final plus is that that they are not cheap and flimsy. The materials are solid and the construction is tight so they should hold up to a reasonable amount of abuse. A coiled cord with a mini jack that connects to left ear cup is included as is a combo miniâ€”1/4 inch plug. A quick check of the popular online dealers pegged the HPX 6000 headphones priced at round $85. At that price, they are certainly worth considering when shopping for a good mix of comfort, sound quality and price.