Fostex TR-80 80 ohm Review

New to the headphone scene, the Fostex TR-80 comes in two different variations:  an 80-ohm version and a 250-ohm version.  But today I’m sitting down with the TR-80 and a cornucopia of FLAC and WAV files (and even some MP3s!) to figure out just what makes this headphone tick.

Fostex TR-80 80 ohm Review

Fostex TR-80 80 ohm Review

The Fostex TR-80 is a closed back production and studio model (at least, this is what Fostex claims).  The packaging is pretty unremarkable, and inside the box you’ll find the headphones, a soft pleather carrying pouch, and two removable 10 ft (3 m) cables – one straight and one coiled.

As design goes, the TR-80 is a little chunky, with a thick, padded headband and some impressive, enveloping earpads.  It’s quite comfortable, but it’s not for those who want to look inconspicuous.

Sound-wise, this headphone is very-middle of the road.  With a 5-35000 hertz frequency range and an 80 ohm impedance, it sounds a bit relaxed when I pair it with my un-amped FiiO X5 II.  Adding the amp seems to bring about a bit more detail and contrast, so if you can pair it with a half-decent amp, we recommend it.

The highs are detailed, but not too bright or piercing.  The lows are also fairly detailed, and the mids are good, too, but the sound overall is decidedly dynamic.

Clarity and separation is present, though not to the degree I’d prefer.

In all, it sounded fine for rock and hip-hop, but classical music felt only so-so.  Without a great deal of separation, some things tended to meld together in more intricate recordings.  But for rock and hip-hop, this dynamic sound is phenomenal and I can’t recommend it enough for these genres.

Should you seek it out?  Well, if you’re the kind of person who loves hip-hop or rock music – or dynamic sounding headphones with a decent amount of detail, these should be somewhere on your list of potential headphones.  If you’re a classical music junkie like me, there are some other options out there – something from Pioneer or AKG would be a safe bet.  Still, that being said, it’s hard not to recommend these puppies as a beginner audiophile model not unlike the Audio Technica M50x.

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Carroll is a headphone junkie residing in Brooklyn. He's a huge fan of Grado, UK hip hop, and the English Language in general. When not testing audio equipment or writing, you'll find him taking photographs or fiddling with circuit boards. You can contact him at