STAX SRS-X1000 Earspeaker System (SR-X1 + SRM-270s) Review


Electrostatic earspeakers are a world of their own. Those who like them swear by their crystal clarity, ultra-low distortion, and impressive timbre. However, they do come with their drawbacks. They’re typically more expensive than most headphones. They’re also incredibly hard to drive, requiring gear specific amps which are rarely portable. The STAX SRS-X1000 is a brand new bundle which includes the SR-X1 earspeaker and SRM-270 amplifier for under a $1000. Although a good option for a first foray into the electrostatic world, can it really deliver the same quality as other options? Let’s find out in the STAX SRS-X1000 review.


Look and Feel – SRS-X1000 Review

The first thing I noticed about the SR-X1 earspeakers was how light they felt. The design cues taken from the SR-1 and SR-X are present in this modern headphones despite it’s retro look. The use of light materials has brought the weight of this headphone to only 234g. They’re incredible comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The leather is soft and doesn’t get too hot. The double-edged sword to their comfort is the seal. Because there’s so little weight around the headband, it was hard to get these to seal properly around my ear. The flexibility of the headband also improves durability, but didn’t allow the ear pads to properly seal around my head. Take this criticism with a grain of salt since we all have uniquely shaped ears and heads.

The SRM-270 is sleek and not too noticeable. The attenuator on this unit is incredibly responsive. The footprint of this energizer only measures in at 6 x 5.25 in. allowing you to place it on a desk without taking up much space. Those using certain DACs will be able to stack this unit right on top of their existing setup relatively easily.

SRM-270s BackSRM-270s


The design feature of the SRS-X1000 speaker system is impressive especially considering this is an entry level unit. The low-noise fet in the energizer and the electrostatic drivers bring down the THD≤0.01%/1kHz 100V. If you don’t get what that all means, simply put they almost never distort. The SRM-270 is surprisingly stable in it’s heat distribution. After hours of use, the amp didn’t got hot at all. I used the HifiMan EF500 as my DAC plugged straight into my computer, and there was no issues in any of the connections. There is an stereo RCA in/out allowing you to use these with your favorite compatible DACs. The 5-prong balanced cable plugs directly into the front of the unit.

In terms of cables, I was extremely impressed with the quality given the price point of the SR-X1. It’s clear that the cable and 6-pin design were borrowed from much more expensive headphones in the STAX line. I wish that other companies integrated that same compatibility, because it’s so frustrating dealing with proprietary connections that only work on certain models. The cable itself is OFC at 2.5m long, which is commonly an upgraded feature on headphones in this price range. At 7-41,000hZ playback, you’d have to be a different species to miss any of these frequencies.

SR-1X Driver and Cable

Soundstage – SRS-1000X Review

This amp and headphone combination simply has all the width and tallness that you’d be looking for. Because I used a DAC, the limits of the SRS-X1000 setup will undoubtedly come from the DAC paired with the amp and headphones. With the Hifiman EF500, I felt a palpable wideness and shift in height from these headphones.

Other STAX have been too wide for some, but they have improved on this in the SRS-X1000. It’s hard comparing these to planar-magnets, but at only $980 you’d be very hard pressed to find any planar cans that can compete with this soundstage. The closest headphones that come near this width are the Hifiman Arya Organic. What the SRS-X1000 has over the Arya Organic is the fact that sound which are close come out with the right voice. What I mean by this is that close sounds don’t have supplementary reverb. There’s enough dynamic range to make close sounds feel intimate and far sounds feel expansive.

Tracks like “She’s Evil” by Repulsion have so much distance and wetness in their tone that it truly feels like an experience listening on these headphones. The oscillating vocals and snares pan hard from ear to ear with virtually no driver bleed. There’s a depth to sounds on the SRS-X1000 that are rarely present on headphones in this price category. “Everything is Romantic” on the new Charli XCX “brat” has a palpable width and height in it’s staging. Tracks with accurate panning and good recording allow these headphones to be versatile in their staging. Songs compatible with Dolby Atmos take on a huge stage-like feeling. Therefore giving listeners an immersive experience that’s tough to beat.

Listening Impressions – SRS-1000X Review


The SRS-X1000 has a strong ‘V-Shape’ frequency response that starts at it’s defined bass. There’s a lot of clarity in the bass range which thuds but doesn’t overwhelm the listener. The mix is somewhat even, but there’s definitely going to be more treble than bass in the frequency response. This makes sense considering they extend the treble range all the way to 41kHz, beyond out perceptible hearing.

The SR-X1 headphone feels bassy in all the right places. There’s no muddiness to sounds but instead a strong feeling of sub-bass. Low-pitched vocals do extend into the high-bass range, and the excellent timbre really shows itself off here. “Non-Believer” by 100 Demons has fantastic clarity despite many layers in the same frequency range. The deep vocals come out fantastically, as they punch through the mix beyond the bass and drums. The recreation of bass sounds is superb, and there’s absolutely no clipping I experienced in this range. Techno music with thudding kicks really pushes the headphones in an exciting way.


Although the mids aren’t the focus of the frequency response, I’m still very happy with the presentation of mid-sounds. The focus from horns, guitars, voices, and synths is unparalleled at this price point. Although the ‘V-shape’ pulls these elements back in the mix slightly, there’s enough volume from this range to compete with the palpable sub-bass and the bright highs.

Droning and distorted sounds in songs like “The Cold Sun” by Loathe ring freely on these headphones. There’s a great definition in even the fuzziest sounding mid focused instruments. Songs without heavy saturation like “I Was Doin All Right” on Dexter Gordon’s “Doin’ Allright” have a fantastic separation, especially in the head where both Gordon and Freddie Hubbard double the melody. Despite their overlapping frequencies, the clarity of the horns and piano make the SRS-X1000 an impressive listen.


There’s plenty of treble in this headphone while having no problem with sibilance. As a person who’s not a very big fan of bright headphones, I typically stay away from them as soon as I hear sibilance. That’s not the case here, as I tried pushing the headphones with extra bright hyperpop. This was no match for the SRS-X1000, as even the brightest mixes still didn’t have any uncomfortable shrieking from any elements. Cymbals have excellent articulation, while the airiness and shape of more tonal instruments are present. Whatever STAX did to tune these headphones, there’s a perfect amount of brightness to my ears, without displacing any other frequencies in the mix.


STAX production of electrostatic earspeakers has always been notably impressive and luxurious. The new release of their flagship SR-x9000 coming out soon has been supported by their excellent release of a budget friendly option. Audiophiles who haven’t experienced electrostatic headphones should strongly consider adding this to their collection. If you’re a fan of bright or ‘v-shaped leaning towards bright’ headphones and want a home listening headphone, I encourage you to get something like this. There are drawbacks, like the SR-X1’s lightweight construction that verges on flimsy. Nevertheless, there are some really high quality components in this combination, which led me to giving them the Major-Hifi Gold Award.

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