Channel 5

TDK ST-800

Friday 15 April 2011


Rating of 4

The basics

Harking back to an age of mixtapes and recording the Top 40 off the radio on a Sunday teatime, the TDK ST-800 have a heavy-handed retro feel you’ll either love or loathe. Thick leather stitching, matt metal and thick plastic, the quality is spot-on. Then there is the gold-plated 3.5mm audio plug adapter and cloth carrying bag, adding up to a nice rounded package.

The good

There is no faulting the construction of these headphones. Made from sturdy plastic and metal with real leather covering and a head strap that is big and comfortable without being restrictive, the build quality justifies the TDK asking price. The graphic equaliser has a ten-step approach allowing you to fine tune the Bass and Tremble and you can really hear the difference when it’s activated. However, the winning piece of design for us has to be the nifty volume control built into the right-hand earphone. It’s a simple thing but it means you don’t need to be leaning fiddling with your player to get the sound balance just right. When it comes to sound quality, these headphones speak volumes. With a rich warm sound that is pretty immersive you won’t find any harsh top-end or troublesome bottom range. Even cranked up we found the 50mm drivers stayed faithful with no signs of distortion.

The bad

Weighing in at just under 420g, these aren’t the lightest headphones out there, so better suited to home use than out on the move. The inline EQ works but we have to admit it’s something of a gimmick and we’re not convinced that simply using the tone settings on your iPod or smartphone aren’t simply just as effective.

The bottom line

The look may give the TDK ST-800 a dated look but the tech inside is state-of-the art. If you like your music to speak volumes but not necessary at volume then you’ll love the spacious mid-tones and rounded bass these headphones have to offer.
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TDK ST-800 is tagged with TDK ST-800 and headphones. Select a tag (TDK ST-800, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

User comments (7)

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Matt Black

I can't seem to be able to buy these headphones anywhere...

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They're available at HMV now...

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you get a free pair of these if you get the TDK boombox at HMV! the boombox is £299 and these are £199 by themselves so free is a real deal!!

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this is idiotic, these are more expensive than the luxury ones so why bother getting these?

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Under 'The Good' appraisal, above; shouldn't that read, " to fine tune the Bass and Treble" ? Ok, you're into gadgets, I'm into semantics. However, my son has just purchased this model of cans (the previous 'Beats' purchase x 2, proved to be a bit of a disaster). He's delighted with the TDKs. Vandergelder Burton on Trent.

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