Status Audio OB-1 Review

Status-Audio-OB1

I reviewed the Status Audio OB-1 over at Audiophile On's website last year and I think given that it's one of the best sub $100 headphones on the market right now we should also feature it here.

Status Audio is a company that takes OEM headphones and rebrands them for under their own name.  The best bit about this is that so far they have managed to pick some really great headphones to represent them and they are all great value.

Design

The Status Audio OB-1 is a set of full sized open back headphones which are designed to be worn over the ear. 

Status Audio OB-1 showing its exposed dynamic driver diaphram.  The open back design helps this headphone deliver a spacious sound with a wide and detailed soundstage.

Whilst not looking like a premium product I still really like how the vented drivers are red and visible from the outside and this gives them a bit more of a special feel that if the drivers had just been kept stock black.

Build quality throughout is far better than I would have expected for a headphone that costs under $100 and the materials seem both strong and durable as well as being reinforced at the right areas.  It's a combination of metals and high-quality plastics that give them a strong and hard wearing feel in the hand and on the head.

The headband is very well padded with a combination of memory foam and a breathable protein leather and the earcups pivot and swivel to allow for minute adjustments to be automatically made when you are moving.

The earpads are simply awesome.  A very comfortable velvet set of pads with excellent padding is included and means that you can wear the OB-1 all day without worrying about discomfort and irritation from sweaty ears.  

In fact, I would say that these are one of the most comfortable earphones I currently own so top marks to Status Audio in that regard.

the cable is thick and durable, it is, however, dual entry and not detachable.  I would have preferred they were single sided entry and detachable so that if the cable ever breaks I just replace that and not the entire set of headphones.

Sound Quality

Sound quality is really where the OB-1 set themselves apart from the similarly priced competition.  

Bass is tight controlled and quite punchy.  They aren't overdone and not what I would describe bassy but there is enough of a hit from the low end to bring energy to almost any track.

Midrange is detailed, clear and smooth.  Vocals and guitars sound great and very very natural. there is no hint of upper midrange spikes that can sometimes make your music sound overly harsh.  I love it and it's easily capable of keeping up with far more expensive headphones when it comes to the mids.

Highs are presented with a definite detail and crispness to them that makes the OB-1 a very energetic set of cans.  It also means that they are a well rounded out set of headphones that is capable of performing well with a wide range of genres.

Soundstage is also very large and the OB-1 give you a real sense of space thanks in large part of course to the open back design allowing the drivers the space to operate to their full potential.

Conclusion

The Status Audio OB-1 is easily one of the best sub $100 headphones I have ever used.  Its superbly comfortable and well made as well as featuring some really classy touches like a metal headband and velour earpads.  

The sound is up there with headphones in the $200 price range meaning that if you are looking for a set of open back headphones the OB-1 should very much be worthy of consideration.