Review: Status Audio CB-1

Firstly I would like to thank Status audio for sending me this sample for review, as always I will try and write an honest review. These have had well over 50hrs of burn in, small changes were noted.

Gear Used: 
Audio Opus #2 > CB-1
HP Laptop > Sybasonic Utha > CB-1
Dell desktop > Topping D30 > Topping A30 > CB-1


Tech specs:
·        Over-ear closed Back
·        50 mm Driver
·        15 Hz – 30 kHz
·        32 ohm
·        97 db +/- 3 db
·        1,600 mW at 1 kHz
·        3 m Cable
·        3.5 mm Plug
·        13.2 oz
·        1/4" Adapter
·        MSRP: £61.05

Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:
The CB-1 come in a very nice looking dark brown/gold box, the front folds open and you are presented with the CB-1 in a plastic intray. On the back of the box you have all the specs, and on the front you get an outline drawing of the headphones. To be honest the outer packaging is very nice, the inner plastic tray is a little cheap but for the price I cannot complain.

The build quality is perfectly acceptable for the price, yes they are mainly plastic but all the swivel mechanism and extender arms feel well built. Yes you don’t really want to throw them around too much but for a bit of home and portable use they will hold up just fine. They also fold up quite small which is good, and the cable is detachable. They have a standard 3.5mm socket for the cable, with their own locking system, but the hole for the locking system is big and most straight 3.5mm jacks will fit. Both cables are sturdy with excellent strain relief, and I cannot see any issues with them failing prematurely.


Accessory wise you get 2 cables, 1 long 3m straight cable, and another shorter coiled one. Both cables have thread for the included 3.5 to 6.3mm adaptor. I would have liked to see a cloth carry case, but overall nothing missing accessory wise.

Comfort and Isolation:
I have a small head, and have to have the arms extended to number 6 out of 7, so they won’t fit larger heads, but I found the headband to have sufficient padding for longer listening sessions. The earpads and soft and plush, they are small but still cover my ears properly, and are fully circumaural, again those with bigger ears may have issues. The earpads are deep as well, keeping your ears well away from the driver which makes them very comfortable. The earpads are easily replaceable too.

Isolation is fairly average, they are fully closed back and seal out some noise, but do have some bass vents that will leak a very minimal amount of sound, and also let in some. They are however fine for most scenarios where ultimate isolation isn’t required.


Sound:
Split into the usual categories, with a conclusion at the end.

The lows on the CB-1 are very full and for the most part well behaved. It is not boosted massively, and stays in line with the rest of the spectrum, but it does let you know it’s there. It extends right down to around 35hz with ease, has great articulation but maybe not the best speed and attack for heavy metal. What I like about these is that the bass has real kick and power behind it but is not drowning out the mid-range. I believe there is enough bass to satisfy all but the most extreme bass heads.

The mids unfortunately are not the CB-1’s strong point, if there is one place to fault them this is it. Now the mids are there, and are not drowned out by the bass, but the lower mids do sit a little far back in the mix for my tastes. They have a lower mid dip that sucks the life out of certain male vocals, however going up to the upper mids there is a slight emphasis and female vocals sound better but there is a slight hint of sibilance. There is a good amount of detail in the mids, it is just a shame about the dip.

The highs are very good at lower volumes, maintaining very good separation and a good level of detail. Different cymbal strokes are easily told apart and the extension is very good, I like that they are not rolled off or too laid back. They sit about perfect in the mix quantity wise, and for the price the quality is good too. Turning up the volume a bit does induce some splashiness up top, they become a bit congested and don’t fare as well.

Soundstage has better height than width and depth, width wise it is only just outside the cups, but the placement is accurate, as is the imaging. Instrument separation is also very good on these, with enough air to pick out single bits in the recording.


Conclusion: Well for £61 you get a very comfortable, and good sounding headphone, the sound has a mild U sound signature, and the highs are not the most refined at slightly louder volumes, but for the asking price these are a very good headphone. You can slightly tune the sound with EQ, but even stock they have good bass impact and extension, detailed upper mids and well defined highs.


Sound Perfection Rating: 7/10 (lower mids a little recessed, but overall very enjoyable)


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