Recording - March 2017 - 41

the amazingly extended treble that's
a highlight of some really expensive
headphones, but for tracking and mixing
work, I didn't feel I was missing out on
anything other than "sizzle for its own
sake". The sound is, for want of a better
word, practical. You're not hearing
anything flashy for the sake of showing
off; you're hearing your music in all its
detail and weight, as you should be in
the studio.
So what are the differences between
the three models? Primarily in the shape
and extension of the low end, which is
clear and spacious on the open TR-70,
round and lush without being overblown
on the closed TR-80. This is where the
"neither fish nor fowl" nature of the
semi-open TR-90 really shines. I found
myself gravitating to its lovely combination of fullness and air in the lows and
low mids; if I put it on after listening to
the TR-70, I said, "Wow, the bass is
much fuller... like a closed phone," and
if I put it on after listening to the TR-80, I
said, "Wow, the bass breathes so much
more... like an open phone!"

That openness in sound on the TR-90
corresponds to an equal lack of isolation.
Like the TR-70, it's quite audible at a
distance when worn, and can't be used
in front of an open mic in a tracking
situation. I get the impression that because
all three share essentially the same
enclosure, with subtle internal alterations
to porting that are driven by audio considerations, tracking-room isolation was
a secondary consideration in these
designs. That said, the closed TR-80
does a good job of isolation unless the
talent insists on blasting levels.
So do I have a favorite among the
three? Interestingly, I think I lean most
toward the TR-90, simply because the
vast majority of my early studio work
as a young engineer was done on a famous high-impedance semi-open headphone, the classic AKG K240M. I still
have my pair and use them regularly,
and Fostex is one of the relatively few
pro audio brands still actively developing
and promoting semi-open phones. Many
younger engineers might not even remember when there was more to choose

from than open and closed designs, and
they might wonder why you'd bother.
The TR-90 is its own explanation! When
done properly, a semi-open phone isn't
a "worst of both worlds" compromise
between open and closed; its bass
response is a "best of both worlds"
blend of open air and closed power.
That's exactly what the TR-90 provides,
although I wouldn't be surprised if many
users lean toward the air of the TR-70 or
the punch of the TR-80.
Whichever model you choose,
though, you'll find elements in common:
fantastically clear and detailed sound,
a lovely light and comfortable wearing
experience, and enough options in
earcups and cabling to handle nearly
every need. Fostex has demonstrated
that it can rock the world of dynamic
headphones just as convincingly as it
has with its RP models.
PRICES:

$199.99 each

MORE FROM:

Fostex, www.fostexinternational.com


http://www.fostexinternational.com http://www.cloudmicrophones.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - March 2017

Contents
Recording - March 2017 - Intro
Recording - March 2017 - Cover1
Recording - March 2017 - Cover2
Recording - March 2017 - 1
Recording - March 2017 - 2
Recording - March 2017 - 3
Recording - March 2017 - 4
Recording - March 2017 - 5
Recording - March 2017 - Contents
Recording - March 2017 - 7
Recording - March 2017 - 8
Recording - March 2017 - 9
Recording - March 2017 - 10
Recording - March 2017 - 11
Recording - March 2017 - 12
Recording - March 2017 - 13
Recording - March 2017 - 14
Recording - March 2017 - 15
Recording - March 2017 - 16
Recording - March 2017 - 17
Recording - March 2017 - 18
Recording - March 2017 - 19
Recording - March 2017 - 20
Recording - March 2017 - 21
Recording - March 2017 - 22
Recording - March 2017 - 23
Recording - March 2017 - 24
Recording - March 2017 - 25
Recording - March 2017 - 26
Recording - March 2017 - 27
Recording - March 2017 - 28
Recording - March 2017 - 29
Recording - March 2017 - 30
Recording - March 2017 - 31
Recording - March 2017 - 32
Recording - March 2017 - 33
Recording - March 2017 - 34
Recording - March 2017 - 35
Recording - March 2017 - 36
Recording - March 2017 - 37
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Recording - March 2017 - 40
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Recording - March 2017 - Cover3
Recording - March 2017 - Cover4
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