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Fostex T50RP MK3


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Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to these recently released headphones from Fostex.

 

Of course, the Fostex "TR" line has been around a while, and my current favorite headphones (Alpha Prime) are actually based on the Fostex driver, but these new TR50RP MK3 (latest generation) phones are an absolute steal for the price (about ~$160 US online).

 

I'm away from home for a few weeks and don't have access to my over ear phones, having only brought my IEMs with me when called away for a family emergency. When it became obvious I would be away from home more than a few days, I considered whether or not I needed new full-sized headphones, as I can only stand IEMs for a certain period of time (both the "in your head" sensation and the ear irritation get to me after a while), but held off for a while weighing the cost of new "cans" vs. my desire for them ;)

 

I don't typically buy what I'd consider low quality equipment, so the cans I was perusing were mostly in the $1k+ range, which this close to Christmas and other family needs seemed a bit much to be spending on myself. When I saw the positive buzz on the new Fostex MK3 line, though, they seemed to fit the bill: reasonable quality and reasonably low-priced.

 

I expected only to get something to tide me over a few more weeks with reasonable sound quality, but what I got is quite impressive. I won't say they've quite the sound quality of my HiFiMan HE-500s or my Alpha Primes, but there's really not much between them, surprisingly. The HE-500s and Primes may have a smidge more bass, and the Primes may have a bit more "PRAT", overall, but the TR50RPs have a very "silky" midrange and treble, coupled with the typical "fast" response of a planar, which makes for a very satisfying (might I say "bewitching") sound.

 

I can't really recall a headphone <$500 US I've enjoyed more - highly recommended if you're looking for phones in this price range.

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - SonicTransporter i9 running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > Topping D90 > Topping A90d > Dan Clark Expanse / HiFiMan H6SE v2 / HiFiman Arya Stealth

Home Theater / Music -SonicTransporter i9 running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Denon X3700h > Anthem Amp for front channels > Revel F208-based 5.2.4 Atmos speaker system

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Not really phone capable, I tried with an LG Android and signal was weak, YMMV. Small portable amp, iFi perhaps? Comfort wise they ride a tad close to the ears for me but may not be issue for others. Pads can be upgraded I believe like in the past to Shure and some others!

 

I'm using them with iFi Micro iDSD in "standard" mode (not "turbo"), but I agree they would not sound their best coming direct from a phone or DAP. I think they're very light / comfortable (esp. compared with my normal Alpha Primes!), but I'd like to look into upgrading the pads to something a bit thicker, so long as it didn't change the lovely sound.

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - SonicTransporter i9 running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > Topping D90 > Topping A90d > Dan Clark Expanse / HiFiMan H6SE v2 / HiFiman Arya Stealth

Home Theater / Music -SonicTransporter i9 running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Denon X3700h > Anthem Amp for front channels > Revel F208-based 5.2.4 Atmos speaker system

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I was curious about the semi-open, closed, and open variations and apparently Fostex describes them thusly:

"Offering three types with different sound characteristics; Open (T20RPmk3) for "Deep Bass", Closed (T40RPmk3) for "Focused Bass" and Semi-Open (T50RPmk3) for "Flat and Clean" sound."

 

This is one of those cases where it would be lovely to see the FR curve for each.

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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  • 1 month later...

Perhaps for you and there are many others that would agree with you but I've heard the MK III versions and it's subjective in regards to taste. And oddly the people that modify the 50 units are constantly looking for more bass well the MK III 20 has it in spades, and significantly more than the 40 and the 50 from what I heard!

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