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In The Box
XLR Balanced Cable
- Type: Wired HiFi Headphones, Open Back
- Drivers: Φ102mm Planar Transducer
- Input Impedance: 64Ω
- Frequency Response: 10-45,000Hz
- SPL: 100±3dB
- THD: ≤ 0.2%(@1000Hz/254mW)
- Cables: XLR/4 balance, L=2M, 6N Litz wire
- Ear-cup: Aluminum Alloy
- Headband: Carbon Fiber
- Earcups: Suede fabric / Lambskin
- Dimensions: 230mm175mm112mm
- Weight: 480g (No accessories included)
Well, it’s that time again.
Time to review another DA.. JUST KIDDING.
It’s time to review something fairly exciting: A planar magnetic headphone!
I love planars and so should you.
To that I say,
I’LL ASK THE QUESTIONS AROUND HERE!!!
Today we’ll be taking a close inspection at the open back HarmonicDyne G200; a promising headphone with a great overall package!
But does it sound good?
That’s the most important aspect of any headphones, and in this article, we’ll run down everything you need to know in order to make a sound buying decision.
So stick around like your favorite adhesive and let’s dive in!
I’m most impressed with the build here but I will caution you the headphones are rather heavy; coming in at 501g (17.1 Oz.) on my scale.
The official number is 480.
They are made of Aluminum Alloy (Ear-Cups), Carbon Fiber (Headband), Suede Fabric, and Lambskin.
The Suede Fabric and Lambskin account for the 2 sets of included earpads, and the headphone themselves feel pretty durable.
Though the Headband is advertised as Carbon Fiber, it feels a lot like plastic and in all honesty, pretty cheap.
Other than that, I don’t have any real gripes.
The outside of the cups have an interesting-looking pattern (they almost seem like closed headphones), and the carbon fiber headband mentioned above boasts a stenciled-looking shape design – hearkening back to grade school but still managing to not look kitsch or gimmicky.
The earpads are DUMMY THICC, and the 6 nugget pads on the underside of the headband seem ample enough.
In other words, I’m never really feeling these dig into the top of my skull, but again, they are pretty heavy.
The headband adjustment feels solid enough, but it’s a bit hard to adjust on the fly.
What you’ll want to do is basically use your fingers/hands to grip the bales, and then adjust with your thumbs.
The adjustment moves upward fairly easily, but going back down is a bit of a chore.
The cups rotate 180 degrees which is definitely appreciated as it gives the headphones some much-needed freedom of movement.
This likely won’t be a big deal since the G200 is going to mostly dwell in the studio.
Check this out though:
If I were you, I wouldn’t wear them outside unless you want to get punched in the mouth by your local bully. xD
What will impress you the most is the overall package here:
You’re getting a really nice carrying case, 2 sets of pads, a high-quality braided cable with XLR male termination + a 4.4mm and 6.35mm adapter.
Also included is a soft mesh carrying bag for the cables, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and a user manual.
It’s obvious a lot of care went into the craftsmanship of these headphones, but how do they feel on your head?
Even despite them weighing in at a shade over 500g (on my scale), they’re surprisingly very comfortable.
Clamp Force is excellent, they don’t dig, and I’ve found myself wearing them for extended listening sessions without a single issue.
Well, save for one:
Now, your mileage may vary on this next point, but they do tend to put unnecessary strain on my neck/discs.
This is sort of a personal caveat and will vary from person to person.
If you’re the type that can handle heavy headphones, you won’t have much of a problem.
For the rest of us, these can be a bit of a pain (no pun intended).
I think they did a great job all things considered. The stock pads are nice and soft, but the suede fabric ones feel especially snuggly.
There’s plenty of room inside, and they’re deep enough to where you won’t feel the material covering the driver brushing up against your ears.
Oh, and did I mention they’re DUMMY THICC?!
With that, how do they sound?
- Playlist: Here!
It took me longer than usual to figure out exactly how I feel about these headphones, and in large part, it’s due to a strange cut somewhere in the frequency response.
Before we get to that, let’s look at what I really liked:
Soundstage and overall separation
Because the sounds have plenty of room to breathe, you’ll notice a lot of micro detail in songs you thought you knew like the back of your hand.
In other words, the resolution is most definitely solid, but not quite astonishing or anything.
We’ll see why in a bit.
Likewise, the Soundstage width and depth are rather strong as well.
You’ll frequently feel like things are happening outside the headphones which adds a fantastic layer of immersion that most headphones lack.
Just yesterday I was watching the Sopranos and ripped the headphones off in a panic at a sound I thought was coming from inside my apartment.
I rewound the scene and it came from the show.
These are common phenomena you’ll experience with headphones that place emphasis on spacing, but also ones that tend to have better detail and overall resolution.
The G200 has a good bass response, not mind-blowing, but it strikes with decent authority.
I absolutely love that it’s not mid-bass happy and also doesn’t roll off in the all-important sub-bass area.
This reminds me a lot of an Audeze tuning with regard to the low end; it’s bottomless, smooth, and effortless.
By and large, you’ll notice bass notes hit smoother and sound more realistic as bass should sound; DOWN in the mix, not the focal point.
You may also experience a sense of gentle roll or rumble to the response, and if you’re new to planar headphones or a flat-line bass response in general, it will likely cause you to appreciate what went into the track all the more.
In fact, the overall tuning here is eerily reminiscent of an Audeze signature, with a darker, rolled-off treble that lacks some air and detail at times.
You’ll notice music sounds a bit too laid back, ho-hum, or business as usual.
One thing is for certain:
You’ll never feel as though the treble borders on sibilance, and for many people, this will be a welcome breath of fresh air.
Still, the main issue I have with the G200 is the weird cut somewhere in the mid-range, but I’m not entirely sure where it is.
Perhaps around the presence regions.
I listened to these headphones for quite a long time and couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t quite right.
Across the entirety of pretty much every track, you’ll notice a muffled, faint, suppressed, and somewhat stifled character that tends to put a damper on an otherwise solid sound signature.
I’m not going to say this ruins the entire deal, but to me, it’s a problem – especially considering the price you’re paying.
What you’ll find is that you sort of end up reaching for the volume knob in an attempt to clear the veil.
To me, this is always a sure sign that there’s a dip somewhere, and the G200, unfortunately, does suffer from this problem.
Some people will tell you that you can simply EQ it, but here’s the problem with that:
- First off, EQ’ing kind of defeats the entire purpose. Either you enjoy the sound signature or you don’t.
- Secondly, no one should ever have to EQ a headphone that they just dropped upwards of $1000 on.
It’s about as counterintuitive as it gets, and this is something I’ve always harped on in past videos and articles.
Companies should focus more on tuning their headphones properly and less on extras.
While the extras are nice, I’d rather just open a box and pick up a headphone that sounds right – especially given my investment and trust in their product.
This is why I generally never EQ as I should never have to fix a part of the frequency response that the company neglected to address.
With that said, how goes the G200 sound with the alternate pads?
As comfortable as the Suede Fabric pads are, unfortunately, they exacerbate the already existing issues in the mid-range.
Not only that,
but the sound as a whole comes across as a bit more veiled if you can believe it.
I first noticed this in watching the Sopranos right after changing them and kind of brushed it off.
The dialogue and other misc. sounds from the show sounded kind of muffled and boxed in – almost as if you were listening through a tin can.
Coming from an Edition XS, it sounded off.
The next morning I fired up some music and the same sensations occurred.
This to me was a clear indication that it wasn’t my imagination the night before.
So in short:
The same stifled, somewhat claustrophobic character is apparent with the suede fabric pads, only it’s a bit worse.
In any event, comfort is absolutely phenomenal with the suede fabric, so it’s a shame they don’t sound all that great.
There’s no doubt The G200 has a lot going for it, but the ultimate question becomes this:
Is it worth the asking price?
This is actually kind of tough because I think $699 is right in the ballpark of what I’d value these at given the entire package, but the mid-range issue makes it hard to pull the trigger.
Comfort also holds me back somewhat, but I will say these are definitely not as outrageous as an Audeze bowling ball.
Again, my scale weighed them at around 501g but the official number is 480.
Still, they are very heavy.
That’s definitely a plus.
While we’re at it:
Let’s quickly run down what I liked and didn’t like and finish this out.
What I liked
- Build. In holding these in your hand, you’ll know immediately a lot of care went into their creation. While the headband, even despite its carbon fiber material, feels kind of cheap, the entirety of the unit is robust and feels very durable.
- Overall package. I think this adds a lot of value to the product and I appreciate all the connection options they gave you. There’s the main balanced XLR cable and plenty of adapters for any situation you may encounter. The extra pads, mesh carrying bag, cleaning cloth, and see-through case are all welcome additions as well.
- Not hard to drive. You won’t be dropping beaucoup bucks on an Amp/DAC for these, and that’s most certainly a breath of fresh air.
What can be improved?
- Tuning/Veil. As much as I love the bass, Soundstage, and overall separation, the tuning here is a bit off and it’s something you’ll notice almost immediately though you may not know exactly where the dip is right away. The headphones are also a bit veiled if we’re being honest.
- Comfort. This is kind of a hit-and-miss thing and entirely depends on the user. I know of people who can wear heavy headphones without an issue, but I’m not one of those people. Proceed with caution.
Taking into account everything we’ve discussed today, I won’t be able to make a recommendation for the G200, although if they fixed the tuning I’d certainly consider it.
What do I recommend instead?
The Ananda was my best overall ‘Step-Up from Mid-Fi’ headphone for many years, but after the Edition XS came out I had to kind of rethink my stance.
Is the XS a better overall value?
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this HarmonicDyne G200 Review and came away with some valuable insight.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
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All the best and God bless,