Samson SR850 Review [With Video]


  • 3/30/19: Made SR850 Budget King #4
  • 6/2/19: Replaced SR850 with K240 as Budget King #4
  • 7/9/19: Added Video Comparison with the K240.
  • 1/22/21: Article/link cleanup.

1,336-word post, approx 3-4 min. read

Hi friend and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the Samson SR850 Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!!

Samson SR850 Review
Samson SR850 Review

What I will bring you in this review

  1. Ratings/Price
  2. Specifications
  3. Summary
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Video Review
  7. Amp/DAC requirements
  8. Who these headphones benefit?
  9. Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
  10. Consensus/Conclusion
  11. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!

Samson SR850


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Right off the bat, these remind me so much of the AKG K240 Studio’s. They have the same hammock-style headband which I absolutely adore, and the weight of them feels very similar. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t picked up a pair of K240’s in a while, but the SR850’s feel a bit more durable to me.

If you’re interested in a comparison: AKG K240 vs. Samson SR850

The ear-cups are a bit shallower, but I’m digging the velour padding on the 850 more than the faux leather of the 240. They just feel more rigid and stiff, as if they’re going to crack and completely fail you. I’ve heard rumors that the 240 does tend to break down over time, but I haven’t experienced it for myself.

Comfort-wise, the 850 is pretty phenomenal, they clamp just right, and you won’t feel the need to take them off right away like you would with other headphones. This becomes even more impressive when you consider their price. I would stack these up against just about every entry-level headphone and the 850 would come out on top or equal to about 95% of the time. They’re that good.

Samson SR850 Review

Samson SR850 Review
Right and Left side measurement.
Samson SR850 Review

The sound quality is phenomenal. The great thing about this headphone is that it doesn’t sound bloated or cheap. The bass is definitely lean, but it still has some impact though if you’re a bass-head you may want to stay away. This is a headphone more for the budding audiophile who desires an overall balanced sound.

Treble wise, they do have a tendency to become bright, and pretty sibilant at times. What does Sibilant mean? For the most part, they are incredibly detailed and have a nice sense of air about them.

I would say the Soundstage is particularly impressive. I get a nice sense of space and depth to the music. The width of the image is exceptional, and for Gaming these are a real treat. What is Soundstage?

There’s this weird depth and thump to the music. Everything has this nice lively quality about it. Instruments feel more present, and they have a nice element of realism. You’ll also start to hear subtle details in the music that sound really interesting and also revealing. I’ve talked about headphones in the mid to upper hundred range that do the same sorts of things.

To me, it’s astounding that a headphone below a hundred dollars could bear some of these same qualities as the stuff in those other price ranges. It’s frankly scary. I sometimes talk about the law of diminishing returns in my articles. This simply means that beyond a certain price threshold, the increase in sound quality gets incrementally smaller even though you’re paying a lot more.

This is why it really doesn’t make sense to purchase a headphone over a thousand dollars (in most cases, there are exceptions) when you can get just about the same sound for around $300. With lower-end stuff like the 850, you’re really not missing much and in fact, the sound is strikingly similar to some of the mid-tier gear that I’ve gotten a chance to demo or own.


  • Lively sound. There’s a nice crisp quality to the 850 that really leaves you smiling.
  • Plenty of air. These are very open and have a nice sense of space and depth.
  • Comfortable. Even as I sit here listening to them with sunglasses on, I don’t feel like I need to take them off or adjust them.
  • Build quality. It’s impressive for such a lightweight can. I feel like these can take a bit more abuse than your average Joe.


  • They are a tad strident at times.
  • Comfort isn’t bad, but you’ll be making adjustments with these. The ear cups are shallow and tend to dig after a while because your ears are basically touching the drivers.

My Video Review

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Video Comparison

Amp/DAC requirements

These will not require an amp and sound great out of your mobile device. How to choose a headphone amp!

Being that they have a 32 Ohm Impedance and 98dB of Sensitivity, you’re not going to need hardly any power to drive them to peak loudness.

Related articles on these topics:

Who these headphones benefit?

They do well with a lot of genres, and I like them with:

  • Indie/Indie Pop.
  • Rock/Classic Rock.
  • Hip-Hop.
  • Jazz. A lot of finer as well as minor details become present.

Samson SR850 Review

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

  • I’ve heard Pink Floyd’s “Wish you were here” about a thousand times, but the sense of space and separation of the instruments here is impressive. Normally sounds kind of run together, but here they have a chance to breathe a little (no pun intended, there’s another Floyd song on Dark Side of the Moon named Breathe). 🙂
  • I really like the personality of the music as well. Things seem to have more character; you’re able to get a sense of how the artist intended the song to sound. It’s hard to explain, but good headphones kind of reveal the true nature of how music sounds. There’s more impact behind the instrument. It feels more real, present, and complete. Something I’ve found also with revealing headphones is that they are more whole and you hear bass lines fully fleshed out, as well as other instruments and vocals.
  • What I’m really digging about the 850 is the fact that when a song reaches a crescendo, I don’t feel overwhelmed as if the sound is just out of control. You know the feeling I’m talking about: stuff starts running together, things may get a bit sibilant, and you can’t really hear what’s going on clearly. I haven’t had this problem with the 850, and it’s astonishing to me, again given its price.

Samson SR850 Review


An extremely revealing set of headphones with a somewhat colored, open, airy sound. Unbelievable value. Can be strident at times, but it’s very minor. Comfort is phenomenal, the build is also good. They feel lightweight but not as if they would break down easily.

Final Word

The SR850 isn’t a perfect headphone, but it’s an incredible value for the price. I would highly recommend them at a cost even over a Benjamin. For their current price, it’s an absolute steal. This is a very underrated headphone for sure. Interested in learning more?



Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Samson SR850 review.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Looking for something else? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

What do you think about the SR850? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





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Samson SR850


Build Quality


Sound Quality







  • Incredibly detailed with lots of clarity
  • Good Comfort Overall
  • Versatile with many genres
  • Price to performance ratio is phenomenal


  • Sibilant at 9-10k
  • Build is a tad flimsy

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