Hey there friend and Welcome aboard!!
Greetings mate and Welcome aboard! Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions, so…
In our comprehensive Status Audio CB-1 review, we’ll delve into every aspect of these headphones to provide you with a thorough understanding of their performance.
Our evaluation will begin with a close examination of the design and build quality, exploring the materials used and the overall durability of the CB-1.
Comfort is a crucial factor during prolonged use, so we’ll assess the ergonomics of the headphones, considering factors like padding, weight, and adjustability.
Sound quality is, of course, a focal point, and we’ll conduct an in-depth analysis of the CB-1’s audio performance.
To provide context, we’ll draw comparisons with a few widely regarded headphones, the MDR-V6/7506 and M40x/M50x, creating a comprehensive shootout that highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each model.
Additionally, we’ll evaluate the CB-1’s amplification requirements and compatibility with various devices.
This review aims to be a valuable resource for anyone seeking high-quality headphones, offering both an individual assessment and a comparative analysis with two established alternatives.
This is part of my “Budget Kings” Series, which takes a look at some of the best options for under $100. Check out:
- Budget King #1: The semi-open back Koss KPH30i Review!
- Budget King #2: The open back Philips SHP9500 Review!
- Budget King #3: The closed back Sony MDR-7506 Review!
- Budget King #4: The closed back Creative Aurvana Live! Review
- Budget King #5: The semi-open AKG K240 Studio Review!
- Budget King #6: This review
Why did I place this sixth?
The CB-1 has a fantastic Soundstage, great instrument separation, and excellent comfort. What is Soundstage?
It can sound a little too feathery/light sounding at times, hence why it doesn’t quite achieve top honors.
The cable can also be a bit of a minor annoyance (more on that later).
They get sixth for these reasons but still remain an excellent buy at their price because what they do well outshines what they don’t in my opinion.
The build is also pretty good, as they aren’t quite as flimsy as something like an HD558.
Overall, the inclusion of two detachable cables (a coiled and straight), some metal, a great Soundstage, fantastic instrument separation/detail, great bass response, and an extremely sturdy 3.5mm termination at the business end make this an easy choice, along with the sound taken as a whole.
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
Status Audio CB-1
- Type: Closed-back, dynamic.
- Fit: Circumaural.
- Driver Size: 50mm.
- Frequency Response: 15 Hz – 30 kHz.
- Impedance: 32 Ohm.
- Sensitivity: 97dB/mW.
- Cable Length: 3m. Comes with a Coiled and Straight version.
- 1/4 adapter: Yes.
- Cable Detachable: Yes.
- Fold-able. Yes.
- Case included: No.
- Weight: 8.9 Oz. (263g)
Design & Build
The Status Audio CB-1 is a closed-back, circumaural headphone with a build and style that borrows certain elements from the M50x and M40x.
The cyndrilical pieces and overall mechanism used to hold the ear cup (above) mimic the original 40x and 50x, but the CB-1 is made almost entirely of plastic.
If you’ll recall, the 40x and 50x contained a metal headband, but all 3 have numbered adjustments.
Also, strangely enough, there’s not one hint of branding on the CB-1 which I thought was interesting.
The CB-1’s earcups feel much nicer, as they are made of protein leather rather than the much cheaper and thinner faux leather of the V6 and M40x, which both tend to crack, peel, flake, and harden over time.
The cups are also much deeper and give ample room for your ears.
The outside of the cups are encased in genuine metal as well, which is welcome at this price.
The trade-off is that the headphones are about twice the size of your melon upon mirror inspection, which makes you look like a complete doofus outside of the studio. 😛
out of the 3, the 40x feels the most solid in your hand, followed by the V6 and then the CB-1.
The CB-1 doesn’t feel quite as cheap as something like an AKG K240 Studio, but not quite as heavy/durable as a 40x.
It kind of inhabits that middle ground and feels about as good as the price would indicate.
What I also found really interesting is the 3.5mm jack; it’s nearly identical to the jack used on the original M50.
This is perhaps the greatest compliment Status Audio could make, as the M50’s jack was absolutely the best one I’ve personally ever come across, and to this day still holds up over 5 years later.
I’m fully convinced that all headphones should employ it.
What I don’t like about the CB-1 is although it has a detachable cable, it could have been designed better.
I don’t mind the fact that you have to twist it first and then pull, but it’s cumbersome to get out regardless as it kind of fights you.
By contrast, the 40x and 50x cables are much smoother and designed extremely well. They too have a twist/lock mechanism but are incredibly fluid by contrast.
So imagine the feeling of trying to pull the cable out after it’s been superglued and you’ll get a good idea of how stubborn it is.
Now your mileage may vary on this, I’m just sharing my personal experience.
What I do like about the coiled version of the CB-1’s cable is that the coil is more manageable than both the V6/7506 and the 40x.
The V6’s coil goes on for days and will become tangled quite easily over a span of about 2 years. The same is true for the 7506.
The M40x’s coil is a bit shorter, and the CB-1’s is the shortest.
Ultimately, the build of the CB-1 is very good and ranks second out of the 5, with the M50x coming in as the most durable.
This is where the CB-1 wins out pretty considerably.
The ear cups are extremely plush being that they are a soft and supple protein leather, with plenty of room to breathe.
The cups are also thick enough for the driver to stay away from your ears, and because the headphones are lighter, they make for a more comfortable fit over time.
In fact, they are pretty close to feeling like absolute air on your head, which is just about the best you could possibly ask for.
Both the 40x/50x’s and 7506/V6’s clamp force are tighter than the CB-1, with the 40x clamping the tightest.
The sound is great, but there are a few small nitpicks.
One is the mid-bass. There’s something a bit strange going on, and it comes across as a little bloated and forced.
This also affects parts of the mid-range, as it seems a bit sucked out in spots, or pushed back (recessed).
The third issue is that because of this weird mid-range, the treble can be metallic sounding at times, resulting in an essy character that’s a bit problematic.
There are times when the CB-1 sounds flat-out awful, with a treble that’s not as piercing as it is just simply “Crumpled”, and yes, a bit sibilant as well.
- Related: What does Sibilant mean?
These aren’t bass light, but they’re also not headphones for bass heads.
Even despite the nitpicks mentioned above, the CB-1 just sounds right – even despite the fact that the bass does roll off a bit.
I do prefer the sound of the CB-1 over the rest. It’s just more of a relaxed listen and you’re not getting any musical fatigue like you will with the others.
Video Shootout/Comparison to the 40x
Don’t forget to leave me some love! <3
In comparison to an M40x, the CB-1 seems more open, more detailed, and more relaxed sounding while still being a fun listen.
The Soundstage and general scope of the sound seemed larger as well.
These do have a bit of a wider image than your typical closed-back headphones, and it’s one of their best qualities.
It makes the CB-1 a relatively easy purchase as a headphone that you can put on and immediately enjoy.
The 40x by contrast is more of a bass-heavy affair, but the mid-bass can be problematic at times, in addition to the essy and sometimes metallic treble.
FWIW, The M50x actually handles the bass much better than the 40x, but both are still boosted.
As mentioned above, the CB-1 has minor issues by contrast and for the most part, comes across as smoother and more fluid sounding.
These 2 are cleaner and more sterile sounding, but definitely brighter and more in your face.
The V6/7506 are both reference go-to headphones and have been for decades, but I think the CB-1 outshines here with regard to resolution because it tends to space things out better.
I was hearing a lot more going on in the mix with the CB-1 than I have with most other headphones, including my beloved V6.
The bass on both is crisp and textured if a bit rolled off in the lower regions.
I think they both sound fairly similar actually, but the V6 may be slightly cleaner and more refined. It’s a tough call.
- Good build.
- Excellent comfort, with good padding and a great 3.5mm jack.
- Metal for the outside of the cups.
- An enjoyable sound that will appeal to most people.
- Great Soundstage for a closed-back model.
- The sound can feel papery and thin at times.
- The detachable cable is very hard to remove.
Click to see the CB-1!
You won’t necessarily need one given the low impedance and fairly efficient Sensitivity of 97dB, but I used mine with an Oppo HA-2.
- Recommended: How to Choose a Headphone Amp [Complete Guide]
I definitely wouldn’t drop a bunch of money on an expensive amp here as you simply won’t need it.
Because these are built for mixing, mastering, and production, I would simply plan to use your Audio Interface (something like the Volt 2) or, if you really want to get an amp/dac, something in the $100 range like an ATOM is perfectly feasible.
That said, most people reading this are likely going to be using the CB-1 for studio work w/ an interface, so an Amp/DAC isn’t really necessary.
Who do these headphones benefit?
I would say they will do well with most genres, and I listened to them with:
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
The CB-1 would be a perfect headphone if not for a few somewhat minor quibbles.
I kept thinking that the treble is good but will become kind of raspy, scratchy/metallic and it really holds them back from being the best budget closed-back headphones ever.
Because the Soundstage is so magnificent, some of the other quirks are kind of a disappointment.
Still, this headphone is so cheap that it kind of becomes null and void, and I can overlook it for the price.
Mid-Range & Source Dependent
The mid-range can sound sucked out at times and does seem a bit distant in certain songs.
It seems as though the CB-1 is very source-dependent.
With certain recordings, these sound almost flawless.
With others, you wonder what the engineers were thinking.
Cable, Box, & Jack
The detachable cable, as mentioned earlier, is a small nuisance, but not a dealbreaker.
The box that they come in looks and feels nice, but the shell inside is cheap plastic.
I was kind of expecting more given how cool the box looked, but I suppose you can’t expect too much more at this price point.
The 3.5mm jack is almost identical to the original M50 and is a welcome addition given that it’s pretty much indestructible.
The Status Audio CB-1 is a headphone that gets a whole heck of a lot right: Price, Comfort, Soundstage, and Overall Sound are all very good.
The inclusion of two detachable cables plus a beefy 1/4″ adapter is much appreciated as well.
The treble does tend to sizzle a bit too much, and the mid-range can be problematic at times.
Even so, this is an easy recommendation at this price point but as you can see kind of takes a back seat in many ways to the others in the Budget Kings Series.
In wrapping up our exploration of the Status Audio CB-1, it’s evident that these headphones deliver a commendable audio experience with a few nuances to consider.
The overall sound quality is undeniably solid, but it’s worth noting that the treble occasionally veers towards the sizzly/sibilant end, and there are moments when the mid-range definitely seems a little recessed.
Despite these minor quirks, the CB-1 boasts an impressively resolving sound signature, accompanied by a commendable Soundstage that immerses you in your audio.
Comfort emerges as a standout feature, providing a luxurious experience during extended listening sessions.
The design and build, while not flawless, hold up well, contributing to the overall durability of the headphones. T
he CB-1 does exhibit moments where the sound can come across as slightly papery or hollow, yet these instances are outweighed by its positive attributes.
Priced at around $80, the CB-1 stands out as a fantastic purchase, offering a compelling balance of sound quality, comfort, and overall value in the competitive headphone market.
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Status Audio CB-1 over-ear headphones review.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please leave them down below or Contact me!!
If you love what I do here and want to support the blog and channel in a more personal way, check me out on Patreon and discover all the value I have to offer you.
What do you think about these bad boys? Do they still deserve a spot on the Budget Kings list? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,