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Phonon SMB-02 review by Stephen Shirk

 Once I tried the Phonon SMB-02 headphones, I was immediately hearing things consistently with how I hear them in my well tuned studio control room.  Sometimes I think I hear even more detail in the SMB-02′s than I do in the studio. There was very little adjustment time needed to get familiar with what the Phonon SMB-02′s were telling me.  Once I integrated the SMB-02′s into my listening and mix evaluation process, I was completing mixes quicker and with more confidence.

So what is the sonic difference the Phonon SMB-02′s provide over other headphones I’ve used?  The sound is pure and un-hyped.  Meaning, it is not coloring the sound to give it more bass or thump than what the creator originally intended.  And it is not brighter in the high frequencies to make things sound more shimmery or glossy.  The SMB-02′s are clear and neutral.  That’s not to say that you won’t hear deep, rich bass tones or sparkling highs with these headphones.  The Phonon SMB-02′s give it ALL to you in spades, if that was what was intended in the final mix/master the artist created 

The Phonon SMB-02′s deliver an incredibly wide stereo image.  With headphones I used before, instruments and sounds that I panned hard left or right felt…well,sounded left or right. But they felt like they were coming from exactly where the headphones sat on my ears.  With the SMB-02′s, the stereo image feels wider than the headphones themselves. Sources panned across the left -to-right stereo spectrum can be placed with pinpoint accuracy in the stereo field.

Stephen Shirk, Shirk Studios

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