AshidaVox ST-31-02 Headphones Microcast
Good morning, this is Rick Cogley coming to you from Yokohama, Japan.
And today I’m just making a companion micro-blogcast for my Ashida Vox ST-3102 headphone post.
Basically I had been using Beyerdynamic T90 headphones, which I bought about 10 years ago.
Every day they’re really good headphones and everything, but the, well, various parts of them were breaking and I just decided, okay, it’s time for a replacement.
So I was looking for something with good cost performance.
And in the headphone world, that’s kind of sometimes difficult because headphones are notoriously expensive.
But I was looking around and thinking, well, you know, I’d like to support the domestic economy in Japan.
And I found two domestic makers, one called Tago Studio and one called Ashida Vox, and I ended up buying these ST-3102 headphones from Ashida Vox.
And the Tago Studios look really good and are really well-regarded, so nothing against them.
But, well, they’re 65,000 yen, so I thought, okay, I can get Ashida Vox for 22,000 yen.
And they’re also well-regarded.
They had literally just came out.
Apparently there was a famous ST-3102 model that Ashida Vox made, and this was just sought after by studios and recording engineers and that sort of thing.
And they stopped making the paper for it, for the speaker cones in it.
And so Ashida Vox stopped making them, but they found a way to create something similar.
They decided not to make them into studio headphones per se, where I guess the response curve is flat.
I don’t really understand it, but I think that’s what you need in a studio to be able to reproduce what you’re listening to faithfully.
And they created these Model 2s more for music listening and basically listening pleasure, that kind of thing.
They came out with them and they released them in, I think, October 1st, 2023.
And so I kind of just found out about them by accident, bought them at the end of October, and they’re really, really good.
It’s great cost performance for the price.
They’re very sturdy, they’re not like, I don’t know, like aluminum machined, like modern looking type of thing, but they feel a little bit old fashioned, they feel a little bit retro.
It’s kind of, they’ve got kind of the ear cover, the closed back cover looks like something you might see from a really old headphone, interestingly enough.
And they’re just very, they feel sturdy, they feel a bit snug on the head, but this is loosening up over time.
I bought them a couple of weeks ago and have been listening every day on them.
They only made 200 units, so it may be difficult to find them, but they seem to be really, really good.
The sound is clear.
You can play with the EQ on, you know, I’m primarily listening on iPhone and iPad.
I have a little DAC that goes in line between the speaker or the headphone, excuse me, and the USB port, and it works pretty well to make a really clean sound.
But with or without that, it seems to be that these sound really great.
They have a low impedance, 26 ohm impedance, which means that you can drive them with an iPhone or with like an iPad without any kind of amp.
In comparison, the Beyerdynamic ones were a little bit higher ohmage or impedance, I guess you call it, yeah, impedance.
So they need an amp to sound good.
Actually, they’re right on kind of the borderline where they can still be driven by like an iPad or something directly.
But nevertheless, a lot of the higher end headphones have a high impedance, so you need an amp to go with them.
Otherwise, they sound so quiet, you can barely hear what’s going on.
So anyway, these sound really good.
I really am enjoying them.
I’m listening to, you know, a lot of various types of music, but basically in iPhone or iPad iOS 17.1, you go into settings, music, audio, and you set Dolby Atmos to always on because that some movies that you might watch on Netflix or whatever will have that.
And so it really sounds cool when that’s available and you’re listening with that always on in your settings.
Also, you can set lossless on as well for Wi-Fi streaming.
So you get a pretty good file.
You know, you’re maybe somebody who’s really deep into audio might feel it’s not enough.
But for a person like me, who’s a casual listener, I think it’s quite good enough like the basically the Apple iTunes lossless seems pretty good anyway.
And you can also set the EQ so you can change that based on the music or whether you’re listening to vocals like a podcast or something like that.
So, you know, you can adjust it pretty well.
And I’m just enjoying them.
I think they’re really good cost performance, as I mentioned several times.
So, you know, it’s probably worth it, even if they’re not your taste.
They’re sturdy enough that you could definitely resell them.
You could basically wipe them clean and resell them without too much loss, especially since they’re only 200 made.
So I think I think they’re pretty good phones.
I like them a lot.
Anyway, this is Rick from Yokohama.
Check them out if you have a time.
If you have any time, check out the check out the blog post as well.
And you can actually go listen to these if you go to earphone in, I think, Ikehabara or there’s various shops that earphone has that you can go listen, listen to them directly.
It’s kind of a it’s like jumping down a rabbit hole.
They have so many different headphones that it’s it’s just shocking.
Some of the some of the costs on them as well.
It’s just shocking.
But anyway, you might enjoy visiting it.
It’s quite quite cool to see all the headphones up and you can kind of test them there with your with your iPhone or with, you know, with your iPad or whatever you happen to have.
So anyway, this is Rick signing off.
Thank you very much.