Massdrop "x" (Audiophile)

massdrop

#1

Massdrop is a community-driven commerce platform. They make products with input from their members and give them a place to connect, learn, and shop with people who share their interests.

In addition to offering “group buy” (i.e. a" mass drop") style purchasing for popular products across a variety of categories, they have their own “exclusive” brand - “Massdrop x” - which typically features products that Massdrop has developed internally, or in partnership with existing companies for new, or customized versions of existing products.


This thread is for discussion of the “Massdrop x” audiophile brand (rather than just any non “x” brand that Massdrop happens to sell).


#2

Here’s some impressions of some that I’ve owned or have listened to:

MD x Cavalli Tube Hybrid:
I really enjoy this amp for what it offers and at the price it is at. It has an addicting sound to it that I enjoy.

MD x Noble X:
This was my first, and only, Noble Audio IEM I’ve tried. I was initially impressed with it but over-time I grew to not appreciate it as much as my first impression. It seems overpriced for what it offers/sounds. Seemed a little too bloated in the mid-bass and didn’t offer great detail for it’s asking price. Fit was also a little weird for me.

MD x AKG K7XX:
I bought this one as a gift for my dad for his birthday. He’s a stereophile but was never huge into headphones. He did have a beyerdynamic DT770 before but it broke and I think he tossed it out. Anyway, I always enjoyed AKG for what they were and being super comfortable and lightweight.

MD x AKG M220:
For $50, this isnt that bad of a deal. It’s essentially a K240 with a little more bass and a different colorway. I use this primarily for my Arrius piano. My fiancee has been known to steal it to use for extended listening sessions because her B&O H9 isn’t comfortable for extended use.

MD x Koss PortaPro:
This is a (slightly) overhyped portable on-ear but I found the little improvements of the Massdrop edition to improve comfort and usability. The sound on them is fun and really are good for what they are. I still find the Clip-On version (KSC75/KSC35) to be a better value and more comfortable for use. I actually have the MD x Koss KSC75 on order. I do really like the dark massdrop blue color pattern on these portapros though. I’ve since modded this to make them a bluetooth set.

MD x Sennheiser 6XX:
I only had this for a very short time, but it’s basically a HD650 in a different color and sold at half the price. Incredibly good value.

MD x Hifiman Bolt:
These $10 IEMs are awful. I gave these away to my co-worker, who gave them back to me immediately. I then threw it in on a sale of another headphone I was trying to get rid of to sweeten the pot. It worked. They are extremely bassy, muddy, have no detail, and harsh all in one. The cord is terrible and the driver flex is the worst I’ve ever used.

MD x Focal Elex:
I wrote my review about these and posted it on the Focal Elex thread on this site a couple weeks ago. They are great. Take a $1000 headphone, put better pads on them, change the color, improve the cables and lower the price by $300. I can’t really complain too much. Only thing is the weight is a little hefty for me but I’ve adjusted to it now. Currently wearing them as I type this.

I think that wraps it up for my Massdrop X collaborations for now. I had joined the drop for the ESP95X but dropped out recently.


#3

Nice roundup. You’ve certainly been a very good customer. You don’t have shares in Massdrop do you? :grin:. Just kidding.

I think Massdrop has been a shot in the arm for the Audio community. They bring some great deals to the community. I have had a few items from Massdrop. The Massdrop Plus iem’s and the HD58X. I still own both these and intend to keep both too. Long may Massdrop continue.

In fact the only problem with Massdrop is that I don’t have enough money to keep indulging myself.

-Paul-


#4

I’m a sucker for a good deal and massdrop plays to my weakness. :slight_smile:

I’ve spent some time on the other massdrop categories too so they’ve done enough to entice me to keep coming back. I wish their shipping was faster though. Their use of the cheapest FedEx shipping method (SmartPost) takes sometimes 2 full weeks to get to me from New Jersey to Seattle, which is slower than ordering from AliExpress.

One of my friends also started working there recently, so I guess that gives me some personal connection to their site too but I was already a frequent visitor/shopper there before that.


#5

I also know these feels! I’ve been lately digging into mech keys section… I now have too many keyboards lol. The watches sections, knife, men’s accessories, EDC…who am I kidding I tend to daily peruse all the sections for something that interests me…


#6

Oh man, you and @antdroid got it bad.:grin:. I do love Massdrop though. Have either of you gone for the Estats on the last drop were they Koss, I forget?

-Paul-


#7

I ordered then cancelled the estats, I did join the Meze Noir drop…I’ve been wanting a set of those for a bit now. Couldn’t resist the color set and price for them


#8

Just looking back a few posts I see @antdroid actually dropped out of it recently. I need to reread the posts before opening my virtual mouth.:grinning:.

-Paul-


#9

I will look at those I can’t remember seeing them. I just had an email from Massdrop saying there were new drops. I shall go look…:eyes:

-Paul-


#10

For the love of your wallet, don’t do it!!! Lol.


#11

Haha I’ve just had a look at the Meze Noirs. Very nice looking cans. I know you mentioned you wanted some closed backs for work. I am sure that these will fit the brief. It’s a good price too. Have you heard Meze’s before. I haven’t I wonder how they sound. Only downside is the killer ship date.

-Paul-


#12

They send emails out a couple times a day, especially if you subscribed to multiple categories like I do. It’s a dangerous thing. They’ve started to do a lot more chinese IEMs and amps lately too, which can be a bit dangerous given the competitive pricing.

I had actually kept the ESP95X on order until after they closed it, but then they re-opened it because I think a bunch of people dropped out at the last second and they didn’t meet their quota. I ended up dropping out after that. There’s a lot of confusion on what is actually included with the order – they’ve changed their accessories listing several times and now the front page listing has discrepancies within itself and trying to follow the discussion and making sense of it has been challenging.

At the end of the day, I think I read some more about it and I wasn’t totally convinced I needed it more than I just wanted it. And I decided to pull out and invest that money on a new DAP.

I also joined the MD x Mee Audio Planamics IEM drop but dropped out after seeing the measurements finally. The initial impressions also dont sound like something I’m interested in, but I may try to pick it up later if I see one on the used market.


#13

I haven’t heard them, but I have heard good things about them… hopefully the pads issue isn’t a problem with these. But if nothing else a unique set.


#14

Yes I saw those measurements for the Mee iem and they seemed a little disappointing along with the impressions that were given. They weren’t on my radar anyway. I can only Deal with one addiction at a time.:grin:. It wouldn’t do my marriage any good to go into other money pit hobbies. I often skate on thin ice as it is. Hehe just kidding, I do need to keep an eye on my impulses though as I can get carried away. I have done my audio budget for this year so I will enjoy what I have now. At least for the time being.:grin:.

-Paul-


#15

I have noticed that you have a penchant for quirky stuff.:slightly_smiling_face:. Still if they work out to be a good investment then all is good. I know some people really love the Meze brand.

-Paul-


#16

It is the spice of life!!!


#17

I own these three myself.

CTH:

A strong product in the tube hybrid amp genre. I find it works best with headphones that are challenging to drive or benefit from a bit of blurring (e.g., HD-600s never sounded better). However, it doesn’t add much to some other headphones and can distract from from detailed music and purity-oriented genres. But, it has its place and I have no regrets.

MD X Noble X Universal IEM ($250; Midnight Blue)

Nothing but regrets. Way overpriced too. It’s a very smooth and clean sounding BA IEM, but with just two BA drivers it hits the mids and highs only. And, the egg-shaped housing doesn’t fit in the ear, and it doesn’t have memory wire, and the stubby shafts require a huge foam ear tip for a good seal and stability.

I compared the Noble IEM back to back with the KZ AS10 ($50), KZ ZS10 (<$40), and TRN V80 ($32) – Gearbest prices. The Noble had a tin can tone and was the least pleasant by a wide margin. It’s smoother on the high end than the $100 Grado SR-80e, but that’s it.

Focal Elex

These are a case of an outside consultant (Massdrop) improving on the original Elear. They are worth the price in the current market, especially with the XLR cable. People should try these as a reference for huge dynamics and learn to spot production issues. However, they exaggerate flaws and can be fatiguing so they are not an end all, be all, product. And yes, they are heavy and don’t fold in the slightest.


#18

I just can’t drive myself to buy a watch or knife from them. Too many reasonably priced watches from Jomashop in Brooklyn (with no waiting). And no how, now way, am I going to drop $100 on basically a Massdrop store brand knife (e.g., “Ferrum Forge”) when a similar Spyderco costs about the same. In my experience, common brand name items have much more stable resale values (and more fakes…).


#19

I’m a big Kershaw fan for cheap ok quality knifes. Watches I tend to browse but have yet to buy, I like the idea of watches more than wearing them lol. I may just pick up a Samsung gear watch


#20

I am surprised Massdrop has not collaborated on a wireless ANC headphone yet with someone – sennheiser perhaps since they already have a good working relationship. Thats a huge market thats I imagine is growing fast. Perhaps, the growth and sales are so much the companies dont care about making boutique versions of them for the audiophile market.