If you are a person who does any podcasting, gaming, recording, or you just like listening to music, it would behoove you to have some nice over-ear headphones. Beats by Dre (Apple) are nice, but they aren’t really very good at reproducing sound properly. If you’re not familiar with CAD audio’s sessions headphones, maybe you should be.
I’ve been using these headphones for a couple of weeks now and putting them through the ropes. I used them to listen to music, my own recordings (that you don’t need to hear) and even did a little bit of gaming with them. They pair up well with a nice desk mic for a lot of these applications, and I will be reviewing the CAD U37 desktop Microphone soon, so be on the lookout for that.
How Do CAD Sessions Stack Up?
Let me get this out of the way right off the bat; these are the best sounding headphones I have ever listened to. They have the most life-like sound reproduction of any pair of headphones I’ve used, period. I won’t claim to be an audiophile, but I like a good pair of headphones. I also own a pair of AudioTechnica ATH-M50 studio headphones and they have their own benefits, but the Sessions are better as a whole.
Not only is the sound quality incredible, but the sound from outside doesn’t get in. There is very little leaking despite the plushness of the ear pads, which I will address later.
They aren’t perfect, however. It’s not a huge problem, but I had to turn the sound up much higher to use these headphones than you would expect to. When compared to the sound from the ATH-M50’s, it is just much quieter at the same volume level coming from the audio source. It also meant that I had to be careful when unplugging the headphones from my computer because it would immediately redirect the sound back to my speakers and it would be very loud if I wasn’t mindful to turn it down first.
Overall, the good outweighs the bad and I found the sound quality to be unmatched by other comparable headphones. That said, it should be noted that I made a conscious decision to use the AudioTechnica headphones over the Sessions when I did a podcast with “Mobile Cup Of Joe” because of the volume difference.
Looks, Comfort, and Build
Sessions come in a variety of color schemes. They come in all black, black/chrome, black/orange, red/white, and gold/white. If I was going to choose, I would probably go with black and orange because they complement each other very well and I’m in the holiday spirit.
However, I was sent the gold and white version and they are without a doubt the most ostentatious headphones I have ever seen, Beats included.This is definitely something I can get over when I’m wearing them at home, but I honestly can’t see myself wearing them in public for this reason. Like I mentioned, though, there are other color schemes available and I just drew the short straw for this review.
As far as comfort is concerned, I found these to be unparalleled. As it is, over the ear headphones are the most comfortable headphones for me. I find I can wear them for much longer periods of time than on-ear or in-ear headphones. The stitching and materials on the top headband are really attractive and help to lend to a very comfortable feel around the top.
The ear pads (of which you receive two sets of different size in the box) are very soft and they feel less like they trap the air inside of them than do other headphones like this. This is important because when the air is trapped inside, it gets stale and more importantly hot, which makes the headphones get uncomfortable much more quickly than they otherwise would. The Sessions stay comfortable and breathe all while keeping sound leakage to a minimum.
With these being studio headphones, they need to be flexible and easy to use in a studio environment. When you’re recording, it’s nice to be able to use headphones with only one ear to be able to hear what your own voice sounds like more clearly while still hearing the background music or other people talking, whatever it may be.
The Sessions are really good at maneuvering so that you can cup one earphone in your hand against your head while keeping the rest of the headphones out of the way. This is an important feature and they do a much better job with this than my ATH-M50s.
Another quality of the design that I really liked was the ability to remove the 3.5mm cord from the body of the headphones. These aren’t wireless headphones, but to me it’s really important to be able to exchange the cord on expensive headsets. If something happens to the cord, I shouldn’t have to scrap the entire headset.
In addition, there are two cables that come with the headphones, one straight and one coiled and both have a twist to lock feature to prevent the cord from accidentally unplugging from the headphones. I prefer the straight-style cord, but the coiled ones are nice in a setting where you prefer to keep your cord compact, but might occasionally need to walk a little further away from the sound source.
- Frequency Response: 10-24 kHz
- Sound Pressure Level: 103 dB
- Maximum Input: 3000 mW
- Impedance: 26 Ohms
- Driver Size: 50mm Neodymium
- Cable Length:
- Straight – 10 ft
- Coiled – 3.5+ ft
Overall Thoughts On The Headphones
The Sessions run between $60 and $70 on Amazon, which is actually a really good deal for what you’re getting. Comparable headsets often go for $100 or more. The sound quality is incredible, though you compromise with the loudness and the build is everything you would be looking for in high-quality studio headphones.
Personally, I would steer clear of the white/gold pair, but at the end of the day that’s just personal preference and it doesn’t take away from the quality of the headphones at all.
If you have any questions about these headphones that I haven’t addressed in the review, I encourage you to ask them in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer each of them!