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Fostex T50RP Mk3 Review – Utilitarian To The Bone

4.3 out of 5 stars

Today we're going to show you something different, something you probably haven't seen so far. Fostex T50RP Mk3 are one of the best studio headphones under $200, and for a good reason. Despite their tiny publicity, these have a lot to give in a most straightforward manner you can imagine.


On a first glance, there is something off with T50RP Mk3. They simply don't look right. The answer is can't be found in any one component, but rather the entire architecture of the headphones. Everywhere you look you will find something that you never really expected. Let's start with the frame design. Instead of using an integrated adjustment system, Fostex went with thick exterior rails. Then we have the driver housing. The back sides are square while the portion to which the ear pads are attached, are round. Speaking of ear pads, they are massive. Headband is the simplest, heavily padded design that simply works. All of this, combined with orange cabling that sets a contrast to the all black design, really gives the T50RP Mk3 a specific aesthetic look. Needless to say, if you want something different, these are about as radical as it gets.


Under those massive pads, you will find two massive drivers. Nominal impedance is set at 50 Ohms while the frequency range goes from 15Hz all the way to 35kHz. In terms of sensitivity, T50RP Mk3 gets you some 91dB at 1kHz, 1mW. All in all, solid hardware. What really came across as impressive was the cable. Not only do you get a detachable cable, but it's a locking type. Whether or not you are a fan of this feature is a subjective thing, however it shows just how far Fostex is ready to go. Build quality is rock solid. If those two thick rails on the sides didn't indicate that, the bulletproof speaker housing probably will. Padding everywhere is great, but especially on the headband. There were some concerns that the headband wouldn't prove to be flexible enough, but those were set to rest rather quickly.


Performance wise, there are several things you need to know right away. First one is that pushing these with a mobile device such as a phone or tablet, is borderline useless. The impedance is just too high. Even when plugged into your workstations, you might feel a lack of edge. Needless to say, using an amplifier is recommended. The other thing to note is the transparency. It is there, but it tends to dip when you reach high trebles. With that said, T50RP Mk3 are loved by industry professionals. How come? Well, it's their ability to offer endless modding. As much as these are a great out of the box headphones, you can improve that performance by performing modifications which are abundant. What it all comes down to is a great platform for those who want the stock performance, but a canvas for those who want to experiment a little.


Fostex took a whole different approach with T50RP Mk3. Depending on what your aspirations are, you might love it or hate it. Whatever the case may be, we can all agree that Fostex did a great job with delivering something rare to the market. All that at a reasonable price.

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