Superlux is a very interesting brand that has created a whole lot of ripples when they were first discovered. Their HD series have proven to be real challengers on the market. Superlux HD681 EVO continues that legacy by being one of the best performing studio headphones to get under $50.
There are two things Superlux is known for. One is tight grip and the other is comfortable headband design. From their earliest models, to the HD681 EVO we are looking at today, this has remained true. The downside to this is are the ear pads, which are not that great to say the least. Superlux went with black padding over a white chassis on this model, thus breaking from their standard route. The plastic used is not the best nor the most inspiring one, but it does the job of keeping everything protected and rigid.
Build quality is great most of the time, however Superlux is known for delivering lemons here and there. Thankfully, their customer service is impressive so that is a nuisance rather than an issue. Aesthetically speaking, HD681 EVO are among the best looking studio headphones in this price range, if that’s something that matters to you.
Here’s where things get interesting. For starters, the cable is detachable, which is a feature almost never seen in this price range. You get two cables, one short which is about 2 feet long, and a 10 footer. They also include a 1/4″ adapter as well as a little clip that prevents the cable from being yanked out of the jack. We highly recommend you don’t use that clip.
Drivers of choice are the best thing about HD681 EVO and generally something that has made Superlux HD series famous in the first place. With such a large user base, it wasn’t long before people started discovering way to mod HD series, which has turned out to be a free way to get more performance out of them. Same goes for HD681 EVO. With that said, none of the modding is actually necessary.
Performance is what pushed Superlux into the focus of international headphones community. The amount of clarity, definition and linearity you get at a bargain price is borderline ridiculous. There is a catch, though. Straight out of the box, most HD series headphones are bright. You can deal with this by either using an EQ, or by modding them like most people do. Because it is so easy to get those trebles under control, that factory brightness was never really considered to be an issue. In terms of transparency these are great. They go deep into the lows, but remain consistent throughout mids.
Comfort wise, the pads just have to go. You can survive using them, but it is ridiculous how much of a change an aftermarket set can make. Fortunately, various AKG pads fit perfectly while there are plenty niche pad models out there as well.
Even though they are well within mainstream by now, Superlux has still retained the same price to performance ratio. You won’t overpay anything and you will get that same sound clarity that made these famous in the first place. Superlux HD681 EVO are definitely worth checking out no matter what.