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Tascam TH-07 Review (Headphone)

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Tascam TH-07 closed back headphone. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $75 from Amazon including Prime shipping.

The TH-07 looks very fancy but feels very plasticky and cheap once you hear it:

Tascam TH-07 review closed back headphone.jpg


Comfort was good though. The headphone weighs 300 grams and has a round cup with inside dimensions of 59 mm. The cup depth is 18mm.

The measurements you are about to see are made using a standardized Gras 45C. I searched for any and all measurements I could find online. Alas while a number of them are close to mine, none are using the exact fixture down to coupler and pinna. As you will see, I have confirmed the approximate accuracy of the measurements using Equalization and listening tests. Ultimately headphone measurements are less exact than speakers above a few kilohertz so keep that in mind as you read these tests.

Getting a good fit was was challenging with a lot of variability. I did my best but it may not be fully representative of what you or someone else may get.

Tascam TH-07 Measurements
There is nothing more important than frequency response of a headphone as each is seemingly different and that difference leaves a very distinct character:

Tascam TH-07 Frequency Response Measurements headphone.png


As you all know, I like to see good amount of bass to comply with our preference curve but here, we are overshooting by good bit up to 300 Hz. We then have decent matching and then some overshoot in treble region.

Shockingly, the company publishes frequency response measurements although there is no indication of what fixture they were using. Correlation is good with my measurements if I filter mine and change its aspect ratio to be closer to theirs:
Tascam TH-07 Company Frequency Response Measurements headphone.png


Relative frequency response is such:
Tascam TH-07 relative Frequency Response Measurements headphone.png


I was very disappointed to see high levels of distortion in upper mid-range/lower treble region:

Tascam TH-07 Relative Distortion Measurements headphone.png


The bass we will deal with since we have to EQ that down but the upper region may be tough. Here it is in absolute terms:

Tascam TH-07 Distortion Measurements headphone.png


Group delay shows some issues in the bass region as indicated by the dip in frequency response as well:
Tascam TH-07 Group Delay Measurements headphone.png


Impedance is flat and low at 37 ohm:
Tascam TH-07 impedance Measurements headphone.png


Sensitivity is better than average:
Most sensitive closed back headphone review 2021.png


So shouldn't be a hard headphone to drive.

Tascam TH-07 Listening Tests and Equalization
Without EQ, this is just not my cup of tea. It sounds uninteresting and bass focused. Equalization made a large difference:

Tascam TH-07 parametric eq equalization filter.png


I had a serious high frequency resonances (female "s") in one track that required good bit of attenuation in band 3 to tame it. Without it, the track was unlistenable.

While often equalization makes a dog of a headphone sound extremely good, such was not the case. Improvement was very significant but did not elevate the sound enough for me to want to keep using the headphone.

Conclusions
The Tascam TH-07 objectively and subjectively misses the mark. Granted, at $75 they are not exactly putting in a lot of engineering into this thing but still, I hold every audio product to a minimum standard and TH-07 does not get there. If you own it, please use equalization as otherwise you are getting very lousy fidelity.

I cannot recommend the Tascam TH-07 headphone.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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sweetchaos

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#2
To import this PEQ profile into 'Equalizer APO', use:
Preamp: -2.4 dB
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 180 Hz Gain -6.0 dB Q 2.0
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 1401 Hz Gain 2.5 dB Q 1.0
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 5172 Hz Gain -5.0 dB Q 2.5
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 13700 Hz Gain -5.0 dB Q 4.0
Otherwise, see my PEQ guide.
..................................................................................................................
For those who don't have PEQ-capable app, and want to use GEQs instead.
Preamp: -3.2db
32 0.8
64 1.1
125 -2.0
250 -2.4
500 1.2
1000 2.1
2000 3.0
4000 -2.2
8000 -0.6
16000 -2.4
Preamp: -3.7db
20 1.2
25 0.8
32 0.5
40 0.3
50 0.6
63 0.5
80 0.4
100 0.3
125 -0.2
160 -3.8
200 -4.0
250 -0.4
315 0.2
400 0.5
500 0.6
630 0.9
800 1.2
1000 1.6
1250 2.6
1600 2.5
2000 1.6
2500 1.1
3150 0.7
4000 -0.1
5000 -4.4
6300 -1.4
8000 0.3
10000 0.4
12500 -3.6
16000 -1.9
20000 -2.1
If you want to import into "Wavelet" (Android App):
GraphicEQ: 20 -2.6; 21 -2.6; 22 -2.6; 23 -2.6; 24 -2.6; 26 -2.6; 27 -2.6; 29 -2.6; 30 -2.6; 32 -2.6; 34 -2.7; 36 -2.7; 38 -2.7; 40 -2.7; 43 -2.7; 45 -2.7; 48 -2.7; 50 -2.7; 53 -2.8; 56 -2.8; 59 -2.8; 63 -2.8; 66 -2.9; 70 -2.9; 74 -3.0; 78 -3.0; 83 -3.1; 87 -3.2; 92 -3.3; 97 -3.4; 103 -3.5; 109 -3.7; 115 -4.0; 121 -4.2; 128 -4.7; 136 -5.2; 143 -5.8; 151 -6.5; 160 -7.4; 169 -8.2; 178 -8.5; 188 -8.4; 199 -7.7; 210 -6.9; 222 -6.0; 235 -5.3; 248 -4.8; 262 -4.3; 277 -4.0; 292 -3.7; 309 -3.5; 326 -3.3; 345 -3.2; 364 -3.0; 385 -2.9; 406 -2.8; 429 -2.7; 453 -2.7; 479 -2.6; 506 -2.5; 534 -2.4; 565 -2.3; 596 -2.2; 630 -2.2; 665 -2.1; 703 -2.0; 743 -1.8; 784 -1.7; 829 -1.6; 875 -1.4; 924 -1.3; 977 -1.1; 1032 -0.9; 1090 -0.7; 1151 -0.5; 1216 -0.4; 1284 -0.3; 1357 -0.2; 1433 -0.2; 1514 -0.3; 1599 -0.4; 1689 -0.5; 1784 -0.7; 1885 -0.9; 1991 -1.1; 2103 -1.3; 2221 -1.5; 2347 -1.7; 2479 -1.9; 2618 -2.1; 2766 -2.2; 2921 -2.4; 3086 -2.6; 3260 -2.8; 3443 -3.1; 3637 -3.4; 3842 -3.8; 4058 -4.3; 4287 -4.9; 4528 -5.8; 4783 -6.7; 5052 -7.3; 5337 -7.3; 5637 -6.7; 5955 -5.8; 6290 -5.1; 6644 -4.5; 7018 -4.1; 7414 -3.8; 7831 -3.6; 8272 -3.5; 8738 -3.4; 9230 -3.4; 9749 -3.4; 10298 -3.5; 10878 -3.8; 11490 -4.2; 12137 -5.0; 12821 -6.3; 13543 -7.6; 14305 -7.0; 15110 -5.5; 15961 -4.4; 16860 -3.7; 17809 -3.3; 18812 -3.7; 19871 -4.9
Otherwise, see my GEQ guide.
 
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amirm

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To me, it looks very much like some ATH-M50X rip-off:
Wow, it looks identical. Frequency response is also very similar but there is huge difference in distortion. Wonder if they are getting reject drivers for these or something.
 

VintageFlanker

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#5
Wow, it looks identical
Yep. Headband is 99% the same and only earcups differ. I tried to find any specs match but they don't even communicate such basics as impedance...:rolleyes:

Édit : 37 (these) to 39 Ohms (M50X) according to your measurements. Your theory seems correct.
 
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Vict0r

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#6
Can't say I wasn't expecting it but it's still a shame that a company that focuses mainly on studio gear, releases a headphone that measures (and sounds, apparently) this bad. A missed opportunity.
 

Francis Vaughan

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#8
Doubtful Tascam make these. They will see value is selling own brand accessories, so outsourcing supply is a reasonable idea. I'll be they are manufactured for them by Audio-Technica. There is no downside for AT. They just ship a heap of slightly different headphones that share most of the tooling and production line with their own models. I suspect that apart from a couple of moulds that reflect branding and subtle changes in aesthetics, everything is just a mix of parts from AT's lineup. Use the M50x headband, probably drivers from a lesser model. The earcups and headband padding look to be cheaper too, so probably shared with a cheaper AT model. I'll bet if measured these would turn out identical to something like the M30x. Moreover, the cheaper Tascan headphones seem to share the same headband and general design and the cheaper AT headphones. Compare the TH-05 with the ATH-M20x. Not identical, but the familial resemblance is striking. Put the entire ATH family next to the TH family and is is hard to imagine they are not siblings.
 

Vict0r

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#9
Doubtful Tascam make these. They will see value is selling own brand accessories, so outsourcing supply is a reasonable idea.
Absolutely. This headphone has OEM all over it, but that's still no excuse. You can OEM really decent headphones. Look at the Brainwavz HM5, Superlux, Fischer Audio and Takstar, for example.
 

Robbo99999

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#10
@amirm , do you think it was more the frequency response difficulties or the measured distortion levels that resulted the most in your not liking of the headphone even after equalisation?
 

respice finem

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#11
Wow, it looks identical. Frequency response is also very similar but there is huge difference in distortion. Wonder if they are getting reject drivers for these or something.
If so, it's one great way to spoil a once good brand... In those cheaply made headphones with high distortion, I'm sometimes wondering if the drivers (or earcup parts) are a bit loose and hence the distortion? While the FR can be "tamed" by EQ, distortion can't...
 

respice finem

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#12
"Loose thought" regarding EQ and channel balance: Headsets (over-ear headphones + mic) are usually "digital" with their own USB interface and a DAC/amp. Making Hi-Fi headphones this way and adding a DSP might be a possibility to achieve very high measured quality, by programming the DSP individually for perfect EQ and channel match, already at the production site.
 

Tks

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#14
V-shaped THD lol

Also, I think this review is in the wrong forum.
 

ROOSKIE

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#16
Doubtful Tascam make these. They will see value is selling own brand accessories, so outsourcing supply is a reasonable idea. I'll be they are manufactured for them by Audio-Technica. There is no downside for AT. They just ship a heap of slightly different headphones that share most of the tooling and production line with their own models. I suspect that apart from a couple of moulds that reflect branding and subtle changes in aesthetics, everything is just a mix of parts from AT's lineup. Use the M50x headband, probably drivers from a lesser model. The earcups and headband padding look to be cheaper too, so probably shared with a cheaper AT model. I'll bet if measured these would turn out identical to something like the M30x. Moreover, the cheaper Tascan headphones seem to share the same headband and general design and the cheaper AT headphones. Compare the TH-05 with the ATH-M20x. Not identical, but the familial resemblance is striking. Put the entire ATH family next to the TH family and is is hard to imagine they are not siblings.
To be fair to Tascam, I dont think Audio Technica makes any of their own turntable stuff. My understanding is they don't and are just slapping their name on somewhat custom speced OEM stuff, they are a turntable brand not a manufacturer. Can anyone confirm. In any case point is that these days everyone is doing it with something.
I have owned the Tascam headphones and they are physically larger than AT by the way so not exact mold sizes.
 

GWolfman

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#17
Shockingly, the company publishes frequency response measurements although there is no indication of what fixture they were using. Correlation is good with my measurements if I filter mine and change its aspect ratio to be closer to theirs:
View attachment 128207

View attachment 128210
Interestingly your graph correlates well (see quoted images) with the manufacturer *except* for the 1.5kHz through ~6kHz region, which happens to almost match exactly the large distortion spike you pointed out (1.5 through ~4.5kHz). Wonder if it's related...

Is it possible some of these "used" headphones could've been overdriven and damaged at some point in their past and cause distortion anomalies like this? Or how would damage present itself?
 

Sonny1

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#19
Hmm, son uses these for mixing and recording. He’s not super particular and needed a cheaper set of corded closed back phones. I think I got them in musicians friend for $25 or so. No more than $30. Is there a good closed back headphone to use for mixing in this price range? Open phones are not an option because he records guitar and plays it through headphones when he records vocals. Impulse buy in this case but I am not surprised by results because I didn’t think they sounded very good.

Should add, he’s a teenager and is a little hard on equipment. I didn’t want to spend a lot because he falls asleep with them on and has broken a few pairs from other companies. Guess I need to spend more when these break.
 

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