Fostex T50RP MK3 – Great Planar entry level headphones

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Gotta replace those earpads
Fostex T50RP MK3

If you’re on the hunt for beautiful, low-cost headphones with planar magnetic technology, look no further than Fostex. Though they market them as ‘open’ headphones, they are, in reality, ported. Surprisingly, they don’t leak as much sound as one might expect.

At present, these headphones are at the top of my recommendation list. The sound quality is exceptional, boasting a flat tone that audiophiles will appreciate. However, I must admit that they can be somewhat uncomfortable until you switch out the ear pads. For a more enjoyable experience, I highly recommend the SHURE HPAEC1540 ear pads. Made of Alcantara material, they feel wonderful against your head while maintaining the original sound signature.

Fostex offers three distinct models of the MK3: the T20RP MK3, the T40RP MK3, and the T50RP MK3. Each model caters to different preferences and needs, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your audio journey.

Tech Specs:

(T20RPmk3)
Driver:    Regular Phase (or Orthodynamic)
Impedance:    50 ohm
Sensitivity:    92dB (at 1kHz, 1mW)
Frequency Response:    15Hz – 35kHz
Maximum Input Power:    3000mW
Weight:    315g
Cable:    Detachable 1/4” Stereo Phone (3m) and Stereo Mini (1.2m)

(T40RPmk3)

Driver:    Regular Phase (or Orthodynamic)
Impedance:    50 ohm
Sensitivity:    91dB (at 1kHz, 1mW)
Frequency Response:    20Hz – 35kHz
Maximum Input Power:    3000mW
Weight:    315g
Cable:    Detachable 1/4” Stereo Phone (3m) and Stereo Mini (1.2m)

(T50RPmk3)
Driver:    Regular Phase (or Orthdynamic)
Impedance:    50 ohm
Sensitivity:    92dB (at 1kHz, 1mW)
Frequency Response:    15Hz – 35kHz
Maximum Input Power:    3000mW
Weight:    315g
Cable:    Detachable 1/4” Stereo Phone (3m) and Stereo Mini (1.2m)

Inner Fidelity did a review of the T50RP MK3’s frequency response and its not too far off from the Alpha Primes.  With a few mods you can certainly make them closer.

In terms of pricing, these headphones typically range around $149.99, but keep an eye out for discounts and coupons. On occasion, you may find them dropping down to $100 with the help of discounts like the 20% offers from Guitar Center on products over $100.

Although I have hearing challenges, I can attest that these headphones perform remarkably well with my ears. However, I’ve come across discussions in forums mentioning an issue where the left cup produces less sound due to wiring. Fortunately, this can be remedied through modding for those willing to explore that avenue.

Speaking of modding, these headphones have gained a devoted fan base among modders. Whether it’s adding clay, tape, or custom wood ear cups, the possibilities for tweaking the sound are endless. Enthusiasts have even set up their own testing stations to experiment and witness how each modification impacts the audio tone. Head-Fi, in particular, has a massive thread dedicated to these discussions.

In conclusion, Fostex’s planar magnetic headphones offer an impressive blend of affordability and performance. With their flat tone and potential for modification, they are an excellent choice for audiophiles looking to dive into the world of planar magnetic technology without breaking the bank.

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fostex-t50rp-mk3Great headphones for the price. Best entry level planar magnetic unit. Modding can unleash better sound to suit your needs.

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