Ovidius TX-901 Review – Beta Test
Hardy metal chassis, Comfortable self-adjusting suspension headband, Tight and controlled bass, Sparkly and well-extended highs, Well-detailed in-class
Wobbly joints and loose adjustment mechanisms, Earpads are on the smaller side, Congested and recessed midrange, Soundstage has almost no depth
The TX-901 is an honest first try for the new brand that feels specifically designed for genres with minimal focus on vocals and I think this will be a deal breaker for many.
Ovidius is a new brand to me and also relatively new with just three products available, at least, internationally. The B1 was their first, a dongle-style DAC/AMP that was praised for its power output. Just a few months later, the company is branching out with the release of the new RX100 IEM and TX-901 full-size headphone. The latter is perhaps most interesting due to its adoption of huge 100mm planar magnetic drivers alongside a honeycomb acoustic structure and metal design. The headphone is outfitted with a self-adjusting headband and OCC silver-palladium hybrid cable for good measure. On paper, this headphone is shaping up to be a great addition to the mid-fi open-back headphone market, which is a refreshing change coming from the mostly upmarket releases that exceed the budget of the average consumer.
The TX-901 just launched for $499.99 USD. You can read all about it and treat yourself to a unit on Linsoul!
I would like to thank Kareena from Linsoul very much for her quick communication and for reaching out to organise a review of the TX-901. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the headphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.
- Page 1: Intro, Unboxing, Design
- Page 2: Sound Breakdown
- Page 3: Comparisons & Verdict
- Driver: 100mm planar diaphragm driver
- Frequency response: 15 Hz – 40 kHz
- Impedance: 60 Ohms
- Sensitivity: 105 dB
- Weight: Around 400g
At this price range I generally don’t expect too much on the unboxing and accessories side, but even then, the TX-901 is a rather basic package. It comes in a large box with a printed graphic sleeve on the exterior. Sliding it off and opening up the box reveals the headphones within a foam inlet and the cable within a separate carboard box. There are no other accessories included such as a ¼” adaptor or even a balanced cable. No carrying case or pouch is included either. For the asking price, these would have been nice additions though this isn’t necessarily something that competitors include either.
Unique is surely the word that comes to mind when laying eyes on the TX-901. It looks equal parts Bose 700 and Meze 99 Classics with its elongated earcup hangers and dual-spring self-adjusting suspension headband. However, in the hand this comes across as far more than an imitation for the chassis employs a wholly metal construction that gives it a good sense of weight and solidity. I am especially enamoured with the earcups whose geometric design showcases impressive machining and achieves a fascinating aesthetic. That said, the tolerances aren’t what you’d see on something like a Meze headphone as parts don’t quite line up and hinges articulate loosely with noticeable wobble. This means they don’t feel quite as nice as they look I the hand. At the same time, this does provide heaps of adjustment for different head shapes.
The headphones use a dual-entry removable cable system with 4-pole 2.5mm connectors. This allows for the use of a balanced cable, however, the stock cable does have a 3.5mm termination and no aftermarket balanced cable is available from the brand at present. I do like how the connectors integrates into the cylindrical hangers for a coherent look, however, you will case-friendly plugs for aftermarket cables as the connectors are recessed. Beyond this, the cable itself showcases good quality. It’s a little thin but otherwise supple with no memory and a soft fabric jacket. While there are no strain reliefs at each termination, the fabric sheath should help with durability over time.
Fit & Comfort –
Incidentally, the wearing experience isn’t quite as nice as I would have hoped despite not having obvious weaknesses per say. They certainly don’t have the effortless comfort of Meze’s headphones despite the similar headband system. And this is likely the best part of these headphones as the suspension design means hotspots are a non-issue since the weight is spread over a larger area. The height self-adjusts as you put the headphones on, and the elastic has well-considered tension so as to balance the weight of the headphones and wearing comfort long-term. Clamp force is also quite low which contributes to a relatively comfortable experience overall.
The main issue I’ve found is the earpads and the earcup adjustment mechanism. Since the hinges are so loose and clamp force is low, fit stability leaves to be desired and finding a perfect seal takes a little more work than most headphones. Interestingly, the renders of these headphones show fabric pads, but my unit shipped with much nicer lambskin leather earpads. They are slightly angled and were just deep enough to encompass my average shaped ears. Those with large ears may, however, struggle with their ears touching the driver.
The pads have memory foam padding too, however, it is strangely stiff and requires a kind of warm up before they really start to comfortably conform. Despite not feeling quite as comfortable as they look, I cannot complain with the long-term comfort of these headphones. Once the foam warms up and the earcups are positioned, I experienced no hotspots despite the higher 400g weight of the metal chassis.
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