Halo, Wie Gehts? Ich bin Gut! Ok so now we got that out of the way I would like to talk (in English) about a still fairly unknown company in the headphone world. That company is German Maestro and it currently has a range of headphones out in the sub £200 region. The JFB model is essentially the outfits 8.35 model that has been rebranded after a collaboration with British DJ JFB and has been said to be the ultimate indestructible headphone.
THE MEAT OF THE REVIEW
Simple cardboard box with company branding and info.
Accessories – (NA) *
Demo set! Just the headphones and box so we wont be rating as the consumer package may be different from what we received.
Looks (7/10) and Build Quality – (10/10)
Build Quality? The JBL are the most indestructible set of headphones I have ever had the pleasure of using. It would take a ridiculous amount of punishment to destroy these. Pull them, bend them, twist them and they simply bounce back into their original form. The JBL are a work of engineering genius and probably more robust than anything offered by Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic (including the famous HD-25). They aren't the best of lookers but in that wonderful german way they place function over form. The result is actually quite nice though as I'm a big fan of utilitarian design cues. Those cues are rife here and end up making the JFB look every bit the piece of functional, industry standard gear that they appear to be. The cable follows suit, a coiled cable of excellent thickness and quality alike. Equally good are the strain relief and Jack plug which round up an impressive package that should last many many years.
Closed back, good pads and firm clamping force make the Maestro's good isolators. As the DJ branding implies will be a good choice for monitoring in clubs but should also whine whilst commuting.
Very comfortable with regards to fit. The headphones are actually very light which is somewhat surprising considering just how well made and robust they are. Fully circum-aural with soft and breathable padding mean that if you are using these for gigging, studio work or even just as your every day set you are going to find them very comfy to live with.
Sound Quality (8/10)
For a brand that until recently I hadn't heard of I am mightily impressed by the sound of the 8.35. Rating in at just 35 ohm the headphones are fairly easy to drive from almost any source. Everything in the headphone is tight and well controlled and it offers excellent separation, imaging and detail for a closed phone.
Soundstage is average and the signature overall is a touch darker than neutral with a slight bump on bass quantity when directly comparing with the Sennheiser HD-25. The overall sound coming out of the JFB was actually preferred when compared directly with the 25's due to the slightly increased low end whilst matching in almost every other category.
Highs – Highs are tame and will do very little to offend your ears. More laid back and smooth some may find they lack the slight sparkle of other options but they still manage to come across with good detailed and clear presence..
Mids- Mids are again good though could use more weight to accentuate acoustic string in the levels of note decay. Vocals are pushed to the forefront and sound liquid and clear. Details are again very nice and its thought the JFB would make a good model for monitoring as they only sit slightly sitting on the warm side of being neutral. Female vocals like those of Kina Grannis are especially pleasing, almost dreamy at times when eq'd.
Lows- Bass is again liquid and comes in with just about the perfect amount of quantity and impact. It will go great with pop, rock or electronic music but lacks a little crispness to do the most justice genres such as classical. For a monitoring headphone they are just about perfect.
The spectrums work very well together without one overpowering the other. No bleed from one frequency was found to be an issue with another.
German Maestro makes insanely well robust headphones that much is true. The build quality and durability of the 8.35 JFB is second to none. On top of this you have the fact that they are also a great sounding set of headphones. We here at S-A can find very little to fault the Maestro's and even though they aren't the best looking cans on the market they do pack an impressive punch as an overall package. Highly recommended for field us or DJ work or for those that tend to be a little rough on their gear.
The German Maestro 8.35 JFB are available in the UK direct from www.hifiheadphones.co.uk