Fostex TH-610
Fostex TH-610
Fostex TH-610

Fostex TH-610: Full-size dynamic headphones with a closed acoustic design

Fostex TH-610 are full-size dynamic headphones with a closed acoustic design, 50 mm dynamic drivers and a detachable cable. Designed for home use.

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Fostex TH-610 are equipped with 50 mm dynamic drivers with Biodyna membranes made of biocellulose and a powerful magnetic system with induction of 1 Tesla (10,000 Gauss), which, according to the manufacturer, will provide smooth, realistic sound with a minimum of distortion and a wide range of reproduced frequencies. The cups are made of natural wood, black walnut to be precise. The cable is removable, made of oxygen-free copper, in a fabric braid.

Few people are not familiar with the Japanese company Fostex, but just in case, a little historical information: it has been in the audio market for more than 40 years (one of the pioneers of Regular phase) and specializes in equipment for speaker systems. It’s all the more interesting to take a closer look at her headphones. In fact, the headphones became a follower of the famous TH-600, and judging by the similarity of the new product with the Massdrop TH-X00, it is clear which model was taken as the basis when creating the Fostex TH-610. However, the TH-X00 at one time received a nomination for SuperBestAudioFriends in the “headphones of the year” category, so that’s even good.

Not to say that the absence of anything significant in the box other than the headphones themselves surprised us – this approach is characteristic not only of Fostex, but also of many other manufacturers of closed dynamic headphones. A detachable cable, a carrying case and the Fostex TH-610 themselves, which we will now look at in more detail.

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If the Fostex TH-600 cups were made of magnesium alloy, then in the new model the manufacturer decided to replace it with black walnut wood with a matte finish. The use of wood in headphones can hardly be called a step back: this material will remain popular for a long time, and not only among audiophiles. The ear pads are made of soft genuine leather, fit comfortably to the ears, are pleasant and do not cause irritation or sweating, as is typical for some headphones with leather ear pads. The headband is wide and flexible, it is also trimmed with genuine leather. Due to their decent width, you can easily wear the headphones with glasses, adjusting them so that there is no pressure on your ears.

Thanks to this combination of materials, Fostex TH-610 looks expensive; it’s not every day that you see black walnut wood on the street. The headphones sit comfortably on your head, you feel not so much the size as the weight: the headphones themselves weigh 375 g, plus a three-meter cable weighing 120 g. The cable here, by the way, is not only long and two-pin, but also wear-resistant, the contact part is covered with rhodium. If desired, it can be changed to a balanced cable ET-H3.0N7BL with a four-pin XLR connector – a feature borrowed from the Fostex TH-900 MK2.

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The Fostex TH-610 also boasts 50mm dynamic drivers with biocellulose membranes cleverly named Biodyna. The neodymium magnetic system with an induction of 1 Tesla deserves special attention – all this allowed Fostex to achieve low distortion levels and a wide dynamic range. Low specific gravity and high modulus of elasticity ensure a doubling of wave propagation speed.

The conductors of the double-sided detachable cable are made of HiFC purified copper from Hitachi. The material contains a small amount of titanium and has high conductivity, which did not affect flexibility and ductility in any way. According to the latest characteristics, it is not inferior to oxygen-free copper with 6N purification, where the copper content is 99.999999%. Rhodium coating of the connectors protects against oxidation.

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The TH-610’s excellent compatibility with portable devices is ensured by its low impedance of 25 ohms. A wide frequency range up to 45 kHz and high sensitivity are a couple more advantages in Fostex’s karma. In terms of sound characteristics, it would be obvious to compare the Fostex TH-610 with the TH-600 or the same Massdrop TH-X00. However, as it turned out, only the design was borrowed from the latter: in terms of sound, the new product is a more balanced version of the TH-600. Unlike its predecessor, the TH-610 does not have a serious emphasis on bass, but high frequencies are well felt. They do not have a serious peak like the Fostex TH-900 Mk2 , and this was pleasing.

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In general, the headphones sound like a full-fledged representative of the top (premium) segment – the stage is spacious, the instruments work perfectly. Both rock and electronic music and hip-hop are going with a bang (though you shouldn’t expect deep bass here). Since sound evaluation is a purely subjective thing, let’s say one thing: you have to try it. Despite the style that is not entirely familiar to Fostex, the headphones will appeal to many. If you want to change something, there is an opportunity, so to speak, to “customize the sound” by replacing the cable with another one. But, perhaps, only true audiophiles will do this.

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Due to its weight and dimensions, Fostex TH-610 are not designed for you to walk down the street with them every day. Actually, the manufacturer himself indirectly claims this when he puts a three-meter cable in the box. Therefore, these headphones are designed more for home (or work, although for some it’s the same thing). Enthusiasts, of course, manage to wind a long cable into their pocket, but such a solution is unlikely to be appreciated by everyone.

Characteristics of Fostex TH-610

Headphone type – Closed, dynamic
Diaphragm diameter – 50 mm
Impedance – 25 Ohm Sensitivity – 98
dB/mW
Maximum input power – 1800 mW
Frequency range – 5 – 45,000 Hz
Plug – 6.3 mm, two-pin
Cable length – 3 meters

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