Youtube review: LSTN Fillmore Stereo Headphone Review by Dale - YouTube Sources: iPhone4; iPhone4 with FiiO E12 and v-moda verza amps; various computers using the HRT MicroStreamer USB mini-DAC and its headphone out. First impressions of the $100 (USD) LSTN Fillmore: Good soundstage, very good overall detail including the bass, very smooth and balanced sound, slightly forward with emphasis in the upper midrange, and highs that (unusual in this price range) are neither recessed nor peaky. This was a dramatic change from what I'd been listening to recently - the new $270 ADL H118 and $200 Marshall Monitor headphones, and prior to those, the $700 ATH ESW11-Ltd. The Fillmore sounds very similar to the ESW11 actually (also a wooden-cup headphone), except that the Fillmore doesn't have a recessed treble. People who are interested in this headphone are going to have experience with headphone sounds that range from bass-heavy to bright and everything in between, so I'll try to reference some of the better known headphone signatures for comparison. The Sennheiser Momentum is known for having a strong upper bass that gives it a warm "relaxed" sound on the low end, and an energetic "presence" range that adds liveliness on the top end. The Fillmore does not have the lower midrange to upper bass emphasis of the Momentum, and may sound much less warm by comparison, but I think the Fillmore has the more accurate signature there. On the top end the Momentum has a broad peak in the lower treble ("presence" area) and rolls off quite a bit above that, whereas the Fillmore has a more balanced treble. I suspect that most reviewers are going to play it safe with the Fillmore, being a $100 headphone whereas the Momentum sells for $350, but given Sennheiser's large corporate overhead compared to the small agile company turning out these little Fillmores with reclaimed wood parts etc., the real cost of each new unit is probably much closer than the numbers suggest. The Bose AE2/AE2i has a fairly even response from high to low, aided perhaps by a little Bose electronic "magic", given that there seems to be little room for acoustical damping etc. in those lightweight plastic earcups. Still, I think it makes a fair target for headphones in the under-$150 range, where we don't have to be extremely critical about ultimate harmonic details and the like. The bass of the Fillmore is stronger (yet very smooth), and given that the Fillmore isn't a bassy headphone, the Fillmore wins on that count. Moving on to the midrange (and I think my opinions here may be less objective), the Fillmore sounds more natural and closer, while the Bose is more distant with a slightly nasal quality. Proceeding to the highs, the Fillmore has a better, more natural presence that blends smoothly into the upper treble, while the Bose presence suffers that distant perspective followed by peaks in the upper treble that can cause irritations with less-than-ideal recordings. One caveat I'd offer with the Fillmore is that the upper midrange forwardness can make voices on some recordings sound harsh or grating if the recording isn't good enough quality, and since voices are often over-emphasized in modern recordings via the "loudness wars", it's something to consider. The only other major caveat I have with the Fillmore is the earpad seal - the earpads are covered in a high-quality plastic ("pleather" I think) that generally bonds well to the skin with no irritation for most people, but because of the soft rounded shape of those earpads and the headband's light clamping force, the earpads may not bond all that well in cool weather and/or with very dry skin, and thus the earcups may not stay put with small head movements, or may not get the necessary seal for full bass response. My final summary of the sound: Outstanding at even twice the price. The Bose AE2i is the first headphone I've had since the Shure SRH-1800 that required no EQ to obtain its best possible performance, and the LSTN Fillmore is the second. But the Fillmore sounds much better than the AE2i, and has a much better bass than the Shure 1840. The Shure wins on overall clarity and soundstage, but not by a large margin. Isolation for the Fillmore is modest (average or less for closed headphones), but leakage is low enough that you can probably play it at decent volume levels in a quiet office in a cubicle next to other cubicles, without attracting undue attention from other coworkers. My head is average sized or better, and I wear the Fillmore with the earcups extended half of the maximum amount, so I expect that this headphone will fit just about everyone. The portability is great because the Fillmore can be pulled down off of the head and around the neck, and with the earcups fully extended it can be carried around the neck all day if needed. The earcups rotate 90 degrees in and out, and nearly 180 degrees up and down. The supplied carrycase is just a thin cloth bag, which offers no impact protection to this headphone. I'd recommend against putting the Fillmore into that bag and throwing it into a backpack or luggage where it could be damaged. The Fillmore cable is detachable, double-entry, about 4 feet long, and is terminated with a 45-degree Apple-style miniplug. The cable is a strong-looking fabric weave, and the detachable plugs are 2.5 mm mono plugs going to each earcup. The mic, about 4 inches from the left earcup, is also a control box that doesn't have any projections - you squeeze once to stop and start, and so far I've managed to skip a track by double-clicking two times, but I wasn't successful doing that most of the time. In other reviews I've done I've included the following music examples with comments about how the headphones sound with each track. My suggestion is instead of reading each one as an absolute unto itself, you could compare my notes here to other reviews and see how the Fillmore compares with each individual track. Note that all of the following were played flat (EQ = OFF).