Youtube video: Yamaha 200BL Stereo Headphone review by Dale - YouTube Photo: http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Panasonic_Gm1/Headphone_Yamaha_200_Bl_01.jpg Sources: iPhone5, iPhone5 with FiiO E07k using LOD, iPhone5 with Decware Zen Head amp, various computers using the Microstreamer and Audioengine D3 DAC/amps. Review notes: My first impressions of the sound of the 200BL are based on direct comparisons to other headphones - in particular the Yamaha MT220, FAD Pandora VI, Shure 1540, B&O H6, B&W P7, v-moda M100, Beyerdynamic T51p, and notes I've accumulated from many prior reviews. I describe how I relate to the 200BL (i.e. my personal taste and how I use the headphone) only after covering all of the objective issues. When I first put the 200BL on, I thought it sounded a bit muffled, as though the treble were somewhat recessed. When I worked out an EQ curve with the Audioforge parametric equalizer - comparing the result sound to my other dozen headphones - I could see visually that there was an ~8 db recess at 5 khz and a fairly steep rolloff above 7 khz. With the EQ on, the sound had a realism and a soundstage depth that was comparable to some of the other headphones I have, but not as good as the Yamaha MT220 in terms of ultimate clarity and detail. Still, I was very happy about getting this quality of sound from a $150 headphone, and I think that most users will be delighted with the 200BL sound as is, and others may choose to implement a bit of EQ to adjust the sound to their tastes. Note that purchasing a different headphone to get a more preferred signature won't ensure getting a better overall sound, since certain of the tonal qualities are unique to each headphone. Bass response is a big ticket with headphones these days, and the 200BL's bass has a very moderate emphasis around 110 hz, making the sound slightly boomy on some music, especially jazz tracks that include an upright bass. Other than that there's no bass bloat, muddiness, or other undesirable characteristics in the 200BL's low end, so I think it would be satisfactory for high quality listening for users who accept the sound as is, or are willing to use an equalizer such as the Audioforge app mentioned above. Summing up the 200BL's sound based on a lot of listening, running tests, and comparing to my other headphones, it's OK at this price level but doesn't offer anything extra. What's really puzzling is the open-back design on a small portable headphone like the 200BL, since everything about it points to portable use, and open-back headphones outdoors or on public transport are severely compromised by the ambient noise levels. Reiterating the bass issue from the most common user viewpoints - the bass is good and detailed, but people who do gaming and require a heavier impact, or people who use the headphone on public transport where background sounds contain a lot of low frequencies - these users usually prefer a headphone with boosted bass frequencies, so for them I'd recommend a different headphone. Like most headphones, the 200BL sound improves noticeably with DACs and headphone amps as compared to driving the headphone with just a low-cost portable music player or cellphone, and the 200BL plays very loudly with the typical iPods and iPhones. To appreciate the difference a good DAC and amp can make, play music using the DAC/amp first, then switch to a portable music player and hear the difference. That difference is usually subtle and difficult to appreciate the other way around: if you listen with the portable player first and then switch to the DAC/amp. I think that's because it's easier to hear what detail is lost in the former example instead of what's gained in the latter example, unless what's gained is dramatic. 200BL isolation is essentially zero due to the open-back design, and leakage is nearly 100 percent for the same reason. The 200BL's build quality seems to be good - mostly plastic with a thin metal headband covered in soft plastic. The headband has a very moderate clamp and stretches much wider than my average-size head, the earcups have very handy click detents, and the earcups can be extended at least an inch further than where they fit my ears. The 200BL's earcups don't contact my chin when they're extended all the way down and I'm wearing the headphone around my neck, so it makes for an ideal portable headphone in that sense. The earpads are only about 9 mm deep, but because of the very light headband pressure and the velour earpad coverings, the on-ear comfort is quite good. The cable is double-entry and not detachable, it's about 4.5 feet long and rubber-coated (but a bit thin), so it doesn't look very strong or rugged. The terminator plug is a standard 3.5 mm right-angle miniplug, and a 6.5 foot extension cable is included. The music tracks below have been listed in a number of prior reviews, and are a selection of my most revealing tracks for headphone testing. Since these tracks cover a wide range of genres and were selected from my tests of very different headphones, there won't be a bias toward the 200BL with this music. I suggest that instead of reading each comment below as an absolute unto itself, you could compare these notes to the prior reviews and see how the 200BL compares with each individual track.