Headphones Review

Before we started, I’ll like to thank Fischer Audio for the review sample.

I must confess I am not much of a portable headphone user these days when I have access to a good collection of IEM. I guess the same can be said to most portable headphone user these days, especially among the younger generation. You’ll find less and less people on the street with headband or clip-on headphone but more with IEM and earbuds. It reflects the trend of miniaturization in the audio world where equipments that were once considered very portable now being classified as big and bulky. We are spoiled by technology, no doubt. Here comes FA’s oldskool’70s, a rigid supra-aural design that resembles the old time stock headphone that came with your PCDP (that’s assuming you are old enough to even own a PCDP).  I must admit that this type of styling has some strange attraction to a person like me, who grew up using one of these. But does it perform? We will see.





Frequency range: 20-20000 Hz

Sensitivity: 112 dB

Impedance: 35 Om

Input power: 100 mW

Cable length: 1.25 M


Gears for review: Sansa Fuze / PC->3MOVE




Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality

Without a doubt, Oldskool’70s has the fanciest packaging compared to other FA products, even to most other similar products. I guess it is no need to be shy about it. After all, it is supposed to give the user a taste of the 70’s. The actual box that holds the headphone has an outer paper sleeve with the headphone proudly printed on the front. The basic color of the whole packaging is fiery red. The headphone itself is held in the box by a piece of paper with silvery printed words. Does it really a retro way of packaging things as people did in the 70s? I don’t know, but it is definitely very classy.

As far as accessories are concerned, all you get just a soft pouch. While I don’t think there is any other accessory that will be very help for a portable headphone, I think an extra pair of foam pad will be a great idea. The foam pad on the headphone is extra thick and marked with the FA brand. It will be difficult to find a generic foam pad replacement with such thickness.




While the overall design is obviously trying to be retro, the build quality needs not be. The back of the transducer housing is made out of aluminum (so is the left/right color button on each side) and appears to have a fully sealed back design. The headband is stainless steel and the two arms that the transducers housing attached to are thick plastic. Since there are very little moving parts (as compared to a foldable design), there is very little thing that can go wrong with it. The only odd thing is the position of where the cable leaves the housing, which is at an angle facing backward (as opposite to just straight down), though I don’t find it to be any trouble at all. The cable is semi-flat. It is not very flat like those on Monster Beat Tour or JAYS’ a-JAYS, but  more like rectangular in cross section. The straight mini plug is iPhone friendly. Overall, the build quality is very solid.




Sound Quality

While I am personally more of an analytical listener when it comes to IEM, I actually do enjoy a warmer sounding supra-aural headphone. Since there is very little isolation to speak of, plus the fact that I generally use my headphone on-the-move, micro detail will be hard to notice anyway.  In situation like that, I would rather just rock out with the music instead of being peaky on detail. On that notion, OldSkool’70s perhaps is not my preferred on-the-move cans, but it works out rather well in a more stationary situation.

The headphone has a sound signature that is not easy for me to describe – if you ever heard a pair Alessandro MS-1 (or a pair of lower end Grado), you would know it has a kind of generally neutral to slightly lean, airy sound with bright, analytical treble and quick bass -which many like to describe as a fun “Grado’ish” sound. If I would to describe Oldskool’70s sound signature, it would be ‘MS-1 with forwarded mid and good soundstage’ cause that is how I feel about it right after I A/B’ed it with my old MS-1. Treble is crisp and bright, extends very well , full of sparkle and detail. Mid is forward with a sweet vocal but a little leaner on the lower end. Bass is tight, fast hitting and quite impactful, but lacks just a little warm. Soundstage is a strong point. Though it is not the widest soundstage that I have heard on supra-aural headphone, it is still better than most consider it has more of a closed back design.




A few things to note: First, Oldskool’70s scales rather well with a good source as it is rather revealing. Second, it responds well to EQ. As I said, I like a little warm with supra-aural headphone when I am on-the-move, so I give a little bass bump EQ to Oldskool’70s and it actually sounds very close to what I like (more easy going) and doesn’t degrade the overall SQ at all.

When compared to other portable headphones I have, Cresyn C550H, Sennheiser PX200, and Koss KSC75, Oldskool’70s is unmistakably more resolving, more big cans like instead of tuning toward portable use (i.e. stronger bass, warmer bottom) like the others.





As a portable headphone, Oldskool’70s is a little too revealing (and perhaps too hi-fi in a way) for my preference of an easy going sound. However, it serves me well as a stationary headphone. I dare to say I even prefer it over MS-1 in the matter. While I can’t say it has a better price/performance ratio than a $15 KSC75, it is still very well worth the MSRP of $62 (could be a little higher depends on where you are) and thus, recommended.


  • › Frequency range: 20-20000 Hz
  • › Sensitivity: 112 dB
  • › Impedance: 35 Om
  • › Input power: 100 mW
  • › Color: black.



  • Portable set-up: Sansa Clip+ (Rockboxed) ->UE Mini2Mini ->RSA Shadow
  • Portable set-up: Ipod 5.5G -> ALO Cotton Dock -> RSA Shadow
  • Home Rig 1: Sony D-25S -> UE Mini2Mini from Line out-> Heed CanAmp
  • Home Rig 2: Denon DCD 1560 CD Player – RCA -> Heed CanAmp
  • My mastering rig






On first glance the OldSkool’70’s really impress. The packaging is sleek and sexy. If headphones were ever packaged to be given as gifts – these would be the ones to get.


Once you open the packaging you will find the headphones neatly packaged along with a nice pouch to store them away so they don’t get full of dust. The inner packaging is top notch as well. Very fancy.


The look of the OldSkool’70’s is pure awesome retro – did I mention they look awesome and retro? It looks like those oldheadphones they used to bundle with your walkman portable cassette player. In my opinion, the look is awesome and the build quality is super awesome. These aren’t your cheap sony walkman freebies you used to wear back in the 1970/80/90’s.





1. Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al from the album “Graceland”

The sound is pleasing.  The soundstage is quite large and the bass is pronounced. Good detail. Mids are very lush sounding.

2. Paul Simon – Homeless from the album “Graceland”

The voices sound natural. The baritones come out a bit more.

3. Nat King Cole – Stardust from the DCC release of “Love Is The Thing”
Nat’s voice  sounds natural, the strings are as airy as they should be but they aren’t bright or suppressed. The sound is very lush.

4. Danny Elfman – This is Halloween from the soundtrack “Nightmare Before Christmas”

The voices are all distinct. Bass is very nice. The soundstage and imaging on this track is better than most. 5. Absolute Silence – custom demo track made by myself.

Except for a slight pop the Clip+ added when the track finished, it was completely dead silent for the entire duration of the track.

6. Bach – Solo Cello Suites from the Mercury Living Presence release feat. Janos Starker
The cello sounds ever so slightly boomy. The ambiance and detail is present but lacking, probably due to lack of isolation.
7. Ella Fitzgerald – Sweet & Lovely from the album “Sings Sweet Songs For Swingers”
Nice. Ella comes across natural. The bass is really showcased here and the soundstage is once again very nice. Imaging is quite good.

8. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication & Scar Tissue from the album “Californication”
The bass really rocks on this track. The distortion and clicks cannot be heard.
9. Lady Gaga – Poker Face from the album “The Fame”
The bass is awesome without being over-powering or bloated. Vocals are also very nice. The detail is a bit lacking due to lack of isolation.



The one thing I noticed while listening to the OldSkool’70’s is that it does well with all types of music. It has that typical Fischer sound. The OldSkool’70’s are surprisingly more accurate and articulate than your average headphones this size and of this design. They sound rather similar to the PX100’s but I would give the OldSkool’70’s the edge for a more pleasing sound. The OldSkool’70’s really shines with all tracks but especially with rock, pop and hip-hop. Like most of Fischer Audio’s line, it has a very pleasing and fun sound signature. They are also very easy to drive to a high volume level without degrading the sound.

The sound signature of the OldSkool’70’s is fun but leaning toward the natural and organic side. One thing that surprised me was the soundstage. It has that 3D soundstage that you would only expect from much more expensive headphones. There were a few times that I looked back to see if someone was knocking and to my surprise it was the recording I was listening to!!! In particular I was listening to a Blue Note recording where in the middle of a solo someone yells “Yeah!” and I swear that “Yeah!” came over my left shoulder. Cool beans!

Not surprisingly, I found that these headphones upscale quite nicely as you move up the equipment chain. They sound great straight out of my ipod. They sound better on the Denon DCD 1560 CD Player going through the CanAmp and really impressed me coming out of my mastering rig. Considering the design and the price, that’s really impressive.

Once some of you see the OldSkool’70’s, you might think it’s a cheap quality headphone and be reminded of the freebies of days gone by. Nothing could be further from the truth. These headphones are solid and they feel as solid as they can be. Not only are they solidly built but they are also surprisingly comfortable. This will vary from person to person, but I did find them to be very comfy headphones.

One slight thing consumers are going to have to watch out for with the OldSkool’70’s is volume. I feel that these headphonescan be used for critical listening but you must be in a very quiet environment with very little or no ambient noise. Otherwise, these headphones will merely be there for mood listening. These headphones sound so good but isolate so little that people will really be tempted to crank up the volume to unhealthy levels, especially if they are in a less than perfect listening environment. If you have a less than perfect listening environment and want the same great quality, my suggestion would be to look into Fischer Audio’s similarly priced FA-004 headphones.


Once again what gets my attention with Fischer Audio’s products is the price/performance ratio. All the prices I was able to find for these were under $90.00 US! If I had paid $120 for these, I wouldn’t be upset at all. I would think these would be a good deal at $120.00. At $90 or under, these are an amazing deal – especially considering that these are limited edition headphones.

If you’re looking for some great sounding headphones that will not isolate you from your environment, then these are perfect. The build quality, sound quality, price and awesome looks are sure to please many, many folks.