These are the Spider PowerForce Headphones. An audio product which is apparently bred by audiophiles for audiophiles. They're priced at $69.99-$89.99 on Amazon, although the black variant appears to be a little cheaper than the white. We found from the moment we popped them on our heads that they have a surprisingly big bite
Design & Comfort
These aren't an overly bulky pair of headphones but they're not super skinny either. They fit right in between and so don't look outrageously big on even small heads. The PowerForce headphones have a solid construction too, with real leather, rugged plastics and what feels like aluminium coatings with the Spider logo engraved on each of the ear cups; that look very stylish.
The interior of the ear cups have a memory foam padding, a material which we were surprised to see make an appearance as it's often seen in far more expensive headphones. It lightly moulds to your ears for added comfort and when no pressure is put on the memory foam, it reverts to its original shape. The memory foam married to the soft exterior leather, greatly helped these to remain comfortable when worn for hours on end, we didn't find them at all irritating or itchy when worn for three-four hours. The headband is also padded, but not with memory foam, it's a breathable material. The over-ear cups are quite classical in appearance and swivel 90 degrees for one ear listening. They are easily adjusted via a metal slider to better fit your head and once adjusted they don't readjust from heavy movements. They can also be folded up, which makes them very compact and qualified to fit into the supplied storage bag.
Cables & Lack Of Remote
Moving on to the function of the PowerForce headphones; they're not loaded with a heap of fancy features, but do have detachable nine and four foot auxiliary cables with a quarter inch adapter. Because they lock into the headphones they're well suited to be used during physical activities. No method of controlling audio is present and no microphones are inbuilt for hands-free communication. About the latter we're not overly concerned, but the lack of any control to set volume and pause/play and skip music with the device outputting the audio is a bit of an inconvenience, especially when commuting. However, this is a clear indication that all efforts have been injected into the audio quality and we'd rather listen to spectacular audio than mediocre audio with a remote and microphone.
Audio quality produced from the 40mm dynamic drivers with a 10 - 22K Hz frequency range, is in one word, staggering. We couldn't quite believe what we were hearing on the first occasion we put these on. The bass was the element that jumped out at us initially, it has a hearty thump. But doesn't over power the clear mid-range and whisper detailed highs. For instance 'Breezeblocks' by 'Alt-J' has a heavy bass line with snare drums and vocals that go from high to low. The Powerforce headphones' rendition of this song was a good demonstration of their well rounded highly qualified attributes, and that goes for every genre we've played via these headphones. The balance of frequencies and overall quality of sound is similar to, but not quite as good, as the Ultrasone Pro 550 headphones which are more than double the RRP of the PowerForce headphones, and those are designed to be used in the professional scene. What we're getting here is a thick slice into professional grade quality that could be suitable for studio and DJ use but at a low price point that we still find hard to conceive.
The sound stage that is broadcast from these stereo headphones is also surprising. Definition and distance are brilliant. Instruments can be separately distinguished and positioned. Also the volume can get very loud, but is notably controlled, and when fully cranked it refuses to distort. The ear cups truly lock themselves around the ears, which we believe is helped by the memory foam padding. This means that sound pollution and isolation is excellent, with medium volume overpowering reasonably loud external sounds such as a playing TV or a passing car.
In summary, the Spider PowerForce Headphones are high end without the high end price. We've never heard such high quality audio from such a low price product and they have now set a very high bar for our future headphone reviews.