Saturday, January 31, 2009

Portable Cans: OVC HC-1000 from China.

So what is the OVC HC-1000, I would say they are the Chinese version of the Koss PortaPro portable headphones. Unknown to many in headphone circles, OVC has been the Chinese OEM (Original Eqipment Manufacturer) for well known brands like AT&T, Audio-Technica, Koss, LG, Panasonic, Plantronics, Samsung, Siemens, V-Moda, Yamaha, and many others. This probably accounts for the quality of the sound produced from the OVC HC-1000's.

HC1000 are OVC’s equivalent in my humble opinion to Audio-Technica’s ATH-ON3, Sennheiser PX100, PX200, and the Koss PortaPro & KSC series of headphones. Unfortunately there are not many sources where these are available overseas. I purchased mine locally, but if you are interested after reading this review, you can order them by mail order on Head Direct's website. Yes Fang and his team have a good ear for product sourcing. I have no connection to Head Direct, the link is provided for those who may have an interest in purchasing these interesting pair of portable cans, they cost US$29.00 and Head Direct's site page is: OVC HC-1000 so check em out.

OVC is a major manufacturer of electronics in China, and their official website is OVC , so you can head on over and check them out. The OVC HC1000 specifications state a 113dB level (+/-3) db at 1 mW efficiency and an impedance of 32-ohms. The headphones are 30-mm. drivers. Here are the specifications.

OVC HC-1000 Specifications:

  • Driver Units: 30mm dia.
  • Sensitivity: 113@ +/- 3dB for 1mW efficiency
  • Nominal Impedance: 32 Ohms
  • Typical Frequency Response: 20 - 20KHz (probably understated!)
  • Rated power: 5mW
  • Max power: 10mW
  • Plug: 3.5mm stereo
  • Net Weight: 58 grams

What do you get?:

  • 1 pair of HC-1000 headphones foldable like spectacles;
  • 1 cute red color carry case;
  • 1 set of extension cords,
  • 1 set of blue case covers;
  • 1 set of pearl case covers;
  • 1 pair of spare sponge ear pads;
  • 1 6.3 mm stereo adapter plug;
  • 1 headphone amp socket and plug cable - 3.5mm to 2.5mm mini-jack adapter.
Wow, that's allot for your money! Maybe the other manufacturers should sit up and learn. The packaging of the product is great, take a look at the box and the goodies you get from the photos.
The HC1000 cans have a single cable and an extension. The cable is 50 cm. long, the extension is 1.5 m. long. Enclosed are case cover inserts that are a special feature of the HC1000, the HC1000 can switch cover color from the default red to pearl-white and blue colors. Great for a fashion victim, I'm am however fine with the default covers as they are.

The carrying case is a sturdy, soft synthetic fabric bag with stiff fake leather inserts and is red in color. The oulook of the case is similar in shape and size to a case for glasses and is quite stylish. The bag has a belt clip.


They appear to have a better seal the small Senn. PX's but the headband fit is not as good or on par with the Koss PortaPro and could slide off if you do not have them properly centered on your head. My impressions on the sound at first are that they are neutral lacking a little in the lower mid range an the bass impact and extension, but this is to be expected from small sized cans with 30mm drivers. I would say that the emphasis is in a better upper mid and reble with clarity and details (Spiked for this range). They definately sound good for vocals and in many instances I like them better the the Senn. PX's. The thing that appears to be in the pros for the the HC-1000 is the depth of the sound and the soundstage presentation appear to be ahead of the Senn. PX-200 and the Koss PortaPro. At time of writing I did not compare them against my Audio Technica ON-3 Onto and must make a note to do this. On the whole the HC-1000 appeared to have a rather natural three dimenisonal sound field and stage with good dynamics and empressive clarity.

I would categorize them as what I would call in my humble opinion the best deal in under US$30.oo portable cans. I will give them a big thumbs up! Well done OVC on a fine product, now maybe it is time for some larger cans?Reviewing gears:

Source: 4GB MP3/4 Player; 8GB 2.8"LCD TOUCH SCREEN MP3/4 VIDEO PLAYER; EPC-303 MP5 8GB 3.0 Inch TFT LCD Screen Player - Red / Black; Oregon Scientific Music Orbit & Station; Denon CDR-W1500 HDCD Recorder/Player.

Head Amps. & DAC: Little Dot MKI Portable Headphone Amp Amplifier; Cmoy headphone amplifier with Bass Boost Setting in a custom made exotic padauk and zebra wood case (opa2227 opamp); Xiang Sheng 708B Tube Headphone Pre Amplifier; Go Vibe mini USB Audio DAC (Burr-Brown PCM2702), Qinpu Q1 Headphone Amplifier.

Reviewing CD and Tracks: Custom made by ripping songs to FLAC than normalized/burnt via Nero9.

CD Tracks: Esteban - Norwegian Wood; Everything But The Girl - I didn't know I was looking for love; The Corrs - Runaway; Acoustic Alchemy - Mr. Chow; The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony; Willie & Lobo - Amsterdam; Tim Weisberg - Party of One; Sleep Station - There She goes; Seattle Symphony Orchestra - Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (Scherzo); Sim Riney - What was I to you; Rebecca Pidgeon - Spanish Harlem; Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon; Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells.

Additional CD's for auditioning:
1. "The Sound of Analog is Back" From Mark Levinson (Red Rose Music);
2. "CD Master- Direct Master Cut Vinyl CD" Mastering by Mark Levinson;
3. "The Purest Sound-City Folk Songs-Vili" TIS Hong Kong;
4. "Dido" SRS + WIZOR Mastering CD;
5. "The Police" SRS + WIZOR Mastering CD;
6. "Avril Lavigne" SRS + WIZOR Mastering CD.

Rating: From one star (★, lowest rating) to five stars (★★★★★, highest rating), including half a star (☆). Criteria include [Packaging / Build Quality / Accessories / Isolation / Microphonics / Comfort / Sound stage / Sound Quality / Value]

★★★★★-The best
★★★★---Really good
★★-------Just OK
★---------Not worth it

Earphones: OVC Hc-1000 Portable Dynamic Headphones
Transducer: 30 mm drivers
Spec: 32 Ω | 20Hz~ 20kHz (Head Direct specify them from 18Hz ~ 22kHz)| 113 dB/mW +/-3dB
Cord Style:
50 cm. long, the extension is 1.5 m. long, Ø3.5mm mini stereo, gold-plated.
Mini Jack Style: Gold plated, medium build sealed.
Case: Black with default red covers.
Packaging: ★★★★★ (well thought out packaging, boxed)
Build Quality: ★★★★ ( medium build)
Accessories: ★★★★★ (All accessories, everthing under the sun )
Isolation: ★★☆
Microphonics: ★★★★ (Very good)
Comfort: ★★★☆
Sound Stage: ★★★★★ ( impressive 3D, very natural)
Sound Quality: ★★★★☆ (Very impressed, netural, moderate extension and impact of bass, mids - treble is clean, clear and detailed)
Value: ★★★★★ (Completely outstanding value, best IMHO for less then US$30.00 porrtable cans)
Remarks: A pleasing and quite netral sound, bass is clean and tight with moderate extension and impact. I was impressed by the 3D sound stage produced by these 30mm drivers. The timbre was extremely good and dynamics also very good. Highly recommended for cheap prtable with everything you need supply. Extremely high value for money. I would mention that I have never ever been a fan of foam ear pads, in fact I hate them as they are really bad for isolation and I will change them to a pair of pleather ear pads which should help with isolation as well as probably the bass I suspect?

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