Published on September 15th, 2015 | by Greg0
LSTN Beech Wood Troubadours: Warm Up Your Ears
Finding a good pair of headphones can be transformative- taking music you thought you knew well and reproducing it in a new way, emphasizing elements in a novel manner. But the effect can extend far beyond the music, since sound is only part of the experience. How they fit and feel, their materials and build quality, all come into play when they sit on your ears (or even slide into your bag). With the huge range of brands on the market today, it can pay to look beyond the manufacturers you know and cast a wider net.
The LSTN Beech Wood Troubadours headphones make a great first impression, as they are definitely easy on the eyes. The Aviator-style has become fairly popular, and relying on natural wood makes us think of a few others that we’ve seen before, like those from the House of Marley. And, to be clear, these aren’t just available in beech, but also three other handcrafted wood colors and finishes like classy zebra, dark ebony, and a mellow cherry. With a classic look and feel, they are sized in-between an on-ear and an over-ear set, so for some folks it could go either way.
Cables are detachable, and made from sturdy, nylon-wrapped cord, and there is a decent microphone and gold-plated connectors. The built-in remote control is meant to be universally-compatible, which means it works well with Blackberry and Android, but iPhone users won’t get quite the same features that they would with MFI (made-for-iPhone) certified control schemes and cables. Though not foldable, the LSTN LST1s come with a decent woven carrying bag. And they sound pretty good, not neutral monitors, but a little warm and definitely a bit shifted towards bass. There’s some distortion at the higher registers and upper volumes, and we weren’t impressed at their clarity, isolation, or dynamics- but were perfectly happy listening to mellower sounds like old-school R&B or acoustic rock, country, or folk. Our biggest issue, though, was that they were uncomfortable- the headband isn’t padded, adjustability it limited, and they can squeeze a bit.
One nice thing to note: for every pair sold, LSTN helps restore hearing to a person in need through Starkey Hearing Foundation. For those in need of in-ear models, LSTN offers Bowerys, and for those looking for a better seal, you can opt for the heftier Fillmores. But if your ideal pair is a great-looking, wood-accented set, the LSTN LST1 Troubadours are available now, online and in stores, for around $150.