THE GOOD: The Status Audio CB-1 headphones sound much better than their low price might suggest. Extra padding on the ear cups and headband give you all-day comfort. Removable coiled and straight cords included.
THE BAD: Though comfortable, the ergonomic ear pads don’t offer the best sound isolation. The generic design is, well, generic. No case is included. Their big size and lack of a cord with an in-line mic make them less attractive for mobile use.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Those more interested in getting excellent audio quality for their money than high-end design or a big brand name will appreciate the Status Audio CB-1 over-the-ear headphones.
The Status Audio CB-1 headphones’ generic looks don’t do justice to their audio quality. Frankly, after not being overly impressed with the company’s HD2 premium over-the-ear consumer headphones, we almost passed on reviewing the CB-1s. That would have been a mistake.
True to the company’s claims, the closed-back, over-the-ear headphones sound flat or neutral, which is typically what you want for studio work. They’re well balanced, making them a good choice for listening to a wide variety of musical styles. Also, their neutrality allowed me to use them all day without fatigue. For their $79 cost (about £55 or AU$110), I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
That said, if you’re used to consumer headphones that pump up bass or accentuate vocals, the CB-1s might sound dull. Similarly, the, one of our favorite monitor-style headphones, have brighter, more detailed audio with tighter bass. The CB-1s just don’t seem to seal out as much external noise as the M50x, either. Basically, in this category the M50xs are a better choice for the extra cost (they run about $120). If you don’t want to spend more, the CB-1s are a safe bet, and better than the comparably priced Audio-Technica M30x in sound and build quality.
There is no hint of company branding on the headphones, and although that’s completely intentional, it doesn’t help them look any less generic. They are comfortable, due in part to the hefty ear pads that are slimmer at the front and get wider at the back, so they hug the curve of your head. The headband is also well padded and I had no problem wearing these headphones hour after hour.
The left ear cup has the cable input and Status Audio includes a coiled cable and an extended-length straight cable as well as a 1/4-inch adapter (but sadly no storage case or bag). Just make sure you twist and lock the cable in place or you’ll likely get some static from not having a solid connection.
Unless you’re really looking for a flashier design or are willing to pay more, the Status Audio CB-1 headphones are a very good bargain.