Post Production

Review: Status Audio CB-1 brandable isolating headphones

Ever since I wrote about branded windscreens for microphones, I’ve been seeking the same for isolating headsets. I finally found them!

If you’re a longtime reader, you have probably seen my articles about the multiple advantages of branded windscreens, as opposed to mic flags. Ever since I published those, I have been seeking the same for isolating headsets. I have finally found them with the CB-1 from Status Audio. Their wonderful headsets are intentionally sold unbranded, which means that for audiovisual producers, they are perfectly brandable. I find the CB-1 closed-back model a perfect match for radio and TV production, both conventional and online. Ahead I’ll tell you why I love these “cans” in general, and how I branded one for my BeyondPodcasting and CapicúaFM shows.

What I mean by “isolating” when it comes to headphones and headsets

When I say “isolating” when it comes to headphones and headsets, I mean that the ones that are closed enough to block the outside sound as much as possible, and that they also block the sound being heard from leaking out, as much as possible. Having said that, even the most professional ones and highest priced ones I have ever tried completely block the outside sound, nor have the highest-rated earplugs I have ever tested. The CB-1 from Status Audio did it as well as possible, especially taking into account that we humans receive vibrations via our bones too.

Comfort

I find the CB-1 to be the most confortable pair of closed-back headphones I have ever tried so far. In fact, I just finished editing an entire interview with them for my CapicúaFM show in a noisy hotel restaurant, and I got through several hours without it bothering me at all, as many other brands have done. The ear pads seem thicker than others I have used in the past, although the overall feel is lighter.

Frequency response

Above is what Status Audio calls the CB-1’s Sound Signature. That graphic is not calibrated with the abbreviation Hz, which represents Heinrich Rudolf Hertz’s last name, the derived unit of frequency in the International System of Units (SI), which is defined as one cycle per second. However, in the written specs, they do clarify that the CB-1’s frequency range is 15 Hz – 30 kHz.

Status Audio describes the response as “Reference Grade”, and that the 50 mm drivers reproduce audio: “without additive bass, mid-range, or highs. A neutral sound signature for professional monitoring.” Status Audio goes on to define what it means by “neutral”:

Often referred to as “analytical” or “flat”, and generally preferred by audiophiles and audio professionals. Minimal coloration of the original audio signal, accentuating detail across the entire frequency spectrum. Highly musical, but may be perceived as lacking in bass for those accustomed to consumer headphones.

This distinguishes the way Status Audio describes its open-back model, the OB-1. When hearing those two letters aloud in English, many may assume that it’s Obi-Wan Kenobi’s favorite model, but I prefer the CB-1 closed-back model for isolation, as I explained earlier in this article.

2x detachable cables

The CB-1 comes with both a coiled cable and an extended-length straight cable which terminate in a TRS (Tip/Ring/Sleeve) stereo plug. (See my TS/TRS/TRRS/TRRRS: Combating the misconnection epidemic article for details.) Both included cables are detachable from the CB-1 headphones via a keyed locking mechanism. The CB-1 also includes a 1/4” (6.35mm) adapter, which is also TRS stereo.

Portability

The CB-1 is somewhat portable, given the fact that it is foldable.

What comes in the box

  • CB-1 headphones
  • Detachable straight cable (3 meters)
  • Detachable coiled cable (3 meters)
  • 1/4 inch (6.35mm) adaptor
  • Status Audio warranty card

1-year warranty

Status Audio is responsible for defects in materials and workmanship for one year after date of original purchase. If the defect is Status Audio’s responsibility (e.g., sound is lost in one side of the headphones), the customer will be furnished with a replacement unit. User-inflicted damage is covered with a partial credit towards a replacement unit. After one year, all claims will be handled on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of Status Audio.

How to brand the CB-1

So far, I have used the simple method: I asked Status Audio the diameter of the brandable area of the CB-1, which is 40mm. Then I ordered some round printed labels from Vistaprint.com and uploaded my logos.

This is not the ideal method, since it sadly disguises part of the beautiful black finish of the CB-1. My graphic designer is preparing better versions of the labels, which are cut out and made to look good over black, so I’ll later change to that version of branding.

Conclusions

I love the CB-1 from Status Audio (Amazon link). I recommend it highly, whether or not you decide to brand it, and whether or not you decide to accessorize it with the ModMic5 microphone (reviewed here, Amazon).

See related article

See the related article: Branded windscreen vs mic flag: let’s compare, illustrated above.

Upcoming articles, reviews, radio shows, books and seminars/webinars

Stand by for upcoming articles, reviews, and books. Sign up to my free mailing list by clicking here. Most of my current books are at books.AllanTepper.com, and my personal website is AllanTepper.com.

Si deseas suscribirte a mi lista en castellano, visita aquí. Si prefieres, puedes suscribirte a ambas listas (castellano e inglés).


Listen to his CapicúaFM show at CapicúaFM.com or subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Radio Public or Stitcher.

Save US$20 on Project Fi, Google’s mobile telephony and data

Click here to save US$20 on Project Fi, Google’s mobile telephone and data service which I have covered in these articles.

FTC disclosure

No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units, including Status Audio. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur , BeyondPodcasting or TuNuevaRadioGlobal programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his own.

Copyright and use of this article

The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!


Share Our Article

Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of