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PHONON’s SMB-01L Featured on ‘Tokoro’s Setagaya Base

On February 10, 2024, the ‘SMB-01L’ headphones by PHONON were featured on BS Fuji’s program “Tokoro’s Setagaya Base.” George Tokoro highly praised the SMB-01L, stating, “Once you start using these in the studio, no other headphones come close!” and “They’re amazing. Truly excellent. A complete game-changer.” We are immensely grateful to Mr. Tokoro for his kind words!

The SMB-01L is designed to replicate the experience of a studio large monitor in a pair of headphones, offering an innovative listening experience. We encourage you to discover the exceptional quality of the SMB-01L, which has earned such high praise from Mr. Tokoro.

SMB-01L

 

 

IZPON(Producer,Percussionist,DJ)

For more than 10 years, I have been indebted to Mr. Kumano’s mastering services for various works.
I have been using PHONONON products starting with SMB-02, ML-1, SMB-01L, and so on.

All of them are indispensable in my field, and currently, the SMB-02 is used for percussion recording and DJing, as it is thick but very detailed and easy to listen to.

The ML-1 is indispensable for checking mix balance, because if it sounds right here, there are no problems after that. I use it especially to check the amount of low frequency and the main sound.

The SMB-01L is useful for mix-down using only headphones and for checking the balance and image in binaural mixes such as immersive sound, which is increasing in recent years, because of its spatial characteristics.

Personally, I think that the direction of PHONON, which has long regarded club music as an important genre of music, is a good match for me in the recent music situation where the importance of low frequencies in music is increasing.
I look forward to working with you in the future.

The SMB-01L review by voja on the Head-Fi

The SMB-01L review by voja on the world’s top biggest Headphone reference platform and forum Head-Fi is up!

“This right here is what I call bass heaven and madness!” (voja)

At the same time, interviews with Isao Kumano and Alexandre Prat are also posted.
Please check it out.

JUVENILE

I’ve been asking Mr. Kumano, an engineer at PHONON and one of the leading mastering engineers in Japan, to master my albums for the past five years.
The first time I used the SMB-01L as headphones for checking in the studio, I was curious about them ever since, and I installed them in 2022. I thought the idea of using headphones to achieve studio large monitor sound was very typical of Mr. Kumano, who is both a craftsman and an artist.
When I let my friends try them out, they all said they couldn’t help but laugh.
I’ve been using them with the plates changed to open type, and I had a strange illusion that I had to take off my headphones to check if the sound was coming from the outside speakers at the same time, even though it was only coming from inside my ears.
This is a very enthusiastic piece of gear that gives you a euphoric feeling that cannot be explained in words, not only for music production but also for listening.

JUVENILE / Twitter

bonedo × SMB-01L

Here is a great detailed test review (5/5) (in German) of our hi-end flagship model the SMB-01L Professional Monitoring Headphones “big studio sound in your ears” by Mijk Van Djik on the top German music equipment related site bonedo!

Stephen Shirk (SHIRK Studios in Chicago)

The great sound engineer and music producer Stephen Shirk about the SMB-01L from his SHIRK Studios in Chicago:

“I do find that the 01L’s are a great way to listen back to finished mixes…  Kind of like putting the mix up on the control room mains.  It’s a more enjoyable experience. Smooth and extended on both sides of the spectrum. I keep the 02’s plugged into my Little Labs Monitor next to the console and my 01L’s at home for checking my mixes outside of the studio.”

Frank Wiedemann (Ame, Howling, Innervisions, Bigamo)

The multi-talented musician, composer and electronic music producer Frank Wiedemann (Ame, Howling, Innervisions, Bigamo, Berlin) in his studio with the SMB-01L:

“I am loving my SMB-01L as master headphones in the studio“

DJ Mag × PHONON

Mick Wilson at DJ Mag UK  reviews the SMB-01L and the SMB-03 in the Tech section of their latest July 2021 issue:

“Phonon are masters of perfection and, with all their products, fine-tune them to deliver for professional use. The two headphones are examples of two products done very well.”

Damien Plisson (CEO – Audirvana)

Damien Plisson (CEO – Audirvana)

My requirements when choosing audio equipment are more demanding than words can describe. Every single detail is important. Everything has to be perfect, and I don’t like it unless it is. The few devices I use with Audirvana all share the same characteristic. It’s about absolute transparency. The only criterion is how minimal the degradation of sound quality is guaranteed to be.

I have very high standards when it comes to audio systems. That’s why I was so excited when I heard that Isao Kumano had personally created the new flagship SMB-01L with the audio professional in mind. Mr Kumano’s reputation as an engineer is so well known in the audio industry that it’s hard to imagine anyone not knowing him. If there is a man who is as demanding about audio quality as I am, it is definitely him.

I’ve tested Phonon headphones in the past and had an unforgettable experience with them in combination with Audirvana. This time, when I first listened to the SMB-01L, I was so amazed that I was convinced that the technical prowess that went into it was like a little jewel that would harmonise perfectly with Audirvana.

I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the stunning acoustic performance that the SMB-01L delivers. It’s a real high-end audio system. Everything sounds so clear. All the elements that make up the music were perfectly transparent. I think the most impressive thing was how lifelike the music performance felt. It was as if I was there myself. It was like I was in the studio. It was as though the space around my ears had become nothing but music. There was nothing fake, nothing forced, no colorization whatsoever, natural, good balance and faithful reproduction of the sound of the instruments. I thought that was an amazing ability. And having listened to it with a variety of sources, I have to say I’m in awe of the SMB-01L’s incredible acoustic balance, from its high-resolution, wide dynamic range reproduction to its ultra-low frequency range.

Also worthy of special mention are the soft, comfortable and enduring premium sheepskin earpads with excellent sound insulation. They fit snugly against the ear and the leather texture is just as remarkable as the audio quality of the system. I am not familiar with all the headphones developed by Phonon, but I am convinced that this must be one of the great achievements of Mr. Isao Kumano.

 

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