Review & Video: American Audio ETR 1000R Headphones

Review Summary:

Not straying far at all from the classic headphone design for DJs, the sturdy, comfortable and decent sounding ETR 1000s from American Audio are fine for DJ booths big and small. The colour choices might not be to your taste, nor the fixed flat cable, but if these things don't bother you, they're great value for money.

ETR 1000R Headphones
  • ETR 1000R Headphones
  • Rating: 4
  • From: American Audio
  • Price: $69
  • Reviewed by:
  • On August 29, 2013
  • Last modified:August 19, 2014
American Audio ETR 1000

Available in two paint jobs, the ETR 1000s from American Audio do all the basics at a decent price.

Review: American Audio ETR 1000R Headphones

Full American Audio ETR 1000 Review: With a design apparently influenced by their endorsee, DMC champion DJ Etronik, American Audio's new ETR1000 headphones aren't quite AKG/Tiesto, but are pushing the same buttons: If they're good enough for Etronik, we're meant to think, they're probably going to be good enough for me, too. But are they? That's what we find out in today's review of the American Audio ETR1000R/B headphones (the only difference being the colour, the R standing for red, the B for blue).

First impressions

The first impression is of a brightly painted but otherwise classic-looking DJ headphone: Big earcups, horseshoe-shaped couplings to a thick headband, absolutely standard joints and adjusters, big leather pads, fabric underside to the headband. The American Audio logo is limited to an embossed version on the headband, and two printed versions on the earcups. There is no Etronik branding at all. Where they differ from the standard is that they have a (currently trendy) flat cable, as opposed to the more traditional coiled variety, and in this case it is joined permanently to the headphones.

In my experience, it's joints and cables where headphones tend to break, and having such a flimsy feeling cable permanently joined up would indicate to me that you should treat this part with care; pull a coiled cable hard by mistake and it uncoils a bit, but pull a straight one, and you could damage it where it joins the headphones.

American Audio ETR 1000B>

A close-up of an earcup; this is the ETR-1000B (blue version).

Having said that, as long as you don't see yourself ever wanting to wander more than 5ft or 2.7 metres from the mixer/controller they're plugged into and are careful when wearing then, the cable design works well; this type of cable is good at not getting tangled up. In this case, it has an 1/8" jack on the end, but the headphones are supplied with a 1/4" adaptor as well.

The drivers are 40mm which seems a bit small for me for a headphone of this size, most being 50mm or more, but of course the proof is in the listening, which we'll get on to. As well as the headphones themselves and the adaptor, there is a standard soft bag supplied to tuck them away in when you're not using them. They semi-collapse into their own headband, but don't fold as small as some due to a limit on how far the couplings move.

In use

They felt as I was expecting from looking at the design (and from using countless other pairs of extremely similarly designed DJ headphones). Not a bad thing at all; the design is this way due to being effective. They're sturdy and comfortable, which is a promising start. Due to the design, they do exactly what I like in a DJ headphone. They cover your ears well and isolate decently, they can be worn single or double cupped, and the earcups swivel out of your neck's way when you wear them there.

Sound quality-wise I was perfectly satisfied with them too. They sounded deep and powerful, and despite having slightly smaller drivers than some, were plenty loud enough. I see no reason why you couldn't use them in any DJ booth from the smallest to the biggest, and the sound is balanced and detailed enough for you to be able to use them for general listening too.

Conclusion

I don't know exactly what design input our friend DJ Etronik had, but if it was limited to: "Design them like the Sony '700s and don't mess it up!", well, it's worked. They're a timeless design, and they work fine.

Cable

The cable is fixed and to me a bit flimsy, so you'll want to take care you don't yank it by mistake.

For me they actually sound better than they look (why not have a grey or black pair in the range for those of us who aren't down with bright, metallic, primary colour paint jobs?) but I am aware that's a personal choice thing. The only thing I'd question functionality wise is the use of the trendy flat cable combined with its being permanently joined to the headphones. Trip up on that by accident and it's likely to weaken or even break that join.

Overall, they're good. They sound great for the price, they're comfortable for DJing, and they're a proven design. If the colour choices are your thing and you don't mind the modern fixed cabling, I'd say add them to your shortlist. They certainly represent good value for money at this price point.

Product Summary

Review Summary:

Not straying far at all from the classic headphone design for DJs, the sturdy, comfortable and decent sounding ETR 1000s from American Audio are fine for DJ booths big and small. The colour choices might not be to your taste, nor the fixed flat cable, but if these things don't bother you, they're great value for money.

ETR 1000R Headphones
  • ETR 1000R Headphones
  • Rating: 4
  • From: American Audio
  • Price: $69
  • Reviewed by:
  • On August 29, 2013
  • Last modified:August 19, 2014

Video review

Are you looking for mid-priced headphones? What do you think of these? Do you own them already? Please share your thoughts on the American Audio ETR1000s in the comments.

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Comments

  1. I don’t get the fixation with non-detachable cables with these manufacturers, detachable should be the norm across the board especially for DJ targeted cans.

  2. Professorbx says:

    I JUST had this conversation, regarding 40mm drivers……

    One thing, 50mm drivers are typically more a marketing tool than anything. The problem is that, like a large speaker, or a kick drum, you get a “slowness” in the transient response. Meaning, you hear the rumble of the kick drum but not the snap. As well, you get a little bit of slop in the high end as well. You can compensate through tuning and getting the highest quality drivers possible but it takes a ton of effort to get it right. A lot of 50mm headphones will try to mask it through tuning with crazy high-end sizzle or trying to tune down the low end, but in the end 50mm drivers are a great marketing tool with USUALLY little in the way of real-world value.

    At the end of the day I would rather have a 40mm driver done well than the average 50mm driver-volume wise, it is going to typically hold its own, and it is a lot easier to get a 40mm driver to sound good than a 50mm one, which matters because most manufacturers don’t know how to tune a headphone to save their life.

    Don’t bother looking at the driver size first-the cheapest, crappiest DJ headphones you can buy have the same 53mm driver usually, and it sounds terrible. Many of the most revered, classic (and loud!!) DJ headphones on the market have 40mm drivers. Trust your ears and real world use.

  3. djMichou008 says:

    I have their siblings the American Audio HP 700!

    Was originally going to buy the Pioneer HDJ-1000, the store was out (1500 had just been released.)

    The HP 700 boasted a similar look and were almost half price!

    Was also in urgent need of replacement, as my 10 and 20 year old heaphones gave up on me the same week, I tried them!

    Pros
    + sound quality
    + considering the price especially
    + 2 pair foam pads,
    + velvet ones are great for longer use! (as I use them to watch TV late at night!)
    + hinges quite sturdy,
    + fold away quite nice
    + coiled cable
    + 2 1/4 to 1/8 inch adaptors, however no screw lock. (one with a 90 bend, can help to prevent 1/8 jack coming out when reached coiled cable end!)

    Cons
    – no replaceable cord
    – after first use, cable came off, since used bath and kitchen transparent silicone to hold cable in place (only had to redo it twice in 6 months!)
    – the left cable protect plate (on the inside of the headband) came off, keeps unscrewing off (simply gave up and left them like that!), but cable is now exposed and could be torn out. (here too poured a bit of silicon to protect!)

    I am really not rough on equipment, my previous headphones lasted me 10 and 20 years!

    So the saying goes, You get what you pay for! Lesson learned!

  4. I purchased one recently and the performance is good given the price. Mostly standard features and one thing I really liked is the flat cable vs. coiled one. In my opinion, this is a cool feature.

    In terms of performance, I believe the sound quality is descent compared to similar one. I believe also that the build quality also good for the price.

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