ISK HF-2010: Best 40$ headphones on planet earth (and beyond)

ISK HF2010 Open-Back Headphones Review:




So, in chifi world, it’s quite easy today to find good or excellent value IEM, but what about Headphones? That’s way more difficult, if it wasn’t because of SUPERLUX, I would say plain impossible. Yep, Superlux are as much overlooked than underated, and I think it’s because of their design and construction wich, let be honnest, look like some bad flick of »Return to the futur » made out of a very limited budget for special effect, it’s big, all plastic, make sqeaking noise and not very durable depending of your luck. I never go out with a Superlux on head, cause I’m a low profil dude, but even if I was excentric, I will not cause my head is already big and I will not be able to pass trough doorframe with the big Superlux EVO or HD668B. Anyway, Superlux sound supremely good for the price, all models have above average soundstage and details retreival, but somewhat lack bass thickness and musical warmness. This is were the ISK HF2010, a Takstar HI2050 clone for 20-30$ less, came in the ring. This time, even if it’s open back, you can go on the street and don’t make scandal, even perhaps you will make jealous!

The ISK HF2010 are about 40$ while the Takstar are now 55$ (they were 70-80$ sometime ago) and I can’t really confirm they got both exact same 53mm dynamic drivers, but the fact they got EXACT same specs….is not a coincidence I think.


  • Brand Name: ISK
  • Function: For Mobile Phone,Monitor Headphone,Common Headphone,Supports music,Noise Cancelling,HiFi Headphone
  • Support APP: No
  • Time to market: 2016
  • Active Noise-Cancellation: No
  • Connectors: 3.5mm
  • Support Apt-x: No
  • Model Number: ISK HF-2010
  • Support Memory Card: No
  • Sensitivity: 93±3dB
  • Vocalism Principle: Dynamic
  • Resistance: 60Ω
  • With Microphone: No
  • Control Button: No
  • Line Length: 3.0m
  • Plug Type: Line Type
  • Style: Headband
  • Is wireless: No
  • Wireless Type: None
  • Volume Control: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Communication: Wired
  • Frequency Response Range: 15-25000Hz
  • ISK Model: HF-2010
  • Name: ISK HF2010
  • Quality: Original Genuine
  • Kind: Semi-opened Dynamic Headphone
  • DJ Headset: Studio Monitor Headphone
  • Monitor Headphone: Hifi Headphone
  • Plug: 3.5mm + 6.3mm
  • Package: Yes
  • Connectors: AUX


SO, construction is super nice, not end of game nice, but the headband is made of metal, the grill is made of metal, the cushion pad are nice and comfy, and I can say no other headphone in whole audio market have a nice construction of this type for less than 60$, especially big brand wich do not care to use any metal even for 100$ sometime, laughing at you saying DEAL WITH IT BITCH! My Sennheiser HD595 headband crack everywhere cause of this all plastic obsession, that and the fact it’s made in china and overpriced is unnaceptable nowaday, and big brand will have to stop manufacturing products thinked to broke fast if they want to compete with chifi budget audio world that, depending of price and budget goal, can create real quality product that will last long for a third of the price of overlooked multinational with too much visibility and money.

Only thing I’m not a fan about HF2010 is the ultra long cable (3 ****ing meters!) that is usefull either to play skipping rode or hang yourself with it. But, it’s a nice cable, and it will surely hold it tigh for your suicide attempt, wich, I guess, it’s another plus! I wish it was a detachable concept, so, everybody will be happy….because otherwise, if you got a normal cable, anybody can find an extension cable for cheap to compensate their size inferiority complex.

Solid and comfortable, VERY comfy in fact, you don’t feel the pressure on your head and my head is shamefully big (i’m still searching a hat of my XXXXL size). Its real metal and just enough plastic, scring grill is not made of plastic like with the Grado Sr60-80-125, so it will not create rattling noise, its well made construction without any flaw but the too long cable as said above. Head bad is quite malleable as seen bellow, wich is a very big plus…do we need more plus? Insane.



Anyway, SOUND is the must important aspect. Firstly, this is not perfection, and I think this headphones will benifit from good amping cause of there 60ohm impendance and little 93d of sound pressure, this way, bass will dig way deeper, distortion will be lower with trebly music tracks and mids will have more extension as well as a smoother treble. Powerfull DAP or ugh, smarthphone, will surely do too, but don’t use an Ipod clip or Sansaclip with these, it will be like asking a ant to push a brick. So, once properly amped like what I do right now with Ibasso DX90 DAC connect to my ****ty HP computer line out connect to Ibasso portable BOA amp, it sound very very wide, punchy and detailed. Even if it’s far from being a warm sounding headphone, the ISK aren’t sounding agressive and have a grainy air between instrumentation, with emphasize on Bass and Mids. For classical music I prefer Superlux, but all the rest is done better with the ISK.

BASS: We have a quite well controled bass that do not bloat sub and is well rounded, not punchy anemic style, and even if a little loose and warm cause of open back style that give more air, it feel natural and musical, not extremely textured, but with good impact and decay, electronic music do as good than Jazz or classical with the ISK. As it dig very low, sub bass can rumble beautifully and give incredible sens of excitment. This sound department is just out of this world for the price, if I compare it with Edifier M815 they are miles ahead in term of control and realism, M815 is pure boomy crap that digest all in the passage of its ridiculously rumbling bass and yet, they cost the same price with a dollar store construction full of fragile plastic. It doesn’t mean bass of HF2010 is pure perfection, it lack a little mid bass control and some thickness so the kick feel more resolute, but this little loose performance give the wide airy soundstage that is very immersive.

MIDS-VOCALS: Natural sounding with a little treble push to give them some texture, this is how I perceive this somptuous voalc the ISK share with my ears. Vocal are envelopping and airy, quite wide and smooth too, treble push is in upper region but willnot make any sibilance or hissing. Right now I listen last Bjork album with my Xduoo X3 plug in Ibasso BOA amp and sound is airy, warm, have micro details that pop up, feel very immersive but isn’t clinical or hyper detailed even if more so than must sub-100$ headphone I own. Superlux HD668B are incredible value too and sound brighter but more detailed and »clean », constructionkind of suck tough and cause of bright sound signature vocal can hiss, like if the signer spit in your ears at theyend of her sentence, quite bottersome. So, ISK win in musicality, but if I were to mixing music I will use HD668B (tough the bass is less good too). Instrument separation of ISK is very good too and soundstage is very wide.

HIGHS-TREBLE: When we use »warm » as a term to describe sound, it mean that there a little treble roll-off, and here its the case, but in a GOOD way, it permit to this headphones to sound very versatile and never agressive, musicality is the goal and you can use it with any audio source, but it sound even better with bright detailed one like Ibasso DX90, details retreival became more apparent. Anyway, their no lack of details with the ISK, treble curve is well choosen and give hint of texture at the right place, instrument separation is very impressive, no frequencies are drown by bass or hissing background noise due to a to pushed foward treble. In fact, thhese headphone perform great in all frequencies, theyr are not AKG701 and never sound clinical but never boring too.

(graph that compare ISK 2010 & ISK 2011, showing the closed 2011 have more bass)


I utterly love these, can’t stop being impress by there price-ratio performance and even if I ask to became amnesiak for one day, i’m pretty sure I will say WOW about the sound as well as construction if somebody tell me it cost 100$. From the 10 pairs of chinese headphones I try, they are the supreme winner, they kick ass hard of last pair of Bossfi B7 I receive that suppose to use a berylium driver, they cost 70$ and are rave about on headfi, but they sound congested and very very inferior to the HF2010, less clear and detailed too (wich proove they do NOT lack in details!). I don’t know what chinese mafia own these to be able to sell them at a price like this, but if I were you, I will go right now in Aliexpress searching engine and type ISK HF2010 and find one of 10 sellers that sell them for 40$ or so. But, i’m a audiophile sicko, and one day I will be on the street because of this passion, but I will be well protected of outside noise, no need of home when you live under the roof of music.


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