Fostex T50RP MK3 overhead headphones when Salieri becomes Mozart too

Let me ask you: are you a Mozart or a Salieri?? The answer seems obvious. But it’s not all so clear-cut anymore. Historians claim that Salieri didn’t really poison anyone, he was just ahead of his time trying to believe algebra harmony… Don’t believe? Isn’t that the same thing: harmonic algebra! – are engaged in today’s audio manufacturers? Straightness of AFC and minimum distortion as a sign of genius, due to which the sound from the channel becomes life-giving, close to what we hear in real life. Well, let me put it this way: the world wouldn’t have lost another Mozart if Salieri had come into existence in the era of digital sound. Too bad we are without Salieri to climb to the peculiar “Mozart’s top” today, listening to almost live music in headphones from the world of professional audio. Having gone through several reincarnations, they have been satisfying musicians, sound engineers and just fans of high quality sound for many years. Today in our studio we are listening to over-the-ear headphones T50RP MK3 from Japanese brand Fostex.

Thank you online store for the provided sample for listening

Fostex T50RP MK3 overhead headphones

Overhead headphones Fostex T50RP MK3

Fostex T50RP MK3 overhead headphones


Type of headphones: full-size, semi-open

Type of driver: isodynamic

Playable frequency range: 15 – 35000 Hz

Sensitivity: 92dB/mW

Impedance: 50 Ohm

Maximum power: 3000 mW

Weight: 320 g

Cable type – replaceable

The cable connection is one-way

Cables: two – 3 m 3.5 mm 6.3 mm and 1.2m 3.5mm/3.5mm

Fostex T50RP MK3 over-the-ear headphones

Fostex T50RP MK3 overhead headphones

Appearance and package

The headphones come in a white box with orange accents, and their photos on the front look like live. And all main features are right there on the palm of your hand. Now it is not produced in Japan as it was in former times but in the “world factory” in China, which is openly reported by the inscription on the package.

Inside, in the bubble polyethylene, there are headphones and two cables: black 3-meter with jacks 3.The Fostost headphones come in 5 mm 6.3 mm and 1.2 meter orange with 3.5 mm 3.5 mm jacks, as well as all sorts of warranty paperwork.

The headphones are made of black plastic. On the left and on the right adjusting arcs bend like silver antennas. Leatherette ear cushions, leatherette covered metal plate serves as headband.

The ears look very solid and you can easily put a Mercedes in your driveway. Serious equipment, professional! Nothing superfluous – everything is strict and to the point.

The headphones are half-open design, which allows you to dive into the whirlpool of your favorite music, but also to quickly dive into the real world, if you hear, for example, a ringing smartphone.

By the way, the left earphone jack was 3.5 mm. Since the cable in this model is symmetrical and one-way, the right and left earphones are connected to each other by an orange braid that goes from one cup to the other through the headband.

Overhead headphones Fostex T50RP MK3

Fostex T50RP MK3 overhead headphones

On each cup besides white nickels with letters L and R there is logo and inscription “fostex rp technology”, which directly indicates planar-magnetic radiator inside. The headband is also draped over the “full stand” in white “FOSTEX” letters. All these “marks” are not accidental, there are three twin models in the RP regular phase line: 20/40/50, which look absolutely indistinguishable even “for parents”, but they all sing differently, according to the individual acoustic design – open, semi-open and closed.

To connect the headphones to the equipment, you need to use one of the two interchangeable cables that are included. You can take the black 3-meter with a 6.3 jack at the end, or you can take the orange one – 1.2 m with a 3.5 millimeter connector.

I think it’s time to grumble about the jacks. And why are they so fidgety?? I plugged them in and they seem to be moving around their axis, causing crackles and imbalance of the channels. I eliminated the noise on the air by treating the jacks with a contact cleaner. And everything was taken care of, including the jack on the headphone itself.

I understand the manufacturer is trying to make their headphones more affordable, but we are not asking to make them out of gold, we just would like to approach the issue of connectivity more thoroughly. But never mind, they will be taken into account and corrected..

And here is a nice feature: I found a catch on the left earphone jack, which will not let the jack accidentally fall out of the jack. The lock works like this: I put the cable into the hole and turn it down 45 degrees. That’s it, you can listen to it in peace. The ears sit quite comfortably, not burdening with weight and disposing to long listening.

In short, get your ears ready, we’ll listen!

Audio equipment


Listening was done with MyST DAC 1866OCU V.2, iFi micro idsd black label, Lotoo PAW Gold, iBasso DX200, QLS QA360. The best of all, as expected, ears worked with desktop MyST DAC 1866OCU, very good with iFi micro idsd black label, and quite good, but with some reservations, with portable players PAW Gold, iBasso DX200, QLS QA360.

To avoid unnecessary questions I inform: the headphones were warmed up for about 100 hours.

From the first notes the ears show even tonal balance with good detail and decent speed characteristics. You can hear the isodynamic transducer at a glance.

The sound is a little bit dry, but with decent resolution, just a stunning, very smooth and musical midrange, quite solid and fast bass, and a little bit crumbly, but without being too obtrusive in the high frequencies.

After connecting to portable players this “spark” on the treble becomes more noticeable, the bass looses a bit in massiveness and the sound becomes lighter in general. But it is not so critical, you can listen to it, I think, that many people will like it. Paired with the desktop the ears give out tremendous sound!

Another feature of T50RP MK3: they are informative and clearly indicate the defects and gaps of the recording. If a sound engineer made a mistake while mixing, if the recording tends to hiss with hissing, the ears will show this “devilry” to the full extent at once.



The first thing I decided to do was to put the fresh Japanese remaster, which came to me recently. This is one of my favorite Public Image ltd “album” records, track-Rise:

Where Ginger Baker works with the hi-hat, you can feel a slight addition of “spark”, there is a kind of crumbly touch in this register. It doesn’t sound obtrusive, but I know how it was in the original my auditory memory is excellent, and I can refresh it right now, having listened to the original on my analog device .

I remember those initial recording flaws, including the virgin records vinyl previews. I remember the bumps we used to fall for, blaming it on the defects of certain record copy. Somewhere these moments have blunted the ears, somewhere they remained, but now the flaws no longer excite the ear, but give the sound a kind of vintage!

Ah, listen to how great the middle part sounds… the crazy vocals of John Lydon, the guitars of the incomparable Steve Vai, and the direction of Jason Corsaro… Awesome! All that captivates the ears, excites the memory and together with Fostex T50RP MK3 + MyST DAC 1866OCU you can enjoy the real atmosphere of the sound! In general, the ears are very well predisposed to analyze audio material, and just listen to music.

Fostex T50RP MK3 overhead headphones

Bottom line

The tweeters are unobtrusive but with some distortion. Quantitatively they are in moderation, although the quality, especially with a portable sound source, might suffer a bit. And in conjunction with a stationary system, my quibbles become very conditional – the music pours in a very decent pitch.

The midrange is gorgeous, smooth, informative, well-read and detailed. With all its monitorism it is not deprived of the most important component – emotional. Class!

The woofer is tight and whipping punch, bass with good speed characteristics, everything is very decent here. What’s a little lacking is the sub-bass. But it is not critical. In case of T50RP MK3 it does not turn out to be a problem.


A very good product, with a sane price tag and quality sound. The T50RP MK3 is a good assistant not only for a sound engineer’s job, but also just nice ears to enjoy your favorite music.

Speaking of price. In American online stores it is equal to about 9 500 Dollars. To such a price tag and a discount is worse than an insult..

Sound, price, build quality.

Demanding of amplification, not exactly tight cable connectors.

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