| 13.5 mm Driver | Neodymium Magnet |
? Superlux HD385 an in-ear headphone with an hybrid design in-between an earbud and an in ear monitor.
The Superlux HD385 features neodymium magnets and an extremely large 13.5mm dynamic driver.
Superlux is a well-known brand for their outstandingly performing headphones with a super affordable price but they also manufacture earphones like the Superlux HD381, which we have reviewed some time ago.
Among their most famous products you will find the:
- Superlux HD668B – The headphone that boosted Superlux’s fame
- Superlux HD681 – Another highly regarded headphone, later launched as a revisited version called Superlux HD681 EVO
- Superlux HD381 – A very well received earphone that comes in 3 flavours: HD381 “Rich bass and powerful low end”, HD381F “Flat frequency response”, HD381B “Crystal clear sound, deep and tight bass” (phrases between “” are Superlux’s words)
The housings are made of a mainly metallic section combined with a plastic front, there is a rubber ring around the housing’s metal to plastic transition. This rubber ring is placed there to ensure a solid and stable fit.
The cables are rounded and rubberized but very basic regarding robustness, like the cable found on the Panasonic Ergofit RP-TCM125 but, honestly, even the Sony MDR-EX800st (a studio in-ear monitor designed for professionals) makes use of a similar cable quality.
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Superlux HD385 - Review
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Superlux HD385 weight in Ounces and Superlux HD385 weight in grams.
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Accessories & Packaging
The Superlux HD385 unboxing results in 3 pair of eartips (black, gray, white) and a soft carrying pouch. The packaging is a simple and small box.
Bass & Sub Bass
The 13.5mm dynamic driver and neodymium magnets of the Superlux HD385 give them a punchy enough bass personality and fair sub-bass depth. They are not a super bassy or boosted earphone but more of a balanced bass one with less invasive lower frequencies yet full-bodied and able to provide the right amount of energy. Their bass will be welcomed by people looking for a less “all over the place” bass sounding earphone.
Applying an EQ, mid-bass gains a bit of punch but most of all their sub-bass gets substantially deeper.
The Superlux HD385 were able to handle 48% of the maximum power of a Fiio E12 Mont Blanc amplifier (high gain and with bass boost turned on; a custom basshead EQ). This extreme amplification and equalization made the Superlux HD385 exponentially increase their mid-bass punch and add a crazy amount of sub-bass depth with, even, a mild basshead level impact and rumble but still below the KZ ZSR, KZ ATE, Xiaomi Mi Pro HD, Monoprice 8320, KZ ZS6, Xiaomi Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro or the KZ ZST Colorful.
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Mids & Vocals
The Superlux HD385 mids have very clear lower vocals with almost zero mid-bass bleed but still show nice warmth. Higher mids are crisp, well resolved and not harsh but their sibilant upper vocals could make them feel harsh.
An EQ helps to smooth the sibilant higher vocals while lower vocals become even clearer and harshness will not show up (if you EQ carefully)
Highs & Treble
The Superlux HD385 highs have enough brightness with some mild detail and definition resolved. Piercing highs very rarely show up but sibilance will be clearly perceived with some songs.
With an EQ their highs gain a noticeable amount of brightness and, mostly, detail is revealed. If you want to remove their sibilance just pull down the EQ a tiny bit on the 5kHz region and they will absolutely annihilate their sibilance.
Sound leaking out is noticeable if you are listening to music at anything above a moderate volume, this mainly happens due to their half-eabud half-earphone design.
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A tight and deep fit adds to the sound isolation capabilities of the Superlux HD385 allowing them to isolate from surrounding noises better than many average earphones.
With a design style similar to the Superlux HD381, the HD385 offer an outstanding level of comfort which is pain-free and super secure. To be honest, they offer one of the most comfortable fit which is placing them in our Most Comfortable Earphones Chart.
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Response to Equalization
Applying custom EQs to the Superlux HD385 they responded greatly by improving, fine-tuning or fixing their sound. Highs gained brightness and detail and sibilance could be perfectly removed by reducing a pinch of dBs at +/- 5kHz. Mids benefited from the same sibilance removal and could boost their lower vocals as well. Bass gained a clear amount of sub-bass and a bit of punch.
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- Accessories - 8.25/108.3/10
- Design - 8.75/108.8/10
- Bass - 7.5/107.5/10
- Mids - 7.75/107.8/10
- Highs - 7.5/107.5/10
- Sound Leak - 4/104/10
- Sound Isolation - 7.25/107.3/10
- Comfort - 10/1010/10
- Response to EQ - 9/109/10
- Value for Money - 9/109/10
- ✅ No boomy or boosted bass with non-invasive presence
✅ Very clear lower vocals
✅ Balanced sound (if sibilance is removed)
✅ The excellent response to EQ allows them to be fine tuned
✅ Outstandingly comfortable
- ❌ Sibilance can be recurrently heard with some songs (but easily removed with an EQ applying a very slight reduction in the +/- 5kHz range)
❌ Difficult to find
❌ Noticeable sound leak
- The Superlux HD385 are very good earphones with a pleasant flattish-styled sound that has no audio frequency stepping over the rest but still offer the right bump as to not be dull and, for this reason, they have classified in our Most Balanced In-Ear Headphones Chart (we have awarded them this but we are considering the 5kHz EQ reduction applied). In addition, their exceptional comfortable and pain-free fit placed them in our Most Comfortable Earphones Chart.
The Superlux HD385 can be recommended to listeners that prefer less boosted bass from their music sessions or to whom are tired of the over-bassy personality of nowadays earphones and that enjoy clear vocals.
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Superlux HD385 Frequency Response
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|Cord||Y-type, round cord|
|Plug||Stereo mini plug|
|Supplied Accessories||3x Earphone tips; carrying pouch|
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