Status Audio’s mission statement is all about delivering the highest quality of performance – at a bargain that can’t be beat. There are no frills, no shiny logos, no celebrity endorsements. Since they sell directly to consumers (like us) they’re able to deliver a high quality headphone without sacrificing the aspects that we care about the most.
Audio performance is the main priority here – and once you put them on – you’ll understand why. Our Status Audio CB 1 Review will give you all the unbiased information you need to decide if they’re right for you. Here are the main areas we’ll be covering:
- Sound Quality
- Build Design & Portability
You might be thinking, “That all sounds great, but do they live up to expectations? I thought I had to drop at least $200 to experience high quality audio.”
Are they really the #1 headphones under $100??? Keep reading to find out.
The #1 Headphone Under $100 – Status Audio CB 1 Review
Basic Features & Technical Specifications:
- Closed back circumaural ear cup design
- Ergonomic over-sized memory foam ear pads (for maximum long-term listening comfort)
- Driver Size/Type: 50 mm Drivers (for a detailed, neutral sound signature)
- Folding design + Swiveling ear cups
- Adjustable headband
- Passive noise isolation
- Two Cables included: one coiled/one 3 m straight (+ 1/4″ adapter)
- Headphone Impedance: 32 ohm
- Frequency Response: 15 Hz – 30 kHz
- Weight: 13.2 oz
Sound Quality – They Can’t Sound That Good, Can They?
We’ll start with sound quality since it’s ultimately the most important factor, right? If your headphones don’t sound right – why bother investing?
When it comes to studio monitor headphones you can usually expect a flat, neutral sound signature.
The CB-1s are no exception and have a bright, but neutral sound signature. Calling a headphone “neutral” might sound the same as “boring”. In all reality, these are the opposite of boring.
Neutral just means that the highs, mids, lows, and vocals don’t outshine one another. Every piece of the track that you’re listening to (or mixing) will be heard – loud and clear.
They aren’t as “exciting-sounding” as a pair like the V-Moda Crossfade LP2 over-ear headphones (but they’re less than half the price). Here are a few things that make them more exciting:
- They surpass expectations for an affordable studio monitor headphone
- The neutral sound signature is powerful and crystal clear
Commonly Compared With Industry-Standard Models
Since these are technically studio monitor headphones, they were designed to perform a specific way (for example, the well-tuned sound profile). A few good examples of similarly-tuned models include the Sony MDR V6, Audio Technica ATH-M50x, and Sony MDR 7506.
Studio monitor headphones reproduce audio in a way that’s purely accurate (and representative of the actual song/mix). They don’t over-accentuate the bass, vocals, or any other aspect of your favorite song.
Although these are studio monitor ‘phones, it’s important to note that these will work perfectly for both casual and studio settings. So much so, that they were also on of our top Best DJ Headphones picks.
Every Note Has A Voice – And Wants To Be Heard
The sound quality could be compared to a true democracy. Everyone (every note) has a voice that can be heard and represented equally (not to get into politics too much).
Instead of over-accentuating the bass (like the JBL Xtreme wireless speaker does) – these do a great job of bringing the whole picture to life.
I was curious how they’d sound when put the the test. Testing their limits across a wide range of genres was pretty impressive.
What Genres Do They Perform Best?
If you love music that has a stong guitar presence – you’ll love how these cans sound. Maybe you’re more of a bass head. Just like you read above, even more bass-heavy music sounds great. Instead of the heavy lows distorting the rest of the track, you know it’s there, but it doesn’t muddy the vocals and orchestral elements.
Here are a few tracks that are great for testing these headphones:
- “Space Cadet” by Flume
- “Holy Water” by Jeezy
- “Annunaki” by GameFace
- “Torniquet” by TesseracT
- “Off To The Races” by Lana Del Rey
- “Elevation” by Meyhem Lauren
- “March Instrumental” by !llmind
- “LUST” by Kendrick Lamar
- “One Hundred Years” by The Cure
- “Summon The Dead” by JPhelpz
- Anything by Y2
- “The Plan” by G-Eazy
(If you’re interested in a more in-depth list, check out our Best Songs To Test Headphones here.)
No matter what your genre of choice is, you can expect to hear extremely accurate, true-to-life sound. Overall, they sound very spacious and open – despite them being closed back headphones.
Build Design & Portability
These have a circumaural, closed back build design – in case you’re wondering, yes that’s what the “CB” in “CB 1” stands for. (If you want to see more info on the difference, use the link here to see our open back vs. closed back headphones post.) This design allows for passive noise isolation.
One downside to the over-sized memory foam ear cushions is that they do tend to allow more ambient noise in. In the end, it won’t have a major effect when you’re listening – especially if you like to turn the volume up.
The external materials on this model from Status Audio are mostly plastic. The material on the outside of the headband and ear cushioning is a leatherette-style covering.
The ear pads are truly one-of-a-kind. They have a pretty wide space for your ears and more than enough memory foam – so much that it almost eliminates any discomfort whatsoever.
Folding Design For Added Portability
Folding ‘phone designs are a convenient feature to have, especially if you plan on traveling with them. The CB 1s fold at the joint just above either ear cup.
Take a look at the picture below to see them folded:
Swiveling Ear Cups
Another convenient feature (especially for DJ use) are the swiveling ear cups. They have some sort of internal spring-loaded mechanism. That was most likely added for a quicker return over your ear when you’re flipping them back and forth.
Swiveling ear cups aren’t completely necessary for at-home or casual listening. They can be helpful if you’re listening to music and someone asks you a question. It makes it easy and comfortable to reach up and flip an ear cup forward so you can have a conversation (without pausing your music).
The swiveling ear cups also make it easy to place your cans ear cup down or outward on a flat surface. This can be seen in the picture below:
You will also get two different 3.5 mm cables. One is the more standard straight cable that’s 3 m long. The extra length might seem unnecessary but if you’re moving around or performing a DJ set – it’ll definitely come in handy.
The second cable is coiled. Both cables utilize the twist and lock feature. This locks your cable in securely so it won’t fall out of the left ear cup. All you have to do is line up the grooves (on the left ear cup’s 3.5 mm port) with the protruding plastic notches, plug it in, and twist.
Comfort – Will My Ears Start To Hurt After A While?
Despite the bulkier ear cups (due to the extra-stuffed memory foam) these are extremely lightweight. Less weight pulling down on top of your head usually means extra comfort.
Memory Foam Ear Cushions
The extra padding on these ear cups is pretty unbelievable. They have enough room to fit comfortably over most people’s ears. Their circumaural, noise isolating design will keep your ears happy for hours at a time.
They are some of the most comfortable ear pads I’ve tested so far. You won’t need to buy replacement ear pads and since they’re over-sized – you won’t have to worry about them fitting comfortably.
I didn’t experience any inner or outer ear fatigue. Even after hours and hours of listening at high volumes, these held up better than other cans that cost 3 times as much.
This brings us to the adjustable headband. There are numbered notches on the inside sliding piece. It takes all the guess work away to readjust them, once you find your preferred setting.
Usually, you’ll start to notice some slight discomfort on the top of your head after a while. The padding on the headband was more than adequate, although not quite as comfy as the ear padding.
Aesthetics – How Do They Look When I Wear Them?
Aesthetically, the gold trim and matte black finish look pretty stylish. The letters “SACB1-SM” are lightly etched on the bottom of the right ear cup (as seen below).
Other than that, there are no distinguishing features or flashy logos on the headphones themselves.
The main downside (aesthetically) are the over-sized ear cups. They do stick out quite a bit on either side. It’s not a problem at all if you plan on using them for mostly at-home/in studio use.
Overall, they’re pretty aesthetically pleasing – but remember, their main focus is high performing audio playback.
Affordability – How Much Do They Cost?
Yet another strong feature of this headphone from Status Audio is their bargain of a price. They cost about half of what the Audio Technica ATH-M50x usually retail for (about $150 in most cases).
The entire focus for creating this pair of cans was to give us the best overall studio monitor headphone – at an extremely affordable price. Since there aren’t a ton of bells and whistles, no expensive Super Bowl advertisements, celebrity endorsements, or other unnecessary add-ons – we get to experience them for less than you’d expect.
Status Audio was able to create a high quality, ultra-lightweight, comfortable headphone that performs exactly as advertised.
Let’s go through one final rundown of the CB 1s.
Our Final Verdict – Are They Really The Best Headphones Under $100?
It’s pretty amazing that a pair of cans in this price range can perform as well as they do. Not only do they blow competitors out of the water in the area of comfort – but they sound awesome too.
We’ve established that they’d be perfect for listening in a casual or studio setting (which speaks to their versatility). They don’t look the most stylish, compared to some, but if they sound this good does it really matter that much?
When you’re in the middle of your favorite album or song – the last thing you’re thinking about is how good you look, right? (That’s the power of music.)
If you’re finding it hard to believe that these can perform as good (if not better) than a pair that’s twice as expensive, take a look at this Sound Demo video:
(Not bad, not bad at all, right? Some of us like to see it before we believe it.)
Final Pros & Cons – See Our Review Table
To see the final pros and cons, and our overall rating – check out the review table at the bottom of this page.
If you’re still not quite sure, you can click the link here to see over 500 additional customer reviews. (I understand that it can be helpful to see more than one opinion before you spend your hard-earned cash.)
If you’re sold, but not ready to take the plunge right this second, feel free to bookmark this page for revisiting later. Thanks for stopping by to read through our review!
I hope you enjoyed it and found our Status Audio CB 1 Review helpful in making your decision. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask below! What do you think? Are you ready to experience the #1 headphone under $100? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Sonic Elevation: Ride The Waves.
Status Audio CB 1 - Studio Monitor Headphones
- Bright, Neutral Sound Signature
- Ultra Comfy Memory Foam Ear Pads
- Perfect For Casual/Studio Settings
- Folding Design
- You Get A Bargain On High Quality Cans
- Bulky Ear Cups Stick Out Pretty Far
- No Carrying Case Included