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Give The Massdrop x E-MU Purpleheart Headphones A Medal

With efforts like the Sennheiser HD 6XX, Massdrop started a series of collaborations that are easily the best deals in headphones, and we’re taking a tour. While drops are typically limited to a few thousands units, we have a hunch that the best of Massdrop’s joint efforts will come back around, and we’ll be sure to let you know on Kinja Deals when they do.


The Massdrop x E-MU Purpleheart Headphones are a purpleheart version of the E-MU Walnut headphones, which are themselves a take on the Creative Aurvana Live! Headphones with walnut cups instead of plastic.

At just $75, the Purplehearts come in well under the MSRP of your favorite headphones, the ATH-M50X, and even well under a great discount that might bring them down to around $100. Similarly, their Walnut counterparts have never dropped below $100.

The visual appeal of purpleheart is obvious, but purpleheart is also one of the densest woods on the planet, and used in much higher-end cans like the Massdrop x Fostex TH-XOOs we’ll be checking out soon. You won’t feel like you’re shouldering the burden of that density however, as the E-MU Purplehearts are extremely lightweight and adequately breathable.

Premium exterior construction ends with the wood cups on the Purplehearts. There’s a lot of plastic here, which keeps things lightweight and portable, but doesn’t feel or look impressive. The cups are right on the line of on-ear and over-ear. The short non-removable cable connects to both cans, which can be annoying, but the clamping force is just right. There’s also zero branding.

So let’s get to the point. The Purplehearts sound amazing for $75 headphones, with a warm, unique, balanced sound, the right amount of bass, and a great soundstage. Sound leakage isn’t a problem, but if you’re looking to drown out your coworkers or wear these during mass transit commutes, I wouldn’t.


The Purplehearts are some of the best looking and sounding headphones around for under $75, and the perfect entry point for anyone interested in wood headphones, but I’d buy them for your desk or your couch, not the subway or your next flight.


Editor Emeritus, The Inventory