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Gold Planar. A relatively obscure Chinese brand with some rather high aspirations.
I first heard about Gold Planar from their GL20, a “large planar” IEM with the usual tonal problems that plagues the Audeze planar IEMs. But to be fair it was also under $150, so the whole EQing being mandatory thing was at least far more forgivable.
Gold Planar also makes some budget-ish planar headphones, namely the $80 GL400 and the $180 GL600. But the reason why I found them so interesting was that they made two headphones with rather obscure drivers: the GL850 which sports air motion transformer drivers (the same type that’s used in the popular HEDDphone) and the GL1200 which sports ribbon drivers (the same type that’s used in the RAAL-requiste SR1a).
Today, we’re not here for the exotics. Gold Planar now presents the GL2000, a “bog standard” planar aimed squarely at the Hifiman customer base. The GL2000 comes in two variants, single-sided and double-sided, indicating the number of magnetic arrays used in the driver construction. However the orthodynamic game is a far different beast from the AMT and ribbon driver game, considering that many other headphones are vying for the consumer’s attention.
Per usual, the big question IEF is here to answer: how good is the GL2000 actually?
Product page: https://www.linsoul.com/products/gold-planar-gl2000
MSRP: $550 (single-sided), $600 (doubled-sided)
Driver configuration: Planar
This (single-sided) GL2000 was kindly provided by Linsoul.
My unboxing posts are pretty much the only times I’ll ever talk about build quality, accessories and the like. I’m not really the person to ask about these things as I don’t really care about them that much.
- Leather/pleather pads
- Perforated hybrid pads
Cable: 8-wire round braid terminated to a 4.4mm balanced
Build: metallic build in key areas (yokes and hinges) with no outward sign of fragility. First impressions are positive.
Isolation: open-backed, thus not fully isolating.
These impressions are based on the single-sided variant of the GL2000, which costs $550. The double-sided variant costs $600.
- General neutral-warm-ish signature with relaxed treble.
- Vocals tend to get honky and nasally. Not the most natural tonality, but not the most offensive thing I’ve heard either.
- Leather and perforated hybrid pads only slightly differ between each other (sound-wise). Perforated hybrids sound a bit more tonally balanced to me.
- Technicalities are decent but also nothing out of the ordinary within the $500 price bracket.
- Purely sound-wise, I’d still pick a Sundara over the GL2000.