Headroom S5
Dynamic Driver

Headroom is not a popular brand, but it's unique in design and presentation and remains very budget-friendly. The M8 and MS16 were great options for different people. The S5 is an older model, and it is not as great. It's pretty aweful actually. The highs seem to be very similar to M8's highs, but everything else is so different that you won't be able to compare the two. The mids are so enflated and distroted that you can't possibly enjoy any music genre. This is quite sad, because the build quality is excellent for the price, and the rotatable strain relief attached to the housings is a great gimmick. The sound somewhat resembles a typical sound signature of earbuds.

Pros
Cons
  • The upper-highs have some potential.
  • Great build quality and an excellent cable (same one that you get with MS16 but in white).
  • The included ear wings are a unique touch.
  • The midrange is dark and distorted.
  • The mid-bass and the midrange are bloated and muddy.
  • Lack of sub-bass.
Package & Accessories
Package*:

Hard plastic (clear) + paperboard

Ear Tips - Single-Flange:

S+M+L, white (translucent), ø3.5mm bores

Shirt Clip:

White, wide, generic

Extra:

Ear wings, silicone, white (translucent)

Hook and loop fastener, generic

  • This package was discontinued. The new package is identical to M8's package, but the contents were not changed.
Build & Materials
Housing:

Metal, ø4.5mm nozzles (ø3mm openings), soft strain reliefs (rotating)

Remote:

Metal, single-button

Y-Split:

Metal, stiff strain relief

Cable:

Silicone-coated (smooth), 125cm, twisted, soft, bend-retaining

Plug:

Metal, straight, short, stiff strain relief

Comfort & Fit

Those aren't ergonomic earphones, but I had absolutely no comfort issues with the pre-applied tips. Those tips are simple and look generic, but they do their job perfectly.

Lows / Bass

A lack of sub-bass along with bloated mid-bass and upper-bass/lower-mids darkens the sound and creates a certain distortion, as if the recordings were made in an echo chamber - loud but unclear, with a muddy echo effect.

Mids / Vocals

The worst aspect of these earphones is the mids. Vocals and instuments sound distorted and nasal. The substantial bump, starting from the mid-bass up to the mids, resulted in an extremely bloated midrange, so bloated that listening for a prolonged period could cause a headache. Such a bump is typical for earbuds, but is inappropriate for earphones.

Highs / Treble

The highs are quite crisp and not exaggerated. Sibilance is not an issue with these, but there seem to be some pierce instead, which makes certain sounds uncomfortable to listen to. Definitely not the most transparent treble out there, but also not the worst.

Frequency Response
M8 MS16 S2
S5