Today we're turning the spotlight on the STAX SRS 3100, we've also bundled in some wonderful news so read till the end, (or go ahead and scroll all the way down if you're the flighty type) to check it out!
The STAX SRS 3100 comprises of SRM-252S amplifier and the STAX L300 electrostatic earspeaker, bundled together so that you can avoid the hassle of having to go through the drag and toil of matching your STAX earspeakers to a suitable amplifier. The SRM-252S has a simple design that excels in sound quality employing the carefully selected newest high-voltage transistors and low-noise FETs for a beautiful, clean sound. Despite being marketed as STAX's entry level offering, there's nothing amateurish about this dynamic duo. Trying it for yourself, you'd realise that it easily measures up to higher-end offerings in terms of sound quality.
The L300 is part of STAX's advanced Lambda series, an evolution from their signature Lambda series, in that same vein, the design of the earspeakers scream STAX, for better or for worse.
It's rectangular with an open back design. The cord is sturdy and ends with STAX's exclusive 5-pin plug. In case it's the first time you're rubbing shoulders with these earspeakers, it should be noted that they're really not designed for outside use, especially considering you're tied down with a hefty amplifier. While buying an adaptor or a DAC is an option, the STAX SRS-3100 is best enjoyed within the comfort of your own home.
Which brings us to the SRM-252, it is a solid-state driver unit with a 5-pin plug corresponding to the one found on the L300. It boasts a class-A DC amplifier that allows for RCA input and output, allowing for a nice, whole sound.
Pros and Peculiarites
The sound is clean, but not cold by any means, the tonality of the SRS-3100 dips into a warm signature, there's a good amount of bass, not stingy but definitely not amped up to basshead levels. The electrostatic design of the STAX earphones means that you're getting a lot of delicious detail in your music, milking the smooth and natural sounding mids for all they're worth. Both male and female vocals shine on this system. It really is the closest you may be able to get to all-round good, especially at this price-range.
While the treble is silky smooth, some users have talked about it being slightly late and a tad too independent but most find that it tones down into a more coherent sounding one after a bit.
Addressing the elephant in the room, If there's a relatively large flaw, it's that the L300 earspeakers definitely lack the comfort factor, the shallow ear pads can prove to be slightly taxing on large heads and cause a fair bit of hurt to your ears. However, should that start happening, you'll always have the option of changing your pads to the L500 or L700 pads (S$130 and S$160 respectively). The amplifier is also guilty of looking a wee-bit dated, but it's not something that should deter you from the great sound the STAX SRS-3100 is capable of putting out.
It was S$1125 but it's going for S$999 in the month of February 2018, which means an even better price to performance ratio. If you've always wanted to give the STAX series a go, this is a great chance to get your toes wet on electrostatic earspeakers and experience the STAX sound for yourself!
Head down any of our retailers here to give them a spin.