The Cresyn C720H cost £65. For an over-the ears headphone, that's pretty cheap - and there are fairly few closed-backed sets available at this price. Sony offers the bass-heavy MBR-XB700 and Sennheiser the basic HD62, but at this point and above many manufacturers tend to revert to open-backed 'phones, which can offer a more "airy" high-end sound with the same quality components.
We didn't expect much from the Cresyn C720H, and they thoroughly exceeded our expectations. On the box, they boast their "natural acoustic sound", something we'd usually reject as pure marketing hot air. But here it's an accurate summation of the sound signature.
The sound is wide and open for a closed-back set, bass is pleasantly understated and realistic - unlike the rival Sony XB700 with their comically inflated low-end - and the sound is incredibly balanced for such an affordable pair. They're so easy on the ears that you can listen to them all day without any of the fatigue you'd get from a brasher headphone.
The Cresyn C720H can comfortably compete with headphones costing three times the price - on sound if not looks or build. It's like watching a teenage art student coming up with a work that'd win them a solid pat on the back at degree level. They have no right to be as good as they are.
Still, they're not perfect. Treble rolls off at the top end, which can lead to a slightly veiled sound to vocals compared to brighter sets. This can be remedied with EQ'ing though. It's testament to the quality of the 4cm drivers that even the iPod Classic's remedial built-in equaliser can give that much needed high-end boost without spoiling the sound with harshness, sibilance or distortion. They'll benefit from a headphone amp, but are also happy to be driven directly by a standard headphone output from an MP3 player or Hi-fi.
Bass hunters may not be entirely satisfied with the level of bass boom here, but to our ears it sounds natural and right in the vast majority of music genres. It's only that extra treble bite we miss. Add it in with equalisation and the Cresyn C720H offer a remarkably high-end, "audiophile-like" sound. By this we mean it offers accuracy, balance and detail over bludgeoning blunt instrument bass or a skewed mid-range designed to add an aggressive edge to music.
For those without the cash to splash, these are a viable alternative to the Sennheiser HD600 and HD650, and the AKG K701. Sure, it may not match them across the board, but they cost three to four times the money - and are arguably more convenient due to their closed-back design.
In pure sound-per-pound stakes, the Cresyn C720h are some of the best headphones in the world. That is of course very different to saying they're some of the best headphones in the world, full stop, but they still represent a remarkable achievement in the budget headphone world.
The headphone design equivalent of a puffa jacket, the Cresyn C720h aren't the most sophisticated-looking headphones around, but their sound is pure class. We're yet to hear a pair of closed-back headphones at the price that can match them.
If the oversized look and slightly plasticy build aren't enough to put you off from the start, these headphones represent an incredible bargain. Put aside that you haven't heard of Cresyn before and buy them already.
Thanks to iHeadphones for supplying our review unit.