I’m Not An Audiophile…Or Am I?
As much as I claim to not be an audiophile, without realizing it I’ve become more and more invested in the quality and performance of my hardware. My days of $10 earbuds have long since passed.
Also…since audio = sound…and phile = a fondness for a specific thing…I guess that means I now literally fit the description!
My fledgling collection has been gradually growing with the addition of the Sennheiser HD429, HD280 Pro, and the Photive BTH3 wireless headphones. Each pair performs admirably, and gives me great sound quality. I have found ideal situations for each pair so far, but still continue to search for the next pair to expand my audio arsenal.
Edifier is an audio company originating from Beijing China and have been around since 1996. They make everything from desktop speakers, to hi-fidelity headphones and gaming headsets. I checked out their line up of products, and saw many many things that I had to own. The website design, the light modern representation in the product images, and the affordable price range aided in my already building hype…gotta love effective marketing.
After reaching out to them, I was fortunate enough to receive a review sample of the H850 over the ear Hi-Hi headphones! These headphones were tuned by Phil Jones Pure Sound, and are claimed to provide excellent audio. I’ve been using them for a few weeks now, and I wanted to share my thoughts
Before I get into the build, I want to talk about the package design. I work in the marketing field, and have become a stickler for a well designed box. Edifier went with the clean edgy look. On the front of the box, it showcases the product against a white background. Either side of the box shows off the ear cups against a black background, while the back includes several close up shots lined across the top with the tech specs beneath. My favorite part of the box is the flap on the front which opens up to reveal the product sitting behind a clear plastic window.
These headphones are simply beautiful. They are made up of black plastic with some metallic elements. The few strips of chrome accenting around the head band are enough to make the design pop just a bit. The back plate on the ear cups have a brushed metallic finish, which I believe to be aluminium due to it’s light weight. These don’t have the same visual appeal and bright contrasting hues as certain headphones endorsed by a certain big name music producer, and that’s OK. The reserved and sleek styling of the H850 provides a more grown up and refined feel which would look good with any enthusiast’s set up. If you want your headphones to match your sneakers, look elsewhere.
The ear cups themselves house a pair of 40 mm neodymium drivers (neodymium is a type of magnet used for speakers and stuff). The ear pads are a spongy soft touch material which is extremely comfortable. In fact, they just might be the most comfortable ear pads in my entire collection so far. The headband also has soft touch padding, which simulates a leather-like texture, which gives a high end feel to the construction. It comes with a 2 meter (or roughly 6.5 foot) audio cable, and on the left ear cup you’ll find the audio jack for the detachable cable.
Did I mention that the headphones come with a detachable cable? It’s an absolute joy. It includes a locking mechanism that keeps it from getting yanked out. One issue some may run into is not knowing which end goes into the ear cup. I would have as well, if not for a super helpful email I received from Edifier after my purchase. It told me to look for specific markings that the locking end has. This made things run much smoother, and avoided any possible annoyance caused by the confusion.
Comfort & Sound
One thing to keep in mind, is that I don’t have a headphone amp. Aside from using VoiceMeeter Banana to equalize and up the volume (if needed), that’s usually all I need as all the headphones I currently own have fairly low impedance (with the exception of the HD280 Pro which has an impedance of 64 Ohms).
I went though the typical genres when testing these headphones; hip-hop, metal, classical, EDM, and gaming. My very first impression with the H850 was to the Rocket League soundtrack, since I had just bought the deluxe edition that came with it. The Rocket League soundtrack is awesome by the way. EDM is one of my go-to genre’s so this was just my cup of tea.
The H850 feels balanced. It gives me some great sound with the Rocket League Soundtrack. The bass is nice and smooth, I find that unless I have the volume cranked up, it’s rarely overpowering. The mid and hi frequencies completed the experience. Many of the tracks included vocals, which is one of my favorite parts of a good EDM track. The H850 did them justice quite nicely.
I found that these are fantastic for single player gaming. Since my gaming sessions can run long sometimes, comfort is a must. The soft-touch ear cups, combined with an adequate seal keep my ears from getting fatigued over long sessions, and allows for complete auditory immersion. Lately I have been getting into Arma 3, and being able to hear whats going on around you is a must. Between the frequency response, realistic sound effects of the game, and the sheer comfort of the headphones themselves, it was the perfect immersive blend that kept me gaming for quite a while.
All in all, they don’t seem to perform any better or worse than any of my other headphones. For the $50 price point, these are worth every cent!