Pros: Clear detailed sound
Cons: The bass might be a bit much for some
10 minutes later... Ready? The DJ1 seem to sound slightly different than the HFI 580!
Now even though the HFI 580 sound good in general, the DJ1 has the good points of the HFI 580 but with clearer upper midrange and treble, the HFI 580 has an overall darkish tone with a recessed upper midrange, precisely where you don't want a headphone to be recessed, but also the HFI 580 is not as transparent overall, the DJ1 has more realistic treble sound from the mids up to the highs, and that might be due to the slightly higher SPL on the DJ1 104 vs 101 (I did compensate for the volume level difference when comparing them) or the fact that i haven't burnt them in yet, plus as a result of this extra transparency they seem to have a faster dynamic response than the HFI 580. But the bonus is that the cord on the DJ1's is not as long as the behemoth on the HFI 580 and so is more practical for walking around the streets with.
If people are looking to buy the HFI 580, i would definitely buy the DJ1 instead, it has all the exact same audio qualities and characteristics of the HFI 580, but does not have the recessed upper-midrange to the same degree as the HFI 580, plus the cord is more practical and shorter.
Overall the DJ1 sounds like it has more of an 'audiophile' sound compared to the HFI 580, almost like it has a flatter frequency response compared to the 580, or maybe Ultrasone has slightly modified the characteristics of the driver recently, in contrast to sixth months ago when i bought the 580, i don't know. Actually the treble sound in the DJ1 appears to be more natural and seems to deal with any metallic sounds in the mix more competently; any treble sounds can be heard better with a bit more definition: some of the intricate treble nuances in the 580 are slightly shrouded but not so in the DJ1's.
The major difference between the DJ1's and so called 'flat' headphones can be heard in the bass region, in that the DJ1 does not hold-back on the bass, if the song is bass heavy the DJ1's give it to you without reservation, it might be a bit too much for some, but perfect for others, i'm in the latter crowd, i prefer to have a bit more bass compared to not enough, but rest assured, any bass in these headphones is well controlled, albeit heavy hitting.
Apart from the bass these sound like they have a flat frequency response right across the rest of the audio spectrum, just like you would expect from a reference class headphone, in fact, from what i can hear, apart from the bass, these DJ1's sound like a reference-class headphone.
IMO some people are too quick to accuse certain headphones of having massive bass, but really if you were to listen to the original song in the studio on the monitor speakers that the song was mixed and mastered on, you will see that all the so-called massive-bass in the headphone is actually in the original recording, so i'm of the opinion that most of the so-called reference headphones are actually lacking in bass, and for some strange reason a lot of audiophiles seem to have accustomed themselves to headphones which are not displaying all the original bass in the song.
Stereo imaging in these is second to none, simple as that. But the Ultrasone company is well known for its good stereo separation due to the S-Logic Plus technology, and I have never heard anyone say a bad word about it.
I was comparing these side by side with many headphones before i bought them, like the Audio Technica ATH-M50, well all i can suggest is that you go in and test them side by side then come back and tell me what you think. The M50 has a boxed-in sound compared to these, almost claustrophobic sounding, go listen for yourself. I was also listening to several Grado models while auditioning these, and lets just say that the Grados have a very cold clinical sound in comparison, good for those who want a clinical sound, but not for me.
The cable on these is 1.8 metre long with an 'integrated' 1 foot long coil cable to allow flexibility for it to stretch should you need to move around at the mixing desk or if it gets caught on anything.
I couldn't be happier, i've been through many pairs of headphones inching closer to perfection each time, but as usual, this time I think I've gotten one step closer, the sound of these is reference class clean mids and highs with a big solid bass that doesn't muddy the waters. Overall they have a neutral mid-range and display all the details of the original sound accurately with finesse.