Pros: Great sound.
Cons: Cheapo feel
This is my second pair of Ultrasones - after HFI-650. Well - let's get going:
They looks like nothing special - very plasticky, looks fragile, boring and CHEAP. I like it :) (some may not). I like the way they look on the head - quite sleek.
The cable is actually quite solid and the headphones are very light, what makes you feel, that they wan't broke if dropped on the floor.
3,5 Stars for design
Comfort & usability:
They're becoming a bit uncomfortable for me after about hour of listening (I wear glasses)- their clamping force seems to be a bit too strong. The pads are very comfy though. Overall they make a very good impression.
The HFI-15G is a portable phone, it's very light and can be easily driven from your Ipod. BUT:
- the cord is too long for portable (it has been shortened in newest version - I shortened mine too)
- they do NOT isolate almost at all, and leaks alot, what makes them unusable in many situations.
4 Stars for comfort
0 Stars for isolation/leakage
Now to the best part:
The sound quality is the strongest part of this headphones. Signature-wise its very similar to HD25SP, but they got better mids, more spacious sound and better controlled highs.
They performs very good in almost every type of music - they shows their best side in electronic, trip-hop, house etc., but also in vocal-based jazz.
S-LOGIC technology works actually great with this cans - you can easily hear it with a test-CD, which comes with Ultrasones. The sound is coming from all directions. This doesn't work as good when listening normal recordings (unless with very few instruments), but gives more space to the sound and adds greater instruments separation. I compared these cans with my K701 and, when listening Ultrasone's test-CD i got greater, wider soundspace with HFI-15G - its other way with normal recordings, though - still - very impressing! PLUS - you wan't hear the S-Logic as much with much more expensive HFI-650!
I tried them also with SOAD & Korn - i can tell - they do rock! The bass response is amazing for such a small cans.
With some (not all!) amps highs can be a bit recessed, but driven from portable device the whole sound spectrum becomes more balanced. Also, as mentioned - they are VERY sensitive to outside noises - I noticed, that they sound muddy when listened on a street, because huge amount of higher-freq sounds vanishes in outside noises. They sound best in (very) quiet environment.
I can compare them directly to K701 and - in terms of highs they are quite the opposites:
K701 highs are crispy with insane amount of details.
HFI-15G highs are rounded and softened, never tiresome.
As for me - the only things that could be a little bit better in HFI-15G are:
- mids and highs could have more "crisp"
- separatioc yould be better
4,5 Stars at this price! (and for my taste:)
The HFI-15G is a very nice headphone - when you're looking for open, portable, light headphones they are way to go. I recommend to try them before buying (cause of the comfort issue) - but I think, if you don't wear glasses, it's quite save purchase.
Because of the cheapo look you can get them used for peanuts. I like their sound signature certainly more than HD25SP - I'm keeping both, cause Senns are more suitable for loud environments HFI-15G definitely NOT!
They could be a bit cheaper - cause of the build quality, but still well deserved:
4 Stars Overall/Value!