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Ultrasone HFI-580

Posted

Pros: Music sounds great even from poor sources without an amp. It sounds even better with better source and amp.

Cons: Heavy. Makes ears hot in the summer.

Music sounds great with these. They are a little heavy, but I knew that when I bought them. What I did not know was that they make great ear warmers. This is good for winter, but may not be so good in summer.
I'm quite happy with them. They don't seem to really need a headphone amp to sound good which is another plus.  They seem to have low listening fatigue.

The sound may be on the warm side, but I like that.  I recently tried them with my Bifrost and Parasound pre-amp as 'phone amp and they sound even better than with my Sony NWZE475BLK

Posted

Pros: Great bass / Not too expensive

Cons: Pleather pads / Looong straigt fixed cable (I prefer removeable or coiled cables)

Sound:

For their price they are probably one of the best basshead cans out there. While I find my Beyer 770 Pros sound overall somewhat more "refined" the HFi580s clearly beat em in bass rendition...

 

Comfort / Build Quality:

I'm not a big fan of pleather pads as they tend to get hot and sticky when its warm, but besides this they are not too bad. Overall build fits the price-point imo.

 

Recommendation:

My recommendation is to compare em with the Beyer 770 Pro 80 to check where your preference goes. If you like bass and don't want to spend too much, both are a good choice, in the end it's just a matter of taste imo.

Posted

Pros: Bass, isolation when music is playing, attractive, decent sound quality, very comfortable

Cons: lacking mids, ridiculously long cable

These are my first pair of over-ear headphones, and my "nicest" pair of headphones before this were some 30$ skullcandy earbuds which at the time sounded amazing to me.

I can't do much comparing to other sets of cans but I can say I am completely satisfied with the quality of these for their price. I have picked up on some things after many hours with these on. The bass is pretty good without being overpowering. I ride the shuttle to class everyday at my university and they are very loud and the engines idle at terrible levels creating very uncomfortable pressure on my ears but since using these I hear virtually nothing from the bus engines. They seal pretty well too even when the music is pumped up fairly loud so others aren't disturbed by my bad taste in music wink_face.gif. I have walked behind someone wearing over ear Beats and heard every word from some rap song playing through the overpriced ear bling, but that's not the case with these Ultrasone's.

 

The silver on black design is pretty slick looking and I've pretty much gotten over feeling ridiculous in public with over ear cans on. These look nice, so they definitely helped!

 

My only complaint is the mids are pretty recessed in some songs. Some songs are worse than others, but its unnoticeable to my untrained ears for the majority of my music library.

 

Oh, and the cable is like ten feet long which is good for my gaming, but I've temporarily braided it which cut it down to about 3 feet for walking around campus until I can mod these to make the cable removable. I've also seen complaints about clamping discomfort but they feel great on my fairly large head. My ears sweat a little but I rarely even notice it, and there's never any pain.

 

I can't tell you which cans these are better than but I can reinforce the pretty positive vibe floating around headfi for these hfi580s. For the price and SQ I feel confident recommending these to anyone!

Posted

Pros: Tight bass, sound, stylish, folding aspect

Cons: comfort, can be a bit tinny, long cord

On the overall these headphones crush the likes of Beats and other headphones endorsed and made with DJ's.  They're a LOT cheaper too.

 

Bass is tightly tuned and sounds awesome without being overpowering.

 

On the upside, the sound produced is not overwhelming, but brings out the natural tones of the recording.  It can be a bit tinny depending on the file or the music, but you can work with this.

 

The foldability is fantastic, however the cord is too long for my liking, and they can be a bit hard to wear after extended periods.  Again, you can grow with this.

 

Very much worth investigating rather than spending up to $400 on a pair of Beats.

 

 

Posted

Pros: Great bass, Satisfactory mids, Good Isolation, Looks, Build Quality, Screw-on 1/4 inch adapter

Cons: Bright treble, Metallic Sounding, Pleather quality, Clamp pressure, Sweat prone, Headband discomfort

note- I actually have the Ultrasone DJ1 but since they're essentially the same as the HFI-580 (For those that don't know, the DJ1 is the same headphone with a different colour scheme / logo, and a coiled cable), I decided to post the review here for more exposure.

 

I bought these phones to compliment my Grado SR-225i as a sealed headphone for more bass-intensive music like electronic and hip hop. These phones are pretty hyped around here, many people quoting them to be a basshead's headphones. This might be true for you depending on what you consider basshead to mean. If a basshead, to you, is 'I WANT MOAR!', these have potential because you can EQ them to be very bassy, but they will disappoint you out of the box. If a basshead, to you, is someone who likes some bass emphasis but more importantly great bass quality, then these should be quite satisfying for such a budget.

 

The headphones are quite sturdy, the plastic and metals used feel and look quite tough. It's also quite a good looker, it's much nicer in person than in pictures (but that's almost always the case for me). I like that it uses a screw-on quarter inch adapter, I think they're unendingly superior to the regular clip-on variety. The headphones isolate well, too, so they fulfil that purpose if that's important to you.

 

The bass is definitely the stand-out in the sound department of the HFI-580. It's tight and well defined, with good punch. It does have a mid bass hump, and rolls off moderately into the low sub regions, but I find that deep bass is represented quite satisfyingly, just not as in your face as the upper bass. I find the bass to bleed very, very little (if at all). It knows it's place. The mids are as reported, recessed, at least compared to something as mid centric as the Grados. They lack flair and the rich tonality of the Grados but they're hardly of poor quality at this price range. They just take a slight back seat in comparison to the bass and aren't as rich as I'm used to. There's a metallic tone to them that takes away from the enjoyment of them, somewhat. Female vocals sound further back and a slightly buried in comparison, but the mids are definitely satisfying overall. The treble is my real gripe with the sound of the HFI-580. At times they manage to make the Grados sound almost conservative in comparison. The Ultrasone's can be hamfisted with the treble, which isn't an issue (if not beneficial) for dark recordings. However for bright recordings it makes the music far too piercing and shrill. Sure, the 225i's are trebly, but the airy sound of the headphone makes it sound considerably more natural (and therefore less fatiguing) than the HFI-580. It's simply too bright a headphone, despite being quite clean and quick.

 

I have a few design and material issues with this headphone. The pleather they used is not good quality. It's hardly the worst stuff I've ever encountered, but it went hard very quickly for me. It's nice and soft to begin with and it feels relatively thick which was a good initial sign but noticeable hardness started setting in after a fortnight. My significantly cheaper Sennheiser HD448 (which I used for 18 months before selling it off) stayed as soft as the day I got it. Now, sure, you could argue that the earpads are replaceable so it's not an issue. I'd agree if it took a year or two for it to go hard, but for the affect to start setting in so quickly is disappointing. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't make the earpads unbearable but it's simply not nice to feel on the skin, and once they harden they're prone to cracking. The same phenomenon occurs with the padding for the headband, which uses the same pleather as the earpads, however there's no headband padding replacements available. Whilst I haven't tried this, I would suggest attempting this headband modification (for both comfort and durability): http://www.head-fi.org/t/579875/comfort-mod-hd650-headband-padding-on-the-pro-900 

 

Speaking of the stock headband, I dislike it. It's a generic design (I've seen the identical design used on some Beyerdynamic headphones such as the DT660). It's uncomfortable, putting all of the pressure on a small area of the head with a small, stiff rectangle of padding (I was unpleasantly surprised at how hard that headband padding was out of the box). I'd also say the headband is the weak point of the headphone aesthetically. My ears also get quite sweaty in the earcups. If you live in a very cold area then you should be able to avoid it, but once it gets anywhere near the mid 20s (Celsius) or above it gets uncomfortably warm for me (unless I'm sitting directly under an air conditioner or something). The headphones do clamp quite hard, too. They do feel very secure on your head but I prefer a more loose feeling. It's just too much pressure for my liking, I really don't move around much when using headphones so the clamp is of little use to me (other than assisting isolation which is quite good). Overall, I find these cans less comfortable than the 225i, which certainly isn't a comfort king, itself. Another problem with the headband is that the adhesive used to hold the padding on started to come off on one side within a month . Whilst being an easy to fix issue, these are supposed to have a reputation for great quality. It feels cheaply fixed in place, and it's quick deterioration shows. 

 

So, would I recommend these? Unfortunately not. I ended up giving them to my Dad for Christmas to plug into his guitar amp (He's much less fussy than me, and considers the $160 I paid for them to be "extremely expensive" L3000.gif) after failing to sell them on eBay multiple times. They definitely deliver great bass, and respectable mids, but the treble is just too much. Maybe if you pair them with the right amp to darken them you could fix that issue. However that still leaves the build, design and comfort issues. It's a shame, because it's a pretty darn good sounding headphone for $160. It's very full sounding and pretty detailed, not to mention a pretty good all rounder if you ask me. If they fixed the comfort and brightness it would be a damn good headphone, but the flaws of the HFI-580 are too distracting for me to recommend or enjoy it fully.

Posted

Pros: Amazing, crisp and energetic highs and A LOT of bass (which are clear and not muddy), detailed, durable, look sexy, no amp needed, amazing soundstage

Cons: Not the most comfortable, mids are a bit recessed (though sound great), no detachable cable, cable is a bit too long for portable use

I had experience with many headphones, such as the ATH M50 and HD 380 PRO, and the HFI 580 is better in every aspect. I would pay three hundred for these! The sound is crystal clear in the entire spectrum, and the bass is huge. There is a lot of bass, and it is not overpowering nor muddy. There is so much detail in the bass region, it is almost crisp. They are pretty comfortable when you stretch them out. They clamp so hard on the head out of the box, almost at the same level as the HD 280 PRO. I just stretched them out with my own hands to make them clamp less, and the great part is that isolation is not sacrificed! Isolation is very good, but just a step lower than the M50s, and a few steps higher than the HD 380 PRO. They are easily driven by an iPod, iPhone and a MacBook PRO. Amazing headphones, that are the best in the $200 dollar price range. Though, the slightly recessed mids, no detachable cable, and the lack of comfort can be a huge turn-off to some people.

Posted

Pros: Great Bass, Slightly Sparkly Highs, Good Design, Fair Price

Cons: Can be slightly uncomfortable, no removable cord, mids recessed

 

So it’s been a couple of weeks now since I picked up the HFi-580s and I thought it time to give my impressions. For reference the cans have been tested on the following:

 

Apple iPad 1st Generation 16GB Wifi Model

 

Samsung Epic 4G Android Phone

 

Creative Fatal1ty Professional PCI-e Entertainment Profile, no FX,  through Behringer Xenyx 1202FX Mixer through Foobar 2000 ASIO Playback

 

My comparison is going to be against my previous cans, Shure SRH440s w/ 840 pads. I will not be drawing comparison to the Monoprice cans, as I haven’t used them enough to draw an educated opinion. So let’s begin.

 

Packaging: The package for the HFi-580s is straight forward cardboard. In the box is the included S-Logic test CD, the cans themselves, warranty information paperwork and a screw on 1/4th adapter. This adapter also fits the 440s screw on tip which is nice. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the headphones to you in one piece.

 

Comfort: The HFi-580s are a relatively comfortable set of headphones. The pleather on the cans as well as the headband is rather stiff on initial unboxing. After use the pads do soften up a bit and become more comfortable however neither the pads, nor the head band pad are as soft as the 840 pads on my Shure’s. They aren’t an uncomfortable set of headphones, but the clamping force as has been mentioned in other reviews can be somewhat fatiguing. Over all I’ve been able to listen to these headphones for several hours with only short breaks to relieve the pressure the clamping for creates. Overall I still prefer the comfort of the 440s, but the memory foam pads do add to that.

 

Sound Quality: For reference I used the following CDs to test these headphones critically, though other casual listening will be taken into account –

 

Daft Punk – Alive 2007 320kbps MP3

 

Radiohead – OK Computer 320kbps MP3

 

Eric Claption – Unplugged – 1000kbps FLAC

 

Metallica – Ride the Lightning – 320kbps MP3

 

Deadmau5 – 4x4=12 320kbps MP3

 

The most critical of these was Alive 2007 as I feel it plays to these headphones strengths the most.

 

Bass & Lows: In a word, fantastic. They have an ability to produce bass I’ve not experienced in a headphone before. I’m not even sure what the proper term to describe the response these headphones give in the bass department. Bass signatures I’d never noticed before made themselves startlingly apparent. Parts of Alive 2007 I didn’t even know existed shone through with a lovely, vibrating resonance. Bass lines from Ride the Lightning that sometimes get hidden beneath the guitar sections present themselves in full force. If you want a pair of cans that have an authoritative punch these will likely suit you. However this color to the sound does have a tendency to detract from….

 

Mids: The mids in the HFi-580 are recessed. This is typical in closed cans to begin with, but the bass can occasionally overpower the mids in tracks. If you happen to have a CD that is poorly mastered to begin with (Brandon Boyd – The Wild Trapeze, which is already blown out from a bass perspective) it is completely unlistenable with these headphones. These are phones that you could certainly lose something on mid centric music. Eric Clapton – Unplugged certainly loses a step when compared to my Shures. I can’t imagine how many steps these would lost to something like a set of Grados (Though hopefully soon I’ll get to find out) The bass doesn’t completely wash out the mids for standard rock music, but I still prefer my 440s for genres more mid & high focused. Speaking of Highs..

 

Highs: The highs on the 580 are solid. They extend well, and there’s a hint of sparkle. OK Computer was a great CD to listen to through these as there is such diversity in how the songs are composed. The mids are still recessed of course, but the highs shine through and are complimented well with the ample bass. In my comparison the 440s extend a little further than the 580s, but not by much.

 

Burn In: Some swear by burn in, some don’t. I would say these phones definitely benefit from it. I mostly burned in while listening because I wanted to see how the sound changed. The mids definitely picked up more as I listened more but as mentioned several time still take a back seat to the bass & highs. The bass also extended further as I listened more. They certainly benefit from some burn in, and from the other reviews I’ve read it’s likely mine will continue to change through more use as I would estimate I am only at 100 hours so far.

 

Overall: The 580s are a joy to listen to if you’re looking for something with a nice bass focus that still delivers a good high end response. They fared best for me with Electronic/Dub/Hip Hop albums but have a nice presence for rock as well. If you’re looking for a set to listen to classical music or something acoustic or very vocal driven I’d probably recommend something else. I debated a long time before I ended up with these, but they’ve proven a lovely compliment to my 440s. If you want thundering bass at a good entry price I can’t recommend the HFi-580s enough.

Posted

Pros: BASS, BASS, forward highs, clarity, good soundstage for closed cans,S-logic plus, isolation (once music is underway), PRaT (or so I've heard)

Cons: Recessed mids, really long burn-in, really long cord, bits of sibilance

My gateway drug to the realm of audiophilia. Bought them to pwn Monsters, but they do far more. These cans are BASS MONSTERS, with punchy, powerful bass that goes loooooow; They KICK but they RUMBLE too. Word on the street is that an amp does a bit in reigning in the bass so the mids can come out and play. Burn-in took daaays, but after it all I feel like the bass became a bit more tame (EQ and amplification will still easily let out the capacity of this can's lows). They cans particularly rock for hip-hop, rap, R&B, techno, dubsteb, and folk/acoustic. Yes. Folk, acoustic. 

 

go get you a pair.

 

Fight the Beats hype.

Ultrasone HFI-580
Description:

The new HFI-580 (formerly the HFI-550) is one of our most popular, robust and versatile headphones. These foldable, closed-back high quality headphones with an exclusive design and extraordinary sound, offer the highest standard of technologies. Featuring our super tough 50mm Mylar driver, the HFI-580 can crank out lots of volume without falling apart. The driver is almost impossible to blow, making the HFI-580 a great addition to any studio be it professional or just starting out. Also included in the new HFI-580 is our new S-Logic Plus(TM) surround sound technology which delivers and ever more life like sound in a smaller package. The HFI-580 now also comes standard with ULE (Ultra Low Emission) 98% Mu Metal shielding standard, thicker ear pads and headband pad and a new velvet carrying bag.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandUltrasone
EAN4043941580008
Feature1/8 inch gold plated plug, gold plated screw adaptor, demo CD, and carry bag included
Height8.5 inches
Length10.5 inches
Weight2 pounds
Width4 inches
LabelUltrasone
List Price$219.00
ManufacturerUltrasone
Material TypePlastic
Material Type Set ElementPlastic
ModelHFI-580
MPNHFI-580
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherUltrasone
StudioUltrasone
TitleUltrasone HFI-580 S-Logic Surround Sound Professional Headphones
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Special FeaturesThe closed-back HFI-580 shows its very exclusive design and improved sound quality in a black-pearl coloured outfit. These headphones offer tight powerful bass, precise and detailed instrument placement with an impressive power spectrum. The HFI-580 is made for high power input with very efficient 50 mm heavy duty drivers and a persuasive sound intensity. The HFI-580 is ideal for bass players and drummers. Through the S-Logic? Natural Surround Sound the usual headphone sound will be moved out of
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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