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Ultrasone HFI-680

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #486 in Headphones

Posted

Pros: Aggressive sound, great midrange detail, deep and controlled bass

Cons: Zingy treble, exaggerated sibilance, lengthy burn in time

Overall sound: Forward with aggressive treble, neutral to slightly cold midrange tonality and a sub bass boost.

Bass: The 680's have specifically emphasized sub bass, unlike the SRH840 and ATH-M50 which emphasize both midbass and sub bass. This is good and bad in a few ways - for one it doesn't flavor the midrange and allows the driver to respond faster since it doesn't have as much bass to choke over, but it's a less natural sound, and it loses a bit of texture.

Overall though I really like it, as it has nice sub bass performance for hip hip and electronic but stays out of the way for rock, metal and jazz, where bass just gets in the way. It does make drums a little thunderous, and if you have a really fast double kick drum it can linger too much, but overall I think it's more controlled than either the SRH840 and M50.

Quantity is about on par with the 840, with the 840 having much more midbass and the 680 having more sub bass. The extension on the HFI-680 is superior though, and overall it's great sounding bass.

Midrange: Unlike the 840 and M50 it isn't colored by midbass, giving these a slightly cold and sharp sound. Overall detail and texture is a step above as well, and it really gives guitars, strings and brass the sharp edge they need. However the midrange isn't quite as smooth or controlled as the SRH840, and while the sibilance here isn't painful it's definitely overpronounced a little. The midrange overall leaves me a little flat though - I'd like the midrange to have more presence, and vocals can come out a little cold.

Treble: The weak point on these things. Extension is actually very nice and a step above the 840, but it has a sizzle to it and isn't quite as natural sounding or controlled. It also suffered from a somewhat ragged attack that creeps into the upper midrange at times, and is most apparent on things like snare drum hits and cymbal crashes.

The boosted treble does give it a sense of aggression and energy that I really like though, and it's not as harsh as a Grado SR80i. But if you're looking for maximum fidelity there are better choices.

Soundstage: This was what I was most interested to hear when I first bought these things, and while it's certainly not amazing or holographic it is a nice effect. Seems like you're listening in widescreen nearly, as it presents you with a not very tall but very wide and unbroken wall of sound in front of your head. This gives a very good arena feel, and is more like the presentation of floor speakers, but on the downside there's little depth too it and it makes it harder to pick out individual sounds. For a closed can it's very spacious sounding though, and there's no closed can reverb.

Comfort and isolation: These are lighter, roomier, stay cooler and have a better headband than the SRH840. The pads aren't nearly as plush or wide though.

Design: Barebones, but sturdy. The headband fits fairly flush to your head and shiny metal accents are pretty cool, although they look like they scratch very easily.

Overall: At the $135 price point these are worth the price, although their sound quality lags behind the SRH840, which is only slightly more expensive.

If you're looking for a fun and aggressive sound with a small bass boost and a detailed and sharp sounding midrange in a closed can this is a nice buy.

Some half assed photography:

hfi680.jpg

 

edit: I've gotten rid of these, they've been replaced by a SR80i. These weren't quite the closed Grados I was looking for, and for a more neutral sound I prefer the SRH840s. Also bumped the audio quality down a little - to me these are fine but nothing that special.

Posted

Pros: Excellent ranges, comfort, bass, clarity, 3D/surround, cable length, durability, longevity

Cons: None

These sound wonderful! I am very impressed, they've exceeded my expectations by 10 fold. The clarity and surround sound is blowing my mind, it's almost like I can separate each instrument. The bass is REALLY clear and powerful. I use a Sandisk Sansa Clip which can drive these easily, and allows me to listen to uncompressed audio (FLAC) with an EQ, unlike many other MP3 players. I can't stress the clarity enough. These headphones obviously sound much better when plugged into my Z-5300, which is receiving audio from a PCI Sound Blaster Audigy. I can definitely notice the S-Logic kicking in.

You'll think you are actually IN the game if you play video games. You have no outside interference so all you hear are the game's sounds and you pick up on some you would have never noticed before. When you put these on you can't hear anything from outside, not even your own voice, which is awesome. The sound stage is just perfect. I really can't think of any negatives, except maybe they look kind of funny on your head out in public (not the cans themselves, but the band kind of points outwards).

You really can't go wrong with these, in fact they come in second place in Dave Rat's "The Mighty Headphone Test" on Youtube, only beaten by the much more expensive Denon AH-D2000's (almost twice the price).
/watch?v=uHkb4bhdnRA&feature=relmfu

These are the best you can get in the $200-$300 range hands down.

Ultrasone HFI-680
Description:

Foldable, closed-back high quality headphones with very exclusive design and extraordinary sound, offering the highest standard of technologies: S-Logic� Natural Surround Sound Plus MU Metal shielding (ULE-technology) Safer hearing Technical specifications S-Logic� Natural Surround Sound Plus Dynamic principle Frequency range 15-25.000 Hz Impedance 75 Ohm Sound pressure level 99 dB MU Metal bufferboard, reduced field emissions in accordance with ULE (=Ultra Low Emission) standard Driver 40 mm gold-plated Weight 285 g (without cord) Straight cord, length ca 3 m 3,5/6,3 mm screwable gold-plated plug Transportation bag Demo CD Instruction manual Long-term availability of spare parts Character Eye-catching exclusive design and sand-grey coated. Experience the complete isolation of closed-back headphones and the honest sound of open ones. The high class gold-plated drivers of the HFI-680 are very sensitive and provide a maximum of transparency. ULE-technology To understand what ULE-technology does, you need to know that most headphone drivers produce low-frequency magnetic fields as they convert an electric signal into an acoustical signal you hear as music. In response, Ultrasone developed a special MU Metal shielding (ULE-technology) to reduce the radiation by up to 98% compared to current headphones. The ULE-technology has stood the test of international review and is recommended by technical surveillance organisations. S-Logic� Plus S-Logic� Plus is the enhanced version of the S-Logic� System. The specific acoustically designed earcups of the new HFI models and their stereo tonal fine tuning of the acoustic reinforcing devices present sophisticated sound and technology. Due to an additional damping, drivers and the bufferboard complement one another with the new spatial sounding unit. The final result is a most neutral sound impression including optimized distance perception of voices and instruments.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandUltrasone
ColorBlk/Silver
EAN4043941680005
FeatureFrequency range 15-25.000 Hz
Height8.6 inches
Length9 inches
Weight1.52 pounds
Width3.1 inches
LabelUltrasone Inc.
List Price$249.00
ManufacturerUltrasone Inc.
Material TypePlastic
Material Type Set ElementPlastic
ModelHFI-680
MPNHFI-680
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherUltrasone Inc.
StudioUltrasone Inc.
TitleUltrasone HFI-680 S-Logic Surround Sound Professional Headphones - Black/Silver
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Special Featuresnv: Model^HFI-680 | Product Type^Headphones | Type^Foldable, closed-back | Technologies^S-Logic Natural Surround Sound PlusMU Metal shielding ULE-technologySafer hearing | Frequency range^15-25.000 Hz | Impedance^75 Ohm | Sound pressure level^99 dB | MU Metal bufferboard, reduced field emissionsin accordance with^ULE Ultra Low Emission standard | Plug^3,56,3 mm screwable gold-plated plug | Driver^40 mm gold-plated | Weight^285 g without cord | Straight cord length^ca 3m
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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