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Ultrasone HFI-780

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #229 in Headphones

Posted

Pros: S-Logic, ULE, sound quality, punchy bass, treble

Cons: uncomfortable, huge headband

I really love these 'phones due to their bright sound, extended treble and punchy bass.

The frequencies range from a very deep sounding sub-bass to almost harsh highs, which to me sound very sparkling, though.

Whenever I wear these headphones I never have the feeling that the sound is altered and they feel very natural to me. With warmer sounding cans like the Beyerdynamic, I have the feeling that I cut myself from real life and I can easily tell if somebody is talking to me. With the HFI-780, outside noise could just as well be part of the record - I couldn't tell the difference with people speaking in the same room (with live recordings anyway).

 

I ripped my eardrum open last year, that's why I decided in favor for Ultrasone's products and their S-Logic (Plus) models that do not send the waves directly into your ear but actually onto your ear, which creates a more distanced sound. My doctor said, however, that earphones can never be as loud as to damage the eardrum so in my case, at least, S-Logic is but a sound preference.

ULE metal shielding sounds fancy and it's slightly calming to know it's there, but in the end it might be just another gimmick.

 

However, the S-Logic sound makes the music sound much further away. In case of the HFI-780, soundstage is great and separation of instruments pleases. S-Logic seems to be a "love it or hate it" kind of thing and in my case, as I love it, I have a very hard time to adapt to IEMs for portable use.

The sound signature is mostly recommended for electronica and other electronic genres of music. However, I'm very pleased with the sound when listening to Neo-Classical (violins especially because of the sparkly treble), Vocal (great resolution) and Rock (punchy bass is magical for kick drums). Ironically, I mostly listen to Jazz. Although soundstage and timber get the most out of great recordings, the overall sound signature could be warmer for Jazz and the bass boomier for sub-genres like Lo-Fi, Ambient, Jazz-Fusion, etc. But as soon as a high note kicks in I forget about that!

 

I've often heard that people think the mids are recessed and bass is too strong. I can't agree at all and also looking at the frequency graph I can't see why people think so. The DT770, for example, has way(!) more emphasis on bass than the HFI-780.

 

Speeking of Beyerdynamic, comfort is a field in which Ultrasone as a lot to improve in. The majority thinks that the pads are too stiff and thus the pressure is uncomfortable. I have a small head and I can't agree. However, the headband is too big for me, so that I've put a piece of cloth between the headband and my head to prevent the pads pushing my left ear down. Others say that the headband does not extend far enough. Everybody says that it's not comfortable enough.

 

Like I've stated before, this is a love it or hate it headphone. Personally, I've fallen in love on day one and I don't see me switching to another brand anytime soon. I'll eventually upgrade to another model because of comfort issues, but soundwise I'm fully pleased. Personally, I think this is the way music is meant to be heard. I really can't speak in favor of darker sounding headphones because the HFI-780 nailed the sound of a violin, which is my favorite Classical instrument.

 

Edit/Update (03/2011): I've had the HFI-780 for almost two years now. Naturally, with increased experience and testing of different models, my perception has changed or evolved.

As for what I thought was a great timbre, I still do think it's appropriate for the price level, but it's definitely not it's strong point. Once you get used to the HFI-780, instrument separation is easy and instruments sound natural, but if you switch headphones often, the timbre might be lacking a little authenticity.

Meanwhile, I am a bit bothered by the recessed and flat mids. It's not a biggie, but something that will grow apparent after some time.

As for the comfort, I have replaced the headband's pleather with an Ultrasone velours strip, which improves it a lot.

Finally, these are still a great set of cans, especially for movies and I couldn't find a better headphone for the same price.

Posted

Pros: Bright, detailed sound, powerful bass, wide soundstage

Cons: Uncomfortable, too aggressive sounding

Ultrasone headphones are getting a lot of attention all over the internet due to probably very good marketing efforts. Before buying it for some reason I thought that I will be getting one of the best headphones on the planet in the price range.

 

After having it for a month or so and having at least 175 hours of burn in on them I still can't decide if I like them or not. If I had to describe sound signature of this headphone I would use one word: aggressive. It seems to attack your ears with very powerful bass and extremely bright high frequencies at the same time. Some will say that its not a bad thing and generally I would agree because usually I like such sound signature. At home I have Energy C series speakers that produce similar type of very bright and accurate high frequencies. I like them and dislike them at the same time. I know from experience that the sound produced by titanium or aluminum tweeters makes me tired. I know more about speakers than about headphone drivers, so I really wonder what exactly Ultrasone is using in these. In my car I have Focal KR speakers which are also very bright but not tiring at all, because the material used in the tweeter is kevlar which is a type synthetic fiber. Coupled with powerful woofer my car system has very similar sound signature but at the same time its very different.

 

Back to Ultrasone sound:

 

BASS: the bass is very punchy, powerful, tight and well controlled. However its not soft pleasant type of bass that I like its more on the aggressive side. Some may like it, some may not.

 

MIDS: slightly recessed, get better with burn in. I don't think that the main problem of this headphone is the mids, I think its the sibilance of the high frequencies and too powerful presence of the bass that somehow overshadow the mids. Comparing it to Grado SR-225 my impression was that Grados have much more forward mid and much more overall balance.

 

HIGHS: extremely bright to the point of being fatiguing especially at higher volumes. The highs sound very metallic, its a bit hard to describe but there is a particular sound in the highs which you can hear regardless of the track. However the highs of HFI 780 don't really make Rock/Heavy Metal sound good the best as its often the case with other bright headphones. Bass guitars IMHO don't sound as realistic as they should. Having said that I really enjoyed "Wheel Of Time" by Blind Guardian (orchestral version) in these. This is a killer track on my opinion.

 

DETAIL: this headphone reveals incredible detail, I guess this is why it has the reputation that it has. On detail level it outperforms many headphones out there including Grado.

 

SOUNDSTAGE: its quite wide, which makes it a lot of fun for some records. S-Logic is something that is hard to describe it needs to experienced. I think it does more good than bad overall. Again using Grado as reference HFI 780 soundstage is wider and surround effect promised by marketing is present indeed. One of the things I didn't like about SR 225 is that its very close to my ears. So Ultrasone really made an improvement with its S-LOGIC.

 

MUSIC: It sounds the best for electronic music. Vocals sound great, there is plenty of detail and to me everything aside from Rock/Heavy metal sounds not bad in these. However the sound seems to be kind of synthetic at times.

 

COMFORT: The headband is too big, they are clamping too tight (could be corrected by stretching), but no matter what you do, you still very much feel them on your head. The only thing I can say is that Ultrasone should really learn from DENON and Beyerdynamic because they are miles away from them in terms of comfort.

 

Like I said I can't make up my mind on these headphones, I have mixed feelings about them. My experience is ranging from ecstasy while listening to certain tracks to fatigue and frustration listening to others. There is no question that this is unique headphone and there is no question that it is a high quality headphone but its really not universal and not for everybody.

 

If you want to enjoy these the key is to listen to them at low volumes. At low volumes they are quite enjoyable. At higher volumes the sibilance of highs and too powerful bass at time can get very fatiguing.

 

UPDATE: After 300+ hours of burn in it becomes much better headphone, much more balanced, highs calm down, midrange becomes more forward. Initially I thought 150-200 hours are enough but it wasn't even close.

Posted

Pros: Forward vocal presentation-Great for Movies, TV and good for Games

Cons: Not the most musical

It is a decent pair of headphones. Nice comfort, good to very good design and quality. Outstanding for Movies with forward vocals but theres better out there for musical.

Posted

Some time ago, while reading head-fi.org  forum, I noticed that members were complaining that buyers of  HFI-780 disappear right after making a purchase and do not give feedback…

 

Being a proud owner of AKG 702 for almost 3 years, recently I was forced to buy another pair of headphones.  This time I needed closed cans in order to use it at work.  “Ultrasone HFI-780 S-Logic Surround Sound Professional Headphones” was the item of my choice.

 

The first impression, when I unpacked the package, was positive, but not that positive as I expected.   I know that HFI is almost $130 cheaper, but I still wanted something similar to AKG.

 

HFI box includes demo CD, AKG does not. HFI cord is so terribly short that I cannot reach the amplifier while sitting at the table. AKG has a softer, longer and replaceable cord which I really miss on these headphones.

 

My setup is FLAC-> NuForce Icon HDP -> headphones.

 

Definitely HFI are nice cans. They have the same feature as AKG - as soon you plug it in, you simply cannot stand low quality tracks.     

 

Currently, I cannot say much about its sound quality because I have to wait at least 100 hours of burn time.  However, during the first 2 hours HFI were producing muffled sound. On the 3rd hour, the sound quality pleasantly increased.  By default HFI are noisy, I can hear slight background noise, and on the minimal amplifier power the right channel is louder.  AKG and Panasonic XBS (average price $5) do not have such problems.

 

HFI is punchy, has good bass and treble, but IMHO it is lacking of mids. Lots of people recommend it for Metal.  I’ve tried it on Iced Earth, Dark Tranquility, Samael, In Extremo, Children of Bodom,Dream Theater. They are missing something… you can feel each guitar and drum, but in general the whole composition loses the style.  It is not Metal anymore, it is just good music.  They are missing something.  And you know… it was my amplifier.  It matches AKG but does not fit HFI. When I switched to a regular Realtek sound card, everything changed. Got lower quality, but it was Metal again.

 

Country and blues, for instance, Dave Alvin, Little Axe,  etc – definitely downgrade from AKG.

 

I must admit that AKG are very balanced, and, therefore, they are boring cans.  HFI are slightly colorful, so electronic music sounds great.

 

Would I recommend it?  You can find less expensive headphones which are more comfortable than HFI-780 and have similar quality.  Also, even low-end headphones, such as my Panasonic, can bring you more fun than headphones that cost few hundred bucks. If you are buying it for Metal, I would say they are good but not the best.

 

I returned it to the seller due to unacceptable noise level.

Posted

Pros: Clean, detailed sound, powerful and deep bass, wide soundstage, S-Logic Plus tech, very good looking

Cons: None so far.

I've bought these HFI-780 a while ago and I'm really happy with them! Spectacular, very refined sound and the bass is full and clean. I've decided to buy these professional high-class headphones after a deep research and following some pro musicians recommendations (had to choose from HFI-580 and HFI-780).

 

At first I was skeptical, but I really like S-Logic Plus technology. Despite what I've read on other reviews, they have very deep and powerful bass, but that may depend on the player they are connected to. Eg. on a Sony PSP or on a PC with quality sound card they are INCREDIBLE! The mids and highs are very accurate and detailed (these headphones are intended for Studio use). I have to mention that they have also a great sound isolation.

 

They are comfortable even worn for long periods (4-5 h), but generally that depends on size and shape of the head (mine is medium sized). The cable is kind of short but is thick and it's appropriate for all portable devices; also they came with a longer extension cable (about 4 m). Another thing I like about them is that they are foldable and both cans can rotate.

 

I find them a very good upgrade from M50 because they are definitely better; I think that these are among the best headphones (if not the best) on this price range and is definitely worth the money!

Posted

Pros: Perfectly tuned bass, balanced mids, tamed highs (after a few hours of burn in) surprisingly light weight, solid build and great looking cans

Cons: Bass was almost too big out if the box but after a few hours they settle in nicely and bass is perfect!! The highs are tight but also settle in nicely

Wasn't sure what to expect out of the box because of all the mixed reviews. By mixed you would see 9 that love and totally swear by Ultrasone but then there was always one troll hating on em and as bummy as their attitude was you always need to think about the bad reviews. That being said I took a risk and my goodness did it pay off!! Now I listen to all kinds of music. I don't mean different types of hip hop or Dub I mean I have music that ranges from Slipknot to Enya!! I live music all sorts of it except new age rap and country. Sorry, can't do it.. Anyway here are some of the artist I started off with but were not limited to.

Ministry of Sound Dup step mix

Adele 19 @ 21

Incubus

S & M live Metallica

Goat Rodeo Yo-Yo Ma and company (best CD of the year if you love music)

Bruno Mars

And Guns and Roses appittite for destruction

So basically I'm all over the place but I wanted to see how they behaved in a bunch of different senarios. I even plugged them into my Astro Mix-Amp 5.8 and played Forza 4 with em. But no matter how I tried to twist them up they were game for everything!! Yes you may be able to find a set with slightly better highs but after you chase the highs with boring lows and overwhelming mids (cough HD600) what exactly are you working with?? I wanted a set that I could listen to Evanessace one song then Lil Wayne the next followed up by Al Green without wishing I had a different set for each song and these bad boys do the trick!! They aren't some cold black ugly over engineered set that forgot bass is Z most important Zing in za vorld!! Ultrasone focused on what brings headphones to life without forgetting about everything else. Now only time will tell as far as longevity goes but by the looks of things these beast will be in it for the long haul.

These cans may not be for everyone because they are and will be just to much awesome for some people to handle but for those that love music all ranges of it will love these cans and for the price of $150 (Amazon) you will not find another pair better then these, and if you are a sponcer and feel that you have a better product out there that can our shine these please contact me and I'd love to do a video comparison and post it to this site.

Now that the love has been passed I only have one concern.. If these are so amazing and they obviously are, how much better can the Edition 8 $1500 super beast be over the 780's?? Again, if any sponcer would like to give me a pair so I can review them I would be more than willing to "test" them out. Sorry in advance that they were not returned in a timely manner 😁😁

Posted

Pros: Good SQ overall, Not too expensive, Comfortable, Portable, Great Isolation, Easy to drive (no amp required)

Cons: Recessed mids, Short cable, Wide headband can make you look goofy

This quick review is done after a few hours of listening. I bought them from B&H for the decent sum of 150$. If you've done your research you'll find out that Ultrasone HPs are known for their deep, strong bass, slightly recessed mids, and somewhat shrill/metallic highs. Some like it, some don't. I do. They also require anywhere between 100-300 hours of burn in, from what I've read around here. I listen to them straight out of my Dell Vostro V131, Clip+, and iPod 2nd gen + Fiio E6 via LOD (the headphone jack doesn't work well anymore.) with 320kbps files.

 

SOUND

 

On first impression, these do have good base extension and impact, although less than what I've expected from reading the comments here. Bassheads should probably take a look at the bassier HFI-580. I was looking for a versatile headphones that could play well with the different genres I listen to (modern rock, EDM, jazz, classic rock plus movies). These hit the nail right on the head. I prefer them to my previous versatile HP, the venerable ATH-M50, because they have a slightly better soundstage, though keep in mind that they're still closed can. As for the mids, they're slightly recessed. That would be one of the 780's only faults. Since they're easy to drive, I don't listen to them at high volume so the shrill/bright highs don't bother me at all. I actually think they bring out the drums nicely in some cymbal-happy rock songs. Overall, I'd say that the 780 are okay to listen to during long sessions (I always take a break after 1hr, don't abuse your ears, people!) Although people who like to listen at high volume may find the bright highs to hurt their ears.

 

COMFORT/ISOLATION

 

I bought the revised version of the HFI-780 and when I read around the forums there weren't a lot of reviews for the newer model. The revised version comes with a very short cable (1m) which is annoyingly slightly too short. They do come with a very long 4m extension cable. The pads on the earcups and the headband  are also different. They're now softer and don't hurt my ears. They're more comfortable than the M50 pads (they don't feel like sandpaper.) So don't worry, they're comfortable. I ordered the DT250 pads in case but they mess up the sound (less bass) at the expense of comfort. They're gonna be returned. The headband applies some pressure on the top of the head but I think the padding was also changed on this version. Finally, these HP isolate very well, making them perfect for the library/airplane. Sound leakage is almost non-existent, well done Ultrasone!

 

LOOKS

 

If you're someone who's self conscious, these HP might not be for you (your loss). The wide headband design sticks out which can look a bit goofy. Although I do find the silver earcups design very nice. It's up to you.

 

Overall, I do recommend these headphones for first time listeners looking to take a plunge into the audiophile world. 

Posted

Pros: Good sound, Good value, Cord Length

Cons: Sub-par Comfort, Sharp highs.

After owning and using the HFI-780 for almost a year I am happy with the headphones. Sound Quality is good, bass is just ok but not powerful like some claim. Comfort is the weaker area but not that bad for me, that is compared to Senn HD-600's which are very comfy. Headphones can be worn for long periods of time but I found the top of band that rests on my head causes discomfort and I need to readjust them periodically. I found the clamping to not be an issue, It clamps nice and tight but not to tight. Construction is solid they will hold up with heavy use. The cord is nice and short about 3 feet and extension included, length is perfect for use with a laptop, I really hope more headphones do this.

Ultrasone HFI-780
Description:

The exclusive design of the closed-back Ultrasone HFI-780 is accentuated by the polar-silver color. The HFI-780 contains all Ultrasone technologies such as S-Logic Plus, ULE and safer hearing. The HFI-780 is developed from the studio sector and is distinguished by a frequency response that is specifically tuned for DVD and gaming. Sophisticated home theater and music enthusiasts are overwhelmed by the impressive sound that makes it appear as though you are listening to speakers placed meters away. Gamers are impressed by the exact sound reproduction, making the gaming world come alive. The low frequency ranges are raised in order to reach the highest possible synergies with DSP-Systems like Dolby Headphone and Yamaha Silent Cinema. Through S-Logic Natural Surround, the sound moves out of your head and into the room around you. Direction and distance are more easily perceived, giving the illusion of being at a live concert. With just a pair of Ultrasones and your favorite audio device, you can have genuine 3-dimensional aural enjoyment. The HFI-780 is equipped with thicker ear and headphone pads, and comes with a new velvet carrying bag.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandUltrasone
EAN4043941780002
Feature1/8 inch gold plated plug, gold plated screw adaptor, demo CD, and carry bag included
Height8.5 inches
Length10.5 inches
Weight1.54 pounds
Width4 inches
LabelUltrasone
List Price$279.00
ManufacturerUltrasone
Material TypePlastic
Material Type Set ElementPlastic
ModelHFI-780
MPNHFI-780
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherUltrasone
StudioUltrasone
TitleUltrasone HFI-780 S-Logic Surround Sound Professional Headphones
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Special FeaturesThe exclusive design of the closed-back HFI-780 is accentuated by the polar-silver colour. The HFI-780 contains all Ultrasone technologies such as S-LogicTM Plus, ULE and safer hearing. The HFI-780 is developed from the studio sector and is distinguished by a frequency response specifically tuned for DVD and gaming. Sophisticated home cineasts and music enthusiasts are overwhelmed by the impressing sound that appears as though you are listening to speakers meters away. Gamers are impressed by the
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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