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Ultrasone HFI-780 first impression

A Review On: Ultrasone HFI-780

Ultrasone HFI-780

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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.


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