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Value of Ultrasone Edition 8?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 



I'm back from my regular 2-3 year hiatus from this board.  My last incursion brought me the JH16Pros (to replace SE530s which replaced UE10s which replaced every other headphone in/out production in 2004) and Sennheiser MX980s (which replaced broken Yuin PK1s which replaced my all-time favorite KSC35s).  I've also gone through my fair share of Ray Samuels amps and different DACs.


On this "trip", I've already replaced a Centrance DAC with a AudioQuest Dragonfly.  While I'm not looking to replace the JH16Pros, I am looking for a closed back headphone.  Based on what I've read, I'm only interested in the Ultrasone Edition 8.


However, I really don't understand the market value of the headphones.  While retail value seems to be around $1,500, I see them trading for around $1000 in their Ruthenium form.  On eBay, they seem to be available for even less with a recent auction getting down to the $760 level.


Between the information on Head-Fi and eBay, I can usually tell what a good price for a headphone, whether it is a good value, and what it sounds like.  It seems like all my old headphone supremo role model folks are gone and I can't leverage their feedback on this.  Two questions:

1. At around $800-$900, is the Ruthenium Ultrasone Edition 8 a good deal?

2. Ignoring IEMs, Denons, and HiFiMan, are they still one of the best closed headphones?  Would it be accurate to call them headphones with Grado like sound + decent bass?  The Grado SR225 also rank high on my list of most loved headphones but I like bass too.


Take care,


post #2 of 5

1. The reason the price on the edition headphones has gone down so steeply is the prices RMC audio offers.  The ruthenium were $999 new last time I checked, maybe less.  How much of a markdown to pay used is your call.


2. Um...that's a polarizing question.  It's hard to make a good closed headphone, and the ED8 is thoroughly meh to my ears.  My JH13 thoroughly trounced it in every way possible (save possibly bling) so I don't know what you're hoping to get out of it that the JH16's don't offer you.

post #3 of 5

The Edition 8 goes for quite cheap if they are used, so I'm not really surprised that you find them at around the $800 mark on ebay.  For new they are closer to the $1000 mark from shops I think, if you find them new for 900 I'd say it's a good deal already.  I guess the problem is that for one the Edition 8 is a polarizing pair of headphones - you either love them or you hate them, and two for that price someone would rather buy new than used, which is why their price on the used market goes down really quick.


For closed headphones I'd say the Edition 8 is probably one of the best I've tried (though I think more people on head-fi prefer the Signature Pro, which I want to try some day too), I've heard the Denon D5000 but that one is no contest compared with the Edition 8 - bass is lazy and intrudes into the mids for the D5000, no issues for the Edition8.  Not sure about the D7000 though.  I've also heard some Audio Technica woodies which are also closed but the sound signature is just too different for comparison, and I wouldn't consider the AT woodies portable either if that is one of the criteria you are considering for the Edition 8.  Also personally the S-Logic Pro works for me and so I get a good 3D sound from the Edition 8 which I don't get from the other closed Japanese headphones I've tried.


Can't compare with Grado, but since I have the JH16Pro as well I think the closer comparison would be the Edition 8 has slightly less bass than the JH16Pro while the rest of the spectrum is quite similar, but since it is a headphone it sounds a lot more spacious than IEM.  

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback.  I'm slightly disappointed the Ultrasone 8 would be similar to the JH16Pro with less bass, but it seems like you've kept the Edition 8 regardless.  I was hoping for a more Grado like sound signature.

post #5 of 5

Very similar yet different beasts the JH16s and the Edition 8s.


Similarities would include the pace and speed as well as the no-holds barred take to presenting music in a very visceral way.


Both have mids that are sub-par to their treble and bass.


JH16s have a slightly more impactful bass response. And extends a slight notch lower. But I find their bass a little too 'rude'.. almost like *SHUT THE F@%$ up and eat my bass* kinda rude. Edition 8's bass is less powerful but more 'polite' in a sense. Neither bass bleeds to the mids much, but if I have to pick, the edition 8s intrude less.


The JH16 has a smaller more intimate soundstage with a much more spacious soundspace?? The instruments are all closer together, yet the 'arena' feels infinite, like outer-space.


The Ed8s soundstage is more generous but overall the soundspace feels like the music is played in an averagely treated large concert hall. In other words, slightly confined.


The Edition 8 images slightly better. The left and right channel merges nicer. The JH16's stereo separation is more evident, resulting in a more differentiated left and right channels. It can be a strange experience in some tracks.


Overall, to pick apart little portions of music, and for overall detail, the JH16 wins. But music enjoyment in its purer stage, I prefer the Edition 8.


I currently own the HeirAudio 8.As and the Ed8s. Whenever possible, the Ed8's are used. The 8.As are only a choice when convenience is key (being a highly portable audio gear, that's less bling in a hot tropical climate)

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