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Is the ultrasone edition 8 the right headphone for me?

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

Long time lurker but rare poster, I made the life decision of skipping the next 5 upgrade steps and go to the end of the line directly and invest a big amount of money, so as to not have to worry about headphones for some years. After reading a bit, I think that the Ultrasone ed8 phones might be the thing for me, but I am always open to change my mind.

Here is what I am looking for:
Portability as they will be used 60% or more of the time in buses, libraries etc.
Comfort. Insane clamps aren't appreciated.
Working well with a portable amp.
Music tastes: A lot of instrumental theme music (read:The dark knight rises OST etc), electronic, rock, metal.

Now, if you tell me that based on what I am asking, I am making a mistake and should buy a pair of HD800's and/or a custom iem for the road, I will consider your input.
Or if there is a cheaper phone that can deliver all that the ed.8 can for less, I will consider it as well.

But if you support this decision, please say so smily_headphones1.gif And if possible guide me towards the right shop to buy them in Europe.

Thank you for reading and for making this forum the greatest place for headphone enthusiasts.
Edited by DoomForce - 8/18/12 at 2:32pm
post #2 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoomForce View Post

Hello everyone,
Long time lurker but rare poster, I made the life decision of skipping the next 5 upgrade steps and go to the end of the line directly and invest a big amount of money, so as to not have to worry about headphones for some years. After reading a bit, I think that the Ultrasone ed8 phones might be the thing for me, but I am always open to change my mind.
Here is what I am looking for:
Portability as they will be used 60% or more of the time in buses, libraries etc.
Comfort. Insane clamps aren't appreciated.
Working well with a portable amp.
Music tastes: A lot of instrumental theme music (read:The dark knight rises OST etc), electronic, rock, metal.
Now, if you tell me that based on what I am asking, I am making a mistake and should buy a pair of HD800's and/or a custom iem for the road, I will consider your input.
Or if there is a cheaper phone that can deliver all that the ed.8 can for less, I will consider it as well.
But if you support this decision, please say so smily_headphones1.gif And if possible guide me towards the right shop to buy them in Europe.
Thank you for reading and for making this forum the greatest place for headphone enthusiasts.


Some options to consider that I have not heard but basing on reviews:  Fostex TH900 and Denon D7100 or even D600.  These are all closed, low impedance and relatively new models.  The Edition 8 is also an excellent headphone and you may want to audition its cousin, the Signature Pro.  Based on everything I have read, I would put the TH900 at the top of the list if cost is not a concern. You would just need to purchase a portable cable (shorter, 1/8" jack).  Custom IEMs would work as well.  There are some nice options in the Head-Fi buying guide.  For portable use, I would definitely avoid an open headphone like the HD800.


Edited by Craigster75 - 8/18/12 at 3:12pm
post #3 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75 View Post


Some options to consider that I have not heard but basing on reviews:  Fostex TH900 and Denon D7100 or even D600.  These are all closed, low impedance and relatively new models.  The Edition 8 is also an excellent headphone and you may want to audition its cousin, the Signature Pro.  Based on everything I have read, I would put the TH900 at the top of the list if cost is not a concern. You would just need to purchase a portable cable (shorter, 1/8" jack).  Custom IEMs would work as well.  There are some nice options in the Head-Fi buying guide.  For portable use, I would definitely avoid an open headphone like the HD800.


TH900 is not a good portable can imo. it leaks sounds and the clamping force is not strong plus the cable is pretty long for portable.
I used to own edition 8 and it is very good for portable use and scales really well with amp. It is super comfortable and isolates really well, It can be an issue for people with big ears as the cup is quite small but perfect for me.
post #4 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75 View Post


Some options to consider that I have not heard but basing on reviews:  Fostex TH900 and Denon D7100 or even D600.  These are all closed, low impedance and relatively new models.  The Edition 8 is also an excellent headphone and you may want to audition its cousin, the Signature Pro.  Based on everything I have read, I would put the TH900 at the top of the list if cost is not a concern. You would just need to purchase a portable cable (shorter, 1/8" jack).  Custom IEMs would work as well.  There are some nice options in the Head-Fi buying guide.  For portable use, I would definitely avoid an open headphone like the HD800.

You should not be recommending...

 

anyway if the denons are anything to go by the TH900 is not a portable can in any world. The D7100 or D600 is so new and there is not even a good review out yet, so hold off on that. From what I know of the ED8 it can be an ear bleeder and somewhat heavily over priced. I would be careful of the harsh treble. I do agree the HD800 is a bad idea.

 

For portable use, I would say CIEM aswell. 

post #5 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiR3D View Post

You should not be recommending...

 

anyway if the denons are anything to go by the TH900 is not a portable can in any world. The D7100 or D600 is so new and there is not even a good review out yet, so hold off on that. From what I know of the ED8 it can be an ear bleeder and somewhat heavily over priced. I would be careful of the harsh treble. I do agree the HD800 is a bad idea.

 

For portable use, I would say CIEM aswell. 


While you are correct that I should not be recommending headphones I have not auditioned, my intent was give the thread starter some options to consider.  I did not give a review and mentioned upfront that I have not auditioned.  It sounds like you have NOT auditioned the ED8, so it seems you are equally as unqualified to discuss those.  I have auditioned the ED8 and IMO do not consider them to be an "ear bleeder", although I would agree they are overpriced, but if DoomForce likes them, he indicated cost is not an issue.  While many Ultrasones are harsh, I don't believe the ED8 or Signature Pro fall into that category at all.  They may be ever so slightly on the bright side of neutral, but have crystal clear highs, dynamic bass and detailed mids.  It sounds like you are judging all Ultrasones based on reputation.  Regarding the D7100, you say there is not a good review out yet and you would be incorrect.  Crutchfield.com posted an in-house detailed review on their web site last week.

 

http://www.crutchfield.com/learn/denon-ah-d7100-music-maniac-artisan-stereo-headphones-review.html?g=349050&i=033AHD7100

 

One last note, I have some constructive feedback for you.  When you tell a fellow Head-Fi member they should not be recommending, it is presumptuous.  You give the impression that you are pompous and arrogant.


Edited by Craigster75 - 8/19/12 at 5:12am
post #6 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75 View Post

One last note, I have some constructive feedback for you.  When you tell a fellow Head-Fi member they should not be recommending, it is presumptuous.  You give the impression that you are pompous and arrogant.

I know that, I tend to be like that, and sometimes even I am being arrogant, bust most of the time I just don't bother to butter over the issue, which makes it seem arrogant.

 

Anyway I read, a lot, because I don't have the luxury of auditioning, and your correct I haven't auditioned the ED8, my fault for not mentioning I havent, but I'm quite sure you have seen many of my posts where I always state I haven't heard X headphone that is up for debate. I would wait until a few more reviews come out regardless. On Ultrasones in general, my theory on them is 2 things, 1 varying quality control, I have read a few reports on the same headphones sounding drastically different, the same can be said for beyerdynamic, and that they are amp/source dependant, which could be a cause for sibilance. But one things for sure Ultrasones are controversial no matter where you look, with a ton of contradicting information. 

 

The reason I stated you should not recommend, is that you (and I'm about to sound unintentionally arrogant again) post a lot, and say things, based on limited / partial information. We tend to follow the same threads if you haven't noticed, and although I went nuts 2 weeks ago and said all sorts of wonderful warning-inducing things, I definitely do my best in research to try and find a bottom line, 1 person saying something is definitely not good enough, and it seems to be for you. And thats what I don't like. But your not the only one, and you definitely know more then 80% of the other 12post wonders giving recommendations, so I'm not picking on you, its just I expect a more informed opinion from you.... recommending Denons for a portable can is a rookie error IMHO....


Edited by WiR3D - 8/19/12 at 6:23am
post #7 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiR3D View Post

I know that, I tend to be like that, and sometimes even I am being arrogant, bust most of the time I just don't bother to butter over the issue, which makes it seem arrogant.

 

Anyway I read, a lot, because I don't have the luxury of auditioning, and your correct I haven't auditioned the ED8, my fault for not mentioning I havent, but I'm quite sure you have seen many of my posts where I always state I haven't heard X headphone that is up for debate. I would wait until a few more reviews come out regardless. On Ultrasones in general, my theory on them is 2 things, 1 varying quality control, I have read a few reports on the same headphones sounding drastically different, the same can be said for beyerdynamic, and that they are amp/source dependant, which could be a cause for sibilance. But one things for sure Ultrasones are controversial no matter where you look, with a ton of contradicting information. 

 

The reason I stated you should not recommend, is that you (and I'm about to sound unintentionally arrogant again) post a lot, and say things, based on limited / partial information. We tend to follow the same threads if you haven't noticed, and although I went nuts 2 weeks ago and said all sorts of wonderful warning-inducing things, I definitely do my best in research to try and find a bottom line, 1 person saying something is definitely not good enough, and it seems to be for you. And thats what I don't like. But your not the only one, and you definitely know more then 80% of the other 12post wonders giving recommendations, so I'm not picking on you, its just I expect a more informed opinion from you.... recommending Denons for a portable can is a rookie error IMHO....


Thank you for the fair and reasoned response.  I will take your points into consideration.  I also ordered the D600, so I will be able to provide some first hand comments.

post #8 of 50
The OP should definitely be considering the Signature Pro. Many think it sounds better than Ed8, and it is much more conducive to being a portable phone, in my opinion.

I sold my Ed8 for the Sig Pro for this very reason.
post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoomForce View Post

Hello everyone,
Long time lurker but rare poster, I made the life decision of skipping the next 5 upgrade steps and go to the end of the line directly and invest a big amount of money, so as to not have to worry about headphones for some years. After reading a bit, I think that the Ultrasone ed8 phones might be the thing for me, but I am always open to change my mind.
Here is what I am looking for:
Portability as they will be used 60% or more of the time in buses, libraries etc.
Comfort. Insane clamps aren't appreciated.
Working well with a portable amp.
Music tastes: A lot of instrumental theme music (read:The dark knight rises OST etc), electronic, rock, metal.
Now, if you tell me that based on what I am asking, I am making a mistake and should buy a pair of HD800's and/or a custom iem for the road, I will consider your input.
Or if there is a cheaper phone that can deliver all that the ed.8 can for less, I will consider it as well.
But if you support this decision, please say so smily_headphones1.gif And if possible guide me towards the right shop to buy them in Europe.
Thank you for reading and for making this forum the greatest place for headphone enthusiasts.

 

Hi --- I am an owner of the Edition 8s and  also previously owned the edition 9s.  Here are some general thoughts in order from most positive to most negative:

 

SOUND QUALITY: GRADE A -- The Ed8 are fantastic cans -- they can handle any genre and provide a rich detailed sound.  They are a bit bassy but with clean tight  base rather than bloated. They are far superior to the edition 9s which had a bass that crapped all over the mids.  My base for comparison before buying was the Denon 5000 and 7000.  I felt that the Ed. 8s blew them away as both were far too bassy at the time of buying. Of course if you prefer a real boomy bass you might like the Denons although i do not seeing them as being that great for portable.  In terms of SQ I would rate them as outstanding in every area except sound stage, and even here I am not aware of any closed can that can beat them.There are already plenty of reviews on headfi regarding the sound, so i will not go into further detail here.

 

PORTABILITY: GRADE A -- These cans are very light and portable. They also play very nice with simple Music Players and isolate extremely well. They do not require amping but at the same time can be fun with the right amp. They really are cans that can do everything well. 

 

COMFORT: GRADE  B --  I think they will be fine for most people.  However I have large ears  and I find the ear cups too small so the leather presses against my ears and makes them warm and fatiguing to wear.  People with smaller Ears should be fine. The clamping is noticeable but by no means severe.

 

DURABILITY: GRADE  C+  --- Is a mixed bag.  I have had mine for almost three years and have had no major issues.  At the same time however I am very disappointed at how quickly the details on the finish wore off --- the branding has completely worn off of the cups after about a year as have the "L" and "R" indicators.  Although I have taken care of the cable it is not really impressive in quality nor is it user replaceable.  All in all, although I have not experienced any major issues, I would expect much better from a set of cans in this price range.  The aesthetics are not a major issue but it will certainly affect resale value not to mention the pride you might feel wearing such elite cans.      

 

IMAGE  GRADE C-: In terms of tangible aspects of image, appearance is a personal matter.  I personally think they look fine -- refined and sexy  but low profile enough not to look gaudy.  Somehow I prefer the appearance of the Ed 9 and Ed 10 better but that is just personal preference.  Of course there is more to image than appearance and you will see here at Head-fi,  many negative opinions against Ultrasone and the Edition series in particular.  There are several reasons for this, but the most obvious seems to be resentment against the very high prices Ultrasone demands.  There are other reasons too:  1) Product Reputation  -- The Edition 9 has its fans but I think most people would consider it  far too overpriced given its flaws in sound Signature.  The Edition 10 also appears to be a total flop, given the problems it had at launch in combination with its ridiculous launch price.  2) The other major image issue that The Edition series faces is that Ultrasone's marketing people seem to take hype to a whole new standard in this industry (hard to do I know).  Among more pragmatic people this sort of creates the impression that Edition products are just "bling" purchased by people who want to be trendy  and show off how much they spend on expensive gadgets (Think "Beats" for rich people).  It is too bad that Ultrasone's marketing people do not understand that understated is some times a good thing.  All of this is unfortunate because as a standalone product the Ed 8 is superb in delivering sound.

 

THE COMPANY (SUPPORT ETC):   Grade: D- ---  As much as I love the Edition 8's Sound Quality, my opinion of Ultrasone has really diminished over the years.  Communications seem to be non existent.  I emailed them a couple of times on issues of aesthetic wear and never once even got the basic courtesy of a reply.  Also, I find it disturbing that with an ultra premium product like this, they manage their product revisions so poorly.  I purchased the original Ruthenium product, but shortly after, a Palladium version came out, and after that a Limited version came out.  Even although the differences were only aesthetic, my recently purchased "Best in class closed cans" were now 3rd best within thesame company and this affects resale value as buyers tend to want a later model when buying used.  Add to this the fact that the issues I faced with my cans (being one of the first to buy the ED 8s) are purely aesthetic it was more than a little irritating to see new versions addressing these issues while early buyers were left twisting in the wind.  At this level of purchase (Probably top 2% of Headphone purchase price) Customers deserve a lot better --- and there are a lot of other companies out there who really take customer service seriously.

 

PRICE: GRADE F --- Ok this might be a bit unfair as many will argue that a fair price is whatever the market will pay .... but this trend in turning headphones into luxury items is not a good thing --- particularly if the marketing is based on "Bling" rather than tangible performance (See the Edition 10 @ US$3,000+).  In my opinion the Ultrasones are superior to the Denon 7000s ---- but worth 70% more? -- well I paid it, but a bit hard to justify.

 

Edition 8 Bottom Line: Great Cans, mediocre company, over priced --- if you do not have large ears and do have a large and full wallet you will be happy with the cans.  I just hope you don't need support.

 

Cheers and Good Luck!                       


Edited by Mutineer - 8/19/12 at 9:58am
post #10 of 50
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

Thanks for all the valuable input! And thank you Mutineer for the mini review, loved it.

So, to get a pair with lasting aesthetics, I should be looking at the Palladium version? Is that even worth 200 more bucks..
And also, can someone provide dimensions of the can opening so I can measure if they will fit on me? (yes, yet another weird thing that head-fi will have me do, measure my ears...). It would be great if there would be a place to audition them in Copenhagen, if one would know of such one.
post #11 of 50

Cannot really do measurements, but maybe this image will help give an idea.

 

http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/17/ultrasone-edition-8-headphones-hands-on-and-impressions/

 

One thought is--- if you are brave enough to go down that route-- there are plenty of 2nd hand Ed 8s on Ebay etc. I am actually selling mine but only will deal locally.

 

As to the different versions --- if you search headfi, i believe there were also appearance issues with the Palladium versions as well (but different in nature).

 

Then again Ultrasone is now offering the Ed 8 in shocking pink (shaking my head ... the horror! the horror!)

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/381695/ultrasone-edition-8/1590

 

By the way -- you mentioned IEMs as an alternative.  There are some great IEMs out there (Sennheiser IE80 are my personal favorite) but no IEM is going to match a premium closed can like  the Ed 8.  Personally I use my IEMs for walking around (truly portable setup) and my ED 8s for things like air travel, lounging in coffee shops etc (more of a transportable application).  Of course you can use them in a walking around style --  it is just a matter of personal taste and comfort as well as where you wear them.  Singapore is safe enough ... I would never wear them walking around Manila or Jakarta.

post #12 of 50

ED8 on sale right now for 20% off at earphonesolutions.com  Codeword: CLASS
 

post #13 of 50

Most people, once they get the Edition 8, realize it's just too nice for portable use. I did. And I went for the better-to-me (and most others) sounding Signature Pro. Do yourself a favor and check it out. 

post #14 of 50
Thread Starter 
What do you mean too nice mate? That it takes so much babysitting to handle them that its not worh having thrm around all the time?

Another question would be, for someone who is a semi audiophile, is there a much cheaper phone that offers almost the same qualities, if one is nnot able to pick out that 1% difference in sound?
post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoomForce View Post

What do you mean too nice mate? That it takes so much babysitting to handle them that its not worh having thrm around all the time?
Another question would be, for someone who is a semi audiophile, is there a much cheaper phone that offers almost the same qualities, if one is nnot able to pick out that 1% difference in sound?

Ultrasone Sig Pro

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