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[Review/ Impression] New Furutech ADL H118 headphones

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

First of all, I want to say that my English is not good. Sorry for any mistakes

* Pros:

-          Detailed, easy to drive.

-          Smooth and warm mid.

-          Such wide soundstage for closed cans, good isolation.

-          Nice build, perfect fit, detachable cable, foldable, nice hard case.

* Cons:

-          A little bit heavy and hot, not very comfortable for long-sesion listening

-          Some may find them “bassy”.

Price: around 280$

* Spec

-          Acoustic Design: Dynamic closed-back (portable, over-ear)

-          Driver: 40mm diameter neodymium

-          Sensitivity: 98dB SPL (1mW) @ 1 kHz

-          Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz

-          Max input power: 200mW

-          Rated impedance: 68 Ohm @ 1 kHz

-          Earpad: Leatherette

-          Connector: Nonmagnetic rhodium-plated stereo alpha mini XLR socket

-          Weight: 245g appr

* Source gear:

       -    Ipad
       -    Laptop (dell) -> formula2 usb cable -> Fiio E07k /E09k

* Test songs:

_ Kenny G – Jasmine Flower
_ Hans Zimmer – He’s a pirate
_ Kitaro – Matsuri
_ Yiruma – River flows in you
_ Michale Buble – Home
_ Celine Dion – The power  of Love
_ The Eagles – Hotel California (live 1996)
_ Joe Satriani – Surfing with the Alien
_ Slayer – Angel of Death
_ Richard Stoltzman – Maid with the Flexen Hair (Debussy)

Buid and packaging

       Well, I have to say that Furutech ADL H118 have the best build and packaging in this price range (except for some fashion headphones with poor sound quality). There’s a nice hard case, a mini XLR -> 3.5mm cable, a 6.35mm jack included. When I first held these cans, I gotta said “Whooah”. ADL H118 are made totally by plastic. But don’t get me wrong, they are high-quality plastic, not “floppy” like the ATH-M50. And they look like a pair for Dj or mornitoring than an acoustic one. In general, these cans are beautiful, although you guys may find the ear-cups a bit “weird”

Fitness, comfort and isolation

       And for such uncommon cups, you will worry about the fitness issue? Actually, this is awesome! These cans are great, very comfortable. They stay where they should-be right after you put them on. Clapping force is just right, not too tight, not too loose. (or my head is small :lol: )

      One more thing that I like this pair is the isolation. Furutech had done it well. I have no complain about this.

      However, after 4-5h of listening, I began feeling rather hot inside two cups and these cans are quite heavy. To solve that porblem, I simply took a break few seconds after an hour or so. Easy stuff.

Speed, transparency, image and soundstage

     Normally, a closed-back pair will have narrow soundstage and slow speed. H118 are different. They remind me of the AKG K550 or the T50rp. When I tested these cans with the song “Matsuri”, I was surprised, and in fact, impressed by the wide soundstage. Even some open cans like Grados can’t match this feature.
      The speed and transparency of the ADL H118 is good. It’s not the best nor the worse I’ve ever heard, still, can handle most songs in my playlist above. Only when facing the “Angel of Death”, the ADL H118 failed to keep pace. But I have nothing to worry, cause these are made for “Acoustic”, not for Metalhead.        
       Image is also an interesting point. Instruments are clearly presented. They sound warm, relaxing, somehow similar to the HD650.

Sound impression

     This is it! Bass! Very deep bass boost, up to the midbass. The bass is deep, tight, not messing with the midrange, but too much for some that love the “flat response” (even warmer than T50rp or HD650). It’s not actually the problem, cuz people have different taste. In my opinion, these cans perfect with strings, ok with piano, saxophone. For example, I love them play the song “Hotel California” with warm classic guitar. I also find them suitable for Jazz and relaxing music.


     As I said before, mid is sweet, warm, not affected by the “over-weight” bass. Lower mid is clear, Michael Buble – Home was good. Upper mid is ok, though not very perfect.


      With such bassy feature, will ADL H118’s treble can satisfy us? Well, again, depend on our taste. The teble is not pick-up like the Grados or Beyers, not sparkle like the Hifiman HE-400. It’s not energetic, but clear, gentle, no sibilance. Therefore, treb-head will be disappointed. I tested the treble with” Surfing with the alien”, you know how I felt.


     Furutech ADL H118 are good “Acoustic” headphones (what they’re made for) and it’s ok in the sub 300$ price range with nice design. You guys should try them once I think. .

post #2 of 14
Are the mids forward? Do you think an iPhone could drive them we'll enough?
Do they leak sound like the m50s do?

post #3 of 14
Do you think they would do good with the speed of electronic music?
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

1)They have good isolation and barely leaks anything outside.

2)They can handle every electronics.

3)They can be drived by ipod/ iphone, but you shouldn't do that for a 300$ headphones.

4)The mid is not forward. It's perfect for me. Just a little bit warm on the lower mid, but that's ok.

post #5 of 14
Is the mid recessed? The only reason I ask is because I have the ATH m 50 and I think they have recessed mids and I do not like that. You say they Are warm but in comparison to the m50s which are bright are these dark in sound sig?
post #6 of 14
When I ask these questions I am talking about the placement of sound in the soundstage not whether it is prominent or not. For example I think the ATH m 50s are bright with a prominent treble. But I think that the highs are recessed to the back of the driver. Now what I am looking for is a dark sounding headphone with a decent roll off of treble and with mids that are not recessed. Will these fit that?
Thanks for any help
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Yeah I got it. The H118 sound is dark, not like any ATHs that I've heard. The AD700, AD900 and M50 is much brighter, especially around 7-10 kHz I guess. Mid, though, isn't recessed. The treble is a little bit back behind, as I say, "gentle treble."

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

In general, you may find these cans relaxing, similar to the HD650 with more bass (the mid, of course, HD650 still much better, but the way they sound is similar)

post #9 of 14
There arent many reviews yet of this product but i think this review has it spot on. Nice review!!! smily_headphones1.gif
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you. I'm still a new guy in reviewing headphones and for sure don't have any measurements or graphs so it's still not a good one :)

post #11 of 14

Wow... is that it, was waitign for a few other pages to load.... would these be a good buy over the B&W P7's? Am considering whether to go for the P7 as an all round portable or the VModa M100's which would be best for bassy music but not so good at Jazz when on the move etc.... leaning toward the M100 as I'd usually listen to bassy music while out and about I suppose but these Furutech's could trump that yet.

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

I haven't listened to the B&WW P7 yet, so I have no idea how to compare these cans. However, I prefer the ADL H118 than the M100 for some reasons such as the comfort and the midrange. But I won't say that the H118 are better, it's up to your taste.

post #13 of 14

Thanks... not easy as these aren't popular headphones.

post #14 of 14
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