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A very informative review. Good read.
A really good review providing lots of information. As an Elear owner I can relate to some of your findings. In particular I find the cable heavy and ridiculous. Needless to say it had already been replaced.
Nice review of the Elear.
Though, I am not that impressed with Elear, I would like to know how your comparison between Elear and the rest held? I have heard HD800S on some woo audio amps and some transfomer coupled amps and found to be well above Elear in almost any aspects maybe i could give a nod on the bass slams...Another headphone i found to be more impressive than Elear was Audeze LCD-X, and 3...not lcd 2 though...The LCD's of my pick drove by Audio GD HE-9(custom version of Master 9)..Maybe we have different hearings aside from pairing the right source and amplifier with specific headphones.
Thanks for the comment acap,
After having some more time with additional sources and becoming more familiar with the HD 800S past my initial listening with it I think my overall opinion stays the same about it. In my comparison with the Elear in this review I do feel like it's a bit unfair but my evaluation of the Elear feeling better is mainly because of the price differential. Over time I've found that the HD 800 still wins out over the Elear for a good amount of people because it's just an easier listen to the more energetic lean of the Elear. That comparisson is a good one because they very much fall into the same price bracket, sometimes the HD 800 even coming out cheaper.
The HD 800S on the other hand is in a different league. For the hike in price i very much expected it to easily come out on top of both the Elear and the HD 800S. But still I couldn't hear any reason to justify that little bit extra. I found I preferred the original HD 800 especially at the lower cost and while some of the same points where the HD 800 is better than the Elear still apply with the HD 800S not all of them do. For quite a bit less you do lose out on a better, crisper, wider presentation overall but you still get a better build quality and some very fun and unique elements in bass presentation that would help someone choose the Elear over the HD 800S. With an 800$ price differential I can't say that hike is worth it for most people.
It's the same case with the LCD-3 and 4. For a headphone that is nearly half the cost of the higher end Audeze cans it trumps them hard in terms of comfort and build quality. I found the LCD-3 to have a much easier to listen to signature with much better bass extension but i still preferred the speed and punch of the Elear's mid-bass slam. However the LCD-3 I was listening to did do a better job at making for a much more pleasurable mid range and the problems i had with the Elear did become more apparent in A/B however it was still hard to convince myself that with the way that the LCD-3 had been designed and built in comparison to a headphone that's half it's cost it did jade my opinion on them quite a bit.
Thanks for reply...
On the build quality, i am not sure if hd800/S is lesser quality compared to Elear .. Is it because of hd800 is build based on lesser metal/steel part than Elear does I dont know. But so far, it so far lesser as build quality issue reported for hd800 compared to Elear(maybe for first batch) despite being build with plastic parts..And the issue with Elear headband is still questionable as of reported by one headfier in one of the Focals thread which i am not sure is still there or not and am not going to mention what was actually happen with him/her..I'm really hope Focal address the issue soon because a $1000 headphone shouldn't have that kind of issue.. On the other side,i still can see hd800 used price is more better in this department despite being plastic based build. The plastic is of high quality and NASA spec'd quality for lower distortion parts..Dont get me wrong..Not going to give hard time on focals on this aspect because its really beautiful headphone and quite sturdy on framewise. And much beautiful than any hd800/S model..The best build quality of headphone I can think of vs weight distribution have to be Focal Utopia..
Last week, I spent quite sometimes demoed Elear on the local store nearby. Revisiting the headphone is a pleasure and inviting. Using my daily tracks which I was quite familiar with and compared it to LCD-X which happened to be in the store. I can say I prefer Elear by quite a large margin for number of reasons..Being much more weight effective is one of the major decision..After quite short time, I felt like my neck sore already thus really fatiguing if proceed for more longer.. The sound however, I can feel the lcd-x to be more transparent(the dissappearance of headphone from head) than Elear does. But not by large margin though. I can feel Elear to be somewhat veiled sounding than I used to.. The veil somehow is not neccesarily a bad thing..Focal scored nicely on this with Elear. Warm and inviting signature..Compared to HD800S, Elear couldn't match the ultimate transparency,soundstaging and detail retrieval..Just with the cost that can be overbearing on many people which have a hint thinness on timbre and do not slam as hard as in Elear..I guess its just my opinion on this one..Elear is very nice pair of can and do not fussy with source pairing as much as HD800/800S does...I rate this even higher than LCD-X i demoed overall..