Ubsound Dreamer - Top Quality On-ear Headphones - Elegant Black

Rating:
3.16667/5,
  1. ExpatinJapan
    The ubsound Dreamer is an entry level headphone
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Sep 19, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Affordable, fit is comfy enough, good isolation, acceptable sound for the asking price
    Cons - Not the best resolution, but they are sub $100 headphones

    Ubsound - `The Dreamer` Headphone Review - Expatinjapan

     Head Pie  
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    ubsound - `The Dreamer` headphone review​
    -expatinjapan​
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    Build
    The ubsound The Dreamer is a fairly robust set of headphones, but as I have only had them for a short while I have no way of knowing what long term everyday use might do to them.
    I did do a bit of twisting here and there for stress reactions, they seemed to hold up well.
     
    The plastic parts fit rather seamlessly into each other.
     
    In the close up photos you can see the care that has gone into the stitching of the headband, and also the cups.
     
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    ubsound The Dreamer also has a one button microphone for handsfree call answering, also works to play and pause music.
     
     
    Packaging
    The box is beautiful and certainly catches ones eye.
    Inside is the headphones themselves and also a nice carry pouch to protect and carry The Dreamer whilst moving about your day.
    The Dreamer comes also wrapped in a  plastic bubble protective bag.
     
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    Sound
    Straight out of the box I was not particularly moved by The Dreamer, I should have taken notes at the time but I was knee deep in another review of a more pricey item so a snubbed it like a snob and put it into burn in mode for over 50 hours. I suck.
     
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    After a burn time of over 50 recommended hours by ubsound the Headphones did seem well, improved. I am sitting here listening to them now with the Centrance Hifi-Skyn using FLAC player and am rather surprised at the change.
    Now I am no evangelist or advocator of burn in, I just follow a 50 hour rule to keep everyone happy, it does seem to have a bit of an effect on headphones, looses them up a bit. Smooths some of the rough edges.
     
    I quite enjoyed it with the Centrance Skyn, it seemed to keep pace well, I put it on Gain 2 and it responded positively to the extra power.
     
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    I next changed to the ipod touch 6G, 128GB using Flacplayer app by Dan Leehr, my thinking being that most users of the ubsound The Dreamer would probably be the ipod or mobile phone crowd.
     
    The sound is simple, music is reproduced faithfully, drums can be deep and strong, good lower bass, deep but not crisp and fast either, vocals are fairly creamy and smooth.
    The music and vocals are of a similar volume - I don't enjoy an earphone with forward vocals though it seems to be a crowd favorite these days. 
    The Dreamer plays best at low to mid volumes for control and clarity within its limitations.
    The ubsound The Dreamer has a V shape to it and could be described as warm, it doesn`t have the dynamism that can sometimes be expected of V shaped headphones, but comes across as flat at times.
    In short I am aware of the various limitations, but I still find them a pleasant pair headphones to listen to.
     
    Compared to my ATH-ESW9, the ESW9s have more space and width, better details, slightly faster in response, the sound stage and instrument separation is superior. The ESW9 are meant to be mid centric but appear lighter and have more clarity in sound to The Dreamer. 
    But of course this comparison is unfair and skewed due the different price points, it just helps me and the reader to clarify some of the sound signature differences and particulars.
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    Fit​

    They fit my thin head fairly well, the cups are tight enough to prevent any leakage it seems, but not tight enough to cause me discomfort, those with a head like a pumpkin may prefer to try a pair on first - although do note I am using them with the head band at the smallest fit (is my head so hobbit like?), loosing the headband appropriately gives much more space for a comfortable fit for those with larger heads.​

     
    Isolation is good, clicking my fingers by the cups I cannot hear anything, clapping my hands only slightly can I hear it.
     
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    Value
    The ubsound The Dreamer is priced on amazon.com at US$70, is it a good deal. I would say so, sound wise they fit into around that price bracket.
    Build and look is great, even the trendy Beats crowd might find these fashionable enough to wear.
    Sound is enjoyable enough for the asking price.

     
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    Overall​
    Well in the end I quite enjoyed reviewing these headphones, at first I thought it was going to be tough as I have many TOTL and mid-fi price point products to review.
    Do keep in mind the asking price of US$70 for these headphones from this new company, that is one of the many points that is scaled into a review. Are they worth $70, yes. Could they ask a little more, perhaps.
    The sound is well acceptable within the $50 - $150 range, on some tracks I thought they did rather well.
    Build is unknown as I haven`t trashed them on a daily basis, but on my time with them the construction seems well thought out.
    I think for the casual user and beginner into portable audio they would be satisfied with this headphone.

     
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    A short note from ubsound:​
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    HP: Any plans to produce mid or high end products?
     
    Hi Damon,
    Yes, this is the aim of our company, but step by step as we are still a small Italian company based in Italy and we need to grow on a daily basis. 
    Indeed, as of today, the engineers of our Ubsound Research & Development department work very hard mostly on the acoustic project and the sound signature, choosing the best drivers available in terms of value for money in order to contain the costs for the end users. 
    All the acoustic projects/designs are based on the spaciousness (in squared cm) we have inside the pads, as most of the parts are public molds. So we work hard on the quality of the main components like drivers, tangle-free cable, microphone and the rubber-foam inside the leather of the pads and the headband. Also the double-painting of the plastic + protective transparent paint.
    Basically the sound segment is projected/designed in Italy, then the production is based in China and the packaging process is made by hand here in Italy (including the pack cardboard, user guide and the velvet bag).
    The upcoming projects are focused on our own designs and even a deeper quality of the acoustic components (with a related increase of the consumers price of course). But as of today, we have to work in line with a street-price of only 69$ for the headphones which, considering the bad value from Euro to USD and the high "distribution margin" requested by the Retailers and the E-tailers, is very tough as you can imagine.
    So yes, the high-end world is our main aim, but step by step and always thinking to give great products with an affordable price for the people.
    Thanks for your precious support.
    Take care, Marzio 
     
     
    Thank you to ubsound for sending the Dreamer to Head pie - expatinjapan
     
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  2. Hisoundfi
    First offering with room for improvement. The Ubsound Dreamer on-ear headphone with universal microphone and remote for IOS and Android
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Dec 9, 2015
    2.5/5,
    Pros - Portable and stylish looking, Lightweight, Universal microphone and remote
    Cons - Poor build quality and materials used, Overall cheap feel, Unrefined sound is lacking extension
    At the time of the review, the Ubsound Dreamer Headphones were on sale at their website and on Amazon.com. Here a couple links to the listings of the product:
     
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    http://www.ubsoundshop.com/en/home/17-ubsound-dreamer-8053251320559.html
     
    http://www.amazon.com/Ubsound-Dreamer-Quality--ear-Headphones/dp/B010MEBWR8/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1449709448&sr=8-4&keywords=ubsound
     
    Introduction
    Ubsound is one of the newer players in the game of headphones and IEMs. I first heard of them from a display banner on the Head-Fi forums. Based out of Italy, I was curious to see what they were capable of in terms of product quality. The first review I did for them was the Fighter in-ear monitor. It was a consumer friendly and stylish earphone with a fairly high quality build. After sampling and reviewing the fighter, I let Clara know that I would be happy to cover any more products released by their company.
     
    Today I will be covering the Dreamer headphone, which is Ubsound’s first headphone to go to market.
     
    Disclaimer
    I was given an opportunity to review the Dreamer headphone in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Ubsound. I would like to take this time to personally thank Clara for the opportunity to review their products.
     
    My Background
    I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
     
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me, especially if they can be had for low prices. I will buy the $5 to $500 earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I will discover that one new gem that can compete with the big names in this industry. If you look at my Head-Fi profile you will see that I have purchased MANY different headphones and earphones, ranging from from dirt cheap to higher end products. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, and have a variety of different gears with varying builds and sound to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
     
    I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are ergonomic, and the sound is pleasing to the ear. It is my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based gear I have owned and used.
     
    REVIEW
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    The Dreamer came in a simple black box with white lettering. The front of the box featured the Company and product name and a stylish picture of the product.
     
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    The back of the box featured some couture yet slightly cheesy pictures on the back of the package.
     
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    The right side of the box had a brief description of the product in five different languages (including English).
     
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    The left side of the box had some diagrams explaining the headphone’s functionality and applications.  
     
    Specifications and Accessories
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    *High performance 40mm independent dynamic drivers.
    *Sensitivity: 110dB/mW
    *Frequency response: 18Hz - 22.000Hz
    *Maximum distortion: <0,2%
    *Impedance: 32Ω
    *Professional quality 1,35m single tangle free wire
    *Full, textured and round Bass. Rich, warm and detailed Mids. Clear and advanced Highs.
    *Compatible audio file formats: MP3, APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, OGG, DSF, MP4, Lossless
    *Comes with velvet like material drawstring carrying bag and owner’s manual

     
    Overall Build
    I’m going to be brutally honest, the dreamer earphone build quality is not good. The entire headphone is made of plastic and synthetic materials. There isn’t any part of the headphone that feels premium. If there wasn’t a cheap synthetic protein covering the headphone, it had a shiny black or chrome finished plastic that looks prone to scratching.
     
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    The headband is made of a flexible material that is covered in a synthetic gray padded covering and leads into a plastic ring which houses plastic slides.
     
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    A plastic arm leads down to a rotating socket design that holds the plastic cups in place and allows them to swivel in all directions and enough to get a decent seal. Notice a theme here? Ya, all plastic. Matter of fact I think the only metal on them is a couple screws that attaches the band to the slides and arms.
     
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    The pads on the Dreamer are synthetic protein material that is similar to the headband. It isn’t the soft breathable stuff, but more of the plasticy feeling stuff that gets hot on the ears.
     
    Cable, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
    An attached black rubber cable runs from the bottom of the left cup. The jack is a rubber coated straight jack that seems durable. There are some very short strain reliefs at the housing and jack.
     
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    Functionality
    The Dreamer cable has an inline single button universal microphone and remote that works for Android and IOS. When using the Dreamer for calls I could hear voices with good clarity. When talking to family, they reported my voice coming through at a three on a scale from one to five.
     
    Comfort
    Dreamer’s on ear design was uncomfortable for me. The pads got hot and sticky on my ears, and the clamping force made them uncomfortable after a short time wearing them. The combination of clamping force and pad material is not an ideal pairing.
     
    Sound Review
    I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-G3 with the latest firmware for portable and smartphone use, and either my Shanling H3 or Sony Walkman F806/Cayin C5 amplifier for a high fidelity portable use. For desktop use I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a HIFIMEDIY Sabre ES9023 USB DAC/Bravo Audio Ocean Tube amplifier with a Mullard 12AU7 tube for higher impedance, and a Fiio E18 USB DAC & Amplifier in both high and low gain. Both were run at 24 bit, 96000 Hz. I also tested them with other DAPs and amplifiers as well. I used Google Music downloaded in its highest download quality (320 KBPS) and I also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I also used purchased and downloaded tracks in MP3, FLAC, WAV and DSD. I make sure that any gear I test has sufficient playtime before writing a review.
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
    “Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
    “Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
    “Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
    “One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
    “And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to asses and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Source Selection
    At 32 Ohms they are pretty universal in terms of source requirements. A cell phone will work with these which also makes use of the microphone and remote. DAPs work, and higher powered source will work too. The consumer friendly signature is forgiving with poor recordings and low bit rate files. They don’t necessarily scale with better recordings.  
     
    Sound Signature
    The Dreamer is a warm tilted sound with a V-signature. They won’t blow you away with tremendous fidelity, but I find it to be a decent tuning that works well with modern genres.
     
    Bass
    Bass has a decent punch but doesn’t extend well into sub bass regions. Bass is relatively non existent from 10- 50 Hz. The bass that isn’t rolled off isn’t necessarily the tightest bass. It’s decent and has a nice punch, but there is an unwanted resonance that goes along with it.
     
    Midrange
    Midrange has a warm tilt and is overall respectable. There is a bit of a haze that lingers over the midrange and impacting the resolution. Timbre is pretty decent although most male vocals have a bit too much weight and sound somewhat unnatural.
     
    Treble
    Treble is pretty well done. It's a little elevated but not harsh at all. It doesn’t extend very far, but i find it to be pleasant, and in my opinion it’s the best aspect of the Dreamer tuning.
     
    Soundstage and Imaging
    The lack of extension on both ends along with a slight haze over the midrange makes the Dreamer seem somewhat closed in. All tones kind of blend together, especially during complex music passages. Because of this soundstage and imaging is below average.
     
    Comparisons
     
    Superlux HD681 EVO (with damping mod) ($45 to $65 USD on many sites)
    The EVO has a similar plasticy build and price.
     
    Comparing the two, the EVO is a bulkier and uglier pair of headphones in my opinion. Ubsound wins in the looks department. However, the super comfortable AKG-like design makes the EVO far more comfortable.
     
    As far as sound is concerned, the EVO sounds better in just about every possible way. Bass extends and is tighter, midrange is more resolving and clear, and treble is more extended and better defined. The soundstage on the EVO is one of it’s best features.

     
    Monoprice MHP839 ($20 to $50 USD on many sites)
    The MHP839 has a similar plastic build and price.
     
    The MHP839 is a Innerfidelity “wall of famer” which goes to show that a high fidelity audio experience doesn’t have to come at a higher price tag.
     
    The pads on the MHP839 are cheap (but replaceable). Fit and comfort is a draw because the MHP839 is prone to popping and crackling at the plastic joints.
     
    Soundwise, the MHP839 bests the Dreamer in just about every aspect. It is more balanced and with a very nice midrange at any price, let alone the budget asking price. extension and resolution is better at every frequency.

     
    Conclusion
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    With their first release into the world of on ear headphones, the Dreamer leaves lots of room for improvement. They fall short in too many aspects for me to say that they are worthy of their asking price. I think Ubsound needs to commit to using more premium materials throughout its entire design in order to hang with the competition at this price point. While I don’t think they have a winner with this design, Ubsound has potential to learn from this product and use it as a benchmark from which they can improve.  
     
    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
      Brooko and DJScope like this.
    1. Mr Trev
      Jeez. Are the earpads at least replaceable? They look they they were cut from the interior of a 70s vintage El Camino
      Mr Trev, Dec 10, 2015
  3. pformagg
    A smooth overall sound, but comfort and fit distract too much.
    Written by pformagg
    Published Nov 13, 2015
    3.5/5,
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     UBSOUND DREAMER ON EAR HEADPHONE REVIEW
     
    The Dreamer is the latest on ear headphone from Italian headphone brand Ubsound.

    Design and Features

    The Dreamer comes packaged in your standard retail packaging, and included is your Dreamer headphones and a  velvet feel carry bag. There are no other accessories such as 6.3mm adapter using headphone on various other components. The Dreamer is mostly made from gloss black plastic with faux leather headband that is adjustable. There is a ball socket joint on each headphone, which allows each cup to adjust to the users head. These don’t move more that a few degrees, but is a good feature for getting a better fit.

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    The headphones come with a non-detachable cable, which is fairly tangle resistant and also has an in-line microphone with one button, which is able to answer calls, as well as pause/play and skip music on your smartphone or audio device. There is no volume controls which is one feature that is almost essential for in-line controls, so I hope Ubsound add this feature to future models. The overall build quality of the headphones is good and the plastic does reduce overall weight. The headphones use 40mm dynamic drivers @ 110dB/mW.  Frequency  response is rated at  18Hz  – 22.000Hz.  Maximum  distortion:  <0,2%.  Impedance is 32Ω.

    As these are on-ear headphones, they sit directly on the ear, but due to the size of the housing they became uncomfortable for long listen periods, and I found the headphones clamped too tight on my head, which compressed my ears too much, and become noticeably sore after 30min-1hr of listening. I wouldn’t say my head is overly large, but these headphone will suite smaller heads. I have used other on-ears, and never had this issue. For me, the padded edges are too large, and this makes the headphone not truly an on-ear or and an over the ear headphone. If the housing were a little smaller, they would sit more on the inner part of the ear, rather than have all the weight on the edge of the ear. Sound isolation is really good considering the fit issues, and there is no noticeable bleeding while listening at normal volume.

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    Sound

    After fiddling around trying to get the headphones as comfortable as possible, I got onto listening. Reading on the box of the headphones, they mention the sound is V shaped, and I found this to be true. The overall sound is warm with some colourisation in the sound. Bass is presented forward with a noticeable mid-bass punch. Sub lows are there but set back. Bassheads will get some enjoyment, but you can find more bass in other headphones around this price mark. Mids are too recessed compare to the bass, but still smooth and mix well the other frequencies. Treble rolls off early, but never harsh and the sound is a very relax. Its a sound that you could listen too for long periods if they didn’t become uncomfortable. Soundstage is compress a little, and separation of instruments is not too clear. Listening to Boz Scaggs – Thank You, it is presented with smooth vocals, bass holds its dept, but I does sound compressed and coloured. There is no space between the instruments and vocals.

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    Conclusion

    The Ubsound Dreamer is decent offering from the Italian headphone brand. Some issues with comfort and fit takes away from a pleasant sound. These are not meant for critical listening and I feel they could have let these headphones breathe more, offer more presentation in terms of sound. If you want a warm, mid bass orientated headphone then these are for you. You can find the Ubsound Dreamer headphones online for around $69 USD.