Ultrasone HFI-780

General Information

The exclusive design of the closed-back Ultrasone HFI-780 is accentuated by the polar-silver color. The HFI-780 contains all Ultrasone technologies such as S-Logic Plus, ULE and safer hearing. The HFI-780 is developed from the studio sector and is distinguished by a frequency response that is specifically tuned for DVD and gaming. Sophisticated home theater and music enthusiasts are overwhelmed by the impressive sound that makes it appear as though you are listening to speakers placed meters away. Gamers are impressed by the exact sound reproduction, making the gaming world come alive. The low frequency ranges are raised in order to reach the highest possible synergies with DSP-Systems like Dolby Headphone and Yamaha Silent Cinema. Through S-Logic Natural Surround, the sound moves out of your head and into the room around you. Direction and distance are more easily perceived, giving the illusion of being at a live concert. With just a pair of Ultrasones and your favorite audio device, you can have genuine 3-dimensional aural enjoyment. The HFI-780 is equipped with thicker ear and headphone pads, and comes with a new velvet carrying bag.

Latest reviews

Pros: Huge soundstage
Great bass
Solid build quality
Cons: Uncomfortable band
Heavy
I bought these headphones quite a long time ago now, perhaps back in 2009 or so, so it's been around 10 years since the writing of this review. Here are my long-term impressions of these headphones.

Sound
Note: I usually listen directly from my MacBook pro with 320 kbp/s MP3s and have a really. I listen to a wide variety of music, but most often I listen to metalcore, hardcore, metal, EDM and hip-hop. I don't use EQ.

Bass
Punchy, deep and powerful with good, fast response. This especially comes through with big bass booms in EDM and metalcore.

Mids
Relatively even response here. Nothing overpowering.

Highs
Solid response on the treble. Sometimes the highs can feel overwhelmed by mids and bass.

Soundstage
This is where these cans really shine. I've never experienced such an awesome, massive soundstage on closed-back headphones. Seriously it's mind-blowing at times with well-recorded music. I've seen others remark on how amazing the surround effect is on movies, but I use these for listening to music, not TV/movies/gaming.

Overall
For my uses, these cans have a great sound profile and the soundstage is incredible. It really makes me enjoy the music I listen to.

Comfort
This is where these headphones really fall short. The band is uncomfortable. Period. It's heavy and not quite comfortable on my head even after 10 years of use. The squeezing problem I saw in other reviews doesn't seem to be an issue for me, even though I have a large head. Maybe due to the years of use?

I will have to shift the headphones around as I wear them for a long time since it can cause some weird skull pain on the top of my head. You can also get sweaty ear syndrome, but I think that's a problem with any closed-back cans. I could see these being really uncomfortable for long gaming sessions, if that's what you're buying them for.

Build quality
These are solid headphones. I've used them for quite a long time, as I mentioned above, and have never had any problems. The only issue is that the pads are starting to crack, but they're still totally usable. I'll look at replacing them. No problems with the cable or anything (which really surprises me because I'm not very gentle on them). The backs have gotten scuffed and scratched over the years but still look pretty decent.

Conclusion: After 10 years of use, I can say this was a solid purchase. They might not be the best value for what I paid (~$250 if I remember correctly), but it was my intro into higher quality headphones and have proven to be a worthy companion over the years. I'd still recommend them, especially if you're like me and love a big soundstage without buying open-backed cans.
Pros: Punchy bass, Good Mids, Musical
Cons: Highs can be harsh, Bass is not well extended, Fit is hit or miss for some
This is a love it or hate it headphone.
This headphone measures quite poorly according to the measurements I've looked at.
This headphone sounds terrific!
 
Fit / Comfort
 
This is one of the areas where many find problems.
I've worn this for extended periods and sometimes if I have it sitting the wrong way, I do experience some discomfort.
I've also worn this for extended periods with no problems at all.
The clamp is about as strong as a Beyer DT770.
Though the headband has a cushion where it pushes down on the top of your head, the headband is what usually causes discomfort for me if I have it too far back on my head.
 
Sound Quality
 
Every time I listen to these headphones, I feel there they have a warmth and aggressiveness to them. 
The warmth however really works well in my opinion to pull in the highs some so they aren't quite as harsh as I feel they could be.
The mids are very present and coupled with the warmth, provide a very musical experience.
Compared to headphones however that are more neutral, the mids are overshadowed here some by the highs.
 
Vocals are very present and clear.
Bass is punchy and mostly tight, however at times it seems a bit weak or dry in its presentation.
I've heard better cans in regards to bass extension and tightness, however I feel these do an excellent job.
 
I think what makes or breaks this for folks are the highs - harsh or sparkly/clear depending on the person.
There are times when they are a bit much for me, but more often than not I fall in the latter group.
Bottom line though is the presentation should be bearable and pleasant with as many types of music as possible - the 780s lose some points here as there are some genres where it's just too much to take.
 
Build Quality
 
I feel Ultrasone did a great job.
The headband is sturdy, padding is adequate in my opinion, and the gimbals allow for the ear cups to swivel 90 degrees or flip upside down and up under the headband for transport and storage.
The ear cups have a nice finish and style, though they can pick up scratches if you're not careful.
 
The ear pads are not the softest synthetic or otherwise leather/pleather, but they are soft enough and fit quite comfortably around the ear.
I would have appreciate softer and more comfortable earpads here but they do grow on you - if you've experienced better though it will take some time to adjust.
For larger heads, I'm not entirely sure the ear pads would go completely around the ear - they are definitely a little smaller than some full sized headphones (DT770 for example).
Overall though the ear pads isolate well, so these would work well in an environment where noise would be an issue.
 
The headphone comes with a straight 3.5 foot cable.
I prefer coiled cables, however this one is mostly adequate for portable use.
You also get a longer extension cable and a very nice soft felt bag with the Ultrasone logo on the front for transporting the set around.
 
Modding
 
I haven't attempted too much with this headphone yet except a re-cable, which was fairly easy.
The one thing I would mention is the ear pads are a bit tough to get off/on - something that just irks me a bit as I like to swap out the pads at time to try different things.
Some folks have removed the small pcb that hooks up the incoming cable with the drivers, though I have not tried that yet and am not sure what the results sound like.
I have also seen cotton and other dampening material used in the cups to help with the harshness/sharpness of the highs.
I'll update this review if I ever get around to performing any of these mods.
 
 
Overall
 
I like these headphones.
I can take the highs quite well and I really enjoy the smooth, warm, and musical sound I feel they have.
The noise isolation is among the best I've experienced with a closed headphone, so you can really crank up the volume without disturbing others (just be careful with your own hearing).
I feel they're worth the price is you can find a pair for $100-$120 range. 
The original MSRP however is much too high and there are much better that could be found in that price range.
Pros: Forward vocal presentation-Great for Movies, TV and good for Games
Cons: Not the most musical
It is a decent pair of headphones. Nice comfort, good to very good design and quality. Outstanding for Movies with forward vocals but theres better out there for musical.
  • Like
Reactions: Hans-Austria
beepover
beepover
Adding to this. I was on ultrasone website and it does say tuned for movies and games. This is a Fantastic pair for games and movies. But it is lacking for music. If you need a great pair to watch tv this is it.
ianeith
ianeith
I concur.
 
For example - "Alien: Isolation" is, at points, ultra-terrifying because of this headphone (with nice in-between DAC/Amp processing, as well). You can very realistically hear the Alien "thud" to the floor in an adjacent room and proceed to move around, trying to sniff you out. Creepy.

Comments

There are no comments to display.
Top