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Acoustic Research AR-H1 Planar Impressions and Discussion thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by crabdog, Jul 30, 2017.
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  1. Level5
    The stock cable sounds slightly smoother and laid back compared to my custom balanced cable which sounded snappier and dynamic. I've found planars in general responds better receiving more currents on fully balanced setup.

    I guess I was bit harsh calling it crappy lol. Its a decent cable even though a bit short for home use but perfect for on the go.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  2. Level5
    The difference is really pronounced on this track comparing stock vs custom balanced.

    But YMMV! :L3000:
  3. tuby sound
    OK, now you got me really interested. You heard the HD800 many times and you feel those plannars have the same or almost the same unusual wide soundstage?

    Was hesitating between the AFO and the AR-H1, now I'm leaning strongly towards the AR-H1.

  4. Level5
    Out of the all the plannars I've owned with wide soundstage (HE560/M1060), the AR-H1 I feel comes very close to the soundstage of the HD800 for a plannar!

    Its not just wide, its deeper and airy (no closed-in feel like the LCD2) having a greater sense of the spaciousness, ambiance and imaging of sounds.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
    volly, trellus and cskippy like this.
  5. GU1DO
    How do you compare the AR-H1 to the M1060 (Stock or Modded) in bass , mids , treble , details , imaging ?
    which one you like more?
    Thanks :)
  6. heliosphann
    trellus, cskippy and GU1DO like this.
  7. Level5
    Man its been awhile since I listened to my M1060 (stock) so I don't want to compare them right now, but i'll try to A/B them later for you.

    I do remember the M1060 having some ringing (coloration, smear, shrillness, boomy) issues which the AR-H1 doesn't exhibit.

    I consider the M1060 way below the HE560 and the AR-H1 slightly above the HE560. The M1060 is an above average entry to planar and mods very well.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
    trellus and GU1DO like this.
  8. DavidA
    What are the reasons that you consider the M1060 to be "way below" the HE560 and why is the AR-H1 slightly above the HE560. Is it just the sound or are comfort and build quality also factors in your assessment?
  9. Level5
    HE560 is just more detailed, articulate and transparent than the M1060. It just cant compete with the overall clarity in the mids/vocals and resolution.

    AR-H1 is similar to the HE560 but the major thing it lacks is the imaging precision/presence and low level micro detail retrieval. I got to mention the build quality on the HE560 is horribly cheap compared to AR-H1 which uses very premium metal (no plastic on the exterior) but I only factor in the sounds when rating those three.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
    trellus, phthora and DavidA like this.
  10. GU1DO
    i had the HE560 and i sold because it was not that defrent from my HE-400i , now comparing the 400i to the M1060 , i totally prefer the 1060 over for its bass and imaging
    although its not great in details but that not a big issue for me , i hope the AR-H1 heave same bass as the 1060 ,, because its very important for me , anyway thanks for your replay ..

    i have read your post ,, and i get that the AR-H1 have better details and air (thankfully ... i was afraid AR-H1 have the same details as the PM1 which is lacking a lot )
    but what about bass impact and extension ? is it the same as the M1060 ?
    from the 1st graph ,, it look that 1060 have better bass up to 100hz
  11. involuntarysoul
    M1060 has good extension but weak bass, I had to put on a +3db low shelf filter to make the bass decent
  12. bronco1015
    I just looked through the last 6 pages of posts for comparison, but wondering how these stack up against Aeon Flow open.
    I didn't get to hear these at RMAF, wish I had.
  13. GU1DO
    Trust me , i know what a good bass is ,, i have TH900 & Z1R & (owned LCD-X before):relieved:
    its just that the HE560 was mentioned , and to me its not far from the HE400i which i own and don't has the bass impact /extension like the M1060
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  14. ES_EF
    anyone who owns this or have listened to this mind sharing their opinion regarding these for movie watching

    i really like hd800 for movies because of the wide sound stage but the bass impact is a bit lacking

    i'd love to hear your thoughts about their soundstage

  15. cskippy
    Hey @ES_EF, I don't have my pair with me ATM, they are with @grizzlybeast. This is by memory, but I agree, the HD800 didn't have enough bass, especially sub bass quantity to fully enjoy movies. I think the AR-H1 does a better job. I also find the AR-H1 to have less fatiguing treble than the HD800 because the HD800 treble spike is at 6kHz which is hard to tame, the 10kHz peak of the AR-H1 is less offensive, creating air and a more lively sound, which can be mellowed out with a warm amp.

    The sound stage of the AR-H1 is really impressive for a planar. One of the best that I've heard, and as I've said it's due to the similar dip around 4kHz as the HD800. Hard left and right sounds will not be as in front of you as the HD800 but it's not much different.

    Also, here is an update:

    I received a replacement sample since I found that the left side's lower bass output was caused by a weak seal with the pad and the cup. Here is the updated frequency response of the new AR-H1:

    Average of first AR-H1 with leaky left pad in Red, Average of the second AR-H1 in green:
    volly, trellus, nick n and 2 others like this.
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