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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
    I mean you can't really go wrong with the HE560 but then you have to live with its abysmal build and you kinda have to buy alternate pads for them.

    Personally I much preferred the AR-H1 due to its amazing build and most importantly, it ticks all the boxes that you mentioned and more (wider/deeper soundstage, better tonality, smoother). It also pairs better than HE560 with the AGD amp/dac (using nfb28.38).

    These are my go to headphones when I want to relax yet have a fun engaging listen whenever I'm not using the HD800.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
    trellus likes this.
  2. FredA
    Sounds really good. Really close to ordering. A bit more expensive, but justified by quality. I have a k701 to complement this eventual new set.
     
  3. FredA
    While i am at it, do you listen to old jazz records? I do. It's over 50% of what i listen to. But i still want a versatile hp.

    For old jazz, a smooth yet extended and well defined treble is needed. The bass needs to be tight and clean. And the medium requires excellent clarity as well. The k701 are a fine example of a hp with very good and smooth treble. Only lacking quite a bit with bass (impact) and a bit with mids (a bit thin, lacks impact too), and they are colored enough to annoy me at times. I like a headphone that is not fatiguing however. That's what i like most about the k701.

    As i am writing this, my speakers are doing exactly what i would like the hp set to do. Stan Gets with Oscar Peterson Trio. What a great record! Just received it. Maybe i am asking for too much because my speaker setup is so crazy good.

    As another reference, i find the meze 99 classic very good but it has so much bass. It's really for bass heads. The rest is very good. Not a lot of extension in the highs but still very good overall besides the bass. Not audiophile stuff but not so far from it.

    How are the ar-h1 with piano?
     
  4. FastAndClean
    if you think that k701 have smooth treble you need some planars in your life
     
  5. Beagle
    Sometimes planars can come across as too smooth, with that dip in the upper mid.
     
  6. FastAndClean
    agreed, but i much prefer that in comparison to shout or grain that so many dynamics have
     
  7. cskippy
    Here is a comparison of the AR-H1 vs an AKG K712 which is similar to the K701:
    [​IMG]

    It's interesting how similar they are. I think in practice, the AR-H1 will beat the K701 in bass extension but the K701 will probably have better dynamics or bass impact. The AR-H1 also has a more cohesive frequency response with less anomalies. They would probably make a good complimentary pair.
     
    trellus likes this.
  8. FredA
    Maybe i should have said, the k701 plays treble as recorded, mostly. It does not add harshness in itself. But it will let some through if on the recording, or if induced by a flawed source or amp, or bad cable match. I prefer that to a completely smoothed treble because the latter is less resolved, basically. With old records, a little forgiveness from the headphones is very welcome if the rest of the chain is not doing this job already. But the details, air and ambiance have to come through. I can listen to the k701 for hours at moderate levels without any fatigue. But my setup is smooth.

    I have heard some nice electrostatic speakers, but never a planar or electro headphone set. I sure like the delicacy of the top end with these and i think i will welcome it with much satisfaction with headphones.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  9. FredA
    I assume the Ar-h1 is in green. So i see a fuller medium, with more bass extension, and treble roll off from 15k. I don't know what to expect from this. Lack of treble extension?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  10. FastAndClean
    electrostatic headphones have the best treble in my opinion, treble that is smooth, extended and high on detail, real detail not fake from that spikes on the AKG s, nothing against your k701, if you like them thats all it matters, but in my opinion natural sounding treble is smooth and extended with less spikes and dips as possible, and the k701 is not exactly that, good dip is only in the lower treble, with that you can avoid harshness and let the upper treble to shine, great example of that strategy is the ER4S
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  11. cskippy
    I can't give a sonic impressions ATM but planars usually have very good treble extension. Measurements can be unreliable above 10kHz so don't worry about that.
     
  12. FredA
    The k701 best attributes are in the upper mids and treble. The bass is relatively well defined also, it's quite good and with very correct bass drum impact. Overall, it's a good set. The mids are lacking. Not much texture. But it produces a good soundstage.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  13. FastAndClean
    the bass is very good agreed, is tight, a little bit lacking, the soundstage is artificial, it lacks center image
     
  14. FastAndClean
    planar bass is very different, the extension is effortless, you will be in for a treat
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
    cskippy likes this.
  15. Slim1970
    I just wonder since the HE-560's have dropped in price would the AR-H1's be the pick over them? Which is the better bargain?
     
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