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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. WhiskeyJacks
    I feel pretty much the same on the things you have said I have owned mine for 8 months or so, and I feel like the AR-H1 is a very balanced headphone that is good for multiple genres. That being said I use mine for pretty much that I listen to instrumental, progressive rock, cinematic scores, orchestra, folk, jazz, indie, classic rock, and so on. I feel content with most of all tracks I listen to with the H1, and I feel like it does a nice job of delivering tight bass with decent punch, yes a forward but solid midrange that is detailed and enjoyable, and my treble has very nice clarity and decen air for the sound stage of this headphone. So, perhaps with time your treble with clear up a bit because mine feel they do a nice job in that regard. I hope you keep enjoying them and they gain some positive exposure. Another thing I like about them is they are not too bulky to wear around the house when going from one room to the next.
    volly and Slim1970 like this.
  2. Slim1970
    Yes, I’m finding them very comfortable. It’s good to hear that the treble detail will come. It could be the DAC I was using as well. My initial listen was with the DACPortable. I’m going to give it a go with Hugo 2 and see if they scale up with better sources and gear.

    Like you, this headphone is underrated. It easily bests some of the mid-fi gear I’ve owned or listened to. All I can say is reading reviews are only part of the experience. Listening for yourself and hearing how they sound to you is the other and most important half.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  3. crabdog
    Yes, I agree it is a good headphone that didn't gain as much popularity as it deserved. I still enjoy listening to mine, especially when paired with something a bit warm like the Phatlab Sassy II.
  4. Mark Up
    The AR-1 sounded great when I heard the prototype at Can Jam NYC 2017. That said, they didn't extend down far enough to fully reach my ears comfortably. The rep there said they would design them so they extend farther, and they never did. If not for that, I would probably own them. They were extremely balanced and accurate, with no hype anywhere. Nice ear pads also.
  5. Slim1970
    During my listening sessions with them using the DACPortable, Gilmore Lite Mk2, and the Loki I boosted the subbass and added some treble. I'm finding that the AR-H1's respond very well to EQ. They are almost as good as Audeze headphones in this regard. The AR-H1's maintained their composure and didn't distort. It just went deeper while delivering tight bass. They are also pretty revealing headphones. I can easily hear the differences between well recorded music and crappy recordings. The AR-H1 is doing a fairly good job making the crappy recordings listenable unlike my Utopia's.

    I'm currently listening to them out of my Pro iCan with the Hugo 2 as the DAC and they sound really good. The AR-H1's do have some scalability in them but not as much as I was hoping for. A good portable system is more than enough to get them to sound their best. A portable amp with a bass boost will do wonders for these cans. Out of the Pro iCan and Hugo 2 setup, the sound is very detailed with good separation. The bass is really punchy and the PRAT is outstanding. I'm just toe tapping away while listening to some reggae music :L3000:. I'm using the first XBass+ setting adding some subbass. The AR-H1's sound is full bodied and musical. These are very enjoyable cans.
    volly, trellus and Mark Up like this.
  6. crabdog
    I must try the AR-H1's with the FiiO K3 and bass boost when I get home. Didn't think of it until I read your post just now :D
  7. nadtom
    I’m a happy owner of the AR-H1. I have ordered a HD700 and an AR-H1 same time to compare them. The AR-H1 is much-much better than the HD700. The sound of AR-H1 is open, airy, clear, natural. The texture of the bass is detailed, punchy but precise. The sound stage is wide and deep.
    trellus likes this.
  8. Slim1970
    I couldn’t agree more. I ordered the HD700’s and after a few days I returned them. I could not get the sound of them to my liking even after EQ’ing. Then I placed an order for the AR-H1’s and preferred their sound right out of the box due to the cleaner mid range and better bass definition. These are really underrated headphones in my opinion.
    nadtom likes this.
  9. nadtom
    As I see the AR-H1 needs a good electronic. I have tested the AR-H1 with my Ipad and Iphone but I was not satisfied with the sound.
    I use the AR-H1 with my main stereo system (Audio PC + Hydra Z USB bridge + Hegel HD12 Dac/preamp).
    I have ordered an upgrade cable (3m) from Triton Audio Cables (USA) because the original 1,2m cable was too short.
    Did you compare already the AR-H1 to the HD800 or 800S?
  10. PaganDL
    @Dorbescu George,

    Hope you can get one soon. Getting things, especially for a good price, is almost as bad as where you are.

    A very nice headphone, I find it a very enjoyable reference level headphone with good scalability, has nice upper head room fill though this is not immediately obvious & may depend on gear synergy.

    Look forward to when you finally review this.

    Hope you have a great day !
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  11. ste787
    Acoustic research ar-h1 is my favorite headphone at present. I have ultrasone edition 5, sennheiser hd800 and JH audio Layla. But now when i listen to other, i yield to go to listen to ar-h1. I did not seek out ar-h1, i went to a shop and play with the headphone they have in the store. I listen to ar-h1 and i like it, but not enough to buy it. But at home, i keep thinking of the sound i listened in the shop. My HD800 and layla are more detail. But the presentation of the voice just keeping pop in my head. Make my Layla sound horrible now. I went back to the store and listen to oppo or hifiman planar headphone. They are all more detail and expensive. But i just like ar-h1 better. I bought it. I play at home with AK380 and voruge pure. I never enjoy listening to music so much. AR-H1 is music heaven and bliss. I look at internet review. I cannot believe the bad reviews and unpopular in sale. This headphone is the real deal. I do not know how to describe the sound. No headphone i tested sound like it. Should i call it musical? the amazing presentation of the voice? This headphone stump me. I keep playing my old songs and just enjoy the musical rendering i did not hear before. Even the very badly recorded album of yesteryear sound better than normal. ar-h1 is musical bliss.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
    nick n, volly, trellus and 1 other person like this.
  12. Slim1970
    I agree with you. The AR-H1's just lets you enjoy the music. It may not be the most technically impressive headphone out but it does so many things right that I like. Would I call it musical, yes! I'm listen to it through the Burson Fun at the moment and I really like the pairing.
    ste787 and nick n like this.
  13. volly
    Well, first headphone purchase for the year. The AR-H1's came up on a very good deal down my way, looking forward to hearing these planar's!

    I'll post back soon once I receive them and have a good listen!
    nick n, trellus and crabdog like this.
  14. PaganDL
    Hi @volly,

    Enjoy the AR 1, I doubt you be disappointed.

    Hope you have a great day !
    volly likes this.
  15. volly
    Cheers mate, I should have them by next week!
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