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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. PaganDL
    Look forward to your impressions then...

    Hope you have a great day !
    volly likes this.
  2. ste787
    anyone know the acoustic research ar-h1 first party 4.4mm balanced cable - official model number. i saw in the one store. but i left that country, i cannot find info anywhere on internet and even acoustic research homepage. Anyone selling 3rd party balanced cable for this headphone?
  3. PaganDL
    Hi @ste787,

    Can't help with the AR H1 4.4 mm cable but I would suggest trying veclan.com, they make good cables at low cost which would suit your needs.

    Hope you have a great day !
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    ste787 likes this.
  4. nadtom
    Hi, I have bought my 3M headphone cable from this company: http://tritonaudiocables.com/
    Good cable, good support, fast delivery. They have different type of cables, you can select. I have ordered a Mogami OFC cable with ViaBlue connenctors.
    ste787 likes this.
  5. volly
    The Postie drop this off to me this morning:

    box2.jpg box1.jpg box3.jpg
    box4.jpg 1.jpg 2.jpg
    4.jpg 3.jpg
    5.jpg AR-H1 mjolnir.jpg

    Out of the box, these are beautiful! Moreso than the Edition X...Sorta like a Jaguar compared to a Hyundai.

    First, first impressions, out of the box, listening to Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Sessions.

    1."Mining for Gold"
    2."Misguided Angel"
    3."Blue Moon Revisited
    4."I Don't Get It"
    5."I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"
    6."To Love Is to Bury"
    7."200 More Miles"
    8."Dreaming My Dreams with You"
    9."Working on a Building"
    10."Sweet Jane"
    11."Postcard Blues"
    12."Walkin' After Midnight"

    Nothing offensive at all, in fact very pleasurable indeed! Natural tone is key here, doesn't sound too bright yet vocals are smooth and crisp. Margo Timmins vocals is just a bit in-front and central to the band and is easy to focus on, very impressed, the band itself is laid around in the ether and all have a good sense of space and positioning. I can here the high-hats very clear but doesn't seem to be too offensive as some may have experienced but this is still early days. Again, very natural sounding! The low-low bass is felt rather than heard and lingers for but a moment but adds good weight to the music. Some songs I thought just came a live was "Postcard Blues", when that harmonica comes in, oh WOW!! Lots of energy but smooth and controlled, almost too hot but stayed controlled and just made the whole piece thrilling, after the song I was shaking my head as to how good the listening experience was! (First impressions, take with grain of salt, could change after!)

    After this album, I'm going to be hitting up some EDM. I'll be using a few different setup, which will be very interesting and comparison between my Edition X's is in the back of my mind!

    Side note: Packaging and presentation is top-top notch, you do feel like you're unboxing a very elegant pair of headphones. Construction is solid and oozes premium feel! These will need some breaking-in, headphone band is tight and ear-cups and hinges feel firm and sturdy! Fit and comfort is good but these will need to loosen up for it to be deemed excellent to me! Once on your head the pads are super supple and conform very well, ears are resting on the inner cup but isn't an issue yet! I can head-bang in these headphones as the clamp is firm and secure! I congratulate AR for going with dual 2.5 mm cables as I can use my Hifiman and Audioquest NH cables with the H1, running balanced and these definitely love the juice, volume pot is much more usable, which for me is a benefit!

    Overall, I paid just under 400 Australian dollars for these babies, I'm highly impressed! Sweet Jane...Sweet Jane...I bought the Edition X's for over twice the price of the H1's a few years back and feel the H1's have a better build quality with better materials used but with that, they are heavier than the Edition X but not by extreme measures!

    Be back soon with more impressions!
    trellus, ste787 and nick n like this.
  6. PaganDL
    Nice impressions & deal on the AR H1, @volly,

    Just curious whereabouts in the big brown land did you get them from?

    As already stated on prior posts, they are a very good headphone & to get them for that price if not from Massdrop is impressive.

    On a side note, not to derail the thread &/or put anything negative on Hifiman gear but personally & subjectively, while their sound is decent, it is often not worth it for the price or value especially where build quality & sound quality are concerned.

    Look forward to more of your impressions.

    Hope you have a great day !
    volly likes this.
  7. volly
    @PaganDL - https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Acoustic-Research-AR-H1-Hi-Res-Headphones-With-Planar-Driver-Technology/401661351709?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

    Get these now! 20% code - PASSIONATE - Grays Online is legit for Aussie Online shop!

    Good luck!

    @PaganDL - I somewhat agree with you on Hifiman, I've only owned the Edition X and very happy with them, I wanted another planar headphone to complement the Edition X. I've known about the H1's since launch and was looking at them at the time but the Edition X came up used for a good price and I pounced on that! I'm already correlating differences between the two and yes, both are different! I other 'main' headphone are the Nighthawks which I adore.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
  8. PaganDL
    Thanks @volly,

    I will keep that in mind though I am not a fan of ebay for various reasons.

    If not already clear, I already own the AR H1 which I got from MD last year for a good price.

    Hope you have a great day !
  9. volly
    No worries, these are stunning!

    Smashing through some albums still, a fantastic listen! :upside_down:
  10. volly
    Well first impressions are starting to stick, I feel the H1's are competent, engaging and highly musical. These put out a great amount of detail while keeping the music flowing.

    Used them in a few matches of CSGO and they performed amazingly, they can give very accurate imaging whilst in-game!

    On to comfort, unfortunately, the earpads are too shallow and my ears rest upon the driver! After awhile my ears started to really feel it, the cushioning is just way too forgiving and the clamp is of the Sennheiser-type here.

    A pad roll was in order, unfortunately the original pads are glued to the retention plate, peeling it off essential destroyed the original ear pads. I have some spare Brainwaz hybrid pads that seem to fit and with some elbow grease I managed to get them to go on the retention plate and snapped back in to the ear cup! Comparing the original pad to the Brainwaz, I found it was essential double the thickness and the Brainwaz were much stiffer but still comfortable. Result, comfort is now 100% for me, no more ears touching the inner driver wall and the sound seems to be unchanged, which is an all-round good result for me!

    After the pad change, these sit way better on my head than the Edition X, which at times, can feel a little floaty.

    More sound impressions to come!
    nick n likes this.
  11. ste787
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
    crabdog likes this.
  12. ste787
    the cable look like Sennheiser HD700 cables. The high end cable AVARH1Z11D look like cables from Hong Kong. It even have two poles at the 2.5mm end. Which is strange as AR-h1 have one pole.
    Can any one tell me if HD700 cables works for AR-H1. Problem is i cannot get the original from my country. Only japan or maybe Singapore ,hongkong.
  13. volly
    You should be fine with the HD700 cables with your H1's, I'm using similar type cables and have no issues!
    ste787 likes this.
  14. ste787
    great thanks. i saw a lot of bargains (hd700) at taboo. i cannot buy from there and wonder if they have sonic improvement. i guess i have to look around.
  15. volly
    Ok, I'm back!

    Wow...what a headphone, seriously! I got these about a week a go and gave them all my time, literally no other headphone in the rotation and man...am I glad I grab these!

    Running them out of the Theta DS Pro/Darkvoice at the moment and they sound wonderful! I think they sound at their best out of the Mjolnir via balanced and similar with the Jotunhiem. But getting back to the headphones themselves, I just love it's sound signature! So clear, accurate and lively. I'm liking the H1's over the Edition X with pretty much most genres of music, the mid's here are more fleshed out and has better weight. Vocal's are fantastic on the H1's are is easily discernible to the rest of the music. The bass and the upper treble is done so well, this is not a laid-back headphone but it isn't harsh or clinical, just very musical with that extra pinch of detail. What a combination! Bass slams and reaches very far down but is tight, nothing really lingers and blurs the sound, very, very clean.

    These are a daily driver for me, they do everything so well! No problems with any form of EDM, they eat up acoustic music, and treat vocals with the utmost respect! The comfort is excellent now, as I have changed out the original pads with the HM5 hybrids. Weightier than the Edition X but more secure fit! One odd issue I have would be that the headband suspension isn't uniform when you place it on your head, I find sometimes sits to one side but after a quick adjustment, you can slide the padding back towards the middle!

    I'll be back with more soon but I'll leave you all with some pics:

    1804552935735946285.jpg 1278055129950002905.jpg
    trellus, Slim1970 and crabdog like this.
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