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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. cskippy
    Hey Kelvin. Unfortunately, I only took measurements at the recent AZ Meet. I didn't get time to compare them, sorry.
  2. tuby sound
    Too bad. Well at least I tried :) Thanks

  3. cskippy
    Some more impressions:
    • They have a great sound stage for a planar, artificially created by the frequency response.
    • Clamp and fit is just right for me, not too snug and not so loose they're going to fall off if you move your head around. They stay put.
    • Light. The suspension strap isn't the greatest and you can still get a hot spot on your head after a while. You can push it up to ease the pressure.
    • Ear pad depth is decent but not great. My ears brush against the metal driver slots. A thin foam pad would be good here both for comfort and attenuating the highs a touch
    • Their sound is not neutral like the HD650 or Code Sex. I think the frequency response is a faithful representation of their sound. I compared them to some other really good headphones in the charts above.
    • They have excellent bass extension.
    • Impact and transient response is good but if you are used to dynamic driver slam and control you might be disappointed or need to adjust.
    • I don't think they scale very well but they work well from a phone all the way up to the Aficionado.
    • The 4kHz depression can make vocals and guitars sound a little too distant depending on how they're recorded.
    • They have a slight V shape sound because of this.
    • The treble peak is usually not an issue for me. For reference I can't stand TH-900, HD800, and most Beyers.
    All in all a good sounding headphone. I'm not sure how competitive it is against something like the Aeon line but I prefer their sound to the Oppo PM3 which had a treble dagger around 9-10kHz.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
    trellus, nick n, Level5 and 1 other person like this.
  4. heliosphann
    Listening to a pair right now directly out of a Mojo. Liking what I hear so far.

    Right away you notice that they have a very large soundstage for a planar. Imaging and instrument separation are great as well. Most notable so far for me is the impressive bass response. Very controlled and detailed with deep, clean extension into the sub frequencies. It's close to neutral and not boosted by much if any. I'm also overall finding them very lively and musical. I was running through a bunch of test tracks and kept listening to the entire tracks. I always find that to be a good intangible indicator.

    Fit wise my thoughts are pretty much what @cskippy said. I didn't have any issues with the suspension strap though. The pad depth is a little annoying, but honestly it didn't bother me much. Build quality is fantastic. They not only look premium, but feel the part.

    I'll post some more impressions when I get more time on them and use some different gear.
    conquerator2, Level5 and cskippy like this.
  5. cskippy
    I was going to suggest a Mojo as an excellent pairing with the AR-H1.
  6. Level5
    Well then I'm a sucker for planar with soundstage like HE560/M1060 so I'm going to have to try them... :gs1000smile:
  7. cskippy
    The AR-H1 has better soundstage depth than either of those headphones and I actually prefer it's tonality too. It's really growing on me.
    Level5 likes this.
  8. Level5
    Can these be pad rolled? I didn't see any pictures or mention about the pads mount/mechanism.
  9. cskippy
    No, they have a unique pad mounting system. Honestly, though, I'm over modding headphones for the most part. I expect a headphone to perform at it's best or it's going back.
  10. Level5
    Thanks for the pic! Looking forward in getting them in sometime next week and to finally see what these headphones in this price bracket get you. It should be fun to A/B them with my daily driver HE560!
  11. cskippy
    Man, these are really growing on me!

    I DID DO A LITTLE MOD: I added a MrSpeakers Doggie Treat ( a thin stiff felt disc) that fits perfectly between the driver and the pad mount. It just takes the edge off and any harshness in the treble is gone. These are just an easy listen now, while still staying tastefully neutral.

    They remind me of listening to speakers in a room were sounds aren't so in your face, you get to experience the audio better. It's pretty cool! For those that are treble shy, pair these with a warmer amp, I'm using a Black Widow and they slam hard and are not harsh at all.
    trellus, volly and Level5 like this.
  12. Level5
    Well that didn't take long... :sweat_smile: I'll have to try that out if the treble bothers me enough.
  13. DancingShade
    I wonder if the mounting plate could be easily separated from the stock pad and a ZMF Eikon pad or something equally wide wrapped around it. It's the wrong shape (round vs rectangle) but pretty large so it might squeeze in. Just a thought for ear clearance.
  14. Nathanl
    Opinions on these vs the new LCD2C coming out?/????
  15. heliosphann
    I've not heard the LCD2C's, but having owned LCD2's and LCD2F's in the past, the 2C will most likely be overall darker and have meatier bass/mids with not as good imaging/soundstage.
    cskippy likes this.
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