AudioQuest NightHawk Impressions and Discussion Thread
Jan 5, 2017 at 6:30 PM Post #5,311 of 10,105

Decommo

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Out of curiosity, I closed earcup with my palms to see if there is any sound changes. I barely notice any difference. Does this mean that NH can be converted to closed can while maintaining sound signature? 
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Jan 5, 2017 at 6:39 PM Post #5,312 of 10,105

KLJTech

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I've had zero issues with my NightHawk cable, it's two very high-quality cables (L&R) running side by side within a weave. If you simply run your fingers gently down the length of the cable you'll keep it nice and flat and it won't twist.
 
Now with regards to connectors/connections, I can only say that I've never had any issues and these are my go-to headphones.
 
As far as the end tarnishing, silver will tarnish, I use Cape Cod Metal Polish (comes in a can with wipes) from Amazon and in a few seconds of use the plugs look bright and shiny/like-new again and stay that way for weeks and weeks.
 
AQ could have gold plated the plugs to help prevent tarnishing but then I think they set out to make the best sounding cable they knew how to make. I would take this cable over the newer one that you can bend over and over again as that probably means (I don't know this for certain) that AQ moved to a multi-strand wire and that's not usually the way they go since they are big believers in solid-core cables.   
 
Of course, YMMV  
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Jan 5, 2017 at 6:41 PM Post #5,313 of 10,105

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  I've had zero issues with my NightHawk cable, it's two very high-quality cables (L&R) running side by side within a weave. If you simply run your fingers gently down the length of the cable you'll keep it nice and flat and it won't twist.
 
Now with regards to connectors/connections, I can only say that I've never had any issues and these are my go-to headphones.
 
As far as the end tarnishing, silver will tarnish, I use Cape Cod Metal Polish (comes in a can with wipes) from Amazon and in a few seconds of use the plugs look bright and shiny/like-new again and stay that way for weeks and weeks.
 
AQ could have gold plated the plugs to help prevent tarnishing but then I think they set out to make the best sounding cable they knew how to make. I would take this cable over the newer one that you can bend over and over again as that probably means (I don't know this for certain) that AQ moved to a multi-strand wire and that's not usually the way they go since they are big believers in solid-core cables.   
 
Of course, YMMV  
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The later Nighthawks even come with a grey silver polishing cloth (in addition to a microfiber cloth).
 
Jan 5, 2017 at 6:46 PM Post #5,314 of 10,105

MattTCG

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Yeah, the sonics on the old cable are quite good. Actually really good. BUT...headphone cables get plugged and unplugged often. The old cable just doesn't have the necessary reliability and durability for it's intended use IMO. 
 
Jan 5, 2017 at 6:51 PM Post #5,315 of 10,105

KLJTech

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The later Nighthawks even come with a grey silver polishing cloth (in addition to a microfiber cloth).

 
Now that you mention it, mine did come with a gray and a black polishing cloth but as per usual, I left most of the extra stuff in their original packaging. lol
Well, I assume that those cloths work well but if they don't I know that the ones from Cape Cod in the can certainly do. I've used them for years on knives and anything else that needs to be polished and one of those cans will last you for years and years.
Regardless, I'd still take the original cable over the newer one as I prefer solid-core cables too, as does AQ in most cases. 
 
Jan 5, 2017 at 6:53 PM Post #5,316 of 10,105

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Regardless, I'd still take the original cable over the newer one as I prefer solid-core cables too, as does AQ in most cases. 

 
Same here. Maybe the old stock cable will become a collectors item? 
 
Jan 5, 2017 at 6:56 PM Post #5,317 of 10,105

KLJTech

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A buddy wants me to give a listen to his new Audio Art headphone cable for the NightHawks and it looks really well built and is very flexible...I need to give it a listen.  
It's tough, as I'm already a bit bias towards the original AQ cable they came with knowing that this was the way they truly wanted to make their headphone cable.  
 
Jan 5, 2017 at 8:43 PM Post #5,318 of 10,105

frogmeat69

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I have owned the NH for only a few months, but no problems with the stock cable. Yes, it's a bit kinky, kinda lumpy even, but sounds great. I have used my Oppo balanced cable, and prefer the single ended AQ cable. I do my listening at my desk, so not much stress on the cable, should last a good long time. Sometimes I think people must be using their stuff to rope cattle, lol.
 
Now, you wanna talk junky cable? Looking at you, HiFiMan 400i, terrible.
 
Jan 5, 2017 at 8:44 PM Post #5,319 of 10,105

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  I have owned the NH for only a few months, but no problems with the stock cable. Yes, it's a bit kinky, kinda lumpy even, but sounds great. I have used my Oppo balanced cable, and prefer the single ended AQ cable. I do my listening at my desk, so not much stress on the cable, should last a good long time. Sometimes I think people must be using their stuff to rope cattle, lol.
 
Now, you wanna talk junky cable? Looking at you, HiFiMan 400i, terrible.

 
It's true. The HifiMan included cables literally seem like something you'd find in a dollar store. 
 
Jan 5, 2017 at 8:53 PM Post #5,320 of 10,105

dudlew

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Lol guys,
 
I think that the issue might be when they package the hawks. I cant see any other reason for the failure rate. Maybe when wrapping them they get some that are bent too harshly or just awkwardly. I fortunately have no issues, so I cant complain. I was also skeptical because this came up as a big issue and that is why I actually looked for a third party cable before I even bought the nighthawks. So far its not warranted and the portable cable has seen some rough treatment already. The big one has been by my desk the whole time, so except for the one incident I spoke of it hasnt been badly handled. Time will tell and I can understand the frustration that the cables failing can cause. Had lots of stuff that were supposed to be relaible die on me as well... DAPs, cd players, phones, and other electronics. Bought a computer once only to have the mother board die within weeks, and when that was replaced the other one died a few months later.
 
Jan 5, 2017 at 9:45 PM Post #5,321 of 10,105

zzzmonster

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I have owned the NH for only a few months, but no problems with the stock cable. Yes, it's a bit kinky, kinda lumpy even, but sounds great. I have used my Oppo balanced cable, and prefer the single ended AQ cable. I do my listening at my desk, so not much stress on the cable, should last a good long time. Sometimes I think people must be using their stuff to rope cattle, lol.


 


Now, you wanna talk junky cable? Looking at you, HiFiMan 400i, terrible.

 


The stock cable is ok if it is solely used at the desk. But if listen on the go, the jack will be stressed, stupid l-shape design - then left channel no sound, happens on both on my cables
 
Jan 5, 2017 at 10:17 PM Post #5,323 of 10,105

misteral201103

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I did not know that tarnishing silver connectors was a thing, nor that it was something people would be concerned about (no judgement, just surprised)
 
Rather than shelling out for polish or cloths, polish with toothpaste. You can use a regular cloth or even a paper/kitchen towel. This goes for all silver (jewellery or whatever)
 
And since I'm sharing life-hacks: if you need to get blood out of fabric (lots of legit reasons you might have blood on fabric!) wash in a washing machine but add shampoo - just regular shampoo (I use Head and Shoulders for this) You can add it in place of conditioner, add it with detergent or simply add it to the bloodied area.
 
Finally, for the record, I have had no issues with either of the Nighthawk cables and, to be honest, I object to them being referred to as garbage. I don't doubt some have had issues and that those issues are a cause of annoyance and concern but even then, they are not garbage.
 
Jan 5, 2017 at 10:28 PM Post #5,324 of 10,105

misteral201103

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  How do the Nighthawks compare to the Master and Dynamic MH40s?  For anyone who has listened both.

 
Ok, I'll weigh in here but with some caveats and will happily accept the opinion of anyone who actually owns the MH40s.
 
I know someone who bought them in Hong Kong. He knows the difference between fake and real and almost certainly bought them at a store that would not deal in fakes.
When I listened to them, I could not understand why he bought them, they offered nothing of worth to my ears. I would sooner listen to my (now sadly collecting dust) ATH M50Xs than the MH40s I heard. They were thin in sound, totally lacking in soundstage and not particularly comfortable. 
HOWEVER! They do have a reasonable reputation, which is why I mention fake vs. real in the start of this post. I cannot believe that the sound I heard was the one that people are pleased with.
 
By comparison to what I heard - where the M&Ds sound thin, the Nighthawks sound rich and full; where the 40s lacked any soundstage the 'hawks offer at least more than closed cans I have heard; where the 40s lacked comfort, the Nighthawks are the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn.
 
Giving the most benefit of the doubt that I can, I guess it is inevitable that lovers of the MH40s would say they offer more high end resolution than the Nighthawks, but that simply takes us back to the well-trodden path which states that the trend in headphones has been to boost the treble to give an illusion of more detail, while the Nighthawks remain relatively flat in this regard. They do not lack detail, they simply don't scream their detail directly into your ears.
 
Like I said, I was really taken aback when I heard the MH40s, I expected a lot more from them. Perhaps this was a 'funky' pair. If owners post on here with different results, you should listen to what they say.
 
Jan 5, 2017 at 10:37 PM Post #5,325 of 10,105

Nrocket

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Well I actually own the MH40s and that sounds like a very strange description of them. They are really anything but thin in my opinion (although I haven't heard alot of high end stuff). If I had to bet, fake seems likely based on your description. I absolutely love my MH40s I think I would like the Nighthawk as well based on what I've read here.
 

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