AudioQuest NightHawk Impressions and Discussion Thread
Jan 19, 2017 at 7:51 PM Post #5,761 of 10,105

EdwardPL

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Hey man when the measurement rig gets back I'm going to put the Carbons on with the US pads and Boost pads.


After listening th the US pads this evening after having Boost pads for a week or so I'm convinced the the US pads will measure very similar to the PMX2. Sub bass is audible(feelable really) down to 10hz but he impact isn't ideal. Going back to the Boost pads after 4 hours revealed what you said, very speaker like, impactful just damn right fun. I don't find the US pads as weak as say an Audeze phone in the mid bass there's some impact there but it's very small. The mids and highs are untouched from the Original pads. Take the PMX2 measurements from the sub bass to the mid bass then attacked the original NH measurements and that's how it sounds to me. I'm more exciting about measuring the Boost pads as they are going to be the new stock pads from now on.




Oh yeah I still hear that weird reverb sound with be US with vocals like the stick pads but with the Boost it's completely gone :s
 
Jan 19, 2017 at 7:56 PM Post #5,762 of 10,105

knowhatimean

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I noticed the same kind of improvements to SQ that you're describing by removing otherwise inaudible noise from my system when swapping from a Windows PC to an Intel NUC running Euphony Audio Transport (Linux based OS). I already had added a power conditioner and replaced oem cables which eliminated audible noise from my system. It's a weird sensation to experience. I don't know if it's possible to describe in a way that someone who has yet to experience it will understand. It's a concept that's very much "you have to hear it for yourself" to appreciate the degree of difference.

I debated even going further & positing this ; but I never seem to regret postings about subjects I feel strongly about !
 
Hopefully someone will gain some type of benefit; I'm not too interested in "hearing'" myself talk.
 
Jan 19, 2017 at 7:57 PM Post #5,763 of 10,105

Venture Guy

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@EdwardPL you and I are on the same page. It is a complete joke! I think AQ has changed the game! 
 
Sub bass and above is tighter on NH/US than on the PMx2.
 
Tell me if you agree with this about Classic and Boost pads: The trick is to set the volume to the bass, NOT the vocals. 
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 8:52 AM Post #5,766 of 10,105

Venture Guy

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New NightOwl review

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2017/01/audioquest-nightowl-carbon-additive-free-headphone-listening/

Finally! Of course, he didn't realize that the NHs were delivered with a third kind of pad, the one that has the most controversial of the sound signatures, so he erroneously badmouthed them. But, at least NOs got a DAR KO award. Should have been the whole line-up...
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 9:37 AM Post #5,767 of 10,105

kartik7405

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Oh yeah I still hear that weird reverb sound with be US with vocals like the stick pads but with the Boost it's completely gone :s

Are you sure the reverb issue with pads.Though some measurements done by others confirmed that nighthawk has "reverberant cupped hands coloration". i think its no way related to pads thats what i am assuming.
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 3:23 PM Post #5,768 of 10,105

nwavesailor

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Boo!


So Mr. K P K................. when are we going to hear YOUR impressions of the new (with your Carbon NH) pads?
 
bigsmile_face.gif
 
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 3:54 PM Post #5,769 of 10,105

knowhatimean

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New NightOwl review

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2017/01/audioquest-nightowl-carbon-additive-free-headphone-listening/

Thanks for posting the link to this review.
 
The review is more about "Look at how well I can review something with using my listening preferences & biases to describe what I'm hearing"
 
Early on He goes on a ramble of why he didn't care for the NH initially due it's politeness. He goes on further to say they were "Better suited to the more discerning (Yup, I'm there) possibly mature (right, again) listener prepared to ignore the headphone's first listen titillation (Boy, that's always what's the most important to notice: As the kids say;Not) in favour of deeper long game satisfaction" (& it appears I've been mistakenly been wrongly concerned about looking for this type of satisfaction for longer than "Johnny" is probably old !)
 
In the long run he did give the NO a very favourable review. I'm scratching my head at why a review from someone who is either confused or non-concerned about Musicality review of something that needs to able to convey this , should even be relevant to me !
 
Johnny sure is concerned about the sound though (Hmmm... he seems to fit right in here it seems)
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 5:17 PM Post #5,770 of 10,105

Bitsir

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Finally got myself a pair of Wood Nighthawks. Jesus christ. I don't know where to begin really. I guess I'll start by saying I had the HD650 previously. HAD.
 
 
The Nighthawks are either the worst kind of headphone or the best kind of headphone depending on how you look at it. 

They don't sound like traditional headphones. They mostly "fail" at the transparency part headphones typically excel at, compared to oher high end cans.
 
They make for "bad" headphones.
 
On the other hand, they do sound very much like speakers which, in my mind, is what headphones ought to mimic as closely as possible.
 
Therefore they make for incredible... head-speakers I guess.
 
The sheer musicality, cohesiveness and natural presentation of sound that the Nighthawk exude is like nothing I've ever heard before in headphones. These don't play a songfile, they perform it.  This is the first time I have felt that a headphone can successfully substitute a speaker setup and if it truly is as unique as people say, this headphone is automatically endgame for me. The previous headphone presentation (and I say previous because I'm never going back) is as far as I am concerned, simply a huge compromise (unless that sort of presentation is what gets you going and dissecting every element of the song is that person's definition of musicality).
 
This is how I visualize the sound stage and presentation of the Nighthawk compared to most other cans I've tried.
 

 
 
The Nighthawk pretty much sounds like accomplished wooden floor standing speakers occupying the whole soundstage with a vibrant prescence, while most other headphones sound like playing 3 individually little bookshelf speakers that are trying to cooperatively unearth bass that it can't possibly reproduce in that limited cabinet and all it amounts to is an anemic and quite frankly strained sound with clear separation of the left, right and center area of the soundstage, resulting in the whole presentation feeling disjointed.
 
A headphone that immediately comes to mind is the HD650.
 
 
An observation
 
One thing I've noticed with the Nighthawk is that despite what the measurements say about the midrange, vocals can seem distant OR forward depending on what track is playing. It's really interesting. I think the amplitude of the vocals is the same throughout, but the depth placement of the singer varies from song to song. That's how I perceive it.
 
Thoughts?
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 6:24 PM Post #5,771 of 10,105

knowhatimean

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The sheer musicality, cohesiveness and natural presentation of sound that the Nighthawk exude is like nothing I've ever heard before in headphones. These don't play a songfile, they perform it.  This is the first time I have felt that a headphone can successfully substitute a speaker setup and if it truly is as unique as people say, this headphone is automatically endgame for me. The previous headphone presentation (and I say previous because I'm never going back) is as far as I am concerned, simply a huge compromise (unless that sort of presentation is what gets you going and dissecting every element of the song is that person's definition of musicality).
 
This is how I visualize the sound stage and presentation of the Nighthawk compared to most other cans I've tried.
 

 
 
The Nighthawk pretty much sounds like accomplished wooden floor standing speakers, while most other headphones sound like individual little bookshelves trying to cooperate but all it amounts to is a clear separation of the left, right and center area of the soundstage, resulting in the whole presentation feeling disconnected from itself.
 
A headphone that immediately comes to mind is the HD650.
 
 
An observation
 
One thing I've noticed with the Nighthawk is that despite what the measurements say about the midrange, vocals can seem distant OR forward depending on what track is playing. It's really interesting. I think the amplitude of the vocals is the same throughout, but the depth placement of the singer varies from song to song. That's how I perceive it.
 
Thoughts?

Skylar went through a lot of time & effort to defeat the early driver resonances & reflections that basically mask the development of less prominent harmonics of other musical notes from being heard.
 
The reason you're hearing the various depth placement of singers is you're now able to hear the musical notes sung by the vocalist is closer to which harmonics are reaching the recording microphone a bit sooner than others ,we're talking about subtle time differences between when certain sounds are being picked up by the microphones, but the singers & other instruments aren't always on the same plane of distance to the mics that are picking up the sound in real time.
 
What you thought was all the sound occurring at the same time really wasn't . Once again , it is only subtle amount of time differences in the sound but the sound of the stronger notes are almost always masking other musical information at the same time (& this is assuming that the Producer's aren't compensating for these differences in the final mix)
 
In short you're hearing things closer to how they were when they were recorded not what most headphones allow you to hear, as Skylar was also more interested in giving us Earspeakers rather than Headphones
 
Hope this is a fairly clear (& correct) explanation , as it seems to explain things to me .
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 6:49 PM Post #5,772 of 10,105

Venture Guy

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An observation
 
One thing I've noticed with the Nighthawk is that despite what the measurements say about the midrange, vocals can seem distant OR forward depending on what track is playing. It's really interesting. I think the amplitude of the vocals is the same throughout, but the depth placement of the singer varies from song to song. That's how I perceive it.
 
Thoughts?

Great post!!! And, welcome to the converted :)
 
I think the point that you make, quoted above, is excellent. These cans are so good that you are now at the mercy of the production quality. Popular music that is EQ'd in the studio to sound good on EarPods is going to have way too much base on the NHs with the Classic pads. So, thank you AQ for the US pads. However, high quality recordings sound fantastic with the Classic pads, and they sound like earspeakers.
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 8:44 PM Post #5,773 of 10,105

bugeyed

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  Finally got myself a pair of Wood Nighthawks. Jesus christ. I don't know where to begin really. I guess I'll start by saying I had the HD650 previously. HAD.
 
 
The Nighthawks are either the worst kind of headphone or the best kind of headphone depending on how you look at it. 

They don't sound like traditional headphones. They mostly "fail" at the transparency part headphones typically excel at, compared to oher high end cans.
 
They make for "bad" headphones.
 
On the other hand, they do sound very much like speakers which, in my mind, is what headphones ought to mimic as closely as possible.
 
Therefore they make for incredible... head-speakers I guess.
 
The sheer musicality, cohesiveness and natural presentation of sound that the Nighthawk exude is like nothing I've ever heard before in headphones. These don't play a songfile, they perform it.  This is the first time I have felt that a headphone can successfully substitute a speaker setup and if it truly is as unique as people say, this headphone is automatically endgame for me. The previous headphone presentation (and I say previous because I'm never going back) is as far as I am concerned, simply a huge compromise (unless that sort of presentation is what gets you going and dissecting every element of the song is that person's definition of musicality).
 
This is how I visualize the sound stage and presentation of the Nighthawk compared to most other cans I've tried.
 

 
 
The Nighthawk pretty much sounds like accomplished wooden floor standing speakers occupying the whole soundstage with a vibrant prescence, while most other headphones sound like playing 3 individually little bookshelf speakers that are trying to cooperatively unearth bass that it can't possibly reproduce in that limited cabinet and all it amounts to is an anemic and quite frankly strained sound with clear separation of the left, right and center area of the soundstage, resulting in the whole presentation feeling disjointed.
 
A headphone that immediately comes to mind is the HD650.
 
 
An observation
 
One thing I've noticed with the Nighthawk is that despite what the measurements say about the midrange, vocals can seem distant OR forward depending on what track is playing. It's really interesting. I think the amplitude of the vocals is the same throughout, but the depth placement of the singer varies from song to song. That's how I perceive it.
 
Thoughts?

I understand the impresson that NH sounds more like speakers than a typical HP, but I have never been able to hear the sound stage that are presented by speakers. No matter how hard I try, the NH soundstage is not in front of me. The center image is in my head or maybe slightly above my head, but never in front of me. I have not tried any crossfeed setups, but I suspect that no headphones can present a sound stage that stretches out across & in front of me. I would love to have that experience with headphones. Maybe it's just my brain that needs an adjustment to help the NH to image in front of me???
kev
 
Jan 20, 2017 at 10:29 PM Post #5,775 of 10,105

KLJTech

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  I understand the impresson that NH sounds more like speakers than a typical HP, but I have never been able to hear the sound stage that are presented by speakers. No matter how hard I try, the NH soundstage is not in front of me. The center image is in my head or maybe slightly above my head, but never in front of me. I have not tried any crossfeed setups, but I suspect that no headphones can present a sound stage that stretches out across & in front of me. I would love to have that experience with headphones. Maybe it's just my brain that needs an adjustment to help the NH to image in front of me???
kev

 
  Finally got myself a pair of Wood Nighthawks. Jesus christ. I don't know where to begin really. I guess I'll start by saying I had the HD650 previously. HAD.
 
 
The Nighthawks are either the worst kind of headphone or the best kind of headphone depending on how you look at it. 

They don't sound like traditional headphones. They mostly "fail" at the transparency part headphones typically excel at, compared to oher high end cans.
 
They make for "bad" headphones.
 
On the other hand, they do sound very much like speakers which, in my mind, is what headphones ought to mimic as closely as possible.
 
Therefore they make for incredible... head-speakers I guess.
 
The sheer musicality, cohesiveness and natural presentation of sound that the Nighthawk exude is like nothing I've ever heard before in headphones. These don't play a songfile, they perform it.  This is the first time I have felt that a headphone can successfully substitute a speaker setup and if it truly is as unique as people say, this headphone is automatically endgame for me. The previous headphone presentation (and I say previous because I'm never going back) is as far as I am concerned, simply a huge compromise (unless that sort of presentation is what gets you going and dissecting every element of the song is that person's definition of musicality).
 
This is how I visualize the sound stage and presentation of the Nighthawk compared to most other cans I've tried.
 

 
 
The Nighthawk pretty much sounds like accomplished wooden floor standing speakers occupying the whole soundstage with a vibrant prescence, while most other headphones sound like playing 3 individually little bookshelf speakers that are trying to cooperatively unearth bass that it can't possibly reproduce in that limited cabinet and all it amounts to is an anemic and quite frankly strained sound with clear separation of the left, right and center area of the soundstage, resulting in the whole presentation feeling disjointed.
 
A headphone that immediately comes to mind is the HD650.
 
 
An observation
 
One thing I've noticed with the Nighthawk is that despite what the measurements say about the midrange, vocals can seem distant OR forward depending on what track is playing. It's really interesting. I think the amplitude of the vocals is the same throughout, but the depth placement of the singer varies from song to song. That's how I perceive it.
 
Thoughts?

 
How many hours of music playing time do you have on your Nighthawks now? I ask because I was not impressed with the treble or their transparency until they had nearly 200 hours on them. I listened to then right out of the box and then sat them off to the side on a desk for 10 days or so  (playing music and Pink noise)  before giving them another listen...then I was more than pleased. 
 
I've certainly noticed "some" vocals sounding a bit recessed while other recordings sound more life-like/you're right there on stage. The again, my older AKG K701's seemed to make all vocals sound super articulate/lively...probably at times when they shouldn't have. I now prefer the sound of the NightHawks thought I should order a set of the newer all leather pads and give them a listen. Hope you continue to enjoy your NH's! 
 

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