AudioQuest NightHawk Impressions and Discussion Thread
Dec 12, 2019 at 2:28 PM Post #9,241 of 10,072

funkle II

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I heard from a few reviewers that the THX 789 (although very powerful, detailed, and well-measuring) sounds cold and rather sterile. So I am not surprised that it's not a pleasant listen. It was based on these observations that I decided not to buy it. They say the same about the SMSL SP200, so apparently it's a feature of the THX 789 technology.

I would have thought accuracy would be the best match for the NH, but perhaps not. I'll hang on to the THX for when I get my Argons and see how that combo works. One of my next purchased will probably be a Denafrips dac. I'm curious to see how a helping of r-2r will fit into the recipe.

I was expecting the Violectric to pair well with the Emu-teak, but no such luck. It does however make the 6xx sound stellar.
 
Dec 18, 2019 at 10:37 AM Post #9,244 of 10,072

what?

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I still love my NHs' coffee and early morning sessions are particularly mind blowing. I have at least 3 or 5 other HPs that are in a similar league, and nice speakers, and I listen to A LOT of music,

I reach for the NHs most often.. they are comfortable, easy to drive have great sound and do nothing offensive = LONG listening sessions
 
Dec 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM Post #9,245 of 10,072

Qute Beats

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Dec 20, 2019 at 9:01 PM Post #9,246 of 10,072

BigDave

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I just pulled out my original nighthawk cable (not balanced) as I had replaced it long ago with some cheap ones on ebay. I remember them dropping out on the left hand side and now there is no sound out of the left. Is it worth repairing these? Easy to do? I cannot seem to find if anyone had done this before. It was a common issue but was it the cable they used breaking (somewhere in the line) or if it was a break around the connectors (which is fixable).
 
Dec 20, 2019 at 9:45 PM Post #9,247 of 10,072

BigDave

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Sigh, well the break is definitely at the left hand side 2.5mm jack. I have tried pulling back the rubber surround and seeing if there is a visible break that I could just solder but there isn't. May just need to make a whole new connection. I have not had a cable break on a headphone before, even with cheap headphones, so I am just so surprised that this happened with an expensive headphone from a well known cable manufacturer!
 
Dec 20, 2019 at 10:01 PM Post #9,248 of 10,072

liampanto

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Sigh, well the break is definitely at the left hand side 2.5mm jack. I have tried pulling back the rubber surround and seeing if there is a visible break that I could just solder but there isn't. May just need to make a whole new connection. I have not had a cable break on a headphone before, even with cheap headphones, so I am just so surprised that this happened with an expensive headphone from a well known cable manufacturer!
Call Audioquest. Tell the nice lady to transfer the call to the service department.
Good luck
 
Dec 21, 2019 at 8:16 PM Post #9,249 of 10,072

FiGuY1017

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Not really. If you look at the early impressions most people didn't like them, their responses were the same as they are now, too muddy, too narrow.

After a while, the website started becoming the topic, you had one guy who worked for audioquest who kept sharing claims of accuracy then people started to buy into it because it was a different approach.

Yes some people like them but the majority don't. I did find in the real world, the only people who liked them never tried a high end rig or heard a good FR while MANY experienced ears right away, didn't like them because of their issues, makes sense they're more made doe the consumer market and don't compete with hifi gear IMO. That said some liked aspects of them, it's a mixed bag.


So no im not saying nobody likes them, I'm saying what I've seen personally.

Sorry couldn’t let this one slide lol. Your entitled to your opinion, but from these ears I love the hawks even owning much more expensive cans. I have a fairly high end system, actually just added a Taurus mk2 and I’ve found these hawks have increased in sq with each step. They are def a acquired taste so I don’t blame anyone for not liking them ( I thought they were broke when I first heard them lol) but they grew on me and once I adjust to their special sound they are as enjoyable as anything I own. I believe the chord guy even digs them :wink:
 
Dec 21, 2019 at 8:30 PM Post #9,250 of 10,072

340519

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Sorry couldn’t let this one slide lol. Your entitled to your opinion, but from these ears I love the hawks even owning much more expensive cans. I have a fairly high end system, actually just added a Taurus mk2 and I’ve found these hawks have increased in sq with each step. They are def a acquired taste so I don’t blame anyone for not liking them ( I thought they were broke when I first heard them lol) but they grew on me and once I adjust to their special sound they are as enjoyable as anything I own. I believe the chord guy even digs them :wink:
I second this.

Sorry couldn’t let this one slide lol. Your entitled to your opinion, but from these ears I love the hawks even owning much more expensive cans. I have a fairly high end system, actually just added a Taurus mk2 and I’ve found these hawks have increased in sq with each step. They are def a acquired taste so I don’t blame anyone for not liking them ( I thought they were broke when I first heard them lol) but they grew on me and once I adjust to their special sound they are as enjoyable as anything I own. I believe the chord guy even digs them :wink:
I've been around hi end gear for the majority of my life and the audioquest cans sound great.

[merged]
 
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Dec 26, 2019 at 12:51 PM Post #9,251 of 10,072

xRaptorxPunisher

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Sorry couldn’t let this one slide lol. Your entitled to your opinion, but from these ears I love the hawks even owning much more expensive cans. I have a fairly high end system, actually just added a Taurus mk2 and I’ve found these hawks have increased in sq with each step. They are def a acquired taste so I don’t blame anyone for not liking them ( I thought they were broke when I first heard them lol) but they grew on me and once I adjust to their special sound they are as enjoyable as anything I own. I believe the chord guy even digs them :wink:
To be honest looking at your headphone list you seem to enjoy headphones that have oddities.

HD800, rough, spikey, 6K peak of death, weird timbre, upper middle sucked out.

HEK- foggy sounding, hollow, pleasant but sounded weak and lacking dynamics. Very airy and spacious without sounding artificial however. I like them but only when I don’t know the price. Timbre is off though, human voice sounds wrong.

1840 - IMO one of the worst sounding headphones I’ve ever owned, a complete mess.

D7200 - good timbre but rough treble, bloated bass, lacks texture and solidity, sounds cheap.

560 - metallic, plasticky timbre, horrible cheap hifiman sound IMO very aggressive, can see why a lot of grado lovers like these.

My point, you don’t have any headphones I’d class as having a nice natural timbre, good dynamics solidity or mid range focus and quality so I can see why you’d enjoy a nighthawk where as someone like myself who likes the HD650, Verum, LCD-4 won’t get on with the dipped mids of the hawks and the soft congestion.

I enjoy a more natural, impactful sound, good mids, smoother treble. Recessed upper mids are horrible to me. The LCD-4 was pushing it for me but the HD650, Verum and Aeolus are beautiful in that regard.

I’m not sure of the purpose of your quote...let what slide? Offering your own opinion? You have different taste and requirements to myself so of course we’re going to have different views.
 
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Dec 26, 2019 at 5:43 PM Post #9,252 of 10,072

FiGuY1017

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To be honest looking at your headphone list you seem to enjoy headphones that have oddities.

HD800, rough, spikey, 6K peak of death, weird timbre, upper middle sucked out.



Thats great if your stating your opinion as i already said. That opinion isnt however fact. Nor is your opinion of my headphones. I dont have the 1840 anymore. The cans i do have i consider the best ive heard and they are what i enjoy. What I didnt do was list your cans then insult them. Thats cool its the internet you can play nice or not i don't care to much because I know my headphones are for my ears and no one else's.

HEK- foggy sounding, hollow, pleasant but sounded weak and lacking dynamics. Very airy and spacious without sounding artificial however. I like them but only when I don’t know the price. Timbre is off though, human voice sounds wrong.

1840 - IMO one of the worst sounding headphones I’ve ever owned, a complete mess.

D7200 - good timbre but rough treble, bloated bass, lacks texture and solidity, sounds cheap.

560 - metallic, plasticky timbre, horrible cheap hifiman sound IMO very aggressive, can see why a lot of grado lovers like these.

My point, you don’t have any headphones I’d class as having a nice natural timbre, good dynamics solidity or mid range focus and quality so I can see why you’d enjoy a nighthawk where as someone like myself who likes the HD650, Verum, LCD-4 won’t get on with the dipped mids of the hawks and the soft congestion.

I enjoy a more natural, impactful sound, good mids, smoother treble. Recessed upper mids are horrible to me. The LCD-4 was pushing it for me but the HD650, Verum and Aeolus are beautiful in that regard.

I’m not sure of the purpose of your quote...let what slide? Offering your own opinion? You have different taste and requirements to myself so of course we’re going to have different views.

I certainly do not share your evaluation of any of my cans. So yes as i said thats your opinion and your free to have it. There are plenty of critics of your cans to btw :wink: I find everyone of my headphones to sound beautiful or else i wouldn't have them. So no need to go elitist as if your way conquers all others. Thats funny bro, foggy huh? LOL

[merged]
 
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Dec 26, 2019 at 6:09 PM Post #9,253 of 10,072

Mink

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To be honest looking at your headphone list you seem to enjoy headphones that have oddities.

HD800, rough, spikey, 6K peak of death, weird timbre, upper middle sucked out.

HEK- foggy sounding, hollow, pleasant but sounded weak and lacking dynamics. Very airy and spacious without sounding artificial however. I like them but only when I don’t know the price. Timbre is off though, human voice sounds wrong.

1840 - IMO one of the worst sounding headphones I’ve ever owned, a complete mess.

D7200 - good timbre but rough treble, bloated bass, lacks texture and solidity, sounds cheap.

560 - metallic, plasticky timbre, horrible cheap hifiman sound IMO very aggressive, can see why a lot of grado lovers like these.

My point, you don’t have any headphones I’d class as having a nice natural timbre, good dynamics solidity or mid range focus and quality so I can see why you’d enjoy a nighthawk where as someone like myself who likes the HD650, Verum, LCD-4 won’t get on with the dipped mids of the hawks and the soft congestion.

I enjoy a more natural, impactful sound, good mids, smoother treble. Recessed upper mids are horrible to me. The LCD-4 was pushing it for me but the HD650, Verum and Aeolus are beautiful in that regard.

I’m not sure of the purpose of your quote...let what slide? Offering your own opinion? You have different taste and requirements to myself so of course we’re going to have different views.

Those are many words for finally saying "let's agree to disagree". But before you came to that conclusion was it really necessary to list al those headphones and bash them one by one? With that tone and the way you build your reply you have turned your opinions into facts. I don't have any problems with that, but I can understand why someone gets offended by it.
That said, speaking of natural timbre: it is possible for someone to like both the HD650s and the NightHawks. I do.
 
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Dec 27, 2019 at 11:20 AM Post #9,254 of 10,072

xRaptorxPunisher

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Those are many words for finally saying "let's agree to disagree". But before you came to that conclusion was it really necessary to list al those headphones and bash them one by one? With that tone and the way you build your reply you have turned your opinions into facts. I don't have any problems with that, but I can understand why someone gets offended by it.
That said, speaking of natural timbre: it is possible for someone to like both the HD650s and the NightHawks. I do.
Absolutely you can enjoy the HD650 and the Nighthawks. Just because I stated that I enjoy a more natural sound doesn’t mean people can’t enjoy both. I didn’t bash the headphones I stated my issues with them and made a point that the chap has a lot of headphones that have let’s say quirks to their sound which explained why he likes the NH.
I’ve never stated I completely dislike them, they have good resolution and have that biocellulose timbre I enjoy when the drivers can breath better. I’m actually in the minority in my circle when I say the Nighthawk is a resolving headphone but many disagree because they haven’t taken time to hear the technical aspects of them, I have and I’ve heard them display good micro detail, good resolve across the board but poor FR that masks how good it performs on a technical level.

This hobby is full of opinion, I personally think my cheapo Koss Porta Pro sounds better than my LCD-2C for example. Phenomenal headphone. I’ll never get offended when people slay my headphones, some think the LCD-4 is overpriced, they’re not wrong it was over 2K when I got it and doesn’t offer much over the Verum 1 or a well rigged HD650 but it is a fantastic phone for those who want the best Modern Audeze signature.
 
Dec 27, 2019 at 6:26 PM Post #9,255 of 10,072

liampanto

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Ok guys, I have yet another set of impressions from CES, this time for the Nighthawk. I've also posted this in the other (larger) thread for the Nighthawk.

I listened to the Nighthawk connected to an Oppo HA-1 amp/DAC combo, as well as to an HTC One smartphone.

I'm just going to say this right off the bat - I don't particularly care for the Nighthawk. It's not that it's bad, but to me it does not stand out among the competition at the price point it will be in (I believe $700).

Bass is only good, but not great. There's lots of it, but I don't feel it is particularly well-controlled, and to me it doesn't extend very deep (at least not as deep as some of the planars I have heard, including the Hifiman HE-400i and up or even my modded Fostex T50RP). The bass does not bleed into the mids.

Mids are good, but nothing home to write about. They're clear, and they are present, but I'm not sure if I could write anything else about them. Highs are also clear (very much so), but once again to me unremarkable (especially compared to something like the Final Audio Design Pandora Hope VI, which is extremely detailed and realistic without being harsh). Highs are not harsh however, being relatively smooth. The Nighthawk can keep up in fast-paced and complicated music, but it's not the best I have heard in this department. The Nighthawk is relatively airy, but you won't mistake it for a open headphone. To me, the mids and highs are clear but seem a bit sterile, and just seem to lack that realism factor that I find with other great headphones (I don't know if it is because the mids and highs seem to lack a bit of weight, or what, but I just don't feel like I'm there in the performance as much as with other headphones).

There also seems to be some kind of subtle weird colorations going on in the mids and highs - for example, some brass instruments would occasionally sounded a bit off to me when I listened to the Nighthawk.

Soundstage is ok. I can definitely say that you won't get a holographic presentation with the Nighthawk - it's very clear that you're still listening to a headphone. The Nighthawk's soundstage is not particularly wide - maybe a bit bigger than the HD650, but still falls a bit short of my modded T50RP, and is definitely smaller than my HE-400i's. Imaging is decent, as there doesn't seem to be any "holes" in its soundstage, but to me it's not as precise as say, the Sennheiser HD650 and HD598. Very disappointing to me though was the lack of depth in the Nighthawk's soundstage. It pretty much has no depth at all. (I know that semi-open headphones can at least have some depth to their soundstage, like I have discovered with my modded T50RP).

I feel that overall, the Nighthawk has a slightly V-shaped sound signature. You have a lot of bass and you have those clear highs, but mids aren't particularly recessed. Maybe I'm just not a fan of this sound signature.

Comfort is good on this headphone. The suspension headband does its job well in distributing weight across your head. It's not particularly heavy overall among all headphones, but it's definitely not as much as a featherweight as Sennheisers are.

Overall, while the Nighthawk isn't bad in any area, I don't feel that it particularly stands out either. With other great headphones, I can name some particular aspect(s) that really captured my attention, but I can't do so with the Nighthawk. For example, using the headphones that I heard at CES, the Final Audio Design Pandora Hope VI at $700 does particularly well with presenting an extremely detailed, clear, and realistic (especially with brass instruments) treble. The Sony MDR-Z7 at MSRP $700 (street price lower than that) sounds particularly airy for a closed headphone (I actually think somewhat airier than the Nighthawk, which seems to be semi-open), and strikes a nice balance between being detailed enough and being (somewhat) warm, alluring, and relaxing (non-fatiguing) in its sound signature. My Hifiman HE-400i at $500 has extremely good quality bass that digs deep and is well-controlled, and has some of the best mids that I have heard. But I can't find a single aspect of the Nighthawk that is particularly noteworthy to me.
"But I can't find a single aspect of the Nighthawk that is particularly noteworthy to me."
Non fatiguing, never harsh treble could be the one, huh? To Nighthawks you can listen forever.

Can't believe they are $199 at Music direct now. How is that even possible?
 
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