AudioQuest NightOwl - A closed-back NightHawk
Aug 14, 2016 at 1:11 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2,528

XERO1

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The NightOwl was originally mentioned in a TONEAudio ad in December 2015 but there hasn't been any new info about them until now.
 
The NightOwl has not been officially announced yet but AudioQuest is showing a prototype of them at the 2016 CanJam London.
 
Currently, the only info about them comes from this Head-Fi post by NigelJ.
 
 
AQ asked for no pictures as they were a prototype and the cable was very much a prototype, being the correct cable but with the splitter being poorly fitted heat shrink. Externally the NightOwl is very similar to the NightHawk except that the cups are a dark carbon grey colour rather than fake wood grain, although made of the same material, and the grills are replaced by a slightly domed cover. The cups no longer have the left and right markings impressed on the outside, rather the dust cover within each ear pad is marked with L's and R's. The NightOwl will come with two sets of ear pads, one similar to the NH and the other set with a microfibres covering. It will come with a different more flexible cable, I believe not solid core, that has a plastic rather than textile covering. The NH will also be updated with the dark grey cups and new cable; supposedly whilst quite liked in the UK for its traditional look the fake wood was a big turn off to customers in other markets and the solid core cable resulted in lots of warranty claims.
With the NH type pads the NO had a slightly more traditional headphone sound, I felt that the microfibre pads were somewhere between the two but conditions were not ideal for detailed assessment and I was feeding them from an older iPod (my only portable source, but with familiar classical and jazz). Whilst the NO is a closed back design and more isolating than the NH I am of the opinion that the isolation is not as high as some other closed back headphones.
It was stated that the NightOwls would sell for £100 more than the NightHawk in the UK, so I guess $100 more in the US.

 
I'll update this post a more info becomes available.
 
Aug 15, 2016 at 7:55 AM Post #3 of 2,528
These will be high on my list of future audio purchases. This is going to sound very fanboyish but I love the NightHawk enough that I think I'll be tempted to buy whatever Skylar comes up with.
 
Aug 16, 2016 at 2:43 AM Post #4 of 2,528
I like the name. Did it look anything like this?
 
 

 
 
Source: https://twitter.com/_SkylarGray/status/697654367101575168
 
Aug 18, 2016 at 6:22 PM Post #6 of 2,528
Further to my post quoted by the OP I added the following edit:

'Sunday update: I tried them again today with a wider range of music and thought that there was less difference between the NO and the NH than I thought yesterday, though still the NH was slightly darker with less treble than the NO. On the NO I generally preferred the leather pads, except for a couple of test tracks; the AQ representative manning the stand (sorry missed the name) stated that they had had their first chance to do the comparison on Sunday morning, and also preferred the leather pads. He also agreed that the NO provided limited isolation and added that there was some sound leakage from them. Overall, I preferred the the NH, including the price :wink: , and plan to get a pair.'
 
Aug 18, 2016 at 6:44 PM Post #7 of 2,528
Subbed! Admittedly I'm more interested in the Porsche Carbon metallic (as worded by Skylar) finish for the NightHawks than the NightOwls per se seeing as they've been described as not being quite as dark and "charming" as the NHs which are the two main reasons I love them but I'll definitely wanna try the NOs out as well.
 
Aug 18, 2016 at 6:49 PM Post #8 of 2,528
I wonder if these will have a deeper more impactful sub bass than the Nighthawks?
 
Aug 18, 2016 at 6:51 PM Post #9 of 2,528
I like the name. Did it look anything like this?


No. The cups were a dark grey with a slight variation in colour; however they were stated to be prototypes and the Audioquest reps asked for no photos to be taken. However, the shape of the cups with the slight dome in place of the NH's grill does match the NOs.

Edit: 'foam' corrected to 'dome'.
 
Oct 2, 2016 at 8:24 PM Post #10 of 2,528
Another picture (likely prototype):
 

 
 
 
from:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BB-woWSBvhD/
 
Oct 3, 2016 at 7:41 PM Post #11 of 2,528
verrrrry interested in hearing more about these.   i need closed for work (primary place i listen to work) and really liked what i read about the nighthawk and skylars posts.   
 
if anyone knows more...release date...early impressions...etc....please post!
 
Oct 10, 2016 at 7:07 PM Post #14 of 2,528
Further to my post quoted by the OP I added the following edit:

'Sunday update: I tried them again today with a wider range of music and thought that there was less difference between the NO and the NH than I thought yesterday, though still the NH was slightly darker with less treble than the NO. On the NO I generally preferred the leather pads, except for a couple of test tracks; the AQ representative manning the stand (sorry missed the name) stated that they had had their first chance to do the comparison on Sunday morning, and also preferred the leather pads. He also agreed that the NO provided limited isolation and added that there was some sound leakage from them. Overall, I preferred the the NH, including the price
wink.gif
, and plan to get a pair.'

 
What is it with companies creating "closed-back" that leak sound?!?!? LOL!
Still, interested...
 
Oct 11, 2016 at 11:06 AM Post #15 of 2,528
I listened to this for a while at the AudioQuest booth at RMAF last weekend. I was really impressed -- I thought the sound was great (very open for a closed-back, didn't feel congested)...it was super comfortable...it looked cool...and I really like how they're going to include two types of earpads to make for easy swapping (and the openings happen to be oval-shaped rather than round).
 
I think AudioQuest is an easy company to root for, from their Dragonflies to the Hawk and now the Owl.
 

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