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AudioQuest NightOwl - A closed-back NightHawk

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by xero1, Aug 14, 2016.
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  1. Shahram
    I'm going to give this a whirl. What do you use for EQ? I mainly use Roon for my desktop playback put having to load the EQ when switching back from my monitors is kind of a chore. Hence, why I've never really messed with EQ.
  2. CaptainFantastic
    E-mailed Audioquest on 8 August asking for the hybrid pads - no response yet.
  3. Shahram
    You're probably better off just calling them.
  4. Devodonaldson
    Keep us posted
  5. Mhog55
    I just use the provided EQ with my dap and phone. I don't have a home system.
  6. Colors
    Still loving my NightOwls. Stock pleather pads + a custom UPOCC cable. Balanced out of my SR15.

    Very good timbre, especially bass. Extremely dark background. It’s a great late night listening headphone.
  7. waveSounds
    @Colors Spot on my dude. Currently jamming to 28 Days in the Valley by DOROTHY at 06:08 here in the UK with my coffee and vape as I woke at just after 5 and couldn't get back to sleep. No experience with balanced (on any gear) but 8 o'clock on the volume dial from the Dangerous Source is majestic enough to my ears.
    Colors likes this.
  8. Shahram
    I'm not having quite the same experience. Even with the suede pads there are some things that are just not tonally right. Especially with the mids and highs. Snare hits sound muffled as do cymbals. Vocals are nice and forward and it's an overall very smooth experience. But I feel like detail is just missing on the upper end of the spectrum.
  9. Mhog55
    It's far from perfect. Dark and distant, track dependant. Sometimes I'll find that perfect recording that really makes these shine - above everything else I own. I wish that was consistent. I was listening to some remastered Eagles I've ripped to flac last night, and it was stellar. Then I switched over to some Dokken, and it was much less impressive. These need heavy EQ work imo. Mid bass and mids are really wonky without it from my experience. I'd really like to find the hybrid pads, but I'm not sure it would make enough of a difference to matter. How many hours do you have on yours now?
  10. Shahram
    I've got probably 50-75 hours on them I think. Overall i think they are still enjoyable headphones, but not for critical listening with certain material. I'm also not a big fan of EQ, at least as far as the capabilities within Roon. Emphasizing or de-emphasizing a frequency is one thing, but EQ doesn't really correct tonality.

    Sort of off topic, I listened to a pair of Westone W60 earbuds in the air port today and they sounded amazingly good. Compared to my Westone W30 and 4R they were so much more realistic sounding. I was super impressed.
  11. waveSounds
    Guys, these are definitely not the best for critical listening. There are much better tools of the trade out there for those purposes. These are for pure musical enjoyment; sitting back, reclining your chair, pouring a tumbler of whiskey and listening to them music for what it is and not analyzing it. I think if you're not finding you enjoy their signature then they just aren't to your tastes or preferences, and no amount of fiddling is going to alter that. Of course you could spend money in sourcing different pads or cables, and invest time in messing about with EQ if that's your thing, but it seems a waste of both those resources when you could just look into another pair of headphones that you'll enjoy out of the box.
    FireLion, kennyb123, THGM and 2 others like this.
  12. mbwilson111
    I have the Nighthawk rather than the Nightowl but I totally agree. Whatever "critical" listening involves, I have no need for that. Music has no other purpose for me but to enjoy it. Isn't that why people make music?
  13. Mhog55
    I wouldn't dream of using mine for critical listening. They're one of the wonkier cans I've heard...in a good way... some of the time. I have to be in the mood, and I find that I need to listen loud in order to enjoy them and make them wake up.
  14. Shahram
    Sure I totally get that. I am by no means the type of listener who must hear the most neutral response. I honestly prefer a bit of warmth and a smoother top end. I think I am just missing something with these headphones when it comes to making percussion sound more realistic or just more to my preference. These headphones are definitely enjoyable overall, just wanted to point out the things that didn't quite sit right with me. I'm going to give them at least another 100 or so hours before I decide if I want to keep them.
  15. cdsa35000
    No wonder Audioquest stopped making HPs and fired Skylar guy.
    Every non-deaf ppl will hear instanly that these aren't HP to reproduce reference sound as intended by recordings.
    These NO have built-in DSP filter with soundmode in: stadium/concert hall/cave hollow/space echo simulation, super V-shape FR.
    Everything sounds superwide, from far distance, hollow, far recessed muffled hollow mids, what you hear is bloaded muffled bass, crispy highs.
    So if you like always to hear sounds out of tone from/through a concert hall etc simulation and in a out of space mood, NO is perfect for that.
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