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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. dnac
    To be honest, I tried this and it's not for me unfortunately - I like to see what I'm listening to. How would I do it without at least one cup in front of me? Anyway - thanks for the advice :)
    waveSounds likes this.
  2. Mink
    I think these NightOwls and the NightHawks are the best headphones I own and have ever listened to.
    I have bought the Owls for 300 euro, but are they worth 700 euro? Don't know. They are certainly more resolving, have a more natural tonality and timbre than my Denon D5000s and Sony MDR-Z7s. I am not interested in hearing as much details as possible, but when giving me subtle, unforced micro-details that don't destract from the overall musical flow and picture, I am not complaining. How do they do that? They strike a nice balance between a lush, smooth, rounded sound and a dryer, textured sound. Almost grainless and without hardness, but still very textured and layered.
    If I would guess it could sound well like a high-end 70s system, analogue but at its most resolving. The Sony MDR-Z7 in comparison sounds like a 70s mid-fi tapedeck running on a mid-fi amp with loudness on and treble at the max to compensate for the dirty tape heads. Love that sound too, btw :)
    The NightOwls are less relaxed sounding than the NightHawks and even in comparison with the D5000s they aren't laid-back. They create more sound pressure, instruments and vocals have more 'attack' for lack of a better wording. The D5000s are more dynamic when the music gets an obvious dynamic shift, like a big orchestral crescendo, but the NightOwls and Hawks have better micro-dynamics, subtle shifts in volume/loudness between instruments. The soundstage of the D5000s is still the most natural one of the headphones I own, not too wide, 3D and very open, I think the looser fit of the earpads on my ears, (more comfortable than both the Owls and Haws) helps with this sense of openess and a maybe a solid dampening of the cups. Love the soundstage of the Owls and Hawks though, also pretty holographic, but with a more closed-in sensation, because of a tiny bit of reverb in the cups, something the D5000s don't have.
    I don't think I need another pair of headphones for a long while.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
    dmdm and trellus like this.
  3. mbwilson111
    .oops wrong thread
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  4. Mhog55
    I think the key word you used in describing why I chose to not keep these is dry. That plus the darker, somewhat distant sound wasn't terrible by any means, just not for me.
  5. Sonic Defender Contributor
    I also really liked the NightOwl, it certainly has it's own signature, but ultimately I do think I tend to lean towards a bit more of a dynamic sound, or at least a more layered sound. Those who like the NightOwl for it's listenability might really like the Edition X V2 as it has that slightly restrained dynamic attack; however, what it really has that the NightOwl lacks by way of comparison is a very, very layered sound presentation with a pretty darn holographic sound field that is quite dimensional. As enjoyable as the NightOwl is the HEXV2 just has the ability present dimension with a liquidity to the sound. I only mention this here as I genuinely believe somebody, such as Mink, who gravitates to a more restrained dynamic presentation which favours listenability over pure dynamics really should hear the Edition X V2. It is quite special for sure.
    Mink and trellus like this.
  6. Mink
    Does anyone know where I am able to get the 'mythical' hybrid pads? Google search doesn't come up with a link to pair that is in stock...
  7. CaptainFantastic
    Discontinued. Gone forever.

    I have a couple of backup ones luckily.
  8. Mink
    Oh well, both boost and microsuede pads are doing fine, so I'm fine :)
  9. Darksoul
  10. Jearly410
    I've had my HEXv2 for month+ now and I agree totally with your analysis comparing the NO (with velour and hybrid pads) to it. Very similar when swapping back and forth, enough to make me wonder if I should only keep one (keep NO and sell HEXv2) but after some time I've grown to notice and appreciate the differences. HEX gets most of my time between the two unless I need closed back isolation. I also like that they share the same cables :gs1000smile:
    SteveOliver likes this.
  11. dmdm
    I'm digging my audioquest cans.
    SteveOliver and CaptainFantastic like this.
  12. CaptainFantastic
    Me too. After a long period of enjoying them with the leather or hybrid pads, last week I switched them to the suede. It's not better, just a bit different and I am enjoying the novelty of the sounds and feel.
    SteveOliver likes this.
  13. dnac
    Are there any headphones in sub-500$ category that share (or are close to) core characteristics of Nightowls, i.e.:
    - closed
    - comfortable
    - spacious sounding
    - non-fatiguing treble, dark but resolving
    - easy to drive?
    _daRK and SteveOliver like this.
  14. Mink
    You may able to find the Sony MDR-Z / MDRZ7MKII for around that price.
    I own the Z7s (1st version) and I think they have a similair tonality as the NighOwls/Hawks. A bit less resolving overall and with a looser midbass. Lower mids are a bit recessed and less textured, treble is very similar. I think they are more laid-back than the NightOwls and have their own unique signature, more like an analogue mid-fi 70's tape sound. The NightOwls are more resolving, but share that analogue sound.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
    SteveOliver and dnac like this.
  15. Mhog55
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