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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. knowhatimean
    Did I miss an announcement that this was a definite thing happening anytime in the near future ?
    While I think the decision to include this short of a cable in the first place wasn't a very good (& somewhat unfair for anyone who doesn't listen portably) decision. I'm not that thrilled at any production changes that may delay the delivery of my NO to an even hypothetically later ETA date ,than the non-existent ETA date I have now.
    I seem to recall the same type of "Piggish" type of behaviour that ended up delaying the delivery of Oppo (or was it Hifiman) headphones for general distribution to satisfy some of test users complaints (I think it may have been an earpads issue).
    Hopefully, this issue (if it's become an issue) isn't holding things up ! (It's time to pull your Big Boy pants up a bit when you're spending $600 or $700 on a pair of headphones; getting different headphone cables is normally just part of the territory when you're getting better headphones; that's why the cables aren't hardwired to the headphones in the first place)
  2. UNOE

    The first one should have just come with short cable for thin cable. Then there would be long and short cable.
  3. knowhatimean
    I just realized that I don't 'noe' what you mean & possibly you don't 'knowhatimean' !!! (That was actually my question ? I wasn't aware that the NO we're seeing now aren't the first ones; In my neck of the woods they appear to be))
    Let's just call this a 'draw' & see what shakes out.
    (That's pretty weird, huh ?) (just keep it light my friend & sooner or later things will work themselves out !)  He,he,he.... "knowhatimean ?"
  4. EdwardPL
    I did tell some of you that the US pad was a misprint. This also proves that people will also false hear things that they've read.

    I also have to back Matts comment here about why the cable is so short. It's way too short and while most Carbon listening is done on my Mojo when I plug it into a desktop amp I can barely move.

    It's not acceptable for a cable to be this short IMO
  5. NigelJ
    I can't help feeling that Audioquest made the mistake of thinking that complaints represented the average opinion, not recognising that people are more likely to complain than register satisfaction. Some users and reviewers complained that the original NightHawk cables were too long, but generally those that were happy with the cable length did not comment. Hence, Audioquest decided to provide shorter length cables with the NightHawk Carbon and NightOwl when they were trying to deal with the number of cable failures (again a relatively small vocal minority) of their original design.

    I tend to agree with UNOE that the original cables should have been a long thicker cable for desktop or home use and that the more flexible cable should have been a short cable for mobile use. For the revised cables, once again there should have been a short flexible cable, possibly with a microphone, for mobile use and a longer thicker cable, without a microphone, for static use. Unfortunately, they have ended up with a short, fairly inflexible cable with a microphone that displeases many, although possible still a minority.

    PS I have an original NightHawk with the two long cables and use it mainly statically.
  6. EdwardPL
    I thought the original cable was perfect. Anyone who is used to higher end desktop headphones shouldn't really have an issue with length as is kind of standard to have a cable that is 8-12ft. 
    The problem with the NH and NO Carbons is what is it trying to be? the newer models seem like they are more geared towards portable but the actual headphone design is more of an at home headphone in terms of durability, size. 
     I think an 8foot cable would of been ideal.
  7. MattTCG
    I guess the confounding issue here for me is @SkylarGray has gone totally silent on the cable issue. Historically he's been pretty active about responding to issues here on HF. Being a business owner for 15+ years I've learned that there are few fundamental do's and don'ts. First is, that you don't ignore customer complaints, ever. Even if a customer is a complete moron, the complaint is obviously unjustified and the customer is possible just complaining to get a discount...I still always address the issue quickly and promptly. Good customers will turn on you quickly if they feel that they've been ignored. Without the customer base, you have no business anymore. They are in essence, "the boss." Go to work on Monday and ignore your boss and find out what happens in that situation. 
    I've owned approximately 3 dozen headphones over the past 10 years. I just went and checked the specks on the all of those that were full sized over ear. Only two of them had a cable under 6 feet. The 6xx and Nightowl Carbon. Massdrop realized their mistake with the 6xx and is issuing 6 foot cables to those customers. And for the record, the 6xx cable was a half foot longer than the NO cable. 
  8. adeeb
    Anyone EQ'ing their NightOwl? i'd be curious to try out your settings. (using Roon 1.3's parametric EQ)
  9. Tribble
    It's not just the short length of the cable that I find problematic; it's the stiff, coiled-spring-like nature too.
    While I noticed the issue when I went to audition the NightOwl, I thought the cable would probably loosen up and I would get used to it. Unfortunately neither is happening and the cable is really becoming annoying as it springs and twists around whenever I move in my seat. I don't mind a thick cable, but it needs to have a little drape, not be like a springy twisty thing that catches and pokes everything.
    I have no intention of using the headphones mobile on my phone, but I know from many years of doing so with IEMs that this cable would annoy me even more used portably. I can't see how it is appropriate for either static or portable use.
    It is actually distracting from enjoying the headphones to the maximum extent as I have to think about where I'm tucking the cable to keep it still and not have it bouncing around on me. It's really irritating. Perhaps I'm overly sensitive to such things, but it does distract from just sitting here and concentrating on the wonderful sound that the NightOwl produces.
    As to 'pulling our big boy pants up'... there is no way we should pretty-much have to fork out more money for a cable to overcome significant shortcomings (pun) in one supplied with something costing this much money. It (or they) should be nigh-on perfect! Upgrading a cable should be a choice to tweak out a few extra drops of performance (IMO) and not to fix a problem. Plus, I bet I'm not the only person on the planet to have blown their entire budget and then some to get these.
    Despite the cable, I still absolutely love the NightOwls! They have opened up nicely now (actually I noticed that happening after about 30-40 hours, as someone else mentioned above). I have them plugged into a Dragonfly Red on my laptop. I don't know if this as as good as they get, or if they can get even better with another DAC/Amp and more loosening up time. If this is as good as they get though, I'm, smiling!
    Right now I'm listening to Firewind: Immortals and I just keep getting lost in the music [​IMG] 
  10. Amrit-R

    Agree. I use a Sennheiser HD700 cable for desktop use. The standard AQ cable however is great for portable use. Using the HD700 cable while moving around you're going to trip over it or something like that.

    Speaking out of own interest: I see an opportunity for AQ to sell a few cables, and some choice regarding the plug (3.5 / balanced / xlr mini plug) :)
  11. EdwardPL
    While I agree to not ignore customer complaints - this is just an audio forum, nothing more. While Skylar is sometimes active on here, he isn't always so and he doesn't have to be. How many designers actually show up in product threads? very few if ever and it's mainly a customer service rep that does, never an actual designer. If you want answers it's best to email them directly but as far as  I see it, he hasn't done anything wrong for not replying on here; he is busy and without a doubt has other projects.
  12. MattTCG
    ^^ Other designers are active here on HF with their product threads and answer questions directly and regularly. Dan Clark at MrSpeakers. You are right that he has no obligation to answer any questions. He is free to ignore the issue as it's certainly it's his right. 
  13. knowhatimean
    Alright, I guess that was a bit harsh, so please beg my pardon on that one .
    Honestly though I can only think of 1 or 2 "higher intentioned" headphones that I've had that I felt wasn't being held back by the HP cable it came with (Which usually had me scratching my head over how relevant huge portions of massive "HP impressions" were without any mention as to whether they were using the HPs with the supplied "should have been at least a mediocre HP cable but wasn't" HP cable. I've  always found it pretty hilarious how everyone's willing gives Sennheiser a pass on the cables they came with (Given all the "Sennheiser Worship" that goes on it's not that surprising though)
    The funny thing is , for all it's "Funkiness/Quirkiness" I've never had any real issues with the thick NH cable. I thought I might have had a channel imbalance in it but the channel imbalance turned out to be a problem with one of the analog interconnects running from my Metrum Hex DAC to my HP amplifier. (The interconnects weren't RCA terminated they were using proprietary internally expanding ('death grip') pin lock connectors; One of which I'd damaged (& wasn't aware of) after removing & reinserting it back into my HP amp. Needless to say I went back to using RCA terminated interconnects...... It wasn't a NH cable problem at all.
    I do think the angled source end plug on the AQ headphones (& now that mic switch) isn't that good of an idea . (I often wonder if those of use not using these headphones for portable use are using them "illegally"; Hey AQ,... Newsflash ; some of us are NOT using our NH,NHC & NO on the go !
  14. moviemike
    I have the NightOwl and the Focal elear. The NightOwl cable is to short but the 13 foot Focal cable is to long. Once both are broken in I will try the NightOwl cable on the Elear. 
    The NightOwl does not block the music from being heard by those around you as much as I would like. I had the original NightHawk and so far I like the balance better. No more big mid/upper bass bump. 
  15. davidmolliere
    I don't think you can, the Elear cable is dual 3.5 mono unless I am mistaken contrary to 2.5 dual mono for the Audioquest
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