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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. mbwilson111
    What??? I'm with Skylar. But then, I am a music lover not an audiophile. This will probably all get deleted.
    waynes world likes this.
  2. Bern2
    Hey MB....what part of Michigan did you live in? I was born in St. Ignace...moved to Detroit area around 5....and now reside outside Bay City. I can tell you you haven't missed anything here in the last 12 years.

  3. mbwilson111
    Born in Ithaca NY but spent more time in Michigan. Grand Rapids, Middleville, went to school at MSU, raised my kids in Monroe. Most of my family is in Ann Arbor/ Ypsi so that is where I go if I travel back... last time in 2012. I do miss Michigan a lot (and upstate NY) but it worked out better for me to come here than for my husband to go there. Either way, immigration is difficult. One of us had to be the immigrant:)

    Is this off topic enough? I don't even have a Night Owl! Only the Nighthawk.

    But I AM a night owl.

    Oh, and I have also lived in Connecticut and Texas.

    edited to ask: @Bern2 why is your Sennheiser HD630vb on the chopping block?
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
    Bern2 and trellus like this.
  4. DW75
    I ended up getting my Nightowl Carbon in the mail about 2 hours ago. I have about 90 minutes on it so far. I have not tried the ultrasuede pads yet. This is a bloody amazing closed back headphone. The soundstage and imaging are the best I have heard on a closed back. The soundstage on this headphone is just like an open back !!! Everything has a warm and lush sound, just like the SRH1540 I returned for a refund. However, the Nightowl offers way more detail. The instrument separation is just so good for a closed back. Everything is nicely layered. Bass on the Nightowl is very tight, deep, and quick, but reaches right down. The SRH1540 bass was just way more muddy and slow. It had a bloom to it that went right into the mids. The upper treble on the Nightowl is slightly rolled off, but also less so than the SRH1540. My only complaint with the Nightowl at this point is that the upper treble is just a bit too rolled off, and there is a slight recession I can hear in this upper mids. Granted, I am only less than 2 hours in with using it. As I do with every headphone I get though, I will create an EQ set for this one as well. This headphone has a " listening to vinyl" sound. Distortion from the drivers is literally non-existent. Music just makes you smile and move your head. Once I get at least 50 hours burn in on this, I will put up a review in the thread. I can tell that 8-12 hours is just not going to be enough time to make a proper assessment. So far, this is very good.
    trellus, Jearly410 and phthora like this.
  5. DW75
    Comfort on this headphone is amazing. This Is just as comfortable as the K712 Pro I used to own. These two are the best headphones I have found for comfort. I have no issues with getting a good seal, or losing bass with glasses. The arms of my glasses are quite thin though.
    trellus likes this.
  6. DW75
    Alright, switched to the ultrasuede pads about a half hour ago to test them out. The sound with these pads is less "vinyl sounding", and more balanced. There is less of a midbass bump, and an even wider soundstage. Cymbals and snare drum hits sound more natural with the ultrasuede pads, no question. Treble is more present. Neither set of pads though shows any sign of sibilance at all. These pads make this headphone sound quite close to neutral. So far, I am liking this even better than the pleather pads.
    trellus likes this.
  7. Serge Bernamej
    I listen to classical music only and I to prefer the Suede pads. I feel the sound is more balanced with them. You lose a tiny bit of isolation though.
  8. nwavesailor
    NH, not NO, owner here & I am a fan of the Ultrasuede pads. Not the crowd favorite of most AQ owners, but I keep finding my way back to the US pads.
  9. DW75
    With about 3 to 3.5 hours on this headphone so far, I can already tell that the ultrasuede is what I am going to be keeping on here. The sound is just way more balanced and closer to neutral. Vocals on the ultrasuedes is quite a bit smoother as well. The SRH1540 just wasn't even close to this headphone in terms of sound quality. I am very impressed.

    Edit: Indeed, no question about it. The ultrasuede pads make this headphone sound awesome. Hey Trellus, you should get this headphone !!!!!!
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
    trellus likes this.
  10. DW75
    Over the last few hours, I have created an EQ set for the ultrasuede pads. IMO, this sounds just awesome. Anyone who prefers the sound of the suede pads should give this EQ a try. I think you will like it. This keeps the warmish sound signature of the headphone intact, but corrects the recessed upper mids and treble roll off. It sounds extremely balanced. Even with this EQ, there is not a hint of sibilance. The biocellulose drivers used in this headphone respond very well to being equalized. I will make another EQ set for the pleather pads in a couple days.

    EQ with Ultrasuede pads:

    Pre-Amplifying: -2

    50Hz: + 0.5
    63Hz: + 0.5
    80Hz: + 0.5
    200Hz: - 0.5
    250Hz: - 0.5
    315Hz: - 0.5
    400Hz: - 0.5
    1.25kHz: + 0.5
    1.6kHz: + 0.5
    2kHz: + 1
    2.5kHz: + 1.5
    3.15kHz: + 2
    4kHz: + 1.5
    5kHz: + 1
    6.3kHz: + 0.5
    8kHz: + 0.5
    10kHz: + 1
    16kHz: + 1
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
    trellus likes this.
  11. Jearly410

    Small correction, the drivers are not beryllium. They are custom biocellulose
    mbwilson111 likes this.
  12. DW75
    Oops, typo on my part. I am surprised I made that mistake. Will change that now.
  13. Bern2
    Just noticed this...will try to expound.

    I bought them after reading Brooko's review. I had never listened to a headphone trying this (adjustable bass although they're a few out there). I guess in a nutshell..they don't fit in with my current listening habits. The majority of that is while I'm reading/browsing and usually involves the main amp with a decent length cable. I tried an extension with the 630vb...but had to only partially insert the cable as it's a 4 pole (on Sennheiser's end). I don't use (or even have) a smartphone yet. The majority of my DAP use gets the Sony or B&W. (bluetooth).

    I found their bass adjustment feature well done...but I wish they would have went slightly lower in frequency (they use 50hz as the crossover). I tried to EQ the sub-bass a bit (that's me and my love for subs)...but they don't respond well to lower EQ IMO)

    On a comfort scale...I give them a 6.....so average for me.

  14. mbwilson111
    I thought I was the only one. I hate phones.
    Bern2 likes this.
  15. Bern2
    Yes....me too. Sonarworks is coming out with True-Fi (Android/Ios) ...EQ personalized for headphones)....that might tilt me into getting one. Maybe.

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