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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. Shane D
    I have spent three years trying to find a good match for my tastes. I have wasted tons of money buying and then selling (at a loss of course) headphones.

    I have found that on the open side I Love Grados and have finally found my perfect match.

    That actually energized me to try to find my perfect match on the closed side and I came across the Sony MDR Z7. Seemed to be a real hate it or love it headphone. I came across a used pair locally that were supposedly never used. The seller was nice enough to bring them by my home and hang around for 40 minutes while I tested parts of many songs. I was REALLY impressed with the base and the clarity.

    The kicker is that I was listening to my Carbons all morning while trying to find test material for the audition. I was not loving their sound this morning while listening.

    23 minutes into the audition, I had two thoughts:
    1) I HAVE to have these 'phones.
    2) The Carbons HAVE to go.

    6 months ago these two products had the same MSRP ($899.00Cdn + 15% sales tax).

    If you like fun headphones these are a winner. I look forward to spending all of Sunday morning getting to know my new besty.

    Shane D
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
    trellus and Bern2 like this.
  2. DW75
    I must have about 50 hours use on my Nightowl Carbon at this point. As Bern2 requested, I will be putting up a comparison between the Nightowl Carbon and the Amiron Home in the next couple days. This comparison will include the Amiron Home with EQ, and the Nightowl Carbon with EQ for the pleather pads, and a second EQ for the ultrasuede pads. I have slightly updated my previous EQ with the pleather pads on the Nightowl Carbon to this below. People should give this EQ a try. It sounds awesome with this headphone. This makes this headphone sound completely balanced.

    EQ Set For Using With Pleather Pads:

    Pre-Amplifying: - 2

    80Hz: - 0.5
    100Hz: - 0.5
    125Hz: - 1
    160Hz - 1
    200Hz: - 1
    250Hz: - 1
    315Hz: - 1
    400Hz: - 1
    500Hz: - 1
    630Hz: - 0.5
    1.6kHz: + 1
    2kHz: + 1.5
    2.5kHz: + 1.5
    3.15kHz: + 2
    4kHz: + 1.5
    5kHz: + 1.5
    6.3kHz: + 1
    8kHz: 0.5
    10kHz: + 0.5
    16kHz: + 1
    trellus, SnobbyNoob and Bern2 like this.
  3. SnobbyNoob
    Oooh I like that EQ for those. I always found them too dark and refined but I bet that adds a lot of the shine I was looking for. Well done.

    Now I just have to wait for LG to let the V30 use custom EQs

  4. multimike
    Hi everyone,
    after some searching back and forth, I decided to order the Nightowl last weekend. Waiting eagerly for them to arrive and try out :)
    Now I am uncertain if I should get a DAC/Amp as well. One of the main audio sources would be my Macbook Pro (Mid 2015) at work. Which Amps would be a nice pairing for them? Or should I just go with the internal headphone out?
  5. ninetylol
    Dragonfly Red
  6. multimike
    Ok, I was considering the Dragofly Red already...
    besides Schiit Fulla 2, Meridian Explorer 2, some Fiio stuff, SMSL M3
  7. ninetylol
    The DFR got a wonderful synergy with Nightowl and Nighthawk. Cant speak for the other ones.
  8. NoelAustin
    I received my Nightowl Carbon yesterday. Extremely comfortable as expected. One issue: I took a long brisk walk outdoors with the headphones playing, and there was a loud thumping noise that came through the music. Can anyone explain this? Is it the headphones or the cable that is producing this?
  9. Serge Bernamej
    Well this type of microphonics plagues the majority of closed back headphones. Your steps produce shocks that create reverberation in the housing.
  10. NoelAustin
    I also have B&W P7 Wireless, which have never given me this kind of effect. I suppose P7W is in the minority of close back headphones then. Thanks.
  11. snapz47
    thats whats up!
  12. Serge Bernamej
    Yes you are correct. Usually headphones designed for portability should not have this problem. Although the Oppo PM-3 has it terribly. THX00 does not have this problem, nor the Denon 7200...
  13. MaceHane2
    Yep, I love my KEF M500’s, but I simply can’t wear them when walking as every footfall rebounds into my ears!
  14. DW75
    I must have about 60-65 hours on my Nightowl Carbon by now. I have to say that burn in with this headphone is 100 percent real. Burn in, combined with that EQ that I posted, really makes this headphone sound fantastic. At around 55 hours or so, this headphone opened right up. Soundstage has widened, along with separation of individual instuments. Everything is presented without a hint of harshness, grain, of fatigue inducing elements on this headphone. Vocals are extremely smooth. Imaging after this many hours use is so impressive for a closed back headphone. Everything is presented with a great sense of layering. Skylar definitely knew what he was doing with this headphone in this regard. This is exactly how you want a closed back headphone to image. I purchased the Audio-GD C-2 (2017 Edition) headphone amp a few days ago. It will be shipping in the next day or two. This should be quite the upgrade from my M-Stage HPA-2 headphone amp. I can't wait to try out my Nightowl Carbon and Amiron Home on it. I promised Bern2 that I would do a comparison between the two headphones. Sorry for the wait on that. I have made a bunch of notes while listening tonight, and I will put up a comparison here in the next day or two.

    trellus and Bern2 like this.
  15. Bern2
    Not in any hurry....take your time. I'm getting ready for VBS myself. Summers can be busy!

    I never gave burn-in much of a thought...until I got the NH. It certainly changed over the first week.

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