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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. waveSounds
    Enjoying the suede pads the most so far, mainly because they're the only ones I can use in this heat without making my face sweat instantly!
  2. dmhenley
    Late returning to these NH and NO forums...took advantage of the price drop and grabbed a pair of very gently used Nightowl this week.

    I've spent nearly 3 years with the Nighthawk and love them.
    Based on my initial hours listening to the NO, I really dig it. The more linear low mid/bass performance really opens it up. Bass is tighter, and more impactful. So far I feel the high frequency performance is very similar. Of course the closed design changes things some. And, I think these may need more time to open up.

    I see fewer folks talking about a couple things I really love about these 'phones -
    - the dynamics, tonal mass and color make me very happy. When called on - and with great amplification - they have real shove, like a loudspeaker.
    I dig it. And, the slightly recessed high freqs bring the voices and instruments forward.

    I'm jazzed to have grabbed the Nightowl for a great price.
    Sorry to see the line end here.
    Bern2 and trellus like this.
  3. waveSounds
    @dmhenley I echo your sentiments, particularly about the end of the line for AQ 'phones. While they're not as technically impressive as the Elear, the word that always springs to my mind is just how organic and natural they sound. If I had to make a choice and sell all but one of my full-sized cans, the NightOwl would be the last can standing.
    Colors, JohnBal and dmhenley like this.
  4. geordieman
    Sort of tempted to go with these, I'm just looking ahead and would like a 2.5mm balanced cable for this to play with my Fiio X7ii. There seem to be a few options for the Sennheiser HD700 in balance, can any one tell me if they are compatible?
    here is an example on Ebay item number 253273429073. Was not sure if I was aloud to put a direct link in?

    Thank you for your time all :ksc75smile:
  5. dmhenley
    Hey All,
    Anyone know where I can buy the protein leather ear pads?

  6. waveSounds
  7. dmhenley
    Sorry - in the US.
  8. geordieman
    Answered my own question :)

    So if anyone is looking for a balanced cable (2.5mm termination) for this, it looks like Sennheiser HD700 / Oppo PM-1 / PM-2 / Audioquest NightHawk / HiFiMan HE-1000 should fit?
    Just it keeps the price down as there is a bigger market and more choice out there if you search for theses cables :)
    Please correct me if I'm wrong as I have not bought this yet, so it's only Google research at the moment.
  9. waveSounds
    @geordieman Going to guess that you're eyeing this cable [​IMG] That'll work. Currently looking at their one for the Elear for myself!
  10. geordieman
    You could be right! Hope your as good at guessing the lotto numbers :k701smile:
    Looking at that cable and the Night Owls, not pressed the button on it yet as I use my SE846 the most and my 1540 for a relax and chill time, which I don't get a lot of time to do. :triportsad:
  11. waveSounds
    The Owl is a special headphone. It's not as transparent as the 846 or Elear, but for me, it makes me feel more connected to the music than any of my other sets, through how real/organic they sound. The 1540 are brilliant closed phones, too, but the Owl is addicting.

    Completely anecdotal, but I had my mother and step-father visit mine a few days ago and, as lovers of jazz (amongst other genres), got them to listen to both the Elear and NightOwl. Both preferred the Owl!
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
    Jearly410 and geordieman like this.
  12. geordieman
    Thanks for the info, my bank manager might not feel the same :)
    Going to a little more research and will probably order a set at the weekend.

    Thanks again for the feedback on the Owl's
  13. jksoon
    I had the Nighthawks at first, then got the Nightowl Carbons. The good elements of the Nighthawks remain in the Nightowls along with more presence in the upper mids / highs. While I have many other audiophile headphones, these have been my go to headphones simply because of the comfort, weight (try wearing LCD-2 on movies) and the liquid sound of the mids. The Nighthawks just didn't do it for me on Rock and Electronica, mostly for the lower energy on the highs (cymbals and electric guitar didn't sound quite right on those, even though I was training my brain to get used to the sound signature), but the Nightowls were just what I was looking for, just the right amount of extra upper mid / treble presence without being bright. The mids are still great. I can listen to these for many hours. There's something about these that are involving and musical where I can relax instead of dissecting music like I do with other headphones. I prefer the synthetic suede pads over the protein leather ones. I enjoy these enough that they are a permanent part of my collection.
    Colors, Bern2, trellus and 1 other person like this.
  14. DW75
    I am also in the group that prefers the sound of the ultrasuede pads as well. You and I are in the minority. Most people seem to like the sound with the pleather pads better. For me, I find that snare drums just do not sound right at all with those pads. There is also too much mid bass bloom, and it bleeds into the mids. With the ultrasuede pads, snare hits sound correct, and the additional mid bass presence is there, but far less so. I think the Nightowl is an amazing headphone for the price. It is my closed back, and then I have the Amiron Home for my open back. They make for a great couple of pairs of headphones, and I have no need to buy anything else. For a headphone amp, I have the Audio-GD C-2 (2017 Edition). Both of these headphones sound awesome with this amp. There is a velvety, smooth, almost organic sound to the Nightowl. The amp is quite neutral in character, and just presents the music as it is, without adding anything to the sound. The C-2 amp has great synergy with the Nightowl. I think Audiquest did a great job with this headphone. It allows for hours of non fatiguing listening at any volume level. I have not found anyone yet who says the headphone is too harsh, bright, or sibilant. I use EQ on my Nightowl, and IMO, it takes the headphone to the next level. I have created an EQ set to use with both sets of pads. Even with that EQ set though, with the pleather pads, the snare drums still do not sound totally correct. With the EQ set that I created for the ultrasuede pads, everything is perfect. Give it a try, and let me know what you think. I think you will be very impressed.

    EQ set to use with the ultrasuede pads:

    Pre-Amplifying: - 2

    50Hz: + 0.5
    63Hz: + 0.5
    80Hz: + 0.5
    200Hz: - 0.5
    250Hz: - 0.5
    315Hz: - 0.5
    1.6kHz: + 0.5
    2kHz: + 1
    2.5kHz: + 1.5
    3.15kHz: + 2
    4kHz: + 1.5
    5kHz: + 0.5
    6.3kHz: + 0.5
    10kHz: + 0.5
    16kHz: + 0.5

    EQ set to use with the 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
    6.3kHz: + 1
    8kHz: 0.5
    10kHz: + 1
    16kHz: + 1
    adeeb and trellus like this.
  15. Soundizer
    Is there a reason given why Audioquest are exiting the Headphones market and why Skylar is no longer working for them?

    Does it also mean there will not be any mobile DACs such as next generation Dragon Fly?
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