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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
    The sound signature of these headphones is perfect for all day, every day listening [​IMG]
    Devodonaldson and Colors like this.
  2. Joong
    The sound of NH/NO depend on the recording.
    When the source is towards bright side, they are generally good and in certain cases they are the best for their organic with so much details where you cannot find such a nuanced / all those spectra of instruments in them.
    There are so much thing in them without sharp contrasting individual sharp edges (highs) which are usually shown in the bright phones like Beyerdynamic T1s or HD-800.
    The individual tones are simply the fittest in all harmonic ecological system in the big band orchestra.
    In several occasions, I had to put off the phones because I was perplexed and strained by hearing so much sonic contents in them.

    However the sound from the dark recorded source is tend to be dull, and mid bass is simply bleeding to mids and bass.
    This required me have complimentary phones like TH-900, or Superlux hd672.
    I don't think one phone covers everything.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
  3. waveSounds
    These do it for me. Aside from having a pair of in ears for more portable use, I could easily live happily with no other headphone.
  4. Joong
    You must have high resolving ears.:)
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
  5. waveSounds
    Or maybe less resolving?!
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
    geordieman likes this.
  6. Joong
    Because they are so linear that small volume listening is simply scaled down without sonic distortion.
    Colors likes this.
  7. Joong
    Come on...,less resolving is simply not harmonious!
    Breaking the integer ratio of the frequencies among them...breaking away from Fourier series ( very definition of harmony, or symmetry of acoustic frequency, or sound) and becoming congested or sounding like emergency bell.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  8. Colors
    I got a custom 1.3m silver plated copper with 2.5mm termination made and it sounded pretty bad balanced out of my Cayin N5ii with the pleather pads and the velvet pads.

    Wayy too bright and loses the velvet liquid smooth sound signature.

    Despite how much I hate the ergonomics of the stock cable, I think the pleather pads, stock cable and out of an iPhone X with a lightning dongle sounds best to me.
  9. mbwilson111
    If you want better ergonomics try this one ... will not cost you much. I have been using it on my Nighthawk for almost two years. It was meant to be temporary until I got a "better" one but I have never felt the need to change it. This will fit into the cups, are compatible and the cable is soft and flexible... the opposite of the one you are dealing with now.


    I have it in two sizes 1.2m and 1.8m

    here is a listing for a 1.8m (1 remaining


    These have no mic. I do not use mics. If you need that you will need to do more searching but these are the only ones that I can personally recommend for better ergonomics without ruining the sound. See what you think.
    Colors likes this.
  10. stilleh
    IMG_20180922_182304.jpg IMG_20180922_182215.jpg IMG_20180922_182138.jpg IMG_20180922_182005.jpg

    Got my new cable a couple of days ago. Been burning it in for over 50 hours (just to make sure). I like it so much more over the original in every way. Sonically I feel it gives more clarity and resolve but the major win is ergonomics. Using the new cable you really understand how crappy the ergonomics is with the original one. Highly recommended! Ordered from https://www.ebay.com/usr/mavismodz6
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
  11. stilleh

    [​IMG] With my FiiO x7II balanced.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
  12. Dan DRC
    Received my NightOwls last night. Only have about 4 hours on them so far, initial impressions are that they are defiantly the best I have owned yet.

    1. Posts about comfort are spot on, I really don't see how it could be any better.

    2. Posts about the cable are basically true the stock cable is awful, for me it kept getting twisted
    from the cable split upwards. I really can't believe that a company that
    made their name with audio cables can't seem to get the cable system right.

    3. Packaging and presentation are first rate

    4. Sound impressions, for the moment I am only running the NO with a Meridian Explorer 2
    ( amp plans are in the near future). Sound was phenomenal with all genres
    that I tired (classic Jazz, and Rock, AM Gold from the 60's and 70's). I did hear new things in
    recordings that I have listened to for years. Instruments sounded like the real thing, the term
    organic comes up frequently and this sums it up very nicely.

    5. I believe the NO will have the ability to scale to equipment changes pretty well.
    I switched between the iPhone 6s headphone out and the Meridian and the difference
    to me was pretty large. I am looking forward to upgrading to an amp soon and using the
    Meridian as a DAC only along with further NO break in.

    These are keepers and one of the best purchases I have made in over 40 years of audio gear purchases.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  13. phthora
    Great impressions! Thanks for posting them!

    Personally, I've found that the NO doesn't scale much or, put a positive spin on it, you don't need stellar gear upstream to get the best out of them. Comparing them running balanced out of the extremely clear, detailed, and powerful 28.38, there wasn't a whole lot of improvement over running SE out of the Black Label. More soundstage width and better imaging, but hard to discern much else changing. There certainly wasn't the level of improvement I usually find when switching headphones between the two. I think this is because the NO's biggest strength is tuning, with things like detail or impact taking a backseat. Going from a good amp to a great amp (unless tubes are involved) isn't going to change the overall sound signature much, just refine and clarify it. There is that, but the good news is that the NO doesn't require a huge investment to sound amazing. Anyway, my two cents.
    mbwilson111, Dan DRC and geordieman like this.
  14. khyaris

    I found a brand new NO Carbon in France for 299€, I couldn't resist to buy it after what I've read here ...

    I'm using it on a FiiO Q5, with the stock cable + leather pads.
    I mainly listen to electronic music, such as Max Cooper but also like artist like Zero 7.

    Headspace is great, bass is just enough for my taste (coming from IEM Pinnacle P1 and Focal Spirit Professional that I only use for monitoring).
    I just find the treble to be a little bit harsh sometimes, and fatiguing after 1H of listening.
    Comfort is really great !

    I probably need to get used to the sound signature of the NO and let some burn in happen.
    I'll let you know if anything changes in my perception over time.
  15. Devodonaldson
    IT'S THE PADS! Pleather boost pads boost the treble. Is the microsuede pads or better yet find the hybrid pads online. Absolutely worth the pad change. My boost pads have been in a drawer somewhere for well over a year
    HonkyTonk and mbwilson111 like this.
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