QUAD ERA-1 Thread
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FullBright1

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Very cool and desired early impressions. Much appreciated.
Ive listened to them a lot, since my initial impression review.
They are keepers.
Music sounds good through them....so, that is the answer.
No scooped mids, no sizzling treble, and wearing comfort is above average but not the best you will ever find.
They sound nothing like ATech's or Beyers or Sennheiser HD6s.
They have their own sound, and maybe you will love it.
When i put on my Audeze X, i notice more brightness, but not a better sound.
Both are very fine headphones.
 
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Ive listened to them a lot, since my initial impression review.
They are keepers.
Music sounds good through them....so, that is the answer.
No scooped mids, no sizzling treble, and wearing comfort is above average but not the best you will ever find.
They sound nothing like ATech's or Beyers or Sennheiser HD6s.
They have their own sound, and maybe you will love it.
When i put on my Audeze X, i notice more brightness, but not a better sound.
Both are very fine headphones.
Thanks. We defo need to snatch a pair and see how it fits our stuff.
 
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FullBright1

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Thanks. We defo need to snatch a pair and see how it fits our stuff.

I hope you love them.
Let me tell you what they will not do.
They will not make badly recorded music sound better.
They are not forgiving.
So, on one hand they are lush and balanced, yet, they are also designed to be used as affordable reference cans.
They are very truthful regarding how they represent a recording's sound quality....so, to anyone who is reading this, that has 23,456 "lossy" Mp3's that you listen to..... don't even try it with the Quad ERA-1s.
Grab your ATech MSR7's, if you need a good (dialed in) consumer sound to help with badly recorded tracks.
Or maybe some Sundara's.
Do not try to enjoy "lossy" sound files with the Quad ERA-1s., unless you like to punish your ears....:)
 
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So, on one hand they are lush and balanced, yet, they are also designed to be used as affordable reference cans.
That's highly useful. We roll with a number of cans at various shows, but always look into new stuff. Thanks for your input!
 
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FullBright1

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That's highly useful. We roll with a number of cans at various shows, but always look into new stuff. Thanks for your input!
Absolutely.
If you get the chance to strap them on, then ..... you should.
They sound good.-
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QUAD.JPG
 
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I think if you want a really lean bass and can stand closed cans, then the Aeon Flow Closed is a winner, as its bass is quite lean, and these headphones have a unique sound.
The low frq response found within the Quad...... i would describe as detailed and balanced as it plays along with the mids and highs.
Some bass lovers define bass response this way......."i can feel it".........Others would say, "i can hear how low it extends".
With the Quad, you do get nice low range extension, tho its not a sub ..... and you can feel it, but its not a bass lovers type of skull rattling that it offers.
The bass in the Quad does not dominate, it enlightens, similar to the mids....as they do not dominate, but they involve you and immerse you.

A really good midrange being produced by a set of headphones, will have just a touch of dryness, as this is what happens when you allow the mids to shine and avoid a "V" shaped sonic signature.
Too much dryness in the mids, is something like you find in the HiFimann HE400i.
The Quads don't have this type of overarching dryness within their mids, but they do have a touch of dryness.
I can understand why Tyll's replacement at "Inner Fidelity" would be so enamored with the Quad ERA-1......Its because they are designed to sound like Hi-fi speakers make you feel when you listen.
Is everyone going to love them?........No. Not everyone.... But anyone who has experience with true audiophile hi-fi stereo speakers and tuners and amps, will recognize just how good these sound, and that is why the new guy
at Inner-Fidelity loves them.
I wish that everyone who bought them, loved them, but, thats not going to happen, but those who do love them, will strap them on, begin listening, and love them instantly.
Burn in will just make it better, but these are good to go, according to my ears, right out of their cardboard box.
I put them on, and started grabbing CD's and smiling, and then i had to try to not turn them up so loud........:)

The most irrelevant headphone discussion is the one where listeners are discussing trying to find a set of headphones that..... "sounds just like the music sounds".....
There is no such thing, as a headphone is not able to reproduce photographic likeness regarding sound.
Look, if you took all the readers here, and put us all in a room with a band that is playing live music, and were able to magically evaluate everyone's ears as they are listening, then you'd find that even Ears don't hear the same, and so, these same ears are not going to hear a set of headphones just like the next person's ears. So, in that case, you have to evaluate the value of a headphone according to the number of people who love it, vs the number of people who voted....."meh".
For example, the Senn HD600...... We've all owned it, and for so many of us it was our gateway drug that led us into the world of audiophile headphone listening//obsession.
Most listeners really like it........most.

Every set of headphones has its own tonality...it's own sonic identity, its own "sound thumbprint".
A set of headphones are a sound transmission device, and they're going to sound the way THEY sound, and they are not going to sound exactly like any other model, even made by the same designer.
So, the best way to approach trying to find the best "sounding" headphone, is to notice if the sound it produces... immerses you within its sound and captivates you so that you nearly forget you are listening to headphones, or not.
The finest headphones captivate your hearing, and transform the music that you are listening to using them, into something that is almost magical, heartfelt, is surely wonderful, and at times can be an epiphany experience.
I never use floor standing speakers, unless im mastering music.
For me, the headphone listening experience is the gold standard for getting lost within the magic of music.
Im going there now..........talk to you later........:)
The Senn HD600 - the wonderful slippery slope...
 
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negura

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I've had the Quad ERA-1 for a couple of days now. I prefer the leather pads to the velours/pleathers, the latter being too laidback/slightly soft sounding imo. With the leather pads the articulation and impact are pretty amazing across the spectrum. This coming from a long time HE-6 owner who also appreciates the Abyss is no small praise. Such a refreshing departure from many recent softer sounding headphones like HEK, newer Audeze, and others (that said I did/do own and appreciate some of the latter too). Quad say they are efficient but don't buy too much into that. I first got these on a portable amplifier (Leckerton) and they sound alright, quite good actually. But once on my 2 x bridged Benchmark AHB2 main rig, with a custom aftermarket XLR cable, it's a different ball game. Much improved articulation, focus, layering and resolution.

I would qualify the Quad ERA-1 in the same school of sound with HE-6, Abyss, even HD800 (without that nasty 5k peak). They don't lack any body at all and are overall maybe slightly warm, due to somewhat fuller bass quantity, but there is also great spark and air to the treble. They don't hide brightly mastered recordings as my Audeze do for example. And that's a good thing imo.

I rate these very highly on the performance scale so far.
 
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I've had the Quad ERA-1 for a couple of days now. I prefer the leather pads to the velours/pleathers, the latter being too laidback/slightly soft sounding imo. With the leather pads the articulation and impact are pretty amazing across the spectrum. This coming from a long time HE-6 owner who also appreciates the Abyss is no small praise. Such a refreshing departure from many recent softer sounding headphones like HEK, newer Audeze, and others (that said I did/do own and appreciate some of the latter too). Quad say they are efficient but don't buy too much into that. I first got these on a portable amplifier (Leckerton) and they sound alright, quite good actually. But once on my 2 x bridged Benchmark AHB2 main rig, with a custom aftermarket XLR cable, it's a different ball game. Much improved articulation, focus, layering and resolution.

I would qualify the Quad ERA-1 in the same school of sound with HE-6, Abyss, even HD800 (without that nasty 5k peak). They don't lack any body at all and are overall maybe slightly warm, due to somewhat fuller bass quantity, but there is also great spark and air to the treble. They don't hide brightly mastered recordings as my Audeze do for example. And that's a good thing imo.

I rate these very highly on the performance scale so far.
Hi. I see you have the focal clears as well. I would really appreciate if you could please share your thoughts on the Quads compared to the Clears.
 
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negura

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They are a bit like the Clears in a few areas. Similar bass rumble, similar tonal presentation (overall slightly warm from neutral, but close to neutral imo), a bit bigger stage on the Quads with the leather pads (due to bigger driver I suppose). Both have a certain "atmospheric" sound. The Quads are even more energetic than the Clears, have better instrument separation and also have sparklier & airier treble.

At the moment I prefer the Quads slightly due to their more energetic and articulated sound and bigger stage, but it's still early days still. The Clears are some of my all time favourite headphones, due to their tonal balance and timbre and I prefer them to the Utopia, which I have also owned.
 
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They don't hide brightly mastered recordings as my Audeze do for example. And that's a good thing imo.
Fully agreed with this, if there's a spark on a recording, it's good to hear that it's there.
 
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Vampa

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They are a bit like the Clears in a few areas. Similar bass rumble, similar tonal presentation (overall slightly warm from neutral, but close to neutral imo), a bit bigger stage on the Quads with the leather pads (due to bigger driver I suppose). Both have a certain "atmospheric" sound. The Quads are even more energetic than the Clears, have better instrument separation and also have sparklier & airier treble.

At the moment I prefer the Quads slightly due to their more energetic and articulated sound and bigger stage, but it's still early days still. The Clears are some of my all time favourite headphones, due to their tonal balance and timbre and I prefer them to the Utopia, which I have also owned.
Thanks! That speaks highly of the Quads then. Here in the EU they cost half the price of the Clears.
 
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