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QUAD ERA-1 Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by FastAndClean, Apr 24, 2018.
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  1. nicholars
    Argh, so you can add another 23% onto the price then, why does it say they have european and UK warehouses that is very misleading.
  2. dpump
    Brainwavz does have warehouses in different countries, but they aren't stocking the Alara in them yet. Maybe it's because the Alara is a fairly new product and they haven't had time to get them in their warehouses yet. Amazon USA doesn't have the Alara either.
  3. nicholars
    From my guessing, their "European warehouses" are Amazon?
  4. nicholars
    Mm well Quad replied to my email and said they would offer repairs out of warranty, Nothing against brainwavz as such, but if they are moving up to selling moderately expensive Planars, I think they need to offer more reassurance in the case of driver failures after the 2 year warranty.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
    trellus likes this.
  5. FullBright1
    If you want them, you will have to buy them from the Brainwavz webpage.
    Mine shipped yesterday, so, i should have them strapped on by Friday.

    Was reading the Hifiman Ananda Thread here yesterday.
    Somewhat controversial/obtuse are the (differing) replies.
    One member stated, about 40 times, that they have a 8kHz boost.
    Graphs are everywhere and Graphs are not something i even notice.
    The reason is, the way sound appears in print, vs the way it is going to sound inside a cup, is not going to be what you expect.
    For example, if a graph shows that the upper mids are etched.....this does not allow for the way the value of sound/tone is going to be reflected in reality, inside a cup, strapped to your head.
    Maybe the designer of the etched upper mids did this to offer a perspective of tonal balance because this is needed to balance the sound related to a set of headphones having a very substantial bass response.
    Its sort of like the difference between seeing a beautiful woman's photo, vs seeing the woman in real life.
    A "photo" is a "graph" of her, and this is not the same as the real thing...
    Or, trying to tell someone how it feels to fly, by showing them a video or a photo of a Jet in flight.
    This is a graph...... but once they are in the air........is it the same as the graph?
    Not quite.
    So, a graph might indicate where a certain freq spike is located, but, this is not the same as hearing the sound of the headphones, as they actually SOUND>
    Don't let a graph keep you from buying, "The best sounding headphone you've ever heard".
    And if its not....if you hate it, then a "money back if not satisfied" purchase should help you rest well at night.
    Or, you can always sell them here, or on Ebay......... you're not stuck.
    So, pull the trigger, flip the switch, .. stop looking at the water and get IN.
    Here are A few things in the (secular) lifestyle that you can't have "too much of".

    1. Money
    2. Health
    3. Peace of Mind
    4.. The love of a good family, mate, and friends.
    5. Electronic toys, musical instruments.
    6. An Open Mind
    7. Compassion
    8. Wisdom

    Online - Web reviews of the Ananda are mostly offering high-praise of the Ananda.
    The Audiophilliac was impressed but wanted to talk more about the H1000v2.
    Much conflict, (here) regarding those who "hear them as metallic - trebly", vs those who hear them as "mostly neutral - transparent and amazing.".
    There is a difference, if you know how to "Listen".
    Some even find them "neutral", and everyone seems to love their extension "down low".
    So, once again, to know, is to find out for yourself......:)
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
    PaganDL and Light - Man like this.
  6. FullBright1

    Here are some thoughts for the person who is
    considering buying the Alara or the Quad Era-1.

    After listening to both, i can assure you that they do not sound alike.
    Very different sounding headphones.
    And as Ive already spoken a lot about the Quad, i wont reiterate all that again here.
    So, how do the Alara's sound different then/from the Quads. ????
    1st...The Alara is a bit easier to drive.
    The Quad is very slightly more comfortable on the ears and on the head, as the Alara's designer has created a headband that is , as you've read, designed for a longer head. Not a small one, as the clamping force is fine for all sizes, but the length of the band is designed for head length....so, medium head or larger, will be fine., but a smaller head, due to the length being less from top to ears, could need a support on the headband.
    All heads will vary.
    Comfort is a 8.

    Sound. :

    As compared to the Quad Era-1.

    This is easy, as they sound so different from each other, there is no need to be concerned about "buying the same sound, in a different brand because the parts are the same....etc".
    So, just forget about that as these 2 products sound nothing alike.
    What is causing such a big difference?
    The Low mids.
    The Quad has a controlled low mid, that does not really reach into the actual "mid" of the mid range, and so, you get a sense of a very distinct and wide midrange with the Quad, yet, it does not sound forward or especially dry, as you find with the recent Neumann's fairly dry tone.
    The Alara has created their midrange to allow some of the low mids to WARM the overall tone of the headphone, and because of this, the Quad and the Alara sound nothing alike.
    Does the Quad feel like a more refined/expensive product......yes.
    However the Alara also feels well crafted and substantial.

    Now how do the Alara's sound?
    They have a fine sound that will please headphones lovers of Audeze and not offend the ears of people who love Sennheiser HD6's.
    If you however love AKG, and Audio Technica, then you will find these to be of the same type overall "sweet and warm" that you hear when you listen to Audeze, with the exception of Sine's and the X's.
    The Brainwavz Alara Tone/Sound is all about rich and warm and sweet.
    Now, don't misunderstand me......i am not saying that they have a low-mid bloat, as they do not.......but instead, they have a very round and warm tone signature.
    Its a fine sound.
    I find the Alara's to almost offer the sound experience of a very very good dynamic headphone.
    Upper Treble and Treble response is extended and not sizzly, however, as the sound signature of the headphone is decidedly warm and sweet and round, then the first impression of the treble is that they are slightly, soft.
    But they're not.
    As you listen to them, and your ears begin to experience how they are presenting their tone, you note that the trebles are nice, and well centered within a sweet and warm overall "rich" tonality.
    This is definitely a product that will bond best with a solid state device, as tube warmth is going to add too much warmth to what is already a warm headphone sound.

    Soundstage is interesting. Its not especially wide, yet you are hearing extened left and right and then you have the experience of the sound coming from the front, yet, its inside your head.
    That pretty unique, and it sounds good, and even better the longer your ears adjust to what you are hearing.
    This is a headphone sound that is designed for long fatigue free sessions, and not as much for using these headphones as microscopes, tho these do offer enough resolution and micro detail retrieval to please.
    Not a bass head headphone, yet the Alara offers accurate and very listenable solid bass response.

    The Alara sound is a unique sound, warm, rich, nicely detailed and fatigue free, = worth their cost.
    This is a headphone that is for people who are looking for an affordable "good sound".
    Brainwavz will be selling a lot of these, and i suspect most reviewers are going to highly rate them.

    I ordered mine on Sunday, they shipped on Monday, and i received them today, Thursday.
    Brainwavz gave me an Order confirmation email, then a shipping confirm email, then a estimated delivery date email, then a day of delivery update email, with tracking provided in all emails.
    I never felt like "well they have my money, now lets hope for the best".
    They contact a lot, and you always know what is happening with the shipment.
    Alara 2.JPG
    Alara 3.JPG
    Alara 4.JPG
    Alara 5.JPG
    Alara 6.JPG
    Alara 7.JPG
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
    PaganDL, Beagle, FlySweep and 4 others like this.
  7. negura
    I had similar first impresions and yes they certainly did not sound similar. Those Alara stock pads are a significant performance downgrade vs the Quad leather pads imo and even with the same pads a few hours of the box the Alara did not sound as good as the Quads (the latter had more hours on them).

    I wasn't too keen on that kind of sound so I had to take some further steps. I am now using the Alara without the outer grill meshes, with the Quad leather pads and aftermarket cable. I also have some more hours with them. This way they sound leaner and meaner than the Quads, which is quite fun. I sometimes prefer the slightly fuller Quad midrange (they are umodded), but both are very good.

    The Alara are a bit more moddable than the Quads. I am thinking whether I want to hard wire the Alara with my custom cable.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
    Light - Man likes this.
  8. E1DA
    seems it is not the same product branded differently but two different headphones, congratulations :wink:
  9. dpump
    I have had my Alara for 2 weeks now. I pretty much agree with FullBright1 on the sound quality before break in. Mine had a somewhat indistinct bass and recessed midrange and highs when I first tried them. They began to open up after 3-5 hours and improve for 10-20 hours. For me, they now have an almost perfect sound since the bass is now as deep and tight as anything I have heard, the midrange is very detailed and properly balanced, and the highs are smooth but have great detail when the music calls for it. Like all planars, they benefit from power and current. I have been using them mostly balanced with balanced amps and the extra power really tightens and controls the sound. Waiting for FullBright1 and negura to report back after they have more time on their Alara's to see if there is any improvement in the sound quality.

    It's a shame that manufacturers keep saying that their phones are so efficient now that you can use them off of anything from a phone to a high end headphone amp. May be true for some models but not planars. Quad is especially guilty of this in their ERA-1 literature. And I really don't like Quad claiming that their engineers developed their planar driver implying they engineered everything themselves and manufacture it themselves. From what I have read both the ERA-1 and the Alara are manufactured by a Chinese company that has been making planars for a while. Surely both companies collaborated with this company in the development of their particular planar. Brainwawz just says the Alara has the latest planar driver but doesn't make any claims they developed it. It would be better to me if both companies would be truthful about how their headphone was developed. There's no shame in saying that your company collaborated with another known high quality manufacturer to develop your particular product if that's the case; that's the reality in our global economy now. And Quad saying that the power handling of the ERA-1 is 100mw and Brainwavz saying the Alara is 300mw is also pretty comical, since planar power handling is typically at least 1 watt. Marketing claims these days is designed to mislead the inexperienced to sell products, so unfortunately a lot of what companies claim is either misleading or fabricated.

    But I do like my Alara and think Brainwawz did a great thing in bringing this to market at such a fair price, however they accomplished it. I haven't heard the Quad ERA-1 yet but have no doubt it is also an outstanding product. Not sure why the Alara retails at $499 and the Quad is $799 though. The construction quality is very similar and I can't see $300 difference in their prices. Of course the Quad history and reputation gives them more high end credibility than Brainwavz and I think this allows Quad to price their phone higher.

    Since it appears that the pads are interchangeable between the ERA-1 and the Alara according to FullBright1 and negura, I hope to see Brainwavz offer a similar leather pad to the one that comes with the ERA-1. Surely Brainwavz, who are known for replacement pads, can provide a similar pad to the ERA-1 one. For all we know, Brainwavz may be making the pads for both phones. Of course we may see other companies such as Dekoni making pads for these planars in the future. I have 6 different Dekoni pads on some of my other phones and they are typically very high quality. I would like to try the ERA-1 leather pads on my Alara, but haven't checked on getting them from Quad. The comfort of the stock Alara pad is outstanding and I would probably prefer their comfort to leather, but I would like a chance to try the ERA-1 pads anyway.
    Light - Man and negura like this.
  10. negura
    I will eventually revert the Alara to stock condition and compare again with the Quad. I do think there's a certain element related to running these in for some hours. That's not the case with all headphones I have/had, but in this case it seems to hold ground.

    I agree about the efficiency - I also mentioned it's overstated, particularly for the Quads. They are relatively efficient but they benefit a lot from an amplifier with great grip, technical profficiency and transparency. There's a very capable driver in there, whoever designed it.
  11. FullBright1
    I have not said the pads are interchangeable.
    As a matter of fact, I posted photos to show you that the Quad cup, the frame, is larger then the Alara..
    So, in this case, the pads that fit the Quad are going to be larger, = wont work for the Alara.
    And im glad you like your Alara's.
    They seem to be a fine sounding/good value, product.
  12. FullBright1
    PaganDL likes this.
  13. negura
    The pads are interchangeable though.
  14. fericske

    The Era1 is efficient.
    The only one headphone of my recent phones (Final Pandora 6, Denon D1200, Veho Z8, AKG k301, Beyer DT860) that sound good through the nasty quality usb-c dongle of my Mate 10 pro mobile phone.
    Surprisingly good, with decent dynamic and clarity.
    Many of my earphones can not deliver that clarity (Westone, Trinity Audio, Final Audio, Vsonic, Sennheiser, Lz ), only the Periodic Audio BE.

    The transducer of the Era made by IAG Group LTD http://www.internationalaudiogroup.com/
    This is not a secret. I found this info on the Quad website, under the News section-Era1 review-Hifinews full review pdf.
    Quad designed the driver, than they looked for a transducer maker company, those are able to making that driver based on Quad's plan. That's it. That is Quad driver. I'm sure that driver is protected by the contract between Quad and IAG, so that driver is implemented only in Quad products.
    There is no any conspiracy theory behind this.
    mobbaddict and trellus like this.
  15. negura
    trellus likes this.
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