Acoustic Research AR-H1 Planar Magnetic Headphonessearch

Acoustic Research AR-H1 Planar Magnetic Headphones

Acoustic Research AR-H1 Planar Magnetic Headphones

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(6 reviews)
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If i were to sell my T60RPs to get these is that a good deal?
(Edited)
Gurbakhshish
always.
It is a very solid built headphone. I know there are split opinion on this one, but for $250 there is nothing to complaint. I paired this one with my Burson sololist(Amp) and mydac (dac). I found the mid-range is excellent , vocal is sweet. As to the treble, it is a little bit strange but acceptable . Low is fairly good. I would strongly recommend this one, at least it is comparable to my HD700 and gives me different audio experience.
Just got these a day ago. TL;DR: They sound half as good as they look. Included cable is awful (kinks too easily); carrying bag feels kinda pointless (these don’t fold flat so idk); earpads are easy to remove and annoying to put back on; moulded plastic strain relief for headband is questionable; headband is stiffer than I’d like. Bass is flat, extends pretty well, not good for bassheads. Midrange is not good, sounds muffled and sometimes nasally. Low treble is lacking, the rest of the treble is meh. Just get a 400i/4XX or a Sundara (more comfortable too) if you want a more modern look. At 300 (or 250) they’re not worth it for the sound when something like the 400i/4XX exist. They do look nice but that’s just not enough.
Ares78
how would you compare these with T60RPs?
Gurbakhshish
I’d say these are better. But honestly, HE-400i or even the HE-4XX is better.
Might be too late, but Massdrop x HIFIMAN Edition XX Headphones or this??? Don't worry about DAC/Amp requirements, all I want to know now is how well it sounds. What is the FR?
TiresomeToe933
Edition X is another league compared to these. I have the original edition X and based on the reviews for these.......yea go with Ed x
These or Hifiman Sundara's?
Chiropractor
Sundara
I have had AR HD-1 for about two weeks now and had a chance for them to be burned in. I have various other cans, but (All Considered very well made or regarded) this comment is only going to deal with two Cans the AR vs the OPPO Pm-3 or open vs closed. OPPO since purchase have been my mainstays when I’m not using studio Speakers. I have worked in a professional capacity years ago at the Old Warner Bros Studio. Took a old Harrison Analog mixing board out and reworked the whole studio (Tuning baffles, wiring, all new power amp rack, etc..) and replaced it with the new digital SSK board. What I am trying to say is yes my ears are pretty aware of acoustics and harmonic vibrations and true life sound. Now about the cans the resistance is within 1 ohm of each other AR (33) OPPO (32). I’m just going to give my opinion on both both utilizing the planar principles. The planar magnet arrays differ but they both excel in faithful reproduction of what was put on the original master tapes. Both are neutral and do not color the music like heavy bass style headphones do. Both have feq.  ratings above and below the 20-20000. It is my opinion no fancy tests just my years of experience the AR’s produce the music in a slightly more exacting. Bad recordings will sound just what they are bad. (Mark Almond, Song: One Way Sunday used for comparison). OPPO are comfortable ( fine for all day wear) but the AR have less clamping force so they slightly edge out OPPO in the comfort range. If you pay more for headphones you are doing just that paying more for status. My Klipsch X20i were $550 and sound good for what they are, but don’t compare sound wise to them. I see planar based cans are updated electrostatic cans that do not require feq generators. RC
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Bought a Sine for my commute and bidding on and LCD-2 Classic now~
Artismo
Happy New Year to you. I have some time in now with the AR-HD 1 and they are really really good at the price point. Another old speaker name taken over by Vox/Audiovox. The AR’s better clarity and more airy sound great. Larger Planar took longer to burn 76mm vs 40mm. Downside, wish they used better metal (SS) and love web system vs band, but one side sticks. That’s how to keep $ down. RC
This one or hifiman HE4XX ? Too bad advance audio alpha is sold out
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Seigi_Knight
HE4XX (or HD 58X if it doesn't have to be planar)
i like how the mods edited the guy crap talking to make it look like i just went on some rant for no reason lol... dude said a lot more than $100 off right now.
(Edited)
I listened to these on a Marantz HD-DAC1 DSD DAC with low and mid gain, Deezer lossless, and my impressions were that the vocals were lacking body, the vocals were more in-head, and the bass was not impactful. For being an open back, I didn’t get much sense of width or space except in the mid to upper treble region. Could it be the amp, or are my ears capturing the character of the headphone correctly? Because I so want to buy these. I can forgive the neutral-ish sound and a bit of shrill treble from the peak around 8K-10k (sounds like). I really love love the sound of my HE4XX and the magic of the HD58X has worn off. I find myself shopping these days for the HD600, HD650, and the like. I almost pulled the trigger on a 660S, but that price brand new. I live in Japan and with customs fees, plus parcel forwarding costs, I might as well just buy the Sennheisers in-store.
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It's not you or your pair. That's just part of the sound sig of the 58X. It is a budget headphone after all and I think that gets forgotten just because it sounds pretty good for the dollar. I have the 4XX and Elex as well and can easily confirm exactly the same as you.
Those headphones have silky inaccurate treble, not accurate. The HD58X with a silver-lined copper cable has accurate treble, clean, lush and realistic. Stay with the 58X.
Just got my pair today. The headband is already broken in the sealed box.
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The frame in the suspension headband is made of plastic. I want to assume the QC was done properly, but the cold winter in New England is more than enough to break this thin piece of plastic. AR made a very bad decision as a Massachusetts company. I was expecting something built much better than Hifiman. I'm disappointed.
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I did wait for 2 - 3 hours before unboxing. No luck for this time, but MD promised a full refund.
DareToBe
My luck! I just unboxed mine and the left side doesn't work. I was just thinking about you when opening my box, hoping not to see anything broken. They looked perfect and the presentation was great, superior to every other company I've experienced. But yeah, broken out of the box, too. I'm about to go to church in a few minutes and it's going to be hard for me to concentrate on Bible class while thinking about the broken cans I spent $300 on and waited a month for them. I know it's just a material possession, but I'm a human. I like toys!
Warranty ?
Alternative for consideration. These sound fantastic:
https://www.adorama.com/hmhe560v3.html?emailprice=t&utm_source=rflaid912772
Rosiebar
Had these for 2 weeks. Great sound for sure. Too much clamping force for me from the V3 headband. Ended up with returning to adorama.
Those are some sexy looking headphones.
According to the measurements, these won't even sound as good as 4XX. However, they are too handsome to be ignored. Comparing with these, 4XX look like antique...
I bought m1060 when it just hit on the market in day 1 and they broke before the V2 comes in the market . But they send me another set of V2 as replacement. But within 4 month that set is also broken because of the construction of wood is not solid as LCD. Wroth to mention I am also a rough user specially if you won more than one headphone. They sound fantastic but build quality is trash. Now lets talk about He 500 . I bought them two years ago and still working fine unless change pads two times. Little bulkier than m1060 but sound is more refine with w-o-n-d-e-r full midrange. Not much bass like m1060 but quality of bass rather than quantity is solid on He-500. Lets talk about AR- H1. Own this for almost 5 month now. Built quality is excellent and does look better than both of other two headphone. Means no objection of build quality. But the sound is not as good as other two headset. But that not means they are not good sounding headphone. If you never heard of other two headphone than this headphone will not disappoint you. Looking good, sound good what else do you need? Why I am comparing this three head phone? Because they seem like in almost same price with discount. You can also get HE 500 at 350-400 $ in used market. I would easily pick AR-H1 over m1060 due to build quality. Now He 500 I like the most any planner headphone I bought at less than 500$ headphone so far. But you will not get it new anymore since it is discontinued. This is my personal opinion though. Your choice may be differ actually more likely due to personal taste.
khaja-724612
Some people had it the other way around. Hifiman broke and Monoprice survived longer.
The price for these is tempting. They do have some negative reviews, but I've learned in life that what others consider trash, I can consider treasures. I think I'm jumping in. None of my Massdrop purchases have wronged me not even once. I feel confident!
EDIT: I'm in. The $15 Massdrop credit for the expedited shipping boo-boo of the HD 6XX brought their price down to $284.99. Can't wait until almost Christmas to finally receive them. God help me! This wait is going to suck so much!
raansire7
Massdrop waits are typically 6 months+, this one ain't too bad 🤙
Rockytopwiz
That's because they have the stock. They offered this same price on their website just recently, it ended 10/15/18. It appears they have not sold well.
I tried these in an audishow along with the AR DAP. I tried them back to back with Audize LCD4s, Focal Utopias and other top tier headphones and I was very pleasantly surprised. I actually preferred them to anything else in that room beside the Utopia. And when I was told that the price was 700 for them I thought they were a steal. I also really like the design on these, they are very comfortable and would probably fit anyone. They are neutral and realistic with decent Soundstage. If I didn't already own a couple of high end cans I would get these in a heartbeat.
I already have the OPPO PM-3 and they just keep sounding better evertime I wear them. Had them for 3 years now and normally play them through a Fiio X7 DAP (1st gen). Lets see how they both really compare (closed vs open back).
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RC28
waiting for your comparison!
RC28
I loved my old Oppo PM-3. Had them for years, got 'em right when they came out. Sadly, I sold 'em. Of all the cans I've gone through over the years, I barely remember so many, but those are the ones I remember most fondly. They're built solid! Possibly the best build quality I've ever seen in a headphone. The earcup swivel is like a precision instrument, headband and earcups themselves all those metal parts that come together come together for a look and feel like they were designed as peripheral equipment for an M1 Abrams tank. Oh, they sound great too. As I recall they were more of a "jack of all trades" can sound-wise. There's no area of the freq spectrum that was weak. They're definitely my first choice as a travel headphone. It's so sad Oppo (America) went out of business, no more high-end disc players at unexotic prices. I was so hopeful that, as disc media was going away, they'd become more of a headphone company and bring the same sensibilities they had in disc players to headphones... Oppo's audio equipment was built as high-end in every way, except for the price. PM-3 retailed at (what was it?) like $300 as I recall?? - Literally insane. My conspiracy theory is the the reason they went out of business is that they got a visit from a shadowy smoking-man figure that just told them couldn't keep doing what they're doing. The "shadow audio industry" decided they were a threat to the industry as a whole by only charging hundreds for what other companies sell for around a grand. I guess they had to be taken down.
https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AcousticResearchARH1.pdf
Hmmm, massive peak in the treble, no thanks.
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FuckHead-Fi
glad you rely on only frequency response graphs when purchasing headphones, it's not like actually actually listening to them first before forming an opinion is logical, right?
LowFi42
When someone is buying headphones online they rarely have a chance to try them out in person. So the next best thing is looking at measurable stats, which of course is not as good as trying them out in person. Please don't leave unnecessarily passive aggressive comments.
I never post on Massdrop. But I feel compelled to do so. I own this headphone and flagships from companies such as HifiMan, Focal, Grado, Labs, Audeze, Stax, and Sennheiser. I use a balanced 4 pin XLR cable that I find improves clarity over the stock cable. I can only speak for my tastes - I would put this AR H1 against any of the flagships I own. Why? I think the tonal balance is very neutral, and tonal balance is probably the most important factor I consider. Second would be clarity and third priority would probably be impact/slam. I think the AR H1 is pretty good with regard to each of these factors. I would not hesitate to recommend. I should say that I bought my pair used so I do not know how they sound out of the box, but I would describe their sound as vibrant.
Edit - I did want to add one thought -while I find the bass satisfying, some might consider these slightly light on bass. I notice this when comparing to headphones like the Final Audio D8000 that have exceptional bass and dynamics. But compared to other high end head phones (and to what I consider neutral) these do present an appropriate amount of bass (but certainly no bass hump) and can sound good on rock and pretty much all genres.
One other thing. I did not want to sound like I am saying these beat all other flagships. I only meant to say they are competitive for their overall set of strengths. Ok, now I feel better - I was coming off as a bit of a fanboy and I wanted to correct that.
Does the maker of these headphones have any relation to the AR I used to love in the 1970s?
JustinKalm
Um yes to the name, No to what it is today. You know how it goes- it's been sold over about 3 or 4 times and if you visit their website you will see it's nothing but a husk of what it was. This headphone is the crown Jewel of the current company line. Sadly I remember the name for great computer speakers in the 90's when I was a teenager.
JustinKalm
Yes Justin they are the very same company. The only difference is that they were swallowed up by Voxx Inc (Audiovox). They also bought up several other Iconic American speaker & headphone companies (ie: Klipsch).
Okay so I have only eyes for a while and I just want to put my two cents in even at 500 I think these are a very good sounding planar magnetic headphones with much less issues with the build and quality of design in comparison to some of the headphones I've owned from Hi-Fi man and other companies. I know people are saying because a few negative reviews I things aren't good for the money and I think really that's just an opinion there's plenty of people that really like these headphones and that was for when they were priced for more I've owned hifiman he 560 the he-400i, Sennheiser hd600 and the HD 650, beyerdynamics DT 880 and the t-90, Mad Dogs 3.2, zmf omi's, excetera. I currently still own these headphones and use them daily and the zmf Omni I recently sold my m1060 V2. I I think these are a great compliment to the zmf headphone line that I've used in owned the base is is more neutral with tight quick Bass with good extension, the mid-range is Airy and detailed and more upfront then the he-560 and the travel is very airy and detailed without being too harsh or or Sharp with its notes. I have a large head and there has been some talk about the clamp being too strong because the build is sturdy and the band is metal you can put pressure in the center of the band and bend in a bit very unnoticeable to the eye but it does alleviate that pressure on larger heads and makes he's very comfortable and lightweight for planar magnetic headphones. I've used this with just my phone granted on higher volume and it still sounds enjoyable and I've also use this with my fiio x5 mark 3 and ibasso DX 90 without the need of adding a portable amp and the quality of sound was still good and enjoyable with the dedicated integrated amp on both those players. I believe these headphones are a good deal even when around $500 and at $300 it's probably one of the best deals on planner magnetic headphones in terms of sound quality for price that I've seen for a new headphone. And yes that is an opinion not a fact but I have listened to a good amount of headphones in the 300 to $500 range and above and I feel like if you read the description of the sound of this headphone, and its signature and you think that it might be right for you the chances are you'll feel like it's the good headphones for the money once you listen. I have paired this had fun with the Pan Am tube hybrid which is fantastic especially with the the vokshod tubes, I also have used it with the audio GD nfb 28 in Balance mode, the Meier audio concerto, The massdrop liquid carbon X paired with the Aries DAC in balanced mode. And it sounded enjoyable and detail with all those amplifiers with the two best being the Pan Am and perhaps a liquid carbon. I don't see many people regretting this purchase and they're looking for a lightweight planomatic headphone that sounds detailed with good balance in the frequencies from low to high end for under $500, but of course I'm sure they'll be some but they don't suit and that's something that happens with every headphone and that's why we write reviews for our fellow hobbyists. I apologize if this is long-winded I just try to answer questions before they were asked on things that I'm usually wondering about when looking up a headphone that I'm interested in, and feel free to ask me about anyting you would like to know in regards to this headphone right now.
WhiskeyJacks
How long have you owned a pair? And you say you enjoy them as much as other Hifiman headphones? I believe it. I've been in the market for a new planar headset as I've never owned a pair and would like to have one. Been on the fence about the Hifiman 4xx, the dekoni fostex, the Koss ESP90 (yeah I know they are electrostats not planar) and now possibly these.
FWIW...per Tyll Five years ago this would have been a decent addition to the price point—well, there was virtually nothing there—but in todays world I'd shell out the extra $200 for the significantly superior MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Open or Audeze LCD-2 Classic. Though it's a little bass-light, the HiFiMAN HE400S is a significantly smoother sounding headphone at half the price. Read more at https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/acoustic-research-ar-h1-open-planar-magnetic-headphones-page-2#T0dAoAKL63OL5cBs.99
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Nothing at all ! I was being sarcastic, as I once disagreed with a review of his and some people acted as if I had slapped their mother.
lugnut
Exactly lol, I respect him, but I just have my own tastes. I honestly feel these headphones are better than most planars under $1k
What a weird review. At this price range, I would definitely want something spectacular. And why wouldn't you be able to listen to spectacular headphones everyday? I would think that would be one of the defining characteristics of spectacular headphones.
willentrekin
Haha indeed, I think it's the wrong choice of words. Sure I would love a spectacular and natural sounding pair! XD
How do these compare to the he4xx?
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He said "better overall 'probably'"
I don't think that's a confident or informed statement. Better overall according to who? At $299 I can tell you that this is magnificent value. The AR-H1 is very good, 'probably' better than the he4xx. There is a slight lower-mid, upper-bass bump, but it's not overly intrusive, depends what music you're playing. The bass is reminiscent of meaty
Mbot
the mids are just too weird for me (compared to the 4xx), they do look cool tho. 4xx is overall smoother and id say has better detail retrieval.
Oooh... I did like these when I had them. Delicate, pleasant sound. The earpad (possibly the glue used) kept gassing off, which worried me. They also bruise easy on the hinges, say when you put them on a table, and the hinges make them unpleasant to leave hanging around your neck, say when you're talking to someone. When you listen to them right after the meaty Ether Flow, they sound tinny for a bit. But I quickly readjusted to the sound. There's a sweet, refined gentleness to the sound, very relaxing. That part tempts me.
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Neutral/bright-ish, but clean, not harsh.
Clean, natural, airy. Beautiful treble on these
Every time a manufacturer sells their cans at 50% or so off original price, it screams we're paying a 100% premium over cost price. Must be nice being in an industry where you could sell goods at a 100% markup.
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Ehh where did you see that
phoenixsong
I've seen it on ebay, It's not constant though. But with their on and off %15 off sales you get close to that as well.
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Lazerflux
Does he not give a positive review in this other interview? Understandably he may have tried them in a non-deal environment for a short time, but it seems like his first impressions are so good and in generally people usually only like headphones more the longer they listen to them. I'm so confused by this haha https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIpi5II7_bE
ttran946
I think this is a good example of why first impressions from shows like CanJam aren't a good source of useful information. Poor environment and often the manufacturer has selected the most optimal pairing of upstream gear for their demonstrations.
Damn, I read some reviews because I didn't know anything about these headphones or the company. The reviews are all positive.
Knowing that they praised these so much while knowing they were sold 600$ makes them even more interesting here !
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I agree with you, but psycho-acoustics describes the interaction between the ear and the brain on a scientific level. What you are talking about is "confirmation bias"; in simple terms, making the facts fit a preconceived conclusion.
killerrabbit1961
You’re right. Confirmation bias is what I meant. 👍
WOW, $300!? This is a thing...
If you're above the 200$ mark in the Planar space, you need to be better than HiFimans and mrSpkrs. It's priced modestly better than they've been online lately ( around 479) but again, if I'm up past a certain range I'm spending a little extra and getting new age comfort, extended fuller range and spatial movement for a few extra Donald ducks... nawwwmmmsayn,
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I don’t have the Elex, but I have the OEM equivalent the Focal Elear and it has probably the best sound of any headphone I own, of any technology. It’s a special kind of dynamic driver, based on loud speaker tech. Not Planar, but the way they did it is spectacular.
Get focal elex or at least elear. Comparing with my aeon flow closed, lcd-2 and edition x, elex is simply better. You need to hear them.