As readers know I tell it like it is. Every week there are e-mails that arrive within my in-box requesting me to review their latest and greatest. Color me very humbled and honored and so more than my share gets assigned to our esteemed Enjoy the Music.com reviewers. If you've not been keeping track, all home audio has been going to them as I've been having a blast playing with killer portable goodies. So when the Edifier guys tagged me about their H840 $60 headphones you'd probably think I'd punt it on price alone. Obviously I live for finding great stuff on the cheap and so before ya know it the Edifier H840 headphones arrived for review. Ok, I don't promise a review, as generally say give them a listen and decide. As an example, the Acoustic Research M2 portable media player came and went this month without a review after 200 hours of burn-in, as it needs more refinement before prime-time imho. Their M20 is coming in April (2016) and that could be a winner.
So Who Is Edifier?
Listening To The Edifier H840 Headphones
Overall, at around 1 kHz to 2.5 kHz there is approximately 0.6dB of frequency depression. Even my wife hard this and while not overly distracting, simply EQ it up and bity and you're all set. Highs at about 14kHz seem a bit rolled off by about 0.7dB so I EQ'ed that up a touch. There is excellent deep bass! Very tight and tuneful plus if you're a basshead then feel free to EQ up the bass to your liking as it can handle it. As a reviewer we also do crazy things such as insane-in-the-membrane head vibration stuff just for grins-n-giggles and the Edifier H840 headphones delivered. During my IASCA test tracks that are very bass heavy, the lowermost frequencies were clean and evenly resolved as the music dropped that bass down low.
Overall, there is a very enjoyable and involving sound. Edifier's H840 have very good sensitivity for 40mm drivers (32 Ohms if you're the spec type) and even the low-output Sony NW-ZX2 portable media player can drive them to normal listening levels. Not much louder than that, yet the Sony is not known to have a powerful headphone amplifier section. Thus being able to use the H840 with the Sony is a nice bonus. Questyle's QP-1r works well, Astell&Kern AK240 is wonderful and the best being the FiiO X7/K5 combo if you want to crank the tunes. Obviously you bassheads know you need a high-powered head-amp for the best results with EDM and pop music.
Stereo separation is very good and there is a nice soundscape width as the sound seems to be placed firmly between your ears. If you have an iFi Audio headphone amplifier that offers 3D effects they work great with the Edifier! Time and again I go back to my beloved iFi Audio iDAC2 and Micro iDSD because the sound quality and ability to drive headphones is a Gold Standard. All the awards iFi Audio has racked up over the years tells the tale.
With the FiiO X7 media player mated with the K5 headphone amplifier there was an abundance of synergy! This mating was incredible and gave perhaps the best sound driving the Edifier H840. As I wrote within last month's review of the X7/K5 combo, this is without a great combo and can drive a wide variety of CIEMs and headphones. You could also use your computer or cell phone/PMP with one of the iFi Audio headphone amplifier and achieve truly epic results. Yes epic as am wholly impressed with Edifier's H840 headphones at the $60 price range. Really, only $60 you say? Yup!
Reaching back for the Astell&Kern AK240 shows the refinement of this great PMP as the sound is clean, musical instruments properly delineated and presented as one expects from such a great Astell&Kern unit. Frankly, the sound coming from these $60 headphones was far better than expected with all devices I tried, with the nod going (in order) to the tie to FiiO X7/K5 combo and iFi Audio headamps, then the AK240 and finally Sony's NW-ZX2. The little FiiO combo brings excellent dynamics both with the big stuff and a taste of those subtle hints audiophiles live for. Ok, perhaps not the very last word in delivering, well, the very last word in dynamic shading yet at $60 for a set of headphones this is far and away more than one might rightly ask for.
If you're looking for a reasonably-priced set of cans around your ears for daily (ab)use the Edifier H840 is an excellent choice. This straightforward design focuses on sound quality above all else and delivers far higher sound quality than I expected at this price level. At $59.99 it brings a huge smile to my face to have the honor to review these great value-priced headphones. Usually reviewer guys such as myself want to get our hands on those ultra-epic $1000+ products, yet luckily I'm seeking to find the best bang-for-the-buck designs and the Edifier H840 headphones deliver! Look forward to having you give these great value-priced headphones a try. And before someone asks, I would have been suspicious in getting a specially tweaked 'reviewer set', yet these cans came directly from Amazon so no worries there. If you're in the market for a set of killa headphones for a few hundred dollars, give the Edifier H840 a listen and then ask yourself why spend more. Edifier's H-840 over-the-ear lightweight headphones are that impressive for those on a tight budget.
As always, in the end what really matters is that you...