Edifier H880 Review; High Fidelity Stereo Headphones That Kicks Some Serious Punch!
+ Perfect balance of lows and highs
+ Outstanding build quality
+ For the first time I was awed by a headphone's cables
+ Price tag definitely does it's justice
+ Detachable cords with option to use with in-line remote and microphone on your phone
+ Very comfortable to wear on
- It's a bit heavy, heavier than most Edifier headsets we have reviewed
- The matte coating attracts fingerprints
- The in-line remote is a tad to near to the headset, makes it hard to look at
If you are an audiophile, the first thing in choosing your headset is how “colored” do you want your headset to be. Now, I’m not talking about the aesthetics of the headset, if you’re not familiar with the term. Colored headsets are opposite to “neutral” headsets. Basically, colored headset has a flair of audio beauty touched to it in terms of bass punches and gains using electronics to make listening a pleasure, making them more commercially loved. Neutral headsets (some refer to them as monitor headsets), on the other hand strive to deliver near-real audio output and often functions on a very flat frequency response, making them suitable for studio engineers. While some may disagree, but I believe that there is nothing that is 100% “neutral” when it comes to headsets. The challenge is to create as neutral as possible. So when I got the Edifier H880, I was told that it’s a pair of high fidelity stereo headphones and that left me wondering if this is Edifier’s kick into bringing neutral sound to the masses. If it is, then, this could well be the most affordable near-neutral headsets in the market.
Unboxing the Edifier H880
Edifier’s branding speaks for itself. While we have seen various packaging for their products, the Edifier H880 probably has the most captivating look on the outside. You just couldn’t resist wanting to fondle the shining chrome finishing on the headset. While the picture looks great in its own, the actual surprise is inside when you open the box.
The Edifier H880 gracefully sits right on top, delivering a rather exquisite presentation of the product. It screams premium here and while the expectations are getting set pretty high, I hope I don’t fall into the pits of disappointment moving forward.
Laying it out flat, you get the usual stuff, the manual, the Edifier H880 headset, carrying pouch and two audio cables (one straight line audio auxiliary cable and another in-line remote with microphone embedded cable).
I actually stopped here for a few minutes thinking how should I define the Edifier H880. This is nothing like your usual Edifier headsets in terms of its outlook. This is a very modern looking headset built with a combination of materials that are not just for aesthetic purposes but also holds functionality.
Of course, the first thing you can’t miss has to be the shining metal hinges. These are Aluminium alloy made, coated with chrome like finishing. The material is abrasion resistant too. Like I said, aesthetic with functionality. And it blends! It really blends between the black silhouette. This is just the first head turner.
That matte finish on the speaker cover is made of smooth rubber that gives teflon like feel and actually protects it from scratches. Again, aesthetics meeting functionality. The top headband is leather made and this one keeps things comfortable above your head. The Edifier logo embossed on it maintains the subtle look.
What’s the point of having all the good outside if the earcups on the headset doesn’t get some love? The Edifier H880 has deluxe protein leather ear-pads that are indeed very comfortable on your ears, and at the same time eliminates much of the noise from the environment. But that’s not all, the foam inside is not just a slab of sponge like you would find in most headsets. Instead, Edifier has designed the foam with different thickness; the front part being thinner to compensate for the shape of our ears. Topped with the faux leather, you just couldn’t ask for more. It also extends up to 4cm to fit most head shapes.
|Frequency Response||20Hz ~ 20KHz|
This is the first time I actually saw Edifier getting into the “high fidelity” segment which to me is still a vague description. Edifier does not in any way specify that these are actually neutral headsets but they openly claim that these are high fidelity stereo headsets. So we can forget about mids and be more focused on the highs and lows – which is where I would define the fine line between colored and neutral headsets. But before we dive into the audio experience, there are several other things that can be cherished on the Edifier H880.
I own several Edifier headsets and speakers now, but never have I seen any of those get anything like this! The 3.5mm cables that come with the Edifier H880 headsets are just of different class! The cable itself is about the same thickness as the 3.5mm connector! The jack grip is made of stainless steel and the connector is gold plated. You actually get two cables, one with the in-line remote and the other without it. The cable with the remote is about 1.2m in length while the audio only cable is 2.5m in length. You can really appreciate the lengths of these cables, trust me!
These plug right into the headset, the only notch that you can find on the super simplistic look of the Edifier H880. It’s right under the left ear cup.
Plug it in, and you’re ready to go on a “new Edifier” ride. Let’s talk about the comfort first. Because that’s the next thing that really caught my attention. The ear cups are plushies! They’re so soft, you would barely feel them hugging your head. In fact, after wearing it for an hour or so, you could actually forget that you have it on you.
If you look at the cushions closely, there are “breathing holes” that avoid pressure build up inside and at the same time allows the foam to adjust it’s fitting accordingly.
Now, in the sound department, the Edifier H880 is definitely something you wouldn’t be used to hear from Edifier. So take off your usual Edifier hat and wear the H880 on. The 40mm drivers are very powerful, having an SPL of 100dB, the sound is crystal clear. If you have followed my headset reviews, you would have known my music flavour, but to test my headsets, we have raw music samples from Warner Music Malaysia and usually my favourite track is Bruno Mars vs David Guetta – Versace On The Floor. Bruno Mars has a very well pitched voice, and David Guetta’s touch on the track brings thumping bass overlay that gives most speakers and headset a very tough time in balancing out the audio layers. Some would overboost the bass causing Bruno’s voice to plunge, some would make it so squealing, the bass would be a major turn off, and most cheap headsets would crackle at high volumes on this song. Since we have the raw track, I usually tweak the equalizer to achieve various configurations and see where does it fall short.
For the H880, you can blast the track right from YouTube at maximum volume and you wouldn’t feel any crackling at all. In fact, at maximum volume on my ASUS ZenFone AR (because it has DTS), the audio layers were perfectly intact! You can totally separate the bass and the vocals even at the peak. And because the headset was designed to for high fidelity, the mids are where it suffers. When I push the mids at maximum and at the same time pull down the lows and highs to their lowest (this is the maximum mid range test we can achieve), you can see the Edifier H880 struggles to maintain clarity. This would be the same case if you test a monitor headset which is supposed to deliver clear tones. So I could safely say, the “high fidelity” moniker is not there just for fun. This is Edifier’s clearest sounding headsets that you could find in the market as of date.
This is upon you now. If you like a clear separation of audio tracks, be able to isolate the instruments sound and have minimal artificial touch to the sound, the Edifier H880 is definitely going to please you. But if you are an on the go music listener who likes digitally tuned sound, you would want something more colored like the W830BT that we reviewed previously. There is no right or wrong here. I really love the H880 when I plug in my guitar and want crystal clear tones. But in all honesty, I’m the colored type when I’m on the move and you will see me donning the W830BT most of the time :)
The Edifier H880 is Edifier’s probably first take into clear tone headsets. The high fidelity moniker is really not a decoration piece. The highs and lows of the headset are just as good as it could be. No matter how hard you push the volume knob, you will get crystal clear tones with very well mannered bass. The looks are definitely to die for and the price of RM799 is definitely worth every single cent, but that’s typical of Edifier that we already know. I love the H880 and I think it definitely deserves our Gold Pokdeward!