Ultrasone HFI-580 review

Not class-leading, but still worthy of consideration Tested at £125.00

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Our Verdict

Not class-leading, but their good qualities makes them worthy of consideration

For

  • Solid construction
  • comfortable fit
  • clean, clear and entertaining sound

Against

  • Lacks the midrange realism and detail of the best

Well, here's an interesting thing. The issue of open- versus closed-backed headphone designs (open sounds better; closed doesn't inflict your music on others) offers you a pretty clear choice.

But Ultrasone is trying to confuse the issue – albeit in a positive way – by creating closed-backed headphones that are designed, the company claims, to sound as much like an open-backed design as possible.

Clever tech gives solid results
This is done using Ultrasone's patented S-Logic technology, which attempts to make the sound seem like it's coming from much further away. And it does indeed imbue the HFI-580s with an incredibly open, clean
and clear sonic presentation.

Spin some tunes, and these cans respond with an impressively airy, precise approach to rhythms, with
a powerful bass response that could win them many fans. They reduce the sense of sounds being ‘hard left'
or ‘hard right', creating a more subtle soundfield that's big, punchy and fun.

Our only criticism is that they seem to manage this impressive list of feats with a bit of sonic sleight of hand.
When closely compared to high-quality rivals, the Ultrasones give a little away in terms of the richness and realism of their midrange.

A chunky pair of cans
One gets the sense that there are some rivals that don't sound quite as clean as the HFI-580s, but that this is in some part due to their being more committed to faithfully reproducing the detail and naturalness of voices and midrange instruments.

This is a chunky pair of cans: while you could, conceivably wear them out – they aren't as heavy as they
look, and they're actually extremely comfortable to wear – they are really a pair of home hi-fi cans, meant to be used while sitting down and doing some proper listening.

And they have a lot to recommend them. They don't attain the Grado SR80i's levels of realism and detail, but they're a good buy nonetheless.

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Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.ultrasone.com
Brand NameUltrasone
Product TypeHeadphone
ManufacturerULTRASONE AG
Manufacturer Part NumberHFI-580
Product NameUltrasone HFI-580
Product ModelHFI-580

Technical Information

Sound ModeStereo
Minimum Frequency Response10 Hz
Connectivity TechnologyWired
Impedance32 Ohm
Cable Length3 m
Maximum Frequency Response22 kHz

Earpiece

Earpiece DesignOver-the-head
Earpiece TypeBinaural
Driver Size50 mm

Physical Characteristics

Form FactorCircumaural
Weight Approximate285 g

Interfaces-Ports

Host InterfaceMini-phone, Phono