Ultrasone HFI-700 Headphone Reviews

Manufacturer Ultrasone Model HFI-700
Headphone Type Closed Circumaural Headband Type Single
Weight (g) 350 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Plastic Isolation (dB) 10
Impedance (ohms) 75 Cable Length (cm) 300
Frequency Response (Hz) 10 - 25000  
Connector 6.5mm Street Price US$190
Buy from Amazon.com  
Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 7.8 Bass Impact 6.8
Bass Quality 7.0 Mids Quality 5.5
Highs Quality 5.5 Soundstage 6.0
Detail 7.0 Portability 5.5
Isolation 7.8 Comfort 5.3
Durability 5.3 Improvement With Amplification 5.5
Value for Money 4.8    
Overall Score 5.9 Total Reviews 4

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Reviews by our members

Review by Senior Member Iron_Dreamer on 01 Jul 07  12:09
Individual review
Bass Extension9
Bass Impact8
Bass Quality5
Mids Quality4
Highs Quality4

The HFI700 have an exaggerated and extremely deep bass, which is pretty punchy, with only a little bloat, but does not kick quite as hard as the Beyer DT770. The midrange of the Ultrasone is no better, if not slightly worse (though less veiled by the bass) and the treble is simultaneously less detailed yet harsher and grainier, a bad combo. The soundstage is not very wide for full-sized cans, though the imaging is pretty good.

The Ultrasones are small and foldable, good for portability; however the very long cable with 1/4" plug gets in the way, and the pleather earpads get sweaty very quickly, making these cans more suitable as earmuffs for a cold climate. They clamp quite a bit, are fairly heavy, and the pads aren't very soft, so they are not the most comfortable around, aside from he fact that the cups are barely large enough to encompass the ears, and shallow enough to press in on them.

Also these cans have the notoriously crack and damage prone HD280 style headband, which cracked under regular usage after a month or so with me. Certainly not up to the standards I would expect from such expensive cans, and nowhere near the almost invincible Beyers.

Considering how much these cans cost new, there is far better out there for the money, and if you do want to buy these cans for some reason, try to get them used so as not to blow so much cash, because the new price really is far too high for the performance. I think they should be no more expensive than the HD280's (i.e. $99). For a similar sound in a better package, seek out the Beyer DT770-80.

My ratings:
Bass Extension: 9
Bass Impact: 8
Bass Quality: 5
Mids Quality: 4
Highs Quality: 4
Soundstage: 4
Detail: 5
Portability: 3
Isolation: 6
Comfort: 4
Durability: 2
Improvement with Amplification: 4
Value for the Money: 2

Review by Senior Member timonyc on 07 Feb 05  06:58
Individual review
Bass Extension6
Bass Impact4
Bass Quality7
Mids Quality4
Highs Quality5

I compared these headphones with two other closed circumaural choices: the AKG271Ss and the Bose Quiet Comfort 2s, testing with a variety of rock and pop selections. Files from a G5 are fed via toslink to a Bel Canto DAC2 and onto a Meier Corda Prehead.

The HFI-700s are not a bad choice, if one can deal with their upfront defects: mids quality seem washed out, and while the bass extension is good the inpact isn't remarkable. SImilarly, other closed headhones have better confort. Isolation is great, however.

I don't find these headphones sonically that different from AKG271S, but if pressed I might give the edge to the HFI-700s were they more comfortable and the mid/high quality better. However, comfort and value tips the scale towards the AKGs.

Amplification helps with the mids, but not dramatically.

These are not bad headphones and certainly deserve a listen. They isolate better than most and are less veiled than the AKGs.

Review by Member shaygiven on 25 Aug 07  14:12
Individual review
Bass Extension6
Bass Impact5
Bass Quality6
Mids Quality4
Highs Quality3

The Bass is their and it is pretty good. It is certainly not a Bass monster but, I was pleased listening to hip hop and rock and roll not ecstatic, just pleased. The extension was their and I really admired the punch. The mids need some work but, when I used it with my Airhead from headroom I became much happier, without it the mids were very recessed, especially annoying because the highs are accentuated and harsh, it reminds me of the old Beyer DT 770, except the Beyers do to Bass what these phones do to Highs. I really felt I was in the show, The detail is great, On songs like Jack Johnson and other softer songs I can hear the vocalists inhale before they sing. I also think the details kills the competition of many other closed headphones, especially the Beyer DT 770 and definitely the Sennheiser 280 Pro .I can also hear background vocalists well, The vocal recognition is definitely the strong point of these phones. The isolation is spectacular for closed headphones but, compared to IEMs it is nothing, My Creative EP-630 were better. The isolation does come at a price, it makes ears pretty warm, and the squeezing around the ears is a little more than the old Beyer DT 770. I also prefer the velour earcups, the fake leather is not terribly comfortable. The portability is good at all simply because they fold into themselves but, the cord is huge, gigantic, really annoying. The plastic headband scares me, I have had it for a couple months but, I have not truly thrown the around. This headphone truly needs to be amped, This really helps to beef up the mids and to tame the highs, My airhead definitely gives this phone a more balanced sound.

Overall, I feel a little ripped off. I bought these headphones because they looked portable and because The company advertised that their headphones don't hurt the ears as much as others (They claim their headphones seem to sound 3-4 db louder than they actually are, that is how they do it.) And there is a slight difference. I also bought them because headphone.com said they were good I figure they said they were good because they connect theirs to their mucho expensive amp, that I don't have.

I can't say I recommend these phones, their strength is detail, and voice recognition. The highs are too harsh and the mids are recessed. If you feel the need to buy them find an amp, that really helps. It really helps the mids and the highs, making them sound like a pretty good phone.

Review by Member Maven on 14 Jul 06  02:28
Individual review
Bass Extension10
Bass Impact10
Bass Quality10
Mids Quality10
Highs Quality10

It came with a sample C.D. to show you what you it can do. All I have to say is WOW!!! It is like you are there. I don't know how any other reviewers can say this was just an average headphone!?!?!?!

Ultrasone HFI-700
Ultrasone HFI-700