Blue Ella Headphones Review

Performer Magazine reviews out the new Blue Microphones Ella Premium Planar Magnetic Headphones to see if they earn a place in your studio.

 

Blue Ella Headphones

Blue Microphones is taking things up a notch in the audiophile world with the new Blue Ella headphones. They share a similar design to other Blue cans like say, the Sadie, with excellent padding on the head strap, as well as the ear cups.

First off, the technology is a little different, the speakers are planar magnetic drivers, not something normally found in most off-the-shelf headphones. Simply put, it’s a series of magnets surrounding conductors, charging them to adjust the magnetic field, and move the diaphragm. It’s a more evenly balanced way of moving them, with much less distortion. Trust us, the difference in audio quality is stunning.

The onboard amplifier is powered by a battery inside the ear cup, which in turn is charged via USB.

Anything through a set of these is like going from pre-cable TV to 4K, in an audio sense, of course. In most cases, a pair of Ellas offer clear articulation between instruments and their frequency spectrum. With so many people revisiting vinyl and recording at home, a set of these are well paired to a turntable or even an audio interface. No matter what you throw at them, sound quality is uniformly excellent. With less adjusting there’s more time to enjoy or focus on your mix, and there’s no ear fatigue as well, even during extended periods of use.

Blue Ella Headphones

With a street price of $699 they are certainly not cheap by any means. They could, in theory, be used for any casual listening at work or home on any type of music playing device, from an mp3 player to a turntable. Mixing your next album, sure, we tried them out with a few DAW setups, as well. And for a headphone that really seems suited to the audiophile world, we were loving how they held their own during a mix session. But these really live in the world where you’re not listening for a certain instrument’s level or EQ, but listening for the enjoyment of the final project in a pure sense. In the immortal words of Q-Tip, “If you’ve got the money, Ella’s for the booking.” OK, maybe he didn’t say that, but he should have. In either event, the Ellas get our highest recommendation for serious listeners.

PROS:

Excellent sound quality, incredibly well designed.

CONS:

Slightly pricey.

PRICE:

$699

BLUE ELLA SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVER SPECS
  • Type: Planar magnetic driver
  • Impedance: 50 ohms Passive, 10 ohms Active
  • Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Enclosure details: Sealed enclosure with tuned damping materials
AMPLIFIER SPECS
  • Output power: 250mW
  • THD+N: < 1% (94 dB SPL, from 20 Hz to 20 kHz)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • SNR: >101 dB
  • Noise: < 20 uV
  • Battery capacity: 1000mAh
HEADPHONE SPECS
  • Weight: 481 g (16.97 oz)
  • Outer dimensions (closed): 21cm x 14cm x 12cm; 8.27” x 5.51” x 4.72
  • Outer dimensions (open): 18cm x 29cm x 12cm; 7.09” x 11.42” x 4.72”
INCLUDED ACCESSORIES
  • Soft carry case
  • 1.2-meter audio cable with Apple iPhone/iPad controls and microphone
  • 3 meter audio cable
  • 3.5mm to 1/4” adaptor
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