ADL H128 Closed Headphones-Review

Recently I’ve stumbled upon some new headphones, the ADL H128  and I thought they might deserve a try.

Introduction

At the first sight and feel, these headphones feel sturdy. However, there is a lot of plastic involved and I don’t know how they will stand after a prolonged usage.

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What I liked about them was that the detachable cable had a mini xlr input inside the headphone. I like this type of input because it’s very easy to attach and detach.

When it comes to comfort, these headphones and their smaller sibling, the h118 have a strong clamping force and they tend to get a little uncomfortable after a while.

The good part is that they offer very good isolation from the outside noises and the other way around. So yes, the seal is excellent.

Specs and Technology

This is how the driver looks inside:

H128 headphone Specifications

  • Acoustic Design: Dynamic closed-back
  • Driver:  40mm diameter special high-flux magnet
  • Sensitivity : 98dB SPL (1mW) at 1 KHz
  • Frequency response: 20Hz ~ 20kHz
  • Input Power: 200mW (Max.)
  • Rated Impedance: 68 ohm @ 1KHz
  • Ear pad: Leatherette
  • Head Band Pressure: 4.5 N Approx.
  • Connector: Nonmagnetic rhodium-plated stereo α (Alpha) mini-XLR socket
  • Weight: 280g (9.84oz) Approx. (without cable) 320g (11.2oz) Approx. (with cable)

You can find more information about H128 here.

Listening impressions and tests

The tests were performed with  Chord Mojo as DAC and Audio GD Master 9 as amplifier.

Bass

What I can say here is that the bass has a very strong punch. That’s the only good thing I can say about this section. Why am I saying that?

Well the bass extension is distorted. You can clearly hear the distortions on sub bass and that takes away from the pleasure of listening to any song that presents instruments that register in the sub bass region of the sound.

Besides the distortions, the quantity of bass is just too much for me. These headphones are for bass heads.

However, considering that you get a lot of bass…it would have been nice if it was a good…clean bass. So basically you get a lot of distorted bass, but with a good punch.

Midrange

When it’s not shadowed by the the bass, the midrange could be quite nice as it has a good tonality, showing good details, natural and present voices, but also good details and textures overall.

Treble

The treble is overall pleasant to the ears. It’s not extra crisp or very detailed, but it has a nice tonality and  it integrates well with the midrange.

Soundstage

This is a typical closed headphone. The soundstage is quite small and closed in. What is good here is that the instrument/voices keep a relatively correct position in the stage.

Transients

The transients overall are fast, presenting strong attack and a good decay. This creates a tactile sound signature.

Details

The details on these headphones are not bad. It’s not something that stands out, but it’s not bad either.

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Conclusions

The H128 presents some interesting features in the sound, but overall I cannot keep them on my ears for more than 10-15 minutes. Why is that?

Well, because the bass is just too much for me, and besides the fact that it comes in abundance, it also comes with lots of distortions on sub bass and it gets very tiresome and fast.

They could have been an interesting headphone, but I cannot recommend it because of the issues in the bass section, especially at this price, or actually at any price from my perspective.

I have also listened to H118. They have a little different voicing, but it has the same issue.

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