KLH Unveils Its First Headphones and IEMs - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By imagic
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 01-11-2019, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
Mark Henninger
 
imagic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,445
Mentioned: 465 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9404 Post(s)
Liked: 16687
KLH Unveils Its First Headphones and IEMs

While I was in Las vegas to cover CES 2019, I took a special trip to visit KLH. The mood in the room was unlike what I found in CES; the buzz was much more like that of a sports team in a huddle than bored reps on a show floor. Anyhow, during my sitdown with company owner David Kelley and chief technology officer Steve Howell, they showed me the company's new headphones, the first-ever for the brand. These new models are the Ultimate One Open-Air Dynamic Headphones ($299) and the Ultimate Two Wireless Sound-Isolating In-Ear Monitors ($299).

The Ultimate One Open-Air Dynamic Headphones are the company's statement: We're here and we make amazing headphones. These are dynamic, open-back, over-ear headphones that feature premium materials and build quality. Earcups are CNC-machined ebony, hand-stitched leather and microfiber-fill earpads make them comfortable, and they are lightweight.

The drivers in the Ultimate Ones measure 50mm and are made with beryllium. The rated frequency response is an honest (i.e. real and usable) 18 Hz to 22 kHz. KLH does not traffic in exaggerated specs, as I have discovered through measurements of its speakers and now its headphones.

The Ultimate One is expected to be available March 1.

And that's where this story gets exciting...

Steve Howell handed me the first pair of Ultimate One headphones that anyone outside the company has held. So now I have 'em, to review—the first review of KLH's first headphones, which (spoiler alert) are clearly amazing performers. I listened to several track while I was there, using my own phone and playlist and they put a smile on my face right away with a punchy yet accurate sound that digs deep and a soundstage that is remarkably well defined yet expansive.

Our design goal here was to deliver a rich, enveloping musical experience that simply put, ‘elevates the soul’, because that’s what this is all about for us,” said KLH Audio CEO David P. Kelley. “We are music lovers and we want to share this passion through what we bring to market. And as is the case with many of the products from KLH’s formative years, we are confident that owners of our Ultimate One headphones will cherish them for very a long time.

What's more, Steve presented the Ultimate Two IEMs ($299), which feature detachable cords and come with a Bluetooth collar for the headset, as well as a straight cable. The point is this dual-driver design may be used wires or wireless.

Inside the enclosure is a 10mm dynamic driver for bass and a balanced armature-type driver for the highs.

The Bluetooth collar has aptX technology built in for high-fidelity playback and has 3 buttons for remote control. The included cable is 1.1 meters in length. These headphones will be available March 1 and I also have a pair in for review!

Mark Henninger
Editor, AVS Forum

Last edited by imagic; 03-28-2019 at 04:58 AM.
imagic is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 01-11-2019, 01:28 PM
Advanced Member
 
bdht's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 999
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 488 Post(s)
Liked: 210
Ooo beryllium drivers for under $3000? Hope these sound better than the rbh hp2. Be keeping an eye on these thanks
bdht is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 01-11-2019, 03:44 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2,795
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1786 Post(s)
Liked: 1489
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdht View Post
Ooo beryllium drivers for under $3000? Hope these sound better than the rbh hp2. Be keeping an eye on these thanks
I've heard a lot of people rave about the RBH HP2s, well, at least the amount of bass they put out. They were also only selling for like $169, so no one would expect them to go toe to toe with the Utopias.

These look interesting, I like the aesthetic, and 50mm Beryllium drivers do have my attention, as you mentioned.

I do wish more headphone manufacturers would get away from leather/pleather ear cups though. I get that they look rich, and I'm sure some people somewhere like them, but they turn into a sweaty mess way too quickly for me. Give me some nice velour pads that breathe any day.

HT: Sony 940C, Oppo 203, Harman/Kardon DPR1001, Infinity Interlude IL40 x2, Infinity Interlude IL36C, Infinity MS-1 ii x2, Infinity MSW-1
Computer: Elac Uni-Fi UB5 x2, Elac Element EA101EQ integrated amp, SVS SB-12NSD
Dedicated 2-channel: Infinity Intermezzo 4.1t towers, Bluesound Node 2, Emotiva PT-100, Crown XLS 1502, Furman PL-8C
TuteTibiImperes is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 9 Old 01-11-2019, 05:04 PM
Advanced Member
 
bdht's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 999
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 488 Post(s)
Liked: 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuteTibiImperes View Post
I've heard a lot of people rave about the RBH HP2s, well, at least the amount of bass they put out. They were also only selling for like $169, so no one would expect them to go toe to toe with the Utopias.

These look interesting, I like the aesthetic, and 50mm Beryllium drivers do have my attention, as you mentioned.

I do wish more headphone manufacturers would get away from leather/pleather ear cups though. I get that they look rich, and I'm sure some people somewhere like them, but they turn into a sweaty mess way too quickly for me. Give me some nice velour pads that breathe any day.
I prefer Dekoni Elite Velour to pretty much everything, I like the pads on my Alpha Primes and I put Brainwavz Angled Pleather on my Mobius, sometimes velour just doesn't work for certain drivers, but they get hot if I don't have the ac down or fan on me ;[

I can't remember where I got the bad impression for the hp2, maybe I'll see a used pair some day I'd try em.

Last edited by bdht; 02-09-2019 at 08:10 PM.
bdht is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 01-13-2019, 06:18 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2,795
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1786 Post(s)
Liked: 1489
@imagic

There's some talk over at Innerfidelity and Reddit that these new KLH Ultimate Ones look suspiciously like the low-cost Sivga SV007s, can you get anyone at KLH to comment on that? It doesn't look like the 007s use beryllium drivers, but Sivga has another $90 headphone that says it uses a 50mm Beryllium film driver, not sure if that's the same one being implemented by KLH or not, but I'd be curious to hear what they have to say.

HT: Sony 940C, Oppo 203, Harman/Kardon DPR1001, Infinity Interlude IL40 x2, Infinity Interlude IL36C, Infinity MS-1 ii x2, Infinity MSW-1
Computer: Elac Uni-Fi UB5 x2, Elac Element EA101EQ integrated amp, SVS SB-12NSD
Dedicated 2-channel: Infinity Intermezzo 4.1t towers, Bluesound Node 2, Emotiva PT-100, Crown XLS 1502, Furman PL-8C
TuteTibiImperes is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 01-14-2019, 03:27 AM - Thread Starter
Mark Henninger
 
imagic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,445
Mentioned: 465 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9404 Post(s)
Liked: 16687
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuteTibiImperes View Post
@imagic

There's some talk over at Innerfidelity and Reddit that these new KLH Ultimate Ones look suspiciously like the low-cost Sivga SV007s, can you get anyone at KLH to comment on that? It doesn't look like the 007s use beryllium drivers, but Sivga has another $90 headphone that says it uses a 50mm Beryllium film driver, not sure if that's the same one being implemented by KLH or not, but I'd be curious to hear what they have to say.
They must come out of the same factory. I've already got a full statement from KLH on that:

"The KLH Audio Ultimate One Open-Air Dynamic Headphones are as much of a statement as they are a solution. This is a $500 pair of headphones vs. sub-$100 (SIVGA). While I’m sure the SIVGA sound good, the KLH are much more advanced in sound and comfort. KLH wants these to be the headphones you keep forever.

The ear cups of the KLH Ultimate One are solid ebony wood (and legally harvested to boot!). Not only do they look awesome, but according to KLH Audio Chief Technology Officer Steven Howell, the extremely hard construction of ebony wood goes a long way in eliminating / reducing resonances.

The KLH earpads and headbands are much higher-quality than the SIVGA too.

KLH opted to use Sheepskin in any areas that come in contact with the skin (or scalp). This is because sheepskin doesn’t distress from human oils.

The company also opted to use premium grade cow leather on the areas subject to sunlight – namely the outer edges of the ear pads and headbands. The cow leather ages very nicely. In contrast, the SIVGA uses polyurethane.

The foam in the KLH ear pad is more advanced too. SIVGA uses a single stage, where KLH uses a dual stage: its outer round is a softer more pliable cushion, and its inside is stiffer. This is less resistant to collapse or compression, meaning better fit, and longevity.

The actual air cups of the KLH are 10mm bigger in diameter than SIVGA, and there are substantial driver differences too. The SIVGA uses a dusted diaphragm design, i.e. dusted with beryllium where the KLH driver is 1) higher beryllium content and 2) has a more advanced coil (32-ohm) with higher-current capability than SIVGA. This makes the driver faster, more compliant, not as brittle sounding.

The input cable to the KLH headphone is a Silver Litz cable, where SIVGA is not.

Let me know if I can answer anything else! - Paul Muto, PR for KLH Audio"



On a related note, KLH owner David Kelley was president of Klipsch before buying KLH. Have a look at Klipsch Heritage headphones. I think you'll see how we ended up with this KLH model: https://www.klipsch.com/products/hp-3-headphones
TuteTibiImperes likes this.

Mark Henninger
Editor, AVS Forum

Last edited by imagic; 01-14-2019 at 03:31 AM.
imagic is online now  
post #7 of 9 Old 01-14-2019, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
Mark Henninger
 
imagic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,445
Mentioned: 465 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9404 Post(s)
Liked: 16687
Well, it seems obvious what I should do. Get the Sivgas and quantify the differences for myself. Easy enough.

But a quick comment on my current opinion of these headphones. They are everything I always wished Grados could be. In other words, the spaciousness and clarity and energy is there but add comfort to the mix.

Mark Henninger
Editor, AVS Forum

Last edited by imagic; 01-14-2019 at 05:36 PM.
imagic is online now  
post #8 of 9 Old 02-04-2020, 01:54 AM
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Well, it seems obvious what I should do. Get the Sivgas and quantify the differences for myself. Easy enough.

But a quick comment on my current opinion of these headphones. They are everything I always wished Grados could be. In other words, the spaciousness and clarity and energy is there but add comfort to the mix.
So did this comparison ever happen? I do not get how pro audio people can not tell the difference between some 100 dollar 007 and a then 500 dollar POS
lok777 is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 02-04-2020, 02:10 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Northampton UK
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
Liked: 35
Forgive me as I don't do reviews , but.....

Having had various headphones including good Beyer AKG Koss Yamaha and Sennheiser (best was Tandy PMB 25 made by MB Quart).

I finally got what was my holy grail a few months back in the form of Sennheiser HD650s. Had demo'd at shows and compared to others these always were my favorite. Read reviews of the KLH. and though I'd like to try expecting slight improvements.

So finally arrived today. and.... I was blown away.

Initially felt sllighty HF forward but they settled quickly and a bit bass light , until there is real bass in the recording. They make the sennheiser sound like a blanket is in front of the units.
Sound balance very close to my Kef Reference 203/1.
But its the detail - hearing stuff I had never heard.
With eyes closed it is almost like being in the recording studio with the band playing in the next room.

I have heard/had various bits over my 50 years as hifi hobbyist but these are just jaw dropping. Think if Decca (London) made headphones.

But The damn lead is too short at 2m.

Please KLH 3m would have been fine. Please Offer an upgrade?



Used with Denon DBT-3313UD and Denon AVC X8500h Pure direct. Various CD SACD Dire Strits Black Sabbath Uriah Heep and lots of Steely Dan

Infocus SP8600 DLP, Denon AVC X8500H, Sony UBP X800 player, Denon DBT3313 Player, Kef 203/1 Main, 202C Center, Kef204ds Surround, HTS 2001 Rear Surround and FP, RP, Kef Ci130er Top, Kef 1001 Center Front Height 2x Kenwood SW-X1 12" Subs fitted DLS DS3004BP plate amps.
Vinyl - Technics SL1210, Reson Reca, Decca London Maroon, Denon 103R, EAR834P.

Last edited by aviaction; 02-04-2020 at 02:13 PM.
aviaction is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Headphones

Tags
klh , ultimate one , ultimate two

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off