We recently looked at the Blue Sadie headphones. With their built-in amp, they delivered the extra oomph that is often found lacking in most audio systems. With the Blue Ella, they are taking things up a notch. The Blue Ella headphones throw in planar magnetic drivers on top of the amp, giving you extreme detail on top of a built-in amplifier.
Blue Ella Headphones – features
- Planar magnetic technology for uncompromising clarity and detail
- Built-in audiophile amplifier for true high-fidelity sound
- Custom double-sided 50mm x 50mm drivers deliver incredible sound
- Revolutionary personalized fit for superior comfort
- Closed-back design for truest sound reproduction
- Racecar-inspired multi-jointed headband design keeps earcups parallel at all times for superior comfort and sound
- Powers on and off automatically when headphones are opened and closed
- Rechargeable battery provides up to 12 hours of playtime; Ella continues to play music even when battery has no charge
- Type: Planar magnetic driver
- Impedance: 50 ohms Passive, 10 ohms Active
- Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
- Enclosure details: Sealed enclosure with tuned damping materials
- 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
- 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”
In the box
- Blue Ella headphones
- 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
What are planar magnetic headphones?
Planar Magnetic Headphones, or Orthodynamic headphones, differ from your traditional headphones/speakers in the way they are built and execute sound.
A traditional headphone or speaker driver is generally what is known as a dynamic driver. An electromagnetic coil passes the ‘music’ through itself in the form of a coil. This causes movement in the coil, which is then attached to a diaphragm. As the diaphragm moves, it moves air with it, causing the sound to be produced.
In a planar magnetic headphone, instead of moving a small coil, the complete diaphragm (or plane) is moved. This means that you need more magnets or coils in place. The build is more complex, and it needs more fine-tuning to get it right. The result is better sound as it is spread over the whole plane of the diaphragm, instead of the centre.
The negative result is the fact that it ends up costing more and is heavier than your traditional headphones.
Considering this, Blue have issued a statement:
“High-quality planar magnetic headphones will typically cost you over $1000 and can deliver an accurate listening experience, but in all cases trade-off warmth and emotion. And, planar magnetics on the lower end of the price spectrum (under $500) trade-off quality for price. Ella is the only planar magnetic headphone that delivers extreme accuracy without sacrificing warmth and emotional impact.”
Look and feel
At 481g and with 50 by 50mm drivers, these are huge and will definitely stand out. The headband actually fits the head quite well and supports the headphones rather well. This means that while they feel heavy and look it, you can still have them on for a few hours on end without worrying too much.
Generally, rest of the look is pretty similar to the Blue Sadie.
Built in amp
On top of planar magnetic drivers, these headphones also feature the same built in amp that we loved in the Blue Sadie headphones. Purely analog, they take whatever sound you put in them and amp it up. The result is more detail and less distortion.
Testing the sound
The sound is tested using various levels of tracks, some classical, some featuring Florence. Always great to test a pair with songs you know.
The sound has a clarity you just don’t get with general headphones. While these may be expensive on their own, they are not designed for just any old MP3. If you have invested in these, get yourself some high resolution music. Even better, get your vinyls out, clear out a sofa, pour yourself a drink, … , you get the gist!
The sound isolation is great. The clarity immense. If you have the right music and the right ambience, these are the headphones you want to have on as you get lost in the moment.
When are a pair of headphones that cost £650 not expensive? When they come with Planar Magnetic drivers! I urge you to give these a listen. You’re worth it!