The Blue Sadie headphones I reviewed last week set the new standard for headphones that I have reviewed, their sound quality was superb and the built-in amplifier was surprisingly useful. Priced at around £389.99 they were not something that is going to appeal to the masses, regardless of how good they are.
Today I have the Blue Lola headphones to review and these are a little more wallet friendly at £219.00. While this is still very expensive, and maybe too pricey for many, for me at least, it falls into the price bracket of an acceptable splurge spend once in a while. The Sadie at £389 or the Ella at £675 would require some serious thought before spending and quite possibly buyer’s remorse at spending so much.
The Lola headphones achieve this lower price tag largely by omitting the built-in amplifier. Which would leave you with £170 to spend on a separate DAC if you feel the need? Most of my review was done using the excellent LG V20 with its built in quad DAC, and I also used them with my trusty old FIIO E7 DAC.
Apart from the lack of amplifier, it does not appear Blue have done many other cost cutting exercises. They come packaged in the same excellent box, presenting the headphones to you in the same fashion as the Sadie.
The headphones themselves have an almost identical design, and the build quality is still impeccable. They do feel a lot lighter, which I think is due to the lack of amplifier rather than choosing cheaper materials.
The only major noticeable difference is the cables. You still get 2, one with remote, one without. But they are slightly thinner flat cables, they still feel like quality cables, and there is nothing wrong with them at all, but you can definitely tell the difference. However, unlike the Sadie, these are just standard 3.5mm cables, which means you can replace them easily with better quality cables if you desire (or replace them if they break).
With the reduced weight, I found these more comfortable to wear, the clamp is still firm, but they still do not feel like they are squashing your head. The lack of weight meant I found wearing them for extended per
Due to the lack of an amplifier, these are not immediately as loud as the Sadie headphones, but they still pump out a decent amount of volume. With the volume turned up quite high on both my phone and the FIIO I found no issues with distortion or clipping. I played a mixture of rock, metal, hip hop, electronica, and blues to get a taste for them.
They use a 50-mm driver with a 42-ohm impedance which overall creates a superb sound.
The lows are similar to the Sadie when they are not in the bass mode with the lows being nicely present but not overly powerful. In general, the bass is a little more accurate than excessive, but they are not boring either. In the right tracks the bass kicks in just as much as you want it to when it needs to.
As with the Sadie, the mids are exceptional, everything is clear and precise and it was easy to make out all the elements of each track.
Highs are impressive too, with no obvious harshness to any tracks I listened to.
I didn’t test these side by side with the Sadie, so I can’t say for sure, but in general I would say with the amp options turned off on the Sadie, the Lola sounds just as good.
As with the Sadie, these are exceptional earphones, the Sadie is probably better due to the amp, but the price of these makes them a much more tempting prospect. The £170 price difference will go a long way to buying an excellent DAC if you want a little more oomph out of these headphones, their lighter nature makes them a little more portable, and you can upgrade/replace the cables as you wish.
Blue Lola Headphones
Product Name: Blue Lola Headphones