After being hugely impressed by Edifier’s H850, I decided to take the next model in the range for a spin. The H880 is a larger over-ear headphone, though the foldable design makes them just as suited to use on the go as they are lounging in front of the hi-fi.
And given their modest price, they are every bit the luxury item in feel, fit and finish. Wrapped in faux leatherette, the lightweight steel headband holds two 4.1 cm adjustment mechanisms to fit any size head. The ear cups themselves are covered by ergonomically shaped leatherette ear pads, with sculpted foam designed to fit around the natural geometry of the ear – thinner at the front, thicker at the back. The pads help to keep unwanted noise out, keep the music in and are also extremely comfortable.
The back of the cups are finished in a matte black with a smooth and scratch-resistant rubberised coating. Build quality is excellent with minimal use of plastic, and steel and aluminium used in structural areas such as the folding hinges, headband and sliding adjusters.
It seems that there is something of a competition in the headphone market to ship a manufacturer’s new cans in the most lavish packaging possible. Edifier don’t disappoint here, and it’s a terrific first impression. Also included are a cloth draw-string bag, some documentation and a pair of cables – 1 3 metres and a shorter 1.2-metre cable with an inline remote. The cables terminate in a 3.5 mm jack, with a quarter-inch adapter also included in the box.
Technically the headphones quote a fairly typical 20Hz – 20kHz frequency response, though no linearity measurement is given. A maximum SPL of 100dB from a pair of 40 mm drivers with neodymium magnets, with an impedance of 24Ω. The headphones are an average weight of 300 grams but do feel especially light on the head owing to the supportive headband and the contour of the ear pads. The drivers look to be a design unique to Edifier with an advanced composite diaphragm of polymer-metal. Behind the driver is a rubber dampening material making for an enclosure which, while entirely made of plastic, is acoustically inert and thus shouldn’t cause significant colouration.
Comfort is impeccable. The cups don’t rotate on the vertical axis but they do on the horizontal, and the pads are compliant enough that the headphones should fit virtually any head shape without issue. It’s quite easy to forget you’re wearing them even during prolonged use.
And as for the sound? It’s terrific. These cans were initially somewhat bright but settled down nicely after a few days of running in. Their overall sonic signature is a lively presentation which is perhaps lacking a little in finesse and control, but it’s tremendous fun. Stereo imaging is decent though not exceptional, with a sound stage that is certainly wide but lacking a little in depth. Bass is deep yet not overpowering. The sub-bass and lower mids are taught and refined, with an even tonal balance throughout the upper mids and a sparkle at the top end which allows top end detail to shine. They show no sign of strain at higher volumes and can achieve high sound pressure levels without colouration or distortion.
This is another gem from Edifier, and a steal at the current street price of just over £80 ($89). They’re more comfortable than the H850 and for sheer enjoyment are a better listen, though those looking for more accurate monitoring will want the H850. Grab yours Here. Highly recommended.