When the search begins for a new pair of headphones, Lindy aren’t the first name to spring to mind. Big names such as Sennheiser, Grado and AKG dominate the market, with manufacturers such as Oppo, Yamaha, and many others also offering headphone ranges. In fact, Lindy are arguably more recognised for their AV adapters and cables, not to mention their portable headphone amplifiers and DACs.
However, Lindy do offer a range of headphones, aimed at the discerning audiophile looking for exceptional sound quality and value for money. The subject of this review, the H-F100, sits in the middle of their range, and is part of their Premium Hi-Fi series.
A closed-back, circumaural design, the HF-100 are designed both for hi-fi and studio use. The headphones feature a lightweight, ergonomic design with an adjustable headband and soft, protein leather ear pads. Their high sensitivity 42MM drivers feature neodymium magnets and CCAW (Copper-Clad Aluminium Wire) voice coils, offering more accurate mid range and high frequency reproduction and a powerful yet refined bass response.
The headphones are supplied with a removable, 3M 24K gold-plated cable and a protective carry case. Lindy offer a 1.5M cable for those who don’t require the extra length. The headphones come with a 2 year warranty as standard.
The packaging is neat and simple. The headphones come packaged in the aforementioned protective carry case, lined with plenty of foam to keep the headphones and accessories protected. In the case, you’ll find the headphones themselves, along with the removable cable and a spare set of ear pads.
First impressions are positive. The headphones feel sturdy and well-constructed. The ear cups can be adjusted to suit the size of the listeners head – and, unlike many cheaper designs, the adjustment is solid and precise, emitting a metallic click each time an adjustment is made.
The removable cable features 2 connectors which connect via 2 3.5MM jacks to the bottom of each ear cup. The jacks snap firmly into place, meaning they won’t inadvertently fall out. The cable terminates in a 3.5MM jack, with a screw-on 24K gold-plated 6.25MM jack adapter.
Many headphones feature raised lettering on both the phones and the connectors to indicate the orientation of the headphones and the cables – the HF-100s do not, so getting them connected (and indeed wearing them the right way round) involves a bit of trial and error if, like me, you can’t see the connectors or the phones themselves.
Those soft leather ear pads mean the HF-100s are extremely comfortable, even for long periods of time. They don’t cause your ears to sweat like many leather designs. The ear cups tilt to fit the sides of your head, completely covering your ears and effectively blocking outside noise.
The pads are simple to replace. Twisting the front of the ear cup causes the frame with the attached pad to unlock, allowing you to remove and replace the pad. The ear cups can also be completely removed from the headband to make pad installation easier.
Straight out of the box, the HF-100s offer up an expansive open sound stage, yet sound somewhat harsh particularly throughout the upper midband and higher frequencies. I left them to run in for a few days, after which point the sound evened out and became infinitely more natural.
The HF-100s are very revealing, with even the slightest amplifier hiss made very prominent. As you would expect given their revealing nature, the sound is packed with fine detail. There appears to be a slight bump in the mid range – it’s a little more forward than I’m used to – but if your music collection consists mainly of pop or electronic music, it’s certainly no bad thing.
Immediately I noticed that, during some recordings, the HF-100s do portray a slightly grainy, shrill top end. This especially noticeable during classic rock recordings, many of which the HF-100s aren’t particularly suited to. It can at times become fatiguing -so take care when choosing partnering equipment.
However, on a more positive note, the HF-100s excel at vinyl playback. Records sound crisp and clean, but with a certain warmth to them rendering them all the more musical.
The HF-100s are a solid offering from Lindy. Though they’re perhaps not the best all-rounders in terms of their musical ability, they offer solid build quality, excellent affordability and decent sound quality. Definitely worth an audition.
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