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I'll admit ignorance, unfamiliar with this brand. Is there more than looks here and if so what is their sound like?
It has the same driver as the more expensive and well reviewed Sendy Aivas. If you want planar and price for performance both blon b20 (on Drop) and thieaudio phantoms are the kings. They both sell for 350-360... you cant get anything better (in regards of sound quality) than that under 800.
So which would you buy between these and the Thieaudio Phantoms and what makes you say the are in another league vs. the HD650? (which I've owned for years and still sound very good to me) I'm tempted to try one of these but reviewers seem to rave about every new one that comes out like it's the second coming so I'm confused about which one to actually pull the trigger on.
I mean... just to start, i think the biggest thing about reviewers recommending a lot of things mostly comes from the fact that there is a ton of legitimately good audio gear available right now, it just depends on personal preferences as to which type of sound you enjoy/like the most.
The Blon b20 are superior in both sound quality and build quality. Everything in them is either metal or wood. Their weakest point which was the earpads seems to have been fixed in the latest iteration, as they added a pleater/cloth hybrid which seems to have good enough padding to add room between your ear and the driver and thus they improve the soundstage on them.
The sound in the blon's as with any planar is faster and tighter than with dynamic drivers, in general feels more 'real' specially when listening to music that has a lot of string instruments or drums. The b20 are bright compared to the hd650, and they also seem to show better dynamic range in regards of lows and highs.
As to what to get between this and phantoms, if you want balanced cable without spending extra buy the phantoms but owners of phantoms all mod them, so it might be something you have to do to adjust them to your liking. The blons are good out of the box, but they dont have a carrying case, and the cable is 3.5mm single ended
Thanks...I don't care about the cable. I use single ended for now (and can't afford to get a new amp and dac right now on top of these). Just want to get the best sounding ones if I'm going to spend this much I also don't really care about taking the foam out of the Phantoms if that's all that's needed to make them sound better. What worries me is about the Phantoms one review I watched he seemed to really hate the sound of them and two others loved it and since I can't afford to get multiple pairs of these I don't want to be stuck with something I'd like less than my 650s with questionable resale value. So maybe these are the slightly safer choice unless the Phantoms are clearly superior in some way . There's also the Sundaras but I assume you would also rec these over those?
The phantoms aren't clearly superior but they are a different kind of headphone because of the size of the driver and the size of the cup. The blon b20 and the phantoms are ChiFi brothers, they both run on very high quality drivers and capable of punching up their price range.
The blon b20 is better built... looks more expensive than $350, heck, more expensive than the $450 normal asking price (which is what i paid). The phantom sounds good but build quality is a little rougher than what you get on the blon b20 (the metal grille isn't smooth, and the cup holders are attached with an epoxi so if you aren't paying attention they can detach themselves... easy fix but things to keep in mind). Also the strap on the blon b20 distributes weight better than the headband the phantoms have, so these will be more confortable over longer runs.
I haven't heard the Sundara's so i wouldn't dare say these are better than Sundaras, that would have to be something you judge based on video reviews and unboxing or similar... all i can tell you is that the blon b20 is almost a verbatim replica of the $600 usd sendy aivas, but without the balanced cable and carrying case, so it's doubtful that a $350 headphone like the Sundaras can put up a fight with a replica of a $600 ChiFi, when the entire point of chifi is to provide high quality at lower prices.
So at the end which is better ?
It depends on what you are looking for... the Phantoms need more love than the B20 as the b20 sound good out of the box, you will have to do some modding to the phantoms to get them right and you might not want that. As for better, that is completely subjective and depends on your tastes in music and sound, i would personally take the b20 over the phantoms.
What is the difference in sound signature ? Why would you table the b20 over the phantom ?
They are opposites in regards of sound. The Aiva style headphone is bright and aggressive, it gains ALOT from using a very padded earpad as the more separation you get between your ear and the headphone you gain in stage, which it needs because of how small the cup is. You can go leather to try to tame some of the treble in the blon b20 if you find that fatiguing (i don't but im using ZMF oval cowhide pads, and i almost instantly removed the stock pads for brainwavz sheepskin as i found stock pads to be too thin... keep in mind i was an early adopter and the current stock pad is not what i got).
The stock phantoms has very few fans... but the size of the driver and the size of the cup makes it a very nice stage, specially if you change the pads as stock ones are also kind of thin and your ear might be too close to the driver. Once you mod them you will make them brighter and more fun to listen to, you can read this great review from Antdroid in which he compares them to other popular planar headphones in the price range:
What is the actual difference in both of them ? Are they nuetral to bright, those narrow and they force detailed to your face ?