When a company branches out into new sectors, results tend to be mixed. You will have read about Blue in these pages before – we highly recommend its USB mics and always use them when we’re in the recording studio – so how does its first attempt at the premium headphone market fare?
The headline feature of these Mo-Fi headphones is the built-in amplifier. The premise is that your smartphone and tablet’s built-in amp doesn’t do your music justice. Any audiophile worth their weight in vinyl will bemoan the lack of power and oomph you get from devices, typically between 20 and 30mW. This is plenty for tiny in-ear buds, but not enough to prevent distortion and clipping at higher volumes with on-ear studio-quality cans. So Blue has given its Mo-Fi over-ears a built-in amplifier with
a whopping 240mW rating, and provided listeners with two settings to perfect their preferences.
Couple that with a 50mm fibre- reinforced dynamic driver that has been custom-tuned to match the amplifier’s output and you’ve got a serious set of headphones.
Thankfully it all equates to a perfectly balanced sound experience. It’s hard to find fault with any range. No matter what style of music you’re listening to, these Blue cans handle it with aplomb. Led Zeppelin, Tears for Fears, Radiohead and Frank Ocean all sounded as good as you’d expect from headphones that push the £300 barrier. And with that amplifier, they go really loud. And we mean loud.
Instead of using digital trickery to produce a fake bass-heavy performance, all tweaking is analog and available in three modes: passive, active and enhanced bass. So the choice is yours. Want a throbbing bassline? Click the slider at the bottom of the left can to the + position. We can’t stress how improved the overall performance of standard digital music is with the amp in use, while remaining faithful to the original recordings.
It is worth noting that these headphones aren’t very portable. At a head-tipping 466g, they are built with the studio in mind, not surprisingly given Blue’s grounding in studio accessories. These headphones fully take on the ‘big is beautiful’ mantra. It’s loud and proud, but easily retains its premium feel. It strikes us that Blue has tried very hard in a design sense – the company shouts about the headband being inspired by
an F1 car’s suspension – but in truth, the sound quality does all the shouting that’s required.