Is 850 euros headphones reasonable? This is however the bet that Blue takes. Originally a brand specializing in microphone design, it has been successful in the headphone industry for several years.
For this very high-end model, Blue has chosen to break away from the usual technologies of more classic helmets. Its speakers are indeed of the orthodynamic type. In the usual models, the membrane moves thanks to an electromagnet located at the back of it. On orthodynamic models (also called “planar”), the membrane that moves the air to create the sound is sandwiched in two magnetic grids. The system thus produces repulsion and attraction effects to move the panel they enclose.
Technology full of advantages
This technology known to the most knowledgeable amateurs is generally used in much more expensive Hi-Fi headphones. It has several advantages, the first of which is the large volume of air displaced. On the Ella, the membrane measures five centimeters on the side, further improving the rendering. The distortion is also very low since the panel moves over its entire surface. We can therefore push the volume without suffering the same distortion as on classic dynamic models.
Concretely, all these qualities are found in this Ella. What stands out first is certainly the excellent voice reproduction. They are generous, warm and always very clear. Treble is a little wonder of precision. Always chiseled, they allow you to hear all the details so precious on this frequency band. As for the bass, they too benefit from a quality gain intrinsic to the planar system. Present when necessary, even at low volume and not undergoing any distortion when you want to get your ears full.
The other advantage of the Ella is its integrated analog amplifier with a power of 250 mW and an autonomy measured by our lab of 12 h 15. On, it gives an additional welcome breath to music when using for example a smartphone whose audio output is not very powerful. A second mode, called “On +” is responsible for boosting the bass. A process which breaks with high fidelity, but which is not however prohibitive. We are far from what brands like Beats offer that insist too much on this point.
In terms of design, Blue uses the same form factor as on its previous models that we had already reviewed like Mo-Fi and Lola. Its very particular articulated arch has the merit of adapting perfectly to all head sizes and all skull shapes. On the flip side, the helmet is particularly heavy with its 481 grams. It therefore tends to tire quickly. Too bad because the set is very comfortable, if it were not for the weight. We should also emphasize the perfect finish of the whole.
Finally, we will reserve its use for sedentary listening. The Ella is not at all foldable and occupies a substantial volume almost impossible to store in a bag, unless it is traveling. He is also not a champion of insulation and remains very permeable to outside sounds. What encourage us to use it rather in our living room than in public transport for example.