EDIFIER H180 Classic Earphone ReviewTime: Oct. 30, 2020
When you say "cheap headphones," most people think of the Monk Plus, and for good reason. However, there are alternatives as the market offers various headphones at reduced prices. Among them is the Edifier H180, made by the same company whose speakers made them famous for their excellent sound and affordability.
The Edifier H180 comes in a clear plastic case that houses the headphones and foam covers. It's pretty straightforward, but what to expect for the price.
Design and comfort
The Edifier H180 reminds me of the Monk Lite from a design point of view. They have shiny black cases with a silver band.
Comfort is pretty good once I install the foams - they are small enough to easily fit over most ears. As with all headphones, there is no isolation.
Obviously, there is no isolation with the Edifier H180, because they are headphones, they are the open back of the headphone world.
Sound and Specifications
I tested the Edifier H180 with a variety of sources, including Shanling UP4 and Zorloo Ztella. The source files were mainly FLAC extracted from CD (16 bit, 44.1 kHz).
There is something exhausting about the sound of the Edifier H180 that I couldn't identify at first. I tried using an equalizer to find out the frequency of the culprits by removing it from the signature, but couldn't identify the frequency. It seemed to be a combination of factors including low and high frequencies with multiple peaks occurring at the same time to create this fatigue that I was feeling. Then I tried adding to the signature: by adding 1.5 dB to 2.5 dB at frequencies between 300 Hz and 900 Hz, I was finally able to get rid of that feeling of fatigue.
The following analysis of the Edifier H180 was performed using it with its foam covers. If you use them without foam, they are almost painful to use as the bass and mids disappear, leaving only the treble.
The soundstage is not very large for a headphone; actually, it gives a good sense of space, but the music still seems to have been produced in your ears just the way it is. The images are very limited, with very basic positioning of the instruments on stage. Instrument separation is also limited.
The bass is powerful and physical as you would expect with headphones, with good expansion and a good presence in the mix, it is even too much. It also has poor control, so it is not very verbose and often has a tendency to filter into the midrange.
The mids are deep, and as a result, most instruments feel distant and wrong. Not only are there the balance issues mentioned above, but also pitch issues as the voices sound a bit distorted and unnatural.
The highs are usually sharp and aggressive, although that also features a fair amount of detail. Unfortunately, the treble range is the most troublesome as it overwhelms everything else, making the sound thin, crisp, and tiring.