Blue Microphones Ella Planar Magnetic Headphones Hands-on Review


| In-Depth Review

Page 2 – Blue Microphones Ella Headphones Are Comfy, but Not Portable

Comfort

Blue’s headband design is better than all of the other designs I’ve seen or tested. The top of the headband is thickly padded and very comfortable. Part of that comfort is the double hinged-design Blue first introduced with Mo-Fi. It allows Ella to grip a wide variety of head sizes without putting uneven stress on the band structure as a whole.

In the image below, I highlighted the two sets of hinges that makes Blue’s headphones feel so good.

Blue Microphones Ella headphones showing the headband and two sets of hinges

Ella spread open at its widest. The arrows indicate the two sets of hinges that make this headband so good

In addition to those two hinges, the cups are mounted on articulated arms that allow you to position them exactly over your ears. In the image below, the bottom cup is at its highest position, while the top cup is at its lowest. I wanted to demonstrate the extraordinary flexibility this design affords.

It’s a truly brilliant system. But, Ella doesn’t fit as snugly as Mo-Fi. I believe that’s because Blue removed a tension-adjusting system in the band. Ella fits better than a lot of headphones, but it’s just a little bit looser on my head than I’d like. When wearing them, I sometimes feel like I need to settle down a bit so they don’t fall off (note that they never fell off).

Blue Microphones Ella headphones showing the ear cups extended and retracted

Ella’s cups are mounted on hinged arms

There’s another big comfort factor here, and that’s weight. Many people will find Ella (or any other planar magnetic headphones) to be heavy. The amp, the housing of the cups, and the planar magnetic speakers themselves add up. I don’t mind heavy, but that is subjective. If you do, steer clear of the planar magnetic market.

Blue Microphones Ella headphone's thickly padded ear cups

Ella’s thickly padded ear cups are super comfy

Portability

Ella isn’t all that portable. For one thing, these headphones don’t fold up, and they’re big, as well as the above-mentioned heavy.

Throw in the fact that they’ll feel more secure when you aren’t bouncing around, and I don’t recommend Ella as a portable headphone. But Blue isn’t pitching or positioning Ella as mobile headphones. These are headphones for a premium listening experience in a controlled environment. Buy (or not) accordingly.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for quality planar magnetic headphones, Blue Microphone’s entry into the market is a great choice. The quality of materials, build, and design match excellent sound from the drivers. They’re not portable, though, so keep that in mind.

Testing Listening List (June 2017 Edition)

A note about this list: I spent a lot of time with these headphones listening to a lot of music. The list below is my current go-to collection for testing. Judge my review accordingly.

Product: Ella

Company: Blue Microphones

List Price: $699

Vendor Price: $699

Device that produces music.

Rating:

Outstanding Product. Get It Now!

Pros:

Beautiful clarity with excellent lows, mids, and highs. Very comfortable, and they have a great headband design. High quality materials. Built-in amp. Operates in pass-through mode with or without power.

Cons:

Heavy. Expensive for headphones, but not for planar magnetic headphones

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