Page 2 – Blue Microphones Ella Headphones Are Comfy, but Not Portable
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
- “Black Grease” – The Black Angels, Passover
- “Summertime” – The Asylum Street Spankers, Live
- “The Loop Closes” – How to Destroy Angels, How to Destroy Angels
- Pink Flamingo – Love & Rockets, Lift
- “Ted Just Admit It” – Janes Addiction, Nothing’s Shocking
- “At Home He’s a Tourist” – Gang of Four, Entertainment
- “Butterflies” – The Atomic Love Bombs, Let It Burn
- “Pure Chance” – The Church, Uninvited, Like the Clouds
- “Red Moon Crying” – Phat, Tayutaf
- “Bach: Brandenburg Concerto #1 In F, BWV 1046” – Karel Brazda: Philharmonia Slavonica, Bach: Brandenburg Concertos #1-3
- “Kashmir” – Led Zeppelin, Physical Grafitti
- “Behind Blue Eyes” – The Who – Who’s Next
- “The Blue Mask” – Lou Reed, The Blue Mask
- “I Turn My Camera On” – Spoon – Gimme Fiction
- “Spread Your Love” – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, B.R.M.C.
- “F**k You” – Cee Lo Green – The Lady Killer
- “Lint of Love” – Spoon, Stereotype A
- “Get Lucky” (feat. Pharrell Williams & Nile Rogers) – Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
- “Black Isn’t Black” – Black Angels, Indigo Meadow