Ecko Volt On-Ear Stereo Headphone review

Discussion in 'Headphone Reviews' started by dalethorn, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,609
    Location:
    Charleston South Carolina
    Youtube review: http://youtu.be/l5u_AwaUdas

    Photos:
    http://dalethorn.com/Photos/iPhone6p/Headphone_Ecko_Volt_01.jpg
    http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Audioforge/Ecko_Volt.jpg

    Sources: iPhone6+ with the Oppo HA-2/v-moda Verza DAC/amps; various computers using the HRT Microstreamer/FiiO E17k/Beyerdynamic A200p DAC/amps.

    Review notes: My impressions of the sound of the Ecko Volt are based on direct comparisons to other headphones - the v-moda M100 and XS, the FAD Pandora VI and IV, the Beyerdynamic T1 and T90, the AKG K812 and K712, and notes that I've accumulated from many prior reviews.

    I've avoided most low-cost headphones at this point for several reasons, the biggest reason being that the low cost of manufacturing doesn't allow the kind of detailed quality control in driver matching etc. to guarantee that the sound will be exactly the same (or close to it) from sample to sample. A second reason is the approximately 24 work hours required to test the headphone, make a video, process a couple of photos, and write the report - a lot of work if customers purchase the item and it doesn't sound very close to what the review describes. But, while cruising the shelves at the local office supply store a few days ago, I spied this Ecko Volt headphone - good aesthetically in red, with decent soft earpads and a comfortable fit. The price of $70 USD seemed high for a brand I'd never heard of, so looking it up on Amazon and seeing the $46 price there, the salesperson matched the Amazon price and off I went with this unknown headphone.

    NOTE: This review is aimed at audiophiles with extremely limited budgets, who mostly use cellphone music players, and who need the very best sound they can get for $46 or so. All other users should skip the critical analysis of the sound in the next paragraph, and read the technical details that follow.

    Getting right to the sound, you can see in the above EQ chart or on my dalethorn website the curve I applied (green line only) to bring the sound up to a minimum hi-fi signature. In this case, well below pricier headphones in bass and treble, and only to evaluate the sound quality for average popular music tracks. There are many very good headphones that sell for $70 or so - the Soundmagic P30 for example, the Sennheiser PX-100ii, AIAIAI Tracks etc. - but given my experience with the Ecko Volt, I'd say it doesn't offer value that's competitive with these other headphones. The problem is, when treble is very recessed, users typically turn up the volume to hear a lot of details, and excess volume is a long-term problem. That's just my opinion - your mileage may vary. On the other hand though, there are some premium headphones I've purchased in the $200 range that weren't any better signature-wise, although my impression is that those premium models used higher-quality drivers and electrical components.

    The Volt's isolation is decent - average or better I think for a small on-ear closed headphone. Leakage is unlikely to be a problem when used on a train, bus, or jet plane, but if used in a public library or a very quiet office, volume would have to be kept below audiophile (loud) levels. Both the overall weight and earpad pressure are very light, and I'd judge the Volt to be an extremely comfortable headphone. This is also an ideal portable headphone in the sense that it can be pulled off the head when not in use and worn around the neck with no inconvenience, with the eacups pulled all the way down. The range of adjustment for different head sizes is 1/2 inch smaller on each side of the headband compared to my average-size head, and one inch larger on each side, so the Volt will fit head sizes from somewhat smaller than average to much larger. The flat-ribbon cable is single-entry, detachable from either earcup, with a single-button control box and mic for smartphones.

    For most reviews I include a listing of music tracks for comparison of sound qualities such as bass strength and clarity, or treble smoothness with enough response to make upper harmonic details enjoyable. Since the Volt doesn't have that strong of a treble response, I'll skip that listing here, however if anyone does end up with a Volt and wants to hear more of the details I described, they should be able to apply an EQ similar to what I used to that end.
     
  2. Jupit3r

    Jupit3r New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Thanks for sharing
     
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