Blue Microphones Mo-Fi Active Headphones

August 26 2014, 09:17
Headphones are a completely new category for Blue Microphones (we guess they will eventually change the name of the company as well) but with the Mo-Fi it seems Blue Microphones has also created a new market category with “active headphones.”

We already knew Blue Microphones, which was founded in 1995 and recognized by their truly unique microphones, was exploring new directions. True to their technical innovation and cutting-edge design roots, Blue Microphone has created a family of truly inspiring audio tools, from the Bottle and Blueberry professional studio microphones to the project studio oriented Snowball USB mic and newer consumer desktop solutions (e.g., the Yeti Pro and the Mikey Digital portable recorder for iOS devices). Now, Blue Microphone’s portfolio also includes headphones and they want to make a grand entrance in the new product category.


According to the information provided by Blue Microphones, the Mo-Fi headphones have a built-in 240-mW amplifier, matched to high-powered, precision drivers. The intent is to provide the best performance and sound quality from every device—from professional studio gear to laptops, tablets, and even smartphones—with a new active solution that reduces the audio workload on those devices. As Blue Microphone says in its dedicated Mo-Fi website: “Frankly, it’s surprising no one ever thought of this before.”

This powered design also enabled Blue Microphone to use high-quality drivers that accurately and dynamically reproduce sound when combined with a lot of power, even with high-resolution audio sources and studio monitoring use. The custom-designed 50-mm dynamic drivers are some of the largest on the market and Blue Microphone says they provide “the best balance between efficiency and accuracy when matched to the built-in amp. Unlike other headphones that rely solely on the teeny amplifier built into your phone or computer, Mo-Fi’s drivers and amplifier are custom-matched to each other so they always reproduce audio with the greatest accuracy and dynamic response.”

Probably Mo-Fi’s most striking aspect is the carefully crafted design, which is also full of unique concepts that rethink form and functionality. Mo-Fi uses a multi-jointed design to earcups “shaped like ears.” The company says they “feel less like a headphone, and more like a high-quality instrument you can wear.” The earcups are complemented by an adjustable tension knob that enables users “to dial-in the perfect ‘Goldilocks’ setting—not too tight, not too loose, but just right.”

Also for the headband design, Blue Microphone avoided using the traditional “spring loaded” approach. Instead, it opted for a multi-jointed headband solution that the company says was inspired by the finely tuned suspension of open-wheeled Formula One race cars.

The result — apart from being comfortable and adaptable to a variety of head shapes and sizes—creates a better seal, resulting in solid bass response, improved isolation, and a reduction in sound bleed. The headband also allows for a different height adjustment of the earcups, using adjustable pivoting arms that also provide angle adjustments.

Mo-Fi’s ear-shaped earcup design also plays an important role in how the drivers reproduce sound, contributing for better ambient noise reduction while still enabling the driver to breathe. And, Blue Microphone decided to complement that “acoustic” headroom in reproduction by giving the user the ability to adjust three analog amp profiles. The standard active mode, a low-frequency enhancement circuit for more bass, and  an “off” passive mode, which can connect to high-performance studio gear that may already have amplification for headphones (or for use when the battery is at the end of its charge).

And because Mo-Fi uses an integrated amplifier, there’s also an integrated rechargeable battery for 12 hours of listening, which completely charges in 3-4 hours, with an intelligent power management function that detects when the headphones are not in use. If the battery runs down, Mo-Fi converts to a passive system, which enables further listening. The system will automatically power on and off when headphones are opened and closed.


Some of the provided Mo-Fi specifications:
Amplifier
    •    Output power: 240 mW
    •    THD+N: 0.004%
    •    Frequency response: 15 Hz–20 kHz
    •    SNR, self noise: < 105 dB
    •    Noise:< 20 uV
    •    Battery capacity:1,020 mAh
Drivers
    •    Type and size: 50 mm, fiber-reinforced dynamic driver
    •    Impedance: 42 ohms
    •    Frequency response: 15 Hz–20 kHz
    •    Enclosure details: Sealed enclosure with tuned damping materials

Weight: 466 g (16.44 oz)

The new Blue Microphone Mo-Fi headphones ships with a soft case with a cable storage pocket, a 1.2-meter audio cable with Apple iPhone/iPad controls and an extra 3-meter audio cable, plus a USB charging cable, an AC charging adaptor, a 3.5 mm to 0.25” TRS adaptor, and a two-prong airplane connector.
The Mo-Fi headphones cost $349.99.
www.bluemic.com
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