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Blue Mo-Fi Audiophile Headphones

INTRODUCTION

Blue Microphones, or Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics, was founded in 1995. They’re best known for their high-end studio microphones and recording equipment. The Mo-Fi is their first attempt to enter the world of headphones, which historically has been dominated by more popular and recognized brands. Since Blue Microphones is already established as a top-of-line studio equipment manufacturing company, we expected nothing less than the best from the Mo-Fi, but kept an open mind, considering that the Mo-Fis the company’s first big step into the headphones market.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Driver: 50mm titanium-reinforced dynamic drivers and neodymium magnets
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance: 42 ohms
  • Cables: 1.2 m, 3m
  • Connection: 3.5mm headset jack plug, 3.5 audio jack plug
  • Weight: 466 g
  • Sound Coupling to the Ear: Circumaural
  • Battery Capacity: 1020mAh

PACKAGING

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Blue cut no corners in their attempt to make a high quality pair of headphones, and this was readily apparent from the moment we saw the packaging it came in. The box is constructed with a sturdy and thick cardboard exterior and a firm plastic interior. The box is visually appealing and is covered with vibrant shades of blue and purple. Features are listed on all sides of the box in both English and French.

The Mo-Fi comes with a small AC charger, but can also be charged by a computer or other USB device that can supply power. The Mo-Fi also comes with a 1.2-meter cable with Apple iPad/iPod/iPhone controls (which, in our opinion, is located a tad too close to the headphones for comfort) and a standard 3-meter cable. Both cables have 1/8 inch connectors and a 1/4 inch adapter is also included as well as a two-pronged airplane adapter.

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Included with the Mo-Fi is a smooth suede felt carrying bag. The hatch is held shut by a firm magnetic clasp that will not come open unless you want it too. There is an additional compartment inside the bag for holding the cables, but it doesn’t close, which could leave you with a tangled mess if the bag tumbles enough en route to your destination.

Features

The Mo-Fi’s two most distinguishing features are its suspension system in place of a standard headband model and its on-board amplification. Right out of the box the first thing we noticed about the Mo-Fi was its almost otherworldly design, looking more like a sci-fi gadget than headphones. The Mo-Fi‘s multi-jointed suspension system is inspired by Formula One race cars and serves to keep the ear cups parallel for increased comfort.

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At the top of the headphones along the bridge connecting the two sides there is a dial for adjusting the clamping force. This feature is equally important to the Mo-Fi’s customizable fit, allowing you to find a comfortable hold on your head that doesn’t squeeze.

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While on the subject of the Mo-Fi’s design, it’s worth noting that the over-ear head cups that are actually shaped like ears. This feature not only increases comfort but also provides top-notch isolation and noticeably reduces ambient noise.

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The second, and most prominent distinguishing feature of the Mo-Fi, is the on-board audiophile amp built right into the headphones. The idea behind the addition of the on-board amp is to supply sufficient power to the two high quality 50mm drivers that phones and tablets would fall short in powering. There are three all-analog amp modes available with the Mo-Fi; OFF, ON and ON+, and you can switch between them by turning a dial on the bottom of the left ear cup. The ON mode provides standard amplification, the ON+ mode at 63Hz is advertised by Blue to be ideal for restoring the low-end character of music mastered in the era of Vinyl and the OFF mode gives you the option to completely shut down the amp when you have access to an off-board amp or have run the batteries dry.

A very cool feature Blue has built in allows you to conserve battery when the Mo-Fi isn’t being used by powering down the amp when you take off the headphones and the ear cups come together.The batteries will provide approximately 12 hours of use and will require about three hours to charge back to full strength. On the outside of each ear cup there is a red light that will remain on when the headphones are fully charged, blink rapidly when the battery is low (15% or lower), blink slowly while recharging and will turn off when the batteries are dead.

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Testing

We tested the Blue Mo-Fi headphones with a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and an iPhone 5. We looked everywhere we could to find tracks that would test the Mo-Fi’s credentials. We ended up listening to 30 or 40 tracks including Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah”, XX’s “Intro”, Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, Marvin Gaye’s “What’s going on”, Rage Against the Machines “Killing in the Name of” and many other high quality tracks as well as the entirety of the movie Gladiators soundtrack (because it really wouldn’t have been a proper headphone review without that, right?!). The Mo-Fi responded exceptionally across the spectrum and all genres. The sound quality is incredible, and in addition to the excellent noise isolation, provides a top notch music listening experience. Whether the Mo-Fi are your first pair of headphones in the $100+ price range or your most recent pair of expensive cans, you will certainly hear music like you’ve never heard it before. The Mo-Fi has a well-balanced reproduction across the frequency spectrum providing a more even response than other comparable headphones that can give a sizzly sound on the top or dips in the mids. Across the board, the Mo-Fi provides excellent detail and particularly good midrange clarity with tight, full bass that sounds natural.

VERDICT

The first and most noticeable flaw we found with the Mo-Fi is its weight. At around 460 grams it isn’t likely you’ll ever forget you’re wearing them and they aren’t really suited for wearing for prolonged periods of time unless you’re lying down or have your head supported otherwise. We also noticed that after an hour of continued use we would begin feeling an increasingly uncomfortable pressure from the padding along the uppermost part of the headphones.

The unique design of the Mo-Fi and how it is built to fit a great variety of head shapes and sizes is a very refreshing break from the mold of traditional headphones. It takes some time to figure out exactly how the various pieces move and how different arrangements actually feel, but the end result is a firm and comfortable fit that really feels natural.

One thing to note before ever turning on either of the bass boosted modes is to turn your devices volume to the bare minimum and work your way up gradually, because the Mo-Fi can get extremely loud very quickly; trust us, we had to learn the hard way.

The Mo-Fi, currently listed on Amazon at $350 new, are not the cheapest headphones with a built-in audiophile amp, but are far from the most expensive. It is our opinion that the Mo-Fi are reasonably priced, all features considered, and would make an excellent addition to the music listening experience of any listener from the most casual to the most hardcore of audiophiles. We have awarded the Blue Mo-Fi the Bjorn3D Silver Bear Award for its audiophile listening experience and innovation in what a headphone can look like; if not for the weight, the Blue Mo-Fi would’ve achieved our Golden Bear Award.

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ProsCons
High quality fiber-reinforced 50mm drivers

Unique suspension system allows for personalized fit

Excellent noise isolation

Built-in amplifier

Powerful and precise listening experience across all genres

 

Too heavy for prolonged use

 

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