CanJam at RMAF2017: Acoustic Research AR-H1 Open Over-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones

I can't believe it...

For the past few years I've been saying there's a black hole between $500 and $800 that needs filling with some good headphones. And then...BOOM!...three new planar magnetic headphones in that price range with good sound. Things are looking up, folks!

Just about the last people I expected to see new headphones from, Acoustic Research has just introduced their new open planar magnetic AR-H1 for $599. Schwing!

The AR-H1 sports an 86mm diaphragm and 33 Ohm impedance; with sensitivity at 100dB/V these cans should play to solid levels from portable devices. It's good looks are no surprise coming from AR; real leather headband, memory foam cushions, and a stylish mostly-metal exterior make for stylish and comfortable headwear. The cable 1.2 meters terminated at the player end with a 3.5mm TRS plug and at the headphone end with two 2.5mm mono-plugs. (Gotta say I don't really like this trend...2.5mm plugs are kind of sketchy.) A soft pouch is included for storage and transport.

Really, really stoked to see this price range getting populated with some pretty promising cans. AR is getting a call from me.

Eric Suh shows off AR's new headphones in the video.

View on YouTube.

Argyris's picture

I'm interested to see how these new midrangers stack up when placed under more careful scrutiny. I'm probably being too hopeful that the mythical HD 600-with-subbass will ever appear in this price range (if ever, at any price range), but who knows. With wired headphones in general slowly becoming obsolete, manufacturers might be willing to pull out all the stops to make them relevant as long as possible, and that might even mean offering a much better value proposition than we've seen in the last seven or eight years of ever inflating flagship prices.

Maybe's picture

"mythical HD 600-with-subbass"
Apparently that will be the HD 660 S.

Phoniac's picture

That's apparently just nonsense. Wanna bet?

Rthomas's picture

I'm sure many of us would enjoy an old fashioned shootout to see which can slots into the full size open WOF spot just below the Elear.

HD660S Vs AR-H1 Vs Aeon Open.

What a dream match up! I predict that the winner could very well dethrone the Elear in pure SQ....

sszorin's picture

Why does everybody ignore T1 ? The First Generation T1 can be bought for around 600 USD. I have not heard Aeon headphones but T1 are way better headphones than HD600 and, I can safely assume, will also prove to be better than HD660S. I also find T1 to be marginally better than HD800.
I find this constant overlooking of T1 incomprehensible.

Raimei Templar's picture

If you ever get the chance to try the Onkyo A800 you should, I think it actually is the HD600 with Subbass or very close to it. Its distribution outside of Japan is terrible sadly, so very few people know of it or have tried it.

sszorin's picture

"With wired headphones in general slowly becoming obsolete" - And how do you now that ? Just because junk headphones have their cables removed to fit with mp3 audio quality does not mean that the real headphones will become the same. Crispy cream donuts have been sold for some 2 decades now but they still could not eliminate the real bread. For some one hundred years women have had a choice of wearing sneakers, and many do, but see have many of them still prefer high heals.

geniekid's picture

Dear lord. We've never needed reviews from innerfidelity more than now.

zobel's picture

Something to realize...truth by Art Dudley...