Home Open Back Headphone Reviews HarmonicDyne Black Hole Review: Enter At Your Own Risk

HarmonicDyne Black Hole Review: Enter At Your Own Risk

by Stuart Charles Black
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Big thank you to Linsoul for sending the Black Hole to review!

Full disclosure: This is a paid review but I made it clear to them that I do not guarantee positive reviews or recommendations – I make in-depth, honest evaluations based on my impressions and the ultimate value that the product may or may not provide. 

Greetings mate and Welcome aboard!

Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions, so…

Today we’re reviewing the HarmonicDyne Black Hole and finding out if it is indeed, a black hole that you shouldn’t go down.

We’ll discuss build, comfort, sound, amplification needs, genre pairing, and more.

By the time you’re finished reading this article, you’ll know if it’s worth a purchase, and if it isn’t, I’ll point you in the direction of something that is.

Deal?

Cool.

Let’s dive in.

HarmonicDyne Black Hole

Price: Check Amazon

In The Box

1x Black Hole Headphones

1x 3.5mm Stereo Cable

1x 3.5mm to 6.35mm Adapter

1x User Manual

Click For a Box Tour:

At under $100, this semi-closed back offering from HarmonicDyne contains 50mm drivers with an Impedance of 32 Ohm and a Sensitivity of 110dB/Vrms@1kHz.

So, super easy to drive out of a mobile device.

Its build quality is excellent for a headphone of its price, and it feels substantial enough in your hands while remaining light enough for long-term use. More on that in a bit.

The micro-suede earcups rotate inward around 90° (and fold down a bit but not fully), the headband contains metal click adjustments (that aren’t numbered), and there are dual 3.5mm terminations on each side that feed into a single 3.5mm termination at the business end (1/4″ adapter included).

HarmonicDyne Black Hole Review

Other than the metal adjustments, the headphone is mostly built of plastic but doesn’t feel cheap at approximately 305g.

The design of the product is rather utilitarian but does house some interesting accents around the headband adjustments in addition to ridges on the top of the headband itself.

HarmonicDyne Black Hole Review

HarmonicDyne Black Hole ReviewUnderneath is a (presumably) micro suede pad, and the outside of the cups contain HarmonicDyne’s logo in addition to the words “High-resolution Black Hole HiFi Headphones” and “50mm high magnetic flux dynamic driver” on the bottom portion of the cup.

You may be wondering, how are these semi-open headphones? There’s no ventilation on the cups.

Interestingly enough, the open-air portion is seen on the sides and bottom of the cups which I found rather unique like AZ.

HarmonicDyne Black Hole Review

One thing I’m not particularly thrilled about is the propensity for the micro suede material to collect a ton of undesirables: specks of dust, hair, random particles of whatever, etc.

It’s a literal magnet for anything and everything that may be floating around, but I’m excusing it because of what we’ll discuss next.

Comfort

Because they are pretty light, the Black Hole headphones are incredibly comfortable and will likely snag a spot on my most comfortable headphones of all time list.

Clamping force is excellent, the top of the headband doesn’t dig, and overall, these are about as close to “air” as you can realistically expect.

I haven’t had to adjust them much at all, and even over longer sessions, I’m not feeling the urge to rip them off for some relief.

HarmonicDyne Black Hole Review

This picture was taken right after opening the box. Notice the specks already getting caught in the pads.

They don’t “disappear” quite as well as a Beyer, Philips SHP9500, etc. but they feel incredible on your melon and can be worn for a long time without an issue.

Part of this has to do with the openness of the cups themselves. Unless you have ears the size of Montana, you won’t have to worry about them touching. They’re also fairly deep so the drivers won’t be kissing your auricles either.

But, if you’re this guy, you may run into some issues:

Heavens to Betsy look at the size of those things!

Silliness aside, comfort is most certainly an A+.

But what’s up with the red-eyed bird in the photo?^ Looks like someone ate a liiiitle too many weed gummies. xD

Sound

HarmonicDyne Black Hole Review

*Snark Factory Stu Initiated*

Ugh.

What a way to start a sound section.

Here I go again (you’re about to hear this word a lot). To be clear, I haven’t read any reviews of these so this is my own assessment.

At this juncture, it’s becoming a meme, but once again, we have entirely too much bass.

At what point do companies start listening to feedback? Using feedback to make better products? Because from where I sit, they’re not getting the message.

If you’re familiar with this blog at all, you’ll know that, as a producer who mixes and EQs sound all day, I’m constantly harping (no pun intended) on this point – especially lately.

Let’s make it real clear, again.

Boosting areas that should be cut (i.e. the mud/bloat regions around 200-300Hz) is a recipe for a real shitty sounding headphone. Again.

You cannot hear sub-bass frequencies below 40Hz, so boosting this area is mostly useless. Again. A little sub-bass is completely fine for some added feeling, BUT NOT +10dB. Or whatever it is. Doesn’t matter.

Jacking up the entire low end into oblivion makes the mid-range sound like it’s drowning in a sea of actual diarrhea.

AGAIN.

A properly boosted bass should roll off most of the sub-frequencies while having a bump/rise somewhere around 60-90Hz, followed by a cut/dip moving into 200-300. Every single time.

HarmonicDyne Black Hole Review

This ensures that the majority of music is going to have some life WITHOUT sounding like you’re listening to music inside a heavy-duty cardboard box about 59 feet underwater. You know, that place where fish live.

And it doesn’t matter how much the mids come back up, because if the bass is boosted higher than Jupiter, it’s still going to sound like shit regardless.

I don’t know how many other ways I can put it.

Take it from someone who has loads of experience mixing and EQing tracks – specifically hip-hop. This is NOT how you tune headphones. For the proper way of doing it, consult Sennheiser or AKG.

Heck, James Scott Farrin could tune a better headphone. Just call the hurt line. Your ears specifically.

In addition to that, because the bass is handled so poorly in the majority of these cheaper products (and it’s even leeched its way into higher-end gear), the resolution is absolutely abysmal most of the time – save for some of the better/best-engineered tracks.

I cannot stress this enough; it’s just a terrible way to construct a sound signature and I’m not backing down from it.

Treble

HarmonicDyne Black Hole Review

In any event, treble is OK, but the high-end lacks sparkle and sounds a bit subdued for my liking.

So yeah, the Black Hole is aptly named here. It’s a black hole containing gobs of sloppy mc slopperson never-ending bass.

HarmonicDyne Black Hole Review

This is where it should stay, unfortunately.

In theory, the headphones should work well for most genres (bass-heavier stuff specifically) but they end up falling flat (oh the irony) and sound much too bloated.

This is especially problematic when you consider that a lot of hip-hop artists sometimes unintentionally (or intentionally) boost the bass in their mixes too much which exacerbates an already horrible issue with headphones like these.

The Meze 99 Neo is another example of a similar product you should avoid at all costs.

Meze 99 Neo ReviewIn any event, they are very efficient and have a low impedance, so you can use them with a phone paired with something like a Go Link rather easily.

I also like that the chord is short-ish and seems to be built well.

HarmonicDyne Black Hole Review

But, I can’t recommend them. For as much as I just dumped all over them, they don’t sound horrible all the time. For instance, Classical is somewhat listenable since the genre benefits immensely from a bit of extra bass emphasis.

That said, for everything else, it’s a hard no.

Let me put it this way: does a gigantic wall of bass covering everything sound like a fun time? If so, go ahead and buy them. They’re only $80. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

What will happen is you’ll be raising the volume to compensate for the lost vocals and instruments which sound like they’re being buried in the ground.

If what you’re looking for is clarity, this ain’t it. Resolution? Nope. Separation? Not here. Timbre? Nah. Again, all the things that make listening with headphones a fabulous experience are absent.

The problem here is an age-old one in that, these headphones remind me of something I’d find at my local drugstore in 1994.

As much as I just tore into them, I don’t doubt they’d sound perfectly fine with better tuning. But until that happens, they’ll be collecting dust.

In thinking it over some more, the reason I think companies still get away with this is that most people are none the wiser.

HarmonicDyne Black Hole Review

Boosted bass is all they know so they think it’s good when in actuality they’re missing out on everything that makes the audiophile experience worthwhile.

And we’ve all been there.

Before I started making beats, before I was introduced to good sound, I was one of those people. And until the narrative shifts and the mainstream opinion reflects an audiophile-type of opinion, this is what you get.

As for a semi-open (or fully open) headphone worthy of a purchase and in the same general price range?

The K240 or SHP9500 are some of my favorites under $100, but my main headphones are the HD6XX/K702 for a mid-fi dynamic, and 400se ($109) for mid-fi planar. Until a company comes along and provides better headphones, those are the ones I’m using.

 

Well, that’s about it for today folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed this HarmonicDyne Black Hole Review and gained some valuable insight.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

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What are your thoughts on bass in headphones? Do you agree with my overall assessment? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

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