Not too long ago a rep from Blue sent me an email asking if I would like to review their new headphones, the Lola model. Prior to this, my knowledge of Blue consisted of knowing that they make retro styled microphones that seem to be popular with podcasters. In fact, a friend of mine has a setup of Blue mics for podcasting and Twitch gameplay broadcasting. Still I have never personally used any of their products before. So I replied with some interest.
When they arrived and I was taking them out of the box I was captivated by their looks. They look like a very subtle steampunk take on ‘70’s style headphones. Nice big ear cups with a thick headband. When I put them on my head the differences from standard headphones were pretty immediate. First off the ear cup is not round like most headphones. They have an oval (almost teardrop) shape, with a larger curve at the top and smaller at the bottom. In effect a shape closer to an ear. The ear cups have a thick padding that forms a good seal around your ears. Next, was the "Formula One race car inspired" headband that gently squeezes your head with enough tension to hold them in place, but not so much that it feels like your head is being pinched. Coupled with that thick cup padding you would almost think they were custom made for you.
The biggest difference between the Lola’s and every other headphone is the unique pivot arm for height adjustment. Every other headphone I have ever used you put on and then pulled down until they slid to the right spot. Some headphones I’ve used in the past the slide stop would wear out until they would no longer stay properly adjusted. The pivot arm just rotates into place giving you that final piece of the custom fit feeling.
For those that want some tech specs, the drivers are 50mm, fiber-reinforced dynamic drivers. The impedance is 42 ohms with a frequency response of 15Hz-20kHz.
So, how was the sound? Well damn good. Right now I’m listening to the Contrast soundtrack, which is reminiscent of an old time, whiskey soaked, jazz speakeasy; that stand-up bass thumps out a slow rhythm while Laura Ellis croons about hard love lost. They are heavenly for music, but I decided to give them a second test, a week at work. Now our new newsroom is not a quiet atmosphere. It's loud enough that I brought in a pair of really good noise cancelling headphones I got years ago.
On the first day, from the very beginning, I noticed the Lola’s kept out as much, if not more, unwanted sound as my non-powered noise canceling headphones. It was pretty impressive to say the least. That week was nothing but good sounding audio as I cut the video for air. By the end of the week I was seriously considering taking home my noise canceling headphones and continue using the Lola's!
As great as the Lola's are I do have one problem with them, the shape of the headphone cable. It's a flat cable, not round like most. Being a flat cable made it very difficult to work with when trying to wind it up for storage at the end of the day. Over the years, I've learned how to wind cable so that I can hold one end and drop the bundle to unwind it with no tangles. Taking it out the next morning the flat cord would unfurl into a tangled mess. This cable fought me at every turn.
Overall I was very impressed with the Lola headphones by Blue. A fit that was comfortable enough that I could wear them all day at work with a clear sweet sound for listening to music or sound bites from multiple politicians. They are such good headphones I’m considering checking out their microphones when I have a chance. I recommend the Lola headphones by Blue if you are interested a solid set of headphones.
For more information see Blue's Lola headphones web page.