AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon over-ear closed-back Headphone - Official Thread


#1

This is the official thread to discuss the NightOwl Carbon from AudioQuest.

Specifications

  • Driver: 50mm Dynamic - Biocellulose Diaphragm - 1.2T Split-Gap Motor
  • Power Handling: 1.5W
  • Sensitivity: 99dBSPL / MW
  • Impedance: 25 Ohms
  • Weight: 346g (12.2 Oz.)

#2

These headphones are at a fantastic price point. Are they a no-brainer purchase now?

Considering their original pricing, I would be interested in opinions/shootout comparing them to:
(1) MrSpeakers Aeon Closed
(2) Campfire Audio Cascade

Also, what types of music genres do the NO Carbon’s excel, and which ones do they not?

As you can tell, I’m a bit on the fence about a future purchase decision.


#3

They are a pretty dark, laid-back headphone. They handle EDM, synthwave, trance, acid jazz, metal pretty well. They aren’t the most detailed when it comes to treble response though. A common criticism when it comes to the NightOwl is that they sound muffled. If you’ve heard Sennheiser’s HD 6++ lineup you will be familiar with the veiled mids.

The Aeon Closed has a much more natural sound while still maintaining some pretty good low end. The NightOwls and the Aeon Closed are pretty similar in comfort but I haven’t spent enough time with the Aeon Closed to do a true comparison between the two. I have a pair on the way and should be here at the end of the week or Monday though so I will do a better comparison then! Same with the Cascades. The general consensus on the Cascades though is that they do clamp pretty tight so the NightOwls probably win out in comfort.

At $399 I would say that they are fairly priced. At their previous price point, they were definitely too much. They do have a very different tuning from other headphones though so they aren’t for everyone, no matter what price point they are at haha.


#4

Thanks for the impressions and feedback @taronlissimore

Cheers!


#5

I love the darker, warm tones of the NO. I also use these with a Loki Mini and can dial in almost any correction. Comfort is outstanding. I traded these for a decent IEM that I wasn’t using. I also considered the Aeon but these were available at the time. If that warm SQ is appealing, these will not disappoint.


#6

what amp and dac do you use with your NO? I’m using my NO with dragonfly black as dac and o2 amp. i don’t know if this is the right combo or not. im very new at this.
do you EQ it?


#7

I personally prefer the Red over the Black when it comes to the NightOwl as I find the Red has a bright colouring to it and tames the darkness of the NightOwl a little bit. I do listen to the the NightOwl’s with all sorts of DAC/AMPs though. The iFi Nano iDSD Black Label I find to be my favourite as I enjoy the Analog control and I find it doesn’t colour the sound as much as either Dragonflies.


#8

I have NightHawk Carbons, but concur. They do best with brightness and amp clarity.