Login or Sign Up
Welcome, !
Logout
Join the HC Newsletter
Subscribe Now!

Blue Lola Headphones

Blue's latest headphones look familiar, but how do they sound?

by Phil O'Keefe

 

 

Blue made quite an impression on a lot of people when they entered the headphone market back in 2014, and indeed their Mo-Fi headphones do have a lot going for them - check out my Blue Mo-Fi review here on Harmony Central for all the details. But as I was promised when I wrote that review, Blue had no plans to stick with only one headphone in their line, and today we'll be taking a look at their newest headphone model. Called Lola, they bear more than a superficial resemblance to Mo-Fi in appearance, but is the similarity more than skin deep? Let's put them to the test and find out.


What You Need To Know

  • Based on the earlier Mo-Fi headphones, Lola is similar in many ways, but with a few significant differences, which I'll note throughout the course of the review.

  • Lola is a sealed back, circumaural headphone. Since the ear pads wrap around the ear and seal against your head and the ear cups are fully enclosed with no vents, the isolation is quite good. That means you won't be annoyed by sounds around you while trying to listen, and you won't have to worry too much about the headphone mix leaking into your microphones while recording.

  • Blue manufacturers Lola using large custom-designed high-precision fiber-reinforced 50mm dynamic drivers. They sit within a large air-tight sealed chamber along with tuned damping material. Impedance of Lola is 42 ohms, and the frequency response is listed as 15Hz - 20kHz, with no tolerance given.

  • There are two cables included with Lola - a Apple iPhone-compatible 1.2 meter TRRS cable, complete with microphone and play / level controls and a 1/8" TRS stereo 3 meter cable. Both cables have a rather flat ribbon-like design to them, as opposed to your typical rounded cable. It's a little different, and it doesn't coil up quite as easily, but in actual use it's less of an annoyance than I thought it would be when I first spotted them in the package.
  • Regardless of which cable you choose, it connects to a female jack at the bottom of the left ear cup. Gone is the three-position switch that Mo-Fi has at the jack - since Lola is unpowered, there's no need for it. Likewise, you won't find Mo-Fi's USB charging port or the LEDs below the Blue logo on Lola either.

  • Blue also includes a nice storage bag and a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter so you can use Lola with a variety of devices, regardless of the type of headphone output jack they have.

  • Since the amplifier and associated batteries that come built into Mo-Fi are not included in Lola, the later is noticeably lighter than the former, but make no mistake - at 397g (14 ounces), Lola is still a heavy set of cans by just about any standards. However, that weight is very well distributed by the innovative headband design, and they really don't feel that heavy to me in actual use; in fact, aside from the weight, they've very comfortable cans to wear.
     
  • While the review unit I was shipped to check out came in black, Lola is also offered in white.
  • Regardless of color, the basic look of the two Blue headphone models - Lola and Mo-Fi - is very similar. You get the same unique, beefy all-metal multi-jointed band design, with the same degree of customization and adjustability. Inspired by race car suspensions, it's not only unusual looking, but also very practical; it quickly and easily adjusts to a wide range of head sizes and ear locations. Lola is only slightly different in that it lacks the adjustable headband tension dial found in the middle of the headband on Mo-Fi. Instead, the spring-loaded headband tension is factory-set and is not user adjustable, but it is a bit slimmer and lighter.

  • As with Mo-Fi, Lola's ear cups and pads are ear-shaped and the headband pad and ear cup pads are made of memory foam, and covered with a very soft leather-like vinyl material. The ear cups fit around your ears very comfortably, and although may be a bit snug around the perimeter of your ears if you have large pinnae, they don't press uncomfortably on them.

 

Limitations

  • While lighter than Mo-Fi, the weight of Lola headphones is still significant and may be an issue for some users when worn for long periods of time.

  • Without the built-in amplifier of Blue's other headphones, Lola is less well suited for use with very low-output tablets and phones. It will work with them, but Lola lacks the Mo-Fi's ability to compensate for their low output levels. If that's critical for you, then Mo-Fi is the better choice.

  • Of course, the advantage - and downside of a sealed back, circumaural headphone design is that it does seal you off from the world around you, so these may not be the best headphones to use when you need to maintain a higher degree of awareness of what's going on in the outside world, such as when walking down and crossing busy city streets.

 

Conclusions

As you may have surmised by now, Lola is very different from most other headphones but they are very similar to Blue's Mo-Fi, only without the built-in amplifier and associated features. This makes Lola not only lighter than Mo-Fi (by a notable amount - 69 grams) but also less expensive. Are you giving anything else up in exchange for the lighter weight and lower cost? Not really - only the Mo-Fi's adjustment control on the top of the headband and the cool LEDs, but those are unneeded on passive headphones anyway.

Most importantly, Lola has the exact same high-quality sound that Mo-Fi has. While I was unable to compare them side by side, I've spent quite a bit of time listening to both pairs of cans, and when Mo-Fi is running passively there is really no difference in the way they sound compared to Lola. If you don't need the onboard amp, you can spend less and still get virtually everything else that's so cool about Mo-Fi from Lola - the custom adjustability and fit of the race car suspension-inspired headband, the rugged construction quality, the large sealed ear cups and comfortable memory foam pads and exceptionally detailed and balanced sound quality that is both accurate and fun and inspiring to listen to, whether you're tracking, mixing or just kicking back and listening for enjoyment. These are great cans! 

 


Resources

Blue Lola headphones ($249.99 "street")

Blue's product web page

Blue Headphones


You can Purchase Blue's Lola headphones from:

Sweetwater

Guitar Center

B&H Photo Video

Musician's Friend






Specifications:
 
    •    Type and size: 50mm, fiber-reinforced dynamic driver
    •    Impedance: 42 ohms
    •    Frequency response: 15Hz-20kHz
    •    Enclosure details: Sealed enclosure with tuned damping materials
    •    Weight: 397g (14oz)
    •    Outer dimensions: (closed) 21cm x 14cm x12cm, 8.27”x 5.51”x 4.72”
    •    (open) 18cm x 29cm x 12cm, 7.09”x 11.42”x 4.72”

Package contents: 

    •    Lola
    •    Soft case with cable storage pocket
    •    1.2-meter audio cable with Apple iPhone/iPad controls and microphone
    •    3 meter audio cable
    •    3.5mm to 1/4” adaptor




__________________________________________________

 

Phil O'Keefe is a multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer / producer and the Senior Editor of Harmony Central. He has engineered, produced and performed on countless recording sessions in a diverse range of styles, with artists such as Alien Ant Farm, Jules Day, Voodoo Glow Skulls, John McGill, Michael Knott and Alexa's Wish. He is a former featured monthly columnist for EQ magazine, and his articles and product reviews have also appeared in Keyboard, Electronic Musician and Guitar Player magazines.  

No comments
Join the discussion...
Post Comment
More Cool Stuff
News
  Useful Arts Audio debuts the  SFP- 60 and BF-1 at AES NY 2017 &...
Musicians – Are You Living in the Past? Maybe it’s time to broaden y...
x
sign in
x
contact us
*Indicates required fields
Name *
Email Address *
Issue Type *
submit
x
message
okay
please wait