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Nectar HiveX Electrostatic Headphones

VSG

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Nectar Sound is a US-based one person outfit that is making waves for its high-value, high-performance headphones. Today we examine their HiveX electrostatic headphones that aim to change the market entirely when it comes to bass response and overall sound presentation at an affordable price.

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Intereseting I've been looking at this brand for a bit. Good review as always! The price on these seems really good but as always with electros the killer is in the amp. I might audition these. IMHO I'd just go with their amp though rather than faff about on used ones.
 
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VSG

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Intereseting I've been looking at this brand for a bit. Good review as always! The price on these seems really good but as always with electros the killer is in the amp. I might audition these. IMHO I'd just go with their amp though rather than faff about on used ones.
His amp is still $2k, so the cost barrier remains. If you do end up purchasing it, please share photos with your impressions of it.
 
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His amp is still $2k, so the cost barrier remains. If you do end up purchasing it, please share photos with your impressions of it.

Will do if I decide to. Really 2k is not bad for an amp but my gripe with estat amps is they are pretty much just estat amps. The entire eco system is just pricey.
 
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Miiksuli

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Nice review! I agree the pad attachment mechanisms could be better. Now you mentioned the treble airiness. I have tested this HP with different earpads and you get more treble with round sheepskins or protein leather. It would be nice to have different ear pads included. My still favorite pads are aftermarket perforated oval sheepskins. I'm a bit allergic to high treble.

Also this Hive(X) has very low distortion of the entire frequency response. My amp and transformer combo cost a beefy 3400€ Modded DAC and preamp 900€.

Will do if I decide to. Really 2k is not bad for an amp but my gripe with estat amps is they are pretty much just estat amps. The entire eco system is just pricey.
Ifi Audio is probably bringing iESL Pro back to life. It can also drive dynamic headphones but you need to make your own 4 pin XLR to something adapter if your hp does not have that. If you are going to use dynamic HP then options are limited to not tube amps. Yes, it needs a stereo amp to work. They all have audible humm and are not suited for dynamic headphones but luckily it works with e-stats.

Edit. Added links and fixed grammar errors.

Here is the two different pads I recommend for this headphone: (size is 100mm)
 
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There are a few hybrid amps but those are even more expensive!

Yerp. There is this though I've been eyeballing https://bottlehead.com/product/stat-electrostatic-headphone-energizer/

The issue is I'm not single. She doesn't really monitor what I spend money on but she's not naive. While massive OLEDs and stuff won't cause an issue, and smaller audio stuff is ignored, I'm sure if I unboxed an estat setup she'd take one look at the reciepts and I'd get the "you spent what on what!" moment.
 

VSG

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Yerp. There is this though I've been eyeballing https://bottlehead.com/product/stat-electrostatic-headphone-energizer/

The issue is I'm not single. She doesn't really monitor what I spend money on but she's not naive. While massive OLEDs and stuff won't cause an issue, and smaller audio stuff is ignored, I'm sure if I unboxed an estat setup she'd take one look at the reciepts and I'd get the "you spent what on what!" moment.
I suppose if you have a decent speaker amplifier then getting a converter box would be a decent compromise. Talk to Nectar Sound and see what he has available either way.
 
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I suppose if you have a decent speaker amplifier then getting a converter box would be a decent compromise. Talk to Nectar Sound and see what he has available either way.

I question the viability of these. Those are 600-1000 and aren't a better solution than an energizer and at that range I'm more prone to say fuck it and get the energizer anyways.

These seem like a killer deal and I'd love to own a set. I also have the budget for it. It's just it's dedicated and just for that. I'll see what my bonus this year is as well. I already sold off a lot of stuff because "why do you need so many headphone amps, half just sit on the shelf" so I know exactly how "well, these things only work with one type of amp and it won't work with any of my other stuff" is going to go down and when she see's vacume tubes she knows I splurged. I dunno I guess I can snoop her guilt.com browsing history and get her something and deliver it all to the office then smuggle it home and pretend it was all one giant gift for "both" of us.
 

Miiksuli

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Yerp. There is this though I've been eyeballing https://bottlehead.com/product/stat-electrostatic-headphone-energizer/

The issue is I'm not single. She doesn't really monitor what I spend money on but she's not naive. While massive OLEDs and stuff won't cause an issue, and smaller audio stuff is ignored, I'm sure if I unboxed an estat setup she'd take one look at the reciepts and I'd get the "you spent what on what!" moment.
This is expensive. I would wait for the iESL. Its transparent and bias voltage and impedance can be changed for your liking. It's only 1700€.
 
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This is expensive. I would wait for the iESL. Its transparent and bias voltage and impedance can be changed for your liking. It's only 1700€.

That's 100 bucks more than what I was looking at which is chump change at this end. I also kinda like tube amps for estats and planars.
 

Miiksuli

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That's 100 bucks more than what I was looking at which is chump change at this end. I also kinda like tube amps for estats and planars.
But you get more features and can be used for any headphone. Maybe if you find a very quiet tube amp it may be suitable for dynamics and planars. I'm a tube guy too but I get a very loud humm when using dynamic headphones with Muzishare X7. No humm when using e-stats. I use Topping DX7 Pro + L30 II compo for different headphones. And you can get more tube'ish sound with Burson Audio V6 Classic opamps.
 

kha

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When I wanted to buy good headphones, Nectar was on top of the list, but I discovered they are sold only from US and importing them in EU will add a significant price increase. Then I found that I need an energizer, which isn't cheap, and I bought Edition XS locally. I usually like to buy from smaller companies if they have good products.

@VSG I can't wait for the Susvara review. It would be nice to add your impressions about gaming with the headphones reviewed for the imaging and soundstage paragraph. If the HP are good at pinpointing the enemies location in shooters.

Thanks for the usual great review. :lovetpu:
 
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But you get more features and can be used for any headphone. Maybe if you find a very quiet tube amp it may be suitable for dynamics and planars. I'm a tube guy too but I get a very loud humm when using dynamic headphones with Muzishare X7. No humm when using e-stats. I use Topping DX7 Pro + L30 II compo for different headphones. And you can get more tube'ish sound with Burson Audio V6 Classic opamps.

While I get that I have a lot of amps and dacs and blah blah blah and I don't need one for planars or dynamics or stuff like that. I have it! There are two other factors here. First I like small independent stuff so bottlehead makes sense that way. They next is I don't really feel ifi lives up to it's hype. It's not really a knock on them but I prefer chord and questyle in that price range.
 
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VSG

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When I wanted to buy good headphones, Nectar was on top of the list, but I discovered they are sold only from US and importing them in EU will add a significant price increase. Then I found that I need an energizer, which isn't cheap, and I bought Edition XS locally. I usually like to buy from smaller companies if they have good products.

@VSG I can't wait for the Susvara review. It would be nice to add your impressions about gaming with the headphones reviewed for the imaging and soundstage paragraph. If the HP are good at pinpointing the enemies location in shooters.

Thanks for the usual great review. :lovetpu:
I somehow found myself agreeing to review an actual gaming headset soon instead of leaving it to Davorf as usual. So there will be plenty of gaming talk in there coming up at least!

While I get that I have a lot of amps and dacs and blah blah blah and I don't need one for planars or dynamics or stuff like that. I have it! There are two other factors here. First I like small independent stuff so bottlehead makes sense that way. They next is I don't really feel ifi lives up to it's hype. It's not really a knock on them but I prefer chord and questyle in that price range.
I get what you mean, I wasn't even aware of that product and it looks fun too.
 
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I somehow found myself agreeing to review an actual gaming headset soon instead of leaving it to Davorf as usual. So there will be plenty of gaming talk in there coming up at least!


I get what you mean, I wasn't even aware of that product and it looks fun too.

Guess who emailed who about an amp!

Also I like maniac engeers who just crank out crap because, well because. For every Monster or Audioquest cable scam there's some lunatic in their garage thinking "I can do it, but better!" in this hobby. Or some idiot sourcing actual high quality wires and hand doing the whole thing because, well it's awesome!

So when someone sells DIY estat amp kits but will sell you one and powerder coat a metal case for it I'm paying attention. And to be fucking honest it's not more shady than the other dudes "make at home" estat headphones so go all out.
 
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Miiksuli

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When I wanted to buy good headphones, Nectar was on top of the list, but I discovered they are sold only from US and importing them in EU will add a significant price increase. Then I found that I need an energizer, which isn't cheap, and I bought Edition XS locally. I usually like to buy from smaller companies if they have good products.

@VSG I can't wait for the Susvara review. It would be nice to add your impressions about gaming with the headphones reviewed for the imaging and soundstage paragraph. If the HP are good at pinpointing the enemies location in shooters.

Thanks for the usual great review. :lovetpu:
This HiveX is very good for gaming. No problems. I feel that many people play with bad headphones because they don't hear things. Pinpoint accuracy is very good because e-stats cumulative spectral decay (waterfall) is fastest and super low distortion.

While I get that I have a lot of amps and dacs and blah blah blah and I don't need one for planars or dynamics or stuff like that. I have it! There are two other factors here. First I like small independent stuff so bottlehead makes sense that way. They next is I don't really feel ifi lives up to it's hype. It's not really a knock on them but I prefer chord and questyle in that price range.
Yeah, I get that. I have a DAC, iESL. pre-amp then a tank on the table. X7 tube amp weighs 22.5kg. Don't get me wrong I don't think that tube energizer is bad. But iESL has a hidden sleeve. A big capacitor bank. It keeps the charge there and its cleanest sound as possible. Only your DAC and AMP will affect the performance.
 
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This HiveX is very good for gaming. No problems. I feel that many people play with bad headphones because they don't hear things. Pinpoint accuracy is very good because e-stats cumulative spectral decay (waterfall) is fastest and super low distortion.


Yeah, I get that. I have a DAC, iESL. pre-amp then a tank on the table. X7 tube amp weighs 22.5kg. Don't get me wrong I don't think that tube energizer is bad. But iESL has a hidden sleeve. A big capacitor bank. It keeps the charge there and its cleanest sound as possible. Only your DAC and AMP will affect the performance.
I'm not shitting on the ifi it's just I've always found better in the price ranges they fire at. My chord mojo remains the best DAC/amp I've seen in it's range, the questyle m15 the best portable. The only ifi product I've had that stood out to me was the diablo and that's an odd duck.

Agree on headphones for gaming though. I remember back in the Quake 2 era when I got hd280pros with a dac and thought I had sound hacks.

@VSG if you don't have too many iems openaudio witch is a fun set at a cheap price.
 

VSG

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I'm not shitting on the ifi it's just I've always found better in the price ranges they fire at. My chord mojo remains the best DAC/amp I've seen in it's range, the questyle m15 the best portable. The only ifi product I've had that stood out to me was the diablo and that's an odd duck.

Agree on headphones for gaming though. I remember back in the Quake 2 era when I got hd280pros with a dac and thought I had sound hacks.

@VSG if you don't have too many iems openaudio witch is a fun set at a cheap price.
I have WAY too many IEMs man, but yeah I've heard about that set. I'm doing a budget IEM series now including the FiiO JD3 Black Edition, TangZu Audio Wan'er S.G, and Kiwi Ears Cadenza.
 

Miiksuli

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I'm not shitting on the ifi it's just I've always found better in the price ranges they fire at. My chord mojo remains the best DAC/amp I've seen in it's range, the questyle m15 the best portable. The only ifi product I've had that stood out to me was the diablo and that's an odd duck.

Agree on headphones for gaming though. I remember back in the Quake 2 era when I got hd280pros with a dac and thought I had sound hacks.

@VSG if you don't have too many iems openaudio witch is a fun set at a cheap price.
I play alot Apex. Sometimes rookies think I have wallhack :) If you get that tube transformer tell us how it sounds.
 
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I play alot Apex. Sometimes rookies think I have wallhack :) If you get that tube transformer tell us how it sounds.

I already reached out to them. There's going to be some emails back and forth and this isn't a quick process and once the details are nailed down it takes over four weeks for them to build it. I get that's crazy to most people but I used to build my own speakers so I know the effort the dude (and it's always a dude) is going to go through assembling the stupid thing I don't mind paying for it.

Also in the end 1500 for an amp and 640 are both less than a fancy dinner out here so oh well. Just you know, she'd take the dinner over me doing this. So in addition to the chat time with the custom makers to figure out what it's going to be, the time to make it, I need time to concoct a reason (a lie) as to why I did it. She's more than aware that "random not branded box with odd looking items costs a shit ton more than brand name box" when it comes to stuff that arrives here.

It's gonna happen. It's just how it all plays out!
 
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