Blue has been making a serious push in the headphone space over the past few months. The company finally took the wraps off of the Blue Ella, Lola, and Sadie headphones towards the end of last year, boasting three offerings across three very different price ranges.
But which of the three headphones is for you? You may have seen your three reviews of the Blue Lola, Ella, and Sadie headphones over the past few weeks. Now, we’re going to put the headphones head to head to help you decide which pair is the right pair for your needs.
If you want a slightly more in-depth look at a particular pair, check out the reviews by clicking the links below:
Design And Comfort
Design isn’t going to be the reason to choose one of these pairs of headphones over another — that’s because all three of them look almost the same. They all feature the same Formula 1-inspired frame, the same almost alien look, and the same bulky yet solid build. In fact, the only real difference between them is the color scheme — and interestingly enough, we preferred the sleek black color scheme of the cheapest headphones, Lola, the most — although that’s largely down to personal preference.
While there’s not much difference between the headphones in the design department, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about design. All three of the headphone look great, and are built to last. Sure, they look a little alien — but we mean that in the best way possible, and it translates to uniqueness more than anything else.
All three of the headphones are also quite comfortable, too. They all boast a ton of foam on both the earcups and the headband, and the clamp isn’t too hard at all — which is helpful on large headphones like these.
It is important to note that there are a few other small differences in design here — for example, the cabling is much nicer on Ella than it is on any of the other two, because it’s a braided nylon rather than plastic. Still, that likely won’t be the reason for you to buy a pair of headphones over another.
So if you won’t be buying one of these pairs of headphones for their design, what will you be basing your decision on? Sound. While all three of the headphones sound great, their sound quality varies a little from model to model.
Let’s start with the Blue Ella headphones, which are the most expensive and thus the standard here. Now, these cans have one major advantage over both the other headphones — they use planar-magnetic drivers rather than dynamic drivers. What does that mean? Well, without getting too technical (you can read about the technicalities here), it means that they can reduce distortion because there’s an even driving source applied to the diaphragm without the need for any added hardware. That also results in an excellent transient response, so planar magnetic headphones generally offer clearer high-end.
Now, let’s not confuse that with the headphones offering more high-end. It seems a little like to compensate for the change in driver type, Blue has tuned the Sadie’s to offer quite a substantial high-end bump — which sounds great, but may not be as natural-sounding or as flat as the high-end on the Ella headphones.
Both the Ella headphones and the Sadie headphones feature a built-in headphone amp. Now, we’re not exactly sure if they feature the same amp or not, but they do both offer three modes — off, on, and “On+,” which engages a bass boosting circuit in the headphones. There’s a subtle difference between on and On+, but it’s certainly there. It certainly doesn’t achieve the “megabass” status that you might expect from Beats headphones — but these aren’t built for the same people that are looking for a Beats-type sound profile.
The third and final model is the Lola, which features dynamic drivers and does not have a headphone amp. It does still, however, sound great. We argued in our review that a little more high-end would be welcome, as would a tiny bit more bass.
All three of these headphones are built for audiophiles, but — surprise, surprise — the Ella’s are the most audiophile-friendly. Here’s a quick rundown of their sound profiles:
- Ella is the clearest and flattest of the three, which is what audiophiles are looking for. Ella has clean and clear high-end as well as deep and powerful bass — but in no frequency range does Ella overdo it.
- Thanks to the pronounced high-end, Sadie could be described as the most “exciting” of the three. Sadie also offers bass-response that’s on-par with what Ella offers.
- Lola is the least high-end friendly of the three, but still offers better high-end response than most in its price range. Lola also offers deep and rich bass, but not to the same extent as Ella and Sadie with their “On+” modes.
Unsurprisingly, Ella is the standout pair of headphones here, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. Ella offers the most natural-sounding response of the trio, while Sadie offers a great middle-ground to those looking for an excellent pair of headphones that won’t break the bank. Lola may not be the best of the bunch, but Lola is a way-above par set of cans for the price.
You can buy all three for yourself at the links below, and for more information about the headphones, check out the reviews we linked to at the top of this article.