We recently took a look at the Blue Ella headphones and the Blue Lola headphones, two great pairs of headphones with a lot to offer. There is, however, quite a difference between them. Thankfully, there’s also a headphone model between them. It’s called the Blue Sadie, and it comes at $399, keeps Ella’s awesome headphone amp, but cuts down on some of the $699 price tag.
But are they really a good in-between to the two other headphone models? We took them for a spin to find out.
The Blue Sadie headphones have the same design as Blue’s other headphone models — a design that looks somewhat alien compared to other cans on the mark, but as we said in the Ella and Lola reviews, we quite like the look.
Blue headphone offerings certainly aren’t boring, by any means. According to Blue, the metal frame is modeled after a Formula 1 race car, which makes sense when you look at them. The Blue Sadie headphones feature a mostly black color scheme with silver highlights, which looks very sleek.
The build quality of the Blue Sadie headphones is superb — there’s nothing about them that seems flimsy or badly built, apart from perhaps the audio cable — which definitely isn’t of the same quality as the braided nylon cables that come with the Blue Ella headphones.
On the bottom of the left earcup, you’ll find a microUSB port, which you’ll use for charging the battery that powers the headphone amp, as well as an audio jack. The left earcup also has a switch, which is where you’ll turn the headphone amp on or off. There are actually three options — off, on, and on+, which engages a bass-boosting circuit.
In the box, you’ll get two audio cables — a 1.2m one with in-line controls, and a 3m one. You’ll also get a 3.5mm – 6.3mm adapter and a microUSB cable for charging. Last but not least, the headphones come with a nice soft carry bag.
In general, the Blue Sadie headphones look great and are well-built. They’re certainly a little bulky, but considering the fact that no one will buy these for portability, we can look past the bulk.
As mentioned, the headphones feature quite a bit of padding, and that’s helpful, especially considering the fact that they’re so heavy. In fact, they almost hit a hefty 1lb of weight, which isn’t very common for a pair of headphones.
That doesn’t mean they’re uncomfortable — they actually are. Despite their weight, there’s plenty of padding on the headband which really helps them stay nicely on your head. There’s also plenty of padding on the earcups — more than enough to pad the relatively tight clamp.
In general, while the headphones are heavy, they feature more than enough padding to keep them nice and comfortable. If you wear them all day every day you may experience some neck pain, but we wore them for a few hours per day for a few days in a row and didn’t have any issues.
Before we dive into the nuances of the headphones’ frequency response, a quick warning — start with the source volume turned down. These headphones can get real loud, real quick. That’s thanks to the built-in headphone amplifier. Of course, that’s a good thing — if you can hear distortion on the music you’re listening to you need to then you’re listening to your music way too loud.
As mentioned, there are three listening modes on these headphones — off, on, and on+, which uses a bass enhancing circuit. The “off” mode is a little misleading — if your battery dies you can still listen to music using the “off” mode, which doesn’t use the powered headphone amp and subsequently is quite a bit quieter than listening with the headphone amp.
Let’s start with the bass, which is pretty nicely tuned on these headphones. To be clear, these cans aren’t for mega-bass fans, although on+ does offer a nice bass boost that especially sounds good on hip-hop and pop tracks, like Betty Who’s I Love You, Always Forever, and Dr. Dre’s Forgot About Dre. Instead, these are for audiophiles — fans of natural sounding music and headphones that accurately represent the “way music is supposed to sound,” whatever that means. We found that there was plenty of bass for any situation — but again, if you’re a mega-bass fan you may want to look elsewhere.
The midrange is also very well tuned. The headphones add a little warmth without ever sounding muddy, and the high-mids are what we would call the perfect amount — enough to add some bite to vocals and guitars, but not so much as to make the headphones sound like an old radio. The high-mids do seem to get a slight boost in “off” mode and the music in general sounds a little thinner — but they still sound great.
If there’s anything negative to say about the headphones, it’s that we could have used slightly more high-end, especially at lower volumes — although that’s true of many headphones. At a nice listening volume, the highs are clear and articulated — which is true in all modes.
These headphones are closed-back, and thanks to the ton of padding there’s a good amount of isolation, though if you’re looking to really cut the noise you may want to invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
Blue hit a home run with Ella and Lola, and unsurprisingly it hits a home run with Sadie too. The headphones feature Blue’s excellent headphone amplifier, are nice and comfy despite their weight, and they feature a unique yet sleek look. Sure, they’re a little pricey at $400 — but not as pricey as Ella, and almost as good. If you’re an audiophile looking for a top-of-the-line pair of headphones and don’t want to spring for an expensive headphone amp too, the Blue Sadie headphones are an excellent choice.
|Frequency response||15Hz – 20kHz||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||50mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
|Maximum input power
||No||Cable length||1.2m (4ft), 3m (9ft)|
||3.5mm||Case type||Soft bag|