Blue Microphones Sadie headphones review: There can be only one…

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Blue Microphones Sadie

With a built-in amplifier, clarity in sound, and depth of presence these headphones are excellent consumer grade audiophile headphones.

It feels like I was just writing about headphones not so long ago and here we are back at it again. My headline is a play on the Highlander movies where there can only be one immortal and the battle between them seems everlasting. In my last headphone review, I said there are just so many options on the market it is very hard to make an educated choice. We hope that our reviews are helping you to at least gather some information that is helpful in finding the right headphones for you. This round we have a new brand to us in the Blue Microphones Sadie wired headphones. These are some very unique headphones in a couple of different ways and they are so very close to besting my current favorite headphones. Read on to find out our thoughts on the Blue Microphones Sadie wired headphones.

Specifications

The Blue Microphones Sadie wired headphones have the following features and specifications:

Driver Specs

  • Drivers: 50mm, fiber-reinforced dynamic driver
  • Impedance: 42 ohms
  • Frequency response: 15Hz-20kHz

Amp Specs

  • Output power: 240mW
  • THD+N: 0.004%
  • Frequency response: 15Hz-20kHz
  • SNR, self noise: >105dB
  • Noise: <20 uV
  • Battery capacity: 1,000mAh

Headphone Specs

  • Weight: 444 g (15.67 oz)
  • Outer dimensions (closed): 21cm x 14cm x 12cm; 8.27” x 5.51” x 4.72
  • Outer dimensions (open): 18cm x 29cm x 12cm; 7.09” x 11.42” x 4.72”

What’s In The Box

  • Soft case with cable storage pocket
  • 1.2-meter audio cable with Apple iPhone/iPad controls and microphone
  • 3-meter audio cable
  • 1 meter USB charging cable
  • 3.5mm to 1/4″ adaptor
Blue Microphones Sadie

No other headphones are designed like this.

Design

The first thing you will notice about the Blue Microphones Sadie headphones is how gargantuan they are. Sadie isn’t one to be trifled with as they come in nearly twice the weight of some of the competition. Headphones in this price range usually range in the 7.5-8.5 oz range and Sadie clocks in at a robust 15.67 oz. It’s easy to see where the weight is coming from as the materials used in construction are metal and high-quality plastics. The ear pads and headband also have a massive amount of cushioning which is incredibly comfortable and soft against the skin. I did find the ear pads to get a bit hot in warmer climates, something to be aware of.

The Blue Microphone Sadie headphones are not only heavy but they’re physically large. The ear cups are ample, something I love because my entire ear could fit inside the cup keeping my ears from feeling smushed. The size and weight of these headphones may not be for everyone, you will be noticed wearing these in public. That being said, I didn’t mind the size or weight at all. The comfort of the cushions balanced out the size of these headphones for me. One issue I had with our review unit was a bit of creaking sound coming from the hinges when putting them on, not a deal breaker and could have been just the unit I had.

There’s not much in the way of buttons on the Blue Microphones Sadie headphones. On the left side, you’ll find the AUX port which doubles as the amplifier control. Just near that you’ll find the MicroUSB port for charging the internal battery. No, these are not Bluetooth but battery is required to drive the built-in amp. One of the best features included is music pause, the music will pause when you take these off and the ear cups touch together. This is great when you need to take them off for a bit and do something never having to touch your device to pause the music. Once you get them back on, the music starts again.

Overall the design of the Sadie headphones isn’t going to appeal to everyone and they are on the high end of the heavy and awkward size chart but I really liked what Blue Microphones did with these in the design department.

Blue Microphones Sadie

Amp controls and MicroUSB port.

Ease of Use

Plug and play and be on your way. That’s all it takes to use the Blue Microphones Sadie headphones. It’s probably a good idea to charge them overnight before your first use but once you have that done, it’s just a matter of plugging your cable in. The only control you have to worry about is the amplifier control which has three settings: Off, On, and On+. Off puts the headphones in passive mode so you’re not using the amplifier at all, On turns, the amplifier on (which is wonderful) and On+ gives you an extended bass range. Overall very easy to use.

Sound

In passive mode, these things sound terrific! They have a nicely balanced sound with plenty of personality for just about any sort of genre. Nothing really overtakes anything else, if anything, passive mode has a very slight favoring to the bass end. I’ve been pretty vocal online about my love for another pair of wired headphones and the Blue Microphones Sadie headphones stand on level playing ground with my beloved Master & Dynamic MH40 headphones. That is until you move the amplifier selector to the on position. Here’s what Blue has to say about their built-in amplifier on these babies.

For decades, high-fidelity headphones required a bulky outboard amp. Not anymore. Blue headphones are the first to have an audiophile amp built right in. The amp pairs beautifully with Sadie’s fiber-reinforced 50mm drivers to deliver crystal-clear audio and an even more refined soundstage. Plus, you can personalize your listening experience with three all-analog amp modes—including one that restores the low-end character to vinyl-era music.

Amplifiers or DAC’s are really a great tool and they do bring your music to another level but most people tend not to use them. Why? Well, who wants to take another device with them that hooks into their phone? Unless you’re a real crazy audiophile you’re likely never going to be carrying your DAC with you. Blue Microphones solved this problem by building the amplifier into the headphones themselves.

Blue Microphones Sadie

Huge ear cups take in your entire ear and they sound amazing!

Before I move on to the rest of the sound portion of this review, I know there are likely going to be a few comments about these headphones from users who consider themselves true audiophiles. I don’t pretend to be a hardcore audiophile and I’ve yet to experience insanely priced headphones and DAC’s so my review is from a general consumer aspect. There are most likely more expensive headphones and dedicated amps that will outshine the Sadie headphones but then, those aren’t general consumer grade prices either.

So what I will say is this, once you flip the amplifier to On you will notice the instant clarity in sound and jump in the low-end. The depth of sound is clear here and once I flipped that switch my loyalty to my MH40’s was brought into the crosshairs of the Blue Microphones Sadie headphones. Don’t get me wrong, the MH40’s are still fantastic and with an external DAC they can compete but having that DAC built-in is some extreme value added.

The built-in amp has one more setting called On+ which is meant to “restore the low-end character to vinyl-era music.” On+ really does what it says it does, there is a noticeable boost to the low-end in all types of music. It does tend to make some music sound muddy so I do think it is intended for older genres of music helping to bring that low-end to the front more than the recording allowed. I really enjoyed using these with the amp in the On mode. I felt fully immersed in the music and I felt everything was represented extremely well from vocals to instruments.

Blue Microphones Sadie

The included carrier pouch is soft and supple.

Everything I listened to on these was what a basic consumer would likely use. I have no FLAC files or extreme high-quality files so I can’t speak to what those would sound like with the Sadies. I do know that at a price of $399.99USD the sound delivered here is above and beyond anything else I’ve personally used in a wired headphone. An average consumer is going to like these headphone a whole lot for what they offer, audiophiles will be much more judgmental and that’s perfectly fine as those users likely invest much more cash into their listening experiences.

Reception/Call Quality

There is no Bluetooth on these headphones so reception is a non-issue. Call quality is excellent. The large ear cups do a great job of noise-isolation and callers were loud and clear. Callers could hear me loud and clear as well. There was no reverberation or echoing sounds and most would just say I sounded like I was a good quality speakerphone.

Battery Life

The amplifier battery life is advertised at 12 hours of playtime. Battery life will vary depending on how loud you have the volume. I ran the battery down in just over 12 hours at 60% volume so the battery claims are in line with what Blue advertises. Even if you do run out of battery, these work brilliantly in passive mode as well so you’ll only be left without the amplifier portion of the headphones if the battery does die.

Price/Value

$399.99USD is not at all unjustified for a consumer grade pair of headphones that deliver the sound quality that these deliver. The built-in amp just adds so much value to the overall package. There are competing headphones that cost $100-$150USD more than these that do not sound as good.

Wrap Up

If you’re looking to step up your audio game and want to experience a little of what real audiophiles experience, the Blue Microphones Sadie headphones will get you on the road and not break the bank. Are they ultimately the only one? Well, probably not but they could be the only ones for you and they’re totally worth considering.

*We were sent a review unit of the Blue Microphones Sadie headphones for the purposes of this review.

Blue Microphones Sadie

$399.99 USD
Blue Microphones Sadie
9.6

Design

10/10

    Ease of Use

    10/10

      Sound

      10/10

        Reception/Call Quality

        10/10

          Battery Life

          10/10

            Price/Value

            10/10

              Nailed it

              • Sound is top notch for this price point
              • Built in amp
              • Comfortable headband and ear cups
              • Unique design

              Needs work

              • Design might not appeal to some
              • Could be a bit pricey for some
              • May be a bit heavy for some at 444g
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