With the EHX Hot Threads, Electro-Harmonix give us a pair of headphones which – judging by their data – are supposed to provide us with mega-cheap broadband sound. We tested them out to see if it worked.
Package, design and materials
There’s not much to write about when the Electro-Harmonix EHX Hot Threads are delivered, as apart from the headphones themselves, there is just one cable in the box. Only at second glance does it become apparent that a small, inconspicuous remote control is integrated into them. It has a single button for answering and hanging up calls, and includes a microphone. Accordingly, the lower end of the cable is equipped with a four-pin mini jack plug. At the upper end, there is a three-pin.
The design of these headphones is appealingly stylish and is based on the everyday models of other well-known headphone suppliers. The ear cups and headband are finished in matt black and unfortunately, grease and moisture typically cause some staining. If you want to use these headphones on a daily basis, you should, therefore, be prepared for the fact that the matt finish won’t last too long. The materials are kept simple throughout. Nevertheless, the central moving elements of the headband are screwed together, indicating that heavily stressed parts can be replaced. (Although this is hardly worthwhile with such a cheap headphone).
Dynamic 40 mm drivers operate inside the ear cups. They deliver sound over an immense frequency range from 12 to 22,000 Hz. Electro-Harmonix advertises that their headphones use CVC 6.0 technology (CVC = Clear Voice Capture). This is intended to provide “Depth Noise Reduction” for the microphone. It enhances the sound of speech by reducing background noise. However, the manufacturer does not provide details of data and values.
Haptics & handling
The feel of the Electro-Harmonix EHX Hot Threads corresponds to their purchase price. You definitely shouldn’t expect too much here. What’s pleasing is that the device is ultra-light at just 127 g and only 143 g with the included cable. Therefore, the weight of the headphones is imperceptible, but their fit isn’t very secure due to the low contact pressure. The relatively stiff size adjustment of the headband is slightly ratcheted, and the subsequent room for manoeuvre makes these headphones suitable for large heads. Because the ear cups can be tilted and rotated to one side, the headphones can be reasonably well adapted to the shape of your head. The rotation of the ear cups could be a bit smoother, though. As the gripping arms of the headband can also be folded, the Electro-Harmonix headphones can be stowed flat and in a compact manner. Too bad that there is no soft carrying bag included. The surface of the matte black device is also relatively sensitive to scratches.
For my taste, closed on-ear headphones should have enough contact pressure to be able to fill the ears without large sound losses at the pad-to-ear interface. Unfortunately, this is not the case with this device. In combination with “only” on-ear instead of ear-enclosing cushions, the area around the Hot Threads is also exposed to sound. These headphones accentuate the mid-range and thus ensure good speech intelligibility. Their surprisingly good bass reproduction extends into the low bass range. However, I noticed a hollowed-out stereo centre. This effect changes as the ear cups are moved back and forth on the ears, but cannot be completely prevented in any of their positions. What surprised me was that I liked the frequency image of the Hot Threads best when they were driven by a loud audio signal. This also made the treble range sound well integrated. The super-high frequency range nevertheless always remained attenuated.
In terms of dynamics, these headphones are set up according to their price range. However, the subtle highs and upper mids reduce the depth and stereo impression. All in all, these headphones are undoubtedly capable of listening to pop music at high volumes without distortion, and thanks to their closed design, the sound doesn’t penetrate too loudly.
A thumbs up is earned for the microphone, which is embedded in the cable together with the remote button. Although it is quite far away from the ear cups, it delivers a clearly defined sound when telephoning, which makes the voice of the headphone wearer easily understandable thanks to the Clear-Voice-Capture-Technology.
The Electro-Harmonix EHX Hot Threads are an over-the-ear everyday headphone to suit those with a small budget and, as such, they have some strengths and some weaknesses. The range of features is small, and the exchangeable cable with microphone and remote control button is the highlight. The design of the EHX Hot Threads is stylish, but the matt surface of the headphones is prone to wear and tear. The Hot Threads are ultra-light, but their handiness is limited despite their folding mechanism. The dynamic 40 mm drivers deliver sound in a wide frequency range down to the deepest low bass and reproduce audio up to high volume ranges without distortion. These headphones are therefore particularly suitable for listening to loud pop, dance and urban music styles. Although it may be that the sound and the position of the stereo centre is affected.
- Ear couplingOn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)12 - 22.000 Hz
- Weight with cable310 g
- Weight without cable257 g
- Cable length290 cm
What's in the box
- Cable with remote