The circumaural Ollo Audio S5X takes the typical sound profile of other models from the Slovenian manufacturer and pushes it a step further with extended highs and even smoother bass. Despite an open design, they offer comparatively good attenuation of external noise. A natural, warm sound fits perfectly with the straightforward appearance of the S5X. Combined with easy handling and high wearing comfort, these headphones convinced me all along the line.
If you are looking for elegant-sounding studio headphones with a sound that is not completely neutral and sober but instead uncomplicated and warm, the Ollo Audio S5X are a good choice. There is also a trial period so users can find out whether they are suitable for mixing.
- neutral-natural sound with a warm touch
- strong low basses
- high isolation to the inside
- comfortable fit
- easy handling
- interchangeable cable
- easy to service
- rather individual suitability for mixing and mastering
- relatively loose fit
The Ollo Audio S5X over-ear headphones impress with their clean design, great wearing comfort and easy handling. In terms of sound, it offers ultra-deep bass, detailed mids, and silky highs that seem more open than its little brother S4X. All this comes together in a sound image that is sober, but with its warm sound note only suitable for selected mixing and mastering situations.
What do open mixing and mastering headphones for binaural music and Dolby Atmos offer in practice? The Ollo Audio S5X dynamic over-ear headphones demonstrate.
Ollo Audio S5X package
The rural area around the Slovenian village of Šempas is not well-known as a centre of headphone development and production. But as Ollo Audio has already shown us with their S4X and S4R models, they not only deliver really good quality but can also compete sonically with big-name headphone manufacturers.
With the S5X, Ollo Audio have put a very special horse into the race. But first things first. In addition to the device, the package of these studio headphones includes an interchangeable cable with a gold-plated screw adapter, a zipped bag for dust-free storage and transport of the headphones, and a lanyard. In addition, the manufacturer treats the buyer to a frequency measurement protocol of its quality control and a certificate of authenticity. If you still have any doubts about buying these headphones, Ollo Audio offers a 5-year warranty and a 30-day trial period from the date of delivery. For this, we give a big thumbs-up.
Ollo Audio S5X – design and construction
The design of the Ollo Audio S5X fits seamlessly into the aesthetic of the S4R and S4X models. Like these, the headphones’ appearance is defined by the matte finishes of its medium-dark American walnut wood ear cups, a matte-black powder-coated stainless steel headband and black ear cushions.
The actual technical design, however, has been overhauled compared to the S4X and S4R models. This starts with the ear pads, which now have a perforated surrounding edge. This should allow air to escape without causing bass loss. In this model, the acoustically open backs of the ear cups are each covered by a screwed-on metal grill with stylish air outlets. Underneath, a fabric grille protects the interior.
With a diameter of 95mm, the ear cups don’t look too bulky, but they still make it clear at first glance that we’re dealing with circumaural headphones. The S5X has clear shapes, simple mechanics and screw connections that every buyer can loosen and tighten themselves at home, should they wish and be able to repair the headphones themselves in the distant future outside the warranty period. A 2.5mm mini jack socket is provided on the underside of each ear cup as the connection for the audio feed line.
Technology and values of the Ollo Audio S5X
The Ollo Audio S5X use neodymium magnets and dual-layer coils to make its PET dynamic-drive diaphragm vibrate at frequencies from 5 Hz to 22 kHz. It thus offers deeper bass and higher treble than the human ear can usually perceive. The distortion-free maximum level of 97.35 dB compares favourably with the competition. An average impedance of 49.45 ohms just about makes the S5X suitable for smart devices – without becoming too quiet when used with them. To ensure that the sonic fit of the left and right earpieces is optimal, their sound reproduction is measured during production, and the headphones are fitted with the best possible couplings.
The Ollo Audio S5X is designed to give studio engineers the ability to produce their work in Dolby Atmos and create binaural music on headphones without any nasty sonic surprises. To this end, results during the development phase of the S5X, Ollo Audio measured appropriate listening locations and tried to match the sound profile to these measurements.
The handling of the Ollo Audio S5X
The handling of the S5X is as straightforward as the design. However, the two-way interchangeable cable plugs into both ear cups without further security. The leatherette headband automatically adjusts the headphones to fit different head widths. The feel of the headband is wonderfully comfortable. The ear pads, made of soft and elastic polyurethane leather, have velour fronts that hug the ears. Inside the pads, acoustic memory foam ensures a good fit to the shape of your head. However, with their inner diameter of 57.5mm, the ear cup pads are suitable for normal-sized ears but not necessarily for large ears. The headphones’ contact pressure has been well-balanced by the manufacturer. It is strong enough to hold the headphones securely and light enough to withstand prolonged wearing without headaches. Jerky movements are met with minimal slippage.
Ollo Audio S5X – Sound
In practice, the technical rearrangement of the inner workings resulted in the S5X exhibiting silkier highs than the S4R and S4X models, and it appeared somewhat more open in the super-high range. This also affected the perception of signal resolution and the subjectively perceived depth of sound. Both seemed greater with the S5X than with its predecessors. Nevertheless, the typical Ollo Audio sound signature has not been lost. To me, the midrange seemed to be balanced and rich in detail without annoying frequency peaks. And this model once again offers a high level of speech intelligibility.
Bass and low bass were well positioned. In the bass range, the headphones placed more emphasis on differentiated sound than on sheer bass pressure. Nevertheless, the headphones effortlessly reproduced the sound range of dance and urban music tracks down to the deepest sub-bass range, the kind of thing that makes the walls and bodies vibrate in the clubs.
The overall warm and silky sound of the Ollo Audio S5X was complemented by soft transients so that the entire sound image seemed to be coherent and consistent. The “natural” sound of these headphones, therefore, matches their visual appearance with matt dark wood and a simple, straightforward design. With a maximum of 97.35 dBSPL the S5X stands with the other Ollo Audio models we have tested before in terms of volume. Since these are open headphones, acoustic isolation from the outside is not a priority. It is all the more surprising, therefore, that the attenuation of external noise on these headphones was top-notch for a headphone of this type, despite the open backs.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)15 - 22.000 Hz
- Impedance49,45 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)97,35 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head771,5 g
- Weight with cable477 g
- Weight without cable417 g
- Cable length190 cm
What's in the box
- interchangeable cable
- gold plated screw adapter
- zipper bag
- certificate of authenticity
- protocol of the frequency measurement