December 2021 - 38

REVIEW
a USB-C cable. For studio use, or practicing
for that matter, I'd recommend opting
for a longer cable.
The previous Hi-X models are among
Austrian Audio
Hi-X15 & Hi-X25BT
Affordable high-quality headphones
with optional Bluetooth
REVIEW BY ALEX HAWLEY
A
ustrian Audio expands its Hi-X line of professional headphones
with the Hi-X15 and Hi-X25BT. We covered the flagship Hi-X65
open-back headphones in the September 2021 issue. The Hi-X15
and Hi-X25BT enter the ranks on the other end of the spectrum as more
affordable options while still featuring the acclaimed high excursion
driver technology found in their more expensive siblings.
Hi-Xpectations
Keeping with the established Hi-X standard,
both the Hi-X15 and Hi-X25BT are
designed in Austria, but they are the first
Austrian Audio headphones manufactured
overseas to achieve their affordable price
point. Both feature a closed-back, over-ear
design intended to deliver an authentic listening
experience. The Hi-X25BT is touted
as an analog / digital pro-level hybrid;
you can listen wirelessly on your commute
via integrated Bluetooth 5.0, and then
plug in with the traditional 3.5mm or 1
/4
"
jack when you arrive at the session. You
can also listen digitally via USB-C, and
you can simultaneously listen wirelessly
via Bluetooth while charging via USB-C.
Both models are suitable for a wide range
of applications including tracking, mixing,
practicing, and enjoyment (the Hi-X25BT
having the wireless edge!).
38 RECORDING DECEMBER 2021
The Hi-X25BT has a 30-hour battery life.
The analog connection will work with or
without power, so no worries if you forget
to charge before a studio session. It also
features an integrated microphone for
phone calls and a touch control system on
the right ear for quick volume adjustments.
Like the rest of the Hi-X line, both models
reviewed here feature the same 44mm
driver and ring magnet system. I have gone
into great detail about this system in previous
Hi-X reviews; these are ultra-fast and
responsive drivers with a high degree of
precision for accurate reproduction across
the board, including sub-bass frequencies.
Both models have a listed frequency
response of 12 Hz-24 kHz and an impedance
of 25Ω, ensuring good performance
even with consumer-level products. Both
models come with a (relatively short) 4.5'
detachable cable, while the Hi-X25BT adds
the most rugged and comfortable headphones
I have ever reviewed. The Hi-X15
and Hi-X25BT fall right in line, with the
same super-soft low-retaining foam on the
ear cups. The new arrivals have a slightly
updated aesthetic with a flash of red on
the metal hinge. They do feel less robust
in the hands, with more plastic than their
more expensive counterparts. However,
I'm confident that they could withstand a
fair share of road use thrown their way,
given the metal hinges and foldable
body. I'd still classify the build quality as
well above average for its price range.
Sounds
The Hi-X15 and Hi-X25BT sound airy
and modern. In this context, I would
classify 'modern' as having a punchy lowend
combined with stunning, sparkling
clean highs, highlighting a nice airy
sheen on the top of vocals and hi-hats. The
low-end is robust, with plenty of energy
extending to sub-bass frequencies. Much
like their siblings, the high excursion driver
design feels tight all the way across the
spectrum. No over-emphasized 'bass for
the sake of bass' here; rather, these cans
provide an experience similar to mixing
on nearfield monitors. The midrange feels
slightly pulled back to my ears, not quite
matching the level of detail in the lows or
highs. The resulting sound is pleasing and
full of life. While it doesn't quite match the
immediate level of accuracy I perceived in
the previous Hi-X models, again, those are
a fair bit pricier.
The soundstage has tons of depth with
superb imaging. The closed-back design
lends itself beautifully for tracking sessions,
where it provides excellent isolation
to avoid headphone bleed.
Wrap up
I wouldn't be surprised to see the Hi-X15
and Hi-X25BT make their way to more and
more studio settings, especially live rooms,
as I expect the sonic signature would
get musicians excited and inspired while
tracking. Overall, I'm highly impressed by
the quality, comfort, and sound of these
latest Austrian Audio additions!
Price: $119 Hi-X15; $179 Hi-X25BT
More From: austrian.audio

December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2021

Fade In
Fast Forward
RECORDING’s 2021Holiday Buyer’s Guide
Arturia: MiniFuse 2
AKG: Ara Professional Two-Pattern USB Condenser Microphone
A day in the head of Still Woozy: Making modern pop and beyond
Austrian Audio: Hi-X15
Plugin Outlet: Black Rooster Audio OmniTec-67A
Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Free and Entry-level DAWs
ART: Project Series USB Pre IV Audio Interface
Plugin Outlet: Reverb Foundry Tai-Chi
Audeze: Euclid Closed-Back Planar Magnetic In-ear Monitors
Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 12 Mastering and Beyond: The Final Steps…
Genelec 8361A
Focusrite: Clarett+ 8 Pre
Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby From the Studio to The Stage
Pioneer DJ VM-80 Active Monitor Speaker
Fade Out: Don’t Wait—Create!
December 2021 - Intro
December 2021 - Cover1
December 2021 - Cover2
December 2021 - 1
December 2021 - 2
December 2021 - 3
December 2021 - Fade In
December 2021 - 5
December 2021 - 6
December 2021 - 7
December 2021 - Fast Forward
December 2021 - 9
December 2021 - RECORDING’s 2021Holiday Buyer’s Guide
December 2021 - 11
December 2021 - 12
December 2021 - 13
December 2021 - 14
December 2021 - 15
December 2021 - 16
December 2021 - 17
December 2021 - 18
December 2021 - 19
December 2021 - 20
December 2021 - 21
December 2021 - Arturia: MiniFuse 2
December 2021 - 23
December 2021 - AKG: Ara Professional Two-Pattern USB Condenser Microphone
December 2021 - 25
December 2021 - A day in the head of Still Woozy: Making modern pop and beyond
December 2021 - 27
December 2021 - 28
December 2021 - 29
December 2021 - 30
December 2021 - 31
December 2021 - 32
December 2021 - 33
December 2021 - 34
December 2021 - 35
December 2021 - 36
December 2021 - 37
December 2021 - Austrian Audio: Hi-X15
December 2021 - 39
December 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Black Rooster Audio OmniTec-67A
December 2021 - 41
December 2021 - Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Free and Entry-level DAWs
December 2021 - 43
December 2021 - 44
December 2021 - 45
December 2021 - ART: Project Series USB Pre IV Audio Interface
December 2021 - 47
December 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Reverb Foundry Tai-Chi
December 2021 - 49
December 2021 - Audeze: Euclid Closed-Back Planar Magnetic In-ear Monitors
December 2021 - 51
December 2021 - Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 12 Mastering and Beyond: The Final Steps…
December 2021 - 53
December 2021 - 54
December 2021 - 55
December 2021 - Genelec 8361A
December 2021 - 57
December 2021 - Focusrite: Clarett+ 8 Pre
December 2021 - 59
December 2021 - Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby From the Studio to The Stage
December 2021 - 61
December 2021 - Pioneer DJ VM-80 Active Monitor Speaker
December 2021 - 63
December 2021 - 64
December 2021 - 65
December 2021 - 66
December 2021 - 67
December 2021 - 68
December 2021 - 69
December 2021 - 70
December 2021 - 71
December 2021 - Fade Out: Don’t Wait—Create!
December 2021 - Cover3
December 2021 - Cover4
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