After the success of BLUE’s Mo-Fi active headphone, the company has once again delivered with the Lola. I fell in love with the Mo-Fi while reviewing it back in 2014. Where Mo-Fi has a passive mode with two different active modes, Lola is purely a passive version of Mo-Fi. The omission of active circuitry allows Lola to be lighter weight than its Mo-Fi sibling while delivering a high-quality monitoring experience identical to Mo-Fi in passive mode. The 42-ohm Lola has a 15 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response and includes a 3.9-foot cable with Apple iPhone/iPad controls and microphone, a 9.8-foot audio cable, a 3.5mm to quarter-inch adapter and a soft case with a cable storage pocket.
I had no sonic complaints with BLUE’s Mo-Fi. Its downside is its weightiness; though Mo-Fi is extremely comfortable to wear, after lengthy listening periods the weight becomes too much, at least to me. Lola utilizes the same strikingly unique but comfortable design, though with a slim-fit headband. With no active electronics inside, Lola is Mo-Fi’s slimmer cousin, weighing 14 oz. in comparison to Mo-Fi at 16.4 oz.
Like Mo-Fi, Lola’s innovative headband automatically and instantly adjusts in both height and width as soon as it is worn; it’s like an instantaneous custom-fit headphone that requires no manual adjustments. This design ensures that, regardless of head size, its ear cups will always be in prime listening position. This said, the Lola headphone remains somewhat cumbersome to handle and, though lighter than Mo-Fi, is still comparatively heavy for a studio headphone. That said, Lola is just so comfortable to wear that I find its weight is hardly an issue.
Lola’s earcups incorporate a large and airtight sealed enclosure consisting of a thick wall heavily reinforced on the inside. Its enclosure size maximizes the amount of air space that its 50 mm dynamic drivers perform in, for its full range and articulate sound. Its design incorporates silicone and rubber gaskets, eliminating any potential rattling and ensuring its earcup assembly is airtight; this diminishes sound leakage while improving noise isolation. Big enough to fit completely around the ear and thick enough not to apply pressure to the ear, the earcups are comprised of thick, comfortable memory foam wrapped in a high-quality fine-grain sweat and heat resistant vinyl.
I spent several hours using the headphones to audition my staple reference material including Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, James Taylor’s Hourglass, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper, The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories through several headphone amplifiers including the Benchmark DAC-1 and the TEAC HA-P90SD as well as my iPhone, iPod and MacBook Pro and they sound quite impressive in every instance, especially when used in conjunction with one of my audiophile quality amps (DAC-1 or HA-P90SD). I spent significant time referencing several of my works in progress and found the headphones to be exceptionally good in helping me critically analyze my mixing. The headphones provide pristine imaging with a thick, rich, defined bottom end and immaculate high-frequency clarity, delivering an exceptional listening experience that adapts equally well to critical work or listening for pleasure.
Engineers or musicians in need of a well-balanced headphone that provide a smooth, natural sound at any volume level should give Lola a try. In addition to sounding outstandingly good, the headphones provide exceptional isolation, are comfortable for long periods of time and are affordable—the latter of which makes them a super option for tracking musicians.