The Perfect Companion to Your Pinephone: The Ollo Audio Line of Headphones
One major selling point of the Pinephone from Pine 64, is its repairability. Drop your phone and break the screen? Pine64 will sell you a replacement screen(among other components) to repair the phone yourself. The ability to easily repair your phone is a unique and unheard of concept in today's mobile landscape and the same applies to most headphones. This is where Pine64 and Ollo Audio have something in common.
Slovenian company Ollo Audio, offers three headphones in their currentline-up. Their offerings are the S4(open back) and the S4R(closed back) headphones, which are marketed as mixing and mastering headphones respectively. Those two models being the older, less expensive options currently offered. The most expensive headphones Ollo Audio carries, is their S4X(open back) model, which they market as reference quality headphones.
All three headphones are known for their relatively flat sound signature, with the S4X being the most flat of the bunch. Ollo Audio claims that there is no DSP(digital sound processing) taking place and that everything is tuned acoustically. These headphones are easy to drive as well, only being 32 ohms. Pretty much any smartphone can drive these comfortably.
So how do these relate to the Pinephone? Well Ollo Audio has dome something the majority of headphone makers have not. They offer replacement parts for every part of the headphone, and I mean every part. The cups, the speakers, the headband, the back covers, everything! They even sell the upgraded speakers of the S4X so that you can(with some handy work) upgrade the older S4 and S4R models. Unheard of!
This falls right in line with what Pine64's line of thiking. The ability to replace any component that may fail, allowing you to not only extend not only the life of the unit, but also not contribute to the cycle of planned obsolescence.
Considering the Pinephone offers a headphone jack(you hear that Apple?!) and a Micro SD card slot(you hear that...pretty much every other phone maker out there), there is nothing stopping you from loading the phone up with all of your tunes. All you need, is some headphones(wink).
Having had the S4X headphones a week(no, these are not review units, yes, I wish they were) everything is not sunshine and rainbows. The ear cups are a little small, if you have bigger ears they may rest on your ears and not over them. The headband on the headphones are metal, so you will hear it when you adjust the headphones. The audio cables(which are reversible) have a rubber coating which when it rubs on your clothes, colors the sound.
Ollo Audio offers you the ability to test drive if the headphones are for you. How is that possible? Glad you asked, they have you pay a portion of the asking price for said headphones(with shipping) and after 30 days, if you like the headphones, they'll bill monthly payments to your Paypal account until the headphones are paid off(this is how I got my pair). If you decide to return them, keep in mind, you pay return shipping(and it can be pricey if you live in the States).
Other then that, I've enjoyed my time with these headphones. They don't leak out much sound for being open back. And, they've been a huge upgrade in comfort over my Audio Technica M40X's. With the headphones being open back, I can finally hear my fiance when she's talking to me, I just pretend not to.