Current testing methodology is v1.2
I’ve reviewed several flathead earphones in the past couple of months and here’s another one.
The Senfer Seahawk No.1 is a pair of earphones with a single dynamic driver. It comes in a flathead design and it’s from the Chi-fi brand Senfer.
I’ve had good experiences with flathead earphones, particularly ultra-budget ones. While I do find going higher in price presents you with more technical chops, the experience isn’t going to solidify as it would a common silicon tip earphone.
With things such as isolation, ergonomics, and the noticeable suck-out in the sub-frequencies, the sole reason one would reach for a flathead instead of an in-ear is its ability to output soul.
For now, let’s see how this flathead pair performs.
Senfer Seahawk No.1
One of the best flatheads in the current market
The Seahawk No.1 is a pair of flathead earphones from Senfer. Unlike its bright-leaning IEM counterparts, the Seahawk excels in one particular category the most: musicality, and it beats other flatheads in its price range.
While it doesn’t have the most open soundstage or even the most adept layering, it’s the most enjoyable flathead pair I’ve listened to, even without price in consideration. If you fancy a retro feel and you’re into flatheads as much as you’re into IEMs, the Senfer Seahawk No. 1 is a great option, even amongst higher-priced competitors.
- Driver: 15mm Single Dynamic Driver
- Frequency response: 20-20,000Hz
- Impedance: 32Ω
- Sensitivity: 108dB/mw
What’s in the Box?
- Senfer Seahawk No.1 earphones
- Felt case
Stuff I like
- Textured lows and speedy mid-bass
- Relatively clean separation
- Musical midrange
- Textured notes
- Snappy transient response
Stuff I like less
- The packaging leaves much to be desired
- Inherent flathead drawbacks such as bass and fit problems
There’s no other way to describe it but the packaging of the Senfer Seahawk No.1 was pretty terrible. And I’m not just saying this because I want to pick on Senfer.
The box had no information in it but what’s worse is that there’s no branding to indicate that it has earphones inside. The box looks like one of those knock-off Pokémon card boxes you used to see as a kid, only that it had Tomori from Charlotte on the front instead.
Also, the box was really flimsy and it was off-putting, to say the least. Given how a flathead may receive less attention to packaging due to its price, I can oversee it as just an attempt to cut costs.
It did have a cloth bag inside, which slightly makes up for the underwhelming unboxing experience. Nonetheless, I still believe Senfer can do a better job with the packaging as my unboxing of their DT9 model was something special.
You get what you pay for, now scram – is what I’d say on a grouchy day because really, you do get what you pay for in terms of build quality.
The shells of the Senfer Seahawk No.1 are made from smoked polycarbonate and have an almost identical look to the KB Ear Stellar. The plastic feels rigid and you get a vague sight-see of the drivers inside of the chassis.
An MMCX termination would’ve been nice on it but unfortunately, what we ultimately end up with is a non-detachable OFC cable. This is alright for the most part if not slightly diminished by its tendency for cable memory.
The cable is a little difficult to wind up for storage but aside from this, I’m completely satisfied with the build quality.
Fit and Comfort
In terms of fit and comfort, the Senfer Seahawk No.1 gets failing marks from me.
I mean, every flathead does in the topic of ergonomics, unless they come with a cloth cover and in this case, the Seahawk No.1 doesn’t. Flathead earphones are generally always going to be problematic in this aspect due to their shape but still, that doesn’t stop me from groaning about it.
I find that if I wear Seahawk No.1 for about half an hour, it starts to get uncomfortable on the ear. The only solution I’ve found was taking a break – which all of us collectively hate for some reason (yes, we love music too much).
Some live with this fact and embrace flatheads for their own unique experience, which is simply a nuance of discomfort, but for those who are used to very comfortable fittings with in-ear monitors, you’ll share the same complaints about the “experience”.
The flathead tuning formula is simple. Cull the sub-bass, make the mids flat, and give the treble some sizzle. It’s a varying degree of these three plus the technicalities.
Flatheads, despite being neutrally tuned vastly differ from one another. It isn’t as simple as hearing the same neutral sound. Nuance, for the most part, exists.
As for the Senfer Seahawk No.1, the bass places its focus on the mid-bass frequencies, bringing forth a clean and fast presentation. I find the bass still very involving with its delivery and I like how the absence of the sub-bass doesn’t result in a stifled low end.
The midrange is intimate and it’s saturated with just the right amount of body and tonality. Meanwhile, the upper end is rendered with crisp resolution and is fairly extended.
With this mix of attributes, I can see how Seahawk No.1 differentiates itself from other flatheads. Due to the subtlety of these qualities though, the common listener easily chalks it up to “weirdly, it just sounds good but I don’t know why” – which was practically me at the genesis of testing.
The low end of the Senfer Seahawk No.1 is tactile and engaging. Good instrument timbre helps the kickdrum sound tonally accurate and pleasing to listen to.
I do miss the sub-bass on more modern songs but you know, a reasonable man adjusts and that’s what I did. The thump and energy the mid-bass provides are satisfactory. It still gets the music moving and I guess I have no problems with a clean and swift low end that still exhilarates the experience.
The midrange of the Senfer Seahawk No.1 has a very natural and pleasant quality, with hints of warmth enveloping the entirety of the mids and presenting vocals with an articulate characteristic that feels unbound by flatness or sterility.
The upper mids are as you’d expect – very lively and boosted just enough to impart energy without evolving into sibilance. A good midrange is the foundation of the whole tuning and the midrange of the Seahawk No.1 delivers.
The high-end’s resolution is superb. It’s sharpened and in focus, reproducing higher registers beautifully, plus the presentation is very vibrant without boosting unnaturally to achieve clarity.
While the treble extension is decent, I find the last octaves of the upper end missing. This makes the treble a supporting frequency to the midrange – which is the natural order of things unless you’re a treble head.
The upper end of the Senfer Seahawk No.1 provides good clarity to the upper harmonics of the midrange and renders percussions in a precise manner.
Overall, it’s a proper treble in my books and the lack of voice trails and breaths are easily negligible if you switch to classical music, in which case air from violins and cellos is rendered with a good flourish.
The Senfer Seahawk No.1 is a pretty capable pair technicality-wise, with the resolution, imaging, and transient response being its most noteworthy abilities. It has decent separation, a moderately-sized stage, and again, decent detail retrieval.
It doesn’t punch all the boxes compared to higher-priced sets but it has excellent technicalities taken as a whole along with their tuning.
The Senfer Seahawk No.1 works well for soul and orchestral music. The replay is natural and presents good timbral qualities that produce life-like tonal character.
Modern songs sound a little thin (and I mean devoid) of sub-bass and you’ll find replay below your normal preferences. Rock, J-pop, and K-pop still sound dynamic though as these genres fare well even with the absence of subfrequencies.
Sometimes it’s hard to put what we hear into words – it’s like painting from imagination. At the end of the day, what sounds good, sounds good.
In this era though, the intense hunt for great value makes it reason enough to put these details under a microscope. Luckily, scrutiny unveiled brilliance and not fault.
For the price it’s at, the Senfer Seahawk No.1 definitely plays ball with the big boys – and that makes me continuously evaluate the value in the market. In the end, as I like to say, music enjoyment is king and I certainly do enjoy it with this set.
Gavin is a college student who has a lot going on. From collecting IEMs and modding mechanical keyboards, to different hobbies like digital drawing, music mastering and cooking. It is safe to say he is a complete multi-faceted geek (and he's kinda cool too)
This post was last updated on 2023-12-03 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.