A news story in three parts.
Part 1. Glasgow’s RHA (Reid Heath Acoustics) want to introduce us to their latest universal fit IEM: the CL2 Planar that puts a 1cm-wide, 10-micrometre-thick planar-magnetic driver inside an injection-moulded zirconium shell (for minimal weight and maximum scratch resistance). A flagship earphone with a flagship price: €799.95.
Planar-magnetic drivers, as favoured by the likes of Audeze and Mr Speakers, are known to be fast and highly transparent but their inclusion in closed-back IEMs is considerably less common than dynamic or balanced armature drivers.
According to RHA Marketing Manager Colum Fraser, “The combination of industry-leading technology and remarkable materials used in the CL2 Planar results in a headphone like no other. The miniaturisation of planar magnet technology is a feat of engineering and the sound generated reflects this.”
Part 2. RHA lay down an example for other manufacturers to follow with their pragmatic approach to cable supply. Shipping with the CL2 Planar. a 3.5mm-terminated wire for smartphones and DAPs; a 2.5mm-terminated cable for those who prefer the balanced output of their DAP or headphone amplifier; a modified version of RHA’s SecureFlex Bluetooth neckband that we first encountered on RHA’s MA650/750 Wireless IEMs. The neckband promises a 12-hour runtime between charges and features a 3-button in-line remote with microphone.
Sometimes the need for convenience outweighs the need for optimal sound quality, especially when background noise obliterates the delta that sits between hard-wired and aptX/AAC Bluetooth wireless audio transmission.
Part 3. Conjecture helps no-one. Hands-on experience is a mandatory prerequisite to forming a reliable opinion on any audio product. That’s what review samples and real-world purchases are for. The CL2 Planar is available for pre-order direct from RHA from today. Retail stock will begin shipping to ‘selected’ dealers from 12th September.
Before a pair of CL2 Planar arrives at my door, RHA will be debuting the new model at IFA 2018 (think: a classier CES) which runs 31st August to 5th September here in Berlin.
Ya mo be there; and further coverage of the CL2 Planar will follow next week.
Further information: RHA