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Audeze announces CRBN electrostatic headphones

  • Audeze has this week added a new headphone to its line-up of high-end models. However, the CRBN breaks from the Californian company’s planar magnetic past in two ways: 1) it’s an electrostatic headphone and 2) it weighs a mere 300g (to put it in Dan Clark Ether 2 territory).

    CRBN? That’ll be carbon used in Audeze headphone’s ultra-thin headphone driver. CEO Sankar Thiagasamudram gives us the specifics:

    “In CRBN, we do not have any coating on the film. We cast out the film from a liquid. The Carbon nanotubes are added before casting and they are inside the polymer film. The film itself is conductive throughout the volume of the film.”

    And back to the press release: “The result is a unique driver that has uniform conductivity and is fully MRI compatible, improving patient comfort and communication between doctor and patient,” reads the press release. Audeze also asserts that their Carbon Nanotube coating offers a more uniform driver coating to reduce distortion. Audeze’s product story video goes deeper on those details:

    The Audeze CRBN also features newly-designed leather earpads, a carbon fibre suspension headband, acetate rings and ships with a bespoke electrostatic cable and travel case.

    Electrostatic headphones cannot be driven by traditional headphone amplifiers. They lack the voltage output needed to properly ‘energise’ the plates that sit on either side of the Carbon Nanotube-coated film. Here an electrostatic-specific headphone amplifier is required. Audeze states that the new CRBN is compatible with all STAX-type 580-volt amplifiers (or similar).

    The CRBN will sell for US$4500.

    Further information: Audeze

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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