Metamaterials — last year, KEF put ’em behind the tweeters of its LS50 passive and active loudspeakers. This week comes Californian headphone manufacturer Dan Clark Audio with a metamaterial placed between a closed-back’s planar-magnetic driver and the listener’s ear; say hello to Clark’s new flagship headphone, the Stealth. Clark’s patent-pending Acoustic Metamaterial Tuning System (AMTS) takes aim at high-frequency standing waves (that build up inside the earcup) with waveguides and diffusers plus quarter-wave and Helmholtz resonators:
From Stealth’s press release notes: “Diffusion reduces some standing wave formation while resonators act as both precision and broad filters to smooth and shape the frequency response, smoothing the sound from the midrange through the highest frequencies.”
Stealth’s planar driver is an all-new ‘4th Gen’ variant that offers 20% more surface area than the Ether 2, retains Clark’s pleated V-Planar tech and will be manufactured on an “all-new system for a more uniform and consistent tension, lower distortion, and better matching”.
Keen observers will note that Stealth is built around an industrial design platform that appears genetically closer to Aeon 2 than Ether: the kidney-shaped earcup and foldable arms that allow Stealth to travel in a more compact carry case than Ether.
“Stealth’s ergonomic and stylish ear cups is a natural extension of Aeon 2 ergonomics with a more comfy fit and softer ear pads. Stealth weighs in at just 415g making it one of the lightest super-premium headphones on the market.”
Vegan suede and “leather” ear pads married to a self-adjusting suspension mechanism suggest that Stealth will be every bit as comfortable as Aeon 2 and Ether 2 — the latter I rank as some of the most comfortable headphones available today.
Like all Dan Clark Audio headphones, Stealth is made in San Diego and begins shipping this week for a cool US$3999.
Further information: Dan Clark Audio
Photos: Lee Shelly