ENIGMAcoustics has announced the first products in its new high-end headphone category: the Dharma D1000 Hybrid Electrostatic Headphones and the Athena A1 Triode Vacuum Tube Hybrid Headphone Amplifier. The D1000 over-the-ear headphones combine an electrostatic panel with a paper-based dynamic membrane for bass and mid-bass reproduction, while the Athena A1 uses a Pure Class-A vacuum tube front end and a low-impedance Class-A MOS/BJT hybrid output stage. Both products will be available in May.
ENIGMAcoustics, a company known for its patented SBESL (Self-Biased Electrostatic) technology, announced today the launch of its first two products in the high-end headphone category, the Dharma D1000 Hybrid Electrostatic Headphone and the Athena A1 Triode Vacuum Tube Hybrid Headphone Amplifier.
As a hybrid electrostatic design, the Dharma D1000 headphone takes full advantage of SBESL (Self-Biased Electrostatic) technology, offering electrostatic transparency, focus, and inner detail without the need for an external energizer to provide a polarizing voltage. Instead, the bias voltage is derived from the signal itself in a proprietary manner, making Dharma an easy to use, convenient, and with its light weight, very comfortable headphone. Bass and mid-bass are handled by a unique and proprietary Wagami paper-based dynamic membrane, with stiffness, mass, and internal damping optimized for use with an electrostatic HF driver. Transition between the two is seamlessly accomplished via a phase coherent first order crossover employing precision audio grade, tight tolerance components.
Dharma D1000 design highlights:
• Hybrid electrostatic headphone design.
• Patented SBESL (Self-Biased Electrostatic) technology. No need for external AC energizer.
• Vanishingly low moving mass. Lightweight film membrane results in extended high frequency response, wide bandwidth, and instantaneous transient response.
• Combines desirable 26 Ohm impedance with 95 dB sensitivity.
• Presents load compatible with both solid-state and vacuum tube amplifiers.
• Lightweight, solid build quality, comfortable.
Dharma’s availability is scheduled for May 2015, at a suggested retail of $1,190.
The Athena A1 vacuum tube headphone amplifier represents what company officials term “a no compromise approach to design–an integration of solid engineering and a true appreciation of music.” As a single-ended triode / hybrid amplifier, its vacuum tube front-end is biased Pure Class-A, and exhibits extremely low noise, while its low impedance Class-A MOS/BJT hybrid output stage and its high voltage swings ensure compatibility both with low and high impedance headphones, and is equally adept at driving both. Athena’s design eliminates any concern about interfacing it with any load, high or low impedance, or any headphone–even the most demanding.
Athena A1 design highlights
• ECC82/12AU7 single-ended triode vacuum tube pure Class-A gain stage.
• Class-A MOS/BJT hybrid output stage for enhanced resolution.
• Extremely low output impedance. Compatible with low impedance headphones.
• High output voltage swing to drive high impedance headphones with significant V/I headroom.
• Wide bandwidth. Compatible with the highest-resolution, latest generation music sources.
• Attractive industrial design, glass exterior, and state of the art construction.
• Premium audio grade components.
Athena’s availability is also scheduled for May 2015, at a suggested retail of $1,490.
While the two components are perfect complements to each other, they are not ‘dedicated’ as such. Each is compatible with the whole spectrum of headphone components, offering what ENIGMAcoustics feels is absolutely uncompromised performance in both electrostatic headphone and vacuum tube amplifier design. Their extremely wide bandwidth also ensures they are not only compatible with the highest-resolution latest generation music sources, but ideal complements to them. Both Dharma and Athena are beautifully executed, aesthetically striking, and showcase state of the art construction.
• ENIGMAcoustics Sopranino Electrostatic Supter-tweeter Reviewed at HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Visit the ENIGMAcoustics website for more product informsation.