Hand-made boutique headphones are made to rock 'n' roll
If you're looking for a pair of high-end headphones to match the metal link watchband keeping your Rolex on your wrist, TECA Technologies has just the thing. Inspired by Swiss watchmakers who take enormous pride in their craft, the Luzli Roller Mk01 headphones feature an all metal headband that rolls up for travel.
The Roller Mk01 headphones are not aimed at your everyday commuter, but at music lovers who appreciate hand-made luxury and are looking for something a little different. The latter is supplied by a unique steel and 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum headband (though there are plans to add titanium and magnesium alloy models), with 22 steel springs that are reported to help mold the headband to a user's head. When the music-filled journey ends, the Mk01 headphones roll up like a pangolin for portability.
These are on-ear headphones rather than circumaural, which may limit passive isolation from the outside world, though the company reckons they're pretty good at "natural noise cancellation." The closed-back headphones come with two sets of foam earpads that are the result of rigorous match testing.
"During the development we were testing over 50 different acoustic foams to ensure to have the best sound," the company told us. "For us it was important that the headphone folds small and becomes very portable so the sound development was about creating the best sound in a small space."
German audio engineering sees the Rollers sport 30 mm 32 Ohm dynamic drivers, which Andrew James Lee – the man who makes each pair of headphones by hand – told us are "separated into matched pairs at production."
"A lot of our technical challenge was making the most out of a very limited acoustic volume to keep the size as compact as we could, and a great deal of time was spent in fine tuning our baffles and earpad foam construction to get the desired results," he revealed.
The sound signature is described as very warm, with an emphasis on vocals and strings rather than bottom end. As such, they're best used for genres such as jazz, country, blues and classical. The headphones have a frequency response of 110 Hz, 114 dB SPL and total harmonic distortion of less than 0.5 percent.
Almost 10 years in the making, each Luzli Roller Mk01 is hand-made to order in Switzerland and comes in a wooden presentation box. The headphones are only available direct from the manufacturer and carry a boutique price tag of US$3,000. TECA Tech does promise a lifetime of use from its headphones, with a repair rather than replace ethos in the event of something going awry.
Would you risk wearing such pricey ear candy while out and about?
If you're in London later this month, you can take a closer look at the CanJam audio expo at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel on July 15 and 16.
Source: TECA Technologies