Wearables

Boxy, open-back studio monitors built for long-haul listening comfort

Boxy, open-back studio monitor...
Avantone Pro says its Planar reference headphones offer "extreme detail and supreme comfort" for studio professionals, musicians and hi-fi enthusiasts
Avantone Pro says its Planar reference headphones offer "extreme detail and supreme comfort" for studio professionals, musicians and hi-fi enthusiasts
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Avantone Pro says its Planar reference headphones offer "extreme detail and supreme comfort" for studio professionals, musicians and hi-fi enthusiasts
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Avantone Pro says its Planar reference headphones offer "extreme detail and supreme comfort" for studio professionals, musicians and hi-fi enthusiasts
Each earcup is home to a super thin, electrically-active diaphragm with evenly-spaced Neodymium magnets on either side, for the promise of natural, low distortion sound
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Each earcup is home to a super thin, electrically-active diaphragm with evenly-spaced Neodymium magnets on either side, for the promise of natural, low distortion sound
The Planar headphones ship with an eco-friendly carry bag and a high-grade cable that can be plugged into either earcup
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The Planar headphones ship with an eco-friendly carry bag and a high-grade cable that can be plugged into either earcup
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New York-based audio gear maker Avantone Pro has released a pair of heavy-looking reference-grade headphones for musicians, engineers, podcasters and audiophiles on a budget. But the Planar over-ears have been designed for long session comfort and, as the name suggests, feature planar magnetic driver technology for the promise of "amazing accuracy, high-end detail, clarity, natural bass and response time."

Planar drivers sit somewhere between dynamic and electrostatic technology, where a super-thin, electrostatic-style flexible diaphragm is set between an array of evenly-spaced Neodymium magnets. Avantone says that since the magnets apply equal forces front and rear, the resulting sound is more natural than would be delivered using moving coil drivers, with low distortion and fast response times.

The open backs create a flat frequency curve over a wide 30 Hz to 30 kHz range, with total harmonic distortion of less than 0.1 percent at 100 dB, 104-dB sensitivity and 32-ohm impedance. All without the kind of pressure build up or acoustic resonance you might get from closed back models.

All in, this should result in less listening fatigue and, though the headphones look big and bulky, Avantone says that "sessions that last for hours will only feel like minutes" thanks to big soft ear cushions and a lightweight design – though they do tip the scales at exactly a pound (0.48 kg).

The Planar headphones are available now in red or black, and come supplied with an eco-friendly shoulder bag, a long audio cable and a jack adapter for US$399.

Product page: Avantone Pro Planar headphones

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2 comments
IvanWashington
hopefully i can find a used pair one day on ebay.
lucius
I'll wait to read the test results from professional review sites before thinking seriously about buying these headphones (or any audio gear, for that matter...)