If you’re the kind of person who’s happy enough with the basic white headphones included with Apple’s iPods then you’re probably not the kind of person who will be interested in the new open back Edition 10 headphones from Germany’s Ultrasone AG. These limited edition headphones pack a number of features and are made from a long list of luxury materials to justify their US$2,750 price tag that places them firmly in the category of “for dedicated audiophiles only.”
MaterialsFirst to the luxury materials. The outer cup of the Edition 10 headphones is finished with galvanic Ruthenium plating and Zebrano wood ear cup inlays, which are coated with eight layers of clear lacquer for protection. The inner ear cups and head pad are adorned with reddish brown Ethiopian sheepskin leather, while the silver-plated, oxygen-free 99.99 percent pure copper and Aramid wires are coated with Kevlar to increase current flow, improve flexibility and durability and lower overall weight.
Open back headphones like the Edition 10’s are designed to allow sound out through the back of the ear cup which gives a character to the sound that is often described as having an open soundstage, or natural. This also allows the Edition 10’s ear cups to feature high levels of air permeability through the grills.
TechnologyThe titanium-plated 40mm drivers have been specially tuned for open back headphones and feature a 10 percent more powerful magnet for enhanced sound pressure levels. Each set of drivers has been individually paired with a tolerance of +/- 0.4.
To create a natural three-dimensional sound, instead of hitting the inner ear directly, the S-Logic technology employed by the headphones uses decentralized driver positioning to reflect audio signals off the surface of the outer ear in different directions before entering the auditory canal. Ultrasone says this produces natural three-dimensional sound without the need for artificial echo or digital sound processing or cross over run time delay.
S-Logic Plus takes things one step further to give listeners improved spacious tonal perception that allows users to wear the headphones for longer without their ears hurting. Additionally, a special MU-Metal shielding developed by Ultasone called Ultra Low Emissions (ULE) reduces the amount of radiation, (produced by the headphones as they convert an electrical signal into the acoustical signal), directed to the listener by up to 98 percent as compared to conventional headphones.
The Edition 10’s boats a frequency range of 5 – 45,000 Hz and sound pressure level of 99 dB. They weigh 282g (10oz) without the cord, which measures 3m (9.8 ft) long.
Each set of Edition 10 headphones comes with a hand crafted Zebrano wood headphone stand and is housed in a wooden box. Ultrasone AG will produce only 2010 of the headphones, each with an asking price of US$2,749.