CanJam at RMAF 2012: JPS Labs Abyss Prototype Planar Magnetic Headphone
Prototype Abyss Headphone (product expected to retail at about $5000)
My understanding of planar magnetic headphone drivers is that the isodynamic field (even strength magnetic field) is typically created by squeezing the fields together with opposing magnets. (See full article on how planar magnetic drivers work here.) One of the problems with this type of driver is that the magnetic structure on either side of the diaphragm is fairly bulky and restrictive to the sound it emits. The folks at JPS Labs believe they can make a reasonably linear (isodynamic) field with a magnet system on only one side of the driver and thereby eliminate some of the reflections which typically cause planar magnetic cans to lack the air and speed of electrostatic and good dynamic headphones. I spent a little time listening to these cans and felt that they did indeed sound fast and airy relative to other planar magnetics I've experienced. I also felt their bass weight a little lacking, but these are prototypes and the fit on my head wasn't very good, so I'm not going to jump to any conclusions yet. Bottom line, they showed promise to me.
More information can be found at the Abyss Headphone website.