CES 2015 Show Stopper: ENIGMAcoustics Dharma Electrostatic/Dynamic Hybrid Headphones
ENIGMAcoustics who!? Here's a perfect example of why I've got to check out every room. Some unsuspected someone will always have a surprise. This time, the big surprise of the show was ENIGMAcoustics and their upcoming Dharma ($1200) hybrid electrostatic/dynamic driver headphone.
Electret/dynamic is likely the proper term for this headphone. The Dharma uses a small strip of teflon-like material as the diaphragm of its high frequency driver. The diaphragm is self-biasing, eliminating the need for a high-voltage bias from an amplifier. It wasn't spelled out to me in detail, but one would suspect there is a step-up transformer in the headphone cross-over circuit to provide the high-voltage audio signal for the driver. Wei Chang, Sales Director for ENIGMAcoustics, told me the dynamic driver is also quite special using an Awagami paper diaphragm.
I'm looking forward to learning more about the design of this headphone and getting a chance for a long audition when released sometime in the second quarter of this year. Until then I'd encourage you to take the opportunity to listen to these headphones at CanJam SoCal, THE Show Newport, or the Munich High-End Show this spring.
They're not up yet, but check the ENIGMAcoustics website later this spring for more details.
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