AudioQuest NightOwl

The AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon ($699) is the recently released, full-sized, sealed version of their first (and only other) headphone available: the NightHawk.

Personally/sonically, I’m very excited by the NightOwls because the NightHawks are my current go-to daily headphones in the office.

I was immediately attracted to the NightOwls upon their release because of AudioQuests headphone designer Skylar Gray and his commitment to sustainable design. The NightHawks contain liquid wood (which is made of 100% renewable materials) and were the first headphones to utilize mass-produced 3D-printed parts (the grilles!) I admire this level of commitment to minimizing the negative impact on the environment—a rarity in the general world as well as in the world of audio.

The main acoustic adjustments are: a slight modification in internal parts to reduce air leakage, the inclusion of two sets of earpads (protein leather and microsuede), and improved plugs made of high-purity tellurium copper. Ergonomically, they’ve adjusted the headband (which made a difference to me at the show) and shortened the cable (now 4.25 feet, down from 8 feet!)

Watch Skylar summarize the NightOwls in this video:

Click here to watch on YouTube.

Hi-Reality's picture

Thanks for this interview Jana. I admire Skylar's brilliant approach toward thoughtful design. From the video and pictures I sense a product that beautifully combines sustainability, comfort, look and feel, and most likely high-performance sound reproduction as well; especially at this interesting price point.

Can't wait to experience the new NightOwl.

A Swedish fan of Skylar Gray,
Hi-Reality Project

Three Toes of Fury's picture

With ALL the products available, you managed to file your first report on one of the ones im most interested in. Woot!

Ive been following Audioquest and Skylars posts for some time. I wasnt able to pull the trigger on the NightHawk as I, regrettably, require a closed back headphone for my primary listening. Along comes Nightowl!

Thanks for the video with skylar. Looking forward to (fingers crossed) an innerfidelity review of the NightOwl* sometime soon.

Keep the great reports coming Jana!

Peace .n. Living in Stereo

*Even better: a head to head battle of some of the strong contenders in the mid-high range closed backs. It appears we have a few great releases: Oppo PM3, Audioquest Nightowl, Mr Speakers Aeon, Audeze EL8 closed, (any other good ones im missing?)


Corsair's picture

I'm looking for sealed headphones right now. I'd like to read a few comparisons between the night owl and the PM-3, but the audioquest cans are very new so I'm not seeing much in the review department anywhere.

MikeSmith127's picture

Very great headphones and useful!

I recommend!!!

MementoMori45's picture


Since the NightHawks are your current go-to daily headphones in the office, have you had the chance to listen to the Nightowls? If so, what are thoughts and opinions about them? Thank you.