Audioquest Nighthawk Around The Ear, Semi-Open Headphones
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The Audioquest Nighthawk has already been named a 2015 CES Innovation Awards Honoree (Headphones) and Winner (Eco-Design & Sustainable Technologies)!
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NightHawk is an around-the-ear, semi-open headphone — AudioQuest’s full-bore assault on both the state of the headphone art and on the limits to which quality, innovation, and sustainability can be achieved at an affordable cost.
"[These] Headphones are absolutely universal for any musical genres/moods. Did I say "any?" I am not overstating... Cons – these are hard to find... Pros? Let’s get them down too: 1. Non-fatiguing sound, 2. No preference for one particular music genre, 3. An easy load for amplifiers, 4. Very tolerant of bad quality recordings, 5. The manufacturing quality of ‘phones and all accessories are high. I have reason to emphasize it as not all manufacturers are so scrupulous... I bought my pair!" - Sergii Dybov, www.digitalaudioreview.net
"...the new AudioQuest headphones were easily the most comfortable ever worn by this personal-audio cynic. And their sound... was rich and refined and, above all, clear. Extra points for the product name, which does, subtly and subconsciously, connote the idea that headphone use is best reserved for when everyone else is asleep." - Art Dudley, www.stereophile.com
"The NightHawks are luscious-looking units with swirled, injection-molded Liquid Wood shells, and they fit just great. The well-padded earcups make contact via a small surface area that avoids hot spots, and the headband suspends their light weight in such a manner as to make them feel even lighter still. Through a DragonFly DAC feeding a Woo Audio WA7 amplifier, the NightHawks ran that fine line between hot detail and relaxed silkiness. I had expected exaggerated bass from a pair of statement-level headphones, especially from a company that was introducing its first pair and maybe felt compelled to make some sort of point. But no -- the bass was tight and correct, not prominent in the least. Good job!" - Jason Thorpe, www.soundstageglobal.com
AudioQuest Named as 2015 CES Innovation Awards Honoree & 2015 Best of Innovation Winner for its NightHawk around-the-ear semi-open headphones!
"Although NightHawk, designed by Skylar Gray, is AudioQuest's first headphone, it takes full advantage of the California-based company's experience and expertise as a longtime provider of high-performance DACs (digital-to-analog converters), phono cartridges, audio/video cables, and numerous accessories. Maximizing potential while minimizing excess, NightHawk combines advanced manufacturing techniques, innovative driver technologies, sensitive ergonomics, and sustainable materials in an elegant, attractive package, with an overall look and feel that exudes quality and belies its modest price."
"Every aspect of NightHawk was carefully optimized for high levels of sonic, ergonomic, and aesthetic performance, with much of its engineering inspiration taken from today's most sophisticated loudspeaker designs. NightHawk is the first completely original production headphone to use a 3D-printed part--a biomimetic grille (inspired by the underlying structure of butterfly wings) that uses a complex diamond-cubic latticework to diffuse sound and defeat resonances. To mass-produce this unique grille, AudioQuest has partnered with Sculpteo, leaders in the 3D-printing industry--a French firm (with US offices in San Francisco, CA), whose strong focus on corporate social responsibility matches AQ's own. Further, NightHawk's 50mm pistonic drivers have a biocellulose diaphragm designed to take advantage of the material's outstanding rigidity and high-frequency control, while its patented split-gap motor has been devised to significantly reduce intermodulation distortion." - www.twice.com
"My experience with the new AudioQuest Nighthawk headphones was one of highest points of my CES adventure... I played Paul Simon's Graceland and by the time I was listening to it all the way through—for the third (!!!) time—I realized: The reason I like headphones so much is they direct my attention to a song's lyrics way more than loudspeakers in a room ever did... The Nighthawks had me choking back tears of musical appreciation. This was the first time I fully grasped what a great lyricist Paul Simon really was. "The Mississippi Delta is shining like a National Guitar..." - Herb Reichert, www.stereophile.com
AudioQuest’s first headphones needed a special name — a name that conveyed power and freedom, inspired ideas of physical and emotional transportation, complemented the overall look and feel of the product, and still left room for growth. After much deliberation, "NightHawk" was chosen to lead what will be a complete family of headphones that match outstanding performance with extraordinary value.
“When we decided to build NightHawk, we knew it had to be something special — it had to have a real reason to exist because no one needs another ordinary headphone.” — Skylar Gray, NightHawk Designer/Engineer
Innovative Materials: Beautiful, Sustainable Liquid Wood
NightHawk’s earcups are made from a revolutionary new material known as “Liquid Wood”—actual wood that has been combined with reclaimed plant fiber, heated, liquefied, and processed in such a way that it can be injection molded. Compared to ordinary plastic or wood, however, Liquid Wood has far superior acoustic properties and provides a seemingly endless array of geometric possibilities. In NightHawk, we use Liquid Wood to shape our earcups to more closely resemble the human ear, thereby providing a more complete and comfortable fit, reducing stress on the listener’s head and ears. And, unlike typical plastic, Liquid Wood is environmentally friendly—more than merely beautiful to behold, it is also sustainable.
Ergonomics: Removing the Barriers between Listener and Music
Intelligent ergonomics in a headphone design remove unnecessary boundaries between the listener and his or her emotional involvement with the music. NightHawk’s flexible headband efficiently distributes the headphone’s weight, providing a feel that is both comfortable and comforting—you’ll want to wear NightHawk. Its simple yet intelligent, patent-pending suspension system allows the earcups to articulate freely, accommodating heads of any shape or size, while effectively decoupling the earcups to counteract intrusive resonances. NightHawk’s earpads are made of soft, durable protein leather—again shaped to resemble the human ear—with greater thickness toward the rear of the pad, thus providing additional comfort while setting NightHawk’s drivers at an angle optimized for precise, stable imaging. Listen for hours—in comfort, immersed in music, moved by NightHawk.
The NightHawk Cable
NightHawk benefits from AudioQuest’s 30+ years of experience in the high-performance cable business, including a headphone cable purposefully designed to minimize distortion and provide a deep emotional connection to the music. It uses many of the same ingredients found in our speaker cables and interconnects, including high-purity Solid Perfect-Surface Copper+ conductors, Foamed-Polyethylene insulation, Carbon-Based Noise-Dissipation System (NDS), and silver-plated terminations. We’ve also included a unique 1/4”-to-3.5mm headphone adaptor that, like our finest cable connectors, features a thick Direct-Silver plate over our extreme-purity Red Copper and beryllium-copper base metals, altogether avoiding the sonically harmful brass, nickel, and thin gold flash construction of typical adaptors. Every bit of NightHawk was designed to exude quality, performance, innovation, and beauty.
Most of today’s headphones use diaphragms made from Mylar—an inexpensive, lightweight, and technologically mature plastic material. Unfortunately, Mylar is inherently flimsy and brittle, typically distorting as the audio signal reaches high frequencies of 6-10kHz and invariably causing listener fatigue. NightHawk takes a radically different approach. Inspired by the advanced drive-units used in today’s high-performance loudspeakers, NightHawk’s 50mm high-excursion drivers have biocellulose pistonic diaphragms and compliant rubber surrounds. The biocellulose material is rigid and self-damping, making it far more accurate and musically pleasing than Mylar.
NightHawk’s patented split-gap motor design dramatically reduces intermodulation distortion to provide a clean, well-defined broadband response and a large, naturally detailed representation of space with truly remarkable resolution in the time domain.
Balanced Equitangential Airflow
Air turbulence is one of the major contributors to non-linear, distortion-inducing behavior in headphone drivers. NightHawk uses symmetrically distributed, equation-driven curvatures to intelligently guide airflow through its internal driver structure, thus reducing the harmful, unpredictable effects of turbulent air pockets and voice coil rocking. Your music sounds clean, clear, large, and alive.
Diamond Cubic Diffusion & 3D-Printing Technology
NightHawk is a semi-open-back headphone with a biomimetic grille inspired by the underlying structure of butterfly wings—a fascinating diamond cubic latticework that diffuses light to create iridescence. Visually beautiful, technologically complex, and built to a much larger scale in NightHawk, the grille’s intricate latticework diffuses sound and defeats the resonances that ultimately distort and damage our music. Far too complex to mold or machine, NightHawk’s grille can only be created through 3D printing via an advanced form of additive manufacturing known as “Selective Laser Sintering.” NightHawk, the first completely original production headphone to use a 3D-printed part, represents beauty, intelligence, and responsible innovation.
A Loudspeaker-Inspired Headphone Experience
Many of NightHawk’s design elements are successfully implemented in today’s most innovative loudspeakers, but have rarely been used in headphones. Much like the internal bracing of a beautiful loudspeaker cabinet, NightHawk’s sophisticated earcup enclosure incorporates support beams that enhance structural integrity and minimize unwanted resonances and vibrations. An elastomeric coating is carefully applied to the enclosure’s internal surfaces to further reduce harmful vibrations, while a damping material comprising a purposeful blend of wool and polyester enables an extraordinarily smooth, natural frequency response for a deeply immersive and emotionally compelling listening experience. With NightHawk, vibration-induced distortion is intelligently
minimized, allowing music to breathe freely.
Impedance: 25 ohms
Sensitivity: 100dBSPL / mW
Power Handling: 1.5W
Driver: 50mm Dynamic | Biocellulose Diaphragm | 1.2T Split-Gap Motor
Length: 8’ (2.4m)
Conductors: Perfect-Surface Copper+ (PSC+)
Geometry: Symmetric Star-Quad
NDS: Carbon-Based Noise-Dissipation System
Terminations: 3.5mm Stereo | Dual 2.5mm Mono | Direct-Silver Plated Pure Red Copper
Click Here to view or download the Audioquest Nighthawk Headphone Brochure!
||Audioquest Semi-Open Stereo Headphone
|The Audioquest Nighthawk has a unique sound among premium headphones, which themselves generally sound quite different from each other. The Nighthawk has more low-midrange warmth than a classic neutral headphone like the Sennheiser HD600, and less of the bright treble as well. For many headphones that could spell dull, but the Nighthawk has a liquid-like signature that pulls it all together with a you-are-there soundstage, making for a rewarding listen.|
|- dale thorn, SC|