Some products share common design and features, but not all are created equal, and the sound specialists at AudioQuest are on a journey to prove science and research can add up to awesomeness.
We’re looking at a pair of headphones that is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. For staffers at this publication to say that, to think that, to stare at the product in question and gasp in awe is just an indication of how impressed we are, because we don’t go starry eyed for just anything.
Rather, it takes something of genuine ingenuity to grab us and make us go “wow”.
And the pair of headphones sitting on the table in reach of our hands does exactly that, tempting us to put them on and indulge in a listening experience that we know just from the stats, just from the specifics we’ve been read, will be nothing like anything else in the office right now.
For starters, it arrives with great fanfare in a leatherette case that zips up, appearing less like a pair of headphones and more like a deluxe piece of luggage, with a soft lining and a presence that whispers “try me, and you’ll never go back to anything else”.
When you do take them out of what could hardly be described as a box, the headphones sit in your hand and scream premium, with a leather band, a complicated semi-open headphone port, and a casing made out of wood, and not just any wood, but liquid wood.
Just think about that for a second: liquid wood.
Wood is a physical object, and yet this is liquid wood, which AudioQuest explains as a process called “arboform”, whereby the wood has been broken down into cellulose fibres, reproduced, and turned into a bioplastic that can be injection moulded.
The result is a part that has the texture and material consistency of wood, complete with all the benefits wooden objects enjoy, but made with a controlled process, rather than paying someone to carve each casing or have it made from machined wood.
You can even see the results of liquid wood in the grain which appears to ripple and fade off at the bottom of the casing.
Using wood obviously has its benefits for headphones, most notably offering warmer sound and a richer look, but there’s more going on under the hood than just the casing here.
In fact, AudioQuest tells us that it pulled apart over 100 headphones to build this special design.