Audeze CRBN – Luxury Class Electrostatic Headphones

The Audeze CRBN is a pair of headphones featuring the world’s most advanced technology, according to Audeze LLC. High-tech materials are used here for nothing less than high-end sound and would guarantee an audiophile experience with the highest wearing comfort.

Audeze CRBN, as cryptic as the name of the new electrostatic headphones from Audeze LLC. may seem at first, the explanation is ultimately simple, because the product name Audeze CRBN stands for nothing other than carbon and thus as the first indication that something special is being used here.

The fact is that this solution is intended to provide headphones that offer the most advanced technology on the market, according to the manufacturer’s promise.

Audeze CRBN – The first electrostatic headphones

The new Audeze CRBN are first and foremost the first electrostatic headphones from Audeze LLC, says the company about this new model. Until now, the company has concentrated on magnetostatic headphones, where it enjoys an impeccable reputation.

The new Audeze CRBN already stands out in this respect, but this is only the beginning, because what really distinguishes the new headphones is in the product name.

Audeze CRBN – Carbon is the focus

As already mentioned, the cryptic abbreviation in the product name of the Audeze CRBN stands for carbon, whereby this is to be seen as an indication that carbon fibre material is used to a large extent for the headphone’s headband as well as the housing of the ear cups.

However, this alone does not give the name, but rather refers to the completely newly designed drivers of the new Audeze CRBN.

Headphones according to medical standards

When manufacturers in the headphone sector refer to findings from medicine, one might most likely infer ergonomics, but the new Audeze CRBN is quite different.

The concept and technology behind the Audeze CRBN were originally developed to support neuroscience research, particularly in relation to the challenges of working with MRI equipment, according to the manufacturer.

Audeze LLC. collaborated with leading neurology and behavioural scientists and SMRT Image, a leading provider of two-way audio-video communication technology for medical applications. The goal was to develop the highest possible noise cancellation, improve patient comfort and enable more accurate diagnostics in MRI applications.

Traditional moving coil, magnetostatic and electrostatic technology headphone drivers cannot be readily used in MRI environments due to the ferrous metals required for the headphone design. Audeze LLC. engineers have therefore developed an innovative, patented driver solution using an ultra-thin diaphragm with carbon nanotubes suspended in the material.

The result is said to be a unique driver with uniform conductivity and full MRI compatibility that improves patient comfort and doctor-patient communication.

From neuroscience to audiophile experience

What Audeze LLC. has developed in this context is described by the company itself as groundbreaking technological innovations, which – and now we have come full circle – are used in the new Audeze CRBN.

According to the company, these innovations have resulted in absolutely unique headphones with outstanding sound characteristics.

Electrostatic driver with carbon nanotube diaphragm

The carbon nanotube diaphragm provides ideal operating conditions for charging the 120 x 90 mm electrostatic drivers. Because the charge is distributed throughout the film, there is increased efficiency and control over the diaphragm movement and a consistent driving force, according to Audeze LLC.

The diaphragm movement is entirely pistonic, which is said to result in a particularly low, virtually inaudible level of distortion across the frequency spectrum. The result is unprecedented clarity, excellent resolution and unparalleled transparency from the Audeze CRBN.

As if nothing stood between the listener and the music

The extremely fast transients and smooth frequency response ensure a maximally neutral sound signature and an open soundstage. Special cabinet resonance control makes the bass response extremely accurate and 15 dB more present below 40 Hz compared to electrostatic competitors. The Audeze CRBN thus offers an exceptional level of signal fidelity and immersion.

Maximum wearing comfort

The fact that headphones of this design are also extremely light has a direct effect on wearing comfort. Of course, the figure of 300 g must be seen in relation to the class in which the new Audeze CRBN operate.

Other comfort features of the new Audeze CRBN include very soft ear pads that, according to the manufacturer, virtually caress the shape of the head. The slightly oversized size ensures an excellent seal regardless of the individual anatomy. The inner foam and leather covering easily adapt to the surface around the listener’s ears. Extensive avoidance of parallel surfaces limits resonance, eliminating unwanted ear cushion interference.

Luxurious design in a class of its own

When it comes to the design of the Audeze CRBN, the company has succeeded in creating a true gem, from the gentle curves of its uniquely crafted grille to the depth of its finely polished acetate rings. With hand-stitched premium leather, they say every detail is finely tuned, right down to the feel of the aluminium 5-pin connector.

For the Audeze CRBN, they developed a proprietary audio cable designed to transfer all the details of the sound material between the amplifier and the headphones with the utmost fidelity and without any loss of signal quality. OCC copper strands are used, which are specially designed for high voltages and ensure absolute purity for the best transmission and sound transparency as well as a frequency image that is extended in all directions.

Appropriate electronics required

A pair of headphones like the new Audeze CRBN naturally requires suitable electronics. For this purpose, the developers relied on so-called Stax Pro Bias 580 Volt amplifiers such as those offered by Stax, Woo Audio, Linear Tube Audio, Mjolnir Audio, Headamp and others.

The five-pole hollow plug according to the industry standard guarantees maximum compatibility. The drivers are tuned for optimum voltage and stator plate distance. The electrostatic capacitance of the Audeze CRBN, including its cable, is 100 pF.

The Audeze CRBN should be available from October 2021 in selected specialist shops or directly from the distributor cma audio GmbH. The recommended retail price is € 4.990,-.

Getting to the point

The new Audeze CRBN are said to be exceptional headphones in every respect. First of all, it is the first electrostatic headphone from Audeze LLC, and secondly, it relies on technologies that were originally developed for medical applications and subsequently adopted into the world of high-end hi-fi due to their outstanding properties. The manufacturer thus refers to the new Audeze CRBN as a solution that represents high-end technology in every aspect and should ultimately lead to nothing less than the ultimate in sound quality.

Manufacturer:Audeze LLC.
Distribution:cma audio GmbH
Price:€ 4.999,-
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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