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Quad ERA-1 Planar Magnetic Headphones
Hi-Fi News Verdict...
" What a marvellous first effort! ...this is a superbly-conceived and nicely-finished product, undeniably a bargain at the price. easy to drive, free of fatigue inducement (both audible and physical), so Quad can be proud. No, it isn't the dream fulfilment of 'a pair of ESL-57s for the ears', but it's mighty close."
Quad’s first-ever headphones use planar magnetic technology to deliver an enthrallingly fast, open and natural sound in keeping with the sonic heritage of Britain’s original high-end audio company
'The closest approach to the original sound' – these words have formed the cornerstone of Quads philosophy for many decades. More than just a slogan, it underlies the companys commitment to producing the finest audio equipment, capable of reproducing all the elements and emotion of a live musical performance.
Quad has been responsible for many landmark hi-fi products throughout its history, none more famous than successive generations of the ESL – the worlds most revered electrostatic panel loudspeaker, a technology invented by Quad's founder, Peter Walker. To create the ERA-1 – the companys first-ever headphones – Quad developed a planar magnetic driver delivering a fast, open and transparent performance. The resulting sonic realism and fidelity to the source is fully in keeping with the brand?s heritage, displaying qualities akin to the famous ESLs.
Most headphones use mass-produced dynamic cone drivers, the limitations of which can hamper transient response and cause an uneven frequency response. Quad's cutting-edge planar magnetic technology delivers a more natural and accurate sound, ensuring you hear every nuance of a recorded musical performance. The Quad ERA-1 incorporates an ultra-thin, electrically active diaphragm – thinner than a human hair yet extremely strong and highly elastic, weighing less than the volume of air it displaces. This is fused with a precisely arranged magnet system, designed to maximise sensitivity and consistency of the applied force over the driver area. Patented nonlinear vibration suppression technology allows the drivers effortlessly extended frequency response to be heard unsullied, ensuring supreme clarity. The metal cavity behind the driver is specially designed for optimal acoustic performance, and the drivers themselves are closely matched to ensure spacious, three-dimensional stereo imaging.
Quad audio components combine the assurance of tradition with the buzz of innovation, and the ERA-1 headphones are a perfect example. Robust construction and a premium finish deliver a suitably luxurious feel, yet the headphones are comfortably lightweight compared to many planar magnetic designs. Two types of ear cushion are provided – one made of soft leather, the other of latex topped with a fleecy fabric – enabling a degree of personal tailoring according to the preferred feel and differing acoustic properties of the materials. A high-quality, detachable 215cm cable is also supplied, together with a durable carrying case.