When it comes to headphones, we’ve come to accept that there will be some loss of clarity, resulting in a poorer quality of sound than we’d like. It’s the downside we’ve come to think of as part and parcel of convenience, whether that’s simple earbuds or full over-ear models. Fortunately, Warwick Acoustics doesn’t accept those downsides.
If you’ve not heard of UK-based Warwick Acoustics before, you may well have heard of their work through the SonomaTM Model One (or M1) Headphone System, one of the purest, audiophile reference headphones ever built. Now, it’s pushing the boundaries of detail retrieval even further with its latest creation, the APERIO.
The APERIO is designed to do two things above all others: provide superlative listening no matter the input or conditions and to do so in comfort, even over long periods of time.
At the core of this new reference headphone system is the same electrostatic technology that powers Warwick Acoustic’s other headphone and in-car systems. The novel technology uses a transparent sheet of conductive material that is flanked by a pair of electrically conductive grids. These grids then push and pull the film between them to turn electrical signals into sound.
It’s not a technology you see often, though the advantages are impressive. Electrostatic speakers tend to have lower distortion, greater frequency response and are extremely lightweight. They do have disadvantages, such as a lack of bass and high directionality, but in the APERIO, Warwick Acoustics has overcome this through its proprietary innovative technology.
Visually, the APERIO is stunning. The system isn’t overly stylised, eschewing the exotic wood cabinetry and over-the-top flair of many a high-end piece of equipment. Instead, its clean, thoughtful details and contemporary style make for a seriously impressive-looking piece of tech. But it’s still nothing compared to the sound – a sound that begins with the transducer.
The transducer is the most important part of the headphones. It’s what translates the electrical signal from the input into the movement of the electrostatic and finally to sound that can reach the ear. In the APERIO that’s the job of the new Balanced-Drive HPEL Transducer, a symmetrically-driven advancement on that used in the Sonoma Model One. As well as the innate advantages of electrostatic technology, the drivers’ patented cellular structure limits interference, making the APERIO system incredibly clear and stable.
As for comfort, the headphones themselves are built from a combination of lightweight injected magnesium and leather. Both the materials used and the shape of the earcups create a comfortable seal, perfect for long listening sessions.
To complete the APERIO, the headphones themselves come with a dedicated headphone amplifier that acts as a central hub for the whole system, which doubles up as a full feature preamplifier. Housing a digital-to-analogue converter and a full suite of line outputs, elevating any record player or digital input to the superlative quality the headphones can achieve.
As lockdown continues, we’re likely not the only ones spending most hours in the day with headphones on working our way through our music collection. Rather than settle for substandard sound and user fatigue, try out what could quite possibly be the finest headphone system on the market today, the APERIO – at any price range.
More details at Warwick Acoustics.