AudioQuest Nighthawk Carbon Headphones
50mm Dynamic Drivers Inspired by Cutting-Edge Loudspeaker Designs
Compared to the drive-units commonly used in most headphones, NightHawk Carbon's 50mm dynamic driver much more closely resembles the high-quality drive units found in today's sophisticated loudspeakers – not simply in appearance but, more importantly, in terms of function and performance. It employs a carefully constructed bio-cellulose diaphragm, voice-coil former, and compliant rubber surround, resulting in quality that is as easily seen as it is heard. Designed for exceedingly low distortion and high excursion with true pistonic motion, NightHawk Carbon's driver contributes significantly to the headphones' well-controlled bass, rich midrange, and naturally extended highs. Its combination of effortless clarity and outstanding representation of space produces meaningful, emotionally compelling listening experiences.
Immersive, Semi-Open Headphones Produce Three-Dimensional Soundstages
The open-back design of NightHawk Carbon's speaker enclosures – its ear cups – enables an expanded, three-dimensional soundstage with natural dynamics and smooth, coherent performance that extends into the lowest and highest octaves. As with any open-back headphone, the open area had to be protected by a grille to prevent damage to the headphone's precision-made internal parts. Traditionally, this has almost always been accomplished with perforated metal/plastic, wire cloth, or some other two-dimensional material. Yet these materials also tend to compromise the headphone's performance, reflecting sound back toward the driver, creating standing waves, and resonant colorations. What if this grille could be three-dimensional and promote a random scattering of sound diffusion to successfully prevent those destructive standing waves? Enter NightHawk Carbon.
3D-Printed Grille Solves the Problem of Diffusion
To solve the problem of diffusion, NightHawk Carbon uses a biomimetic grille inspired by the underlying structure of butterfly wings – a fascinating diamond-cubic latticework that diffuses light to create iridescence. Built to a much larger scale in NightHawk Carbon, the grille comprises a repeating pattern of interwoven trellises, each successive layer gradually becoming thicker as the latticework expands outward. Because the innermost trellises of the grille are narrower and more widely spaced than those at the outer surface, NightHawk Carbon encourages internal diffusion: While it's relatively easy for sound to enter the grille, it's much more difficult for sound to exit. Compared to the typical open-back headphone, NightHawk Carbon exhibits significantly less leakage – a boon for you and your neighbors. With its intricate diamond-cubic latticework, the sound-diffusing grille is far too complex to machine or mold. It can only be created through today's advanced 3D printing.
All-Natural and Acoustically Superior: Liquid Wood Ear Cups
NightHawk Carbon's ear cups are made from a material called 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. While injection molding is commonly accomplished with environmentally hazardous plastics or synthetic polymers, Liquid Wood is a natural material – as sustainable as it is physically beautiful. Moreover, compared to ordinary plastic or wood, Liquid Wood has far superior acoustic properties and provides a seemingly endless array of geometric possibilities. AudioQuest uses Liquid Wood to shape the ear cups to more closely resemble the human ear, providing a more complete and comfortable fit and reducing stress on your head and ears.
3D-Printed Grilles and Liquid Wood Equal Sustainable Engineering
To the very extent that it is possible and practical, AudioQuest avoids the use of plastics in designing and manufacturing headphones. Whereas the production and disposal of plastic is known to present environmental hazards, the production of Liquid Wood, biocellulose, and 3D-printed grilles has minimal impact on the ecosystem. The same holds true for Protein Leather – a bio-derived synthetic fabric that encases the soft, comfortable ear pads. Developed by combining a specialty resin with protein powder derived from eggshells, Protein Leather is durable and pliable. It claims a softness and surface asperity approximating that of human skin, making it particularly well suited to its application in NightHawk Carbon.
Comfortable, Easy Fit: Head Pad Automatically Adjusts to Your Head
NightHawk Carbon's head pad attaches to its outer headband via small, swiveling pins located on either side of the headband's base just above the suspension's yoke. An inner elastic band is concealed by a soft, modestly cushioned pad, which yields and rises when met by resistance or pressure. In this simple way, the head pad automatically adjusts to the listener's head – no clicking, snapping, cranking, or guessing involved. This guarantees an easy, comfortable fit, time and time again.
Made with AudioQuest's Industry-Leading Cables
AudioQuest has designed and refined high-performance cables since 1980. NightHawk Carbon benefits from that experience, extending to a durable cable designed to effectively control noise and minimize distortion, thus enabling a deeper emotional connection between listener and music. The cable's conductors are made of high-purity copper drawn and cast with exceptional care to eliminate as much oxygen content as possible, significantly reducing impurities in the metal that would otherwise exacerbate distortion. Moreover, the cable's flexible jacket greatly reduces microphonics – the annoyingly audible rustling or thumping sounds that occur when headphone cables come into contact with external surfaces – and its rigorously tested strain relief ensures longevity. The mic and smartphone controls allow you to accept and make phone calls, or, of course, play, pause, and select tracks. The control circuitry is kept separate from the audio circuitry, meaning audio quality is never compromised for convenience.