Focal Headphone Triple Treat: Clear, Elear And Elegia Get You Wired For Sound.

The iconic Sony Walkman was introduced to the world in 1979, thus starting a revolution in portable music. Of course headphones were a key part of that movement. Suddenly people everywhere were seen wandering the streets and on subways wearing little discs on their ears.

Trapped in their own world (or even free to roam their own little audio heaven) people just loved music on the go. From then on headphones give us absolute control over our audio-environment, allowing us to privatise our own space. But it also represented a shift in our basic relationship to music.

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And then of course came the Mp3/Ipod movement and then the high end music player market. As a result we (the industry) have had a year on year growth in headphone sales for the last decade.

But that's not the only reason for great headphone sales over the last decade or so. In 2014 GQ magazine had a headphone spread on its website and made this quote “The newest fashion accessory isn't a fashion accessory at all. It's head-swaddling high-style headphones ,that make as much of a statement as anything you're wearing”. So looking and sounding good is a must.

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Enter the Focal headphones.

The headphone cable is covered with a braided-cotton sleeving to prevent any electrostatic charge. It looks good and will prevent our Chromey getting a shock!!!

The headphone cable is covered with a braided-cotton sleeving to prevent any electrostatic charge. It looks good and will prevent our Chromey getting a shock!!!

The stamp “fabrique en Francais” make the team at Focal quite proud and create beautiful products.


Pictured above are The Clear headphones.

Clear are the brand new open-back high-fidelity headphone made by Focal. Continuing in the spirit of Utopia and Elear and using the best of Focal technologies, Clear offer the sensation of listening to your favourite music in a space that no longer has limits. Discover the emotion of music, thanks to Clear's ability to recreate the tiniest details of the recording.

20mm memory foam ear cushion covered with a perforated microfibre fabric.

Key points:

• Open-back design for use at home

• Exclusive full-range speaker driver with an 'M'-shape Aluminum/Magnesium dome (patent pending)

• Excellent performance when connected to an audiophile portable stereo

• A listening experience very close to that provided by high-fidelity loudspeakers

• Comfortable and ergonomic.


Pictured above are the Elear headphones.

Elear is an open back pair of headphones featuring numerous innovations from Focal, which are key to their outstanding acoustics performance. Elear offers the world’s first, full range and fully open back loudspeaker, built-in to a pair of headphones. Additionally, they are made from an Aluminum-Magnesium blend, in a formed shape, unique to Focal with the company’s brand new “M” shape dome. This new dome shape has originated from the research performed during the Utopia headphone project that will offer the highest quality sound, while avoiding potential avenues of distortion.

The acoustic quality of this exclusive solution allowed Focal to avoid the use of any crossover or passive filtering process in order to achieve a frequency response from 5Hz to 23kHz.

The result is thus impressively realistic, making the headphones virtually disappear and providing listeners with a truly unique high-fidelity audio experience. Elear also benefits from the R&D done on Utopia. With regards to mechanical design, the rotation traditionally included on the yoke has been moved into the headband to ensure the total purity of the design. The microfiber fabric, used on the cushions, offers a true comfort for all head shapes and sizes – a quality that is mandatory for long listening sessions.


Pictured above is the Elegia headphone.

Elegia is an audiophile circum-aural closed-back pair of headphones from Focal. The ergonomic design makes them incredibly comfortable and offers excellent sound isolation, making these headphones the ideal solution for long listening sessions. Continuing its headphone development programme, the Focal R&D team has introduced several new innovations, all with incredible audio performance in mind. The full-range 'M'-shape aluminium/magnesium dome speaker driver provides a very high frequency response, which is the basis for Elegia’s supremely dynamic sound. In addition, the frameless voice coil, which is lightweight yet incredibly stiff, reproduces the minutest details that adds to the convincing all-round performance. With its incredible tonal balance combined with long-term comfort, the Elegia is a key reference in the high-end closed-back headphones sector.

The leather and microfibre headband is a feature on all 3 headphones. (not perforated on the Elear’s)

The leather and microfibre headband is a feature on all 3 headphones. (not perforated on the Elear’s)

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Ok so that's the technical details out of the way. How many different specs could you possibly need before we all start to glaze over? What we really want is the music to start flowing, so without further ado, here are our deliberations.

How do they sound?
Well The Clear are certainly the best of the bunch, sounding much more detailed with an openness and airiness that lends it self to the lightweight diaphragm in the Clear's which is much more responsive than the Elear and Elegia.

But to be fair, and this isn't a cop out, all three of the Focal headphones sound impressive for their respective price points, but don’t take our word for it, come and have a listen and decide for yourself!

£1399 for The Clear, £895 for The Elear and £799 for The Elegia. But in all honesty the proof of the pudding is in the listening. So get yourselves over to our store on Bridge Street Manchester, all of the featured headphones are on demo.

Mike, Munir, Dave and Simon (Haden on Sunday's) will be there to help you to turn on, tune in and drop out.

And remember, our Cliff can’t be wrong. As seen in The Guardian’s top ten worst video’s ever made.

Focal Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T: Bristol, Cheltenham, Online, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon

Winter Sale Now On! Christmas Hi-Fi Stocking Fillers from Arcam, KEF, Rega, Bowers & Wilkins

If you are finding it hard to find to that perfect gift or stocking filler, DON'T PANIC, here at Audio T Preston, we can help with a few ideas for any Hi-Fi or music lover in your life.


First up we have the Arcam mini-Blink at just £99 this is a great stocking filler that will fit into any amplifier and let’s you Bluetooth sound from your phone/laptop or tablet.

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Very easy to set up and use, this Bluetooth DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) sounds so much better than connecting through the headphone output even when using a good quality cable, more output and much more dynamic.

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The Arcam mini-Blink comes with all the cables and power supply included, so you can be up and streaming in no time. We recommend downloading the Tunein radio app via the Apple app store or Android Playstore, to give you access to internet radio.

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Keeping it Bluetooth we have the KEF Muo portable speaker.


At just 21cm wide and 0.94kg this little rechargeable speaker, packs a punch and is perfect for the listener who is on the move.

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The Muo has a battery life of up to 12 hours when fully charged (3hours charging time) and 10m Bluetooth range.

Available in gold/silver/blue and grey at £150 it's a great option.

Available in gold/silver/blue and grey at £150 it's a great option.

It's been another great year for turntables with sales overtaking CD players again, a great place to start is the Rega Planar 1 at just £249.



This is a great plug and play record player is easy to set up and it can be up and running in no time, the only thing to check is to make sure your amplifier has a designated phono stage.



If you don’t have a phone stage, fear not! The Rega P1 Plus has one built in and all you need to do is connect it to any line level input on your amplifier.

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Both available in black or white.

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If your looking to make that daily commute a little more enjoyable we have the award winning Bowers & Wilkins PX headphones.

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These noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones even have their own app to perform updates and settings to match your environment, they are a closed back design so do not leak out sound and annoy your fellow commuters.

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With a 22 hour battery life they are perfect for that long haul flight and can be wired, just don't forget the adaptor.

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The PX's can be folded up for easy transporting and are supplied with a carry bag/usb charging cable & 3.5mm wired cable.

Available in black or soft gold.

Available in black or soft gold.

These are just a few suggestions, please call in and we will be happy to chat about other options that would make a perfect gift, especially as our Winter Sale has just started!

On a different note (no pun intended ed) a big thank you to all who attended our Classic album evening on 20th November. Having not done one in a long time it was great to see a few familiar faces...and a few new ones too. Thanks for coming along and supporting the event.


We look forward to seeing you all over the festive period.

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Have a great Christmas and New Year!


Ian and Gavin.

Quad ERA-1 Planar Headphones

I must profess that I am not a regular headphone user. I have always preferred the more natural presentation that you tend to get with a good Hi-Fi with the acoustic subtleties, caused by the room acoustics. However, the new Quad ERA-1 may well change my opinion.


The ERA-1 features a 20-Ohm impedance,m108dB sensitivity and a 10Hz~40kHz frequency response. It comes with two sets of ear pads (one synthetic leather, one genuine sheepskin) a fitted case and detachable (socket-fitted) two-meter cable with 3.5mm jack and 6.3mm adapter included.

Build quality is excellent, with the ERA-1 featuring a comfortable headband and a healthy dose of metal-alloy and plastic throughout its chassis.


The ERA-1 fits comfortably and snugly. Having the choice of pads is surprisingly useful, personally, I preferred the comfort of the sheepskin pads.

The sound of the ERA-1’s is classic Quad: Warm and musical. Possessing superb bass control and extension, combined with tremendous detail and spatial separation. £599 is by no means cheap, however, anyone looking for a pair of high end headphones, should give these Quad ERA-1 headphones some serious consideration.

We have a demonstration pair here at Audio T Oxford, so please do come and have a listen for yourself.

Quad Hi-Fi is available from the following branches of Audio T:


Bask In Splendid Isolation With Meze Audio Classic & Neo Headphones

With the clocks about to go back, and the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing well underway, you may feel that it’s time to consider an antidote in the form of a pair of headphones.

Here in store we have a selection of headphones of the closed and open back varieties, and in this blog we thought we would focus on a couple of models which might help you through these difficult few months.


Antonio Meze’s company is based in Baia Mare, Romania and has been making headphones since 2009. The 99 Classics were launched in 2015 and have been making waves in Head-Fi circles since then, for a number of reasons.

99 Classic

99 Classic

For a start, they are very nicely made from good quality materials and are assembled using old school techniques, which means that any maintenance or repair is a straightforward process – no glued components to separate.  The ear cups are beautifully turned from solid walnut which gives a touch of class; rare for any headphone, let alone those which sell for such a reasonable price.

The self adjustable mechanism means they are very comfortable on heads of all shapes and sizes; they come with a useful set of accessories and, most importantly, sound extremely entertaining.

99 Classic

99 Classic

They are a closed back design so isolation from ambient noise is good; sound staging is a little more restricted than one would expect from an open back pair but there is still a pleasing openness about the midband and plenty of treble detail without the upper frequencies becoming painful or intrusive.

Bass (particularly the lower mid bass region) is particularly potent which makes these ‘phones really good for lovers of music with oodles of low end, and it also gives a pleasing richness to classical and acoustic music.  In reality, pretty much anything sounds fun and engaging through these wooden gems.

99 Range

99 Range

They sell for the princely sum of £269 and are available in either Walnut/Gold or Walnut/Silver finishes. To make the deal even more impressive, if you buy a pair from us you will receive a free pair of Meze 11 Neo in-ear monitors which retail at £49. We currently have stocks in both finishes.


If you would like the function of the very impressive 99 CLASSICS at a lower price point, the 99 NEO might fit the bill. They are very similar in construction but are made from ABS plastic to keep weight and costs down.

99 Neo

99 Neo

Although not quite as natural sounding as the Classics, they are really impressive with more modern and electronic music as the low end has even more heft so you have a choice of flavour.  They come with a similarly good quality case and set of accessories, and sell for just £189. Again, we have stocks in store.

Both these sets of cans have a low-ish impedance and 103dB efficiency so work perfectly well connected directly to a phone or a digital audio player (DAP). However, to really get them singing, you could think about partnering them with the fabulous Chord Electronics Mojo DAC/Amp. This little marvel will drive these (and indeed most other) headphones to perfection, and you will thus be insulated from anything the TV can throw at you. Turn it up loud enough and you might be able to ignore all the Brexit arguments too.

Come on in and have a listen - Simon, Gareth - Audio T Reading.

Meze headphones are available at the following branches of Audio T:


Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Ooze Audiophile Style

It's been a while since our last blog, so we thought we would do something a little different this month. We asked Matt and Tom from our local bespoke tailors Doherty Evans & Stott to let us photo bomb their photo shoot with the B&W PX headphones.

We also made a little video showcasing the B&W PX headphones in all their glory, using DE & S as a back drop. So keep an eye out for Matt looking sharp in a pair of PX headphones.

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Bowers & Wilkins have always been regarded as a powerhouse Hi-Fi speaker manufacturer, from mid to entry level loudspeakers to their Nautilus flagship, their products always reflect their drive as a company to deliver accurate sound to their customers. So in an ever expanding age of digital music being available to us, manufacturers have to work hard to keep up with tech in our world.

B&W launched their PX series wireless headphones, ticking all the right boxes with APTX Bluetooth, adaptive active noise cancellation, software which combines an application available for your mobile device for control and customisation. 

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The PX's aren't the priciest headphone in the world yet they do feel reasuringly expensive, they simply ooze quality from the offset, the box to the carry case, everything has been crafted to reflect the price point of a £500+ headphone yet they only cost £330. From the leather/metal headband, the earcups, to the reassuring click of the buttons. Compared to the competition at the price point they are great value and punch way above their weight. Infusing metal with a soft touch leather has paid off to perfection, when you pause and actually look at the design of the headphones, they are truly unique. The way the metal is folded and curved to accomodate the braided cable, this in turn gives the ear cup a solid connection to the headband with little risk of breaking or bending, they look exceptional.

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Oh, and kudos to B&W for making the high wear parts replaceable i.e. the ear cups and cable. 

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How do they sound and work?
Soundstage, for a closed back set of cans the PX's are pleasantly surprising. Stereo imaging is accurate and encapsulating, they not only isolate you from the outside noise pollution but also deliver punchy and satisfying sound on your commute. 

The ease of wireless is not to be overlooked either, the range on the headphones in tests at our Manchester shop were up to 10 metres, meaning having your music source in your pocket or bag will be like the using a hot knife to cut through butter when connecting your mobile device to the headphones. Happy days.

Matt from  Doherty Evans & Stott,  purveor of fine clothing and beautifully fitted suits, noted how comfortable the B&W PX's were. 

Matt from Doherty Evans & Stott, purveor of fine clothing and beautifully fitted suits, noted how comfortable the B&W PX's were. 

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Matt seen here looking very dapper wearing PX headphones by Bowers & Wilkins

Shirt by Eton

Jacket is Made to Measure by Doherty Evans & Stott.

Pocket Square by Doherty Evans & Stott

Right then, as you can see, a lovely set of PX headphones from Bowers & Wilkins.

If you want try them out, we have ours on demonstration at Audio T Manchester.

In the meantime you can see what the world wide web is saying about them here.

Audio T Customers

Trusted Reviews

What Hi-Fi?

Happy reading, see you at the store.

Words, pictures and video by Munir & Simon.

Bowers & Wilkins PX Headphones are available from the following branches of Audio T:

Bowers and Wilkins P3, P5, PX, P9 Signature Headphones - The Full Range!

In this months blog, we take a look at the Bowers & Wilkins range of personal and portable headphones. If you're looking for a new pair of headphones then look no further. Whether you're looking for small and compact, the freedom of wireless connectivity, or the ultimate Hi-Fi experience, Bowers and Wilkins have the right set of headphones for you.


Starting with the P3 headphones. These very lightweight on the head, perfect for travel and the daily commute. They are a closed back design, so you shouldn't annoy your fellow passengers with sound leakage, though you may annoy them with headphone envy!

Available in black only, supplied with a hard carry case.

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Next in the range we have the award winning P5 wireless headphones, also very lightweight and compact but the big difference here is that there are no cables! Having wireless aptX Bluetooth built in, means these are the perfect travel companion.


Available in black only with a battery life of up to 17 hours, perfect for that long haul flight. 

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Here we have the all new PX wireless headphones already winning awards, this is our best selling headphone at the moment. Bigger than the P5 and adding a feature of noise cancelling it is ticking all the boxes for home listening and on the move.


With a battery life of up to 22 hours the flight to Australia just got a lot more enjoyable. Download the app and you can adjust the settings on the active noise cancelling between city/office flight and keep up to date with the latest firmware.

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Another great feature would be the built in sensors, put the headphones on and they turn on, take them off and they will go into standby mode, if you take a phone call using the built in microphone the PX headphones will pause the music. They are available in two finishes space grey and soft gold.

The P9 signature headphones are the flagship model of the range and are made using some very luxurious materials, including: saffiano leather, giving a distinctive cross hatch finish and forged foldable aluminium arms for greater durability.


The performance of the P9 has to be heard and is a big step up from the previous flagship model, the P7. The P9 is one of the most comfortable headsets we have tried and more than delivers on performance offering great sound quality.

One of the main changes made to the B&W P9 are the drivers, this design has been angled and when listening, gives a more natural presentation, focused in front of you, rather than to the side.

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A de-coupled headband helps stop vibration, giving the P9 a very open soundstage, but not taking away any of the bass.

The P9 also come with a luxury protective case and 5 metre cable as well as the 1.5m that is already fitted.

All of these great headphones are available to demo in-store. We look forward to seeing you soon

Ian, Gavin & Andy - Audio T Preston.

Bowers & Wilkins Headphones are available from the following branches of Audio T:

Turn Heads and Enjoy the Music With the New Bowers and Wilkins PX Wireless Headphones

Introducing the Bowers and Wilkins PX wireless headphones, the feature rich wireless headphone offering a taste of the award winning sound that Bowers & Wilkins have delivered for 50 years.

Look, no wires! 

Look, no wires! 

On first seeing and holding the PX's you can instantly tell this is a premium headphone. This feeling continues when you put them on your head as they are very comfortable. We think you could wear them continuously for the 22 hours the battery will last.

So how about this for minimum effort, you don't have to touch your phone/device or a button in order to stop them playing. Pull them away from your ear and they instantly stop playing, placing the headphones down will kick start a sleep mode to save your battery life, to continue with listening simply pick the headphones back up and put them on. These wireless headphones can also be used conventionally with the supplied cable although they will have to have charge to be able to use them like this.

Light comfortable and stylish

Light comfortable and stylish

They have a clever three mode noise cancelling operation. The three modes are flight, city and office. This changes the way the noise cancelling works to suit the environment you are in.

The PX's support HD 24bit/48khz with the latest Bluetooth aptX HD supported devices such as various smartphones and digital audio players for example: Sony, LG & Astell & Kern.

The B&W PX's captivate with their control over the music. They give each instrument great separation and the bass is never overblown which lets the music shine.

Incorporating driver technology from the Bowers & Wilkins P9's, these lightweight well built headphones will also fold flat and they come with a handy travel case to protect them. The B&W PX also come with a traditional headphone cable as well as a micro usb and the volume can be adjusted easily using the controls on the side of the right ear phone. The middle button will allow you to pause, play, skip and go back.

Overall the Bowers & Wilkins PX wireless headphones have certainly ticked a lot of boxes for us: user functionality, build quality and audio quality, so come along and have a listen for yourself.

Bowers & Wilkins headphones and loudspeakers are available from the following branches of Audio T:  
Brentwood, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Enfield, Manchester, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Southampton, Swansea and Swindon. Bowers & Wilkins 800D3 series are only available from Audio T Cardiff.

Bowers & Wilkins Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones PX Have Arrived

Bowers & Wilkins have launched a brand new pair of wireless noise cancelling headphones, called the PX. They are available in a space grey and a soft gold finish.




What's in the box? The Bowers & Wilkins PX come shipped with a nice case, a usb-cable for charging and a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable so you can use them wired to your phone or tablet, just in case you run out of battery power. The 40mm full-range drivers are angled inwards for better sound performance and are hidden under the magnetic ear pads.


We charged them out of the box and not long after we are able to have a good listen. They are very light, comfortable and sound amazing.  


We paired the B&W PX via Bluetooth to an Android phone and later to an Apple iPad and it paired within seconds. Music from Tidal HiFi, a music streaming service, was the first we tried and wow, the PX’s soundstage is big and open and they can go fairly loud without any hint of distortion. 

Play "Till Tomorrow" of Yello's "Touch Yello" Album or "Hey Laura" of Gregory Porter's "Liquid Spirit" Album and you know what I mean. 

The built in proximity sensor called 'Wear Sensor', which stops playback as soon as one ear cap is lifted or when you take the headphones off. Put them back on and playback continues - it's a nice feature when someone wants to talk to you. This option can be switched on or off via the PX set up app if you prefer.


How well does the noise cancelling work?

Bowers & Wilkins have designed an app  (Bowers & Wilkins Headphones) available for the Android Play Store and Apple App Store to set up the noise cancelling for the PX. Open the app, touch the volume + button on the PX's and you are ready to go.


Now you see a button called environment filter, switch it on and this gives you the choice of 3 settings - Office, City, Flight and Voice Pass-through if you prefer to hear a bit more what is going on around you. 


The noise cancelling works really well and it is up to you if you use it with music or just to cancel off the noise around you whilst on a long-haul flight and you want to close your eyes for a while.

All in all we are very impressed with the build and sound quality of these stunning Bowers & Wilkins PX headphones.

Please feel free to come in for a listen. 

Thank you very much for reading our blog and we hope to see you soon.

Stefan & Andy - Audio T Swindon  

Bowers & Wilkins Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:


Pioneer Special Edition Monitor 5 Headphones

The Pioneer SE-Monitor 5 headphones are the new closed-back premium headphone from the Japanese electronics company. They compliment the excellent open back SE-Master1.

Great build quality adds to the appeal here, not only do they sound great but look good too. The magnesium alloy frame and the leather headband secure the headphones firmly to your head. Maybe a tad weighty, but very comfortable all the same. The copper ring on the capsules and copper coloured plugs on the braided headphone cable add that extra bit of class to the Monitor 5's.

The elegant new Pioneer SE-Monitor 5 headphone.

This beautifully constructed headphone exudes quality. The headband adjustment is reassuringly solid. Magnesium alloy and leather!! Lovely.

Enter Chromey!!. Those velour headphone cups look really comfy Chromey, and did you know they also come with an extra set of leatherette cups to go with your tight leather pants. splendid.

Enter Chromey!!. Those velour headphone cups look really comfy Chromey, and did you know they also come with an extra set of leatherette cups to go with your tight leather pants. splendid.

The leather headband looks and feels great.

The leather headband looks and feels great.

The 3.5mm jack allows to you disconnect the headphone cable and use a highend aftermarket cable.

Sound Quality
The SE-Monitor 5's sound like a £1000 headphone should, well defined bass that doesn't bloat and stays in check is welcome for a closed-back headphone. The midrange is very well controlled and isn't shouty at all, meanwhile the treble is also lush and well detailed with a hint of warmth. Overall, the stereo image produced by the SE-Monitor 5's can't be faulted and is very accurate.

Fancy a try ? well, why don't you do like Chromey, and zip into Audio T Manchester and give the Pioneer SE-Monitor 5 headphones an audition. We have a dedicated area for our headphones where we use a headphone amp, you can also plug the Pioneer's directly into a portable device such as a phone or a portable audio player if it's how you roll.

Munir, Mike, Dave, Simon and Haden will be on hand to help.    

Are You A Night Owl? Audioquest NightOwl Carbon Headphones

Then the new NightOwl Carbon headphones are for you. A hugely talon-ted (he he..) headphone with a choice of ear pads to offer a comfortable and different listening experience.

The protein Leather pads seal tighter for better isolation and improved treble clarity and the Ultra suede earpads breath freer for greater comfort and enhanced bass impact.

The cable has multiple functions including play, pause, call answering, track skipping and returning to previous track. Thus making them suitable for on the go listening as well as reference listening at home. They also include a Direct silver 6.3 plug adapter.

For a closed back design they offer similar openness and clarity to most open back headphones. Impressive sound quality aside they are tremendously comfortable making long listening sessions even more satisfying. A good companion for the NightOwl is the Chord Hugo DAC in conjunction with your Hi-Fi or mobile device. 

Priced at £599 the Audioquest NightOwl Carbons are a must listen, Swoop in to Audio-T Portsmouth and try them on our dedicated headphone listening system, or at home over a weekend on your own system.

Contact Nick, Joe and James for further information or to book a demonstration. Make the Wise choice! We look forward to seeing you soon