AudioQuest NightHawk Carbon & NightOwl Carbon
AudioQuest's first headphone, NightHawk has been lovingly featured in the pages of magazines and websites. While NightHawk's many innovative design elements - Liquid Wood earcups, biomimetic sound-diffusing grilles, and high-performance solid-conductor cable, to name just a few - have impressed listeners worldwide, many have expressed interest in different paint finishes, more versatile cables, and closed-back designs. AudioQuest takes the first of many steps toward satisfying those interests with two new around-the-ear models - NightHawk Carbon and NightOwl Carbon.
The closed-back NightOwl Carbon further advances the state of the headphone art, replacing NightHawk's sound-diffusing grille with an intelligently designed aperiodic damping system for excellent isolation of external noise, ensuring privacy for the listener and those nearby. Hidden beneath the central circular portion of NightOwl's earcups, a vent runs along the perimeter of each dome and exits through a hidden airflow-resistive port. Thus, unlike other headphones that use a sealed enclosure, NightOwl is designed to effectively relieve the buildup of pressure, allowing the drivers to breathe freely, ensuring that any impulses quickly return to an innocuous resting state - with no ringing, oscillation, or resonance.
Further, Audioquest implemented several closely related acoustic, ergonomic, and cosmetic refinements, each of which seamlessly complements the whole, delivering improved performance while elevating the overall user experience. Tighter tolerances which reduce air leakage for improved airflow and lower distortion. Protein Leather Pads seal tighter for better isolation and slightly enhanced treble clarity. Ultrasuede Pads breathe freer for greater comfort and slightly reduced bass impact. NightOwl Carbon also have high-purity Tellurium Copper (TeCu) base metal for smoother surface, higher plating quality, better mating contact, and, consequently, less noise. Cable can be terminated with balanced connections or customized to various specifications. Carbon Grey Metallic high-gloss automotive paint is meticulously applied via multistage process Improved inner presentation i ncludes microfiber pouches for headphones and accessories for safer, simpler travel.
Meanwhile, NightHawk Carbon is a more sophisticated, more mature version of the original. It boasts the same exciting refinements found in NightOwl - improved performance, greater comfort, two pairs of earpads, a far more durable cable with discrete mic and smartphone controls, enhanced look and feel - all while retaining its predecessor's remarkably low distortion and fatigue-free sound. Of course, all of the advanced design elements that made the original NightHawk such a success are carried over into the improved models - NightHawk Carbon and NightOwl Carbon share their predecessor's pistonic drivers with biocellulose diaphragms, compliant rubber surrounds, and true voice-coil formers. The patented split-gap motor remains unsurpassed in its ability to reduce intermodulation distortion. The earcups are fabricated from the same revolutionary Liquid Wood material, affording acoustically optimized support beams and carefully applied damping. The patent-pending suspension system allows the earcups to move freely, accommodating heads of almost any shape or size, while effectively decoupling the earcups to counteract resonances.
Thus, NightHawk's exceedingly low distortion, unrivaled comfort, and naturally detailed sound have been enhanced in several meaningful ways. With the new semi-open NightHawk Carbon and closed-back NightOwl Carbon headphones, AudioQuest hopes you'll listen longer, later, and with greater pleasure, enjoying even deeper immersion in your favorite music, movies, videos, and games. AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon and NightHawk Carbon headphones will cost $699. Additionally, Carbon-model earpads and cables will soon be available separately, so that owners of the original NightHawk can customize their headphones. Info and photos by AudioQuest.