While Cardas Audio’s EM5813 Model 1 Ear Speaker is a relatively new arrival in the marketplace, it has been under development for years. To his great credit, company founder and Ear Speaker developer George Cardas resisted the temptation to rush his earphone into production, choosing instead to take extra time to improve and refine the EM5813 until its performance could be considered worthy of the Cardas name. Cardas was deeply involved in every aspect of the Ear Speaker’s design, meaning he had a hand in specifying the configuration of the EM5813’s earpieces, drivers, ear tips, and, of course, signal cables. He also carefully evaluated and selected many of the materials used for the Ear Speaker’s most critical parts.
In creating the Ear Speaker, Cardas followed design philosophies similar to those that have guided his audio cable designs over the years. Thus, Cardas asserts (without supplying much technical detail) that, “The hearing system, musical chords, and these Ear Speakers are reflections of the Golden Ratio” – a design theme underlying many Cardas products. Further, Cardas states that, “The EM5813 mirrors the human cochlea and tympanic membrane”—an approach the company terms “Ear Mirror Design.”
Inevitably, readers will ask where the Ear Speakers are made, which turns out to be a deceptively complicated question. Cardas says, “Components of the E5813 were manufactured in Oregon, California, and The People’s Republic of China. Custom alloys were sourced from Italy, Germany, and the US, magnets from China, and thin film from Japan.” The EM5813 is built from parts sourced from around the globe, using sub-assemblies mostly built in the US, with final precision assembly work handled in China, meaning the Ear Speaker is truly international in its origins.
The EM5813 earpiece housings are machined from solid brass, polished, and then treated to a gleaming copper plate finish. The earpieces sport tiny rear firing vents and feature very thick sidewalls, meaning they provide an unusually rigid and stable mounting platform for the drivers within. The drivers are 11.45mm dynamic units that feature extremely powerful neodymium magnets and diaphragms made of a distinctive, PEN (polyethylene napthalate) thin-film material.