Beyerdynamic, the German headphone manufacturer, showed the new T1 headphone at CES. I had a chance to speak with one of beyerdynamic's engineers about the T1 and to have a brief listen.
First, the headphone. Priced at $1295 and available later this month, the T1 is a semi-open back design. The T1 involves several departures from beyerdynamic's standard practice. The driver is all new, with a metal diaphragm, machined metal structure, and new magnetic geometry. The drivers are also placed at an angle to the ear, a strategy we've seen with the Ultrasone Editon 8 and the Sennheiser HD800 among others. But beyerdynamics engineers say their objective in the offset driver placement was to avoid creating reflections from the outer ear -- the opposite of the objectives of other offset designs it would seem. The earpads have been designed to reduce reflections as well.
At CES beyerdynamic had their display in one of the main convention center halls. That means background noise was very high, so my listening comments are limited. Basically what I heard was smooth sound without obvious low or high frequency nasties. More detail (much more) awaits a review sample in our lab, which beyerdynamic will send shortly.