Some audio firms are forever written into the history of high-performance audio. Acoustic Research (AR) and Kloss, Lowe and Hoffman (KLH) are two that immediately come to mind. Over the years the trademark KLH has appeared on a variety of components, few of which achieved the same levels of importance as their early offerings. But that may change. Former Klipsch Global Sales President David P. Kelly is now the CEO and owner of KLH and is looking to bring the brand back to prominence, in part through the firm’s first headphone product, appropriately named the KLH Ultimate One.
The Ultimate One’s design is built around a 50mm ‘pure beryllium’ driver that according to KLH has a frequency response of 18 Hz–22 kHz (± 3 dB) and a high sensitivity specification of 97dB. The Ultimate One’s circular, open-back enclosure is made of genuine Ebony wood with a mesh opening at its centre. Supplied accessories include a two-metre detachable silver Litz braided cable with 3.5mm terminations, a 6.35mm adapter, a travel case, and a soft velour carry bag.
The fit and finish of the KLH Ultimate One is exceptionally fine, especially considering its price. There’s no “carbonized plastic” where there should be metal. And instead of the usual lateral pivots that have some flex or play, the side-pivots on the KLH Ultimate One are tight, smooth, and move without a trace of wobble. This same level of construction quality extends to the ear pads, cushioned headband, and extension detents on the headband. Everything is tight, carefully finished, and exudes a sense of solidity. Unlike many mid-priced headphones, the KLH Ultimate One carries a two-year warranty.