KJ West One - Connoisseurs of Sound - Est. 1965
KJ West One - Connoisseurs of Sound - Est. 1965

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Nighthawk Headphones


In creating their first headphone, AudioQuest and NightHawk designer Skylar Gray had large, ambitious goals. He knew that NightHawk had to be something special—not just another ordinary headphone—but, beyond that, Audioquest strove to liberate headphone design from decades of misinformation and neglect, most specifically characterised by the pervasive use of Mylar-based driver diaphragms, the misapplication of well-intentioned but ultimately ineffective correction curves, and an array of other cost-saving measures that too often permeate the consumer electronics industry.

With that in mind, Gray began from the ground and worked his way up, reevaluating and reimaging every aspect of headphone design. His mandate, as issued by AudioQuest founder William E. Low, was to follow his passion, to take all the time necessary—while, of course, working efficiently—to design a product that meets AudioQuest’s (and his own) highest standards: unsurpassed love, appreciation, and respect for the source signal.

NightHawk is the result of over two years of development—a product that uses sustainable engineering, high-quality materials, and creative thinking to minimize waste and excess while maximizing performance and value. A product designed to build stronger emotional and intellectual connections with music, movies, and games. A product designed to successfully bridge the gap between two of hi-fi’s most enduring and seemingly disparate pursuits: the pursuit of unbridled pleasure and the pursuit of unprocessed truth. A product designed to inspire: music lovers and headphone enthusiasts, as well as thinkers, builders, engineers, and creators of all sorts. A product designed, like all AudioQuest products, to minimize distortion and to do no harm.

It is rare to see a manufacturer put  so much development into every single part of their product. Audioquest have spent a huge amount of time making sure every single part is produced to their own high quality. They really did seem to start with a blank page with this design. Nothing is your typical component from the drivers to the cables to the cups. It is all unique. 
Comfort is another positive that you instantly notice. They use a unique suspended headband system. Nighthawk’s head pad automatically adjusts to the listener’s head—no clicking, snapping, cranking, or guessing involved—guaranteeing an easy, comfortable fit for any size. 

The ear-cups on Nighthawk have been ergonomically designed around the general contour of the human ear—rounder at the rear, wide at the top, narrowing toward the bottom. This reduces stress on the head and ears and as well as helping to isolate the music against external noise. The enclosures are manufactured from liquid wood (made from 100% renewable raw materials: lignin, natural fibres, resins, and waxes) which gives much improved resonances compared to plastic or metallic headphones.  
The ear cups feature a biometric grille which has been 3D printed to diffuse sound and take out the resonances that ultimately distort and damage music. The inside of the ear cups also have been developed to eliminate unwanted nodes and standing waves, this has been done by implementing an internal optimised rib design.
NightHawk’s 50mm dynamic driver has been designed to replicate that of a loudspeaker rather than a typical headphone driver. It features bio-cellulose diaphragm, voice-coil former, and compliant rubber surround. Bio-cellulose is rigid and self-damping, and therefore capable of far better control across the entire frequency spectrum than commonly used Mylar diaphragms. 

Nighthawk gives a charastiristically clear sound with lots of warmth. The dynamics that they are able to produce give a real sense of space and make you feel as if you are surrounded by the music.  The bass is well controlled and has a punch, which for a semi-open back headphone is surprising. It adds to the warmth, and allows Nighthawk to be able to cope with whatever genre that is thrown at it, from jazz to rock to dance. 

Nighthawk comes with two detachable cables, which have been specifically designed using Audioquest’s vast knowledge of cable manufacture.  One cable is a modified version of Audioquest’s Castle Rock speaker cable and one is an extremely durable alternative.  Also provided is a 3.5mm-to-1/4” plug adaptor designed with thick Direct-Silver plating over a high-purity red Copper base metal and it all comes in a luxurious leather carry case. 

Audioquest range

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