Today we’re going to check out HEDD Audio’s HEDDphone, and these are the world’s first air motion transformer driver headphones, so everything about them is quite unique and interesting. These are priced at around 1900 US dollars, which is around 1.5 Lakh Rs.
In India, so they are priced higher than the popular high-end headphones like Focal Clear, or the Hifiman Aryas, but then these are also said to be competing with headphones like the LCD 4 and Focal Utopia, which are much more expensive, so from that perspective, they could actually be a great value headphone, even at their price point.
So let’s check what’s good and what’s heavy, and if these prototype-looking headphones are something that you can live with every day.
In-Box Content of HEDDphone
So beginning with the unboxing, the HEDDphonecomes in a really big box, and you don’t have a lot of fancy stuff going on inside, as the pro audio brands don’t generally care about spending on things that don’t really matter.
But the headphones are really well protected in this foam casing. The cable that you get with these is nice, but it is a little stiff, and the twisted cable design with a sleeve on it makes it have a weird shape.
Now, these headphones obviously are way larger than other headphones. They look really big on your head, and they kind of feel more like a sound helmet than a headphone.
But in spite of all that, once you wear them, they feel quite normal, and the reason behind their unusual width is that they don’t have dynamic or planar drivers like you find in other headphones, and the air motion transformer drivers that they have has to be placed at a greater distance from your ears to sound right.
The air motion transformer driver produces sound in a different way, so instead of a piston motion that you find in something like a dynamic driver, they have kind of a squeezing in and out motion with the folded ribbon driver in their earcups.
This is the same technology that you will find in tweeters of speakers like the Adam Audio A5Xs which you see me using, and HEDDAudio was actually also started by the founder of Adam Audio.
They thought about using their very critically acclaimed AMT driver technology on headphones, so they started with a very rough prototype, and then they had around 20 revisions before it became the HEDDphone.
So even though this is HEDD Audio’s first headphone, this is a product that they have spent a lot of time and thought on. So it may look very different, but it is actually surprisingly useful as an everyday headphone.
HEDDphone Build Quality
Coming to the build of the HEDDphone, their construction is very solid and the headphone feels really well built, but the finishing on it is quite average. It does have a very strong feeling in the hand, and the swivel mechanism is also able to handle the complete weight of these headphones, so you can pick it up with one earcup with confidence.
The earcups are surrounded by this strong metal frame, and it really feels like this headphone would be able to handle a drop or two even after being so heavy, which I find to be quite impressive.
But when you take a close look at it, it is really clear that HEDD Audio wasn’t trying to impress anyone with a luxurious finish or intricate design patterns that you would find on something like a Focal Clear MG.
You can see some solidified bits of paint left on the metal frame, and in some spots, the paint has already chipped off on my new unit. The swivel mechanism also makes creaking noise, because the metal piece on the headband is directly touching the metal frame of the earcups,
So this is definitely not the kind of polish that you would expect to have on a 1,900 Dollar headphone, but then again, the overall construction feels really strong and well-engineered, and I really don’t think anything on this headphone would break, even after a long time.