Mitchell & Johnson UK Re-Invent The Electrostatic Headphone; No DC Bias Supply Required!
Most headphones on the market today fall into one of several categories, either an Electro-dynamic, Planar Ribbon, or Electrostatic (ESL). Since the electro-dynamic type were first developed, they’ve dominated the market. However, knowledgeable audiophiles consider ESLs to be the Ferrari of all speaker types, with the highest quality of sound. The trick is getting them to operate over the full bandwidth, still produce great bass, and not cost an arm and a leg. To do that required inventing a new diaphragm material that allows for the elimination of the DC Bias Charger / Amp that all electrostatic headphones still require to this day, requiring them to be plugged into an AC wall socket, making them all un-portable.
A Better Way To Do Electrostatics
Except Mitchell & Johnson GL1. They’re less expensive because their diaphragm is permanently charged with nano-particles so no DC Bias Charger / Amp is required. That cuts the price in half or more. “Hybridding” does the rest by combining the best 40mm dynamic woofer set in an acoustically ideal sealed polymer chamber for deep, clean bass, crossing over to the electrostatic diaphragm at about 200 Hz to deliver a perfect blend of both technologies. The result is the finest headphone at $199.99 I’ve heard yet, with clarity and resolution equal to the best Hi Res Audio content.
The diagram below depicts how an electro-dynamic speaker makes sound vs the self-biased Mitchell & Johnson electrostatic diaphragm. Compare the GL1’s specs against those of every other headphone, regardless of its technology. As you will see, there is no comparison really, the Mitchell & Johnson’s GL1 excel in every parameter and sell for an incredible $199.99. The extremely thin diaphragm of ESLs has a much lower mass than most other drivers and therefore conducts to velocity of dynamic response, meaning they’re faster because they’re lighter. They have no overhang, meaning they dont store energy. ESLs have the absolute advantage on frequency response, both amplitude and phase, and musical transparency when compared to electro-dynamic and planar ribbon drivers. Note they have a specialized mounting angle for the drivers, they’re cleverly aimed into your ear canal to eliminate HRTF, Head Related Transfer Function. Wow. That’s a nice touch, none of the other brands thought about that.