Mitchell & Johnson UK Re-Invent The Electrostatic Headphone; No DC Bias Amp Required! Finally. This is the Breakthrough We’ve Been Waiting For.
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 speakers 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 a 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.
Except Mitchell & Johnson MJ2. 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 wood chamber for deep, articulate 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 I’ve heard yet, with clarity and resolution equal to the best Hi Res Audio content.
Why professionals like electrostatic speakers
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 the specialized mounting angle of 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 others thought about that.
The diagram below depicts how an electro-dynamic speaker makes sound vs the self-biased Mitchell & Johnson electrostatic diaphragm. Below that, I’ve put together a comparison chart of all the electrostatic headphones on the market with their specs and prices as published on their websites. As you will see, there is no comparison really, the Mitchell & Johnson’s MJ2 excel in every parameter and sell for an incredible $499.
|Electrostatic Headphone Comparison Chart|
|Brand:||Mitchell & Johnson||Stax||Koss||Kingsound|
|System Type:||Full Range Hybrid Dynamic / Electrostatic||Full Range Electrostatic||Full Range Electrostatic||Full Range Electrostatic|
|Speaker Diameter:||40mm woofer / 4030 E-Stat||N/A||7 sq inches||N/A|
|Frequency Response:||6 Hz to 50 KHz||5 Hz to 42 KHz||8 Hz to 35 KHz||6 Hz to 46 KHz|
|Sound Pressure Level:||120 dB||118 dB||98 dB||116 dB|
|Impedance:||32 ohms||145 KΩ / 580v Bias||100 KΩ / 600v Bias||113 KΩ / 600v|
|Acoustic System:||Sealed Circumaural||Open Air||Open Air||Open Air|
|Audio Input:||3.5mm||N/A||RCA, 3.5mm||3.5mm|
|Cable Length:||4 ft / 1.2m||8 ft / 2.5m||4 ft / 182cm||N/A|
|Weight:||21 ozs / 600g||21 oz / 596g||12.4 oz / 353g||16 oz / .46kg|
|Price:||$499 MSRP||$5250 MSRP (USA)||$999 MSRP||$2125 MSRP|