Unlike Any Closed-Back Headphones You've Ever Heard: Natural-Sounding AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon Features Aperiodic Damping System That Isolates Noise and Lets Drivers Freely Breathe
AudioQuest's NightOwl Carbon sounds and are built like no other closed-back headphones you've ever heard. Vastly improving upon the original model praised by everyone from Stereophile to Rolling Stone, AudioQuest's around-the-ear NightOwl Carbon brings to listeners all the comfort, quietness, and naturalism of the first NightHawk while adding several key refinements. Unlike any other closed-back design, NightOwl Carbon touts a cutting-edge aperiodic damping system that fantastically isolates external noise. Equipped with a vent along the perimeter of each ear cup, NightOwl Carbon relieves pressure buildup and permits its drivers to freely breathe – eliminating ringing, oscillation, or resonance. But that's just the start of these extremely lightweight (12.2 oz.) audiophile cans. Liquid Wood ear cups with a Porsche carbon-grey metallic finish, two sets of ear pads, and an enhanced cable with a flexible braided jacket and discreet microphone controls for smartphone management come standard. NightOwl Carbon also features tighter tolerances, improved plugs and head pads, and a more luxurious finish than its predecessor.
Of course, NightOwl Carbon carries over many of the fabled sonic properties and features that made the original NightHawk such a smash. Inspired by cutting-edge loudspeaker technology, 50mm dynamic drivers with a biocellulose diaphragm, rubber surround, and true voice-coil former abet a patent-pending suspension system and direct-silver-plated high-purity copper plug adaptor. It all translates into super-low, hyper-clean sound that keeps coloration and distortion at bay. You'll also benefit from NightOwl Carbon's flat impedance that allows for exceptional compatibility with headphone amps, components, and mobile devices. And you'll relish how they feel on your head. NightOwl Carbon and AudioQuest change the game again – 100% Music Direct Guaranteed. Hear a pair for yourself and find out why.
“A DAR-KO Award lands here not only because the NightOwl Carbon isn’t as rich as its predecessor. Nor because it is more open sounding too. It’s because the NightOwl Carbon, like AudioQuest’s DragonFly DACs, arrive fully-formed with zero quibbles for the money and are significantly different to the competition.”
—John Darko, DigitalAudioReview.net, Knockout Award
“The NightOwl Carbons combine high-quality, all-natural audiophile sound with spectacular looks, exceptional comfort, and durability. If I were now forced to live with just one set of headphones, they would be AudioQuest’s NightOwl Carbons.”
—Herbert Reichert, Stereophile, June 2017
“[The NightOwls] are likely one of the few truly audiophile quality closed headphones you could buy. It is hard to balance closed headphones and over driven bass. No issue here as the aperiodic venting does its job. Highly recommended!”
“At the end of the day” is a cliché but is relevant here because the headphones are so suited to end of the day relaxed listening, the NightOwl is all about musical ‘feel’ and ‘enjoyment.’”
—Alan Sircom, Hi-Fi+
Stellar Resolution: 50mm Dynamic Drivers Inspired by Loudspeaker Designs
Compared to the drive-units commonly used in most headphones, NightOwl Carbon's 50mm dynamic driver much more closely resembles the high-quality drive units found in today's sophisticated loudspeakers – not simply in appearance but, more importantly, in terms of function and performance. It employs a carefully constructed bio-cellulose diaphragm, voice-coil former, and compliant rubber surround, resulting in quality that is as easily seen as it is heard. Designed for exceedingly low distortion and high excursion with true pistonic motion, NightOwl Carbon's driver contributes significantly to the headphones' well-controlled bass, rich midrange, and naturally extended highs. Its combination of effortless clarity and outstanding representation of space produces meaningful, emotionally compelling listening experiences.
Advanced Aperiodic Damping System Relieves Pressure Buildup, Lets Drivers Freely Breathe
Hidden beneath the central circular portion of NightOwl Carbon's ear cups, a vent runs along the perimeter of each dome and exits through a hidden airflow-resistive port. Unlike other headphones that use a sealed enclosure, NightOwl Carbon is designed to effectively relieve the buildup of pressure, allowing the drivers to breathe freely and ensuring that any impulses quickly return to an innocuous resting state – with no ringing, oscillation, or resonance.
Head Pad Automatically Adjusts to Your Head for Incredible, Comfortable Fit
NightOwl Carbon's head pad attaches to its outer headband via small, swiveling pins located on either side of the headband's base just above the suspension's yoke. An inner elastic band is concealed by a soft, modestly cushioned pad, which yields and rises when met by resistance or pressure. In this simple way, the head pad automatically adjusts to the listener's head – no clicking, snapping, cranking, or guessing involved. This guarantees an easy, comfortable fit, time and time again.
Liquid Wood Ear Cups a Best of Both Worlds Proposition: All-Natural and Acoustically Superior
NightOwl Carbon's ear cups are made from Liquid Wood – actual wood that has been combined with reclaimed plant fiber, heated, liquefied, and processed in such a way that it can be injection-molded. While injection molding is commonly accomplished with environmentally hazardous plastics or synthetic polymers, Liquid Wood is a natural material – as sustainable as it is physically beautiful. Moreover, compared to ordinary plastic or wood, Liquid Wood has far superior acoustic properties and provides a seemingly endless array of geometric possibilities. AudioQuest uses Liquid Wood to shape the ear cups to more closely resemble the human ear, providing a more complete and comfortable fit and reducing stress on your head and ears.
Better for Everybody: Sustainable Engineering and Production
To the very extent that it is possible and practical, AudioQuest avoids the use of plastics in designing and manufacturing headphones. Whereas the production and disposal of plastic is known to present environmental hazards, the production of Liquid Wood and biocellulose has minimal impact on the ecosystem. The same holds true for Protein Leather – a bio-derived synthetic fabric that encases the soft, comfortable earpads. Developed by combining a specialty resin with protein powder derived from eggshells, Protein Leather is durable and pliable. It claims a softness and surface asperity approximating that of human skin, making it particularly well suited to its application in NightOwl Carbon.
AudioQuest's Industry-Leading Cable Technology Included
AudioQuest has designed and refined high-performance cables since 1980. NightOwl Carbon benefits from that experience, extending to a durable cable designed to effectively control noise and minimize distortion, thus enabling a deeper emotional connection between listener and music. The cable's conductors are made of high-purity copper drawn and cast with exceptional care to eliminate as much oxygen content as possible, significantly reducing impurities in the metal that would otherwise exacerbate distortion. Moreover, the cable's flexible jacket greatly reduces microphonics – the annoyingly audible rustling or thumping sounds that occur when headphone cables come into contact with external surfaces – and its rigorously tested strain relief ensures longevity. The mic and smartphone controls allow you to accept and make phone calls, or, of course, play, pause, and select tracks. The control circuitry is kept separate from the audio circuitry, meaning audio quality is never compromised for convenience.