The most interesting headphones at CanJam 2020 are also the first in the world to use full range AMT Drivers. They are from HEDD, aka Heinz Electrodynamic designs that makes high accuracy professional studio monitors. These rather large and power-hungry headphones (you need at least a watt of power to get them going and they can handle a lot more.
Learn more about Heddphones in this interview from CanJam 2020
I tested a pair of Heddphones on the spot, using various projects in the Blocs Wave app on an iPad Pro. That let me isolate various elements like drums, vocals, synths & bass and hear how these headphones handled them. The result? An intoxicating, addictive listening experience that begs one to turn it up and revel in the clean, spacious and impactful sound. It was, in a word, incredible.
With AMT drivers, there’s much less physical excursion/movement of the driver for the same output, given a driver of the same overall dimensions, versus the flat diaphragms found on electrostats and planars, as well as common dynamic drivers (cone or dome). That is the main advantage, in theory anyhow, of using an AMT driver: It’s because of the (much) larger surface area (thanks to the folds) and the accordion action.
Arguably, the AMT design has an advantage over also-expensive (and bulky) electrostatic headphones. They are easier to drive than electrostats while offering a similarly high resolution listening experience. However, Heddphones are less sensitive/efficient than a typical planar-magnetic design and do beg you to “turn it up” and experience the thrill of distortion and dynamic compression-free playback. Anyhow, you can use basically any powerful headphones amp with them (42 ohm impedance).
One thing Heddphone is not… is small.
I spotted Steve Gutenberg running off with a pair from the show floor. Lucky him, those might be the best sounding (And at the minimum, the most exciting sounding) cans at the show. Not bad for a product that’s the first of its kind. Check out the interview.