Vacuum tube amplified headphones... an item that personally I've no real interest in, nor am I in any way linked to or have any potential to make any financial gain upon....nor do I know any of those involved with them....

But, in the interest of those would might find such an item of interest:

Kickstart This...

When a pair hits your pate, let me know if it's a hit *ow*...or a miss *(f/m voice) "What?..."*

I get notifications on K/S projects, and this is the 1st one I've seen of this nature.
If I see anything of an 'phile nature, I'll post it 'for your consideration'...just because. ;)

Have a great weekend, J


....and,’s PRC.
Sorry ’bout that, but...since it appears there’s more of a market (or an interest in finding/making one) for an item such as this that’s not US nor EU....or anyone in existence to ’run it up the flagpole’, flip, flop, or fly...🤷‍♂️

Interesting chip, tho’...*G*

...besides....they're already fully-funded, and 'you can be the 1st on your block' bunch....*L*

"It sounds to me like I am listening on vinyl" - LOL! Plenty of falsehoods here! 

@jasonbourne71 ....just the piano player here, no judgements on my part.

"Hands where you can see them, officer...." ;)
There's pro PA gear that's used to 'create that tube sound', both live and studio for quite awhile now.  So, as for 'falsehoods'...I'll pull an Officer Bar Brady:

"Nothing to see here....move along..."  *L*

Their claim that tubes are better for music listening is a spurious claim that won't stand up in court!

Plenty of choices already for those desiring a tube-output headphone amp! Anyway, I am unfamiliar with the cold-vacuum device they plan to use. How does it compare to the standard triode tube?

Appropriately named old coot. 

Nice marketing. I’ll be interested to see some reviews by real audiophiles before passing judgment. Although I am skeptical. 

@ghdprentice ...You could be the 1st real one.."....*mild tease*  ...and the 'marketing' is pretty much in the 'higher end' of Kickstarts of the tech types.  Impressed me enough to run it by y'all for YHOs'...

Just for fun, and something to kick around.

@jasonbourne71 , I know there's tubed 'phone amps, but they're corded as far as I'm aware; this seems BT'd, so there's that...

It plainly states it's more for the 'streamers';  anyone walking about with their better than average portable source, be it a cell or player might enjoy it v. ear buds...

I do find the chip involved interesting, and it's certainly one of a kind at this point.

The cost of a pair doesn't seem all that out of line in comparison with other 'niche 'phones'.  Not something I'll lust for, but I'm not Everyman either....*L*

Got my own 'tendencies' to throttle... ;)

Me too...

But any innovation in headphones interest me now...

Thanks to the OP...


Appropriately named old coot. 

Nice marketing. I’ll be interested to see some reviews by real audiophiles before passing judgment. Although I am skeptical. 

Interesting, but the marketing seems to be full of statements that are simply fallacies. "Add warmth to digitally recorded music." LMAO. Did they involve any actual audio engineers? But wait... "

"Digital signals have MORE to gain from vacuum tube amplification in terms of sound quality simply because there is both, more room, and more need for improvement." Such BS.

Might end up being a decent device but damn, they better refine the marketing if they plan to sell to people with knowledge of audio beyond MP3 and cell phones.

@mahgister ....Hi, I thought this might catch your eyes and interest, since you're a 'phones guy of late.... ;)  As for validity of the catchphrases 'n claims....🤷‍♂️🤞, and all that we can throw at it...

They've hit their goal, so the project should move forward and the 'invested' ought to be 'fulfilled' in their place in the que....

To  quote He Who I Will Not Name Unless In Vain, "Stand By"....🤨

@dean_palmer *L*  If I (or we) believed and bought everything every bit of mental floss tossed our way by any and all of those who tout stuff for us to consume in whatever fashion....

We'd likely drool excessively, drag our knuckles a lot, and all filing for bankruptcy.

Hey!  Another brainseize from yours' unruly....

Let's all volunteer to be testy testers...*LOL*

The Cynic Squad.... "I don't want to believe...." ;)  

«I believe everything first  being a hard core skeptic»----Groucho Marx 🤓





Would this be a kind of update on the Audioquest Nightowl / Nighthawk headphones? I look forward to a comparison.

What?!? Why not just get a tube headphone amp? Or get one of those rinky-dink "tube buffers" if you think having a tube in the signal path will do something magical.

@o_holter , I had to drill around to see what you meant as to the devices problem.....

Different animal, go nose around my 'Kickstart' link....a 'tube on a chip' amp in the phones' cavities themselves.  The drivers themselves are mentioned I believe...

The 'phones are 'still  pending', but it's states when they should be arriving to those who've bought into the funding when the process ends.

Then the real work begins; moving from prototype(s) to the saleable objects..

Thought it would be of interest to some, catcalls and bronx cheers from others....

Kinda the typical with things audio, but with a twist:

- You get to try something potentially new (perhaps).

-  Maybe get to make your thoughts and suggestions make for a better product, if the creators ask for feedback.

- Even if the previous isn't asked for, you've laid your bucks down and you ought to be able to kvetch about ii, or toss a 'hooray' their way.... *L*

...given a recent topic on component break-in, be it speakers or device, you get to weigh in on that....5 minutes?  Hours, weeks, months, years, millenia...? *LOL*

As I posted to infer:  Don't shoot the piano player...;)

Maybe get to make your thoughts and suggestions make for a better product, if the creators ask for feedback.

....quoting self, to wit:  If they don't ask for feedback,, they'd get it, anyway...

..but not asking makes them suspicious and potential twits....mho..😏

Speaking of old coots. I saw a photo of an old guy who had implemented a tubed headphone amp on the back of his bicycle so he could enjoy the nice warm tube sound while riding. I’m only 70… but maybe when I am 75 I’ll try something like that.

@ghdprentice ....I remember a cartoon of that, but....given that art/reality seem to be in the midst of atonal chairs of late, a photo of that would hardly make a blink occur....

But I'd bet he had to keep pedaling in a high gear ratio.... ;)

I used to ride what's now 'road bikes' back when, interested in 3 wheels of late (2 f, 1 r...more stable....), although.....*🙄* front with a 'bone-shaker' pair in the back w/an auto-transmission could be insane from the membrane...*L*

It is great to see another application for the Korg Nutube.

I have previously encountered it in Pre'-Amp's of which I am having one built, a Phonostage and DAC.

I see no reason why this new application will fail to find users, especially if the Circuit Design is enabling the Korg to really perform.

The controlling the Nutube's microphonic ring, is going to be a hurdle to get over with only a very compact space to produce control measures.

I have a wonderful Stax pair including tube amp.  Bought in mid-90s for flat living, very costly I recall.  I haven't listened for at least 10 years, but I should - the sound was about the clearest and cleanest I've ever heard and they beat most speakers.


Point well made.  One thing stopping me is I sold the B&W 801s I had then and now have Martin Logan CLX Anniversaries that also sound detailed clean and clear and perhaps just a little headphone like (remembering the Stax are electrostatics as well).

But you're right, I should get the Stax out again and try them against the MLs.

*L*  I can see you now....Stax on your head like a house DJ, monitoring the mix, shifting from left to right, right to left..... ;))

Play sometime apropos...." ain't nuthin' less it's got that beat..."  😏

A friend who is a ESL user, as I am myself, builds Ribbon Headphones which require a purpose made Amp/Energiser?

I am not a Headphone user and after another who is an advocate of ESL's and  Headphones brought their Stax Model for a comparison to the Ribbon Headphones, the positive reports on the experience captured my curiosity.

I was offered a chance to experience the Ribbon design in use, through a VAC Valve Amp, it took a few tracks for myself to settle and acclimatise to having encapsulated ears.

A CD I use for demo's was also used, about a half hour in to the demo'.

The Ribbon design produced a depth to the Soundstage and Details that I know about and will use to determine the quality of details being extracted from the recording. Using the Ribbon Headphone as the listening method, there was a very obvious presence of attractors, the depth was considerable and the details vivid, certain aspects are seemingly tangible.

A few tracks were repeated after the demo', through the ESL's. The Headphones were spectacular as a comparison, it really does require a lot from a Speaker in a Room to generate the sense that a performer is present and can be touched.

The Ribbon Headphones proved to be capable to to create being their presence with ease, and was a common experience, I will one day be set up to really enjoy opportunities to have periods where Headphones are in use in my own system. 

I am now a headphone fan because fate take my acoustic room and speakers away, but with the AKG K340 hybrid, my actual system beat my tuned speakers/room , and to beat my K340 someone will need a dedicated acoustic room with speakers way better than my Mission Cyrus 781...Cost : over the sky...( ask an acoustician how is the cost a dedicated room, and if you do it yourself , i takes me at least a year full time of listenings experiments to figure out and tune my resonators )


Cost of my Akg K340 : 100 bucks ...By the way the bass i hear correspond to a subwoofer arrays...but it vtakes me 6 months to peut them on their optimal level ( 6 modifications) Nothing is easy... But it is more simple than speakers/room well done...i dont think that in S.Q. many headpgone can beat them, after all they were compared to Stax omega  favorably because of deep bass impact and holography and electrostatic highs and this 45 years ago without optimization...


@pindac , that's what I've read about ribbon 'phones, but haven't had the experience....nor esl types, the cost of which is not in my budget...


@ghdprentice , here's one version of that cartoon; there's an LP variant of an iPod that's cute....


@asvjerry The DIY Ribbon Speakers were a follow on to an investigation into building a Stax Type of ES Headphone, from recollection there is a Part that can be purchased very cheaply that enables the Stax ES Type to be produced.

It become apparent, both the ESH and RH DESIGNS, could have all parts required prior to assembly purchased for approx’ £100.

If the most desirable aesthetic is wanted, the price will inevitably increase.

The owner of the Stax ES Headphone was absolutely lost for words, when the discovery was made that the Ribbon Type was bettering their Headphones at approx’ a twentieth of the cost.

The same builder of the Headphones is also the Builder of the other devices I mentioned earlier using the Korg Nutube.

@pindac ...I'd be at a loss of verbs, too....if I'd heard & verified my ES 'phones could be outdone, and without having to charge 2 small elements right next to ones' ears....  As an owner and fan of ESS amts', which also don't require a charged element, there was for a time a pair from them, the 422H.  It had strengths but weakness' that couldn't be overcome at the time (one being heavy, not surprising given the magnet structure the element requires)...that, and it had qualities one could eq out, but....🤷‍♂️  A newish effort ( I suppose, but...) that will take more time to iron out that others have the time to do so with their products...

Anything new has a 'gestation' period of sorts, enabling that sort of 'sort out'....*s*

We can DIY, but face the same sort of obstacles....

The Producer of the RH Design, is not just your average DIYer.

There are all aspects of HiFi devices produce by their hands.

DAC's, Head Amp's, Phonostages, Pre Amp's, Power Amp's and quite few Speaker Builds, and over the recent year+ a Tonearm is also produced.

A DAC built for approx' £200 recently A/B compared to a Denafrips Venus really caused the Venus owner to rethink their situation with DAC. It seems the recent Denafrips Firmware Updates has allowed the DAC owner a little more grace, as they feel there is improvement now on offer.

I think is fair to say the RH Design is buildable, but the fine tuning of the finished product is probably best left to those with a time served experience.    

We can concur on that...let them 'rub off the rough edges', prior to letting us 'beta' their product with our whines 'n times spent looking askance at their product in hand....

"They're almost perfect....But..." *L*

"If they'd Only..."

Ad absurdum...

The schemes of mice, men, and related critters... ;)

I still think an amt 'phone could fly, but they'd have to get the weight down; open-backed, as they're an omni at their best.  And, imho, look into whether that amount of magnetic field would affect ones' head over time....

All the iron in ones' blood being pulled into ones' ears....(I'm only kidding, But..) *L*🤪 into my day, perchance to dream 'n scheme...

They sound interesting.  I’m not gonna read through all this and a HUGE pet peeve of mine is when I have to search for how much a damn product costs.  Please advise.  ARGH!!!

@soix .... 

Re the board & chip in the K/S 'phones...

Korg is a big concern in Asia....some have issues 'bout that but, it's a competitive world these days....and there seems a lot of new 'phile activity going on there....

Here in the West, the market is kinda....'flat', to borrow a musical term... ;)

As for the AKG and the ESS 422s'....eBay maybe....used, hopefully not abused....

Hope that helps... J

A Japanese Audio Designer known as Dr Kaneta, who is also responsible for making the Kaneta Technics SP10 MkII a realised design, of which quite a few have now copied on other TT's, is also an advocate of the Korg Nutube.

Nelson Pass is using the device as well, and a search will discover other Audio Devices have it in use in a Circuit.

When the Harmonic Ring is brought under control this little box of delights can really hit a home run.

In use the Nutube, is a Substitute for another Valve Type, that when used for certain roles would detach the Bass Driver from its chassis due to the distortion produced. The Nutube moves that distortion quite higher up the frequency, hence avoiding the impact on the Drivers. 

The Nutube Harmonic Ring is successfully being brought under control and inaudible, there are methods reported through users that clearly explain the methods used.

The Nutube is reported by the Manufacturer to have a 30000 Hour working life.

I would assume it would be a proportion of this working life, is the optimum working life, and it is not known to me if there is a fall of in sonic qualities after a certain amount of usage hours. This is a much improved working life when compared to typical Vacuum Tubes.