AudioQuest is making it abundantly clear that they want to be known as more than simple cable manufacturer. With the successful release of a [USB-stick sized DAC], the next frontier for the company appears to lie even further down the personal audio trail.
The newest entry for the company is a over-the-ear headphone called the NightHawk and I got a chance to listen to it first-hand on Wednesday night of CES. VP of Communications Stephen Mejias was the host of the event, pictured above with part-time audiophile, full-time goofball Scot Hull. The sonic output from the headphone seems to be a precursor to a very competitive, tight race for head-fi mindshare this upcoming year. With a retail price of $599, AudioQuest is likely going to tap into the same consumer base that it was able to reach so eloquently with the Dragonfly. All the new extremely competitive additions in the field should make the $500-$1k price point an important area of personal audio to keep an eye on.
The external design choices for the NightHawk are unique and fairly interesting by my measuring stick. The grained material you see above is actually constructed from a liquid wood which is molded into the ear cup shape. The headphone felt quite sturdy in the hand (and even more importantly) light enough to wear for long periods of time without fatigue.
The NightHawk is aiming for a spring launch and should be fairly easy to drive from any device (spec’d at 25 ohms of resistance).