British headphone makers Warwick Acoustics have harnessed the power of electrostatics with their Sonoma headphones. The operating principle of electrostatic drivers is entirely different to that of the moving coil design that we’re so used to with traditional headphones and speakers. Because of the design, electrostatic drivers tend to offer excellent levels of detail but are usually rather expensive.
So, to Warwick Acoustics’ Sonoma. Launched around 18 months ago, the Sonoma was originally designed with audiophile consumers in mind, however, it has more recently found favour in the studio market, with several high-profile users extolling their virtues.
The Sonoma includes an ‘energiser’ — required to power the electrostatic elements — along with a Class-A amplifier and a D-A converter all in a single external desktop box. None of this comes cheap, though, with pricing very much in serious audiophile territory at £5000/$5000.
Warwick have also trailed that they will have a new product aimed at the pro audio market in the new year so we’ll bring you that news when we have it.