ecoute Headphones - For The Ultimate Listening Experience

  • 18th Jul 2023
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ecoute Headphones - For The Ultimate Listening Experience

écoute: the world's only vacuum tube audio headphones

The new age of listening is finally here!!

The écoute headphones were first presented via a Kickstarter campaign, and they aim to change the way we listen to music on the go by providing the warmth and detail of an expensive analogue hi-fi system. Traditional headphones make listening to streaming music a disappointing experience when compared to a high-quality analogue hi-fi system. écoute's engineers have developed vacuum-tube amplified headphones with a carefully engineered signal route to address this need. 

These headphones are equipped with a USB-C connector for lossless digital input, a 3.5mm port for analogue input, and allow wireless listening through Bluetooth, making them suited for a wide range of listeners. The goal of this comprehensive design is to restore the listener's sense of warmth and sincerity by compensating for the drawbacks of digital audio transmissions.

To restore the warmth and realism lost in the transition to digital audio, écoute headphones are developed with an internal vacuum tube and a signal route optimised to address these issues.

The exorbitant expense of vacuum tubes has contributed to the widespread misconception that they are completely ineffective when a less-than-ideal signal is being used. According to écoute's findings, vacuum tube amplification has the potential to vastly improve the audio quality of digital information.

Traditional headphones make streaming and wireless audio signals dull and lifeless because of the need for file compression to minimise file size. The écoute headphones are a solution to this problem. Vacuum tubes provide even-order harmonics, which generate minute euphonic nuances, to digitally compressed music, making it sound fuller and more analog-like. The end result is a richer, more genuine sound, much like being at a live concert.

Vacuum tubes, in the opinion of many artists and audiophiles, provide higher sound quality and realism compared to transistors. Vacuum tubes improve gain, interact favourably with speakers, produce enticing harmonic distortions, and increase dynamic range and harmonic complexity. The overall sound quality and fidelity of recorded instruments and voices is enhanced as a result of these changes.

These are the first and only audio headphones that use vacuum tubes.

Vacuum tubes have never been deemed practical for use in headphones because to their fragility, sensitivity to vibration, high energy consumption, and heat output. However, the concept has been destroyed by écoute. The vacuum fluorescent display–inspired KORG Nutube P61, a dual–triode thermionic valve, has been included. The Nutube P61 may seem different from traditional vacuum tubes, but it performs the same as its predecessors while providing greater energy economy, quieter operation, impact resistance, and a longer service life.

Unlike headphones where many tasks are split across several processors, écoute headphones have separate components for each step of the signal conversion process. This innovative method, usually reserved for high-end rack systems, ensures top-notch audio by including only the best components throughout. The Nutube 6P1 dual-triode thermionic valve is used for its excellent linearity and "tubey" sound, the Realtek ALC4050 32-bit, 384kHz digital-to-analog converter is used due to its famed broad soundstage, and the bespoke 40mm cellulose fibre speakers are included due to their accuracy and linear response.

écoute was created out of a need for portable devices to provide the same high-quality sound as a tube-powered system. The developers behind écoute defied the conventional wisdom that vacuum tubes and headphones are incompatible and, against all odds, succeeded. The time has come for écoute to release their ground-breaking headphones into the world, forever changing the way we listen to music.

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Pradeep Dhuri

Pradeep Dhuri is a graphic designer, health enthusiast, video creator, and editor with a continuous desire to learn and develop. He is driven by an ambition to produce better things every day and to contribute to the world's betterment. He also utilises his talent for writing to explore fascinating ... read more


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