This Audiophile Headphone Package includes:
- AudioQuest NightHawk Over-Ear Headphones (Brown/Black)
- AudioQuest DragonFly Red v1.0 USB Digital-to-Analog Converter
AudioQuest NightHawk Over-Ear Headphones
AudioQuest’s first headphones needed a special name—a name that conveyed power and freedom, inspired ideas of physical and emotional transportation, complemented the overall look and feel of the product, and still left room for growth. After much deliberation, "NightHawk" was chosen to lead what will be a complete family of headphones that match outstanding performance with extraordinary value.
Measurements - Designed for Low Distortion and Maximum Performance:
- NightHawk’s bio-cellulose driver diaphragm is equipped with a compliant rubber surround, enabling pistonic motion and anechoic termination: As the voice-coil moves, the diaphragm moves—not adversely, but sympathetically—thus carefully controlling and preserving the coherence of timing information.
- NightHawk’s voice-coil is carefully wound on a small cylinder of kraft paper, selected for its combination of low weight and stiffness—perfect for retaining the voice-coil’s shape—enabling productive motion, while preventing adverse flexion. Moreover, the voice-coil is wound at a very specific location on the former, precisely positioned at its zero resting point within the magnetic gap, thus providing the ideal symmetry of motion for the accurate reproduction of high frequencies.
- Unlike most headphone driver baskets, NightHawk’s basket is intelligently designed for perfectly even distribution of its air vents, thus avoiding adverse rocking of the voice-coil. Free from the resultant distortion, low frequencies are better controlled and, therefore, sound cleaner and clearer, with more natural impact and extension.
- All diaphragm materials have distinct coloration profiles, some more benign than others. Unlike the overwhelming majority of headphones that use driver diaphragms made of Mylar—an inexpensive, lightweight, and inherently flimsy plastic material with a distinctly audible distortion profile—NightHawk’s driver diaphragms are constructed from bio-cellulose: an exceptional driver material, largely impervious to the brittleness, harshness, and ringing that so often characterizes Mylar.
- Unlike headphones that exhibit significant boosts (+5dB or more) at frequencies from about 2–8kHz, NightHawk’s frequency response is perceptually balanced based on research in the fields of room acoustics, head-related transfer functions, auditory physiology, and modern measurement techniques. In fact, NightHawk exhibits greater extension and better linearity at both low- and high-frequency extremes than most headphones at any price.
Innovative Materials: Beautiful, Sustainable Liquid Wood
- NightHawk's earcups are made from a revolutionary new material known as “Liquid Wood”—actual wood that has been combined with reclaimed plant fiber, heated, liquefied, and processed in such a way that it can be injection molded. Compared to ordinary plastic or wood, however, Liquid Wood has far superior acoustic properties and provides a seemingly endless array of geometric possibilities. In NightHawk, they use Liquid Wood to shape their earcups to more closely resemble the human ear, thereby providing a more complete and comfortable fit, reducing stress on the listener’s head and ears. And, unlike typical plastic, Liquid Wood is environmentally friendly—more than merely beautiful to behold, it is also sustainable.
Ergonomics: Removing the Barriers between Listener and Music
- Sensitive ergonomics in a headphone design remove unnecessary boundaries between the listener and his or her emotional involvement with the music. NightHawk's flexible headband efficiently distributes the headphone's weight, providing a feel that is both comfortable and comforting—you'll want to wear NightHawk. Its simple yet intelligent, patent-pending suspension system allows the earcups to articulate freely, accommodating heads of nearly any shape or size, while effectively decoupling the earcups to counteract intrusive resonances. NightHawk's earpads are made of soft, durable protein leather—again shaped to resemble the human ear—with greater thickness toward the rear of the pad, thus providing additional comfort while setting NightHawk's drivers at an angle optimized for precise, stable imaging. Listen for hours—in comfort, immersed in music, moved by NightHawk.
Patented Split-Gap Motor: Sayonara, Distortion.
- NightHawk’s patented split-gap motor design dramatically reduces intermodulation distortion to provide a clean, well-defined broadband response and a large, naturally detailed representation of space with truly remarkable resolution in the time domain. These things, albeit admirable and impressive, are merely attributes of the sound. In terms of music, tonal colors should be more distinct, the interplay between voices and instruments easier to follow, the silences between notes deeper and more charged, so that the music itself becomes more intelligible, meaningful, and purposeful—easier to understand, appreciate, and enjoy. In short, you might hear deeper into recordings than you’re used to. Beware: Those aforementioned silences can be particularly staggering.
The NightHawk Cable
- NightHawk benefits from AudioQuest’s 30+ years of experience in the high-performance cable business, including a headphone cable purposefully designed to minimize distortion, promote intense user satisfaction, and provide a deep emotional connection to the music. It uses many of the same ingredients found in their speaker cables and interconnects, including high-purity Solid Perfect-Surface Copper+ conductors, Foamed-Polyethylene insulation, and silver-plated terminations. The cable’s exceptionally soft nylon braid minimizes mechanical noise and complements NightHawk’s quiet, confident beauty, while its 3.5mm plug has a 45° scooped shape designed to provide a satisfying feel as you make and unmake connections. In addition, they include a custom 3.5mm-to-1/4” headphone adaptor that, like their finest cable connectors, features thick Direct-Silver plating over the highest quality base metal, resulting in a part that isn’t merely functional, but also meets the standards set by NightHawk itself. Every bit of NightHawk was designed to exude quality, performance, innovation, and beauty.
- Most of today’s headphones use diaphragms made from Mylar—an inexpensive, lightweight, and technologically mature plastic material. Unfortunately, Mylar is inherently flimsy and brittle, typically distorting as the audio signal reaches high frequencies of 6-10kHz and invariably causing listener fatigue. NightHawk takes a radically different approach. Inspired by the advanced drive-units used in today’s high-performance loudspeakers, NightHawk’s 50mm high-excursion drivers have biocellulose pistonic diaphragms and compliant rubber surrounds. The biocellulose material is rigid and self-damping, making it far more accurate and musically pleasing than Mylar.
- NightHawk’s patented split-gap motor design dramatically reduces intermodulation distortion to provide a clean, well-defined broadband response and a large, naturally detailed representation of space with truly remarkable resolution in the time domain.
Balanced Equitangential Airflow
- Air turbulence is one of the major contributors to non-linear, distortion-inducing behavior in headphone drivers. NightHawk uses symmetrically distributed, equation-driven curvatures to intelligently guide airflow through its internal driver structure, thus reducing the harmful, unpredictable effects of turbulent air pockets and voice coil rocking. Your music sounds clean, clear, large, and alive.
Diamond Cubic Diffusion & 3D-Printing Technology
- NightHawk is a semi-open headphone with a biomimetic grille inspired by the underlying structure of butterfly wings—a fascinating diamond cubic latticework that diffuses light to create iridescence. Visually beautiful, technologically complex, and built to a much larger scale in NightHawk, the grille’s intricate latticework diffuses sound and defeats the resonances that ultimately distort and damage our music. Far too complex to mold or machine, NightHawk’s grille can only be created through 3D printing via an advanced form of additive manufacturing known as “Selective Laser Sintering.” NightHawk, the first completely original production headphone to use a 3D-printed part, represents beauty, intelligence, and responsible innovation.
A Loudspeaker-Inspired Headphone Experience
- Many of NightHawk's design elements are successfully implemented in today’s most innovative loudspeakers, but have rarely been used in headphones. Much like the internal bracing of a beautiful loudspeaker cabinet, NightHawk’s sophisticated earcup enclosure incorporates support beams that enhance structural integrity and minimize unwanted resonances and vibrations. An elastomeric coating is carefully applied to the enclosure’s internal surfaces to further reduce harmful vibrations, while a damping material comprising a purposeful blend of wool and polyester enables an extraordinarily smooth, natural frequency response for a deeply immersive and emotionally compelling listening experience. With NightHawk, vibration-induced distortion is intelligently minimized, allowing music to breathe freely.
Soft, Durable Earpads
- NightHawk’s earpads are made of soft, durable Protein Leather, and, like the earcups they adorn, are shaped to more easily and reliably conform to the shape of the human ear. Protein Leather was specifically developed to be pleasing to the touch, with a softness and texture approximating that of human skin, which means that no matter how long you enjoy listening to NightHawk, you’ll remain cool and comfortable. Further, the earpads themselves gradually become thicker toward the rear of the pad, thus providing additional comfort where you need it the most—at the pinnae—while simultaneously optimizing the angle at which NightHawk’s drivers aim into your ears.
AudioQuest DragonFly Red v1.0 USB Digital-to-Analog Converter
DragonFly Red is a USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC) designed to deliver cleaner, clearer, more naturally beautiful sound from any computer, smartphone, or tablet. DragonFly Red’s unique design allows for playback of any file type regardless of resolution. Natively, DragonFly Red is capable of decoding 24-bit/96kHz data.
DragonFly Red employs a unique clock system called a Hybrid-PLL. While not discrete, the Hybrid-PLL performs equal to, or better than, many discrete clock systems, at a fraction of their cost. Additionally, DragonFly Red is software upgradable.
DragonFly Red DAC Features:
- Plays all music files: MP3 to high-res
- Compatible with Apple and Windows PCs, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices (requires Apple Camera Adapter or Made for Android/OTG adaptor)
- Drives headphones directly
- Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver
- Asynchronous transfer ensures digital timing integrity
- High output (2.1 volts) drives almost all headphones, including power-hungry models
- 32-bit ESS 9016 DAC with minimum-phase filter
- Bit-perfect digital volume control
- Impedance: 25 ohms
- Sensitivity: 100dBSPL/mW
- Power Handling: 1.5W
- Driver: 50mm Dynamic/Biocellulose Diaphragm/1.2T Split-Gap Motor
- Length: 8' (2.4m)
- Conductors: Solid Perfect-Surface Copper+ (PSC+)
- Geometry: Symmetric Star-Quad
- Dielectric: Foamed-Polyethylene
- NDS: Noise-Dissipation System
- Terminations: 3.5mm Stereo > Dual 2.5mm Mono / Direct-Silver Plated Copper
DragonFly Red DAC Specifications:
Supported Operating Systems
- Apple OS X®
- Apple iOS®
- Microsoft Windows® (7, 8.1, 10)