Austrian Audio has released The Composer, its new flagship headphone model and the Full Score one, its debut headphone amp.
Used together or integrated into multi-brand systems, the two new models drive the Vienna-based manufacturer’s expertise to new areas of the audio sector, including high-end home listening.
Since the company’s 2017 launch, Austrian Audio has built a reputation for supreme headphone design, covering home, office and studio-geared models.
The Composer employs the latest version of Hi-X technology, featuring a 49mm driver with a precision-machined ring system featuring maximum strength N52 grade neodymium magnets. This design enhances airflow and reportedly delivers the most powerful magnetic field in its class.
Austrian Audio coats the diaphragm of the Hi-X49 DLC with diamond-like carbon (DLC), making it very rigid.
Listening with The Composer, users are said to experience spacious yet precise high frequencies and faithful and swift impulse bass imaging at low THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) levels – the THD parameter gauges the extent of unwanted harmonic distortion introduced by a sound-reproduction system as it processes an audio signal.
Austrian Audio has equipped the Composer with a design that includes unique tiltable earcups with four positions. The durable memory foam ear pads further boost comfort, the adjustable headband employs a mesh material to release warmth and avoid perspiration, and the headphones weigh under 400 grams.
Why a headphone amp?
With the rise in consumers investing in higher-end headphones, a dedicated amp is a crucial part of any high-end system. It can be tempting to sidestep the additional purchase, but a capable headphone amplifier is optimised to take listening to new levels.
Austrian Audio’s approach to its first headphone amp was comparable to building a very low noise power amplifier. So, the Full Score one handles low-impedance headphones down to 10 Ohms and high impedance, low-sensitivity headphones with over 300 Ohms.
Thanks to an innovative design – the main amplifier comprises a wide band, fully symmetrical voltage feedback circuit with a triple emitter follower output stage biased in class B, a high-speed complementary push-pull gain stage and a cascoded parallel differential input stage – the Full Score one secures the lowest THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) at every output level and frequency range. This means listeners can hear every nuance of recordings, even with less sensitive headphones that need more amplification.
The Full Score one also employs its maker’s new, proprietary True Transient Technology (TTT). This innovation helps the amplifier deliver even the steepest transients – for example, the snap of a snare drum or the pluck of a guitar string. The TTT implementation includes the Full Score one’s primary amp short output voltage invariant rise time, combined with a high maximum slew rate, which ensures that TTT reveals the full bandwidth and finest subtleties of the recording.
Some (older) music recordings were mixed with slower audio systems in mind, hence the TTT button on the Full Score one’s front panel, letting the listener switch it on and off.
The Full Score one can be paired with a pair of high-end headphones, although the manufacturer recommends The Composer.
The Composer is priced at EUR 2,499.00 / GBP 2,249.00 / USD 2,699,00.
The Full Score one is priced at EUR 1,499.00 / GBP 1,299.00 / USD 1,499.00.
The two new models will ship during Q4, December 2023 and Austrian Audio will unveil The Composer and Full Score at CanJam SoCal 2023 in California, taking place from September 30 to October 1.