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Dan Clark Audio Stealth Review, Interview, Measurements
"Disappear" into the music; natural, balanced & highly detailed. More details
Dan Clark Audio Stealth Review, Interview, Measurements
Introducing Dan Clark Audio’s all-new Stealth closed back headphone. Four years in the making, the flagship Stealth sets a new standard in headphone performance and ergonomics. Featuring Dan Clark Audio’s all-new 4th generation planar magnetic driver and breakthrough Acoustic Metamaterial Tuning System, Stealth delivers a stunningly smooth presentation to bring new life and enjoyment to all your favorite music. They didn’t stop at improving the sound either; they also redesigned our headband to deliver a big step up in both ergonomics and comfort!
All headphones are subject to standing waves in the higher frequencies, and these can make treble sound harsh, fatiguing, or synthetic. AMTS is DCA’s patent-pending solution to this perennial problem. AMTS is an inline device placed between the transducer and ear. It integrates waveguides, diffusion control, quarter-wave, and Helmholtz resonators into one compact structure. Diffusion elements system reduce some standing wave formation while resonators act as both precision and broad filters to smooth and shape the frequency response, reducing the amplitude of response peaks and troughs from the midrange through the highest frequencies. The upshot is AMTS greatly reduces standing waves so high frequencies are rendered with a refreshingly smooth, accurate, and detailed delivery across all genres. OK, bad recordings are still bad, and Dan Clark Audio aren't magicians! Stealth's all-new 4th generation planar-magnetic driver delivers the smoothest, richest, and most detailed experience they could create. Stealth’s driver is 20% larger than the E2 driver and uses our patented v-Planar technology to reduce THD and improve low frequency extension. But they didn’t stop there! Diaphragm tension is set on an all-new system for a more uniform and consistent tension, lower distortion, and better driver matching, while FEA and CFD optimized motor structures increase driver force uniformity and smooth acoustic paths to reduce distortion.
Stealth’s all-new planer driver delivers incredibly low distortion throughout the listening range with levels of detail heretofore found primarily in the top-of-the-line electrostatics. Unlike many headphones where “detail” is created through exaggerated high-frequency energy, Stealth’s AMTS delivers industry-leading resolution free from the fatiguing emphasis on the top register users may be used to. Together, our 4th-generation motor and AMTS deliver a sonic performance best described as “effortless." From a delicately plucked string to the most intense dynamics of an orchestra, or the weight and attack of a kick drum to the overtones a decay of a crash cymbal, Stealth delivers an amazing balance of delicacy, nuance, and slam that will have you reaching for all your favorite recordings, and maybe staying up a bit too late. And then there’s the soundstage; Stealth is all enveloping and can compete with even the finest open headphones in depth, width, and imaging. It’s that effortless sense of space and instrument placement that lets Stealth “disappear” so you can simply relax into your musical experience. Everything, the headphones, the equipment, and yes, your daily stresses, just fall away.
"We set out to make Stealth a real design statement,” said Dan Clark, Founder and CEO. “Made of stylish matte-black leather, carbon fiber, and machined aluminum, Stealth design takes its cues from Stealth aircraft and is finished to levels you’d expect in the finest of luxury cars.” The top grade black leather headband features fine red stitching to create a quilted head-strap that’s not only gorgeous but is also functional and comfortable. The elegant embroidered Stealth logo adds a dash of color to Stealth’s all-black aesthetic. Gone are the mechanical sliders for fit adjustment; they’ve designed a stable yet comfortable “self-adjusting suspension system” that seats the headphone just right, with no muss or fuss. Dan Clark Audio makes some of the lightest headphones in the world and Stealth is no exception; at just 418g it’s one of the lightest super-premium headphones on the market. Together our new vegan suede and "leather" ear pads, self-adjusting suspension, and lightweight chassis make Stealth so comfy you can just ignore it and "vanish into your music.”
Dan has often said if the headphone is not physically comfortable enough to wear for extended listening sessions then the design is flawed. That’s why comfort is a top priority, and that’s why Dan Clark Audio has produced some of the lightest and most comfortable headphones in the industry, from the ultralight 280g Ether 2 to the groundbreaking ergonomics of the Aeon series. The ergonomic and stylish outline of Stealth’s ear cups is a natural extension of Aeon 2 ergonomics, albeit they are larger. For storage or travel they incorporated Aeon 2’s elegant folding gimbal structure into Stealth, neatly folding it into a compact custom-molded case that’s small and easy to stow.
Stealth Key Features and Benefits:
Dan Clark Audio’s design goal is to never compromise on sound, comfort, or aesthetics. Stealth is Dan Clark's ultimate statement and embodies everything they’ve learned since our inception.
by Sara Schweiger
by Major HiFi