Shure just announced the world’s first Sound Isolating electrostatic earphone and amplifier system, for use with portable and traditional media players. The $3000 premium KSE1500 Electrostatic Earphone System claims to define a new standard of portable listening, which features single-driver electrostatic Sound Isolating earphones matched to a USB digital-to-analog-converter (DAC/ADC) that processes audio from portable digital (MAC, PC, iOS, Android) or analog audio sources.
The KSE1500 is designed for discerning high-fidelity audio consumers who want to enhance their listening experience by achieving optimum performance from their current media players, smartphones, tablets, or computers. The first Sound Isolating earphones to feature electrostatic technology, the KSE1500 provides unmatched detail and clarity and customizable EQ for tonal control—without sacrificing the mobility that portable devices provide.
Building from a strong history of transducer innovation and combined with the Company’s award-winning listening product portfolio, Shure has leveraged electrostatic technology within the KSE1500 system to develop drivers that host virtually weightless, massless diaphragms. This implementation results in the fastest transient response available, providing the most accurate sound reproduction with a wider frequency range than standard dynamic or armature driver technologies. Combined with a powerful portable DAC amplifier (via a six-pin LEMO connection), the KSE1500 provides listeners with the highest-fidelity portable audio experience available today. The system’s amplifier DSP is able to process (EQ) digital audio directly via micro-USB as well as analog via a direct line in. For purists, an analog signal can completely bypass the DSP for full analog audio amplification.
“Our goal was to combine the best of what we have learned in sound isolating earphones, with the acoustic excellence of electrostatic technology to create the first portable sound isolating electrostatic earphone system,” said Matt Engstrom, Shure Category Director for Wired Products. “After more than eight years of research, development, and engineering, the challenge ends today with the introduction of the KSE1500.”
Adding to its lineup of attributes, the KSE1500 system features a high-resolution conversion rate of up to 24 bit/96 kHz and has been submitted to and verified by the Japan Audio Society (JAS) as qualified for the organization’s “High-Resolution Audio” rating. Hosting five preset settings—flat, low boost, vocal boost, loudness, and de-ess— as well as four customizable user-defined equalizer settings, the KSE1500’s four-band Parametric EQ provides the ability to customize frequency response based on user preferences The system’s intuitive graphic user interface provides streamlined menu navigation for quick and simple selections.
The KSE1500 Electrostatic Earphone System retails for $2,999.