Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Fostex’s latest headphones wish for warmth with wood

The best sound gear goes tends to need the best materials, and while metal, alloys, and plastics can be nice, wood brings with a certain something, which is probably Fostex has chosen it for a new pair.

If you’re into music mastering, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with Fostex. Relied on by engineers and audio professionals alike, Fostex has recently earmarked Australia for a new pair of cans that will be gracing its shores, and what a pair these look to be.

Built in the image of the TH-900MK2 — what is apparently one of Fostex’s more successful models — the new TH-610 adopts a 50mm diaphragm made from organic material and a casing for the headphones made from black walnut.

You don’t often see wood in headphones, but when you do, it usually says something about the quality on offer and the intended tonality and personality the cans will offer. The organic component inside these headphones adds to the interest, with the diaphragm built with “bio-cellulose fibre featuring low specific gravity”, which apparently maintains a balance of audio across the ranges.


We’re not quite sure how it does that and will seek information on that technology for audio, though one headphone this writer has previously checked out at a rival publication includes the bio-cellulose drivers, with the AudioQuest Nighthawk also adopting the organic-based diaphragm type, and this reviewer recalls not wanting to give them back.

Fostex is also taking care of the wider dynamic range heard from higher bit-rates with a 1000 gauss (1 Tesla) magnetic circuit, aimed at reducing distortion across the board.

About the only thing they appear to miss out in the premium end of the market is that of real leather, with artificial leather pads used in the design.

Still, given the price difference between the TH-900 and the TH-610, you can kind of see why Fostex is leaving some room for the high-end, with Australians set to find the TH-610 for a recommended retail price of $999 against the $1,999 of the TH-900MK2.

Select audio specialists is where you can expect to find this one, with the headphones arriving on shelves this month.


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