• Ev Schaaf

Introducing ETA Supra (Beta)

If Genesis is an exploration of the sweet spot between open and closed full-size headphones, ETA Supra sits similarly at the line between a miniaturized open-baffle earspeaker and supra-aural headphone in terms of design. Let’s unpack what I mean:

In terms of ergonomics, Supra sits on your ears, either with cozy suede donut pads or vintage Yamaha-style ortho pads depending on the driver used. There are several benefits to this approach compared to normal circumaural headphones - less opportunity for reflections (often meaning a more linear response with fewer resonances), more direct funneling of dynamic energy into the ears, with no issues regarding acoustic seal for those who wear glasses and/or masks.

In terms of the earspeaker-ness, Supra is different from other pinna-coupling designs because the drivers sit at a distance relative to the earpad mount, and are also subtly angled to improve the staging and imaging. Supra does not have a traditional baffle - instead, the driver is suspended in the center of the concentric-cylindrical spider chassis inspired by the designs of large woofers optimized for open baffle loudspeaker use. On Supra, the airflow exits radially to the outside, throttled by two swappable pieces of foam to tune the bass.

Unlike other supraaural designs which rely on leaky pads to prevent driver flex and achieve the ideal proximity, Supra is airflow-optimized for unprecedented sub-bass and/or linearity for an open back supra-aural headphone.

Sonically, we're hoping Supra will be a heard as a complement to Genesis, with a more spacious, airy, forward sound without the general downslope through the mids and highs.

The drivers we're considering using as standard are 32 ohm versions of the Graphene driver from GenG, featuring the N52 magnets once again (measurement above, WIP). They are easily driven by a phone, laptop, or any DAP. We also have a limited quantity of Al/Mg alloy drivers that are otherwise identical in spec and design aside from the diaphragm material.

Supra is detachable-cable ready (3.5mm sockets). We’re using foldable OEM headbands designed for MDR7506 that fold down to just over the size of a soda can.

For now, we’re in the beta phase of development, meaning that you’ll see impressions trickle in slowly - we’re continuing to figure out the ideal driver modification recipe for best sonics, and have a few aesthetic tweaks left to complete. We have enough drivers and headbands to make about 9 pairs of these in the next couple months. Assuming it's well-received, it'll stay on the ETA roster long-term.

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