A lot has been written about the ‘in your head‘ quality of sound as heard through headphones. Attempts have been made through physical and electronic means to help create a more ‘you are there’ sensation [similar to a live performance or reproduction through loudspeakers] while using headphones, rather than ‘there’s a sound trapped in your head’.
At thinkmore, we only write about things we like enough to own – our thoughts are based on personal experience. In that tradition, this post documents a recent attempt by Sony – a portable device for the reproduction of sound. Of late, Sony has not produced many remarkable audio products with focus on the enthusiast. There’s obviously limited appeal in the mass market / big box retail for a product that appears a bit odd and performs differently from the norm. Suffice it to say, we should all be glad that such research is still carried on, and that sometimes such ideas escape the shackles of corporate confinement and make their way to us.
When worn, the transducers are located away from one’s ears and the sound is directed at the ear from a distance [not forced into it]. By following this method, these headphones are able to make full use of the shape and sound modulating properties of the outer ear, which is how we’re used to hearing all sounds around us. As a result, the PFR-V1 presents sound in a uniquely familiar and natural way.
Altogether, this is a remarkable device – extremely comfortable, with clear, extended, non-fatiguing sound and marvelous quality of construction. The details and finishes are very well resolved [this is something that sets Sony apart from most other manufacturers, even in mass market products], down to thoughtful touches like the conductive coating on the outriggers that touch one’s ears. The coating maintains parity with one’s body temperature – the foreign object touching the skin is soon forgotten. The focus remains on the sound and its presentation. The spheres and frame components are crafted from metal. The physical appearance is a natural progression of the original concept and the engineering solutions – nothing is hidden, the core idea is on display. Pride of ownership in spades.
Clearly, the product was developed by engineers and designers with a real interest and insight into the art and science of sound reproduction – brilliant.