I resisted actually from detailing the guts of this new Kingsound electrostatic headphone system in the title of this review because in actual fact there are two official components and in my hand a prototype or brand new headphone for the system that I am not entirely sure it is on the market just yet. Truth be told I have been in possession of the “Emperor” headphone and solid state amp system from Kingsound for a few months now and Simon Lai of Kingsound and I have been chatting back and forth about how everything works, the innards of the amps and the headphones to the point where rev 2 of these cans came out and I still have not done the review yet.
Wow, call me slow or call Kingsound fast I am not sure but in any event I can now do a comparison with the two headphones much to my audiophile titillation. At the time of writing I am clueless on the price of the new headphone so sorry guys please direct your query to Kingsound who will be more than happy to help you out.
So when I first had a look into the system the idea seemed pretty simple. Get the solid state M-10 electrostatic amp or the the tube variant, the M-20, for a whole lot more and put it on with the same headphone – the KS-H1. Now for Doctor Who fans might same awfully familiar to Cybermen style helmets but to the rest of the world they do seem a rather like a cheap looking plastic variant of what most of us think an electrostatic headphone should look like.
My exposure to electrostatics has been varied but most likely termed as short lived with the 3030 system by Stax lasting tops a year. I have tried the Baby Stax 1 and 2 variations (ear pain alert, all mids) as well as road tested at meets the Koss and mighty Stax 007 (before the 009 was release) systems. Nothing pleases me more than hearing an electrostatic system wonderfully well executed but like a lot of people the price can often be a barrier to many hoping to get stuck into a ‘stats” setup.
Regardless of how great or average you may perceive the new Kingsound system to be, and we will get into that later in this review, the fact they can churn out a system like this for around 8900 upwards is a good achievement and brings electrostatics that bit closer to the fiscally challenged audiophiles like you and me. That I can fully applaud Kingsound for since they are normally more well known for highly respected budget busting electrostatic speakers ranging from $1500 to $12000 and you would not have expected them to do a budget headphone system using the same technology.
Sadly I did not manage to get my hands on the more expensive tube variant, the M-20 but I may do so later next year all being well. For now this review will focus on the KS-H1 and the solid state M-10 amp as well as that new headphone they sent over, the KS H-02.
Click on next page for more about my journey with the system…