Aurorus Audio - Borealis & Australis

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by gandhisfist, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. gandhisfist

    gandhisfist Almost "Made"

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    Now that we've placed our final part order and are getting closer to launching (still no confirmed launch date though we expect to launch by the end of summer), I thought it was time to post some information about our headphones on the forum.

    @Eudis Fernandes and I have been working on starting this company and putting this project together since about Nov of 2017 and (he primarily, with a little help from me) have designed two headphones: the Borealis (open back) and the Australis (closed back). A quick summary of the headphones:
    • The headphones will be priced at $899 each (excl. shipping and taxes)
    • Both are using the same Tymphany 50mm dynamic driver that was found in the Kennerton Vali
    • Borealis uses a pad with a fenestrated pleather inner and outer with a velour top
    • Australis uses a more typical hybrid pad with a fenestrated inner, solid pleather outer and velour top
    • They use 4-pin mini-XLR like ZMF/Audeze/Meze and will be compatible with those cables
    Below are some quick FR measurements i took on my EARS using a mic compensation provided by Mad_Economist of Cascadia Audio, that was derived by comparing and compensating the EARS to fit closer to how the HE-560 measures on his HATS (I believe a GRAS KEMAR or a 4128C, not sure which). This comparison just shows the open back (Borealis), I will update the post later when I receive the latest sample of the closed back with a measurement on the same rig (aligned at 300Hz):

    [​IMG]
    HD800 (Stock), HD600, HD580, Borealis

    I will also update the post with product shots after we send the headphones to be photographed. We should start getting the online store up at that point as well to get ready for sale. We'll also be sending the headphones out for review and invite members here to volunteer if they would like to receive both pairs for review. Reviewers will be selected based on their previous experience writing reviews on SBAF. We expect to start the tour in about two weeks.

    Currently on the list to review:
    @cskippy
    @Hands
    @Vtory


    Once that's complete we'd like to eventually organize a tour for SBAF friends that might be interested in checking out our headphones.


    Some pictures of the case they will be shipping with:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  2. den-fi

    den-fi Rando

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    So ready for this launch!
     
  3. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    Finally! I’m very excited to see and hear the final products.
     
  4. lichie

    lichie Rando

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    Can't wait to buy both of these :D
     
  5. novisnick

    novisnick Rando

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    I’ve been waiting for these to hit the market! Are they SE or balanced? Praying they are all you / we hope they will be. Graphs look extremely promising.
     
  6. gandhisfist

    gandhisfist Almost "Made"

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    They use standard audeze/zmf style connectors on both sides, so can be wired either way.
     
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  7. Mrstump5

    Mrstump5 Rando

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    Exciting news
     
  8. AMW1011

    AMW1011 Friend

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    About time this got officially announced. I've been impressed with what I've heard of the prototypes so far and I've been excited to see what this community specifically thinks. They really sounded like something a lot of folk here would enjoy.
     
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  9. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    @gandhisfist You had PMed me about this long ago, asking if I'd be interested in helping at all. I am still willing to test this out, final configuration or changes still pending!
     
  10. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Looks very interesting. I want to hear and test these, too!
     
  11. Ishcabible

    Ishcabible Friend

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    I have a prototype of each on me right now.

    Disclaimer, gandhisfist wrote on Verum Sonus with me and I’ve been talking to Eudis for years, so I try not to be biased and I’ve been trying to be pickier about these than normal to try to counteract that. But after hearing both of these I’m really, really excited for people to hear these.

    For those that have seen my impressions and reviews, I don’t really shy away when I think something is shit (HD820, Elear, Ether C, Empyrean, LCD2C, etc) so I don’t dilute my impression when I’m actually impressed by a headphone, and I think both of these are pretty damn good. I do think the Australis is the bigger game changer but since getting the Borealis prototype last week, I’ve used them for more time than probably my combined headphone listening all year.

    I’m going to shy away from calling them HD6X0 killers because that’s basically a death wish and to me, not exactly what these are going for.

    The Australis is the closed model and I’m not going to spew bullshit like, “Wow these sound like open headphones,” because while they are airier and are markedly less congested than most closed headphones I’ve heard, they still are closed. But I am surprised at how...normal these sound. When I hear a closed headphone, I usually expect to hear at least one weird trait that makes it difficult to universally recommend—the Aeon sounds incredibly compressed and timbre is pretty bad, the Elegia sounds like literal screaming, the Z7M2 makes Rage Against the Machine sounds like elevator music with its severe 1-2k dip that kills energy, and so on.

    With these, they’re obviously not perfect but other than some somewhat metallic timbre, a low-mid treble rise, and a bit of missing air, there’s really not much that’s straight up offensive. They have solid dynamics, a tasteful amount of bass that’s slightly elevated but not intrusive, no big dips or peaks aside from one around 6k, and they don’t really get that congested. Midrange is pretty even other than what sounds like a bit of a 1k bump and a 3-4ish dB slope down from 2k. I could use a bit more 4k though since it lacks just a little bit of presence there.

    Frankly, I’m disappointed none of the companies with tens of thousands to spend on designing a headphone haven’t made something that just doesn’t sound fucked. If smaller companies ZMF and Aurorus can make closed headphones that sound relatively normal, why can’t Focal or Sennheiser or Sony?

    The Borealis is no slouch either; I definitely prefer it to the Australis, but it’s a more difficult road than the Australis’. We have a comparative gluttony of decent open headphones so it takes a bit more for it to stand out, but I truly do think it’s deserving of its $899 MSRP relative to what else is out there.

    They both follow the same general sound signature, which is somewhat downward sloping from 2k, but the Borealis, obviously, is airier. I wouldn’t be shocked if people do compare them to the HD600 because I hear a tiny bit of 1k emphasis that I hear in the HD600 and doesn’t dip the upper midrange like most other headphones, but the general presentation is more aggressive, think more towards the HE-6. If I had to think of a headphone to compare them to, they’re kind like a more dynamic Elex with more 2.5-5k presence and less congestion. They even rumble my ears at 20Hz without resorting to a sub bass elevation. It’s huge fun to listen to, but I can see people getting fatigued by both the Australis or Borealis if they aren’t used to such an aggressive sound.

    But frankly, this is the most fun I’ve had using headphones since selling my 4 screw HE-6. It gets pretty damn close to the “live concert” atmosphere I miss from it. I rarely use headphones now because my speakers are so much more engaging, but these give me a lot of what I miss when I switch back to headphones. I don’t expect everyone to love these—these are a hugely different sound from a lot of other brands’ house sounds—but damn, these are fun.
     
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  12. JoshMorr

    JoshMorr Friend

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    Cool to see a company started up by enthusiasts about to hit the market. Really hoping that Ish's description of a not fucked up closed back headphone is real deal, in my opinion something that is somewhere between rare and non existant. And if there is an open compliment that just improves upon that, even better. Wishing this company best of luck and excited to hear / read impressions as things come out.
     
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  13. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

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    Australia protoype destroyed ZMF Alibaba cans and Fostex limp-dick, etched wood mud
     
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  14. littleemp

    littleemp Rando

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    The cat is out of the bag :punk:

    I hope people will love them and they are huge success.
     
  15. starence

    starence Acquaintance

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    Thanks for the impressions @Ishcabible. Are they comfortable to wear for long periods, and how much do they weigh?
     
  16. jam130

    jam130 Acquaintance

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    I know my opinion counts for very little compared to @Ishcabible but I did get a chance to hear both variations and agree with his overall impressions. I'll simply expand on what he said and try not to rehash what he can describe better than I :)

    My listening situation was limited to an afternoon at TSAV so I can't give in depth impressions based on spending time with them over the course of days. The majority of my time listening to them was using Chord Dave --> MHA-150 and Phonitor 2. My understanding is that there has been one or two minor sonic revisions to the prototypes since I heard them, so I will try to be a little more general in my impressions.

    While both of them are impressive, I think the closed back represents the best "achievement" of the two in that it's one of the few closed back designs I've heard that doesn't have a glaring weakness that immediately detracts from the experience of listening to them (think TH900 dip at 500 Hz as an example of this). The closed version also did a nice job of presenting detail without the same fatigue that I experience from TH900 or Aeon Flow Closed (sans filters).

    My understanding is that the frequency response for these headphones was inspired by HD6X0 with particular attention to the original HD580 Precision - the goal being to achieve a similar FR but with better extension at both ends. IMHO I believe they have done very well in achieving that goal. I didn't hear the same roll off below about 80 Hz that is especially apparent on HD660S and HD580. (For reference on my own Sennheiser experience I own/have owned: HD650, HD6XX, HD660S, HD580, HD58X, HD800 SDR)

    As far as comfort is concerned, they are very light and comfortable to wear. The headband is of similar design to the Mr. Speakers suspension strap. The prototype that I heard still had 3D printed cups and the arch of the headband had not yet been finalized, but if the final design is as good as the prototype I do not think anyone will have complaints with weight and/or comfort.

    It is difficult to say which one I liked better. I would argue that the open version may be sonically superior if for no other reason that it has the advantage of increased airflow and lack of cup resonance versus its closed counterpart. At the same time, I think the closed version stands out because there just isn’t much else out there to choose from.

    I look forward to their release and I am excited to get a chance to see and hear the final designs!
     
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  17. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

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    I'm amazed that Ischa actually likes something. That speaks volumes just by itself.
     
  18. gandhisfist

    gandhisfist Almost "Made"

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    Updating the thread with measures of the Australis:

    [​IMG]
    Borealis, Australis

    [​IMG]
    HD800 (Stock), HD600, HD580, Australis

    Also some shots of the finished closed back sample. This is extremely close to a production version, we don't anticipate any changes to the look of the headphones. More professional pictures and pictures of the open back to follow:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Eudis Fernandes

    Eudis Fernandes Acquaintance

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    Oh hey. If yall got questions we will try our best to answer them.

    The creation of the Borealis and by extension the Australis was certainly a journey and a half.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  20. crenca

    crenca Acquaintance

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    Well, here's an odd request: I am red/green color blind to a significant degree (8% of all males are), so that color coded FR plot is meaningless to me. If it's not too much trouble, what would it look like with the Borealis and say, the HD800? I can almost always follow them if the number of color coded lines is limited...
     

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