It's been a long week so not a lot of time to sit down and listen to the CRBN but when I've done so, they always deliver. No issues at all like the first set had and they are very comfy for a couple of hours or so. I'll try to sit down for a few hours straight but they are so light and the earpads so supple that I don't foresee any issues. It did take me a while to get used to the more diffused sound stage as I thought they were off balance a few times. Just the different presentation playing with my head... I'll take some more time until my final impressions but how about some teardown pics instead. Now do remember that this set was headed my way and Audeze knew I would tear it apart... so they were nice enough to not fully adhere the earpads. That's why they have the paper backing on them.
First shot showing the gorgeous carbon shells.
Earpads off showing the baffle and the nylon screws which secure the baffle to the back. The 3M adhesive they are using for the earpads is very strong so these are no easy headphones to get into. The earpads are very thick and some of the nicest I've ever seen so I don't foresee having to replace them anytime soon.
Another shot showing the (phenolic?) baffle.
Now remove the screws and the set comes apart, the baffle screws through the earcups and into the back piece. There is quite a bit of foam behind the drivers but it is very open. Audeze were shooting for a fairly high damping design so this makes sense.
Here is the frame with the foam in place. That small dot falls off easily which is good, that means no adhesive in place to make a reflective surface inside the foam.
The back cover is a very nice piece and I like the use of fine mesh to keep most things out of the cups
Now remove the foam from the picture above and we have the back of the driver. They have gone for connections through the structure to the different elements unlike say Stax who take it all to one point. Nothing wrong with either way of doing things. Here you can also see the construction of the cable which is woven and it feel like it's two triple strands from the Stax plug, up through the cable split and into each cup. I do wonder how much capacitance braiding the cables like this does add to the system (a flat cable always be superior in that regard) but its similar to what Sennheiser do on the HE-1 and Mr. Speakers on the Voce. Far cry better than the crap Hifiman call a cable... on a 18k$ set of headphones though.
Another shot the driver free of the earcup. Same thick woven material used for the dust covers front and back.
Side profile showing just how thin the driver sandwich is and also its MRI safe roots are evident. Not a whole lot of metal in that, similar to what Sennheiser did with the HE series back in the day. The HE60 was just two pieces of extruded plastic, painted gold and then the mylar stretched onto the frame. Kinda funny to see this approach compared to what Stax are doing with the SR-X, ever more complicated stator designs whose benefits are not quite clear.
Last but not least, the very nice plug on these. That is aluminum and then molded plastic... very nice indeed.