Ada: Following the Sound

Sometimes the most enjoyable projects are the ones that begin casually and with no goal in mind; the sort of thing that starts with an overactive imagination and a thirst for challenge and discoveryprototypes

Behind the curtain, 2023 was a year of immense experimentation for ETA. We revisited backlogged designs, scrapped and started over, made baby steps on ongoing projects, and continually scratched the "what if" itch. We've never before pursued as many streams of research and development.

Along the way, we explored countless new driver variants (only a few of which are shown in the image below).

Some of the most exciting discoveries followed a more intuitive path than the more esoteric samples we've developed (if you've met us at a social event, you know what we're talking about). Yet while novel driver technology often demands complex approaches to tuning and design, we were equally attracted to a smaller range of drivers that presented a cohesive tone when directly dropped into a minimal design. We found ourselves building up from the fundamentals all over again - who would have thought?

There was a trend in the second category: most of these drivers were smaller than the ones we've used before. Even before ETA began producing headphones, we've always been charmed by the closer-to-pistonic motion, smoother mid-to-treble transition and tighter dispersion pattern of a smaller electrodynamic driver - 20hz bass extension be damned! 

As we narrowed down our initial selection of 25mm to 46mm drivers, a preference emerged for particular types of materials and mechanical features. Fast forward a few more months and several more iterations, and we landed on a newly-developed-yet-back-to-basics driver.

The Ada driver features a 7-micron biocellulose dome with a slightly stiffer 5-micron PET surround than the PU of our 50mm offerings, with a unique 16 ohm pure copper voice coil powered by a strongest-in-class N52 NdFeB magnet.

    Even though this driver showed remarkable ability in a near-featureless shell, we hit the drawing boards to dig out every gram of performance this driver had to offer. As such, Ada is our first headphone to:

    • fully integrate the internal structure of the driver chassis into the external enclosure through the use of extensive coupling and acoustic-impedance matching parts across multiple axes
    • implement direct bracing of the driver's pole vent against a filtered rear horn, similar to that of back-loaded horn loudspeaker.
    These features imbue Ada with the greatest sense of midrange immediacy and smoothest-integrated treble among our offerings to date.

    In addition to the acoustic design, we re-crafted our high-airflow earpads and adjusted the bend of our stock headband to create one of the most comfortable supra-aural experiences currently on the market in this form factor. At 206 grams, Ada will surprise you with a sense of ease and comfort for extended listening  - a headphone experience designed to be enjoyed.

    It is our pleasure to introduce Ada!


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