Headphone manufacturers know that people care about fashion. Let’s not kid ourselves here – it’s pretty easy to deduce that consumers care about the appearance of things they put on their heads. It’s not rocket science, but still, the vast majority of over-ear headphones produced each year – even high-end ones – tend to be gaudy, glossy, and unattractive. Correct me if i’m wrong, but doesn’t it seem like headphone designers generally go for a futuristic look rather than a timeless one? It’s rather unfortunate, really.
Granted, headphones are a tough product to design. Oftentimes manufacturers invest so much time and effort into sound quality that exterior design comes as more of an afterthought. In other cases, it’s just the opposite; designers put too much time into aesthetics, and the audio performance leaves something to be desired (we’re looking at you, Skullcandy).
However, there are a few brands that do things right. Harmon Kardon makes some excellent cans that are just as easy on the eyes as they are on the ears, and Monster has a few models that are drool-worthy as well, but these are rare exceptions in a market that’s otherwise dominated by cheap, plasticky headphones.
Enter the VK-1 from Aëdle. Designed in France by a team of artists, designers, and engineers, these phones were made to bridge the gap between style and performance. We haven’t had a chance to hear them in action, so we can’t speak to their sound quality, but if they sound even half as good as they look, they’ll probably be incredible.
The VK-1’s supra-aural cups are each CNC machined from a solid ingot of aircraft-grade T6066 aluminum, inside of which you’ll find two 40mm titanium-neodymium drivers. The earpads are made from hand-sewn lambskin leather filled with protein foam that molds to the contours of your ears. The headband is made from a sturdy but flexible manganese steel alloy, cushioned with liquid silicone, and covered with the same lambskin material used in the cups. Somehow the word “luxurious” doesn’t do justice.
This is the first headphone model Aëdle has ever produced, and even though they haven’t begun shipping them yet, the VK-1 is already a huge success. Pre-orders sold out in just a few days, so if you didn’t already claim a pair you’ll have to wait until April to get them on your ears. Check out Aëdle’s site for more info.